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Seeking Signs and Wonders

A Major Departure from Christian Faith

We live in an age when large numbers of Christians lack even the most basic
level of discernment. Chasing signs and wonders, craving an 'experience' in God,
they fail to do what every true believer is asked to do, namely, to live by faith. As
the Bible so often reminds us, "The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17)

Today large numbers of sincere believers are being seduced by experiences. And
the more 'experiences' they get, the more they seem to want. Christ warned
against this in very strong terms: "A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after
a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah."
(Matthew 16:4)

The sign of Jonah is the death and Resurrection of Christ. Our Lord is clearly
saying that, if his death and resurrection is not a sufficient sign, then no other sign
will suffice. To insist on seeking after signs is idolatry ("adulterous generation").

When the rich man was consigned to hell after death, he pleaded with Abraham to
send someone to warn his five brothers who were still alive on earth. "If they do
not hear Moses and the prophets," replied Abraham, "neither will they be
persuaded though one rise from the dead." (Luke 16:31) In this parable Jesus is
telling us that even the most astounding miracle will not produce saving faith, that
unless one hears and believes the Word of God there is no salvation.

Jesus said that no Old Testament prophet was greater than John the Baptist. This
put him on a par with Moses, Elijah, and Elisha, and yet those prophets performed
extraordinary signs and miracles, while John performed none whatever. Not one!
The Word of God reveals this often-forgotten fact "John [the Baptist] did no
miracle" (John 10:41).

Today large numbers of Christians hunger after miracles, signs and wonders. If
they get a sign, they feel their faith has been renewed. And if they dont get a
sign, they feel their faith simply isnt strong enough. Alas, these traps are set by
the Enemy. He knows that the just shall live by faith, so he does all he can to lure
people away from a faith-based relationship with Christ and into a foolish
attachment to signs and wonders. And since he has a degree of supernatural
power, he can generate some signs and wonders of his own. Sign-seekers lap
these up, but discerning Christians, who walk by faith and not by sight, can see
through this terrible deception.

One of the most pernicious examples of this is angelic communication. It is truly
a matter of concern that a great many Christians today have forgotten that "Satan
himself transforms himself into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). The
fallen angels are still 'angelic' in nature and are well able to deceive a believer
who lacks discernment.

The Indwelling of the Hol Spirit
All who are truly saved are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Christ confirmed that the
Holy Spirit is our Comforter and that He will "teach us all things" (John 14:26).
And if the Holy Spirit is our comforter and counsellor and dwelling within us,
then no other teacher is required. Through daily study of the Word of God, under
the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are growing in Christ and learning all that is
necessary for our sanctification. Professing Christians who crave signs and
wonders and who seek after 'experiences' have largely rejected this essential truth.

Msti!ism and Contemplati"e #raer
For Christians who are less inclined to seek after signs and wonders, the Enemy
has prepared another, but related trap mysticism and contemplative prayer. Here
the signs and wonders are located, not in the world, but in the mind and heart of
the individual. He craves an experience of Gods presence or some form of
mystical communion with Christ. Even though Scripture never once advocates
this type of 'prayer,' more and more professing Christians are being attracted to
teachers who neglect the Word of God and place experience before doctrine.

The quest for experiences, such as seeing the 'inner light' or feeling the 'divine
presence,' is actually an aspect of the Roman Catholic monastic tradition and has
no scriptural basis whatever. On the contrary, the Bible condemns repetitive
prayer, the emptying of one's mind, or any attempt to test God or bargain with
Him. The so-called spiritual exercises developed by the Roman Catholic mystics
are designed to induce God to show Himself to us in some manner. However, the
same types of exercises and techniques are also found in Hinduism, Buddhism
and the mystical tradition of Islam known as Sufism. They have nothing to do
with the LORD God of the Bible but operate exclusively in the supernatural
realm. Roman Catholic mystics such as Thomas Merton, Teresa of Avila and John
of the Cross were no more Christian than their Eastern counterparts. The 'light'
that these mystics saw in their so-called contemplative prayer was actually that of
the Adversary in his 'angel of light' persona.

If you are still unclear about any of this, then we would strongly suggest a close
study of the Book of Deuteronomy (especially Chapter 18) and the many other
passages in the Bible that condemn communication of any kind with familiar
spirits or any attempt by man to manipulate the sovereign will of God. If you do
this, and ask the LORD in prayer to deepen your understanding, you will likely
see that the so-called 'Toronto Blessing' and similar phenomena are nothing more
than demonic deceptions, where fallen angels are playing deadly games with
foolish Christians who no longer trust the Word of God but seek instead after
signs and wonders.

Share the $ospel
The Gospel is very simple. Man is sinful and God is holy; Christ paid our sin debt
for us through his death on the cross; we can do nothing to save ourselves, but
God has offered complete and perfect redemption to all who believe in His
wonderful Son and his glorious Resurrection. After we are saved, we walk in faith
each day with Christ, growing in sanctification and holiness through the
indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. The joy of the LORD is our strength.

When a Christian thinks he needs signs, wonders and 'experiences' in order to
walk with the LORD, he loses both his joy and his strength. Instead of loving and
trusting his wonderful Father and, as a fully adopted son, turning to Him daily in
joyful prayer, he lives as though his Father has forgotten him.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

James 4:8

Alas a great many Christians today are craving experiences because they no
longer have faith in their Father. Even those who hunger after the manifest
presence of God are falling into this faithless trap. Much of this loss of faith can
be attributed to a marked failure to study and absorb the Word of God, to kneel
humbly before our Creator every morning and "wait upon the LORD."

Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and that
"without faith it is impossible to please him." (Hebrews 11:6)

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings
as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint."

Isaiah 40:31


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