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What Does the bible Say About … SPEAKING in TONGUES?

If we believe in “laying on of hands and they shall recover”, do we also believe in “speaking in new tongues”, and “they shall take up serpents”?

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Certainly! The reference is to Mark chapter 16 specifically. Some Bibles have a note that says that these verses are not contained in the “best” manuscripts. Because I doubt both the motives and the methods of any who would try to diminish the authority of the Bible, or such passages as may displease them, I am more inclined to think that the best manuscripts are represented by these verses. And truly it would do nothing to the sense of the whole of scripture either to include or exclude them, since the subject matter is adequately dealt with in other passages, and to the same end.

Clearly if we receive the one phrase about healing, we must also receive the phrase about tongues and the one about serpents. They stand or fall together. Many have taught that all Christians must participate in tongues (which they have come to call the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”), but that only certain ones have the gifts of healing, and almost no one has the power to take up serpents, and to drink poison. A few (generally regarded as extremists) have taken a more consistent view that these various signs must be in every believers life. I say more consistent, because clearly these signs are all in the same context. If one of them is for all, then so must the others be. But what is said here about these signs? They shall “follow” them that believe.

Three important issues: “them that believe” refers to the body of believers, not to each of them as an individual. ” “Follow” says that these signs shall attend this group, or follow near’ not that shall always be in evidence. And the fact that they are referred to as “signs” indicates that they are given to and through the believer for the benefit of those who otherwise might not believe.

An example is found in Acts 28: 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. The story goes on to show how Paul used their sudden and drastic change of opinion to lead them into a right relationship to God.

The tendency to make more of tongues than the Bible does, provokes an opposite tendency in some to attempt to throw out altogether passages like Mark 16 16 through the end of the chapter. And that tendency tends to provoke an extreme reaction in the camp of those who have experienced some of the signs mentioned. Let us stop reacting to one another, and simply accept the word of God for what it says.

Dave & Ella McMullen


If we believe in “laying on of hands and they shall recover”, do we also believe in “speaking in new tongues”, and “they shall take up serpents”?

(IF?) We believe in “laying on of hands and they shall recover”?

James 5:14-AV Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

James 5:15-AV And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

James 5:16-AV Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Whilst laying on of hands is not mentioned in this passage, it is usually done in one of these services. There is no ‘if’ about this promise except perhaps ‘And the prayer of faith’. I would expect that if the service is done without faith, either on the part of the supplicant or of the elders, then failure would occur.

Mark 16:18-AV 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.

Please understand that speaking in new tongues means speaking in foreign languages. The gift of tongues was given to the Apostles and many new converts to enable them to preach in languages they had not previously been able to speak. This still does occasionally happen and did happen to a Baptist missionary to Japan that I know of. I knew his wife for a few short years before her death in the town in which I live.

Acts 28:3-AV And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid [them] on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

Acts 28:4-AV And when the barbarians saw the [venomous] beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

Acts 28:5-AV And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.

Acts 28:6-AV Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

This does not mean that every Christian should run out and pick up poisonous snakes expecting no harm to come to them. You are not to tempt the Lord your God. In the case quoted above God’s purpose was served. The same principle applies with poisonous drinks.

Do not forget that these promises were given to the eleven disciples by Jesus just before He ascended to heaven in a cloud. Although I am persuaded that the same applies to His true followers everywhere when they are engaged upon the work of spreading the Gospel message to mankind. I cannot quote the story for I have forgotten the details but I did once hear a missionary describing how he had been forced to drink poison by a witch doctor, and had suffered no harm.

As they say in the TV magic shows… ‘Do NOT try this at home.’ If you are a missionary and in the course of your witness are accidentally bitten by a poisonous snake or forced to or accidentally imbibe poison, you should pray and claim this promise. As He did with Paul, God will use the situation to strengthen His cause.

For most of us, we will go through life without experiencing miraculous healing, or witnessing the power of God preventing natural laws from having their usual effect. Although, with communications the way they are today, miracles are often heard of. One only has to read the praise reports published in this newsletter to encounter them. An example is Rob Chaffart’s recent reinstatement of deteriorating vision to what it was 10 years ago. My own healing from severe illness against all medical expectations. (Kidney stone causing infection. Septicaemia, toxic shock, complete renal failure, bacterial pneumonia, complicated with diabetes, obesity and a fatty liver. Two intensive care specialists at two major hospitals said I could not possibly live.) Instead of switching off life support as she was invited to do my wife called the Pastor and had me anointed in accordance with the instructions quoted above.

Be assured that the power of God is real, that it is available to us on the exercise of faith, just as promised. To experience it in your life you must confess all your sins and claim forgiveness for them. You must believe that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who became flesh and offered His perfect life as a sacrifice for our sins so that we can accept a free pardon and have eternal life. Not through any works of our own or because we deserve it in any way, but because God loved us enough to give His own Son as a sacrifice for us. Go in peace…

Lance Wearmouth


According to the Word of God, I think we HAVE to believe it. The gospel of Mark, in the 16th chapter, addresses this specifically. We, as self professing believers of the Word, have to examine if we believe God’s Word literally or not. If we say we do, than this week’s question, is not in question. We either believe the whole Word or we do not. A friend of mine and I have often teased that we are going to get a black magic marker and mark out everything that is uncomfortable to believe or things we do not really want to follow in the Bible just to see what is left of what we believe. How dangerous an exercise that could be and though we laugh about it, we know, in our minds, we do just that. “In Christ, all things are possible.”

