Jesus’ Final Week in Jerusalem
Sunday: Triumphal Entry (11:1-11).
Betrayed and Killed (14:27–15:47)
Jesus is Risen!
Sunday and Later (16:1-20).
Jesus’ Resurrection (16:1-8).
Question on Validity of the Following (16:9-20).
First Appearances (16:9-13).
Appearance to Eleven (16:14-18).
Jesus’ Rebuke (16:14).
Jesus’ Commission (16:15-16).
I’m sure many of us have shown this verse to others who didn’t believe in what the Bible says about baptism. What objections have you heard to the necessity of baptism after you’ve shown them this verse?
Of course there is the objection that this wasn’t there initially, that it was added later, so we don’t need to follow it. The answer to that would be (if you accept that it wasn’t there before), that it wasn’t long before it was added and accepted. Someone early on believed it belonged there and believed in the necessity of baptism.
Those who believe it ought to be there might say, “Well, it doesn’t say that if you’re not baptized you will be condemned.” That’s a dishonest argument; they are grasping at straws. What that verse teaches is what you need to do to be saved: believe and be baptized. What do you need to do to be condemned? Don’t believe. If you don’t believe, baptism is irrelevant.
The strongest argument I’ve heard is the one where they compare baptism to a wedding ring. The ring does not determine whether or not you’re married, but it is a symbol of that relationship. “He who makes his wedding vows and puts on this ring will be married, but he who does not make his vows will be single.” What do we think about that argument? What’s wrong with it? Well, the biggest problem with it is that nowhere else in the Scripture is that description made of baptism (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-6; Gal. 3:27; 1 Pet. 3:21). In all those passages, it is clearly for the remission of sins, for washing them away, for getting into Christ and His death so that we might be raised, for putting Him on as a cloak, and for salvation and a good conscience. Somewhere you would think you would find that it was relegated to nothing more than a symbol, but it is not. It is the very point at which our sins are washed away and forgiven. And as long as we continue to walk in Christ, our sins will continually be forgiven!
But it doesn’t stop there. Jesus now talks of the signs following believers.
Signs follow whom?
Well, here in English, it appears that they follow anyone who believes.
Some denominations will take this idea and run with it, saying that if you believe then you will be able to perform miracles.
In vs. 20, it states the purpose of these miracles was to confirm the word, not to offer some kind of performance.
The pronouns are a little difficult to decipher, but based on the context and who Jesus is talking to, we might be able to read it like this: “And these signs will follow those of you who believe,” referring to the Eleven, and perhaps all of the eye-witnesses to the risen Lord.
Since belief is a big problem for them even up to this point, Mark (quoting Jesus) is contrasting the lack of faith that He just rebuked them for in vs. 14 which will be condemned in vs. 16 with the faith that saves in vs. 16.
That saving faith, at least among these disciples, will be necessary for them to be able to perform these miracles.
We can see that throughout the book of Acts later on.
In My name—of course this does not mean anyone who claims to do something in the name of the Lord, but by His authority.
Cast out demons.
Many of the miracles that they performed after this they had also performed before, like casting out demons.
Recall, in the Limited Commission, Jesus had given them this ability via the Holy Spirit (6:13).
But there were some cases that were too tough for them to handle, as in the demon-possessed epileptic child (9:28).
When Jesus had ascended, however, they were able to perform these without difficulty, as in the case of the Apostles (Acts 5:16), Philip the Evangelist (Acts 8:7), and Paul (Acts 19:11-12).
There is no talk of “blasting” to get these demons out, nothing resembling it at all.
This is a practice among some who are nearby.
It’s when people shout and scream at the top of their lungs at you to get the demons out, even to little children and babies.
Anyone who tries to tell you that is a biblical practice is lying to you.
They claim the Bible calls it “hard prayer,” but you’ll note that’s not in the Bible either.
The only result of this barbaric practice is a sore throat and some traumatized people (especially the little children).
Speaking with new tongues.
While many of the miracles that Jesus talks about here they have done before, this one is new.
No one had ever before spoken a foreign tongue that they had not studied, and no one has since the first century.
The fancy word for this is xenoglossia. I use it to distinguish it from the popular practice of glossolalia.
Glossolalia is something that had been done for many years before this time and many still do it today.
It was a practice used by pagan oracles to work themselves into a frenzy to speak nonsense later to be interpreted by their priests as though they were messages from the gods, particularly from Apollo to the Oracle at Delphi (Jividen 42-43, 59-61).
And of course we know of that glossolalia practice today among the charismatic denominations (e.g. Pentecostalism).
The chief difference between xenoglossia and glossolalia is that glossolalia is nonsense, while xenoglossia is not.
This modern glossolalia phenomenon has been studied by linguists, and they conclude out the gate that there is no resemblance whatsoever to any language known or unknown (Samarin 227).
The true miraculous gift of xenoglossia was prophesied 700 years before (Isa. 28:11), fulfilled in the first century (Acts 2:4-11), and prophesied to end not long after that (1 Cor. 13:8-13).
What we have today that people call “speaking in tongues” is a counterfeit, a forgery, a fraud, akin to the experience of the Oracle at Delphi—not what the Apostles had back then.