*All future correspondence will be under the pen name – C. Gray Adams*
Many run to and fro, seeking signs and wonders. In this endeavor, they wander about from church to church, looking for the next revival where they may obtain their much-desired goosebumps. This is very unfortunate because this need for the supernatural is rooted in the desire to please the flesh. Indeed, this need is a glaring testimony against those who long for supernatural manifestations. Great is the dichotomy on display as one observes the attitude of the faithful who trust in the Lord with all of their heart (Prov 3:5a): These only desire to worship the Lord in spirit and truth (John 4:24); they seek the Lord and His will instead of signs and wonders. The saddest part about those who seek signs and wonders is they are very susceptible to the prophesied deception caused by the forthcoming ‘lying signs and wonders.’
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” 
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and the Sadducees for their desire to see a sign. In fact, He called them hypocrites who could not discern the times (Matt 16:3). He also made a statement that can apply to any generation when He said, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh a sign” (Matt 16:4a). Today, many are acting just like the so-called religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Christ and His revealed Word are not good enough for them. They must have more. Likewise, these cannot discern the fact that the end of the age has come and the great falling away has begun. Soon, the remnant church will be raptured, and the wicked one who performs lying signs and wonders, by the power of Satan, shall be revealed:
2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (emphasis mine)
Notice the reason these are deceived, “because they received not the love of the truth (vs. 11b).” Those who seek after signs and wonders are, in essence, saying they are not satisfied with the truth. Put another way, since Jesus is the truth, they are not satisfied with Jesus. Unfortunately, these long for the manifestation of the supernatural more than the arrival of the bridegroom to claim His bride.
Time and time again, some proclaim their desire to see God move by way of signs and wonders. They yearn for the manifestation of healings and miracles. Perhaps this is because they have secret doubts about God, like the Sadducees and Pharisees, who, after hearing of the great things Jesus had done, still required a sign in order to believe in Him. Or maybe it is worse than this: could it be those who desire signs and wonders have replaced the desire to follow God’s sovereign will with the desire to experience healings and miracles? To the onlooker, these people truly seem to desire signs and wonders even more than they desire God Himself.
The bystander is not the only one who sees this errant desire in certain people. No, Satan, the great deceiver, also sees and wishes to fulfill the desire of the hearts of the misguided. Indeed, very soon, he will crash onto the scene and beguile many by way of lying signs and wonders. In fact, he, the god of this world, is already using his false ministers to set the stage for the greatest time of deception to ever exist.  Scripture reveals that during the Tribulation, the false church will thrive, and many will be deceived by these false signs and wonders:
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.” (emphasis mine)
Thorough examination of the scriptures proves the only signs foretold to take place in the last days are of the lying sort. Think about it; if God was going to pour out signs and wonders in a great last day’s revival, He would have told us so. Surely, He would have instructed Paul to share information with the church about such a forthcoming revival. Instead, he told us there would be a great falling way from the faith, which means few will be faithful in the end:
2 Thessalonians 2:3
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (emphasis mine)
You see, the coming false revival, which is marked by ‘lying signs and wonders,’ will be energized by Satan, not God, and through it, many will be deceived into believing the antichrist is the Messiah.  This revival may flourish for a season. However, it will persist just long enough to draw the unsuspecting into the false last days church called Babylon the Great (Rev 17:5). Sadly, once these take the mark of the beast, their fate will be sealed. 
It is my personal belief that God may indeed pour out His Spirit upon all flesh during the coming Tribulation, as prophesied by Joel; however, it will not result in signs and wonders involving miracles and healings:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”
This prophecy, like many others, contains information about fulfillment which will take place at different times. Peter cited much of this passage on the Day of Pentecost (Act 2:16-21). However, not all of what was prophesied took place on that day. Indeed, much will take place during the Tribulation.
Another point should be reiterated about this prophecy: There are no miracles and healings prophesied here. Instead, Joel speaks of prophesying and seeing dreams and visions, all of which are for the purpose of causing the people to focus on God, such as was the case on the Day of Pentecost when those in the upper room glorified God in the different languages of all those who were visiting Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-11). The rest are physical signs in the celestial bodies. Therefore, God is not going to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh for the purpose of goosebumps and the deification of man who can suddenly perform signs and wonders. By the way, deceivers have always coveted the supernatural, and by ‘lying signs and wonders,’ they have and will deceive multitudes. 
One final thought on the prophesied pouring out of God’s Spirit should be expounded upon. Notice, God will pour out His Spirit upon ‘all’ flesh. This means that, like it happened on the Day of Pentecost, God’s sons and daughters will respond to the pouring out of His Spirit by prophesying and seeing dreams and visions. Others will react to this pouring out, like the three thousand who heard God glorified (Acts 2:41), by desiring to know how to be saved. Still others will reject God’s Spirit and the love of His truth, which will lead to the fulfillment of them falling under the strong delusion sent by God – Himself, which causes them to believe a lie that leads to their damnation (2 Thess 2:10-12). All of this leads to the question: How do these false ideas prosper? The answer: believing faulty precepts.
