||Pretty soon the whole discipleship manual will be on my blog (she says smiling). I am replying to a comment from the previous entry, and the best way to do it is through a few pages from you know who’s Discipleship Manuel (Pastor Don Moore). I have to tell you that I am so very blessed to be sitting under his teaching. He has helped me to grow so much. God is so good to have brought me to Living Word Chapel/ In His Name Ministry. This comes from pages 95 – 97 (long entry, but goooood) But let me tell you that the teachings from Sunday are also good.
Tools of the Trade – Good News and Signs
In Mark 16:15-17, Jesus gives disciples clear instructions on what the Tools of the Trade are: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel(Good News) to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe:” The NIV translation reads, “these signs will accompany those who believe:” In other words, the disciples, the ones that are going to multiply, have two main weapons going for them: Signs and Good News. You tell the Good News, God will confirm it with signs and you will multiply. Signs and Preaching Good News will get the job done.
***You do some believing, and God will do some accompanying.
Jesus goes on to delineate the signs. He says, “In My name, they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 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.” (V 17-18) Is that just the pastor of the church? No! – That’s any and all disciples, any and all believers have these signs – and they have the Good News! TheGood News is Isaiah 61, paraphrased; ‘My God is a good God Who does good things for His children.’ Let’s read beginning with verse 1, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (v. 1-2)
So…the kid is in Sunday school class and he needs prayer. I don’t expect somebody to run up and get an elder. No, I expect the teacher to say, “In the name of Jesus, let’s pray.” If you notice in verse 18, “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.” this is on the natural level as well as the spiritual level. Yes, if a snake bites, for example, the Apostle Paul – a deadly viper bit him (Acts 28), hooked itself right onto him -he shook it off into the fire – then everyone sat back and waited for him to die. And he just went on eating his dinner and then they praised the Lord. A sign. After this, many received the Good News and were saved. In this example, the unbelievers saw a sign, and then Paul preached to them the Good News.
Now that the Old Testament has been fulfilled, you are acceptable to the Father, through Jesus the Christ. Anyone who does not accept Jesus as Truth, will be condemned by God. You have to speak the whole Gospel -there is a Heaven to be gained, but there is also a hell to be shunned. This is the summarized meaning of Isaiah 61:1 & 2.
Now let’s get back to Mark 16, Jesus is talking about deadly poison, natural and spiritual. He’s referring to the fact that we must bless our food to protect us physically and spiritually. I can remember years ago, when I was working at a rehabilitation agency, the Gateway Industries, we used to go to this greasy diner to eat. On one particular day the mayonnaise was bad. At that particular time, I was not in the habit of saying Grace in public. Boy do I wish I had said Grace then, because that rancid mayonnaise, when it hit down in my stomach tow and a half hours later – I felt like I was going to die. I’m telling you, it was painful.
I believe sincerely that since then I have eaten bad food, but I believe, without a doubt, that the Lord has worked many miracles to keep me from getting sick. The Spirit purifies the food or warns us not to ingest it. That’s what He is talking about in the material realm. In Mark 16:18 Jesus tells us, “if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.” This is especially important on the mission field. Prayer in Faith will protect us from bad food or water, and the Spirit gives us wisdom in these matters.
In the spiritual realm, He’s talking about drinking in a bad teaching. You drink in (ingest, listen to, take) some spiritual poison. When Jesus talks about serpents and scorpions, He’s talking about the work of satan, evil demons and their workings. Let’s say some believing Christian says to you, “Here, read this book, it’s really great stuff!” You’re going along, and it’s really, really great, and you get to page 55, and on page 55 it says, “While Jesus was in India, He went into a cave…” (The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ). All of a sudden, Jesus is in some cave with a bunch of women carrying out some hocus-pocus. Deadly poison. But some of the book reads really nice. The book shows Jesus as loving, kind and just a wonderful guy, but not Lord of lords. Wait a minute! Something in your heart, because you’ve got the Holy Ghost, will say, “Wait a minute, there’s something wrong about this book. There’s something not right about this ‘poison.'”
You’re reading something, or you’re sitting in church and somebody gets off of Scripture. They get off into their own opinion, and their opinion is that if you don’t listen to them, you’re going to hell. You’re drinking in that deadly poison and you go, “Huh????” You’re listening to the radio…and some guy says to a woman whose husband divorced her, and he has married someone else, and the radio guy says to her that she can never marry again. Something should go off and say, “Huh??? Why can’t she marry again? If she’s divorced and he’s remarried, why can’t she?” And something should say, “Let me check that out in Scripture.”
