But man did wake up,and he did become aware of good and evil. How did he manage to do this? The Serpent of temptation in Eden fed him the forbidden fruit which opened his eyes. According to Gnostics this Serpent is Lucifer,the Messenger of Light. This is the meaning of the word Lucifer : Bearer of Light. Lucifer took the form of a serpent to wake man up. He is a Messenger of the Supreme God, the Unknowable God. He is a Messenger of the True God who came into this imperfect, inadequate and wretched world to wake up and liberate man,to show him his true situation and what his great destiny could be like. For this reason, those who follow the orders of the creator god consider the serpent to be something malicious and satanic and in all this confusion liken it with satan.
On the other hand Gnostics see the Serpent Lucifer as a saviour,someone who came to save man ,a Messenger of the True God. This Serpent of Enlightenment which brought Gnosis ,Gnostic truth which allows the authentic and true nature of things to be seen in this world of confusion came to liberate man Lucifer is the true liberator of man. He came to liberate man from the tyranny of the creator god . He brought the real knowledge that in itself can free man and help him to escape from this satanic world and return to the world from which he came.
This Serpent is for Gnostics, the Serpent of Salvation ,the Serpent which opened the eyes of man ,which offered him the apple of emancipation to help him wake up and free himself from this world of misery and impure matter.
The creator wanted to create man like the other living beings,incapable of distinguishing between good and evil but the Serpents actions woke them up and liberated them. According to Gnostics ,this knowledge,this Gnosis which the Serpent Lucifer brought to man undoubtedly caused a great cosmic disturbance in the creation. This is how powerful this knowledge is. Gnosis causes changes in those who receive it ,in those who listen to it because it is not common or currant knowledge. It is liberating knowledge.
There is an interesting book written by Earnst Bloch called “Atheism in Christianity” which gives a good synthesis of this whole aspect of Gnostic thought, the aspect related to the Serpent of Liberation as a messenger of the True God.
Gnostics of later times at the beginning of Christianity who came to be known as Christian Gnostics or Gnostic Christians regarded Christ as the Serpent of Genesis. This was because Christ (much later than the events in the earthly paradise came carrying a liberating message just like the Serpent. A message which frees man from this impure world. These Christian Gnostics believe that it was this knowledge which allowed man to make contact with the other world, the one opposed to the demiurge : the unknowable world of the True God.