These Signs Shall Follow
John G. Lake
Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe.” Not the doubter, but them that believe in the Name, the Name of Jesus. “They shall 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.” Some asks: “What does it mean to cast out devils?” It means that the man with the Holy Ghost dwelling in him is the master, and has dominion over every devilish force and counterfeit. At Johannesburg, some said: “Your power is hypnotism.” One night God demonstrated through us the falsity of that accusation. The power that is within the true Christian is the power of the Living Christ, and “Greater is he that is within you, than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4.
I can best illustrate by introducing an incident in my own personal ministry.
In Johannesburg Tabernacle, at a Sunday service about a year ago, God instantly healed a lame girl. She came from Germiston. She had been suffering for three and a half years from what doctors said was either an extreme case of rheumatism, or the first stage of hip disease. She was not able to get up the steps without assistance, when she came to the platform to be prayed for. They asked her: “How long have you been sick?” She said, “For three and a half years.” Have the doctors treated you?” “Yes; for two and a half years, and then they gave me up.” “Who has been treating you for the last years?” “A hypnotist.”
Just then a well-known hypnotist arose in the audience, moved forward and took a front seat. The Leader said, “Never mind the hypnotist, Jesus I going to heal you right now. In two minutes you will be well.” They laid hands on her and prayed, and instantly the Lord delivered her, and she walked up and down the platform several time to demonstrate to herself and the audience that she was well.
I stepped back and looked at her, my heart going out in praise to God for His mercy, when suddenly the Spirit of the Lord descended upon me in power, not in any gentle influence, but with a mighty intense power, a spirit of revulsion against the spirit of the hypnotist. I stepped on the platform directly in front of him and said, “Are you the man who has been hypnotizing this woman?” He replied, “Yes, I am.” He rose to his feet and looked toward me in a challenging attitude. I said to him, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, you will never hypnotize anybody again.” And before I realized what I was doing, I reached over the front of the platform, grasped his collar with my left hand, while with my right I slapped him on the back, saying “In the Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, you come out of him.” He laughed at me and said, “Do you mean to tell me that I cannot hypnotize anybody?” I said, “Yes, sir, that is the end of that thing. The devil that caused you to hypnotize people is out.”
He worked all night in an endeavor to hypnotize some subject, and in the morning at six came to my house saying, “This is a mighty serious business, mister, this is my bread and butter.” He wanted me to give him back the power to hypnotize. I explained to him that it was not I but Jesus who cast out the devil. I added, “Brother, it looks to me as if the Lord wanted you to earn an honest living.”
He cancelled his engagement at the theater where he was billed to give exhibitions, and the last hear of he was working in a mine and earning an honest living. That demonstrated that there is a mighty manifestation of the Spirit of God that has dominion over every other power. It is still true that in His Name we shall cast out devils.
This afternoon I heard a brother ask, “What about ‘they shall take up serpents’?” Let me tell you a story. Brother Fisher of Los Angeles, California, told me this incident in his own life. He was a Baptist minister at Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles. He is now associated with Brother George B. Studd in “The Upper Room Mission.”
Brother Fisher said, “One morning my wife called up on the telephone and said the water pipe beneath the house was broken. I went home about ten in the morning. I opened the little door in the basement of the house and on putting my hand in to feel for the pipe, I was bitten by a serpent. At once I commenced to swell. The poison worked into my body fast. What was I to do? I said, “God, your Word says, “They shall take up serpents.” I trust you for this and you must heal me or I’ll die.” That afternoon my blood was so congealed I was well nigh insensible. Oh, I shall never forget that sense of death creeping over me, steadily, surely until three in the morning. I could pray no more. I ceased to struggle, I fell to the floor; and that instant God healed me. The life of God thrilled through my body, and I was healed.” It is true, “They shall take up serpents.”
You ask, what about, “If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them?”
History abounds in instances where the early Christians were compelled to drink the juice of the deadly hemlock; but through faith in Jesus one of the deadliest of poisons became harmless as water.
According to your faith be it unto you. My own sister’s son, Fred Foffat, when a child, entered his father’s workshop, and ate some paris green. My sister and brother-in-law sent for me. I quoted the words of our Savior, “And if they drink any deadly thin, it shall not hurt them.” Upon this precious promise of God we rested and Jesus healed the child.
In spite of the clear, convincing testimony of the Scriptures, and the ever accumulating cloud of witnesses, who testify of healing received through faith in Jesus, many preachers and teachers are still blindly rejecting the truth to their own final discomfiture and undoing.
Divine healing is the seal of God’s acknowledgment, the proof to the world that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. John the Baptist was in prison. He was troubled with doubt, as to whether Jesus was the Christ. He sent two of his disciples to Jesus to put the question, “Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?” His answer was to appeal to the signs of his ministry. These were and still are God’s answer to doubt and unbelief: “God and show John again these things which ye do hear and see, The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Matthew 11:3-6.
These are still god’s seal and endorsement of the preaching of the true Gospel. The preaching that lacks the signs which Jesus promised lacks Divine att4estation, by which God confirms the preaching of His own true Gospel. The result now as then should be, “And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with the signs following.” Mark 16:20.