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A true believer is the one who according to Mark does the following:

In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." Mark 16:14-18

What could be its correct interpretation?

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This is better suited for hermeneutics.SE. –  Mark Edward May 16 '14 at 14:59

5 Answers 5

There was an instance in acts where the apostle Paul got bit by a serpent and didn't die -

Acts 28:3 -5

3 Now Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and he was laying them on the fire when a viper crawled out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand.

4 When the natives saw the little animal hanging from his hand, they said to one another, Doubtless this man is a murderer, for though he has been saved from the sea, Justice [[a]the goddess of avenging] has not permitted that he should live.

5 Then [Paul simply] shook off the small creature into the fire and suffered no evil effects.

But regarding it's interpretation - while it seems fairly consistent to some degree with other things, there are many reasons to believe it was added to the book and not part the original account.

So before speculating on meanings, one would first have to be confident it actually belongs there.

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2  
Here's an article about The Ending of Mark. –  mojo May 16 '14 at 13:48
    
It says "and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them". Did someone drink deadly poison? Got bit by serpent doesn't solve this test. Could you please give some clearer interpretation? –  Richard Ninjo May 16 '14 at 18:20
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I've never seen an instance of anyone drinking poison and surviving it in the Christian Greek scriptures. I'd love to hear if there is. –  1Up May 16 '14 at 18:28
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They could have added "and they will stick firecrackers in their ears and not go deaf" ... I suppose one could survive anything with the lord's protection ... but its all the same with human additions to the scriptures - just human sillyness. Point is its pointless what it means if it was not there in the first place :D –  1Up May 16 '14 at 18:31

This prophecy was certainly fulfilled in its entirety in the early church, especially in the lives of the apostles. The big question is whether "they" refers to just the apostles or if it refers to all believers in all times.

Still, even when Jesus walked the earth, He did not heal every sick person He ever saw. So, it is incorrect to assume that every person who ever got sick would be healed by the closest Christian. There certainly have continued to be times throughout history and continuing to this day when God has miraculously healed people.

Just two nights ago, I watched a DVD entitled "More than Dreams", in which five people tell their accounts of Jesus appearing to them in a dream and bidding them to follow Him, leaving their previous religion. One of these individuals from Nigeria reveals that His father was so enraged by his new Christian faith that he brought him poison to drink. The son does so, but is unaffected by it.

So, the prophecy was fulfilled completely in the apostles, but God still does such things even today--not in every case, to be sure, but definitely in some cases.

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St. Seraphim of Sarov suggested this was a literal description of some of the consequences of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

But when the Lord God breathed into Adam's face the breath of life, then, according to Moses' word, "Adam became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7), that is, completely and in every-way like God, and like Him, forever immortal. Adam was immune to the action of the elements to such a degree that water could not drown him, fire could not burn him, the earth could not swallow him in its abysses, and the air could not harm him by any kind of action whatever.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov (2010-06-25). On Acquisition of the Holy Spirit (Kindle Locations 233-236). . Kindle Edition.

There are plenty more stories starting at least as early as St. John the Apostle to corroborate this view. You could even say Daniel exhibited some of these qualities by not being burned up or eaten by hungry lions. If you're curious, some other saints I've heard of exhibiting these qualities are St. Panteleimon and St. Tecla.

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A True believer and Drinking Deadly poison | What does test of Mark 16:14-18 mean?

Mark 16:14-18 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 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.

These verses include what is called the "Great Commission". In a way these verses give the context to the Great Commission.

One might see this as associated with the immanent kingdom. Israel was promised a new covenant.

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Jesus came to offer this kingdom, but Israel did not accept it. One might say that Israel had the opportunity from the announcement by the angels of the birth of Jesus until the destruction of the temple 70 years later. During this time the signs of speaking in tongues, laying on of hands to heal the sick, immunity from snake bite, and casting out devils was demonstrated.

When a faithful remnant of Israel does finally receive the kingdom, we should expect to see all of these signs demonstrated by all who believe.

Paul looked forward to this time.

Romans 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

We get a hint of some of the changes that the kingdom will bring about.

No war

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Longer life

Isaiah 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

Nature less hostile

Isaiah 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

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Drinking deadly poison refers to the some of tribulations believers go through and yet come out stronger e.g Joseph went through such via been sold as slave. Most slaves did not survive by then he went to prison, and his co-prisoner died though Joseph lived...and became a p.m.of Egypt.

Daniel was thrown in a pit of lions and he came out clean and Nebuchadnezzar maid him a p.m.too.

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