Signs and Wonders Part 2

   Apparently my Signs and Wonders article has caused some discussion on the net. I know of at least one site that used my posting as a basis for theirs….and you can judge it for yourself. My prayer was that those caught up in the false “signs and wonders will follow all that believe” doctrine would see their error and repent. I was hoping that a “part 2” wouldn’t be necessary but I guess it’s unavoidable.  Mark 16:14-18 ESV

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 

 

I think nearly all true believers agree that God has perfect knowledge in all matters. Take a look at the above passage again. Verse16 says “he”, yet verse 17 says “they” “them”. Why has the number agreement changed? Certainly God, who has perfect knowledge in all things, would know proper grammar, wouldn’t He?  

 

In order to correctly interpret “them” in verse 17, we must look for the antecedent in verse 14. The “them” in verse 14 were the 11 Apostles. It grammatically agrees with verse 17. Jesus was instructing His chosen 11…who even though they spent 3 years with Christ, didn’t believe the reports from others He had risen from the dead. Please don’t try and use verse 16 in an attempt to discredit this interpretation…the promise of believing in Christ for salvation occurs throughout the NT…signs and wonders following all who believe only occurs here.  

 

The “bible thumper” as well as others made a reference to Luke 10 in an attempt to back up their eisegesis and wishful thinking. Let’s have a look at the text and see if they have rightly divided the Word of Truth; 

Luke 10:1-9 ESV

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2  And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

 

This hardly gives credence to the “signs and wonders will follow all that believe” false doctrine. Attempting to pass off verse 9 as an example that signs and wonders are following all who believe today is bad hermeneutics. The 72 were preaching to the Jews so naturally Jesus would equip his preachers with the ability to heal the sick and cast out demons….as He did previously when He sent out the 12 (Matthew 10).

Please remember signs were for the Jews (1Corinthians 1:20-22). Israel began with signs (Romans. 4:9-12); Exodus 4; 7:3; 8:23; 10:1-2; 13:9; 31:13, 17; Deuteronomy. 4:34; 6:22) and Israel demanded signs from Jesus (Matthew 12:38; 24:3). Once again we see nothing but eisegesis and unscriptural wishful thinking from the “signs and wonders will follow all who believe” crowd.

The Mark text was another matter altogether. This was now the time when the cross and the resurrection became the key to salvation. The Apostles were being commissioned to preach to both Jews and Gentiles. Of course the 11 needed supernatural signs and wonders to validate their message and them, as well as select others (Stephen, Philip, Agabus, Barnabas, Paul) were given these powers. There isn’t any Scriptural evidence suggesting that these supernatural sign gifts (Tongues, Healing) continued or were transferable (Acts 8:17) after these men and most likely others, passed away.

Believers in those days were the minority. The majority in the early days had to rely on word of mouth and their own two eyes…signs and wonders were a necessity…then. Now we have bibles in nearly every language. We can prove scripturally that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The early church fathers couldn’t without showing them a sign as validation that what they preached and taught about Jesus was true.

What we can’t prove scripturally is that signs and wonders are still following all who believe and are baptized. If we can’t prove something biblically then we shouldn’t be teaching it at all. For those of you who do teach “signs and wonders will follow all who believe” I caution you to study this issue through the lens of proper exegeses so you don’t lead the sheep into a ditch and to keep yourself from falling into one right along with them.    

If you still believe that signs and wonders will follow ALL that believe then WHERE are YOUR signs and wonders that follow you? How many of YOU have cast out a demon or spoke in an unknown tongue unlearned by you yet understood by another? If what you teach or believe (“signs and wonders follow all who believe”) is true then you shouldn’t have any problems proving this.       

 

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24 thoughts on “Signs and Wonders Part 2

  1. Properly written and well articulated. From my studies, I had discovered that Mark 16:15 & 17-18 was specifically addressed to the apostles, but I never saw it the way you presented it. That is, the ‘them’ in verse 17.

