Seeking After a Sign - Part 1
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Summary: This is the first article of a series.
 
 

Signs—they are all around us. Stop, Yield, Slow down, One Way, Exit. Without signs in this world, you and I would have a hard time navigating through our city streets or even shopping mall parking lots! We need them. They help us find where we are going, tell us how far we have to go, and warn us where not to go. Signs are a necessary part of our everyday life.

But what about our everyday walk of faith? Are signs necessary? I believe they are, or else God would not have used them in the beginning of the Church. Hebrews 2:1-4 states:

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 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?(emphasis added)

Stop sign
As the apostles began their ministry, the Lord accompanied their testimony with signs and miracles to provide a witness of the power of the Gospel and the veracity of their message. Many Christians today may ask, “Where are those signs now?” Is it wrong for us to seek after signs, or to expect signs in the church today? What signs should we expect, if any?

There are denominations in the Christian faith that seem to excel in signs and wonders—ministries that seem to be all about and only about signs. Is this truly what God has intended us to seek after? Miracles of healings, prophetic utterances, slayings in the spirit, unintelligible tongues, drunkenness in the spirit, orbs of light, glitter appearing on worshippers, and the list goes on and on. How can we determine if these are truly signs from God? Answer: We let the Scriptures speak for themselves.

Let us look back to the story in the gospel of Luke, chapter 11. In verse 14, Jesus is casting out a demon and the people accuse Him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub. Then in verse 16 we read; “And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.” By seeking after a sign to prove He was truly using the power of heaven, the people were tempting Jesus.

Interesting thought here. Are we tempting God when we seek a sign, a wonder, some miraculous happening to prove to us that it is really God at work? It seems so, especially when we read on in the text.

But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. Luke 11:28-29

One-way sign
Jesus states unequivocally that to seek after a sign, a miracle, or some extraordinary thing is evidence of an evil generation. We have already been given a sign. The generations of the nation of Israel had been given a sign in the prophet Jonah, so we too have been given a sign for our generation through the prophets of the Bible and in the counsels of Ellen White. We have no need to search and seek for miraculous happenings to prove to us that Jesus is who He says He is, and that it is God who is at work in you, if you do as Jesus stated, Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

It was essential for the Jews of Jesus’ day to read the Word of God, understand the Word of God, believe the Word of God, and live the Word of God. This is the greatest sign of all!

Consider your own life. How easy is it for you to know what is right or wrong without the Word? Without the understanding from the Word, how can you come to repentance? Without faith in the Word and the One of whom the Word speaks, Jesus Christ, it is impossible to please God. Ultimately, without the Word giving you the understanding that it is the Holy Spirit living in you that gives you the strength to overcome sin in your life, you would be just like the man Jesus describes in Luke 11:24-26.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Here is the context in which Jesus is speaking when He states in Luke that the people were an evil generation seeking a sign. They had heard the Word of God but had not kept it. They were devoid of the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives to keep what they had heard; therefore they wanted a sign, something to prove that God was at work! Had they allowed the Holy Spirit to convict, fill and reform them, they would have recognized Christ for who He was! Instead, they had read the words of Scripture, but they themselves remained empty. With no power of the Holy Ghost in their lives, they therefore had no way to recognize it in the life of Jesus. In us, the greatest sign that God is at work happens on the inside—God working in us to will and to do His good pleasure.

We then should not be so quick to seek signs of an exterior nature. It would surely be exciting for the dead to be raised and for blind eyes to see, but equally powerful are inward signs where the spiritually dead are given life in Christ, and the spiritual blindness that I may have had is no more, for now I can see! Praise God for His wonders and miracles in my life—a changed life. No longer a slave to sin, I am now set free by the blood of the Lamb and the renewing of my mind by the Word of God!

But there is more to this topic of signs. When next we meet here in our newsletter, we will expand our study further delving into not only the signs we see so prominently displayed on television and in some ministries, but also the very special sign that God has given to those who choose to follow Him. So until then, may God be with you always.

Watch for the new lecture series by Joel Kratzke to be released early next year by Amazing Discoveries.

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