These Signs…

 

Mark 16:16-18 (ESV)

16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


Let’s break this down.

Believers:

  1. Will have authority from Jesus to cast out demons
  2. Will speak in new languages
  3. If they pick up a snake, they will be miraculously protected.
  4. If they are poisoned, it won’t hurt them.
  5. When they lay hands on the sick to pray, the sick person will be healed.

 

If you read these 3 verses in context, you will find that they are spoken by Jesus after He gives the Great Commission and just before He ascends to Heaven. The context is important as usual. It tells us:

  1. The signs in verse 17 and 18 were meant to be used by the disciples to determine who was a believer and who wasn’t after they taught them about Jesus.
  2. It was one of the very last things Jesus had said before He left the disciples in charge. So, it should not be skimmed over. If I said, “Hey, one last thing before I’m gone for a long time…”, it is probably pretty important.

In my last post, I mentioned that many Christians do not think that speaking in tongues is something for today. However, Jesus says that it is one of the signs that will determine if a person is a believer or not. We have no record of new signs being given by Jesus for the future believers. Remember, He ascended to Heaven right after He said this.

Hold on a sec… there are five signs, right?

Some people go way overboard and think that you need to check all 5 of these things off your list or you will not be a true believer. Before you drink some poisonous Kool-Aide, let me help you.

Four of these signs are conditional, and one is not:

  1. Will have authority from Jesus to cast out demons
    >>Only if you encounter a demon possessed person.
  2. Will speak in new languages
    >>No conditions.
  3. If they pick up a snake they will be miraculously protected.
    >>Only if you get bitten by a snake.
  4. If they are poisoned, it won’t hurt them.
    >>Only if you get poisoned.
  5. When they lay hands on the sick to pray, the sick person will be healed.
    >>Only if you encounter sick people.

You shouldn’t go looking to pick up snakes and drink poison, but if you see someone survive a deadly snakebite (Like Paul did in Acts 28:1-6), then that person is a believer.

Speaking in tongues is a sign of a true believer without any conditions. Verse 17 says “they (believers) will (not might) speak in new tongues.” It is the sign that is given to signify that the Spirit of God is now dwelling inside a person. I’ll show this connection in another article, but just know that a church with people who are genuinely filled with God’s Spirit, is markedly different than one that is not. You can feel the difference when you walk into the worship service.

When God’s Spirit filled me for the first time, I spoke in a language that I didn’t know. It was a supernatural experience that can only be understood by experiencing it yourself. If you want this experience, let me know. If you have doubts about whether God exists, this experience will remove all doubts.

Don’t forget to like and share this article with your Facebook friends, and visit my page at Facebook/1TruthBlog.

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