Chapter 16

"The Burial [1-8]."
"The Resurrection [9-13]."
The successors [14-20]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by 

Before we start our study on Mark 16, lets get the time sequence of events straight in our minds and in accordance to the Gregorian calendar, the calendar which we commonly use today. First of all, "Palm Sunday" happened the Sunday just prior to the Passover Sabbath, which started on Wednesday at sundown of that week. That was the time of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, whereby the people that went before Christ and cried out; "Hosanna; Blessed is He That cometh in the name of the Lord," so this would be three days prior to the Passover. Remember that the new day did not start at midnight, but the day started at sundown the day prior, no matter where you were around the world. So Monday would begin at sundown on Sunday evening.

On Tuesday during the day, Jesus sat with His disciples on the Mount of Olives, gazing out over the east gate of Jerusalem, and Jesus prophesied to them the seven seals that would mark the end of this earth age of the flesh. We covered this in Mark 13, and we saw that those seven event that Jesus spoke of were the same seven seals and seven trumpets of the book of Revelation. Though the seven seals are not in order as they occur, the seven trumpets are in order for they sound the beginning of those events.

Then after sundown on Tuesday evening the twelve disciples met in the upper room for what we commonly call "the last supper". It was at this supper that our lord gave us the example to follow, for the remembrance of the sacrifice that He was about to become in His death on the cross. This example that we carry out even to today is the taking of the cup, and the bread, in the "Communion service", and we are to continue taking it until Jesus return at the last trumpet. Judas departed after this communion to go to the religious leaders to betray Christ.

On the evening of Tuesday after the last supper, Jesus departed with the disciples for Gethsemane, where the disciples waited at a distance, and our Lord went on a little farther to Pray. After a few hours of prayer, Judas and the Temple mob came to take Jesus into custody, where later that evening the Jews held their council, to find a way to bring charges sufficient to murder Christ. Remember that those priests and scribes were not of brother Judah, but Kenites filling the position of the Levitical priests. They were appointed by the Roman governor and thus the high priest position became a political position filling a religious responsibility. Their traditions had taken the place of the laws of Moses.

By morning, the entire counsel of priests, scribes and elders came together, and plotted with lies and deceptions a plot to take Jesus to Pilate and demand that he put Jesus to death. So by the time that the Roman Governor Pilate started his days business on Wednesday morning, the plot had thickened, and Jesus trial before Pilate began.

Jesus' persecution took place on that Wednesday morning, and by noon they had found Jesus guilty of drummed up charges, and to keep the peace, Pilate washed his hands of the whole affair. At high noon they put the spikes through our Lord, and hung Him on the tree. At that moment, the entire earth darkened, and remained dark until three, the time that our Lord Jesus Christ died. At that instant, when He gave up the Ghost, the earthquakes shook the earth, the graves opened, and many dead were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem. This was such a overwhelming sight that even the Roman centurion knew that it was the Son of man that they had crucified.

Then Joseph of Arimathaea went to Pilate and boldly sought the release of Jesus body to him for he was the kinsman redeemer of Jesus. Joseph placed Jesus body in His tomb by sundown, the start of Passover on that Wednesday evening where Christ flesh body lay dead in the tomb. This started the three days and three night that God, through the prophets said that Jesus would be in the tomb. Jesus would be in the tomb from sundown Wednesday, through Thursday, and also Friday, and then on Saturday, after sundown, Jesus came out of the tomb victorious. This is where this Mark 16 begins.

Mark 16:1 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him."

Remember that it was Salome that brought her two sons to Jesus and asked that they sit on both sides of Christ in His kingdom. This is after the resurrection, and some time shortly after sun-up these ladies came to the tomb to anoint Jesus. This would be on a Sunday morning, but stop and think for a moment, Jesus had foretold all things that would happen to His disciples. So why do we know that the body will not be there to be anointed? Because His body had already been anointed. Remember the woman that brought her expensive box of ointment of spikenard, back in Mark 14:3; "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meant, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head."

