False Signs and Wonders
This is an extremely important topic. I believe the Lord has been slowly restoring gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church. There appears to be an increasing number of authentic "signs and wonders" and God does a lot of very unique things. Very few of the things God does are actually detailed "in the Bible" and I believe sometimes we need to first ask if something is forbidden rather than ask if it's "Biblical." The reason why is that God is doing a lot of things which are considered "outside the box." God loves to "confound the wise!"
In Matthew 12:22-30, Mark 3:20-30 and Luke 11:14-23, we read the story of Jesus healing a man who was demon-possessed, blind and mute. Some people are asking "could this be the Son of David?" and some of the Pharisees hear this and say, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons" (Matthew 12:24). The Bible says Jesus knows their thoughts and later Jesus says "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come" (Matthew 12:31-32). Mark summarized what Jesus said as, "'Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation' — because they said, 'He has an unclean spirit'" (Mark 3:28-30).
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 - "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."
I have seen many authentic signs and wonders and I believe I have also seen some false "signs and wonders." Discernment of spirits and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the source of signs and wonders is essential. On the surface it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference except through the Holy Spirit and discernment of spirits. The Bible foretells the increase in false signs and wonders:
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Matthew 24:24
I have been to a ton of churches throughout my life. I have personally witnessed many of these and they seem to be increasing in number (like false teachings) as several movements are embracing them. Some examples of controversial practices, signs and wonders are as follows:
Being whacked by God
Drinking wine barrels
Fire tunnel/Fire bomb
"Getting activated" in the Spirit or prophetic
Gold dust appearing
Hosting the Presence
Intoxication/drunkenness/drunk in the spirit
Out-of-body experiences (OOBE) Pow-wowing/Black Forest medieval magic
Rolling around on the floor
Slaying/Being slain in the Spirit
Throwing love/bliss bombs
Toking the Spirit
Most of these things can be authentic signs and wonders while things like Kundalini/Shaktipat should be avoided and some of these things can be false signs and wonders (e.g. someone planting gold dust/feathers/gems/jewels/diamonds/manna), etc. Some things like astral travel/out-of-body experiences can be done by a Christian or it can be done by an unbeliever. I do believe angels, as well as demons, may appear as an orb or light, and people may see a cloud, if they can see into the spirit realm. Many people can see spiritual things such as angels and demons. These people (seers) have a gift/ability called seership. I think some good books on this subject are The Veil by Blake Healy and Open My Eyes, Lord by Gary Oates and Robert Lamb. The seers and someone with the gift of discernment can tell you exactly what is happening when these things are going on. I believe there is also an authentic gift of prophecy where God can speak truth through us to others. This includes "words of knowledge" and "words of wisdom" that the Holy Spirit reveals to us. However, there has been a lot of abuse of prophecy as I make note in my article on prophecy. I would add that just because a particular experience is not in the Bible does not mean we should automatically dismiss it as of the Devil, as the Pharisees did in the passage we read. For example, I've heard many times and used to say myself that people falling over after being prayed for (being "slain in the spirit") is not in the Bible, yet the power of God is throughout the Bible and many people were overwhelmed by God in both the Old and New Testament. It has happened to me and it is perfectly understandable if you have felt the overwhelming power of God. The Bible doesn't contain everything Jesus did (John 21:25), however, it contains all of the essentials that we need, and it is those essentials that we need to focus on.
I beg you to please be very careful what you think and say about signs and wonders because you could be quenching the Spirit and expressing unbelief, yet it is faith which pleases God. You cannot be committing the "Unpardonable sin" because that involved saying Jesus was Beelzebub (or Satan) but it is obviously very serious if you say Satan is performing a miracle when in fact, it is God who is doing it through His Bride, the Church.
Having been a Christian since January 22, 1989 and very active in ministry and churches since then, I have seen a lot. I have heard and experienced a great deal on both sides of this issue. It is essential to recognize that there are authentic signs and wonders, as well as counterfeit and even demonic signs and wonders. The Holy Spirit will enable us to discern which, but often we do not hear the Holy Spirit, instead interpreting or judging out of our worldview or beliefs. We need to be willing to learn and/or to change our minds when we filter everything through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. It is essential to be hearing from God and interpreting His Word correctly, and not "hearing" from ourselves or anything else. We need to aknowledge that we are always changing and hopefully learning and growing in our understanding. Even as I have worked on putting all of these writings on my website, I have changed a lot of them as I have grown in my understanding. These writings are largely incomplete as well, and there are literally hundreds of other writings I am working on adding to this site. I do not claim to have perfect understanding and these fluid writings will continue to be modified as I grow in my understanding. I pray that you are humble enough to accept that for yourself. If you disagree with something I say, please contact me rather than take what I say at a given time and quote me. No quote mining please. We all have the right to change our minds as we grow and mature in our faith, understanding, relationship, theology, etc. May we be graceful as we are wise and discerning. I hope and pray you understand what I mean.
I do not have time to address the neverending display of new false signs and wonders, for as 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 points out, the workings of Satan include "all power, signs, and lying wonders" and Matthew 24:24 points out there will be "great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." However, I encourage you to be on your guard as these seem to be growing in both occurance and acceptance. We need to focus on Christ, leading others to Christ and making disciples.
© Todd Tyszka
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