Doctrine of Signs and Wonders

July 23, 2010


The Purpose of Signs

1.    Extraordinary tokens of some future event.

A.    The rainbow was given to Noah as a sign of his covenant. (Gen. 9:12-13),

B.    Circumcision was appointed to Abraham as a sign of his covenant.(Gen. 17:11; cf. Exo. 3:12; Judg. 6:17).

2.    Proof of divine presence (Matt. 12:38; John 4:48; Acts 2:22).

3.    Attestations of the divine authority of a prophet or teacher (Matt. 16:1; 24:30).

The Relationship of Miracles to Signs and Wonders

1.    Miracles are also called “wonders” (Exo. 15:11; Dan. 12:6).

2.    As “wonders,” miracles are out of the ordinary course of events.

3.    Miracles produce astonishment as being outside the ordinary operations of cause and effect.

4.    As “signs,” miracles point to something beyond themselves.

5.    Miracles reveal the connection of the one who works them with the spiritual world and are thus seals attending his authority as a messenger from God. (John 2:18,23; 3:2; Matt. 12:38; Acts 14:3; 2 Cor. 12:12)

Old Testament

Signs and Wonders Accomplished Prior to the Mosaic Law

Deut 6:22  And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:   (KJV)

Neh 9:10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.   (KJV)

Jer 32:20  Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;   (KJV)

New Testament References to Signs and Wonders Accomplished Prior to the Mosaic Law

Acts 7:36  He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. (KJV)

Signs and Wonders Accomplished During the Period of the Mosaic Law

Dan 4:2  I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.   (KJV)

Dan 6:27  He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.   (KJV)

John 4:48  Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.   (KJV)

Signs and Wonders Accomplished During the Pre-Canon Period

Acts 4:30  By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.   (KJV)

Heb 2:4  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?   (KJV)

Heb 2:3  Now shall we [ first, the author and his generation, then, us in later generations ] escape if we [ first, the author and his generation, then, us in later generations ] ignore such a great salvation? This salvation [ the subject of this context ], which [ salvation ] was first announced by the Lord [ during His public ministry ], was confirmed to us [ the author and his generation ] by those [ contemporaries of Jesus’ public ministry ] who [ literally ] heard him [ Jesus Christ ].  (NIV)

Heb 2:4  God [ the Father ] also testified to it [ salvation ] by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed [ since the Holy Spirit is distributing gifts, this places these signs and wonders and miracles after the day of Pentecost ] according to his [ the Holy Spirit’s ] will.  (NIV)

Signs and Wonders Attributed to the Apostles

Acts 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

Acts 5:12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.   (KJV)

2 Cor 12:12  Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.   (KJV)

Signs and Wonders Accomplished by Paul (an Apostle) by the Power of the Spirit

Rom 15:19  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.   (KJV)

Signs and Wonders Accomplished by Paul and Barnabas

Acts 14:3  Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.   (KJV)

Acts 14:3  So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.  (NIV)

Signs and Wonders Predicted for the Tribulation Period

Acts 2:19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: (KJV)

Acts 2:22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Signs and Wonders Attributed to the Unbelievers

Matt 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.   (KJV)

Mark 13:22  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.   (KJV)

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

Thoughts About Signs and Wonders Gleaned from the Passages Above

1.    Question:  If signs and wonders were performed during the Age of the Gentiles, and during the Age of Israel, and during the pre-Canon period of the Church Age, and will be performed during the Tribulation period, what biblical evidence do we have that THIS period of human history is the Age of Signs and Wonders?

Answer:  None.

2.    The modern-day “signs and wonders” craze is not of God and defies sound exegetical reasoning.

3.    There is no indication in Scripture that we should expect even one sign or wonder from the time the Canon of Scripture was completed in 96 A.D. and the rapture of the church.

4.    The fact that signs and wonders occurred before the Church Age, during the pre-Canon period of the Church Age, and will occur during the Tribulation is no indication that they should occur during the post-Canon period of the Church Age.

5.    It is easy to claim that this is the Age of Signs and Wonders and run from Conference to Conference seeking a miracle.  It is far more difficult to trust God for His all sufficient grace when it doesn’t include a miracle.

6.    If the Church is to “walk by faith, and not by sight,” and Jesus said that “an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,” how do those modern-day “signs and wonders” Christians answer these two issues?

2 Corinthians 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (KJV)

Matthew 12:39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  (KJV)

7.    Seeking signs is tantamount to walking by sight.

8.    Unbelievers can perform signs and wonders:  false Christs, false prophets, the Antichrist.

9.    Principle:  It doesn’t take a person filled with the Holy Ghost to perform great signs and wonders.

10.    Satan can empower people to perform signs and wonders.

11.    To those Christians who claim to have experienced signs and wonders I say, “Everything that is real is not from God.”

12.    The real test of a Christian life is not whether he or she has experienced a miracle.  The real test of the Christian life is whether the Christian is victorious over the world, the flesh and the devil.  The Christian who claims to have experienced a miracle and whose life is not free from sin is a spiritual loser.

13.    Today, putting-out-the-fleece (Judges 6:37-40) is tantamount to seeking a sign and is just as degenerate as seeking signs and wonders. The practice of putting-out-the-fleece is an evil practice in an age that requires the Christian to live by faith and not by sight.