Wrested Scriptures


British Israel
of Christ
  Mark 16:17-18
  Romans 5:6,8
  1 Cor. 14:2


Carbon Dating

& Inaccuracies

Mark 16:17,18
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"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues; 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."
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These verses are quoted by Pentecostals in support of their belief that the Holy Spirit gifts operate within the Pentecostal movement. Testimonies of "divine" healing are cited in proof of the existence of the gift of healing. Individuals said to possess this gift are sometimes referred to as "faith healers".
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  1. God has (and still can if He wishes) answered the prayer of faith to heal the sick. What is not evidenced, is proof that Spirit-gift possession (e.g., the gift of healing, 1 Cor. 12:9) is available today. The Mark 16 passage states that the following signs would accompany those who believed:
    • demons could be cast out
    • believers could speak with new tongues
    • serpents could be taken up without hurt
    • deadly poison could be taken without hurt
    • hands could be laid on the sick for their recovery

    What is required is proof that the gift of healing can be demonstrated by these signs.

  2. To deny the present day existence of the Spirit gifts is not to deny that cures are effected at faith-healing meetings. Given sufficient mental excitement "miraculous" cures are not impossible, but this is not evidence of God's intervention, but rather to the "faith" of the patient. Roman Catholics and Pentecostals, with mutually antagonistic teaching, both claim miraculous hearings,1 and both have admitted that some "miracles" claimed divine are, in effect, not so. This is a significant admission. Recourse to divine healing is not needed to explain all claims.2
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  3. Pentecostals often catalogue testimonies of paralytics, the deaf, and drunkards as indications of the curative powers of the "Holy Ghost". The following comments by a medical doctor indicate that such examples are not proof of divine healing:

    "Diseases may be divided into three classes: first, those which are entirely mental; second, those which are physical but tend to cure themselves; third, those which are physical but do not tend to cure themselves. Eighty to ninety per cent of all diseases belong to the first two classes. A man with a paralysis of his leg of mental origin, [or] with a head cold . . . gets well under the attention of a faith healer, a chiropractor, or even by taking patent medicine, and all but the paralytic will get well if nothing were done. On the other hand, such diseases as diphtheria, malaria, syphilis, cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, and pernicious anemia do not get well with faith healing, chiropractic treatment, or psychoanalysis . . . Under the ministrations of a faith healer these patients would die. But even if they did, the faith healer's result would be still 80 or 90 per cent effective."3

    "None of the parts of the body is superlative or independent; they are all dependent and correlated. Each organ of the body when disordered manifests a characteristic disturbance, and this disturbance involves all of the parts of the body which are dependent upon the functioning of that organ . . . 4 The basis of faith healing lies in the influence of the mind on the activity of the body. The mind is a function of the brain and through the brain is a constant communication with every part of the body by means of the nerves which extend to and from the brain. The activity of every organ of the body is controlled by the nervous system." 5

    "Paralysis of a limb and lameness are common symptoms of hysteria; the limb may be drawn up in a deforming contraction, or palsied. Persons with hysteria may become mute or blind, their sensations may be perverted, they may vomit obstinately or lose their appetite and waste away. Hysterical women may believe themselves pregnant and show all the signs of that condition, suppression of the menses, colostrum in the breast, morning sickness, and swelling of the abdomen. This may continue until the time for delivery has long passed and their minds have turned to some other manifestation." 6

    "Not all men and women who have responded to faith cures are hysterical. There are numerous cases of bedridden invalids crippled by rheumatism and unable for years to put a foot on the ground, who nevertheless under some great stress, such as the house burning down around them, have shown remarkable returns of activity. The rheumatism which had crippled them had been real in the beginning, but during a long illness they had got into the habit of believing themselves crippled even after they were well. They had lost confidence in themselves."7

  4. Apparently "miraculous" results have been reported without the patients affirming belief in God. Some warts may be "charmed away" by pretending to pass under a ray, or simply suggesting to the patient that they will go away.
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  5. Even in the time of the apostles, some who failed to understand the truth in Jesus Christ, did not hesitate to falsely claim miraculous powers in his name: "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name 'of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth." (Acts 19:13). Warning that such would be the case is explicitly indicated in the following references:
    1. Jesus - "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23). - "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt. 24:24).
    2. John - "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 Jn. 4:1).
    3. Paul - "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come . . . But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (2 Tim. 3:1,13).8
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  6. Modem "faith-healers" cannot tell which of their patients will be healed and which will not. The miracles of the Lord Jesus and the Apostles were not apparently subject to any such doubt.
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  7. This passage in Mark indicates that God confirmed the Word with signs. Today, the Word is complete and has been such since the completion of the New Testament. Spirit gifts such as healing have, therefore, been withdrawn, as Paul said they would (1 Cor. 13:8-12), and now the believer walks by faith in the perfected Word of God.


  1. The curative powers of relics has been exploited to great profits by the Roman Church. The sick, who were benefited at the church, made payments, and in some cases great fortunes were amassed from these donations. Relics have included the following: wood of the "cross" (if the pieces scattered throughout Europe were collected there would be enough wood for many crosses); tears of the Saviour, the Virgin Mary, and Peter (allegedly brought back from the Holy Land centuries after their deaths); the blood of Jesus; one monastery in Jerusalem even offered for sale what was represented, to the gullible, as the finger of the "Holy Ghost", and another monastery claimed to have a feather from the same source; in the twelfth century the shrine at Cologne claimed to have obtained the skulls of the wise men of the East. See Howard W. Haggard, M.D., Devils, Drugs, & Doctors: The Story of the Science of Healing from Medicine-Man to Doctor, (New York: Pocket Books, Inc., 1959), pp. 313-314. Relics have been effective in "curing" certain ailments even when it is known that the relics are counterfeit. For example the bones of "St." Rosalia, preserved in Palermo, Italy (a source of income for the Roman Church and town) have for many centuries been found effective in curing diseases; but when examined by an anatomist, turned out to be goat bones. See Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science, (Oxford: University Press, 1947), p .83. Return
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  2. Many members of Pentecostal Churches claim "divine healing", but almost always these are obscure and self-diagnosed complaints such as "pains in the back", "stomach trouble" and "headaches". Others, often with better defined illnesses, ascribe their cure to divine intervention, even though they have received medical treatment, or even been in hospital. Large numbers of congregations offer testimony to confirm that God answers the prayers of the sick, but in practice they do not hesitate to seek medical care when seriously troubled. Return
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  3. Howard W. Haggard, M.D., Devils, Drugs & Doctors: The Story of the Science of Healing from Medicine-Man to Doctor, (Pocket Books, Inc., New York, 1959), p. 305, 306. Return
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  4. Ibid., p. 304. Return
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  5. Ibid., p. 296. Return
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  6. Ibid., p. 300. Return
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  7. Ibid., p. 301. Return
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  8. Some rather sensational claims are made in Pentecostal publications. In an article, "They Let God Be Their Dentist!" A. A. Allen reports the testimonies of six persons who allegedly had their teeth miraculously filled: "God filled four teeth for Beulah Clark as she sat in the audience", the article states, and "James drove all night in faith that God would do the work. He did! God filled three teeth." Miracle Magazine, 14, No. 9, (June, 1969), p. 6. Only in small print in Allen's Miracle Magazine can a reader find the careful demurrer: " . . . A. A. Allen Revivals, Inc. and 'Miracle Magazine' assume no legal responsibility for the veracity of any such report, nor do they accept responsibility as to the degree of permanency of reported hearings, deliverances or miracles . . . " Ibid., p. 3. Return