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poochie
Aug 17th 2008, 10:58 AM
Snake Handlers

http://www.cerm.info/images/snake_striking.jpg

Mark 16:17-18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover"

Anyone know of anyone in this radical sect?

mcgyver
Aug 17th 2008, 11:27 AM
Don't know anyone personally...

But years ago when I was stationed in North Carolina there were a couple of "churches" in the backwoods that I know of who practiced snake handling...

I always wondered if people stayed there after getting bitten...:hmm:

Bethany67
Aug 17th 2008, 11:53 AM
I knew a Texan woman online who went to a Oneness church which practiced this.

mcgyver
Aug 17th 2008, 12:00 PM
I've wondered how these folks reconcile the following passage to their practices:

Matthew 4:5-7:

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and,‘ In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” (Literally: You shall not put the LORD your God to the test). :hmm:

Rocking horse
Aug 18th 2008, 01:20 PM
On a personal level I...LOVE SNAKES...would love to have a python as a pet. But getting to the OP...a few years I saw a doco on tv about a sort of religious group who were handling what I think were deadly snakes. It all looked a bit odd to me....not my cup of tea at all.

Rocky.

poochie
Aug 18th 2008, 04:31 PM
Mine neither. Thanks..


On a personal level I...LOVE SNAKES...would love to have a python as a pet. But getting to the OP...a few years I saw a doco on tv about a sort of religious group who were handling what I think were deadly snakes. It all looked a bit odd to me....not my cup of tea at all.

Rocky.

faithfulfriend
Aug 18th 2008, 05:05 PM
Snake Handlers

http://www.cerm.info/images/snake_striking.jpg

Mark 16:17-18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover"

Anyone know of anyone in this radical sect?


Yep I know one personsally. She is an ex-shake handler thank the Lord! Her life was ruined by sin, her marriage was on the rocks, and she was headed for destruction. God was so faithful to deal with her heart and she came out to truth, got saved & sanctified and delivered from sin. It's amazing how God can change a person and their life. Just proof of His almighty power.

Also, that scripture is obviously used for snake handling, but I'd like to make two points:

Lu 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Mt 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

We are not to tempt the Lord in any way, snake handling included. Also in Acts 28:3-5 Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake, should have died, but God divinely protected him. Thus proving the truth of Mark 16:17-18. God protects those that are called into the mission field to preach the gospel. God protects His people today as well, he hasn't changed.

Ron Brown
Aug 18th 2008, 06:07 PM
Playing with poisonous snakes and speaking in unknown gibberish languages while doing so?

Looks like the Holy Spirit moving to me?:hmm:

TrustGzus
Aug 18th 2008, 07:52 PM
I don't know anyone in this, though I know people who know others who are in this.

It's amazing what abuses people will do with a verse.

Ron Brown
Aug 18th 2008, 08:02 PM
It's amazing what abuses people will do with a verse.

How do we know this is not from the Holy Spirit?

They are pentecostal Christians who do everything else a normal pentecostal church person does, they just add the snake handling to the mix. They do the same gibberish languages, the same slaying in the spirit, the same dancing in the spirit, etc........................ as every other main stream pentecostal church does. How can we say they are not being led by the Holy Spirit to do these things? Can the Holy Spirit operate outside of the Biblical scriptures?:hmm: Pentecostals say the Holy Spirit can.

StevenC
Aug 18th 2008, 08:13 PM
Mark 16:17-18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover"

Anyone know of anyone in this radical sect?

I do not know of anyone who practices this; however, I would like to point out that Jesus said, do not put the Lord God to the test. That is, don't throw yourself in harms way just to prove your faith.

Of course there are proper ways of handling snakes, I am not referring to those who know how to handle them properly.

-Steven

RogerW
Aug 18th 2008, 08:39 PM
The serpent is the symbol for Satan. The serpent is seen throughout the Bible to signify Satan. Satan is this serpent that believers can take up without being harmed. That is the security that every believer possesses in Christ.

Revelations 12:9 "and the great dragon was cast out, that Old Serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world..."

God uses the sign of the serpent to signify Satan. Even from the very beginning the serpent in the garden of Eden illustrated Satan. Likewise, those who are of Satan are also pictured as serpents. And there are also many illustrations of this.

Matthew 23:33 "ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell".


When we become saved, we come to rule over the serpent (Satan) without fear. But, to the unbeliever, the serpent (Satan) has rule over them. Unbelievers are slaves to Satan where he holds sin as the power of death over them. Christ freed us from bondage to Satan (serpent) at the cross where he no longer rules over us.

Hebrews 2:14-15 "..that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and deliver them who through FEAR of death were all their lifetime subject unto BONDAGE".

Before we were Saved, we were in bondage to Satan and had death hanging over our heads, but now we have no more fear of that old serpent, because we have been delivered from him, and he no longer holds the 'power of death' over us. By Christ's death we have conquered that fear of that old serpent, that we can handle him without fear of harm.

Luke chapter 10 verses 19 and 20 gives us an illustration of this same principle.

Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on Serpents and scorpions, and over all the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

Is this the Lord giving them the power and commission to go around the countryside stomping on literal snakes and scorpions? No! If you walk through the desert, will literal snakes and scorpions clear a path for you because you are Christian? How many Christians will even see a snake or scorpion? Is that what the Lord is really concerned about, securing them that they might not get bitten by a snake in the grass? Not at all! That is not the power of the enemy. The power of the enemy Jesus speaks about here is the power of Satan. Serpents and Scorpions in scripture 'signify' Satan. Those who are spiritually serpents and scorpions (those of Satan) is who God is concerned that these His servants are not harmed by. God is illustrating something far more important than mere snakes and scorpions who by chance we might come upon. But the spirit Satan whom we might come upon.


The serpent that the believers will take up and not be harmed, is Satan.

1st Peter 3:12-13 "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"

The answer of course is no one and nothing can harm us. Even if we are physically killed, as believers that simply translates us into the Kingdom of heaven. So yes, this sign does follow those who believe. In Christ's Name they take up Serpents without fear because that serpent, Satan has no power to harm them anymore.

Many Blessings,
RW

Ron Brown
Aug 18th 2008, 08:46 PM
The serpent is the symbol for Satan. The serpent is seen throughout the Bible to signify Satan. Satan is this serpent that believers can take up without being harmed. That is the security that every believer possesses in Christ.

Revelations 12:9 "and the great dragon was cast out, that Old Serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world..."

God uses the sign of the serpent to signify Satan. Even from the very beginning the serpent in the garden of Eden illustrated Satan. Likewise, those who are of Satan are also pictured as serpents. And there are also many illustrations of this.

Matthew 23:33 "ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell".


When we become saved, we come to rule over the serpent (Satan) without fear. But, to the unbeliever, the serpent (Satan) has rule over them. Unbelievers are slaves to Satan where he holds sin as the power of death over them. Christ freed us from bondage to Satan (serpent) at the cross where he no longer rules over us.

Hebrews 2:14-15 "..that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and deliver them who through FEAR of death were all their lifetime subject unto BONDAGE".

Before we were Saved, we were in bondage to Satan and had death hanging over our heads, but now we have no more fear of that old serpent, because we have been delivered from him, and he no longer holds the 'power of death' over us. By Christ's death we have conquered that fear of that old serpent, that we can handle him without fear of harm.

Luke chapter 10 verses 19 and 20 gives us an illustration of this same principle.

Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on Serpents and scorpions, and over all the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

Is this the Lord giving them the power and commission to go around the countryside stomping on literal snakes and scorpions? No! If you walk through the desert, will literal snakes and scorpions clear a path for you because you are Christian? How many Christians will even see a snake or scorpion? Is that what the Lord is really concerned about, securing them that they might not get bitten by a snake in the grass? Not at all! That is not the power of the enemy. The power of the enemy Jesus speaks about here is the power of Satan. Serpents and Scorpions in scripture 'signify' Satan. Those who are spiritually serpents and scorpions (those of Satan) is who God is concerned that these His servants are not harmed by. God is illustrating something far more important than mere snakes and scorpions who by chance we might come upon. But the spirit Satan whom we might come upon.


The serpent that the believers will take up and not be harmed, is Satan.

1st Peter 3:12-13 "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"

The answer of course is no one and nothing can harm us. Even if we are physically killed, as believers that simply translates us into the Kingdom of heaven. So yes, this sign does follow those who believe. In Christ's Name they take up Serpents without fear because that serpent, Satan has no power to harm them anymore.

Many Blessings,
RW

You are correct, but the question is, can the Holy Spirit allow us to do things and allow us to behave in ways outside of scripture? Charismatics do this all the time, and they say it's the Holy spirit, but is it?

BroRog
Aug 18th 2008, 08:50 PM
Mark isn't talking about handling snakes. He is talking about what happened to Paul as we read in Acts, when he reached his hand out to build a fire and was bit on the hand by a snake.

Emanate
Aug 18th 2008, 08:50 PM
When I can actually move a real mountain with mustard seed faith, I will have no worries about lowly snakes.

Sold Out
Aug 18th 2008, 09:09 PM
Snake Handlers


Mark 16:17-18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover"

Anyone know of anyone in this radical sect?


I think they are in Tennessee or Kentucky? I saw a documentary on it a few weeks ago.

RogerW
Aug 18th 2008, 09:17 PM
Mark isn't talking about handling snakes. He is talking about what happened to Paul as we read in Acts, when he reached his hand out to build a fire and was bit on the hand by a snake.

Greetings BroRog,

The passage is speaking to ALL believers.

Mr 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Many Blessings,
RW

DaveAllen
Aug 18th 2008, 09:30 PM
I know that they're God's creatures and all, but my personal opinion is that the only good snake is a dead snake! Spiders too! They creep me out! :eek:

God Bless, Dave

BroRog
Aug 19th 2008, 12:17 AM
Greetings BroRog,

The passage is speaking to ALL believers.

Mr 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Many Blessings,
RW

I don't think this is talking about all believers, since Paul says not all speak in tongues or prophecy. The spirit gives us each a gift to edify the church.

The point I'm making is this. Mark isn't talking about picking up a snake, dancing around with it, etc. This is a clear reference to what happened to Paul.

