Serpents In The Sea, Scorpions In The Sand Part III
ne of the more obvious portions of the language of prophetic metaphor, in which Biblical similitudes are utilized to identify Spiritual existence, is found in theSerpents and the Scorpions, as seen in the present series. In this study, we’ve learned the Spiritual Serpents are associated with the Antichrist beast, and the Spiritual Scorpions with the False Prophet beast. However, another pair exists in Scripture, and these are identified with the Thorns and the Briers.
“And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers, in one day. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return…” (Isaiah 10:17, 20)
In this marvelous series of statements from Isaiah, we find all three factions in the creation architecture mentioned twice, including the “flame” of God, which will burn up the Thorns and the Briers. We also see the Remnant, juxtaposed with the Sand, and the Sea. In the earlier installments of the present work, we saw how these equate in the book of Revelation to the Serpents (in the sea), the Scorpions (in the sand), and the Seed.
Obviously, JESUS taught us the Seed is the Word of God, manifested in the above verses as the “fire” which is synonymous with the “light of Israel,” the righteousness of the LORD which originates in His “Holy One” as a “flame,” which will ultimately burn the Thorns and the Briers.
Lest there be any confusion, we remind the reader there are only two categories: saved and not saved; however, the “not saved” is divided into two parts, both of which are to be cut off.
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house dividedagainst a house falleth” (Luke 11:17).
We note that through Isaiah, the LORD connects the light in Israel, with the “flame” of Christ His Holy One, and that is what will burn the Thorns and the Briers. This movement is synonymous with the casting ofDeath and Hell into the lake of fire, equivocating Death and Hell with the Thorns and the Briers:
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14).
These are also seen as Flesh and Blood, and neither can inherit the Kingdom of God:
“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [my identity] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).
At this point, I’ll remind the reader the two parts which are cut off (Zechariah 13:8) are not intrinsically tied to evil, as much as they represent the finite nature of physical creation. The metaphoric “thorns and briers” will one day cease as they are created to be finite, but our Spiritual existence, as vessels of the “light of the LORD,” will continue forever and ever:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).
How marvelous it is, when we truly realize the fact of the resurrection of Christ, is the picture of what the LORD has in store for those who are made alive through His divine power:
“Behold I show you a mystery…we shall all be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:51, 53).
The allegorical Thorns and the Briers are the tareswhich are planted in the “field,” where we also find the “wheat” which the LORD has grown:
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:38, 40-42).
Notice how the allegorical tares are divided into two categories: all the things that offend, and them which do iniquity. In the Gospels, Christ says that those He never knew, were those who “work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). To never know Christ, who is Life, is Death, which is therein associated with iniquity. Further, as He told the story of the rich man who was in Hell, Jesus spoke about those who “offend,” and said it would be better that a millstone were placed around their necks – thereby connecting Hell with those through whom “offences will come” (Luke 17:1).
This tells us the tares which are bundled for burning are associated “things that offend” (Hell) and “them which do iniquity” (Death), which we’ve already connected with the Serpents (who kill) and the Scorpions (who torment and take captive). Likewise, the Thorns and the Briers are also related to Death and Hell.
Another interesting similitude is related to the “Briers,” which also appear as “thistles” (Genesis 3:18), a “thicket” (Isaiah 9:18), or a “bramble bush” (Luke 6:44). We see that when the LORD provided a sacrifice for Abraham, he came upon a ram, who was taken captiveby a thicket:
“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son” (Genesis 22:13).
While the “Briers” in the thicket held the sacrificecaptive, fast forward to the crown of thorns, signifying death, which were placed on the head of the Son of God.
“And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head” (Mark 15:17).
These Spiritual pairs, which are repeatedly seen in the Old Testament as the Thorns and the Briers, are mystically imaged in the Revelation of Jesus Christ as the Serpents and the Scorpions – but the true Remnant of Israel, the Seed of God, has a wondrous existence in Christ, for eternity.
“But that which beareth thorns and briersis rejected, and is nigh unto cursings; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation…” (Hebrews 6:8, 9).
-- James Lloyd