13-SIGNS OF BELIEVERS
SIGNS OF BELIEVERS
Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Matthew 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (8) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: freely ye have received, freely give.
Mark 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) 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.
THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH THAT IT IS THE DESIRE OF CHRIST FOR HIS FOLLOWERS TO PERFORM MIRACULOUS DEEDS AS THEY ANNOUNCE THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Mat. 10:1; Mark 3:14-15; 16:17-18; Luke 9:2; 10:17,19; John 14:12).
(1) These signs (Gk. semeion = say-ma-on), performed by true disciples, confirm that the gospel message is genuine, that the kingdom of God has come to earth in power, (see Mat. 12:28), and that the living and risen Jesus is present with His people and working through them (see John 10:25; Acts 10:38).
(2) Every one of these signs (except for drinking poison) occurred in the recorded history of the early church:
(a) speaking with new tongues (see Acts 10:46; 19:6; 1Cor. 12:30; 14; see Acts 2:4);
(b) casting out demons (Acts 5:15-16; 16:18; 19:11-12);
(c) escaping death from snakebites (Acts 28:3-5); and
(d) healing the sick (Acts 3:1-7; 8:7; 9:33-34; 14:8-10; 28:7-8).
(3) These spiritual manifestations are intended to continue within Christ's churches until Jesus returns. The Scriptures never suggest that these signs were restricted to the period immediately following Jesus' ascension (see 1Cor. 1:7; 12:28; Gal. 3:5).
(4) It is clear that the followers of Christ were not only to preach the gospel of the kingdom and bring salvation to those who believe (Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47), but were also to bring in that kingdom, just as Jesus did (Acts 10:38), by casting out demons and healing diseases and sicknesses (see Mat. 12:28).
(5) Jesus indicates in Mark 16:15-20 that these signs are not special gifts for a few, but were to be given to all believers who, in obedience to Christ, witness to the gospel and claim His promises.
(6) The failure of these "signs" to occur in the church today is not the failure of Christ to keep His promises. Failure, Jesus states, lies within the hearts of His followers (see Mat. 17:17).
(7) Christ has promised that His authority, power, and presence will accompany us as we battle the kingdom of Satan (Mat. 28:18-20; Luke 24:47-49). We must liberate people from their captivity by the preaching of the gospel, by living a righteous life (Mat. 6:33; Rom. 6:13; 14:17), and by performing signs and miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit (see Mat. 10:1; Mark 16:16-20; Acts 4:31-33; see Mark 3:27).
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Mail: Pastor Ira L. Hargis
9238 Columbia St.
Sapulpa, Oklahoma USA 74066
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