Let’s read Mark 16:14-18, “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 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.”  This event occurred between the time the Lord Jesus died and rose from the dead and the time he ascended to Heaven (read verses 19-20).

There is nothing so destructive to the peace of souls as the effects of unbelief.  Here in Mark 16, the Lord, in love, reprimanded His disciples for their unbelief.  Their unbelief was due to ‘hardness of heart’ rather than lack of evidence of the Lord’s resurrection.  So for their unbelief and the hardness of the hearts, the Lord rebuked them before sending them out into the world.  Indeed, they would need to have all unbelief driven out of their hearts and minds if they were to be witnesses for the Lord.  The directive of the Lord to His disciples is one that is often repeated today, “GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE.”  What a privilege!  What a responsibility!

The commission to the disciples was to preach the Gospel.  SIGNS were given to accompany the Gospel message.  Almost all of these signs were manifested in the Bible.

* IN MY NAME SHALL THEY CAST OUT DEVILS – “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” (Acts 16:18).

* THEY SHALL SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES – “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?” (Acts 2:5-7).

* THEY SHALL TAKE UP SERPENTS – “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.” (Acts 28:3-5).

* IF THEY DRINK ANY DEADLY THING, IT SHALL NOT HURT THEM – No instances in the Bible that show this being done.  I’m sure there were instances, but we have no records of it.

* THEY SHALL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK, AND THEY SHALL RECOVER – “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.” (Acts 3:6-7).

Because the Word of God was not complete, the Lord gave some of His disciples the ability to work miracles and wonders to make it apparent that the message being preached was truly from the Lord. Does that still happen today?  I do not like to try to limit the Lord from doing anything He desires.  He can do what He wishes.  However, the working of miracles does not seem to be needful today since the Bible has been completed.  Today, if we want to verify if a speaker or teacher is speaking accurate truths, we can look it up in our Bibles to see.  Paul the apostle commended the Thessalonicans for that very thing in Acts 17:10-11, “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, whether those things were so.”  Today, while we may not be able to perform the miracles that the first century disciples performed, we can still hear and obey the Lord’s commission to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  (361.6)