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A Sober Study of Mark 16:16-18, Spiritual Gifts, Casting Out Devils, And Laying Hands On The Sick

A Statement Before The Study

Is Mark 16:9-20 In The Original Manuscripts?

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


Before I continue, I stand firmly on the following statement. Every footnote, preacher, teacher, and or individual questioning the validity of verses 9-20 in Mark Chapter 16 (Or any verses in the bible) are of the lies of the devil. Every human or spirit that attempts to come at the validity of the word of God by removing or adding verses, puts themselves under the eternal damnation Jesus Christ promises in His word. By sparking disbelief and questioning the word of God, you cause others to loose the faith. How can anyone receive the truth of the gospel if you teach the word is fallible, yet the word of God states it's infallible?

2 Timothy 3:16

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”


Every person, organization, and or doctrine that preaches and or believes they can pervert the word of God with the devil's lies is NOT led of the Holy Spirit in this aspect, and I will reference Galatians 1:8 " there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.".


The following applies to you if you believe, teach, preach, and or perpetuate the lie that you can come against the word of God and attempt to poke holes in it's validity, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and I bind the mouth of any demon in you feeding you lies.


 
Addressing Counter Arguments

The Sensational Offices Have Ceased

Before looking at the 5 signs Jesus declared would follow them that believe, I want to look at the counter argument that "this only applied to the apostles". Ephesians 4 shines a beautiful light of revelation on the situation:

Ephesians 4:11-15

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."


We see a few statements made in the scripture above, first that Christ has sends apostles, prophet, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to the church. The purpose of these offices is to get the body of Christ built up and mature. Verse 13 gives a time period on how long God will send His children to fill these offices, "until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature..." Friend, you (might) are here reading this blog because OF a lack of unity and knowledge in the body of Christ. The body of Christ is divided at this moment, look at the plethora of different doctrines and "beliefs" in Christ. Yet the word of God states in 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 God's desire is for us all to be in unity in the body of Christ, and chapter 3:4-7 echo's the same message, and Jesus directly states His desire for us to be as united as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;

John 17:22-23

"22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity..."


There should be no division in the body of Christ, neither in our understanding of Christ.


John 16:18

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.".


The Holy Spirit is teaching ONE truth, THE truth. Revelation Chapters 2-3 is Christ (post resurrection) rebuking and pointing out the issues in the 7 churches of Asia. Jesus points out doctrines being taught by Balaam, Nicolaitans, Jezebel, as well as fornication, food being eaten that has been scarified to other gods, lukewarm "believers" that Jesus will spit out of His mouth. And Jesus states to the Church of Sardis, there is only a few people who haven't "defiled their garments" and Jesus says they will walk with Him (have salvation). Soberly looking at Revelation (post resurrection) and our own world, it is clear to say we have not yet reached the unity in faith stated in Ephesians 4:13. Which then leaves room for only one conclusion, God STILL sends apostles, prophet, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to the church to get us TO unity and maturity in Christ.


The Spiritual Gifts Are A Closed Cannon

The signs that Christ stated would follow believers are not gifts, it is a proclamation of truth that the signs will follow all that believe. The large lack of faith in the body of Christ has some Christians adopting the "I'll see it when I believe it" attitude (that is mainly only adopted in the USA and European countries). That is a very athiestec way of looking at the God's power, and contrary to the way a "person of faith" would look at it.


Only The Gift of Love is Left?

The gifts are still here, but some people have received an incorrect conclusion on the following verses:

1 Corinthians 13:8-13

"8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."


There Should Be No Confusion

I want to clarify that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you believe 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 states the gifts have ceased, then why would the word of God, in the very next chapter on the first verse state (I added a couple more verses directly stating we should covet the gifts):

1 Corinthians 14:1

"Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy."

1 Corinthians 12:31

"But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."

Romans 12:6

" Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith"


There are verses in the bible clearly telling you to covet the gifts of the Spirit. Bible doesn't conflict with Bible, it reveals truth and rebukes lies. Let's take this statement by statement in 1 Corinthians 13.


Prophecy

First, charity (love) never fails, I hope we are all in agreement there. Salvation is the greatest gift and inside our walk with Christ, love is the greatest gift, amen to that one! Later in verse 8 we see "whether there be prophecies, they shall fail", you don't need to study the bible for long to see that not all prophetic words come to pass.


In 2 Kings chapter 20 you see Isaiah prophecy death over Hezekiah, but later in the chapter Hezekiah repents and Isaiah received another word from God, stating God would add fifteen years to his life. As well as 1 Samuel 13:8-13, where Samuel told Saul to wait in Gilgal for 7 days but after the 7th day passed Saul made a burnt offering to the Lord in preparation to go out against the Philistines. Samuel then tells Saul, he has done foolishly and didn't listen to the Lord. Why would Samuel say "thou has not kept the commandment of the Lord.."? The bible doesn't specifically state something like "the Lord told Samuel to tell Saul to wait", but we see it strongly implies God might have gave Samuel that message in Samuel's response. We have even further evidence as God lifts up David to replace Saul. And Saul's life didn't end well, a fulfillment of the prophetic word Samuel gave Saul in 1 Samuel 12:15 "if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.".


