The New Testament not only tells us which signs are from God, it even lays out which signs are used in which situations. There are signs that follow believers (Mark 16:17), there are signs to the unbeliever (1 Cor. 14:22), and there are gifts of the Spirit that are operations of the government and power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12, and Ephesians 4).
Signs come from different sources and serve different purposes. Some are road signs that regulate driving, some are billboards that advertise, and some are identifiers that tell what and where things are located. All of these signs are legitimate, but they aren’t all from the same people. In the supernatural, there are all kinds of signs but they aren’t all from God. How do you know the difference between a legitimate sign from God and just a billboard?
One Sunday as I was preaching in my church, just as I pointed at one of the ceiling fans someone happened to turn the fan on. Now I know people who would take it as a sign that the “wind of the spirit is moving.” No, it was just a coincidence. I call these “Santa Claus signs” because it’s like a young kid that convinces himself Santa is real because the milk and the cookies are gone the next morning when he wakes up. When you want something badly enough, circumstances can always line up to support your hopes that it is true. If you’re looking for a sign, the devil will make sure you see one. I absolutely believe in prophetic and supernatural signs, but I also know how to measure them against my born-again spirit.
I’ve known family members and friends – good people, many of whom sincerely loved Jesus – who visited psychics. Those psychics were able to tell them why they were there, what they were looking for and what the outcome of a situation would be, and it all came true. Does that mean you should visit a psychic? By all means NO! Psychics operate with the help of demonic, familiar spirits, not the Holy Spirit. Demonic power can be real, not just a powerless imitation.
Nowhere in scripture do we find signs of jewels appearing, gold dust falling, people being led to act like animals, stigmatas (blood or oil from peoples hands like the wounds of Christ), odd “friendships” with angels, or special angels that carry special anointings. These are “billboard” signs that have been put up by other supernatural powers but don’t fit into God’s reality. The important thing to understand is that these false signs are just as real as the other signs. Have you ever followed billboard signs, looking for a certain restaurant or café, only to get there and find that the location doesn’t exist? Just because a sign is real, doesn’t mean it’s from God or that it’s pointing you to God. Many signs point you to dead ends. It’s important to remember that there is a real spiritual world out there, and God isn’t the only one putting signs up on your spiritual road.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve seen God do some very interesting things. I’ve seen people healed, delivered, and set free. I’ve seen miracles that simply cannot be explained. However, there is one common element to everything God does… His Word. God’s response is always in line with His Word. And His Word will bring real transformation in the lives of His people.
End Part 3