Signs and Wonders

Brief Study Outline


A.    The Meaning of Signs and Wonders: Signs and wonders are special miracles that “signify” that something miraculous is going on. They are always intended on making people “wonder” about important things instead of remaining numb to them. In the Bible, signs and wonders include:


1.        Miraculous Healing, raising the dead, giving sight

2.        Speaking in tongues

3.        Prophesying - telling the future

4.        Withholding rain for 3 1/2 years (Elijah) in judgment

5.        The sun darkened, and moon turned into blood (Act 2:19,20)


B.    The Method of Signs and Wonders


1.        By the “laying on of hands” of those empowered

2.        By prayer by those empowered


B.    The Purpose of Signs and Wonders


1.        To prove that Jesus was God (Acts 2:22)

2.        To back up the word of God (Mark 16:20)

3.        To show that God was with the Christians now in Acts 2, like as He had been with the Jews in Exodus (Dt 6:22)

4.        To mark changes in God’s dealings with mankind (Act 2:19)

5.        To deceive people and get them against God (Rev 16:14)


C.    The Producers of Signs and Wonders


1.        God Himself (Isa 7:14)

2.        The Lord Jesus (Acts 2:22)

3.        Prophets - Moses and Aaron (Ex 7:3), and the prophets

4.        Apostles - By the hands of the apostles (Acts 2:43; 4:33; 5:12; 14:3,4; 19:11; Ro 15:19; 2 Cor 12:12). They got this personally from the Lord Jesus (Mt 10:1,2).

5.        Deacons - By the first deacons (Acts 6:8; 8:5-7) - they were given this power by the apostles (Acts 6:5,6)

6.        The Anti-christ (Mt 24:24; Rev 13:11-15), and his “ministers” (Ex 7:10-12)


D.    The Proofs of True Signs and Wonders


1.        They worked every time - with and without faith by the recipient (Acts 5:16; 28:7,8).

2.        They never contradicted the word of God - always were subject to verification (1 John 4:1)

3.        They worked against ALL forms of disease and satanic powers (Matt 10:1,8) - they could heal AIDS, and restore missing limbs - not just "stretch" limbs and cure gout!

4.        They worked until the end of the apostolic age (2 Tim 4:20; 1 Cor 13:8)


E.     The Problem with Signs and Wonders


1.        An adulterous people look for them - not true seekers of Christ (Mt 12:38-41), but of those who only seek more sources of personal power!

2.        The devil can easily counterfeit most of them (Ex 8:16-18; Rev 13:13-15)

3.        The Lord will allow signs and wonders to confound the rebellious (2Thes 2:8-12), and test the Christian (Dt 13:1-5).

4.        Miracles are to be subject to the word of God (Isa 8:18-20). If they aren’t valid, then the magician is to be stoned (Dt 13)

5.        People are only to believe the word - not miracles (John 4:48). The miracles were to get people to believe the word (Mk 16:20)!


F.     The Place of Signs and Wonders - in the Past, and in the Future


1.        Primarily in Israel

2.        To the Jews throughout the world - to get them back to God

3.        To some of the Gentiles - but not as a general rule. Paul was restrained in using miracles outside Israel (Cf 1Cor 1:22-24), but would use them if there were unbelieving Jews present (1 Cor 14:22).

4.        Were finished at the completion of the Bible (1 Cor 13:8-10)

5.        They will occur again in the Tribulation (manna from heaven feeding the Jews; water from the rock; earthquakes, sun being turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, etc). These miracles will once again be directed at the literal Jews - not Christian believers!


G.    The Proper Results of Signs and Wonders - The apostles demonstrated authority over laying the foundation of the church


1.        Produced unity in the church - they already had it (Acts 1: ; 2:

2.        Seriousness about being a part of the New Testament church (Acts 2:43

3.        People getting saved - consistent focus!

4.        People getting healed (5:16) - every one! Everybody was ready for the coming of the kingdom of Heaven - Millennium




All this is not ever to imply that God Himself has changed. God is the "miracle worker" and is still in the miracle working business. What N.T. Christianity so quickly does is get it eyes off of the Lord, and onto the healer. May N.T. Christianity once again get back to a complete dependence upon God for all the needed miracles necessary to stand and firm in this dark world!