The prophetic word in Jonah is another prophetic word that didn't come to pass. Jonah prophesied to Nineveh, "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.". But later in the book the people repented and the prophetic word didn't come to pass. Please don't view this as me overshadowing God's beautiful mercy just to point out a failed prophetic word. But just as real as God's mercy is, we can't overlook the fact that this prophetic word didn't come to pass.


To tie it back into "whether there be prophecies, they shall fail", the word of God is simply stating that not all prophetic words come to pass! And anyone who has experience a prophetic word from God, they aren't as black and white as we'd like them to be. Some words we receive are contextual, others are situational, but for one reason or another not all words come to pass. And the other truth is not all prophetic words are from God, but they might seem like it. Further insight to "whether there be prophecies, they shall fail". And I never want to talk about prophecy without giving biblical warnings on who these prophetic words should be pointing to:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5

"If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul."


Tongues

As for tongues, "whether there be tongues, they shall cease". To get the full understanding, we need to know the purpose of tongues and what they are.

1 Corinthians 14:4

"He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church."


Romans 8:26

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us"


This verse gives us understanding as to why we have the gift of tongues. It builds you up and helps you in your walk with Christ. Romans 8:26 directly states it helps with our infirmities, which directly translated to physical sicknesses. When you speaking in tongue, you speak to God directly and in the spirit, you speak mysteries. That's powerful! This is why Paul stated he spoke in tongues more than everyone in 1 Corinthians 13:1, and why the word of God states 1 Corinthians 14:5 "I would that ye all spake with tongues...".

1 Corinthians 14:23

"If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?"


Romans 8:26

"...but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."


1 Corinthians 14:2

"For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit."


The verses above reveal the actual sound of tongues being spoken, as well as what is going on when you speak in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:23 & Romans 8:26 reveals it's an audible sound that has no interpretation without the gift of interpretation. This proves it is not a "wisdom of doctrine" that some teach, it is a literal audible sound that comes out of your mouth and without interpretation makes you look crazy. All of this is by the Holy Spirit, you must have the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues. There is much more to this and the bible reveals multiple types of tongue. The language of other nations (Acts 2:6), speaking in the spirit which is a tongue and has no interpretation (1 Corinthians 14:2), tongue that has an interpretation that edifies the church (1 Corinthians 14:5).


Now you understand the purpose of tongue, ask yourself the following question. If our bodies in heaven will be perfect and void of sin, then why would you need to speak in tongue? Speaking in tongue is for the earthly body, it heals the earthly body, our heavenly bodies will not have infirmities, so in heaven there will be no need for the gift of tongue. And to conclude, the gift of tongue isn't a gift that is always present. You speak in tongue from time to time, but you don't always speak in tongue. But love, love is what is always present and should be present no matter what the time is.


Finally, I'll conclude the topic of tongues and it's importance with:

1 Corinthians 14:39

"Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues."


That Which Is Perfect Is Come

1 Corinthians 13:10

"But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."

What which is perfect is Christ's return. Many people believe the verse above is talking about the bible, but that is not so. The New Testament is Christ's coming, as well as a prophetic warning of His second return. Sure we are waiting for prophetic words in both the New and the Old Testament to be fulfilled, but they are pointing to the "Perfect" to come.


When you look at that verse in the complete context, the "in part" is referenced in the proceeding verse regarding prophecy. So our wisdom is in part, our prophecy and our prophecy is in part. Verse 13 "we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face", the earth and our world you see is the cloudy vision through the glass. We dimly see God through this world because the Devil has blinded some. Blindness refers to a total inability to see, but seeing dimly implies the vision is not as clear.

Ephesians 1:18

"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,"


The verse above shows us that you can be under salvation and still be partially blind. Paul is referring to believers who are already under Christ, and stated he prays their "eyes of understanding" would be enlightened to understand their calling and riches in their walk. If the devil can blind someone of the truth of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4), you can see how he would be actively trying to blind Christians to their full calling in Christ. When Christ comes, the Devil will be thrown into the lake of fire. Again, Christ is the "Perfect to come".


Infallible Biblical Proof We Still Have The Gifts

Revelation 19:10

"I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."


You can use this verse to singlehandedly dismantle all the lies of the Devil regarding the gifts. All prophecy points to Jesus Christ, and when you share your testimony of what Christ has done in your life, you are prophesying. This verse without question reveals two truths. First, prophecy is still functioning in the world until Christ comes to fulfill all prophecies. Second, the spirit of prophecy is the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that distributes the rest of the gifts to Christ's saints.


If prophecy is here, the rest of the gifts follow until Christ returns.


