These Signs Shall Follow Them
by Ronald W Robey

Many in the Pentecostal/Charismatic faith teach that

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”

…means that every single Believer in Christ Jesus MUST speak in tongues, or they clearly have not been filled with the Spirit of God.

My contention is that if Mark 16:17 means that every single Believer in Christ Jesus MUST speak in tongues, then likewise every single Believer in Christ Jesus MUST also pick up venomous serpents as Mark 16:18 clearly states.

“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.”

In the same vein, Jesus said “They (those that Believe) SHALL lay hands on the sick; and they (the sick) shall recover.

The word “sick” in Mark 16:18 is translated from the Greek “arrhostos”. (pronounced ar’-hroce-tos) It is speaking of those that are on their deathbeds. It is not the same word that is used in James 5:14.

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:”

The word “sick” in the above verse is translated from the Greek “astheneo”. (pronounced as-then-eh’-o) It means “to be feeble; weak”.

James is speaking of an illness that is not “life-threatening,” while Jesus, in Mark 16:18 is speaking of a life-threatening sickness.

Just as Jesus said those that Believe SHALL speak with new tongues; just as Jesus said those that Believe SHALL pick up serpents; Jesus also said those that Believe SHALL lay hands on those with life-threatening sicknesses, and the sick SHALL recover. He did not say the sick “might recover,” He said “WILL recover”

Since those in the Pentecostal/Charismatic faith use Mark 16:17’s “they shall speak with new tongues” as a litmus test to tell whether a person is “Spirit-filled” or not, shouldn’t “they shall lay hands on the sick” (those on their deathbeds; and they shall recover” also be a “litmus test for them?

After all, Jesus said, “They shall,” did He not?

Question: How many in the Pentecostal/Charismatic faith who use Mark 16:17 as a litmus test to tell whether someone is “Spirit-filled” or not, have laid hands on loved ones on deathbeds and seen them recover from their life-threatening illness? If there is any number of such people, I guarantee it is very low.

Fact is, pastors of all denominations may have prayed for one on a deathbed, with that sick person still succumbing to their infirmity. This does not prove that the pastor is not saved. Nor does it prove that he is not “Spirit-filled.”

The fact that many with deadly illnesses or diseases still die even though they were prayed for, proves

Jesus was not saying every Believer would speak in tongues; He was not saying that every Believer would cast out devils; He was not saying that every Believer would pick up serpents; He was not saying every Believer would heal someone on the deathbed.

He was simply saying these signs would be among Believers, not that every Believer would do these things.

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