Discernment: Miracles, Signs, Wonders, and the Kingdom of God

MagicQuestion: Are prophecy, casting out demons, and performing miracles enough to ensure us eternal life?

Eternal Sharing in the Kingdom:
These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name (Jesus Christ of Nazareth) they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues, they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will LAY HANDS ON THE SICK and THEY WILL RECOVER.” Mark 16:17-18

Authentic Kingdom – will call on the name of Christ Jesus for those seeking to be healed and have the Fruit or evidence of restored health. Simply put, those who pray with these individuals are healed of their ailments. Because the heart of these men and women are of the Kingdom of God, God answers their prayers and grants restoration of health (see John 15:7).

Eternal Separation from Kingdom:
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles”. Matthew 7:22

Prophesy alone, Casting out demons alone (see Acts 19), and performing miracles alone are not signs of the Kingdom of God.

God was performing extraordinatry miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick and the disease left them and the evil spirits went out. But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evils spirits the name of he Lord Jesus, saying “I adjure you by Jesus who Paul preaches.”…And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And the man, in whom the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:11-13, 15

Counterfeit Kingdom – will call on the name of Christ Jesus for those seeking to be healed of various ailments (i.e. freed from demons, illness) but they show the Fruit or evidence of no healings. Simply put, those who pray with these individuals do not get healed. Because the heart of these men and women are not of the Kingdom of God, God does not answer their prayers (see Acts 19;John 15:7).

The PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR (Ephesians 2:2) can also perform miracles, signs, and wonders which is why God does not use this as the primary way of determining those in the Kingdom of God.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF THE FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN WILL ENTER. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. 2 Thessalonians 2:9

If prophesy, casting out demons, miracles, signs, and wonders alone does not ensure eternal life, what does?

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear FRUIT, He takes away; and every branch that bears FRUIT, He prunes it so that it may bear more FRUIT. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear FRUIT of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much FRUIT, for apart from Me you can do nothing. IF ANYONE DOES NOT ABIDE IN ME, he is THROWN AWAY as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and CAST THEM INTO THE FIRE and THEY ARE BURNED. IF YOU ABIDE IN ME, AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, ASK WHATEVER YOU WISH, AND AND IT WILL BE DONE FOR YOU. John 15:1-7

Salvation Prayer:
Dear Father God and Lord Jesus Christ:
This day I call on you (Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21).
I admit that I am a sinner (1 John 1:8-10).
I ask you to forgive me for all my sins (1 John 1:9).
I believe that you, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, died on the cross at Calvary as a sacrifice for all the sins I have ever committed and will ever commit (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 3:15-16).
You died for me, to save me (John 3:17; Romans 5:8).
I say that you, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, are my Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).
I believe in my heart that God raised you from the dead (Romans 10:9).
I ask you to come into my heart and take control of my life (Galatians 4:6).
I want to start over again. I want a new beginning. I want to be in the family of God (Ephesians 1:5; 1:13-14).
Holy Spirit come and fill me with your presence and attributes (Galatians 5:22-23).
Thank you heavenly Father and all of these things I pray in the name and blood of Christ Jesus. Amen

Photo Credit: Bing

Spiritual Warfare: Mark 9:38 – He’s Not One of Us

man_walking_awayEvery few months I receive a client who has had a revision surgery due to some sort of failure in the previous course of treatment. Many of these clients explain they had no idea they were doing too much or too little. They simply had surgery and went home (left to their own devices). Anyone in rehab knows this scenario can go one of three directions.

1. Client goes home and does well with no need for follow up
2. Client goes home and does too little out of fear of reinjury, resulting in need for rehab at 6-12 months later due to excessive stiffness and limited performance in daily tasks or surgerical release of the severely adhered structures.
3. Client goes home and does too much not understanding the newly replaced joint(s) or sutured tendon is not healed, resulting in dislocation or rupture respectively of the structures and need for immediate repair of the post op failure.

In both scenarios two and three, the clients are usually sent to therapy after revision surgery. There is even closer communication and collaboration between the surgeon and rehab on this second course of treatment to ensure post op success. Most clients express regret for not having received the collaborative care on the initial course of treatment but express gratitude for having the collaborative guidance in getting them back to life this time around.

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

In many ways the Church operates in the same fashion as the medical scenario above. When the various parts of the Church’s gifts (i.e. helps, administration, prophetic, mercy, teaching, exhortation, giving) communicate closely with one another, positive Kingdom advancing results occur such as more souls being converted and genuine growth in the universal Body. However, when these spiritual gifts works apart from one another, less than ideal results for the Kingdom occur.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:4-8

Imagine a teaching ministry sharing the gospel with the poor but missing the basic needs of a hot meal and warm blanket that could be provided by a service ministry. Would not God’s work be more effective with the two gifts working together? This is the challenge for the modern Church. Entire denominations and in some cases specific gifts ministries within denominations work counter to one another than with one another.

Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and WE TOLD HIM TO STOP, BECAUSE HE WAS NOT ONE OF US.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Mark 9:38-41

Yesuah himself recognized the good works this unknown man was doing on His behalf. He corrected the Twelve who made the prideful judgment that this unknown man outside of the ministry of the Twelve had no place or authority to do Kingdom work. Yesuah told them to NOT stop this man from doing Kingdom work, as this man was doing good on behalf of the Kingdom of God and he was healing a man from his illness (possession). This story illustrates clearly that though we all are part of the Kingdom, we the Body can be a hindrance to the Kingdom by creating stumbling blocks for other Believers doing Kingdom work. We must not do this.

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this– not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Romans 14:13

The Body of Christ needs to be reminded like the Twelve that Kingdom of God is not ours to judge or determine who is worthy to serve or not. The Kingdom of God is Abba’s and he has given each Believer the charge in the Great Commission to do his works.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mark 28:16-20

Abba we repent of our pride and hindrances to your Kingdom advancing. Examine our hearts Holy Spirit and show us where we have rejected other Believers from your Kingdom works. Cleanse us; purify us so that we can openly welcome your sons and daughters into the universal family of the Body of Christ. Amen

Related Posts: Discernment ; One World Faith ; Hospitality v. Favoritism
Related Resources: Living on the Edge
Photo Credits: Google ; The Truth Won