    I’m sure we will hardly find anyone that will come up to answer the question you asked. They prefer to present their twisted version of scriptures without proper exegesis.

    One thing is clear though, no one can claim to have worked miracles like the apostles did. All we see is manipulations and stage drama. And I totally agree with you that we should neither believe nor teach anything we cannot support with scriptures.

    P.S
    I like your new theme ‘cos red is my best color, but I sometimes find it difficult to post because I can’t see the text pointer clearly. 🙂

  2. Great article brother! Frankly, it’s the bare minimum of proper Biblical interpretation to ask the questions……..

    1) Who is speaking?

    2) Who is being addressed?

    C’mon people, every Word in the Bible isn’t addressed to YOU (Narcissists Gone Wild).

    Again, great job Phil!

  3. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and Jesus is in us, and we abide in Him, how can signs and wonders stop or change?

    Phil: It was all explained in the article. Signs and wonders were for validation of the Gospel….then. Do signs and wonders follow you?

  4. Yes, a few things have happened in my life as faith is built up. John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

    13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

    Phil: I think a sign or wonder would be for Doyle Davidson to give up drinking, stop pining after another mans wife, threatening people and finally preaching the Word of God. Wait….that would be a MIRACLE!

  5. John 14:12 (quoted above by Jeremiah17) is a verse of scripture that has been misapplied and misinterpreted by our Word of Faith hucksters. They have misinterpreted greater works to mean signs and wonders.

    Firstly, we know that he was talking directly to his disciples in that chapter.

    Secondly, John 13: 16 says, a servant can’t be greater than his master, neither can he who is sent be greater than He who sent him. We also see this in John15:20. Which means that He wasn’t referring to greater works as in mighty deeds, miracles, signs and wonders.

    Here is a link to a wonderful article on the subject “Greater works than this” written by bro Yomi.
    http://www.yomisays.com/?p=636

    I believe the artcle will also help clarify some things.

  6. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” Where in this verse does it say “only for a certain age” ?

    • good work jeremiah17,
      how could a man see sings and wonders, when he does not believe in them?
      we all as followers of Jesus got commissioned to do the works, maybe if the author of the article will step out in faith to lay hands on the sick, cast out demons etc. as he was commissioned to do so he will see signs and wonders following him. And last but not least, yes, in many cases I had signs and wonders following me, when I stepped out in faith and decleared the word of God over the sick, over situations. God is not a liar and He will do what He said He will. Wether you see it or not it will depend upon your belief and faith.

  7. Jeremiah17,

    Following your logic, we should be able to turn water into wine…because Jesus did.

    Too bad Doyle can’t do this…..just think of all the money he would save!!!

  8. Hey, Jeff! Mark 20 says- “Confirming the word with signs following”. Today we have the completed canon of Scripture so we don’t have to confirm it with signs. Hebrews 11:1 bears that out as faith is the evidence of things not seen. Maybe what you really need is a “STOP” sign?

  9. Perhaps one day you will live by faith.

    Phil: I do…and I’m sure the SPM guys do as well.

  10. It’s interesting too see the responses to faith in current wonders is so void of the fruit of the Spirit – love, gentleness, patience…

    When the book of John states that the servant cannot be greater than the master he speaks of what we are, not what we have access to. It’s a call to remember our privileges in His glory are gifts, not our own power. We glorify our God when He entrusts us with His estate and we do not bury or squander our inheritance IN Him.

    And I may be mistaken, but where in the Bible does it state that since the Bible is complete we don’t need God directly interfering in our lives?

  11. I think one of the issues is that some believe that once there is faith, there must be signs and wonders. If God sees an opportunity to use signs and wonders to confirm his word, I don’t believe God has any restraints in doing so. I do not believe that we ‘perform’ signs and wonders, signs and wonders ‘follow’ the faithful preaching of the word. The greatest of signs and wonders is for one to turn from his/her ways and follow the Lord. Even that, is the work of the Lord. In all God does, God’s intention is to magnify His name and not ours. Many will cling to the signs and wonders band because of that need to appear as ‘super apostles.’ I prefer to decrease while the Lord increases through me.

