Let us continue on Reply # 55 where I left off.
lets continue our study 2 more verses into Mark 16 : 17 and 18...."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.
Context of any discourse is needed to fully grasp the meaning of the speaker(s).
Before I address Acts 2:38,39 let us not leave here until we leave it with the understanding of what is being taught to us by Jesus himself. These words spoke by our Lord in verses 17,18 where true and happened
before the Promised of the Spirit that came on the day Pentecost~fifty days after Jesus' death and
What we need to accept is that no one can privately interpret the Scriptures, as Scripture is not subject to private interpretations
. It is its own interpreter
. Through our trust
in comparing the word of God with itself, it actually explains itself.
Our duty is to teach our brothers and sisters how to do this. How could man dare to think that he of himself could figure out or define what the mind of God actually intended or what a passage truly means, without yielding to what God had divinely incorporated in the Bible precisely for that purpose?
Man can't even understand the simple things of life, for all have their different opinions on just about everything under heaven and each generation thinks they can improve on the one before them, so without God's inspired text, how could he understand the mind of God? It is only by being spiritual, being led by 'the Spirit of God' through the careful reading and receiving what He Himself has inspired written, do we find the mind of Christ (1st Corinthians 2:15-16
) to understand. Through His Spirit is the truth revealed that the Bible is its own dictionary, its own interpreter, and its own witness to its truth
. It defines itself, it interprets itself, and by the Holy Spirit, it witnesses to its own agreement, validity, and meaning. In plain language, only what came out of God's mouth can define what God's word means. And it does that by the Spirit working within us as we search through His word. Seeking the truth is in 'receiving' all of what scripture says in the light of itself. It is in comparing scripture with scripture and finding what is in harmony and thus reconciling all that might appear in opposition. For the most basic rule of sound Biblical hermeneutics is that "no scripture contradicts itself, nor can it be privately interpreted."
The scriptures can only be our "authority" if we allow it to define itself and interpret itself. If we attempt to define or interpret it ourselves, we will inevitably come to our own personal and erroneous conclusions~like so many do.
There is more in the Bible that can be learned in one lifetime, but it is not as complicated or as hard to discern as some would have you believe
. God didn't inspire the Bible written simply for Rhodes scholar, He inspired it written for all of us. His simple unlearned believers compared to the world's wisdom and mighty men among them. So then, as we look at the words in the 16th chapter of Mark, let us remember that the Bible alone is the ultimate 'authority' in interpretation
. Thus let us allow it to tell us what God is really teaching, and how we are to understand it as signs to all those who believe~and may the Lord who is Gracious above all, guide us all into His marvelous and glorious truths.
Mark 16:15-18~"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 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."
It is in this context
that Christ says in the next verse that 'and these signs shall follow them that believe.' In other words, these are the things which are expected to be seen in believers when they live and preach the gospel: (1.) Those who believe will cast out devils in In Christ's name. (2.) They will speak with new tongues/languages. (3.) They shall take up serpents. (4.) There will be no deadly drink that can hurt them. (5.) They will lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover."In my name they shall cast out devils,"~
Read Luke 10:17-20~"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."They shall take up serpents."~
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy
:"There will be no deadly drink that can hurt them."
shall by any means hurt you. As it was in our Lord's day and even in the OT these things has ALWAYS followed them that believe. Whatever happened literally in the OT it happens spiritually over and over again even in our own day. We all have drunk deadly poison, by believing and receiving lies of Satan, yet we LIVE to tell about it and warn others of the danger of drinking (receiving and believing) false doctrines! Daniel was cast into the lion's den and came out UNharmed. Spiritually so was Paul:
2nd Timothy 4:17~"Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
When we speak on the behalf of Christ we are always dealing with some of the most venomous snakes in the world and they do not go on their bellies but on two feet! Mark 16:17,18 has always been true of God's Children ALL these signs follow them that believe. Do we have the power to heal people? Absolutely. Spiritual sickness is SO MUCH WORST than physical sickness, and by our faithful preaching and teaching the scriptures our words have THAT POWER to convert and heal spiritual sickness! Do we all speak with a new tongue? Yes, indeed we do! Our speech is now season with salt, words of kindness, words of praise for our God, etc. Complaining, bitterness, hatred, cursing, boasting, etc. should never once be named among us, we now speech with a new tongue! Our speech should identify us with the household of faith, not with the world~and IT WILL.
Now I said these things because I know where you were taking me to next so that we can better understand Mark 16:17,18 before we look at Acts 2:38,39 really two different subject under consideration.
Before leaving, let me add a couple of things~So many people minds get going into the wrong direction when they read of the signs following believers, all they can think of is LITERALLY and do not make the spiritual connection that Jesus was truly speaking of. ONLY proving that they do not have the mind of Christ, but are using their carnal mind to think with. That's not good and can only lead one to drink the deadly poison that's waiting for him. ALL
these promises are for all of God's people, past, present and further. The Spirit of God enables us to know these things. Now to Acts 2:38,39.....