2 Peter 2:20
Aug 19th 2008, 12:55 AM
I think they are in Tennessee or Kentucky? I saw a documentary on it a few weeks ago.

West Virginia is the only state where it is still legal.;)

RogerW
Aug 19th 2008, 03:37 AM
I don't think this is talking about all believers, since Paul says not all speak in tongues or prophecy. The spirit gives us each a gift to edify the church.

The point I'm making is this. Mark isn't talking about picking up a snake, dancing around with it, etc. This is a clear reference to what happened to Paul.

Greetings BroRog,

It seems your argument is with the words of Christ and not with me. For He plainly states "these signs shall follow them that believe."

Mr 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mr 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Clearly it is difficult to read this passage literally, for we all know that even believers cannot handle deadly snakes without suffering the consquences, nor can we drink poison and not be harmed. For that matter neither are we able to lay hands on the sick and heal them.

When Christ says, "they shall speak with new tongues" I don't believe He is talking about speaking another unlearned language. Tongues simply means languages. I believe preaching the gospel to every nation is what Christ is referring to here.

Revelation 14:6 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.."

Revelation 10:11"And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings".

For one to speak in an unknown tongue simply means they spoke in an unknown language. Speaking in different tongues simply means speaking in different languages. Likewise, here in Mark the phrase 'speak with new tongues,' simply means that the gospel is going to the whole world, and those who believe will not only be Jewish, but will speak in new languages. Believers now speak with new languages, for Salvation is now to all the Gentile nations with every language.

The Gospel message is going into all the world unto all kindreds and nations, therefore they speak with the new languages of these nations. And in the spiritual sense, those who believe speak with the new language of God, a spiritual language which only those in Christ can understand. In Christ's Name those who believe do speak in new languages as the gospel of the Kingdom is preached to every nation and in every tongue. And no matter what tongue or language the people of those nations hear it in, they will understand. Because the gospel message is a language that transcends cultures and peoples and nationalities. It is the only Universal language that 'only' those who believe can understand. For unbelievers will think it foolishness.

Many Blessings,
RW

VerticalReality
Aug 19th 2008, 02:08 PM
This passage can be looked at in the same light as Luke 10:19 . . .



Luke 10:19
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 02:47 PM
How do we know this is not from the Holy Spirit?

They are pentecostal Christians who do everything else a normal pentecostal church person does, they just add the snake handling to the mix. They do the same gibberish languages, the same slaying in the spirit, the same dancing in the spirit, etc........................ as every other main stream pentecostal church does. How can we say they are not being led by the Holy Spirit to do these things? Can the Holy Spirit operate outside of the Biblical scriptures?:hmm: Pentecostals say the Holy Spirit can.First, there is nothing in that single verse that says we should pick snakes up.

Second, if this was normative Christian practice, then why don't we see any other verses in Acts or the epistles encouraging us?

Third, this could simply be a prophecy referencing the time when Paul picked up the sticks and got bit by a snake and maybe other times where something similar might happen.

Fourth, this passage is highly questionable if it's even in the original version of Mark. Some manuscripts don't have verses 9-20 at all. Some have a very short ending to Mark. Others that have 9-20 have a multiplicity of variants including not including the part on snakes. How do you conclude the snake part (the only verse that teaches this curious doctrine) actually belongs in Mark?

Should we participate in a practice which has no other support throughout the NT and even in the verse it is in it never claims this should be normative practice and the said verse is highly questionable if it is even in Mark in the first place?

As for other practices of pentecostal churches, start another thread if you like. This one is about snake handling. Let's not get the thread off track.

Grace & peace to you, Ron.

Joe

Lars777
Aug 19th 2008, 03:26 PM
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; If they pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18)




It is easy to read this as though Jesus means these signs will accompany everyone who believes and preaches the gospel. Unfortunately, the text makes it appear this way, and this is how this passage has been understood by many.

As you go about preaching the gospel, these signs will immediately confirm that the faith of those who believe is genuine. But the amazing fact is that for twenty centuries millions of people have been converted and have believed the gospel, and none of these signs have appeared.

There have been claims that these signs have been manifested in certain instances, but if this is what these words meant, then these signs would be everywhere.

Every time a person became a Christian, some of these signs would be manifested. Therefore, they ought to be the most frequent occurrence in all Christendom. But the truth is, they are very rarely, if ever, seen.

Now what does this mean? Well, it means, of course, that we have misunderstood this passage if we read it that way. It does not square with what God actually does.

I think there is a rather simple solution to the problem. If we put the passage back in its context, in terms of the climate of unbelief which prevailed among these disciples as the word about the resurrection was brought to them, then we see that Jesus is addressing these words not to those who believe the gospel, but to these disciples who believed or disbelieved in his resurrection.

When he says to them, "These signs will accompany those who believe," he is speaking about the disciples. I think we can even insert these words, "those among you who believe," without doing violence to the text.

Jesus is saying to these disciples, "Now go and preach in all creation. And to encourage you, in the face of the hostility you will encounter, certain signs that only God could do will accompany you." They would be given power to deliver from demons, power to set free from demonic influence. They would be given power to praise God in a new language.

