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Jesus frequently appeared to His disciples after His resurrection - many times He suddenly appeared in their midst. This last time He gave them final instructions before He returned to His position which He had before the foundation of the world.
These last words were given to His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, where He agonized till His sweat became as drops of blood. Here He drank the cup of our sin and became sin for us. The place where He was humiliated now became the place where God lifted Him up.
Firstly Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief. Why did they not believe Him? Because of their lack of faith, and their hearts were hardened. It is terrible to harden one's heart.
It was difficult for them to accept that He rose from the dead. The disciples didn't believe the women who saw Jesus alive. However, Jesus Himself told them beforehand what would happen and the the Scriptures, the Word of God, made it plain too.
Someone might say, "How can I believe, since I haven't experienced it! He didn't appear to me." Many will end up in hell because they haven't experienced it first hand and insisted that God reveal Himself to them in their own way.
Plead with God to give you a soft heart. He has the right to send someone else to you, and reveal Himself to you as He sees fit. Ask Him to soften your heart that you might hear Him speak to you through others.
Secondly he instructed them to go into all the world to preach His Gospel to every creature. When He has rebuked them and dealt with their hardness of heart He could now send them.
This is God's command to us and woe to us if we do not carry out His Great Commission. Jesus has spoken to you; you won't get a special revelation if you don't obey this. Woe to everyone who disregards this last command of God.
Thirdly He gave them a promise - these are the signs that will follow those who believe. When Paul was followed by a demon-possessed girl he commanded the demon to leave the girl and it was driven out.
Paul once had a snake entangled on his arm, and the people thought he would die. But Paul shook it off into the fire and experienced no harm.
There are people with different types of demons in them, drunkeness, lust, anger, grudges and hatred. When they meet up with you who believe in Jesus, these demons must leave. Demons of stubbornness and hardness of heart, all kinds of demons have to leave when you come with the truth, the Gospel. Jesus also promised that those who believe would speak with new tongues; and they did speak with those new tongues that people could understand. There are angelic tongues which must be interpreted; but then there is also a new tongue of someone who has met the Lord Jesus.
The disciples experienced all these signs, just as Jesus promised.
These promises are also for us who believe; these are the signs which will follow those who believe.