Trumpet Call # 4. May 2001


Signs, wonders, miracles

miracle defined: “An extraordinary* event manifesting divine* intervention in human affairs.” Webster’s Nineth New Collegiate College Dictionary, page 757.


Divine intervention: The Bible says that miracles (extraordinary events) are caused by the intervention of the unseen world, i.e. God, Satan, angels or demons. The following are examples of extraordinary events caused by the unseen world.

The Lord: Exodus 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

Satan: Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

Angels: Acts 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

Demons: Mark 9:17-18 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.


Extraordinary event: By definition a miracle cannot be a common event. For instance one might argue that the conception and birth of a child is a miracle. We may wonder at such an event, but because it is an ordinary event, technically it would not qualify as a miracle. If however a virgin conceived and bore a child, this would truly be a miracle, for it is an unusual event.

Judges 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Psalms 44:1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

Psalms 74:9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.


There have been periods of time when miracles seem to be more concentrated. The following list was constructed using Meredith’s Book of lists as a guide. (Joe Meredith, Bethany Fellowship, 1980, pages 208-214)

Moses: 38 miracles spread over 40 years

Elijah: 11 miracles spread over 25 years

Elisha: 15 miracles spread over 35 years

Jesus: 43 miracles spread over 3 years

Peter: 10 miracles spread over 40 years

Paul: 11 miracles spread over 37 years

Miracles were not an everyday occurrence, they were extraordinary events!


Note: The Bible warns that in the last days counterfeit signs, miracles and wonders will increase.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Revelation 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

These times of concentrated signs, wonders and miracles did not bring about revival!

Moses:

Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?

Psalms 78:10 through Psalms 78:11 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had showed them.

Psalms 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

(All of Psalm 72 should be read to see what impact signs, wonders and miracles had on the children of Israel)

The rebellion against God was so great they tried to kill Moses, Aaorn, Caleb and Joshua!

Numbers 14:10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.

Elijah and Elisha:

2 Kings 17:13-15 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.

Jesus:

The crowds seemed more interested in following miracles rather than the Lord!

John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.



Jesus rebuked those who sought signs, wonders and miracles.

Matthew 16:1-4 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Jesus taught that God’s word, not miracles, would bring people to Christ.

Luke 16:29-31 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.



The Jewish people did not respond to the gospel, in spite of all the miracles.

John 12:37-41 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Matthew 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

The Church:

The church at Corinth sought after signs, miracles and wonders. Paul had to rebuke them because they were carnal, and ignorant of spiritual gifts.

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

The last days:

Many will follow after the counterfeit signs, wonders and miracles of Satan.

Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?


In spite of the true signs by God, the world will not repent of its sins.

Revelation 9:20-21 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Revelation 16:10-11 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.


Why does God give miracles?

  1. He does it for his glory. John 9:1-3 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

  2. He does it because of his compassion and mercy. Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

  3. 3. He did it to confirm the authority of the Bible. Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.


  1. He did it to confirm that Jesus is the Son of God. John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did

  2. Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


  1. He did it to confirm the authority of the apostles. 2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle

  2. were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.






Words of caution:

Satan, demons and false prophets are able to produce counterfeit signs, wonders and miracles.

The magicians in pharaoh’s court could duplicate some of the miracles of God.

Exodus 8:7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.


In the last days many will be deceived by counterfeit signs, wonders and miracles performed by false prophets and the antichrist.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Revelation 13:11-13 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,


Satan’s false prophets will infiltrate the church:

Acts 20:28-30 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:



They will “transform” themselves into apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.



Many will follow these false prophets. They will make merchandise of their followers.

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2 Peter 2:12-17 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.


They have been “planted” by the enemy. They look like the real thing, but their fruit is corrupt.

Matthew 13:24-30 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.


They pretend to be shepherds (wearing sheep’s clothing) but they are really wolves in disguise.
Matthew 7:15-20
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


They profess Jesus with their lips, and are able to prophesy, cast out demons and perform miracles in His name. They are not saved!

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


Often their signs are satanic counterfeits of the real thing.

Incantation versus Biblical tongues

fortune telling versus Biblical prophesy

counterfeit signs and wonders versus Biblical miracles

interpretation of omens versus Biblical casting of lots

demon possession versus Biblical filling of the Holy Spirit.

Conclusions:

  1. The outpouring of signs, wonders and miracles do not guarantee that revival will break out.

  2. Christ rebukes those who would seek after signs, wonders and miracles.

  3. Focusing on signs, wonders and miracles takes our eyes off Christ,

  4. There is a real danger that those seeking after signs will be deceived by the enemy,

  5. Some unsaved people seem to have the ability with the aid of demonic powers to perform counterfeit signs, wonders and miracles.

  6. Many false prophet have infiltrated the church. They seem to be true followers of Christ, and their ministry is confirmed through counterfeit signs, wonders and miracles.

  7. In these last days we need to be able to discern what is from God and what is from the enemy.

  8. Seeking after signs, wonders and miracles can destroy the very foundation of our faith. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


Next Issue: Signs, wonders, miracles - how to test the spirits.


Larry Mitchell

ldmitch@cadvision.com

    Go to Discern.ca