Signs and Wonders.  We’ve all heard about them.  Some feel strongly they exist today while others say their time has passed.  What is the truth?  Are we to seek them or deny them?  Is God really behind some of the stories we hear from foreign countries or are they Satanic counterfeits to confuse and mislead (1 John 4:4; Exodus 7:8-13)?

There are four Greek words in the New Testament referring to miracles. Dynamis often means “power” and can be used for miracles or Satanic power. Erga, or “works,” is used in John’s writing to describe the miracles of Jesus. Sēmeion is translated as “sign” and describes physical or material manifestations, while teras, commonly translated as “wonders,” is always used in conjunction with one of the other words.

Miracles are divine interventions that produce something that would not have happened under normal conditions.  God used them to confirm the man and the message had His approval and authority.  Jesus showed His deity by performing about 35 recorded miracles.

One specific form of miracles are power encounters, where God’s power is shown to be greater than that of Satan or his demons (Acts 19).  Evil entered the world because God gave angels and then people a free will.  God didn’t bring evil into the world, Satan and man did that.  Jesus defeated Satan and evil on the cross, but He didn’t remove it because if He did then we would lose our free will (John 3:18; 12:48).  God never forces anyone to believe in Him, but He does use signs and wonders along with power encounters to show His greater power so people came make an informed free will choice.  Sensational displays alone are not enough to turn people to God (Luke 16:31).  The people in Jesus’ day saw many miracles and deliverances, yet most refused to believe.  These continued in the early church.  The early church leaders asked God to do signs and wonders to validate their ministry (Acts 4:30).  Should we do the same today?

There are passages in the Bible indicating miracles are a thing of the past. First, Luke emphasizes miracles were only done by the hand of the Apostles (Acts 2:43; 5:12; 14:3; 15:12). Also, one of the ways Paul proved his Apostleship to the Corinthians was by pointing to the signs he had done (2 Corinthians 12:12). If everyone were doing signs, it would not be a unique event worth pointing to. In addition, Hebrews 2:4 gives the impression signs and wonders were part of a special time in the church—not an ongoing occurrence.  Jesus’ ministry was unique and is not meant to be reproduced today. For example, in Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the disciples, telling them in verse 5 not to go to the Gentiles or the Samarians. However, in Matthew 28, Jesus instructs His followers to go to every person and place. The follower of Jesus understands the first command was temporary, while the second command came after the resurrection and is meant to be obeyed until His return. Similarly, Jesus’ command to heal the sick (Matt. 10:7–8) was also temporary. Finally, there has been no parallel to the miracles of Jesus and the Apostles since their time. These people could heal everyone immediately and completely, dealing with the most complex cases. Church history has no record of people doing the same. These arguments against praying for miracles today are solid and worthy of serious consideration.

I’ll end this blog here before it gets too long.  In the next blog I’ll give several strong proofs that signs and wonders are still applicable today.  Then I’ll draw my conclusions and apply them to us today.  But for now, remember that God can and does do miracles – but only when He has a specific purpose for them.  They aren’t something we can name and claim.  We can’t demand them.  We mustn’t be disappointed when they don’t happen.  Our faith stays in God and we trust Him to do what is best for our growth and His glory.  Don’t be misled by those who promise a short-cut to spirituality and prosperity, but make it dependent on you having enough “faith” for it to happen.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust in Him.  (January 8, 2024  Doylestown, PA)

Matthew 6:9–10  “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Is there a time God performed a true miracle in your life?  What was His purpose?

Is there a time you expected God to do a miracle but you didn’t?  Why do you think He didn’t do it?  How did you respond?

What can you say to someone who is demanding a miracle from God but not receiving it?



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(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

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Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2024