[Romans 12: 3] [Mark 16: 16-20]
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.  “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”  So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.][And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today’s reading passage Mark 16:16-18 says, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Have you believed in the Lord and been baptized? Then, do signs of those who believe in the Lord follow you?
God’s word is the absolute truth, without any error. Then, if signs of the believers do not follow even though you believe in the Lord, what is the reason?
I am sure you who have been listening to the sermons on “Measure of Faith” already know the answer. It’s because the measure of faith of each one is different. The faith of those who have believed and been baptized in verse 16 is the faith of the first level of faith, while the faith by which signs are accompanied is at least the fourth level of faith, and to show all these signs completely, one has to be at the fifth level of faith.
God wants His children to not only believe and receive salvation but also have great faith like this. Wouldn’t it be better for you to have great faith in your Christian life so that you will receive blessings in all walks of your life and work for God as much as you want?
Then, you will be able to save numerous souls and give glory to God so much on this earth, and in the heavenly kingdom, you will be able to go to more glorious dwelling places near the throne of God.
This is the 24th session of the “Measure of Faith”, and I will continue to explain to you about the fifth level of faith. Through this message, I hope God’s great strength will come down on you.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be able to show the works of the living God and give glory to Him greatly.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the fifth level of faith is the faith to please God, and the first characteristic is to obey God’s will completely, even to the point of death. It’s not just to say ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ unconditionally but to understand the heart and will of the Father God and do the things the way God likes it the most.
That’s why you can please God at the fifth level of faith. The second characteristic of the fifth level of faith is that one can manifest signs and wonders by accumulating a great amount of prayer. Prayer is the breath of our spirit.
We can understand the will of God, overcome the world, and receive the strength to act by the will of God only when we pray.
But at the first and the second levels of faith, you mainly pray for yourself. You usually ask for the blessings in your workplace, your family, and in finance and sometimes for your sicknesses, and even for those things you cannot pray for a long time.
But as your faith grows, you will pray for the kingdom and righteousness of God, and the time of your prayer will become longer. Of course, even when you pray for the kingdom and righteousness of God, if you do not pray with all your heart within the fullness of the Holy Spirit, just following the main prayer titles given, you cannot pray for a long time.
But if you pray with your whole heart, you will pray in detail as if the things are about yourself, and if you do that, you can pray even for the whole night having things to pray for continually.
As is the case with the fourth level of faith, if you go into the fifth level of faith, you don’t have many things to pray for yourself. Because God answers to your heart’s desires even before you ask, whether it is finance or health or anything, you won’t have to pray for your personal matters.
Also, because you will have already cast off sins and evil from your heart, you don’t have to pray to become sanctified either. So, now, you can pray only to save more souls and to enlarge the kingdom of God more.
You don’t lack anything because you receive the blessings of God, but because you love God so much, and you have burning heart for the dying souls, you cannot rest comfortably.
So, you don’t look after yourself but devote yourself for the souls and pray for them. When they pray in other tongues, if you hear the interpretation, they don’t pray for themselves but only for the kingdom of God.
Now, as you pray for the kingdom of God, you feel to a great extent that you have to receive spiritual power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 says, “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.” Accomplishing the kingdom of God is spiritual battle against evil spirits that try to take souls to the way of death.
This battle cannot be won with man’s wisdom, experience, or power. That’s why, in order to save many souls and enlarge the kingdom of God, we come to seek spiritual power.
For example, when we preach the gospel and care for the souls, beginning with bringing them to the church to the time when they have faith of their own and lead their Christian life on their own, all the steps cannot be done with human strength.
No matter how hard you try with your effort you cannot do it without God-given strength, the outcome will be like a sand-castle.
You preached the gospel to many souls and brought them to church, yet many of them leave the church. Also, you try to bring them back to the church with so much effort and then they seem to attend church for a while, but soon they go back to the world again.
That’s why, even though you work very hard for God’s kingdom, we say your faithfulness will be fleshly faithfulness if you work for God without praying. Of course, whether your power is great or not, you still have to try your best with all your time, effort, and money.
At the same time, the new-believer or the person with weak faith will be changed and come to have faith only when the power of God comes on you.
If you receive little power from God, you have to try so much just to evangelize only a couple of people, but as you receive greater power from God, you can even evangelize dozens of people easily.