"New tongues" is speaking in a language that hasn't been learned. The disciples would be given this ability as a means of praising God. Paul himself tells us in First Corinthians 12, that he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man.

I do not know why it is so hard for us to accept that fact. Everywhere people consider tongues as a means of speaking to men, of preaching the gospel, or of conveying messages or prophesying events. And yet Paul says he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God.

He goes on to make clear that speaking in tongues is an act of praise and thanksgiving unto God for his magnificent works among men, as a sign to unbelievers.

You remember these two things are underscored very strongly in Paul's great treatment of this in First Corinthians 14. "New tongues" is not spoken to men; it is spoken to God. And it is not for believers; it is a sign for unbelievers.

Thus these disciples were sent out with this sign. I do not think this sign was limited to the apostles; others received the gift as well.

Further, the disciples would have power to survive physical attacks upon their lives. Bitten by a poisonous serpent, they would not die. If they accidently drank poison, they would not die. They would have power to survive, that the gospel might go out. This would be one of the authenticating signs given to them.

Now you can see this has nothing to do with the practices of certain Kentucky mountain people who handle rattlesnakes and drink strychnine as evidence of their faith.

Actually, if you investigate those practices, you will find that this really is affirming a lack of faith on their part, for periodically, one or more of them die as a result of having been bitten by a rattlesnake, or by drinking poison. This is not what the gospel is talking about.

The fourth sign is power to heal, to lay hands upon the sick, and they will recover. This was to be the invariable rule; there was to be no percentage on this. The disciples would lay hands on the sick and 100% of those who had hands laid on them would recover.

Again, you can see what a far cry this is from what we are seeing today in "healing services" that claim to fulfill this.

Now the Apostle Paul did all these things. He cast our demons in the name of the Lord Jesus. He spoke in new tongues more than them all, he said, as praise and thanksgiving to God.

I think he did it in the synagogue; it was not a private practice of his at home. When he was accidentally bitten by a poisonous snake, as recorded in the last chapter of Acts, he shook it off into the fire, unharmed, to the amazement of those who watched.

He had power to lay hands on the sick, and they were healed; and he did it again and again. This is what he means when he writes in Second Corinthians 12:12: "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works."

These, then, are the signs of an apostle. They were authenticating signs to accompany those who first went out with the gospel into an unbelieving and hostile world. We have this confirmed, I think, by the final paragraph.



So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them [the disciples] and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. (Mark 16:19-20)

Ron Brown
Aug 20th 2008, 12:21 AM
I think there is a rather simple solution to the problem. If we put the passage back in its context, in terms of the climate of unbelief which prevailed among these disciples as the word about the resurrection was brought to them, then we see that Jesus is addressing these words not to those who believe the gospel, but to these disciples who believed or disbelieved in his resurrection.

When he says to them, "These signs will accompany those who believe," he is speaking about the disciples. I think we can even insert these words, "those among you who believe," without doing violence to the text.


This is 100% correct.

divaD
Aug 20th 2008, 03:15 PM
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; If they pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18)




It is easy to read this as though Jesus means these signs will accompany everyone who believes and preaches the gospel. Unfortunately, the text makes it appear this way, and this is how this passage has been understood by many.

As you go about preaching the gospel, these signs will immediately confirm that the faith of those who believe is genuine. But the amazing fact is that for twenty centuries millions of people have been converted and have believed the gospel, and none of these signs have appeared.

There have been claims that these signs have been manifested in certain instances, but if this is what these words meant, then these signs would be everywhere.

Every time a person became a Christian, some of these signs would be manifested. Therefore, they ought to be the most frequent occurrence in all Christendom. But the truth is, they are very rarely, if ever, seen.

Now what does this mean? Well, it means, of course, that we have misunderstood this passage if we read it that way. It does not square with what God actually does.

I think there is a rather simple solution to the problem. If we put the passage back in its context, in terms of the climate of unbelief which prevailed among these disciples as the word about the resurrection was brought to them, then we see that Jesus is addressing these words not to those who believe the gospel, but to these disciples who believed or disbelieved in his resurrection.

When he says to them, "These signs will accompany those who believe," he is speaking about the disciples. I think we can even insert these words, "those among you who believe," without doing violence to the text.

Jesus is saying to these disciples, "Now go and preach in all creation. And to encourage you, in the face of the hostility you will encounter, certain signs that only God could do will accompany you." They would be given power to deliver from demons, power to set free from demonic influence. They would be given power to praise God in a new language.

"New tongues" is speaking in a language that hasn't been learned. The disciples would be given this ability as a means of praising God. Paul himself tells us in First Corinthians 12, that he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man.

I do not know why it is so hard for us to accept that fact. Everywhere people consider tongues as a means of speaking to men, of preaching the gospel, or of conveying messages or prophesying events. And yet Paul says he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God.

He goes on to make clear that speaking in tongues is an act of praise and thanksgiving unto God for his magnificent works among men, as a sign to unbelievers.

You remember these two things are underscored very strongly in Paul's great treatment of this in First Corinthians 14. "New tongues" is not spoken to men; it is spoken to God. And it is not for believers; it is a sign for unbelievers.

