With all of the recent controversy over the Lakeland “revival,” I have been meditating and studying the
Scriptures about signs and wonders. My conclusion is that signs and wonders were
not intended to be "an
event" that one travels to see. Signs and wonders are fruit of walking in the
Spirit and doing the work of the
Mark 16:17-20 explains: “And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will
drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; They will pick up serpents;
and [even] if they drink
anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick,
and they will get well. So then the
Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and He sat
down at the right hand of God.
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them
and confirming the
message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]. Amen
(so be it).” [This is the
Amplified Version, but it has the same message in KJV.]
I will say it again: “Signs and wonders are fruit of walking in the Spirit and doing the work of the
knew that His followers would encounter many things in their ministry that would
have to be dealt with
immediately. I have personally encountered a few serious demonic manifestations
in others that had to be
addressed immediately. I told the demon to shut up and come out! It did! (At the
name of Jesus every knee
must bow.) There was no fanfare, but the man was set free. I have prayed for
many people who have been
healed, and I personally have experienced healings in my body. People have told
me that I have the gift of
healing and the gift of faith. I want to say, "Maybe, but mostly, I have Jesus."
I think many people do not
understand that when we have Jesus, we have all that He has given us, to do the
works that He did on earth,
and greater! John 14:12-14 NIV: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in
me will do what I have been
doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the
Father. And I will do whatever you
ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me
for anything in my name,
and I will do it."
I will add to my resume that I have been a Christian for 56 years. And I have
learned well 2 Corinthians 4:7. I
like the Amplified version: "However, we possess this precious treasure [the
divine Light of the Gospel] in
[frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of
the power may be shown to be
from God and not from ourselves."
When Jesus gave His charge in Matthew 28 to "Go into all the world and make
disciples in all the nations"
(paraphrased), He prevented any argument by “showing them his badge,” so to speak. "All authority has been
given to Me in heaven and on earth." He is "far above all rule and authority and
power and dominion, and
every name that is named" (Eph. 1:21). The Church has been pretty good at
evangelism, but for the most
part, the last part of the Matthew 28 charge has been left out: "and teaching
them to obey everything I have
It is no wonder that we are in the mess we are in. We get people saved so they
won’t go to hell and send
them out into the world like sheep among wolves before they are trained for
service. It is no wonder that
people so easily turn to their "natural" inclinations.
One minister made some good points in an article I read: They [deceived and
gullible Christians] don’t know
the Scriptures. They have no discernment. Their senses have not been trained
(through exercise) to discern
both good and evil. They receive a revelation and think they are now experts.
They lust for supernatural
power. They are hungry for celebrity and one-upmanship. They substitute
experiences with angels for the
worship and presence of God.
Why? Because, for the most part, Christians have not been taught and do not
practice 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study
to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word
of truth" [emphasis mine]. Jesus said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his
cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34)—not chase after signs, wonders, highs, and angels—and “He [Jesus] must
increase, but I [me] must decrease” (John 3:30).
Hebrews 5:12-14: "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have
need again for someone to
teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to
need milk and not solid food.
For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of
righteousness, for he is an infant.
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses
trained to discern good and evil."
New disciples can be trained in all of these points above and how to bring glory
to Jesus Christ by being holy in
all of their conduct (1 Peter 1:15), but it must first start in the pulpit. I
think it has been proven that the
seeker-friendly, social gospel works for growing big churches, but it does not
work for maturing disciples. Let's
return to the biblical pattern, and let's grow up and start making a difference
in the church and the world.
It's time for the Church to move on to maturity, or few of us will be ready for
the days ahead.
Forgive us, Lord!