Love

As mentioned before, love should be active in the Christian 24/7. Words of prophecy come upon you in a moment, speaking in tongues come upon you in a moment, and our knowledge will fade away. When we come face to face with Christ on His 2nd return, there will be no need for the gifts, our knowledge will no longer be in part, and only love will remain inside our soul and spirits.

 

These Signs Shall Follow...

Analyzing the Qualifying Conditions

Mark 16:17

"these signs shall follow them that believe"


Jesus was speaking to the 11 disciples when He made this statement, Mark 16:14. However in Mark 16:17, Jesus makes it very clear who the subject of the statement applies to, "them that believe". The argument that, "this only applies to the disciples and no longer applies to the church" falls apart, and really shows people making this argument actually (probably unintentionally) are no disciple of Christ. If Jesus was giving instruction only to the 11 disciples, wouldn't He have made a distinction between those specific 11 disciples and all of Christ's disciples (believers)? Instead, Jesus sets the qualifications and defines who this statement applies to for the signs to follow, "them that believe".


Further evidence supports this in Psalm 91:1,13.

Psalm 91:1

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."


Again, this text supports Mark 16:17. The subject who this chapter applies to is defined, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High". Anyone who lives in the secret place will tread upon the lion and the adder. First, let's let Jesus define what the secret place is.

Matthew 6:6

"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly".


So the secret place is the place of prayer, and you'd only be in prayer praying to the most High (Jesus Christ) if you believe He is God.

Psalm 91:13

"Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet."


Double confirmation of Mark 16:17, foreshadowing the exact message Jesus said in Mark 16:17. The qualifications are the same as Mark 16:17.


Breakdown of The Signs That Follow

In the name of Jesus Christ these signs will follow.

  1. In my name shall they cast out devils;

  2. They shall speak with new tongues;

  3. They shall take up serpents;

  4. if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;

  5. They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


I believe we all understand the action of casting out demons, laying hands on the sick, and speaking with new tongues (at this point). What I wanted to address was the taking up serpents, and drinking deadly poison without getting hurt. My people in Christ who believe in the gifts, gloss over the serpents, and deadly poison signs. I wanted to elaborate on what this verse actually means so we have a full understanding of what God's word says.


Take Up Serpents

We have to first look at what the bible means by "serpents" and when God is speaking metaphorically, and literally. The most profound verse is in Genesis 3:1 "the serpent". God is speaking metaphorically in this verse, the devil was possessing the physical snake, and this isn't the only time a demon possessed an animal.

Matthew 8:32

"And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters."

In the verse above, demons actually possessed a whole herd of pigs and made them commit suicide. And Revelation 12:9 is pretty clear "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan". God's word is calling Satan the old serpent, because he was manifested as a serpent right after mankind was created. So what does the bible mean by, take up serpents? Since we know demons and snakes are used interchangeably in the bible (Luke 10:17-18), the word of God is saying we will pick up demons. When you encounter a snake in the physical word, and you need to move it. You pick it up from the tail and relocate it.


When a snake is on the ground, it is able to coil up like a spring and launch an attack. However, if you pick up the snake and grab it from the tail, the serpent is totally powerless in your hands.



As I watched the video above, what comes to mind is Luke 10:19 "..I give you power to tread on serpents...". The man steps (treads) on the snake before picking up the serpent. Also, Romans 16:20 "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly...". Now we don't have the authority to "kill" demons like the man in the video killed the snake. Rather we have authority to cast out demons. Replace "killing the snake" with "throwing it 50 yards away from you", and you get the spiritual picture being painted when we cast out demons.


Drink Any Deadly Thing

This verse is metaphorically comparing drinking deadly things to an evil a person speaking.

James 3:8

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."


Romans 3:13

"Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:"


There is a clear correlation between the evil a person speaks and poison on their lips. What the word of God is saying is, regardless of the gossip they speak over you, no matter the evil words someone throws at you, you'll not be harmed by it. This is because the Holy Spirit should be working in you to not receive this pain.


How do you know if God is working in you on this? When people speak evil about to you and you don't "clap back" aka fire back with a rude comment. Now, just because you aren't at that level doesn't mean it's not something God does, you might have to take that to prayer and ask God to change you.


Job 20:11-14

"11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust. 12 Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; 13 Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: 14 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. 16 He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him."


The verse in Job describes a wicked man who "sucks the poison of asps". For context, asps is a poisonous snake in Egypt. So this wicked man sucking venom out of the snake is an illustration of what you do when you speak evil to another person. You're drinking the poison of Satan, directly from his mouth. And verse 14 states "Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.", this wickedness will eventually poison him.

 

I pray this has clarified some hot topic verses in the gospel as well as a addressed any confusion you might have had. And if you already have faith in the word of God, you now have a deeper understanding of God's word, and a resource you can use to dismantle the lies of the Devil.


God bless and be ready for more to come!

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