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Discerning true signs and wonders from the false ones

I’m not one who believes in the popular “Signs and Wonders” Movement. Nor do I subscribe to the opposite end of the spectrum called the “Cessationist” Movement. But I do believe God still has all spiritual gifts, including miracle gifts, available for use to his church today if we have faith enough to use them. I base that on the following scriptures:

  1. Joel 2:28-31 states that after Israel’s restoration and before the “great and terrible day of the Lord” (referring to his worldwide judgment of the tribulation), that he would give prophecies, dreams, and visions to his sons and daughters.
  2. In Romans 11:29, using Israel as his example, Paul reassured us that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” They are irrevocable.
  3. In Revelation 11, God sends two witnesses to carry out prophecies and miracles in opposition to the Antichrist and other unbelievers on Earth.
  4. In Revelation 19:10, after John bows down to an “angel” that gave him a tour of the tribulation, the angel tells John not to worship him but God and reveals he is actually a brother in Christ like John. Then the angel/saint tells John, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” In other words, prophecy (a miracle gift) is a continual part of the new testament church.

Lying signs and wonders

Here is how to discern what is a lying sign or wonder:

● They are designed to make people follow false gods–

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 13:1-3

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. Deut. 18:22

● They are designed to make people worship people

When Jesus called the religious leaders “an evil and adulterous generation” for seeking a sign, he did so because they thought they could make God do what they wanted, when they wanted in their arrogance. If God would have given them a sign in the specific way they demanded of Jesus, they would have glorified themselves with it instead of God. Simon the sorcerer in Acts wanted the power to work Peter’s sign gifts, attempting to bribe him for it, so he could glorify himself with it.

Jesus predicted in Mark 13:22 that false Christs and false prophets in the last days would use lying signs and wonders to seduce people into glorifying them.

True signs and wonders

Here’s how to discern genuine signs and wonders:

● They glorify the one true God

God used Ezekiel’s life circumstances as a sign to Israel to let them know “that I am the Lord God,” (Ezekiel 24:24). Jesus did signs and wonders to show he was “approved of God” to be glorified as God (Acts 2:22, 36).

● They draw men to believe in the Lord Jesus for salvation

Jesus told the nobleman who wanted his son to be healed in John 4, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” When his son was healed, he and his whole household became believers (John 4:53). When Paul rebuked Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13 for trying to keep his boss from being saved, God struck Elymas with blindness and his boss, the deputy, “when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

● They testify that Jesus will return soon so his church can prepare themselves for it (Luke 21:11, 25, 28, 34)


2 thoughts on “Discerning true signs and wonders from the false ones

  1. Great post! Really makes clear why the gifts are still extant today, as the Lord wills to give them, to whom and when, and why the majority of what passes as the spiritual miraculous gifts are indeed counterfeit because they aren’t according to God’s Word nor do they glorify God. God bless us.


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