This is why we should remember her always, for she did the anointing for this burial and resurrection. The poor and common man just didn't have the money for such an anointing. So we know from the start that Jesus will not be there for this anointing. It is not necessary. Jesus already told them, yet they just didn't believe Him at His words.

Mark 16:2 "And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun."

These three ladies arrived at the tomb, right as the sun was coming up. Remember that the completion of the three days and three night would have been by sundown on Saturday, so by this time all that remained was an empty tomb.

Mark 16:3 "And they said among themselves, "Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre:"

On their way to the tomb, the thing that bothered them was how they were going to get that huge stone moved away from the door of the sepulchre. It was obvious that these woman were unable to do it.

Mark 16:4 "And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great."

As they walked closer and closer to the tomb, from a distance they could see that the stone was already rolled away from the entrance.

Mark 16:5 "And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted."

The right side is always the side of honor. They were amazed to see this man sitting there in his long white garment. This man before them was an angel. Angels are always described as young, because they are in their spiritual bodies, and there is no aging process to their existence. There is no age in the eternal spiritual life. There is no sickness, for that is the way that our souls exist at death, or at the seventh trumpet.

Mark 16:6 "And he saith unto them, "Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, Which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: Behold the place where they laid Him, as He said unto you."

This angel knows why they have come to the tomb, and he tells them, "Don't be afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth which was crucified: He is risen, He is not here." In the Greek text it reads, Ye seek the Savior of God, the Nazarite, the crucified," It is very emphatic as it reads. The angel shows these ladies the fine linen that was placed around Jesus at His burial, and it is still in place where they laid Him. Jesus was resurrected.

Mark 16:7 "But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you."

Remember that Jesus had already told them that He would see them after the resurrection. Mark 10:34; "And they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again." Yes, Jesus rose on Saturday before sunset, as He went to the cross and died before sunset on Wednesday. This is the fourth day that these ladies are getting the news from this angel, and he is telling them to go and tell Peter, and the other disciples that He will meet them in Galilee.

The point that is made here is that everything that is happening was written before the act took place. This is why it become important for each of us to know what God has said to our generation from His Word. God will allow nothing to happen unless He has warned His own elect first. These ladies should have known that Jesus would not be here at the tomb, for one of them was even the mother of two of the disciples that had been personally notified. Jesus had warned them at least three times as is recorded, and He also told them exactly where to go after the resurrection.

Mark 14:27 "And Jesus saith unto them, "All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, [in Zechariah 13:7] `I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered."

They became sheep without a shepherd for those three days.

Mark 14:28 "But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee."

Now here these ladies stand in disbelief, however, the disciples have already been notified to go to Galilee. This is not given to criticize these ladies, for it is given that we can know and understand that all thing are written ahead of time through God's Word. Do you ever take time to listen to God speak through His Word? That is what the bible is, God's holy Word spoken to you.

Mark 16:8 "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they tremble and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid."

In many manuscripts the book of Mark ends with this verse. However the thought is not complete, for there is much more that happened. If you have a Companion Bible, in Appendix 168, we see that there are three different sources that discuss this issue as to where Mark ends. These three are (1) manuscripts, (2) version, and (3) the early Christian writers known as "the fathers".

As to the manuscripts, there are none older than the fourth century, and the oldest two uncial MSS, are without those twelve verses. Of all the others (consisting of some eighteen uncials and some six hundred cursive MSS. (which contain the Gospel of Mark) there is not one which leaves out these twelve verses. So the change as to whether it was there or not came between the second oldest manuscript, and the third. These Manuscripts have been with us a long time and these twelve verses are verified by the other Gospels as to whether the events happened.

There are five basic versions, the Syraic, the Latin, the Gothic, the Egyptian, and the Armenian versions. All of these version that came later contain these following twelve versions. Each of these versions contain the final twelve verses.

There are over two hundred early Christian writers, called "the Fathers", and even the earliest (Papias, about A.D.100), shortly after the book of Revelations was written, refers to verse (18) in His writings. The Appendix 168, gives sixteen of these early Father of the Church that gave mention to these last twelve verses.