Thus these disciples were sent out with this sign. I do not think this sign was limited to the apostles; others received the gift as well.

Further, the disciples would have power to survive physical attacks upon their lives. Bitten by a poisonous serpent, they would not die. If they accidently drank poison, they would not die. They would have power to survive, that the gospel might go out. This would be one of the authenticating signs given to them.

Now you can see this has nothing to do with the practices of certain Kentucky mountain people who handle rattlesnakes and drink strychnine as evidence of their faith.

Actually, if you investigate those practices, you will find that this really is affirming a lack of faith on their part, for periodically, one or more of them die as a result of having been bitten by a rattlesnake, or by drinking poison. This is not what the gospel is talking about.

The fourth sign is power to heal, to lay hands upon the sick, and they will recover. This was to be the invariable rule; there was to be no percentage on this. The disciples would lay hands on the sick and 100% of those who had hands laid on them would recover.

Again, you can see what a far cry this is from what we are seeing today in "healing services" that claim to fulfill this.

Now the Apostle Paul did all these things. He cast our demons in the name of the Lord Jesus. He spoke in new tongues more than them all, he said, as praise and thanksgiving to God.

I think he did it in the synagogue; it was not a private practice of his at home. When he was accidentally bitten by a poisonous snake, as recorded in the last chapter of Acts, he shook it off into the fire, unharmed, to the amazement of those who watched.

He had power to lay hands on the sick, and they were healed; and he did it again and again. This is what he means when he writes in Second Corinthians 12:12: "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works."

These, then, are the signs of an apostle. They were authenticating signs to accompany those who first went out with the gospel into an unbelieving and hostile world. We have this confirmed, I think, by the final paragraph.



So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them [the disciples] and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. (Mark 16:19-20)


I can't find anything that you wrote that I would disagree with. Great post! This is pretty much how I interpret this also. What many Christians fail to understand, we can't take every verse in the NT and claim that it is directly speaking to us and is for us. We have to keep Scripture in context, and let the context determine whom it was written to or whom or what it is about.

Theophilus
Aug 20th 2008, 04:26 PM
West Virginia is the only state where it is still legal.;)

As a proud West Virginian, I have to ask if that ;) is a little shot at the state?

If so, what would like from me for Christmas? Rattlesnake, Copperhead, or Water Moccasin?


;):lol:

Friend of I AM
Aug 20th 2008, 04:28 PM
Snake Handlers

http://www.cerm.info/images/snake_striking.jpg

Mark 16:17-18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover"

Anyone know of anyone in this radical sect?


Yeah I've seen this...a really weird sect.

2 Peter 2:20
Aug 20th 2008, 04:42 PM
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; If they pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18)




It is easy to read this as though Jesus means these signs will accompany everyone who believes and preaches the gospel. Unfortunately, the text makes it appear this way, and this is how this passage has been understood by many.

As you go about preaching the gospel, these signs will immediately confirm that the faith of those who believe is genuine. But the amazing fact is that for twenty centuries millions of people have been converted and have believed the gospel, and none of these signs have appeared.

There have been claims that these signs have been manifested in certain instances, but if this is what these words meant, then these signs would be everywhere.

Every time a person became a Christian, some of these signs would be manifested. Therefore, they ought to be the most frequent occurrence in all Christendom. But the truth is, they are very rarely, if ever, seen.

Now what does this mean? Well, it means, of course, that we have misunderstood this passage if we read it that way. It does not square with what God actually does.

I think there is a rather simple solution to the problem. If we put the passage back in its context, in terms of the climate of unbelief which prevailed among these disciples as the word about the resurrection was brought to them, then we see that Jesus is addressing these words not to those who believe the gospel, but to these disciples who believed or disbelieved in his resurrection.

When he says to them, "These signs will accompany those who believe," he is speaking about the disciples. I think we can even insert these words, "those among you who believe," without doing violence to the text.

Jesus is saying to these disciples, "Now go and preach in all creation. And to encourage you, in the face of the hostility you will encounter, certain signs that only God could do will accompany you." They would be given power to deliver from demons, power to set free from demonic influence. They would be given power to praise God in a new language.

"New tongues" is speaking in a language that hasn't been learned. The disciples would be given this ability as a means of praising God. Paul himself tells us in First Corinthians 12, that he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man.

I do not know why it is so hard for us to accept that fact. Everywhere people consider tongues as a means of speaking to men, of preaching the gospel, or of conveying messages or prophesying events. And yet Paul says he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God.

He goes on to make clear that speaking in tongues is an act of praise and thanksgiving unto God for his magnificent works among men, as a sign to unbelievers.

You remember these two things are underscored very strongly in Paul's great treatment of this in First Corinthians 14. "New tongues" is not spoken to men; it is spoken to God. And it is not for believers; it is a sign for unbelievers.

Thus these disciples were sent out with this sign. I do not think this sign was limited to the apostles; others received the gift as well.

Further, the disciples would have power to survive physical attacks upon their lives. Bitten by a poisonous serpent, they would not die. If they accidently drank poison, they would not die. They would have power to survive, that the gospel might go out. This would be one of the authenticating signs given to them.

