top of page

The headless snake

By Robert Ewing.

Despite its blindness, the earthworm has at least one motivation. She manages to crawl out by instinct. Instinct is the motherly Holy Spirit, whose job it is to see and care for all the creation she helped bring into existence. However, the headless snake can no longer do anything. It is similar to a chicken with its head separated from the body, it has an involuntary movement, which is produced by the body, not by its severed head.

When I was a child, I once walked with my older brother on a path near the river, and suddenly horror paralyzed me. Because? I saw a live snake, which was not a headless snake, it was intact, complete and crawling as if it were going to attack; He began to stick his tongue in and out. Perhaps some amateur observer would have called that snake a beautiful species. Bright yellow bands made their appearance faster and tried to inoculate their poisonous venom than on any of us at that time.

My brother's name was Harrison, so I yelled at him: -“Harrison, Harrison, kill her, kill her.” ¨He took two stones and threw them at the snake, which irritated it more. However, at the same moment, he grabbed his shotgun, took aim, and pulled the trigger. All I watched was the snake writhing more than ever. I think I was too scared to run, but one thing confused me. I couldn't understand why my brother was at rest, smiling at the same time I continued shouting: -“Harrison, kill her, kill her.”

Finally, he asked me a question: “where is his head?” I looked and couldn't find it anywhere. The head had been destroyed by the  shotgun blast he received.

What is unusual about that episode? Don't similar circumstances occur to anyone who is exposed to dangers, when they grow up? Definitely. There is a beautiful truth illustrated here for every Christian.

Within each person is a seed of evil nature inherited from our ancestral father, Adam, through physical generation. This is called “the old man,” “the flesh” (figuratively, not literally), and also “sin.” In the Garden of Eden, Adam did not have an evil nature until he sinned by obeying Satan.



When we convert to Christ, we experience new life through regeneration, which the Bible calls “the new man,” “Christ in us,” or  “the new creation.” The new man impels us toward the heavenly city and impels us toward spiritual things. The old man impels us toward the things of the world and impels us toward carnal desires.

Now which of the two will win? There is an example of the experience of an Indian chief who after he received Christ as his Savior, someone asked him: Chief,  how has it been? There was a moment of silence and then the Indian chief responded: -“there is a great battle inside me.” What do you mean by this, boss? “Two big dogs fight inside me, one is a black dog and the other is a white dog,” and which of the two wins, boss? “To whom I feed the most.”

The Indian chief's response manifests a truth: the decision to do good or evil lies in our will. Adam in his own soul with his will, intellect and emotions had the decision to sin or not to sin.


The same thing happens with the believer, he decides or determines which path he will follow, whether that of the Spirit or that of the flesh. In other words, he is capable of being transformed by the renewal of his mind, or he is capable of gradually becoming destroyed by submission to his carnal life. This is similar to the vine trellis which is basically neutral, but can work for a bad vine or a good vine.


In fact we find that Paul calls these three internal motivational forces “laws.” The “I” that is able to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh, thus affecting one's rewards, is called “the law of the mind.” Ro. 7:23. The “old man” is called “the law of sin.” This is the villain of the story. Then comes the hero, “For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”   Ro. 8:2.

However, where does the headless serpent come into the present illustration? As a teenager, I didn't understand when I read Romans 6. It says that this sin nature had died “once and for all.” “For we who are dead to sin (literally having died once and for all, at some time in the past, died) how shall we still live in it?” Ro. 6:2. In Romans 6:6 it read that “our old man was crucified with Him.” “For as soon as he died, he died to sin once for all.” Ro. 6:10.

We are sinners by nature and to satisfy divine justice and cleanse our record of sin, the heavenly Father arranged for our “old man” to be crucified with Christ so that we could go to heaven. Christ went to the cross only once and forever; So, logically our “old man” was there only once and forever with Christ.

So, when I looked out the window and saw Mr. Damnation walking on the street, I couldn't understand how the old man had died “once and for all” with Christ. That old man could look very alive at times. Then, the answer came to resolve my confusion. Legally and judicially God, the Judge, considered that when Christ, the Lamb of God, died, the “old man” also died. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. II Cor. 5:21.

Here, at this point, the Spirit of God, the divine teacher, reminded me of the experience I had with the serpent. Because the serpent was deceitful, it seemed beautiful on the outside, but it had poison on the inside, in the same way “the old man who is corrupted according to the desires of error,” Eph. 4:22, disobeyed the Law written on two stones.

In fact, Paul said, “…but when the commandment (law) came, sin revived and I died.” Ro. 7:9. Then, the Gospel shotgun came and shot the snake. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel: because it is the power (the shotgun) of God for health to everyone who believes…”. Ro. 1:16. Paul revealed that until we came to Christ, we were united to our federal head, Adam, but now having believed, God has put us in a new Body, and the Head of the Body is Christ.

In Romans 5:12-19, Paul makes the comparison. Thank God, it does not put us in the position of being legally united to Adam and his race in any way. The Lord sees us “in Christ Jesus.” The “old man” has lost his mind.

What about the appellant Mr. Condemnation? It seems to be very alive! Yes, the serpent has been killed at Calvary once and for all, but it still wants to act as if it were alive. The snake is still moving. So the burial follows. We would have liked to have the snake out of sight, by burying it or throwing it into the river.

The flaming sword that appeared at the entrance to the Garden of Eden and that turned in all directions is, at least for us, the cutting Word of God, when applied by the Holy Spirit, is the one who digs the grave (the gravedigger). As we allow the Spirit to cut through the Word within us, conviction rather than condemnation, we see that which has been considered legally and positionally dead become reality.




It is not a magical act that our old man is eradicated from the roots, its branches, all by a single experience as some claim. However, Paul contrasts these two positions: our legal death and our daily experience of being killed, “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin (the ancient moving serpent) might be cast away so that we no longer serve sin.” Ro. 6:6.


This same principle is seen in Colossians 3:3, 5 because after saying: “…you are dead…”, Paul tells them: “Mortify (mortify) therefore your members that are on this earth…”. Then Paul mentions some of them. If a cow is in the field, the butcher does not cut off its parts, but waits until it is dead. It's the same principle when two countries are at war. First, diplomatic relations are broken, the personnel leave that nation, and later they will confront and destroy each other.

Christ is coming soon for his spotless Bride. We don't need no snake with its head cut off

bottom of page