“And these signs shall
follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall
speak with new tongues; 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.” Mk. 16:17-18.
If a Christian does not cast out devils, speak with new
tongues and heal the sick, it does not mean that they are not saved. It means that they do not believe that God
intended that Christians should cast out devils, speak in tongues and heal the
sick after the first apostles died. That’s
what they have been taught.
There is an on-going controversy among Bible scholars as to
whether the Gospel of Mark ends at verse 8, and whether the author wrote verses
9 to 20. Naturally, most Pentecostals
who do cast out devils and speak with new tongues believe that Mark did indeed write
verses 9 to 20. Denominations and cults that
cannot cast out devils, heal the sick and speak in new tongues believe that
verses 9 to 20 were added centuries later and that the power to do those things
was meant by God to apply only to the first Christians.
This is a very clever deception of the enemy to deprive
Christians of their spiritual power and many famous Bible scholars have long
declared that after the first Christians died,
the church did not have the power to do those things. (I do not believe in the practice of a few
churches of playing around with venomous snakes or drinking poison. Jesus said,
“It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Mt. 4:7.)
A few of those commentaries written and believed in by notable scholars
are as follows:
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
And these signs - These miracles. These evidences that they are sent from
Them that believe - The apostles, and those in the primitive age who were
endowed with like power. This promise was fulfilled if it can be shown that
these signs followed in the case of any who believed, and it is not necessary
to suppose that they would follow in the case of all. The meaning is, that they
would be the result of faith, or of the belief of the gospel. It is true that
they were. These signs were shown in the case of the apostles and early
Christians. The infidel cannot say that the promise has not been fulfilled
unless he can show that this never occurred; the Christian should be satisfied
that the promise was fulfilled if these miracles were ever actually wrought,
though they do not occur now; and the believer now should not expect a miracle
in his case. Miracles were necessary for the establishment of religion in the
world; they are not necessary for its continuance now.
Clarke's Commentary on the
These signs shall follow - Or rather, accompany; this is the proper import
of the original word παρακολουθησει, from παρα with, and ακολουθεω, Ifollow.
Them that believe - The believers, as we express it; i.e. the apostles, and
all those who in those primitive times were endued with miraculous powers, for
the confirmation of the doctrines they preached.
Gill's Exposition of the
And these signs shall follow them that believe,.... Not all of them, but
some; and not always, only for a time; and which were necessary for the
confirmation of the Gospel, and the establishment of Christianity in the world;
and not only believing hearers, but believing ministers of the word, are
chiefly designed; and this is said, for the encouragement both of those that
preach the Gospel, and of them that hear, believe and obey. The Persic version,
contrary to all others, reads, "ye shall show signs and wonders to them
that believe not"; see 1
We note that all of the writers that believed that Mark 16:8 was the last
verse in the Book of Mark, did not themselves cast out devils, speak in new
tongues and heal the sick. Those that
cannot do, contend that no Christian after the original apostles can do those
miracles in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. They have an agenda – to excuse their own
lack of power. Naturally, those that can
cast out devils, speak in new tongues and heal the sick, believe that verses
9-20 are authentic.
In my ministry of deliverance, there were only four times I can recall when
the Holy Spirit did not move and was grieved.
Each time, the group, or part of it, did not believe in the power of the
Holy Spirit. I speak in multiple churches
each trip and sometimes do not know what denominations, churches, or even cults,
were invited to attend. At times, it is
a mixed audience and at other times, churches that do not believe that
Christians can have demons send spies to pray against me and witches sit in the
audience. I’ve even been told that I
cast out devils by the power of the devil.
The deception is very deep and widespread in Christianity as many saints
and church leaders have their head buried in the sand.
Do not be deceived. Seek the power of
the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul did
not write for only the early church; he wrote for all Christians throughout the
centuries (Ro. 8:1-29). The Holy Spirit
is still ministering on earth. He will
fellowship with you and show you truth.
He will convict of sin, righteousness and judgment. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all
truth, show you things to come, and work miracles in your life.
You cannot cast out devils, speak in new tongues and heal the sick unless
you believe that God has given you the Holy Spirit for that purpose.