B. Thorbjörnsson


Of course. All scripture is God-breathed. Speaking in new tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit to those who are born-again, and who ask Him. Taking up serpents is in the passive voice and is a protective element – i.e., like when Paul was on the island of Malta late in the book of Acts, and a serpent fastened itself on Paul’s hand (he was not looking to pick up a snake).

Tom Young


The answer is found in questioning the reason for miracles. Many Christians have elevated their faith above Christ’s teaching that miracles are granted so that GOD might be glorified. Therefore, the answer does not rest on our belief but rather in how GOD wills to glorify HIMSELF. A person of faith might feel no effects from a serpent’s poison while another person of faith might go through life in the shadows of blindness. GOD decides how HE will glorify HIMSELF through miracles. GOD bless you as you seek to serve HIM.



I believe in what the bible states as true and fact. Speaking in tongues is a gift from the Lord Jesus. If you were to go into a country say take Spain for instance, and you didnt know the language but you went according to the Spirit of God led you there. Do you feel that the Lord will limit your abilities to speak to these precious ones? When, we put limits on God we are trying to control him, we cannot control him, He controls us. So you go to Spain, you don’t know the language, but you believe in your heart that God has led you there, then you pray and He allows you in Speaking in tongues the ability to speak the language through his Holy Spirit.

Altho, your earthly mind has no idea what you are saying, God does and you never know what beautiful words are being said to that person next to you, words that lead, heal and guide will led someone to the Lord. When, believers don’t believe everything in the Bible as true, then they put limits on God’s abilities. God will use whatever means He needs to bring someone back to him.

When, Moses listened to God, plagues fell upon the land, swarms of bees, serpents, etc…happened. How much more will He allow us to show others the wonderous deeds to bring them back to the Lord. We are instruments of God, if we limit God in His ability to bring someone through us to Jesus, then we are no longer listening with our spiritual heart to what He is calling us to do. That is why, we all need to be united together as one with Jesus, so that those who never knew about Jesus, can hear him speak to him and there eyes will be opened to the truths and love and mercy He has bestowed on all of us. Altho, there will be some that wont accept Jesus, as long as we are willing vessels to Our Almighty God, as we should, then and only then, will Wonderous Miracles Happen. God bless you



Before we discuss the “new tongues”, let’s deal with these signs: Casting out devils, speaking in new tongues, taking up serpents; drinking of a deadly thing without hurt, laying hands on the sick and they shall recover. We see these signs throughout the Book of Acts. Jesus places no emphasis on any one sign. For someone to say that all believers should speak in new tongues, they would have to say also that the believers should take up serpents, drink deadly poison without harm, lay hands on the sick and see them recover. Jesus is merely prophesying of things that would shortly come to pass.

We see some of the signs that Jesus prophesied of in the Book of Acts. In Acts 28:1-6, Paul was bit by a viper and in verse 5, the bible declares, “And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm” In Acts 8:5-7, Philip cast out devils and healed the sick. Verse 7, “For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed”. And in Acts 2:4, we see the gift of tongues manifest – breaking the language barrier for at least sixteen dialects of people! Verses 7-8, “Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? This was no muttering of words without meaning! Peter wasn’t chattering out words that no one could understand – He was preaching the Word of God and through the Gift of Tongues, his words were understood by all that heard him.

It’s amazing to me how far out of context many have taken the Gift of Tongues. Instead of it being a way for God to spread His word to every dialect, breaking the language barriers – many have made it this unintelligible language that no one understands. The only time the gift of tongues is associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is when people from more than one language group were gathered together, thus causing a communication barrier. (Info Taken from WOG Ministries)




Yes and if you believe without having doubt, you will be able to say to that mountain, move and be cast into the sea.I have been healed of, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and hernyated discs by the laying on of hands, by my pastor and other deacons of our church, and by my faith in our Lord Jesus that He will do, and has done what He said He will do. I His name



Yes, I believe in the words of Jesus, that we shall lay our hands on the sick and they shall recover. Therefor we shall shall also speak in new tongues and “take up serpents”. The issue of laying on of hands and speaking in other tongues is covered in the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 14 says a lot about speaking AND SINGING in tongues. Just read it and let the Spirit teach you.

Take up serpents….. I am aware of the weird fact that there are weird cults that concentrate on taking up serpents and play/dance with them, but that’s of course nonsense and should not be a part of a Christian’s life. I think that certain word about snakes in Mark 16 speaks about two things, firstly what we saw Paul experience with the snake in Acts 28, divine protection, and secondly, our superior position and authority over of satanic powers (“snakes”).



Hi, I think what was meant in the passage, was that, we could understand the tongues of the angels, as well as being so much protected by God and his angels, that we would have power even over the serpents, that we could literally take them up in our hands and they would not bite us.


