Monday, June 19, 2006

Sign Language

… the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.
(2 Thessalonians 2:9)

Not all signs and wonders point to God. Even if done in the name of God, and done in a way to promote virtuous ideas, i.e. healing someone, the overall message must be discerned. Do the signs bring glory to Christ? Is it consistent with Scripture? Do we think that it is a righteous sign just because the person performing the sign says so, or because they profess to love God?

The spirit of antichrist will indeed do the miraculous; at first, it will even be for “good”. If we are looking at the “goodness” of actions, and not judging by the Word, we will be deceived. You may scream, “But I won’t be here when antichrist appears!” The study of end time events (eschatology) is debatable; however, even now we must beware of lying signs and wonders. The spirit of antichrist is already among us (1 John 2:18).

We may tend to think that “lying signs” mean ones that don’t “work”. But God is talking about signs that distract from His glory, and away from His truth. God warned the Jews in the days of Moses about lying signs and wonders, and the warning still rings true. If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth (is testing) you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).

Notice that the sign or wonder comes to pass; it works! Remember we discussed signs that worked yet people who won’t make it into the kingdom in Matthew 7. The false prophet described here is one who may perform a sign or wonder, one that is “real”, but then introduces some new idea, one that is different than the way we know and have learned about God.

This is the key to the deception; the sign was just to disarm our discernment. Now the innovation is introduced, and under the guise of a new “level” or power or experience, or supposed deeper intimacy with the God of the Bible, a false God is ushered in, unbeknownst to those unsuspecting souls made spellbound by the sign.

Here is the key to discernment; Paul said if any man preaches another gospel than the one he delivered, let him be anathema (Galatians 1:8-9). That meant that if he didn't say it, don't believe it! If there is some new thing that someone else says that we cannot find in some seed or other form in the canonical writings of Paul, it is anathema. In the scripture, we have all we need for life and godliness, and an understanding of the scripture will yield the defense we need against the presumption of faith, heresies, and all such foul flavors. The scripture is our shelter.

Today, most ministers performing signs under the presumption of faith would not deliberately give an overt call to seek other gods, but they may be deceived as to where they are leading people. Discernment must be used to see if a sign or wonder is truly an act of grace that glorifies God, or if it draws us away from the Lord and to our own desires. We must be diligently on guard because God will test us; He has said so in His Word.


Anonymous said...

...would not deliberately......may be deceived.

I think there's lots of deception going on in the "seeker sensitive"/"bigger is better" (mega) church atmosphere.....looking for the next sign, wonder, healing, miracle. We're almost like addicts looking for our next "fix"! And I think some ministers succomb to the pressure they get from the congregation.

Even So... said...

Yes, I agree, pray that I don't.

Anonymous said...

True, we must be vigilant, for even the elect could be deceived “if that were possible.” Another good article on this, targeting a select group of deceivers may found at

Even So... said...

Good article Steve.