The point I am making is that many of the earliest authorities of the Scripture knew of these twelve verses and regarded them highly, as we also shall do in this study. I believe that these Scriptures belong because God has allowed it to remain in our Word of God. When someone says that it is not in the Bible, remember that God has allowed it to be there, and as such I personally accept it.

Mark 16:9 "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils."

Mary Magdalene's life must have really changed, from a life filled with seven devils, to one possessed by the Holy Spirit of God. Just as He changed her life, He can also do it for you and I, no matter how deep in sin a person has fallen. God can change lives.

Mark 16:10 "And she went and told them that had been with Him, as they mourned and wept."

Though Mary Magdalene went to morn and weep because the tomb was empty, shortly she will come to understand the joy and victory this represented in the empty tomb. Jesus had told them before hand, and did they believe? If they would have there would have been joy and not confusion. Mary took the words that this angel spoke to her, and joyfully went to spread the word to the others.

Mark 16:11 "And they, when they had heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not."

When Jesus own disciples heard that Jesus had risen from the lips of Mary, they just did not believe her. Even when Jesus told them many times exactly what would happen, they still did not believe. Those that had walked with Jesus for three years and seen the miracles and heard the teaching, and even witness the transfiguration, stood there in disbelief. Jesus told them that He would be crucified and he would resurrect, and here Mary standing before them with tears of joy telling something that she just witnessed and still they would not believe when she said, "He lives, He is risen from the dead."

I feel that this sleep was placed upon them for their own protection, as Paul writes in Romans 11:7, 8; What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, "God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear"); unto this day."

It was a lesson to us living in this final generation, that many of those that know the truth will be blinded to the truth, even when it is set before them, and will blindly follow after the Antichrist, Satan the great deceiver. Sometimes things happen for a purpose for other generation to learn by. Lets follow this event through by the record given in Luke 24:10.

Luke 24:10 "It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles."

These are the same three people that Mark gave, only it is said just a little differently.

Luke 24:11 "And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not."

The first preachers to bring the gospel to us men folk were women, even from the resurrection, and the men simply would not believe them. To many today not much has changed, and many so-called preachers today simply don't believe that women should be in the pulpit.

"Idle tales" as given in the Greek manuscripts is "leros", and it means "silly nonsense", and this is the only time in God's Word that this is used in the Scriptures. It comes from a Greek medical term for "delirium". The disciples thought Mary Magdalene was out of her mind.

Luke 24:12 "Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen cloths laid by themselves, and departed wonder in himself at that which was come to pass."

This is obvious, as much as the angel had mentioned Peter's name back in verse seven, that Jesus had already forgiven him of his denial and disbelief during Jesus trial. Peter had repented for his denial, and now in his excitement Peter is running to the sepulchre to verify that truly Christ is risen. I can just picture in my mind as Peter kneeling down by those linen cloths, and finally realizing that Jesus truly had risen.

Peter should have known what would have happened, but now that it has come to pass, he was wondering why he had allowed himself to doubt those things that Christ had told him.

Have you ever read something in God's Word, accepted it as been true, but in the back of your mind you just didn't have the faith to believe it completely? How about when Jesus told you the events of the end times, and that two christ are coming that you will see? Do you believe it, or are you still looking for some flyaway, an escape into an idle tale, such as the rapture doctrine. I think Peter's eyes were closed for a time for our behalf, to let us know how easily people's eyes can be closed to the truth.

Luke 24:13 "And behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs."

"Emmaus" in the Hebrew means "warm baths" and that is what these men were going there to do, get their warm baths. This place was about seven and a half miles from Jerusalem.

Luke 24:14 "And they talked together of all these thing which had happened."

These two were followers of Christ, and they were talking over those wonderful times that they had with Jesus in His ministry.

Luke 24:15 "And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them."

