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Snake Handling The term snake handling refers to the practice in a few revivalistic rural churches of a few leaders and parishioners picking up poisonous snakes from a container usually a small cage during an emotional worship service The snakes are held for a while as the person moves about praying and sometimes singing Those who handle the poisonous snakes are usually not bitten and those who are bitten usually survive Snakes have been a part of our culture religion and beliefs throughout our existence Although most people have a strong fear of them they have always fascinated us and scared us The Book of Numbers 216-9 states Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them they bit the people and many Israelites died The people came to Moses and said We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us So Moses prayed for the people The Lord said to Moses Make a snake and put it up on a pole anyone who is bitten can look at it and live So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake he lived Holy Bible The practice of snake handling is based on two verses in the New Testament mainly the first one Mark 1618 says 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 Luke 1019 says I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy nothing will harm you Holy Bible The strange verse of Mark 1618 was tested one hot summer day in 1909 A man named George Went Hensley ventured up White Oak Mountain near
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