And then you go through the Scriptures and you find out that Scripture says that if the unbeliever leaves, or where Jesus said except for marital unfaithfulness – you’re free to marry (I Cor Ch. 7 and Matt. Ch 19) And you say, “That was a deadly poison…I almost drank that in. ‘She can never marry,’ sounded good, had a ring of truth but…! I almost believed that!”That’s what I’m talking about. When Jesus says, “if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them…” He means you!!! Meaning the Holy Spirit in you will bring you out, into the truth. The Spirit and the Word must agree. If adultery and fornication and divorce are sins and all sins, save one, can be forgiven, then 1 Tim. 4:1-3 must be right: “in latter times some will depart from the faith…forbidding to marry.”
You have to believe that you will not get into theological error and stay there. You have to believe that the Holy Spirit will direct you. you have to believe that supernatural signs and power will accompany the Good News. You have to believe that the message itself is supernatural and will produce disciples. Jesus said to teach them “all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:20) – well that’s what we’re going to do, examine what He taught His disciples by example and demonstration.
The debate over signs and wonders is a waste of time. Consider that we believe the preaching of the Word changes people’s hearts, and that being Born Again is a wonder of wonders – Jesus will come to lead our lives and change us. How can we believe that great miracle of being saved and dismiss all others? Strange, Jesus never had anyone pray the sinners’ prayer or did He ever say, “After I leave and the Apostles of the Lamb leave the earth, you can discount all other signs and wonders.” Some things are just too big and important to surmise on the basis of conjecture – we need proof. The proof on the experience side is overwhelming.
Jesus still heals and does signs and wonders today. The only people that are against it and don’t believe it, are those who have never experienced or have denied this experience and disbelieve the testimony of others. In the final analysis:
***If you don’t believe, then signs don’t follow you. Jesus said so.
Due to a spirit of religion people conclude, “I’m a most excellent, good Christian and it never happened to me, so these people are of the devil or deceived.” Jesus never put on a miracle show for a Pharisee then and He still doesn’t now. Jesus said, “And these signs will follow those who believe” (Mark 16:17) He did not say they would follow those who don’t believe and are skeptical. People that say, “I’ll believe it when I see it” are usually wrong. Their skeptical attitude causes them to be skeptical about what they see. Many people see and still do not believe forbelieving is of the heart, not the head.
Lastly, let us look at ignorance of the Law of Faith. Heb. 11:6 “and without faith it is impossible to please God.” ‘ My mother was a good Christian, she prayed and still ain’t healed-so God doesn’t do healing anymore…’ That doesn’t prove God doesn’t heal–but it may prove that some “good Christians” may not have God pleasing Faith. It may prove that God isn’t moved by our goodness, but is moved by our Faith.
How can a supernatural God cease to do the ‘super’? How can a good God cease to do the ultimate good? How can a loving Father not show compassion for 2000 years to His own children? How can a Bible believer believe something that’s so important without one clear scripture to refute Mark 16, Isaiah 53, Acts 10:38, Hebrews 11 and 13, James 5, 2 Peter 2:24; Mark 11:23-24; and all the testimonies of millions who have been healed, seen angels, heard the Spirit Voice, spoken Words of Knowledge and Wisdom, seen great acts of Faith and prayed in Tongues, had Tongues with interpretation, seen visions, been drunk in the Spirit, fallen under the power of God, been delivered from illnesses and addictions, prophesied the future, and lived clean moral lives as good as or better than those who stopped at being Born Again? If God needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Moses needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Mary and Joseph needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Elizabeth and Zacharias needed signs and wonders, we do too. If the 12 ‘sent ones’ needed signs and wonders, we do too. If the 72 ‘sent ones’ needed signs and wonders, we do too. If the 120 at Pentecost needed signs and wonders, we do too. If the 3,000 at Pentecost needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Cornelius the Centurion needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Paul and Silas needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Charles Finney needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Smith Wigglesworth needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Katherine Kuhlmann needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Oral Roberts needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Kenneth Hagin needed signs and wonders, we do too. If Benny Hinn needed signs and wonders, we do too.
If satan is going to counterfeit signs and wonders, then let’s give him some real great stuff to copy – because Jesus said, “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 will he do, because I go to My father”(John 14:12) Don’t let anyone with an argument take this great God given Tool out of the disciple’s Tool Box.
To remove signs and wonders is to leave us helpless against a supernatural
devil, and that was not God’s plan!