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Snake Handling: 10 Observations

SNAKE HANDLING: A perversion of real faith.

SNAKE HANDLING: A perversion of real faith.

“Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.” *
1 Corinthians 10:9*

From time-to-time, the practice of snake handling comes up in conversation. Apparently there is some confusion about the ritual, which is practiced by a relatively small number of US churches (usually in Appalachia).

With this in mind, here are ten observations on the practice of snake handling, a practice perfectly in tune for the times in which we live.

1- Snake handling usually operates in the darkness, out on the fringe, with little publicity.

UNTIL one of its adherents get bitten (or worse, dies). THEN, the national media feature many stories about “primitive” “Christians”  engaging in snake handling.

Kentucky man dies from snake bite at Church service

None of these stories focus attention on the difference between real Christianity and the snake handling version of it.

Though the media accounts themselves may be understated, the person reading those accounts usually walks away with a very distorted view of Christianity.

Which, at the end of the day, appears to be the entire rationale behind snake handling.

2- Snake handling is one of the logical conclusions of Pentecostalism.

Many among both Pentecostals and snake handlers hunger for a visible sign of God–which is the exact opposite of the “faith” both Pentecostals and snake handlers protest they are displaying.

Faith is what enables believers to be certain of things which cannot be seen.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1

If God is continually demonstrating His power, one does not need faith.

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”
Romans 8:24

3- Snake handlers not only continually tempt God, they continually provide a substitute for real faith.

However, by tempting God–which is forbidden–snake handlers forfeit any protection God might have otherwise provided.

ADAM CLARKE’S COMMENTARY: “Thou shalt not tempt.  To expose myself to any danger naturally destructive, with the vain presumption that God will protect and defend me from the ruinous consequences of my imprudent conduct, is to tempt God.”

JAMIESON-FAUCETT-BROWNE COMMENTARY:

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God–“Preservation in danger is divinely pledged: shall I then create danger, either to put the promised security skeptically to the proof, or wantonly to demand a display of it? That were ‘to tempt the Lord my God,’ which, being expressly forbidden, would forfeit the right to expect preservation.”

4- Snake handlers (and almost all American churchgoers) are sight-walkers.

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”
2 Corinthians 5:7

Because sightwalkers demand signs, they will be the perfect prey for the coming man of sin, who will provide such signs and deceive many.

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do”
–Revelation 13:13-14

5- Sight-walking is so prevalent in the American churches, it’s not recognized as such.

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END TIMES FAITHLESSNESS: Faith Not Enough for the Sight-walkers

Many American churches have turned what faith means on its head. To many church-goers, faith occurs when something is seen or felt.

Faith does not need physical signs or miracles.

Many church-goers believe their “faith” is “strengthened” by seeing physical signs. But IF they regularly see physical signs, why is faith even needed?

6- Snake handling is surely putting God to the test to show his power.  This is something Scripture warns believers not to do.

Of course, those who pretend to be believers will have no qualms about tempting God.  Which is exactly what snake handling is all about.  How are snake handlers any different than Satan who tempted Jesus?  Answer: they aren’t.

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil.

And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Luke 4:1-2, 9-12

7- The only US state where snake handling is legal is West Virginia. West Virginian is also the only state which is situated entirely in that area generally defined as Appalachia.

8- As stated, snake handling is a way to bring reproach upon the name of Jesus Christ.  Whenever a snake-handling preacher is bitten and dies, the world heaps ridicule upon true believers.  It matters not to the world that snake handlers are not true believers and are disobeying Scripture.

To the snake handlers themselves, being bitten is a sign of a lack of faith, instead of an indictment of their core beliefs.

In this respect, snake handlers are like TV faith healers: IF a person is not healed, the “faith healers” maintain it is because that person has too little faith, not because of the preacher’s obvious lack of the same.

BOTH deflect responsibility by laying the blame on the person who is seeking healing or a sign having too little faith.

9- Snake handling (1911), like Westboro Baptist (1955), is a product of 20th century apostate American Christianity.  Both have a goal–whether unknowingly or not- of bringing reproach to the name of Jesus Christ.  Because they disparage Jesus, the Corporate Media will always promote both snake handlers and Westboro.

Westboro Baptist Church protest: Fake Christian church preaches another gospel

Both snake handlers and Westboro Baptist are tools–knowingly or not–of the mystery of iniquity.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:”

2 Thessalonians 2:7

Both snake handlers and Westboro Baptist prepare the way for the man of sin.

10- Snake handling sects are unique in one way from others of their kind.

While most counterfeit Christian sects bring reproach on the name of Jesus Christ by their behaviors while living, snake handlers bring reproach on the name of Jesus Christ by dying.

“Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.”
Deuteronomy 6:16

Time is Running Out: Today is the Day of Salvation

Tender Mercies of the Lord: Will Not Always Be Available

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
John 20:31

THE GOSPEL

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
1 Corinthians 15:1-8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
-–Romans 1:16

[Portions of this piece originally appeared in End Times Prophecy Headlines: January 22-23, 2014 and SNAKE HANDLING: Observations about an Antichrist Deception.]

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by Jeremiah Jameson
–with Mondo Frazier

image: ETPR/vectorolie, FreeDigitalPhotos.net/ETPR

© Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report, 2012-16. © Mondo Frazier and End Times Prophecy Report, DBKP 2007-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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