It is possible to understand instructions and yet not follow them. In the current study, participants responded in accordance with derived instructions and then this relational repertoire was brought under over-arching consequential control. Across two experiments, nine undergraduates, trained to respond in accordance with Same/Different and Before/After relations in the presence of arbitrary contextual cues, produced sequences of responses based on 'instructions' composed of novel stimuli and the previously trained relational cues. Consequences for following instructions were then manipulated. In Experiment 1, for all five participants that responded in accordance with derived relations, reinforcing and punishing instruction-following generalized to novel instructions. In Experiment 2, reinforcing and punishing consequences were varied systematically in the presence of two novel antecedent stimuli and antecedent control was observed for all three participants. These findings demonstrate that understanding instructions and following them may be subject to independent sources of stimulus control.