Mark ends his Gospel with Jesus commissioning the disciples to go into the whole world and let everyone know the good news about Him. The better known version of Jesus’ commissioning comes from Matthew’s Gospel, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations….” But Mark adds that there will be signs that go along with this “going out.”
I’m Pastor Richard from the UK and in October I spent three weeks with TellAsia in north India training 28 young leaders. I taught mostly from the book of Mark and was impressed to realize that all these signs and miracles spoken of in the Bible are actually happening in this part of India! I had some of the students tell us their real life stories from their experience. One of the signs is that the disciples will speak in “new tongues” or languages. And I found in this group that two of them spoke in tongues.
Mark tells of another sign that accompanies the church when it “goes out” into the world. He puts it like this: “When they drink deadly poison it will not hurt them.” One of them shared this testimony: “One man was seeking Jesus and started going regularly to the church meeting. But his wife was angry because she felt he was not being faithful to the traditional idols the family had worshipped all their lives. There were many arguments between them. One morning as the man was preparing to go to church his wife put some poison in his breakfast. He went to church and she thought he would die. Then she was overwhelmed with shame at what she’d done. She started crying for her husband and when neighbours asked what was wrong, she told them everything. The people went to the church and found the husband playing the drums as he usually did, perfectly healthy. Now they are both happily following the Jesus and others in the village have also come to Christ!”
Another sign Mark talks about is “in Jesus name you will drive out demons.” This is a common experience in the church in North India and many of the students had stories to share. But even I, an Englishman, had a story to share! Last Sunday after the church meeting, some people brought a woman who I was told was suffering from a demon. So I prayed for her and spoke to any demon in her to “Go, in the name of Jesus!” She fell on the ground and started rolling over and over. There were many who were asking for prayer so I went on to the next one. Later I asked the pastor what became of the lady. He replied, “Oh, she is completely healed!” He went on to say she had been very troubled and distressed by demons for the past six months, but today seven demons had come out of her! This is the power and authority that believers have when we command evil to go in Jesus’ name.
On graduation Ceremony handing out the Certificates to the participants.
At the end of the three week teaching I gave an exam. All the students completed the course and I was pleased with the test results. Each was commissioned and sent back to the villages to teach and train what they have learned, along with some ministry resources.
I wish to encourage you to pray for and support the work of TellAsia Ministries.
Pastor Richard, UK