It was not the meaning to go out and PUT YOURSELF INTO DANGER….just to make God happy…… By doing that, you keep God and his Angels so busy protecting you, that their other work gets left behind, so instead of PUTTING YOURSELF INTO DANGER AND FORCING THEM TO CONSTANTLY PROTECT YOU, just get your mind on business, constantly work towards perfecting in keeping your ethics and personal integrity straight and clean as you possibly can, and quit wasting God’s time.

It is just like former President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country.”

Instead of always looking to see how God can protect you, or hunting out new challenges for God to PROVE HIS LOVE FOR YOU, then get busy and help HIM. With all of the evil stuff going on, all over this planet, he could really use the help!

Then when it comes time to help you, he will be there! Smiles!


When we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit after we first believed and received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour (Acts 19:2), speaking in new tongues is one of the evidences of being empowered with one of the gifts of the Spirit. Unfortunately, alot of Christians do not believe or agree with speaking in tongues. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 12 (read vs 4 – 11), it indicates speaking in tongues as one of the gifts of the Spirit. Speaking in tongues is very useful because this is what edifies us (1 Cor 14:4).

God does not give His gifts to us liberally because of “our goodness”. If it were so, I would never have hope in receiving any of His gifts. All of Gods gifts to us, whatever He chooses to give us is for the very use of edifying ourselves, edifying the church (His people) and useful to encourage and ultimately, give God the glory (1 Cor 14: 1 – 5). God forbid if we should call anything that comes from God common or unclean (Acts 10: 13-15). Everything that comes from God is good, holy and perfect.

For the Christians who believe that speaking in tongues was only for Biblical times, God says that He never changes, He does not even change His mind, but He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). Also in the second last verse of 1 Cor 14, Paul says to forbid not to speak in tongues. But when perfection has come, tongues will cease (1 Cor 13: 8 – 10). This means that when Christ comes, there will be no requirement for exercising His gifts, or speaking in new tongues, because we will then be made perfect when He comes for us.

I came to realize long ago, that what ever God has, I want it, and whatever He had for me, I definitely need it!! If you are still convinced that you need to understand this, please read (Prov 3: 5 & 6) and trust in Him. When the Word says “I will pray in the spirit and with the understanding, and I will sing in the spirit and with the understanding”, would that not indicate that praying and singing in the Spirit is on the other side of the coin from “the understanding”? (1 Cor 14: 13 – 15). I like the saying: If God says it, I believe it!! Whether or not I completely understand it or not may be a different story. But without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).

We need to believe Him, so if He says to forbid not to speak in tongues, I think it is pretty clear what God is saying. Many christians who are opposed to the Gifts of the Spirit and speaking in new tongues, I urge you to please pray to God about this. Without the gifts of Gods Holy Spirit within us, we are simply relying to do Gods will for our lives in our own strength. God says, its not by might or by power, but by My Spirit. We had better pray about what we say about Spiritual matters, because I have come across christians who have said that speaking in tongues is of the devil.

Read what Jesus says in Mark 3: 20 – 30, when the teachers of the law mentioned about Jesus have the spirit of beelzebub rather than the Holy Spirit, Jesus mentions in vs 29 and 30 about commiting the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit because of what they had said!! Now regarding to take up serpents, I believe it means that when we are caught in a situation between a rock and a hard spot and we have no control over our situation, or if we committed an offence without knowing, I believe if we are put in a situation that would require supernatural conditions to get us out, I believe we could by the power of God through His Spirit in Jesus name could do it. I believe this to be figureative and spiritually speaking and not in a physical connotation.

It is like saying to a mountain “be ye cast in to the sea” and it will be done if you believe! Jesus said it in (Mt: 21: 21 – 22), Christ is talking not about the rocky mountains, the Andes or Himalayas, but in a spiritual sense of the mountain of sins in our lives. But, on the other hand, we are not to put ourselves purposely in a situation to “pick up serpents” by putting God to the test or use it for the purpose of entertainment. May God bless you as you read and pray for His guidance.



I believe that laying on of hands and speaking in tongues was relevant in Jesus’ day, but not in ours. I think scripture is very clear on this.


Hello and the Lord richly bless you.

I really enjoy the resources herein. This is the first time I am submitting an answer to a question. While, much scripture could be suggested for my view, I am opting to lean towards a quick testimony.

I personally experienced the same type baptism of the Holy Spirit which is mentioned in Acts chapters 2, 8, 10, and 19. As a result I changed my view that this had ceased with the apostles.

On one occasion while working in a hospital, a patient allowed me to anoint him with a drop or two of oil and pray for him in Jesus name. Months later he stated that Jesus had healed him of his AML (Leukemia) on that day.

On the matter of picking up serpents, I suggest that like Jesus, we must always remember that “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. I am certain, however, that if God forbid I would find myself in such a predicament, that even the meanest and ugliest snake would seem like a toy in my Holy Spirit yeiled hands.

Finally, may I say that a sincere child of God will recieve an answer to every question which is on their heart. Sometimes 18 months (+/-)after we ask 🙂

I pray this testimony may be a blessing to many.