When those who have not received God’s power visit a certain person even ten times, he may not change. But if a man with God’s power visits him, he will soon repent, and as he visits him a couple more times, his faith will grow very quickly.
Thus, when you preach the gospel and care for souls, you deeply feel that man’s ways and strength have limitations, and as much as you have the passion for saving souls, you will ask for God’s strength.
Just by looking at the process of our church accomplishing the world mission, we can feel how important it is to have God’s power. John 4:48 says, “So Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.”
Here ‘signs’ is the manifestation of God’s power going beyond the limitations of men. We read in the Bible about many signs such as reviving people who have died, and healing the infirmities and sicknesses by the power of God.
These signs were performed also in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament. They were performed by the power of the Holy Spirit. A ‘wonder’ is to change the weather conditions.
For example, through prayer one can manifest such works as bringing down hail, stopping a storm, and even stopping the sun and moon from moving.
When people witness these signs and wonders, and experience the evidences of the living God, many unbelievers change their minds and accept the Lord. That’s why if you go into the fourth and the fifth level of faith, you pray more to receive greater power from God.
But you cannot receive God’s power and manifest spiritual works on this earth just by your passion.
First, you must have a sanctified heart, and on the base of that sanctified heart, you have to accumulate a great amount of prayers in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that is pleasing to God.
At the first or the second level of faith, where you are not sanctified, the aroma of your prayer is very weak even though you may pray very hard. Also, until you can catch the line of prayer, namely, until you can pray really fervently before God, you have spiritual struggles.
So, even though you may sit and pray for a long time, not all the prayers are accumulated before God. But when you pray having fifth level of faith, your prayer will be offered as thick and beautiful aroma from the beginning. Because you are full of the Holy Spirit all the time, you don’t have to struggle to catch the line of prayer, and whenever you begin to pray, your prayers will be offered as thick aroma immediately.
Also, because you pray with the heart that resembles God, you have goodness and truthfulness overflowing in your prayer. All the contents of your prayer will be pleasing aromas to God and will shake the throne of God.
If you pray like this, you won’t get tired even though you pray for a long time. But rather, you will be full of the Holy Spirit more and more as you pray more.
When you accumulate this kind of prayer with inspiration day by day, you will finally receive God’s power. One of the examples shown by this power is the ‘signs that accompany those who believe’ written in today’s passage.
Today’s passage Mark 16:17-18 says, “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
There are many other works manifested by the power of God, but in this passage, five of them are mentioned as examples.
Now, let us look into the spiritual meanings of each of these signs. First, it’s said they will drive out demons in the name of the Lord. Today, many people think demons do not exist, but the Bible clearly tells us about the existence of demons.
Jesus healed those who were demon-possessed, and even Jesus’ disciples and the apostle Paul drove out demons. Even today, there are people who are suffering from evil spirits, and in this case, it is impossible to cure them medically.
John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” As said, because we have received the right of the children of God, we should be able to drive out the power of darkness and demons.
But while your faith is weak, you don’t have the strength to do it, and in some cases, you are afraid of evil spirits. But when light comes, the darkness will certainly disappear.
Spiritually, to the extent that you live in the word of God, you can control the evil spirits and drive them out.
If you go into the fifth level of faith and dwell in the light, you will not only drive away demons in the name of the Lord but also when you preach the gospel and care for other souls, the enemy devil and Satan cannot work on you. Therefore, the people to whom you are preaching the gospel will open their mind more easily and experience God’s grace through the power of your word.
Furthermore, they can receive the strength to struggle to cast off the untruth and to act by the word. But you should remember one thing. Even though one at the fifth level of faith commands, it’s not that all demons will leave unconditionally.
For example, some people or their family members or ancestors worship or worshipped idols so much and piled up so much evil that they don’t even know any truth and they have no faith.
If these people are demon-possessed in this kind of situation, the demons will not easily leave even though a person at the fifth level of faith prays for them. Or, even though some people are not fully possessed by demons, they receive disturbing works from demons.
The enemy devil and Satan work on them so that they won’t believe in God. The devil also disturbs their children who are believers not to worship or pray to God properly by giving them sleepiness, idle-thoughts, and doubts in their minds.
If people are demon-possessed in this kind of case, they first have to demolish the wall of sin that has been built. If the demon-possessed person has no consciousness of his own and thus cannot repent, his family members should lead a life in faith and ask for God’s mercy on behalf of him.
