These Signs Follow Believers

After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus declared that signs would follow those who believed in Him.

MARK 16:17-18 NKJ
17 "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
18 "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Scripture never says these signs would ever stop following believers. If you believe -- they will follow you!

As Jesus said these things, he gave authority to believers to do these things in His Name. For believers to cast out demons, obviously they must have authority over them.

This passage of Scripture speaks of dominion restored to mankind in Christ Jesus. As we go to proclaim the Good News, we have authority over the animal kingdom -- they will not harm us if we walk in our authority. Even deadly plants -- or anything that might try to harm us or stop us -- will not succeed in hindering us.

LUKE 10:19 NKJ
19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Believers have authority over sickness, and demons. We have the right to speak in tongues as the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the utterance, which lifts us above the limitations of our intellect to guide us in what words to speak in prayer.

Another witness is John 14:12 where Jesus said that believers would do the same works He did.

JOHN 14:12 NKJ
12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

Cast Out Demons

ACTS 16:16,18 NKJ
16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out that very hour.

7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

Speak With Tongues

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

ACTS 10:46 NKJ
46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,

6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Remove Snakes

The word translated take up in Mark 16:18, referring to serpents, is the same Greek word translated be removed in Mark 11:23. The meaning is not to play with snakes, but rather to remove them. We find an example of this in the life of the Apostle Paul in Acts 28:5.

ACTS 28:3-6 NKJ
3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live."
5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
6 However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead; but after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

Anything Deadly Will Not Hurt You

2 KINGS 4:38-41 NKJ
38 And Elisha returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Now the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, "Put on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets."
39 So one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lap full of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were.
40 Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, "O man of God, there is death in the pot!" And they could not eat it.
41 So he said, "Then bring some flour." And he put it into the pot, and said, "Serve it to the people, that they may eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot.

It is important to remember that these prophets unknowingly ate something deadly. They were not trying to prove their faith, or impress someone.

This promise is not for those who are trying to tempt God with their foolish actions. It is a promise those who go forth proclaiming the Good News can claim in faith -- whatever is given them to eat or drink will not hurt them.

Sick Will Recover

Instantaneous healings do occur, but not every time. Mark 16:18 does not mention how long recovery will take -- only that they will recover.

ACTS 3:6-7 NKJ
6 Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

ACTS 9:17-18 NKJ
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

ACTS 28:8-9 NKJ
8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.
9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.

If you are a believer -- Jesus said these signs would follow you. Believe!

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