Tuesday, June 5, 2012
“And these signs shall follow them that believe;… they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, they shall recover…” (Mark 16:17a,18ab KJV).
Today’s Scripture demonstrates that dispensational Bible study is literally “a matter of life or death….”
Recently, a charismatic minister failed to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The penalty? It cost him… his very life. Although he was scriptural, he was not dispensational. He, like so many before, actually believed that he could follow today’s Scripture without dire consequences. His denominational bias convinced him that he could handle snakes, and it misled him to “handle the word of God deceitfully” (2 Corinthians 4:2). This individual literally died after a venomous snake bit him.
Mark 16:15-20 is one of the most confused Bible passages in Christendom. Nearly every group follows one or more of these verses, but no one obeys the whole passage. Most Protestant Evangelicals only enjoy verse 15 (fearing verses 16-18). Roman Catholics especially like verse 16. Only a small class of religionists dare attempt to “follow” (read that take and fake) verses 17 and 18 (today’s Scripture). Religionists today who enjoy handling snakes ignore the rest of verse 18—consuming poison! Who follows that and lives? Today, who drinks the poison and “recovers?” No one! (Hypocrisy thus exposed.) Is the Bible is error? NEVER!
Why the “odd” teachings of Mark 16:15-20? Firstly, none of it is spoken to us. Jesus Christ was speaking to Israel’s apostles and Jewish kingdom believers, not us (Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8). Never does our Apostle Paul command snake handling: it does not belong in our Dispensation of Grace.
But, why snake handling in Mark chapter 16? During the seven-year Tribulation, God will give believing Israel the ability to guard herself against the animal kingdom (cf. Exodus 4:1-5). Wild beasts will become more vicious after our dispensation closes (at the rapture), and they will actually kill millions (maybe billions) during the Tribulation period (Revelation 6:8). We are not living in Israel’s prophetic program, so Mark chapter 16 does not work today. To us, it is venomous doctrine… physically and spiritually….