Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Signs of a Believer

Scripture: Mark 16 v 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."

Acts 28 v 3-6: "And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.  And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.  Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god."

What makes a disciple, or follower, of Jesus Christ different from a churchgoer? Firstly, they know that they are part of the living church, the body of Jesus, rather than being a member of a local church denomination, going to church every Sunday. As Jesus said Any two or three gathered in My name, I am in the midst of them. That is church. (Matthew 18 v 20). So church is not a building you visit, it is who you are and Who you are a living part of.

The signs that follow a believer are that nothing poisonous, deadly, no scorpions, snakes or spider bites will kill you. Should not even cause pain. Like Paul in the verses above.  He is a New Creation, of whom Jesus was the firstborn.  New rules apply!  For those who walk in the Spirit and follow Jesus, the experience of life is vastly different to this world.

An evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, on a mission in Zimbabwe, preached fiery sermons against witchcraft, raised the anger of local witchdoctors who hurled live poisonous snakes at him while he was preaching. He never blinked, just carried on preaching. The evil witchdoctors all got saved. Burned their medicine and fetishes in the meeting. They had found a God who was more powerful than Satan and demons. 

Believers speak in new tongues. They get a heavenly language that edifies them daily. It is a great blessing.  Tongues are a hotline to Heaven that bring an answer from Heaven that satisfies the need. They lay hands on the sick and they get well. The more you give out the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, the more abundantly the gifts of healing flow. It is God at work changing, healing, delivering people from sin and demonic oppression.  The deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk, the dead are raised, troubled minds are made sound again and gay people can be made straight. 

God never created a people He would condemn so what happened that they got twisted out of shape?  They were tampered with by Satan, and were easy to lure into a lifestyle that changed God's natural order into that which is unnatural. Jesus died to set them free and give them an opportunity to overcome the enemy if they so desire.

The signs follow believers, they leave a legacy of good things behind them as mentioned in John 3 v 8: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

Prayer: Heavenly Father let my light so shine with Your grace that Your signs shall follow me as Jesus in me continues His ministry.  Let Him use me to reach the lost, the forgotten, the lonely and the fearful to show them the truth and bring them into His Body.  In Jesus' name. Amen.