“Then Jesus said to him, Unless you see signs and wonders…” John 4:48 

There is great controversy about signs and wonders today and it is only right that we enter it, unless it makes us wander away from Life instead of getting us near It. Whatever draws us nigh unto God is good, and if it is wonders and signs let’s have them in proper measures then; and, if it is the absence of them that which makes us surrender unto God, lets lack on them rather then. 

Unbelief and resentment mixed with fear concerning the truthfulness of the Invisible, being so easily set against what the Bible says as being true, are some of the many reasons people get away from signs and wonders so quickly. People know they have to leave all for the sake of the kingdom which is above and never for the sake of things down here, and once a sign is soberly produced anyone will be induced to take all words in the Bible more seriously – that will change a life, perhaps, a pattern one is so used to and towards which one may have worked so hard for all life long creating great expectations towards it even. (One day a young girl told me something like: “I was such a happy person till the day I talked to you”; she had been a church believer till then and has been turned into a heathen because she couldn’t live a lying, double life in church any longer after we had talked and chose to live her way rather than for God).  

Suppose you just got married today and (before you get to be alone with your partner) you receive an invitation from a Lord to come to His supper (just as we read may come to happen, Luke 14:20). What will your reaction be towards that invitation? Will you accept it, or will you rather stay with your wife for the first night? This is what people in churches are mainly avoiding to be done and preached today: that there is a kingdom above, which dilutes in a split of a second all they have dreamed about for years. We may easily link unwillingness towards God with a strong willingness to live for self, or to any kind of unbelief, if we just take the time to pray over it and get acquainted with the whole of truth concerning it all, somehow. These people will easily believe signs and wonders once they produce something for self. Nevertheless, once one is honest enough towards whatever the Bible states as facts, one has to take in the whole of it as is written, believing AS SCRIPTURE SAYS, John 7:38, and not as we would wish it would say. Signs can lead us to face the Bible as it is and take in the whole of it as it is put forth, removing us quickly away from what we may suppose it should "rather" say. In many cases this is a disappointment. Whatever makes a Christian regard the whole of the Bible as truthful and binding, scares to death any kind of unwillingness towards God. It wishes to feel acceptable being worldly still. This is one of the main reasons pastors avoid miracles and signs: they are too fleshly to be willing to leave all for the sake of God (and pastors happen to be the ones who know the Bible better than most men and lead people astray). So, these will rather have and breed a fleshly God in their minds so as to have God and sin as bread and fish in one and the same basket.

Then, one gets such as want to believe in signs and wonders while keeping the oxen and land to work on and plough and to boast about it before their friends and relatives. Somehow, in their minds, they mix flesh with spirit in such a way that it becomes even disgusting to try and discuss their state of heart with them. "Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months, even those seventy years, did you truly fast for Me, even to Me?" Zec.7:5. There is no greater evil on earth than spirit mixed with flesh. These are of the kind who wish deeply to understand and interpret the Bible their own way, seeking their own thing in God instead of finding God Himself. There is no difference in God’s eyes between these and such as reject signs and wonders so as to never be bound to the hope of heaven alone, for they are both fleshly and have each an own god in their own mind, a Jesus of their own place and private belief. They all have and breed a faith exclusive to themselves, to suit whatever they wish should be true. No matter just how much theses differ from one another, they have one and the same sin, just as Pharaoh’s dreams were one and the same.

If we regard the law of love, the one God brought down with Him so we may be inwardly taught how to love and live among people WITH our God Emanuel, (Jer.31:31.34) we shall find just how unreasonable unbelief really is. Suppose a dead person is brought back from the dead today and you are present when it happens. Unbelief will make you feast on the sign itself instead of concentrating your eyes and heart towards the person who came back from the dead or in what God says. You cannot accept that as a normal thing in a Christian life and will start doing crazy things instead. If a sign is able to shock you, I do not believe you are a Christian at all. Lazarus would have died again if an unbelieving Christian had been commanded to unwrapped him and take the cloth which bound his face and nose. But, for anyone who was used to walk with Jesus it would be rather taken as a normal achievement from a Holy God and love would think of Lazarus first and above the sign which was produced and unwrap him from suffocation.

Unbelief will only think of itself while, maybe, the person coming back from the dead needs some help like Lazarus did, about whom Jesus commanded people to untie him and give him some clothes to wear (and to let him go!) People coming back from the dead are such as are struck by a sign as if it was lightening, being too personally  involved in it. If you regard your own bewilderment instead, how can you be of any value towards that person and towards the commandment of Jesus? They come back with a certainty of life after death, having seen such things which they do not desire to speak about in future times even. I have heard of people who had a death experience and rejected God and truth afterwards, for they could not cope with the reality of any of it or to come to accept whatever they started seeing as truthful and real, for they could not cope with the invisible fact as being a fact rather than a supposition. Peter lent his hand to the man who had been lame since birth, whom people left in the door of the temple to receive from such as would pass by, because that man didn’t know how it was to walk. Peter saw the need instantly and loved his neighbour in the knowledge of a coming sign which was but a common thing to him. A sign was a normal issue to him and he could do extend his hand naturally and think about his neighbour who never walked before while doing it. Peter was at ease to stretch his arm towards him.

If one gets out of the dead in front of your eyes, will you extend your hand to such as well? Can Jesus tell you “Loose him, and let him go”, John 11:44, or will your selfishness, greed and unbelief drive you to do crazy things instead? Where does the law of love fit in there? Will you take care of the dead who came back to life, or will you have and breed a heart which thinks merely as it is suddenly driven to think and react? “But it was meet to make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and now is found”, Luke 15:32. Will you rejoice with such if he has come back with a list of things to confess he has not confessed before dying perhaps? Will you be too bewildered to be able to do the right thing with the right mind?

Next time you pray to God about something, anything whatsoever, what category of unbelief would you honestly put yourself into? Any unbeliever is a loveless person and does not take heavenly things into consideration first and above all. It is only amazing that people pray to God and all they expect from Him is a job, a house, a car, a wife or husband – all of these earthly things (even though it is God who gives them as well). But, once any sign is produced which does not fit into a selfish desire and accomplishment, one uses it for satisfying the greed towards unbelief promptly instead. This is why Jesus regards an unbelieving generation as a perverse one as well, saying “O faithless and perverse generation… How long shall I suffer you?”  Mat 17:17. Any faithless generation or man is always a loveless, perverse one as well. We read that the real “faith works through love”, Gal 5:6. Therefore, unbelief must be working out through being evil. Let yours be of the same kind then, before you get amazed with signs and wonders – all things which should be normal, daily things to you by now instead. How long have you been a Christian? How long will it take still to have you fully acquainted and at ease with a Living God? Amen.

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José Mateus