Death of a Deceiver
by Ronald W Robey

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mark 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.

Last night Linda and I watched a video clip of when Apostolic preacher Jamie Coots was bitten by a serpent at an alleged “church service” and later succumbed to the poison the serpent had injected into his veins.

I say “alleged” because I am not convinced that these people are truly saved. I’ve seen enough videos to know that many of these people will be in a service handling snakes on Sunday and out in the bars, brothels or backroom crack houses on Monday. Many will openly admit it.

These people base their religion on Mark 16:18, which says,

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.

Now, what I am puzzled about is that the same people who handled snakes that fateful day, laid hands on Jamie Coots and prayed for him…and he didn’t recover.

If Believers “shall” pick up serpents means that “Believers shall pick up serpents”, as these snake handling Apostolics claim, then they “shall” lay hands on the sick and they shall recover means “they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover”.

We can only conclude that “they shall pick up serpents” is not speaking of Believers in our present time, otherwise Jamie Coots would still be alive today according to the dictates of the last part of Mark 16:18.

My belief is that Mark 16:15-18 is not speaking of Believers in the apostles’ far away future, but in their immediate future. They (the apostles) were to preach the Gospel to every creature, (humanity) and those creatures (humanity) who Believed them (the apostles) would most certainly pick up serpents. Those who heard the apostles preaching in person would lay hands on the sick and see the sick recover.

Mark 16:18 is not giving Apostolics instruction to pick up serpents…as the death of Jamie Coots clearly demonstrates. Pastor Jamie Coots spent several years of his life tempting God and teaching members of his congregation to tempt God until the serpent bit him and he bit the dust.