Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Jesus Culture Deception :: Chasing Signs and Wonders:

"Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature....If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? ....So my brother, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:20, 23, 39

Bill Johnson tweeted this today:
“If signs and wonders don’t follow you, follow them until they follow you.”
However, Jesus told the Pharisee’s who were seeking a sign from Jesus that the only sign they’d be given is His Resurrection the meaning of which, of course, they did not comprehend as their understanding was veiled (II Corinthians 3:14-18):
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” [Matt 12:38-40 NKJV]
But, Jesus is a bit more stern here in this particular account:
1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed. [Matthew 16:1-4 NKJV]
The Apostle John records yet another account:
48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”  [John 4:48 NKJV]
Seeking after a sign is a sign of unbelief and/or chasing other gods.   Coincidentally, Bill Johnson posted the following on facebook just after the quote above:
“Heaven is filled with perfect peace. This world is filled with unbelief and disorder. We will always reflect the nature of the world we are most aware of.”
I would have to say, ironically, it almost appears he is admitting his unbelief when putting the two quotes together.  I’m sure this is unintentional on his part; however, we know that God works in mysterious ways.
15 Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior,
      you work in mysterious ways. [Isaiah 45:15 NLT]
Back in the early OT days Moses had provided a warning about this sort of thing.
1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.” [Deut 13:1-5; emphasis added]
Ouch!  It”s a good thing we’re in the New Covenant!  In the Olivet discourse Jesus is describing the sign of the end times with a warning of coming deception:
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.  [Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV]
The Apostle Paul provides a similar warning plus an alarming reason why some will be deceived into thinking these signs are of God:
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  [II Thessalonians 2:9-12 NKJV; emphasis added]
Hold fast to the Truth lest you be deceived and thus have God send the strong delusion to you!

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