Now in the Spiritual body, Jesus is walking along with these two men, and talking to them. Jesus is right by their side, and they can see Jesus and they think that Jesus is just another man.

Luke 24:16 "But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him."

"Holden" in the Strong's Greek dictionary is 2902; "krateo", meaning, "kept from their eyes". These two men simply could not realize the truth. Were they stupid? No, but maybe Jesus thought that they couldn't handle the truth at that time, unless they were taught properly. They could see Jesus, talk to Him and know that he was there, but this slumber to Jesus identity was placed upon these men.

Luke 24:17 "And He said unto them, "What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?"

This was suppose to be a time of rejoicing, for Christ had risen from the dead. It was on Sunday morning that Mary had told the disciples, for the distance they were walking tells us that it was beyond a Sabbaths day's walk.

Luke 24:18 "And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto Him, "Art Thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?"

Cleopas is asking Jesus, "where have you been, are you a stranger in Jerusalem, are you blind to what has happened in Jerusalem in these past days?" Everybody in Judaea knew what had happened in the trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. After all, there was three hours of darkness in the middle of the day, earthquakes and the dead walking the streets of Jerusalem.

Luke 24:19 "And He said unto them, "What things?" And they said unto Him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:"

Jesus was more than a prophet, my friend, He was the Son of God.

Luke 24:20 "And how the chief priest and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him."

Cleopas is telling Jesus, this is why we are sad.

Luke 24:21 "But we trusted that it had been He Which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done."

These two are saying, "We trusted Him and thought that He was our Savior." They are recalling that this was after the third day since the burial, and this should have been a clue that what Mary told them was the truth.

Luke 24:22 "Yea, and certain women also our our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;"

You can just hear these men calling the women that went to the sepulchre, silly women.

Luke 24:23 "And when they found not His body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive."

Notice that the story that was passed from one to another had changed, and now the one angels has become angels. As bad as they wanted it to be true, they couldn't bring themselves to believe it.

Luke 24:25 "Then He said unto them, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:"

Do you see doubt in this, for Jesus had told them, and also the prophets also wrote it is the Scriptures. That was the reason for the transfiguration, so there would be no great shock at the change from one flesh body to the other in the spiritual. That was the message that Jesus gave, when He allow Peter, James and John to witness the trans-figuration. Through out the entire Word of God, over and over the detail of the crucifixion and resurrection are given, yet when it came to pass the people would not believe it when Jesus stood before their eye.

The Bible is the Word of God, and fools are slow of heart to believe in what the prophets have spoken. This is to show you that some people can be blinded, to exactly what tomorrow is going to bring, even when they are living in the days, and seeing it right before their eyes. We know what the "new world order" is because we have read of it from the Prophets, from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and all the Miner Prophets. We have been foretold all things and we had better pay attention to what is going on around us. Can we change the events that God has said would happen? Of course not, but we had better not get into God's way as these events come to pass, for they shall.

Luke 24:26 "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?"

Of course Christ had to suffer all of these thing. Psalms 22 recorded all of the details of what took place just prior to the conversation Jesus is having with these two men. Here they are crying their tears over something that they should be rejoicing over.

Luke 24:27 "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself."

How would you like to sit in on this Bible study that Jesus giving these two men. He is covering the entire Scripture going all the way back to the beginning. Jesus Christ is opening their eyes all over again.

Luke 24:28 "And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further."

As they arrived at Emmas, Jesus is about to bid them farewell and leave them.

Luke 24:29 "But they constrained Him, saying, "Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." And He went in to terry with them."

This was exciting to them and they wanted to hear more for Jesus had opened their eyes to the Scriptures. Jesus did go in with them.

Luke 24:30 "And it came to pass, as He sat at mean with them, He took bread, and blessed it and brake, and gave to them."

This should have opened their eyes and Jesus sat there at the table and blessed the meal, and gave thanks for food.

Luke 24:31 "And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight."

Imagine how exciting this was to these two men, as all of a sudden they looked over the table and realized who was breaking bread with them. They finally realized that it was Jesus Christ, the Son of God that had walked and talked with them.

