Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you." But He answered and 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." Matthew 12:38,39
It is hard for me to believe that the religious crowd was asking for a sign from Jesus when all they had to do was hang out with Him for a few days and they would have been convinced that He was truly the Son of God. Blind eyes opened, lepers cleansed, the dead raised and devils cast out sounds like pretty convincing signs and yet they wanted more.
People today are hungry for signs and wonders but reject the word of God and the narrow path of making Jesus the Lord of their life by following His commands to make disciples and expand His kingdom. They run from meeting to meeting seeking miracles and expect great signs from men that are said to possess great anointing when in actuality they are being deceived by a spirit of error.
If it feels good, do it, was the motto of the new age generation coming out of the sixties and seventies promoting a lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock and roll, no rules, just right. Many of the songs that were written contained spiritual messages from Eastern religions and encouraged the channeling of spirits with the help of LSD and other mind altering drugs. I believe many of the "Hippie" generation are the same ones seeking miracles and signs today.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. I John 4:1
THE SPIRIT OF ERROR
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. I John 4:6
The word error literally means to deviate from truth. The gospel of Jesus Christ is very clear when it states that we are to follow a narrow path by following Him. Jesus said signs would follow us, and not for us to follow signs. Signs and wonders have to be discerned by the body of Christ and they are to be consistent with scripture.
For instance, if being slain in the spirit was something God wanted His people to experience they would have been laid out like cord wood around the most anointed Man ever to live on the planet, the Lord Jesus Christ! I know there are signs that are performed that are not recorded in the Word, but as people of God we are commanded to test the spirits instead of just jumping in head first.
Many of the signs today are clearly demonic, such as barking, jerking, shaking, quaking or uncontrollable laughing. I know this because for the past thirty years I have cast these demons out of people and many received these spirits by the laying on of hands. Christians are warned not to lay hands on people hastily or to have hands laid on them because something, good or bad is being transferred in the process.
The signs and wonders Jesus performed were to validate the gospel and to open blind eyes to the power of God. People's lives were transformed by the healing and delivering power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan counterfeits the gifts of the spirit and performs false signs and wonders to deceive and to mislead even God's elect.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. II Corinthians 11:13,14
THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
"However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." John 16:13,14
The Spirit of truth always glorifies and points the way to Jesus and not man. When men are elevated above Jesus or even the Holy Spirit or anything else, God's presence will not be there, but something else will! Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
God is holy and His presence always exemplifies His nature and character. Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is His divine presence that creates power, signs and wonders and brings conviction on men's hearts. The purpose of the signs is to glorify Jesus and to bring men into the kingdom.
The Holy Spirit is the One that creates signs and wonders but at the same time He convicts men's hearts revealing to them their motives and sins. When the presence of God descends there is peace, power and conviction to transform men and to conform them into the image of God. When evil men and imposter's try and replicate the presence of God by deception and unclean motives the powers of darkness move in and begin to deceive by false signs and wonders.
"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: "of sin, because they do not believe in Me; "of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; "of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged." John 16:8-11
ANGELS OF LIGHT
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8
Satan is a vile creature, hell bent on the destruction of God's people and will go to great lengths to deceive and counterfeit the things of God. The gospel is God's good news for the sinner and in it contains the way of salvation and the signs that Jesus performed in the presence of men. Satan on the other hand has his own signs and wonders that he displays to the unsuspecting so that he can gain an advantage.
In the garden of Eden Satan disguised himself as a beautiful serpent that spoke like a man and literally deceived the pants off of Adam and his wife Eve. All of mankind fell out of the presence of God because of this one act of deception and his "pickup line" has not changed from the beginning of time: "Has God said?"
In Isaiah 14: 12-15 Satan is described as a fallen angel that has become a legend in his own mind by stating that he wants to be like God, but in actuality he is only a cheap imitation. His name Lucifer literally means "Day Star" or shinning one, in other words he is an angel of artificial light.
Make no mistake about this angel's ability to deceive you because thousands before you have succumbed to his trickery and many have lost their lives. Ezekiel 28:12-17 says that he was the anointed cherub that covers, this is the false anointing that deceives so many people, even God's elect. Don't ever underestimate his violent nature and his desire to destroy you, he is truly the "Master of disaster."
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to earth and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9
THE SIGN OF JONAH
"When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red; 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." Matthew 16:2,3
The sign of Jonah is a type and shadow of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ coming to the world with the sign of repentance. Jonah was resurrected from the belly of the whale and sent to a wicked city to proclaim repentance from their evil lifestyle that would deliver them from God's impending judgment!
The entire city of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah and were delivered through the knowledge of their sin and the conviction that broke their hearts before God. A fast was proclaimed and the people clothed themselves in sackcloth and ashes and the great city was spared as they turned back from a God who had been deeply offended by their sin. The sign of Jonah must once again be shown to a lost and dying world sinking into the depths of Hell as they rebel against a holy God, not knowing or realizing that their sin is destroying them and with it bringing eternal damnation!
Jesus is our sign sent from God to save the world through the preaching of repentance and the restoring power of His blood shed for us to deliver us and redeem us from our bondage of sin and death. Repentance brings about restoration and life to those who receive the word of God and truly turn their hearts back to God.
"Then God saw their works, that they had turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. Jonah 3:10