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How Do I Know If a Sign is From God, or the Devil?
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How Do I Know If a Sign is From God, or the Devil?
 
MK 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
 
EX 8:19 The magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the LORD had said.
 
   Basically a sign is something that gives us necessary information about something we are encountering. A stop sign tells us that an intersection is ahead and that we must stop and look before we navigate further on. A spiritual sign gives us necessary information about the spirit-realm and what we are encountering. Jesus talked above about some definite spiritual signs that would accompany a genuine Believer, but like with Moses and the evil sorcerers, some signs can be mimicked and counterfeited. So how do we really know the difference whether a sign is coming from God or the Devil? Well there are four basic guidelines that we can use to judge signs whether they are from God, or from demons. Here are the guidelines:
 
1. Run the sign, wonder, or miracle through God's word and see if it already matches up to what God has done in the past. Just remember though that God can do new things as well.
 
2. Determine whether the sign leads people closer to, or further away from Jesus Christ. Jesus said that a divided kingdom would fall, so real signs from Christ make real Christians.
 
3. Use your spiritual discernment. Ask the Holy Spirit to just tell you whether what you are seeing is coming from God or somewhere else. He is the Spirit of Truth, so He will tell you.
 
4. Look at the overall character of the person the sign or miracle is happening through or to, and see if there is any occult history. Remember though, God uses some pretty odd folks.
 
MK 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
 
   Jesus warned us that in the last days "False Christs" or people representing themselves as the ultimate spiritual leader or truth would come and perform signs, and that these signs would be so close to looking like God that even Christian's could possibly be fooled. But the truth is, if you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, walk in God's truth and love, and have a heart to help people and not build a personal kingdom, that we should be able to sort things out and make a good determination whether a sign is true or false. Discernment and God's word play a major role in making the right call, but if we are using head knowledge alone to decide whether a sign is from God we can be deceived both ways and call a true sign false.
 
JN 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
 
   The Pharisees of Jesus day made a point of criticizing and picking apart every sign and miracle that Jesus performed, and especially when something happened that they had not seen before they instantly cried foul and called it all the Devil. Jesus healed a man that had been born blind which had never happened before in history and the Pharisees attacked this man trying to discredit the miracle. Another thing they did was to accuse this poor man and his parents of being Godless sinners. Ignorance is not bliss, it can be spiritually dangerous, and when we as humans start carelessly claiming the Holy Spirit's works as Satan's, then we border on being blasphemers and we could end up even losing our salvation in the end.
 
MT 12:31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
 
   The best way to find out if a sign, wonder, or miracle is coming from the Holy Spirit is just to ask Him. Making rash judgments without discernment can get us into big trouble with God and grieve the Holy Spirit. We live in a day where spiritual power will be being displayed on both sides, and it is meant to draw people to one side or the other. Signs from Jesus will always draw people to Jesus, signs from Satan will always draw people to Satan. People that wrongly call signs from God Satan will not experience God's power. God's power is like being baptized in the Holy Spirit, you will only receive it if you ask for it. Even Pharisees can preach about God, but you will never see any real spiritual power flowing through their lives.
 
1CO 1:11 My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."
 
   There is a great divide taking place in Christianity due to modern day signs, wonders, and miracles that have been taking place. Some truly Godly men and women of God are being wrongly denounced as new age witches bent on leading naive Christian's into the dark side. What is the spiritual fruit of these peoples lives? Are they seeking attention for themselves, or attention for Jesus Christ and the message of the gospel? We must ask ourselves these questions individually, and not just accept every shred of gossip and hearsay as being truth. It not only hurts good people when we wrongly judge them, but it can really hurt us as well when the Holy Spirit refuses to flow through our lives in power because we have grieved Him.
 
JN 2:11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
 
   When Jesus turned water into wine can you imagine if their were email lists in those days? Here is what the post might read, "Renegade Rabbi uses demonic powers to turn water into alcohol; Stay away from this ministry!" Certainly, many people thought this was an odd thing to do and that Jesus was just pulling a publicity stunt. There were other things like spitting to make mud and then putting it in someones eyes, or letting a prostitute dump perfume on Him that was probably looked down upon with great disdain. But if you read in the above scripture what Jesus accomplished through this miracle was He revealed who He was, and increased His disciples faith. Jesus wants to increase people's faith through you!
 
MK 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
 
   Many Christians who have been being prepared in the wilderness are now ready and about to be empowered by God's Holy Spirit to heal the sick, cast out evil spirits, and yes perform signs, wonders, and miracles in order to confirm the gospel message they are preaching is indeed valid. But with God's power is going to come stiff persecution from the modern day Pharisees bent on discrediting you. Your job is to do what Jesus Christ tells you to do, and you must not allow cowardly Pharisaical attacks to discourage you. This harvest is ripe and ready to be reaped so stay close to the other genuine harvester's that you know and just do God's work. Allow God's word, the Holy Spirit, and the truth of the gospel to guide your way.
 
MT 24:12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.