If they try their best to keep the word of God in their heart and pray to dwell in the light, finally darkness will depart from their family and demons will go away, too.
Next, there is another case where demons will not go away even though men of God’s power command them. It is when the demon-possessed person disappointed God so much being a believer. This is the case when they commit sins that are those standing against God and therefore, these sins cannot be forgiven.
1 John 5:16 says, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.”
Sins leading to death include standing against, speaking against, and blaspheming the Holy Spirit or willfully committing sins knowing the truth, and corrupting again after experiencing the word and power of God, crucifying the Lord all over again.
Namely, when believers in God see the signs and wonders that are manifested by the Holy Spirit, if they condemn and stand against these works saying they are works of Satan or they are acts of heresy, God will finally turn His face away from them so that they may face disasters or become demon-possessed.
Also, having faith in God, if you continue to commit the works of the flesh and indulge yourself in the world, the same consequences will follow. In these cases, even though a very powerful man of God prays for them, their problems cannot be solved unless they first tear down their wall of sin.
But except in these special cases, when a man who has received power from the Lord commands, the demons will go away trembling with fear.
The second sign of those who believe is to speak in new tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:15 says, “What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.”
To pray with the mind is to ask for the things that we want with our heart, and to pray with spirit is to pray in other tongues. Praying in other tongues will be given as a gift when we pray within the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
When we pray in other tongue, we cannot understand the contents of the prayer immediately, and even the enemy devil and Satan cannot understand it either.
It’s just that if the person who is praying receives the fullness of the Holy Spirit, he will understand what he is praying for to some extent, and if you receive the gift of the interpretation of other tongues, you can understand the contents. Among many gifts of the Holy Spirit, God wants to give the gift of speaking in tongues to every believer.
For example, gift of prophecy and interpretation of other tongues is not given to any new-believers. If those with little faith receive these gifts, they will just become proud and misuse them, and they may be harmed spiritually.
But speaking in tongues is beneficial for everybody. With the gift of tongues, you gain more strength in prayer, so it is necessary especially for new-believers.
If you fervently pray in tongues, you will also sing praises in tongues with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and if you have deeper inspiration you may also dance in Holy Spirit.
Although you don’t know how to sing or your body is still in dancing, if you sing and dance in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you can sing and dance so beautifully.
If you go into deeper level, you can speak in new tongues. And if you are at the fifth level of faith, you can pray in new tongues immediately after you begin praying in tongues. Prayer of new tongues is powerful prayer, so that the enemy devil and Satan will tremble with fear and go away when you pray in it.
For example, suppose a robber is trying to stab you. Then, if you pray in new tongues, the darkness will go away immediately.
People act in evil by the inciting of the enemy devil and Satan. So, because the works of darkness disappear, the robber suddenly changes his mind and runs away, or his body may even be stiffened.
Therefore, if you can always pray in new tongues, you won’t receive any kind of disturbance from the enemy devil and Satan at your home, workplace, or business, so that you will be prosperous in everything in goodness. The third sign of those who believe is to pick up serpents.
Does it mean that you can pick up serpents with your hands if you go into the fifth level of faith? Of course it doesn’t, but there is spiritual meaning in it.
I will continue with this in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, todays passage Mark 16:20 says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” As it was with Jesus, Jesus’ disciples also did not just spread the gospel with words.
They proclaimed the word manifesting the signs to testify to the living God and to prove that the word preached was true.
When we show this kind of evidence to the people, their thoughts will change, their heart will be opened, and numerous souls will be saved at a time.
Of course, it’s precious to evangelize many people with a lot of effort in case those who are not followed by signs, but if you preach the gospel manifesting signs following, you can save thousands or even tens of thousands of people at a time, so how pleased will God be with this kind of person?
Of course, even though they have not come into spirit yet, our church members and workers can experience God’s works through the handkerchiefs on which I prayed or sweet water, and they use it when they preach the gospel.
In this case, God works through those things considering me, but according to the faith of each one who is using these things, the works of God will be manifested in different measure.
Therefore, I hope you will long for greater works of God and come into spirit and the whole spirit more quickly.
By doing so, I urge you to give glory to God greatly by manifesting many signs and wonders.
I pray in the name of the Lord that when you stand before the throne of God on the last day, God will be so pleased with you, and the people who are saved through your effort will give thanks to you!