And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

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And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
 
As discussed in the previous post, the above is Luke describing the pattern of the last generation of this age. We saw the venomous beast (the confusion that now covers the world in blindness) attaching itself to Paul’s hand (writing), which he shakes off into the fire to be burned up with the dead wood. Because we studied the former rain (the words of the apostles and prophets) and the latter rain, the same word of God coming to us and our experiencing the same pattern, we see clearly what the confusion had mired. (If you don’t see it, you are blinded by the false gods of this time, the authors of confusion, the spirit now at work in the children of disobedience. Go back and read the prior post, and then all those before it, which will fill your lamps with the oil that feeds the light, which is understanding.)
 
The “venomous beast” Luke describes in Acts 28:4, and as the “beast” in verse 5, is above in the title (verse 3) described as a “viper.” The latter two descriptions, as we saw, are from the Greek word therion, which is from the word thera; a one-time used word that describes the “trap” these same leaders of the confusion fall into as they predictably act without reason or understanding. We know their inability to use the higher function of their human mind cause their table, that which should have been for their welfare, to become a snare in which they are unwittingly caught. We have seen in Luke’s, Paul’s, and Peter’s descriptions, the fires their ideas themselves have caused are the snare catching them. We also know, because we have studied and now see it coming in the experience, it is the LORD’s coming with His truth that traps them as He comes as a thief in the night.
 
We saw that of the forty-six times the word therion is used thirty-eight of those come in Revelation to describe the “beast” we know is confusion. This confusion is what keeps the modern false prophets and false teachers from seeing this state of mind is “Mystery Babylon,” the name meaning the unknown confusion, which rules the world (age) and all in it.
 
Revelation 18
8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the LORD God who judges her.
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is your judgment come.
 
Revelation 18 goes on to tell of her sorceries: confusion that alters and deadens the mind; as what has drained the life (blood) from and killed the prophets and saints.
 
Revelation 18
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in you; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in you; and the sound of a millstone [her works] shall be heard no more at all in you;
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you [no longer will people look to their confusion for understanding]; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorceries were all nations deceived.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
 
Peter plainly tells us this end comes by the word of God protected and preserved in pure form in heaven, “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” He says these men are following their own will and by it are ignorant that these same waters flowing from God ended the former age. Their willful acts are those later describe as the “works” of the world (age) that are burned up in the fire these men’s ideas (elements) have caused. He ends describing their ignorance (unlearned) and their wrestling with the word of God, His truth now released, unto their own destruction.
 
2 Peter 3
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements [these men’s ideas] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements [these men’s ideas] shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our LORD is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrestle, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
 
The word “viper” Luke uses in Acts 28:3 is the Greek word echidna, a word only used four other times, and said to be from an uncertain origin. The meaning is found in its use in Acts as Luke describes it as fastening to Paul’s hand. The word appears to be from the Greek words echo, to hold, and eido to know (understand). It means what has attached itself to what is known (written) as if venom (poison from the mouth) that destroys understanding.
 
James 3
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of Gehenna.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
 
In this context, we know echo from its use in the word katecho; meaning to hold down; the word used twice in 2 Thessalonians 2 to tell of what “withholds” and will “lets,” meaning hold down, God’s people until it is taken out of the way.
 
2 Thessalonians 2
5 Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now you know [eido] what withholds [katecho] that he might be revealed [uncovered] in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets [katecho] will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the LORD shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness [light of understanding] of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan [after those who resist and rebel against God] with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
 
Every other time the word echidna is used it is in the LORD describing the “generation of vipers.” These are those whose eyes are held by what is (their lack of the knowledge of God and His word) causing them not to understand and therefore not see or hear the LORD.
 
Luke 24
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were held that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that you have one to another, as you walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas [of a renowned father], answering said unto him, Are you only a stranger in Jerusalem, and have not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth [the one preserved {kept} by separation from corruption], which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher [the churches – where the corruption occurred and is, as are the dead];
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive [as I have].
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher [the churches – the grave of the dead], and found it [empty] even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
 
John 5
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
21 For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens [brings from death to life] whom he will.
22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.
24 Truly, truly, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25 Truly, truly, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will [see 2 Peter 3:5 above speaking of those who have followed their own will into ignorance], but the will of the Father which has sent me.
 
The resurrection to life comes only when these men’s corrupted ideas, their own creation, are taken out of the way, and then God’s children rise from under those who have held them down (katecho). This truth is what set us free, while at the same it exposes the wicked as the dead, who remain with their dead works and choose to perish with them.
 
Matthew 3
…O generation of vipers [echidna – generation held in what drains life], who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet [suitable] for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees [those leading astray]: therefore every tree [leader] which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand [the same hand we’re discussing], and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of you, and come you to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
 
Hebrews 13
25 See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made [the errors these men have created and attached to God’s truth, which has drained the life from His people and the world], that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
 
Matthew 12
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost [the work of gathering into one body those who have heeded the warning and fled from corruption and the wrath to come], it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [age], neither in the world [age] to come.
33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34 O generation of vipers [echidna], how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah:
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly [in the chasm {the open mouth of confusion} that has caused {swallowed up and held in} the agitation of the people]; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation [of vipers], and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
 
Matthew 23
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees [false prophets, false preachers, and false teachers of God’s people], hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith [the knowledge of God]: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 You blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whited sepulchers [their churches, where the corruption has occurred and is, and where the dead are], which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets [those you have drained the life from], and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous [those you have held down in your corruption],
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Wherefore you be witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32 Fill you up then the measure of your fathers.
33 You serpents, you generation of vipers [echidna], how can you escape the damnation of Gehenna?
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel [the righteous you made empty and void of the knowledge of God] unto the blood of Zechariah [who remembered and recognized Jehovah] son of Barachias [who Jehovah blessed], whom you slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Truly I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent unto you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!
38 Behold, your house [the house of corruption] is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, You shall not see me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the LORD.
 
Isaiah 27
1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent [the echidna among God’s people], even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon [death lurking unknown below the surface] that is in the sea [that has flowed like a river into the masses].
2 In that day sing you unto her, A vineyard of red wine.
3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment [with the pure life-giving waters of heaven – this latter rain]: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns [these men of corruption] against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.
5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob [those who have unknowingly wrestled with God’s presence and word] to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
7 Has he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him?
8 In measure, when it shoots forth, you will debate with it: he stays his rough wind in the day of the east wind.
9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he makes all the stones of the altar [the idols/ideas they worship] as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves [of trees/men] and [their] images shall not stand up.
10 Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof.
11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will show them no favor.
12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat [the fruit being corrupted by there words] off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt [away from the captivity of those who are holding them by their corrupt ideas], and you shall be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria [the communists among us], and the outcasts in the land of Egypt [captivity], and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at [New] Jerusalem [the place taught and founded on the word that flows from the LORD, and who thereby find peace and civilization].
 
Psalm 118
1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let Israel now say, that his mercy endures for ever.
3 Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endures for ever.
4 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endures for ever.
5 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.
6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.
11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12 They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
13 You have thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
18 The LORD has chastened me sore: but he has not given me over unto death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
20 This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
21 I will praise you: for you have heard me, and are become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save now, I beseech you, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech you, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed be he that comes in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
27 God is the LORD, which has shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise you: you are my God, I will exalt you.
29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.
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