God used the prophet Isaiah to pronounce judgment upon the rebellious Jews of his day (Is 28). In this judgment, the Word of the Lord would be to the Israelites: precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little (Is 28:13a). Many false teachers have latched onto this idea and used this concept in presenting their false doctrines. They simply twist Scripture in order to form a faulty precept which then allows them to layer other faulty precepts upon the first. They do this until they have developed, through many layers of faulty precepts, the fallacy they wish to disseminate. Many fall prey to this tactic because they accept one faulty precept or another. The faulty precept in question is the idea that Christians are to seek signs and wonders.
This precept is faulty because this idea is absent from the Bible. According to God’s Word, instead of seeking signs and wonders, men should be seeking the God of signs and wonders. After all, unless God does something supernatural, it is done by Satan and his minions. This errant precept thrives because it rests upon another faulty precept: The idea that believers should be ‘Walking in Divine Health.’ 
When people believe they can and should walk in divine health, which means they believe they are already glorified and should never die, they fall prey to the desire to seek signs and wonders. After all, walking in divine health would be a great sign and wonder, indeed. However, Scripture refutes both of these faulty precepts by indicating that Christians can be sick (1 Tim 5:23; 2 Tim 4:20), and it is appointed that all men shall die (Heb 9:27), save those raptured (1 Thess 4:13-18). Incredibly, these faulty precepts, as bad as they are, rest upon another deeply engrained false precept: The idea that the atonement, through the stripes received by Jesus, provides physical healing.
We must remember, when studying God’s Word, context is key. Thorough examination of the passages upon which the atonement doctrine is based reveals that the entire narratives are speaking of the spiritual healing of man. Therefore, the idea that ‘physical’ healing is attained through the stripes received by Jesus is foreign to the truth of Scripture:
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (emphasis mine)
1 Peter 2:24-25
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”
The context of these passages clearly depicts that God never intended for man to believe his body was healed by the stripes that Jesus took. Instead, God wanted us to know that during the atoning work Jesus did, He took the stripes for our Spiritual healing. In fact, atonement was always for sin, not physical healing (Lev 16:6, 15-16). Paul spoke of atonement in Romans 5:11:
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [reconciliation].” (emphasis mine) [authors’ comment]
In this passage, Paul is clearly speaking of reconciliation, as even the word Paul uses for ‘atonement’ is often translated as ‘reconciliation.’ Therefore, what Jesus did on the cross was done to reconcile man back to God; it had nothing whatsoever to do with physical healing. By the way, if physical healing was intended in the atonement, men would never die because sickness and the resultant death would be impossible.
Long ago, false teachers wrested, from their context, the passages which spoke about the stripes Jesus received healing us (Is 53:5; 1 Pet 2:24) and created a faulty precept upon which many other faulty precepts are built. One would like to think they did so unwittingly; however, it is more probable that they fell prey to the wiles of the devil who whispered in their itching ears that they could live forever in this body. After falling for this deception, these false teachers then set out to share this error with those they had drawn unto themselves (Acts 20:29-31). Make no mistake, this is a heinous fallacy, which is rooted in the very first lie spoken to mankind, in the Garden of Eden, that men would not surely die.  While this is bad enough, the other side of this coin is that this fallacy only prospered because of the desire of men to hear it (2 Tim 4:3).
The desire of man to see the supernatural is at the very root of many of the deceptions which have and still plague/d the church. This desire fueled the campaigns of the wolves who entered into the church (Acts 20:29-31). When these false doctrines were presented, they should have been rejected by the elders of the church because they caused man to no longer look to God as sovereign. Instead, they were heralded as the next new thing which everyone must grab ahold of in order to grow spiritually. Sadly, this growth was not for the purpose of becoming more like Christ. Instead, it was foisted upon the hearer as the way to ultimately replace Christ through self-deification.
Unfortunately, through this tainted process, humanism now thrives in much of the so-called church. In other words, the church now focuses on what man can do by manipulating God’s Word in order to validate their false desires. Incredibly, men are now even ‘decreeing’ and ‘declaring’ things done as though they are God, or worse yet, able to boss God around. The sheer insanity of this should make it plain to see that this is yet another faulty precept built upon the lies of the many false apostles, prophets, and teachers who have and will continue to mislead the masses through ‘lying signs and wonders.’
Perhaps our best defense is found in the book of Deuteronomy:
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
After all, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29b).
***Special note: This does not mean that God does not perform signs and wonders. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). Therefore, He can do as He wills. However, these signs and wonders are completely in His control, and He never said otherwise. Even when Jesus sent the Apostles forth on the Great Commission, it was the Lord performing the signs which were meant to confirm their words:
“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (emphasis mine)
***A companion article is underway which deals with this controversial passage and the fact that two of the most respected transcripts end at Mark 16:8.
Website: In His Commission
 “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “The Rise of Many.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “The Great Awakening – The Grand Deception.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “Open Letter to Those Who Miss the Rapture.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “The Return of the Godless.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “Not Yet.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “The Greatest Lie Ever Told: The Origin of All Lies.”