Now you can see this has nothing to do with the practices of certain Kentucky mountain people who handle rattlesnakes and drink strychnine as evidence of their faith.

Actually, if you investigate those practices, you will find that this really is affirming a lack of faith on their part, for periodically, one or more of them die as a result of having been bitten by a rattlesnake, or by drinking poison. This is not what the gospel is talking about.

The fourth sign is power to heal, to lay hands upon the sick, and they will recover. This was to be the invariable rule; there was to be no percentage on this. The disciples would lay hands on the sick and 100% of those who had hands laid on them would recover.

Again, you can see what a far cry this is from what we are seeing today in "healing services" that claim to fulfill this.

Now the Apostle Paul did all these things. He cast our demons in the name of the Lord Jesus. He spoke in new tongues more than them all, he said, as praise and thanksgiving to God.

I think he did it in the synagogue; it was not a private practice of his at home. When he was accidentally bitten by a poisonous snake, as recorded in the last chapter of Acts, he shook it off into the fire, unharmed, to the amazement of those who watched.

He had power to lay hands on the sick, and they were healed; and he did it again and again. This is what he means when he writes in Second Corinthians 12:12: "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works."

These, then, are the signs of an apostle. They were authenticating signs to accompany those who first went out with the gospel into an unbelieving and hostile world. We have this confirmed, I think, by the final paragraph.



So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them [the disciples] and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. (Mark 16:19-20)


This is 100% correct.


I can't find anything that you wrote that I would disagree with. Great post! This is pretty much how I interpret this also. What many Christians fail to understand, we can't take every verse in the NT and claim that it is directly speaking to us and is for us. We have to keep Scripture in context, and let the context determine whom it was written to or whom or what it is about.

I agree that context is always key but...

If we say that it was not for us (Christians) and only to the Apostles then what part of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can we take? Wasn't He speaking to the Apostles 99% of the time? Where do you draw the line? That would mean that I would only go with Paul's writings since he is the apostle to the Gentiles...well, wait a minute...I'm not from Rome, or Galatia, or Ephesus, or Corinth so I guess these aren't for me either.:hmm:

Could it be that the reason these gifts aren't manifesting, as you say and which I don't agree, is because of a lack of faith?

timmyb
Aug 20th 2008, 04:49 PM
If i pray deliver me from evil... then what excuse do I have by looking for it...

snakes freak me out

Ron Brown
Aug 20th 2008, 05:01 PM
I agree that context is always key but...

If we say that it was not for us (Christians) and only to the Apostles then what part of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can we take? Wasn't He speaking to the Apostles 99% of the time? Where do you draw the line? That would mean that I would only go with Paul's writings since he is the apostle to the Gentiles...well, wait a minute...I'm not from Rome, or Galatia, or Ephesus, or Corinth so I guess these aren't for me either.:hmm:

Could it be that the reason these gifts aren't manifesting, as you say and which I don't agree, is because of a lack of faith?

Remember, the Bible is a history book. You can't take the historical passages in the New Testament out of context. Christians can use the historical parts of scripture as a guide, but should not act like it is happening in the 21st century in the historical context, instead of the 1st century where it actually happened in context.

divaD
Aug 20th 2008, 05:18 PM
Remember, the Bible is a history book. You can't take the historical passages in the New Testament out of context. Christians can use the historical parts of scripture as a guide, but should not act like it is happening in the 21st century in the historical context, instead of the 1st century where it actually happened in context.



Very good explanation...I like it!

VerticalReality
Aug 20th 2008, 05:23 PM
Remember, the Bible is a history book.

If the Word of God was a history book then it wouldn't at all be living, powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Calling it a "history book" makes it seem like something simply from the distant past. What is in the past is no longer living. It is done and it is gone. Therefore, if the Word of God is simply a history book as you claim . . . I guess I can simply toss it out as something that simply doesn't apply in any fashion to me.

divaD
Aug 20th 2008, 05:30 PM
If the Word of God was a history book then it wouldn't at all be living, powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Calling it a "history book" makes it seem like something simply from the distant past. What is in the past is no longer living. It is done and it is gone. Therefore, if the Word of God is simply a history book as you claim . . . I guess I can simply toss it out as something that simply doesn't apply in any fashion to me.



I'll let Ron speak for himself, but when I read his post, I never understood him to suggest that the Bible was strictly a history book only. I'm fairly certain that he knows that there is literally life contained in this book and that many things do indeed apply to us. I think the point he was making, one has to be able to recognize the historical context, then treat it as such.

VerticalReality
Aug 20th 2008, 05:48 PM
I'll let Ron speak for himself, but when I read his post, I never understood him to suggest that the Bible was strictly a history book only. I'm fairly certain that he knows that there is literally life contained in this book and that many things do indeed apply to us. I think the point he was making, one has to be able to recognize the historical context, then treat it as such.

How does one in a definitive manner determine what is applicable and what is historical only?

Ron Brown
Aug 20th 2008, 06:01 PM
I'll let Ron speak for himself, but when I read his post, I never understood him to suggest that the Bible was strictly a history book only. I'm fairly certain that he knows that there is literally life contained in this book and that many things do indeed apply to us. I think the point he was making, one has to be able to recognize the historical context, then treat it as such.