  12. Unfortunately, Phil, there is a problem with your grammar. You say, quite rightly, that in verse 14, it uses the words ‘them’ and ‘they’ in regard to the disciples. The narrative is explaining what Jesus was saying to them.
    However, halfway through verse 15, there is a shift in this. That is because the narrative switches to Jesus speaking. There is no way that, grammatically speaking, Jesus would speak to the disciples, and use the word ‘they’ to refer to them. That would be like me addressing everyone that has commented on this post in this manner:

    Dear all,

    I disagree with what they are saying regarding signs and wonders.

    This would only work in the context of referring to some third party. I don’t think that you can use that argument on this one.

  13. I totally believe in miracles, signs, wonders, the GIFTS of the Spirit, and the FRUIT of the Spirit.
    It’s very clear in Acts that salvation through Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit are two separate events. Yes, you can accept Christ as your Savior and produce the fruits of the Spirit, but you also need to ask for the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
    Why doesn’t everyone who accepts Christ go around and just BAM, wack someone on the head and say in the name of Jesus you are healed? maybe it’s because they don’t have the faith for it. God is only going to give power and anointing to those who are willing to pay the price through prayer, reading the Word, and fasting and humility and acceptance of those gifts through humility.
    I was a backslidder for 12 years and gave my life back to Christ 6 years ago. My husband remained unsaved. He thought I was a nutbag fruitloop for even believing that God could come to earth as a man, die on the cross, and be raised and then I would float off to some far far away land called heaven when I died.
    I began to fast and pray and dive into the Word to find verses to declare that ‘me and my house would serve the Lord’. When I say fast, I say it not in a boastful manner, but so you can see the whole picture, that I would fast for up to 40 days at a time. I did this three times in a 3 year period. I also committed to a one day a week fast during those off times over a 3 year period. When I committed to prayer, it was for 1 hour a day, and then reading the Word 1 hour a day.
    While doing this for his salvation, he was diagnosed with Plebs, they are air pockets in the lining of your lungs if you need to look it up. It was going to require the doctors to go into his lungs, ‘pop the air pockets’, and then have at least a week recovery in the hospital followed by 6 weeks at home…in other words, major surgery. We had 2 small children at the time, he was a truck driver, and I a stay at home mom. I don’t have to tell you this was not economically possible. So, my husband suffered, passed out a time or two while in his semi, couldn’t get off the couch because of the pain.
    I explained to him that God would heal him and of course, that was B.S. As I was praying for his salvation I also began to pray that God would do a miracle in his life and heal him without surgery so that my husband could see that God was real.
    An already long story short, my husband came to church with me because I had been called into the nursery and I needed someone to sit with our older children during family praise and worship. My husband cussed and carried on the whole way to church, he got up during the offering to go outside and smoke before our pastor started preaching. I say all of this to make a point. My husband wasn’t some old lady, TBN addict who got caught up in some emotional freak show.
    At the end of the service, my pastor was walking down the aisle and called out a word of prophecy and stated that their was someone in the service with lung issues and he declared that within 3 days this person would be healed in the name of Jesus. I attend a church with 2,000 members.
    My husband said he felt what was like a lightning bolt run through his body and he heard Jesus say, “Son, you’re going in the wrong direction. I need you to spread the Gospel.” My husband was instantly healed from the plebs in his lungs, and accepted Christ as his Savior. We returned to the doctor and got another xray and all of the plebs were gone.
    So, please don’t tell me that the signs, wonders, and miracles are passed away.
    When you decide to fast, pray, ask for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, sit down and study II Corinthians, and totally put aside all pride, then come back to me and tell me signs, wonders, and miracles are passed away. But until then, trying to look at the words ‘they’ and ‘them’ and put others down while you are trying to sound all spiritual and holy, is nothing more than foolish pride.

