They Shall Take Up Serpents
17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They 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.
My maternal grandmother lived on Sand Mountain in Georgia. I am told that she was Church of God by faith. The facts are not clear but she somehow found herself visiting a church that practiced the handling of snakes as a part of their worship service. During the service she said that the Spirit of God came over her and a cold feeling spread from her elbows to the tips of her fingers. She found herself handling a snake.
A friend that came with her to the service also walked up and took a snake. She was bitten and my grandmother knew it but it took little while for her friend to confess to this. When she did she rolled up her sleeve to reveal the poison. It was already creeping up her arm. The congregation surrounded her laying their hands on her as they prayed. The poison then seemed to recede and disappear from her arm.
My grandmother then had a dream that certain members of her church would come to her house to pay a visit and expel her for taking part in the services of another church. This was hurtful because many of the members of the church were also kin. The dream came to pass just as she dreamed it down to every detail. The words that were said and the people who spoke them. They may or may not have given her the choice to remain if she swore never to take part in such acts again but the damage was done.
This stirred soul seeking in my grandmother who began to fast for insight and guidance. My aunt said she was in the kitchen and turned to look at her and said, “I gotta go.”. She swayed and passed out. My aunt feared her to be dead. As she was unconscious she had a vision of the heavens opening up and many golden snakes falling and draping themselves in her open arms.