Exactly.

In Matthew chapter 24:2, when Christ was talking to the disciples about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, that would be destroyed by Titus and his Roman soldiers in 71 AD. Christ was speaking directly to the disciples about a real historical event, and he was not speaking directly to all Christians about their temples being destroyed no matter the century they lived in. The Bible is the living Word of God, but it is also a valid history book about the nation of Israel, and the messiah that would come out of this nation to save the entire World. You can't take the poetry in the OT and call it history for example, and you can't take the Historical events in the Bible and call them poetry or fiction for example. You must understand literature and grammar, if you want to read the Bible for all it's worth.

2 Peter 2:20
Aug 20th 2008, 06:13 PM
As a proud West Virginian, I have to ask if that ;) is a little shot at the state?

If so, what would like from me for Christmas? Rattlesnake, Copperhead, or Water Moccasin?


;):lol:

And as a proud West Virginian myself I would never take a shot at my home state:P

Just stating the facts...

What part of WV?

VerticalReality
Aug 20th 2008, 06:16 PM
Exactly.

In Matthew chapter 24:2, when Christ was talking to the disciples about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, that would be destroyed by Titus and his Roman soldiers in 71 AD. Christ was speaking directly to the disciples about a real historical event, and he was not speaking directly to all Christians about their temples being destroyed no matter the century they lived in. The Bible is the living Word of God, but it is also a valid history book about the nation of Israel, and the messiah that would come out of this nation to save the entire World. You can't take the poetry in the OT and call it history for example, and you can't take the Historical events in the Bible and call them poetry or fiction for example. You must understand literature and grammar, if you want to read the Bible for all it's worth.

What about when Jesus stated that those who follow Him must take up their cross? Is that applicable or historical, and what scriptural evidence do you use to support that?

2 Peter 2:20
Aug 20th 2008, 06:26 PM
How does one in a definitive manner determine what is applicable and what is historical only?

Exactly, How does one know where to draw the line in the sand? That opens it up for too much interpretation...IMO.

2 Peter 2:20
Aug 20th 2008, 06:28 PM
Exactly.

In Matthew chapter 24:2, when Christ was talking to the disciples about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, that would be destroyed by Titus and his Roman soldiers in 71 AD. Christ was speaking directly to the disciples about a real historical event, and he was not speaking directly to all Christians about their temples being destroyed no matter the century they lived in. The Bible is the living Word of God, but it is also a valid history book about the nation of Israel, and the messiah that would come out of this nation to save the entire World. You can't take the poetry in the OT and call it history for example, and you can't take the Historical events in the Bible and call them poetry or fiction for example. You must understand literature and grammar, if you want to read the Bible for all it's worth.

I was waiting for someone to play the Matt. 24 "card":lol:

Ron Brown
Aug 20th 2008, 06:35 PM
I was waiting for someone to play the Matt. 24 "card":lol:

:confused

I just used it as one example of a historical event in the NT?

Should I have used Joshua's battle in Jericho instead? Or The Exodus of the nation of Israel instead? Or the crucifixion of Christ instead for a historical event? What is the best historical event to use then? Thanks.

VerticalReality
Aug 20th 2008, 06:47 PM
:confused

I just used it as one example of a historical event in the NT?

Should I have used Joshua's battle in Jericho instead? Or The Exodus of the nation of Israel instead? Or the crucifixion of Christ instead for a historical event? What is the best historical event to use then? Thanks.

However, we can look at such accounts and place an actual historical date with the event and conclude that it is indeed historical. What about statements such as those in Mark 16 or in Luke 10? What about such statements as those who follow Jesus taking up their crosses? How do we definitively state that these are either applicable or historical?

RogerW
Aug 20th 2008, 06:50 PM
Exactly.

In Matthew chapter 24:2, when Christ was talking to the disciples about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, that would be destroyed by Titus and his Roman soldiers in 71 AD. Christ was speaking directly to the disciples about a real historical event, and he was not speaking directly to all Christians about their temples being destroyed no matter the century they lived in. The Bible is the living Word of God, but it is also a valid history book about the nation of Israel, and the messiah that would come out of this nation to save the entire World. You can't take the poetry in the OT and call it history for example, and you can't take the Historical events in the Bible and call them poetry or fiction for example. You must understand literature and grammar, if you want to read the Bible for all it's worth.

Greetings Ron,

This is true...but do you not find spiritual application to the church throughout every age? When Christ was speaking directly to His disciples (Olivet Discourse) is there no spiritual truths to be learned by the church in every generation? Do you believe that the Old Testament conceals what the New Testament reveals? In other words there are many historical signs, and symbols that must be spiritually discerned by the church. For instance, the OT temple pointing us to the NT temple which we are.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Do you see no spiritual application for the church in time with the literal destruction of the temple in Jerusalem?

It is true when we read and study Scripture that we must consider the audience and the context, however it is equally true that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2Ti 3:16,17). Therefore all of Scripture, even the historical parts have some literal, and some spiritual application for every believer throughout human history.