  14. Sorry you feel that way Phil. We know salvation is not dependent on signs and wonders, so if all you want from your Christian life is to get to Heaven, you’ve already made it in the book of life. Congratulations, you don’t have to do anything else. As for me, speaking in tongues, casting out demons, and healing the sick is a part of my normal Christian life, and I love it.

    • Hi Kai,

      Interesting comment. Please describe for me what my daily walk with Christ is like and what I do each and every day besides be glad I’m hopefully one of the elect?

      Thanks,

      Phil

  15. Describe your life Phil? I don’t know you personally, but I think I used to be a lot like you. We grew up in a western culture that places a high value on learning and reasoning, a very Greek mindset. we believe that wisdom comes from experience, and experience can not be questioned. So as a Christian, when we come across something in the Bible that doesn’t quite match up with life experience, the first reaction is to question God, and use our reasoning to figure things out. Here’s where the devil comes in says his famous line, “did God really say?” And we allow our theology to bend a little, and we try to reinterpret a few verses so they match what we now believe. Suddenly our God conforms to the pattern of this world, and we follow, maybe trying to be a little different by abstaining from alcohol, or doing an extra good deed here and there, of course going to church, and maybe being a little more generous than others, maybe not when it comes to tipping the waitress. But largely for us success is based on having a good job, house and basically living like the rest of the world.

    You can live that way, it’s fine, you still follow Jesus. But it soon became a problem for me because the kingdom of God wasn’t advancing, arguing people into being a Christian wasn’t working especially when my life looked so much like theirs, and the Holy Spirit inside me began to tell me that life could be so much deeper. The church in Acts was effective, people were being saved every day, and why is it that most Christians today don’t get a single person saved in there life? Could it be because we don’t look anything like the church in Acts?

    Here’s where I propose a change: my mom recently died of cancer, but Psalm 103 says the Lord heals ALL our diseases. So what do I believe, experience or the Bible? Now I can say I believe the Bible in the face of experience. This is why 1 Cor 1:22(NLT) says “It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom.”

    • Hi Kai,

      In Greek your name means “and”. That’s sorta what I’m thinking here when I read your comment, but I’ll bite.

      Where are the signs and wonders following me?

      I’ll tell ya about Marcus. He was a serial cheater worse then Tiger Woods but he turned his life since he started coming to the little congregation I Pastor….

      Then there’s Steven, a man who drank like a fish who stopped cold turkey after his wife brought him to the fellowship….

      Then there’s Spiros, a young man that lost both of his parents when he was a toddler. I met him when he came to my tennis academy whenhe was mad as hell at God and now he’s my student at the seminary I teach at….

      So what, right? Well, last week when I was at my lowest after seeing two friends die and being slandered on the internet by viscous unaccountable people, all three of these men showed up together at my house unannounced and without any planning to pray with and for me……because the Holy Spirit told them to or at least that’s what they claimed.

      I don’t suppose that’s exactly what you claim but it was good enough for me……now you tell me, beginning with who you REALLY are, the signs and wonders that follow you……

      Phil

  16. Well it looks like the Holy Spirit’s at work in your life after all. So then you do believe in Signs and Wonders, just not the kinds that would have been mentioned in the Bible? Okay, well as for me, I’m still young, just into my 20’s, I’m no pastor, I never went to college or seminary, I just live in a Christian community modeled after Acts 2, and I devote myself simply to pursuing the biggest vision of Christ I can, through knowledge of the Bible, but also through revelation and experience. I don’t try to do ministry it just happens around me.