Luke 24:32 "And they said one to another, "Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?"

How about you, by friend, have you ever had the scriptures so opened to you, that it burned in your heart, and in your mind they came to life? That is talking with God, to read and know the Scriptures with understanding. To understand God's Word to where it become a guiding light for every word you speak, and deed that you do. That is what the Bible is, it is the Word of God spoken from His mind to yours with understanding. Jesus Christ is that living Word. Have you read it with understanding? "It is written", and it is written expressly for your understanding of God's instructions to you.

Luke 24:33 "And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gather together, and them that were with them, "

Luke 24:34 "Saying, "The Lord, is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon."

Luke 24:35 "And they told what things were done in the way, and how He was know of them in breaking of bread."

These two told the disciples how Jesus walked with them, teaching and bringing all the Word of the Prophets to them, and then how they were awakened while Jesus sat with them, blessing the food and breaking the bread. Then as they finally understood exactly who He was, Jesus vanished.

These people were put through this to make the very point know to us living today, to wake up to those things that are taking place around us each day we live. God is speaking to people daily, and God through the prophets foretold us everything that we should expect to see, and we had better pay special attention to the events that were foretold. It is important that we not only learn of those things, but we must also learn how to trust Him, for He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He will deliver you up if you have eyes to see and ears to hear to be a witness for Him, He promised that us that He will even give us the Words to say.

After this review, lets return to Mark 16:12.

Mark 16:12 "After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country."

Mark is reminding us of what we just read from Luke 24:13-36.

Mark 16:13 "And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them."

Just as those two men were blinded to who Jesus was, and they simply did not believe that Jesus had risen; so also the disciples also were blinded to this same disbelief. In that three day time that Jesus was away from His followers, the whole group just fell apart in disbelief. Even His apostles disbelieved, however Peter went to that tomb to verify for himself that the body was missing.

Mark 16:14 "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."

Judas is dead at this time so the eleven are those other disciples that were with Christ through His ministry. As the disciples were together arguing in disbelief, Jesus appeared to His disciples and He scolded them for their unbelief. I'm sure that each of the disciples stood there and took Jesus' words humbly as they finally realized exactly who Jesus was. Can't you just see Jesus standing before these men, reminding them of each time that He told them of his suffering death and resurrection.

Today many churches get so mixed up on things that are contrary with God's Word that they spend more time trying to straighten out their fiction of man's word than learning the truth from God's Word.

Mark 16:15 "And He said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

The gospel of Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection is to be preached to every one of God's creation: To every race, peoples, and tongues of the earth. There are many language barriers as these disciples scattered throughout the earth to preach the gospel to every race and tongue. So how can you tell them of this gospel, if you cannot speak the language? Jesus instructions were to go to all the world and preach the gospel.

It means that somebody is going to have to learn those languages that the other people of the earth speak, and learn to relate this gospel with understanding. This is the "great commission" that Jesus gave to us.

Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned [condemned]."

We are to follow in Christ's footsteps, and in that He was baptized, so should we be baptized. Many wonder if one is not baptized, does that mean that they are not saved? The foremost requirement of Salvation is ones Faith that allows him to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He lived the perfect life, then suffered as the Scriptures prophesied and taught He did; then died on the cross for our sins, and rose the third day, as the Scriptures said that He would.

It is true that not everyone ends up in heaven equal. They will be there equal as far as God's love is concerned, but some will be very wealthy, while others very poor by heavenly standards. Remember my friend, there is only one thing that you can take with you, and that is your righteous acts, your works. Many find this difficult to believe, even when Jesus told us.

Revelation 14:13 "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Write, `Blessed are the dead which died in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.' "

This is why there is a judgment, for it is rewarding you for the works that you have done for the Lord. Those works go to make up the very fabric of your righteous robes. So not every one will be equal in Heaven. God is always fair, and this is how it should be. This will not create any problems for the Millennium kingdom will be a time for maturing to where every person who's name is written in the Lamb's "book of life" will be perfectly happy and contented.