When Scripture unambiguously declares "these signs shall follow them that believe", I believe it means everyone who believes. Since these signs would make no sense literally discerned, it is apparently speaking of spiritual fulfillment. When we understand that Christ is not speaking literally, but symbolically then we understand that every true believer throughout history has indeed possessed these signs.

Many Blessings,
RW

Theophilus
Aug 20th 2008, 06:52 PM
And as a proud West Virginian myself I would never take a shot at my home state:P

Just stating the facts...

What part of WV?

All is forgiven, then (not that I was really upset...You, boy, put those snakes away!) ;)

I live in Jackson Co...and you?

(OP...sorry for the slight derail...)

Ron Brown
Aug 20th 2008, 06:58 PM
Greetings Ron,

This is true...but do you not find spiritual application to the church throughout every age? When Christ was speaking directly to His disciples (Olivet Discourse) is there no spiritual truths to be learned by the church in every generation? Do you believe that the Old Testament conceals what the New Testament reveals? In other words there are many historical signs, and symbols that must be spiritually discerned by the church. For instance, the OT temple pointing us to the NT temple which we are.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Do you see no spiritual application for the church in time with the literal destruction of the temple in Jerusalem?

It is true when we read and study Scripture that we must consider the audience and the context, however it is equally true that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2Ti 3:16,17). Therefore all of Scripture, even the historical parts have some literal, and some spiritual application for every believer throughout human history.

When Scripture unambiguously declares "these signs shall follow them that believe", I believe it means everyone who believes. Since these signs would make no sense literally discerned, it is apparently speaking of spiritual fulfillment. When we understand that Christ is not speaking literally, but symbolically then we understand that every true believer throughout history has indeed possessed these signs.

Many Blessings,
RW

Some things in the Bible were a 1 time historical event.

The Genesis flood, a 1 time historical event.

The exodus of the nation of Israel, a 1 time event in history.

The crucifixion of Christ, a one time event in history.

The everybody hearing the gospel in their own language and dialect through the tongues of Acts chapter 2, a one time event in history.

etc....................................

They were all 1 time historical events, but we can take much from these historical events as 21st century Christians, and apply what we learn of them to our daily walk with Christ.

MrAnteater
Aug 20th 2008, 07:49 PM
People who use snake handling as part of worship are perverting the scripture. When God tells us "Do not put me to the test" these kind of practices are doing just that.

Like so many cults, one or two verses are used without any relevant context to the rest of scripture. If one particular activity takes center stage over teaching the rest of scripture it should be a warning sign.

RogerW
Aug 20th 2008, 08:00 PM
Some things in the Bible were a 1 time historical event.

The Genesis flood, a 1 time historical event.

The exodus of the nation of Israel, a 1 time event in history.

The crucifixion of Christ, a one time event in history.

The everybody hearing the gospel in their own language and dialect through the tongues of Acts chapter 2, a one time event in history.

etc....................................

They were all 1 time historical events, but we can take much from these historical events as 21st century Christians, and apply what we learn of them to our daily walk with Christ.

True, but what spiritual truths can we draw from these historical events? What is the spiritual significance of the flood? Any? What about the Exodus? The crucifixion?

The gift of tongues in Acts 2 points us to the power of the Holy Spirit. It is proof that Christ has kept His promise to send the HS to indwell the believers. Through that same power we go to people of every nation, tribe, kindred and tongue (language).

Just as Mark 16 has promised, believers speak with new tongues; i.e. a new language; the gospel. "New" is not necessarily another or an altogether different language, but a fresh or refreshed language, the gospel of Christ. Just as the gift of speaking in unlearned tongues drove many to believe, so too when believers speak with new tongues (the gospel) many believe.

Many Blessings,
RW

Ron Brown
Aug 20th 2008, 08:10 PM
True, but what spiritual truths can we draw from these historical events? What is the spiritual significance of the flood? Any? What about the Exodus? The crucifixion?


Many Blessings,
RW

You are correct, we draw many spiritual truths from the historical events in the Bible. However, the historical(past) events in the Bible were one time ancient historical events, and have not been repeated in the 21st century in the USA.

2 Peter 2:20
Aug 20th 2008, 10:55 PM
All is forgiven, then (not that I was really upset...You, boy, put those snakes away!) ;)

I live in Jackson Co...and you?

(OP...sorry for the slight derail...)

You know it's hard to type with one hand and a Eastern Diamondback in the other so I'll put it down for the time being...:rofl:

Logan Co.

2 Peter 2:20
Aug 20th 2008, 11:25 PM
:confused

I just used it as one example of a historical event in the NT?

Should I have used Joshua's battle in Jericho instead? Or The Exodus of the nation of Israel instead? Or the crucifixion of Christ instead for a historical event? What is the best historical event to use then? Thanks.

People usually fall into 2 groups on this topic...those who believe Matt. 24 is only to the Jews (the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD) and those who believe that this is in reference to end times and for all believers Jew and Gentile (it goes along with Revelation). I believe that Jesus did speak of the destruction of the temple but only in the first couple of verses.

The point is...Matt. 24 is not history it is a future event.