    I was in Denver a few weeks ago and I bought a car, I didn’t have enough money for it, but I prayed and 1000 dollars came out of nowhere so I could afford it. When I bought the car my Aunt immediately became friends with the lady that sold me the car, and that friendship has already been very fruitful for both of them. I left Denver the day after I bought the car, on my way home it broke down in Kansas, in a city I’ve never been to before, but it happened to be right in front of the local youth center, where the men’s bible study was taking place that night. I just told them the story and they couldn’t understand why I looked so happy even though I just bought a car and had it break down the next day. So I explained that what the world doesn’t give the world can’t take away, and my joy comes from the Holy Spirit, so I’m always happy despite outward circumstances. Believe me that’s freeing for a lot of people. I had to stay in Kansas for a while so I helped a new friend I met there open a coffee shop/ house of prayer. Another set up from God, because I have friends at home who are planning to open a coffee shop, and I used to be a worship leader at a house of prayer, so we both learned a lot from each other. Everything I needed was provided to me for free from fellow Christians in Kansas, and I thank God for that. From Kansas I had to hitch a ride to Nashville to get closer to home. I have a friend in Nashville who’s dad owns a recording studio. Back when we had a band together we recorded some songs there, but they never went anywhere. The day before I got to Nashville, they listened to one of the Christian songs I had written and decided it should be re-recorded, The Lord sent some incredible musicians to work on it, and then I came unexpectedly, and my friend who previously didn’t believe in God is starting to believe. This is simply some of the dramatic things God has done in my life the past few weeks, believe me this isn’t even the beginning of the supernatural things that happen in my life day to day. I live believing the Lord can do anything, and even expecting that He will do it.

    Now I know the kind of signs and wonders you’re talking about are the more unexplainable sudden healings and miracles like we saw in Jesus day, and I will say that even though I believe they should be part of the normal Christian live, they have been rare for me. I’ve prayed for a lot of people to be healed, and I can count on my fingers those that have. But I have seen a man healed from ulcer, knee and back pain disappear, someone who was supposed to have a bypass surgery on their heart perfectly fine on the next examination, and a woman in a wheelchair with one leg shorter than the other, had them grow out to the same length, and could walk much better than before, but still needed the wheelchair. So Jesus Christ or psychological hype, something happened, and I figure Jesus won’t count it against me if I was too quick to believe it was Him.

  17. What a fascinating topic..

    I truly love the dialogue Phil and Kari have going on ..It is a great lesson on seeing both sides so elequently spoken by both Kari and Phil…

    My position today has come full circle.. I used to be in the Kari camp of theology..I sure appreciate the life she has in the Lord and the joy that comes from her message!!

    I love Phil’s apologetic and theological position just as well..and now walking with the Lord or at least seeking His ways of 39 years I have come to this conclusion as where the TRUTH of the matter lies.

    1. IN the day of Acts, the word was not completely written, and was being written!! therefore the VALIDATION of the people in the Lord was through signs and wonders following!!!

    However….Once the word was complete and established than these signs and wonders of such were REPLACED with a GREATER validation of Christ alive in the world!!!

    Signs and wonders are replaced with God’s infallible WRITTEN WORD!! No longer the Rhema word or spoken word of the apostles, but now written by the hand of God himself through the inspiration of the writer by the Holy Spirit!!

    The evidence now is what is in Kari’s life..JOY unspeakable joy..however it must be laid with a solid foundation which PHIL brings to the table of TRUTH!!

    No longer are we to seek signs and wonders period or following!! for Jesus said an adulterous generation seeks a sign and that sign will be the sign of Jonah!! Is this a contradiction..NO, it is a foretelling of what Christ will rule through..and it won’t be signs and wonders, but by the the HOLY SCRIPTURES ONLY!!

    This is the confusion I lived by many years not invalidating my walk or Kari’s, but it is a misunderstanding of the way Christ operates now!!! We must be bereans and scholars in the word..For we are commanded to STUDY the word, not just read the word where we miss the DISCERNING area of TRUTH that divides the small leaven that the signs and wonders breed is deceived by…

    Again it is solely in the written word of God the HEBREW AND GREEK..

    In closing remember the word say’s we have no greater prophecy than what is written in scripture..The book is complete the prophecy is complete, now not needing these kind of signs and wonders to keep the validation of Christs death and ressurection alive..

    Tim

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