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;"

"The signs" are those thing that make it obvious that the Holy Spirit is with that individual. You either have Christ in you or you don't, if you have Christ in you, then His Spirit, the Holy Spirit is there also. It is just that simple. The signs are all those things that allow us to understand completely that tis person is a believer. Those things that they do will be done only in Jesus name, for Jesus gets all the glory of any of their works that they do. The Christian knows that what ever God allows them to do, He has given them to the gift to accomplish that work. Whether preaching or teaching, playing an instrument, or football, or riding in a wheelchair and praying and witnessing to others. The "new tongues" is not "unknown tongues", but new languages, teaching and preaching so that what you say will be understood completely.

If you take the truth to the entire world, you will either learn the language with understanding of the country that you will teach in, or they simply will not understand you. The disciples and those that are going out to teach the gospel are going to have to learn those languages, or they are going to have to take an interpreter with them. If the people don't understand what your saying, they won't even know when to say Amen.

By the Spirit of God, we even have power over Satan and all his realm, including his evil spirits. Jesus has given us power over all our enemies, that these evil spirits are included. Luke 10:19; "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." That includes anything that can harm you while you are under this commission. We have the victory even over Satan himself, as far as his interfering with you, and if those problems come, you can even blame it on Satan, for it is you that must take the power into your own hands. Take a stand when evil forces come against you, and take command and use the power that God has vested in you. That power is in Jesus name, and the strength comes from the strength that the Holy Spirit has place around you. That is the sacred that those that believe have, and it is power to us.

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."

Spiritually speaking, Satan is the serpent, as Revelation 12:9 tells us so. Satan and his evil spirits are afraid of you. If you take this literal, and go to the woods and pick up a live rattle snake, I guarantee you that that old rattler does not know that he is to be afraid of you, and he will strike you. He does not know whether you have faith or not, and he could care less what you believe or not. The other thing that should enter in here is that I hope that a snake is not what is used as a measure of my faith, for Satan thinks as a snake and he is a liar.

Those that participate in the handling of snakes as a form of testing ones faith, are tempting God, and using God's Word for their own demise. Yet many do in various parts of the world. Christ is not telling anyone to drink poison, for this is a figure of speech referring to malicious gossip. It is taking a part truth, and changing it to destroy someone or some thing. It is taking a truth and twisting and turning it into a lie. Jesus is saying that there will be those that will allow Satan to twist their minds to try to destroy you, but you don't have to allow that to happen.

The poison and filth that people will use against you will not harm you when you are in the will of God. We are to live our lives so that our character will be such that it just doesn't matter what people say about us, for our character will stand the test. A true Christians character will stand all the tests of all the liars and gossip spreaders can spread about you. That is what taking the poison means here. Lies and gossip runs off of you like water off a ducks back.

Mark 16:19 "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."

We know from Acts 1:7-9 where this took place. We know that this is where Jesus will be, at the right hand of the Father as our advocate, until this earth age is finished.

Mark 16:20 "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

They went everywhere, around the sinners, and in the high courts, even to the kings and Caesar himself, in Paul's case. Jesus disciples fanned out over the world from India and the east, to Africa and the parts to the north. This ministering is very well known, as recorded through many historical records. When you preach the Word of God to reach the sinners, then you have to go where the sinners are. What are you going to preach? "The Lord working with them." This working is what we have just finished in this entire book of Mark. It also includes the rest of the New Testament, and all of the Old Testament, and it includes all the promises that God has made to those that by faith repent and believe on His name.

"Confirming" in the Greek text is "Bebaioo, to establish, to make sure, steadfast, and give stability". All of the signs and prophecies that our Lord Jesus Christ gave, that are written in His Word gives us the guideposts to place in our minds. The Holy Spirit will give us the understanding of those things that Jesus taught, and in this final generation we are to be on watch for those signs of the end times, of the generation that we are now living in, so that we will not be deceived.

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