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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 16

Sign Seekers

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” Matthew 12:38-39.

Jesus’ indictment of the Jewish nation as a wicked and adulterous generation of sign seekers would certainly apply to much of today’s generation. From I Corinthians 1:22 it is obvious that this indictment had special reference to the Jews. The Greeks sought after wisdom but the Jews required a sign. Surely it is significant that both Jesus and Paul recognized this condition.

Sign seeking is the result of apostate belief. It is a people that reject God’s righteousness because they do not have God’s word abiding in them. John 5:38. It is a state of apostasy for which there is no redemption. When men reject the word and require a sign they have no faith and no approach to God. Hebrews 11:6.

WHOLE WORLD

What happened to the Jewish nation is being repeated with the Gentile world. As they rejected the prophets and finally the Lord himself, the Gentile world has rejected Christ. Acts 7:51. John 1:11. As their house was left unto them desolate, the same thing is happening to the Gentile world today. Matthew 23:37-39. The only difference this time is that the whole world is affected. Revelation 13:8.

Our present generation has perhaps heard more about supernatural phenomena than any previous one. This has been caused by a number of factors both good and bad. Beyond doubt a real wave of revival with genuine manifestations of the Holy Spirit started around the turn of the century. This came as a result of little bands of hungry Christians disenchanted with organized religion, sincerely seeking the face of God.

Being an opportunist, Satan quickly infiltrated this movement lest the revival do great harm to his kingdom. Through ambitious, unenlightened, and sometimes unscrupulous men he led it into unscriptural extremes and then into error. With the aid of modern news media and advertising, this wrong and over-emphasis helped condition and produce today’s sign seekers, divine healers, and would-be-miracle workers.

Man has to be prepared to receive anything from God or Satan. As God’s word rightly divided prepares him to receive the unsearchable riches of Christ, Satan corrupts the word through falsehood and over-emphasis to prepare him to receive the manifestation of evil. This is the state that makes mankind today ready for strong delusion which is now coming forth in the form of lying signs and wonders. II Thessalonians 2:9-12.

MANY SEEKERS

The natural man is prone to be attracted to the supernatural for several reasons. Made in the image and likeness of God (not physical but spiritual) man has a capacity for and wants to believe in the supernatural. The creation itself speaks to him and says, “there is something or someone greater than all this.” Psalm 19:1-3.

The reality of death and the hope of another existence beyond this life draw many toward the supernatural. This belief is shared by most of mankind. Even the uncivilized heathen believe in a life beyond the grave and practice some form of religion. The American Indian prayed to the Great Spirit and looked forward to going to his happy hunting ground when he died.

Living in the hour of a great spiritual vacuum many today are turning to supernatural sources for various reasons. Sick in mind and body, some desire deliverance and healing. Many who are disenchanted and despondent over the hopelessness of world conditions are turning to the supernatural for a ray of hope. Still others, like those who experiment with drugs, start out looking for a thrill and end up getting hooked on some form of delusion.

There is another group like Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-23) who desire the supernatural that they might exercise power and influence over people. Beyond a doubt this is what motivates many who follow the supposed miracle workers and desire spiritual gifts. Jesus himself had some who wanted this power that they might do the works of God. They didn’t believe in nor desire to follow Christ, but they wanted his power to be a miracle worker. John 6:28-30.

Others, blindly filled with greed, hate and unbelief, turn to the supernatural in witchcraft, spiritualism, astrology, fortune telling and religion for various selfish purposes. It is surprising how many people, desiring supernatural help but not God’s righteousness, religiously consult the fortune teller, astrology and other mystical sources for guidance and counsel. At one time only the ignorant and superstitious were thought to do this. Not so today as the higher echelons of society turn to such sources for wisdom. The rise of Jeanne Dixon as a seeress whose counsel and advice is sought by presidents and world dignitaries is an example.

Consulting the power of darkness can only lead men into spiritual delusion and damnation. Man’s motive must be right if he finds God and true spiritual reality. James 4:3. John 7:17. We have personally dealt with people who were demon possessed because they turned to such sources for help rather that God. One poor woman went to a fortune teller to get aid in a love affair. Another went to a practitioner of witchcraft to pronounce a curse upon someone she hated. Both of these women became devil possessed.

BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF

Sign seeking is the result of man being out of touch with God and filled with unbelief. Man, filled with unbelief, seeks something he can see, hear or feel that assures him of supernatural help and spiritual reality. In this condition he runs after those who supposedly operate in the supernatural realm. A good example of this is Saul seeking help from the witch of Endor. I Samuel 28:7-20.

The religious sign seeker would be the last person on earth to confess his unbelief. The fact is he thinks he has faith and takes great pride in saying he believes in the power of God. Many today who profess great faith in the Holy Ghost and the power of God are sign seekers and not aware of it. Legion is the number of these people who require a sign in the form of experience or manifestation who think they have faith.

In spite of all the great claims of the supernatural in the supposedly charismatic revival, the so-called healing and soul-winning crusades, today’s generation is further away from God that ever before. This is evidenced by the general falling away and the tremendous revival of interest in the occult science.

The movies, television, and magazines are capitalizing on this intense interest in the supernatural and are doing their part in educating the masses in that direction. Anything of a supernatural nature is eagerly sought after by people today. Libraries report that their shelves stay empty of books on this subject. Instead of turning to the Lord and seeking him through truth, men are actually seeking help from devils. All sign seeking, whether it be in religion, spiritualism, or witchcraft, is man seeking to bypass God and his word.

Strange as it may seem, faith will produce genuine signs. Signs will follow them that believe. Mark 16:16-20. True signs are God’s response to faith. Apart from faith God will not manifest himself to man. Faith is man’s only ground of approach to God. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.

Having no faith, the sign seeker knows little of the rest that comes through the power of the cross. I Corinthians 1:18. This is why they start seeking assurance through a sign. The sign may be in the form of feelings or experiences which register in the sensual being that continually have to be renewed by another sign or another wonder. Without the rest of faith that comes through the power of the cross, they are governed by their emotions. Living in this realm they have no inward strength and little defense against the enemy. The Bible calls them empty clouds or wells. II Peter 2:17 and Jude 12.

FALSE GOSPEL

Wherever there is a spiritual vacuum Satan is eager to move in with his gospel. Through wrong and over-emphasis of signs and other phenomena, sign seekers are begotten. Everything must bring forth after its own kind. This kind of gospel, which is not the true gospel is borne out by the scriptures. Galatians 1:6-9. II Corinthians 11:3-4. Although the Bible may be used as a basis for this supposed gospel, it does not produce genuine faith in the hearers. The way it is used it actually opens the human spirit to receive demons under the guise of the Holy Spirit. Peter spoke of some who were unlearned and unstable who wrest the scriptures to their own destruction. II Peter 3:16-18.

Beyond doubt, devil power is responsible for much that is coming forth under the guise of the power of God. This includes religious manifestations, the black arts and many new philosophies. The dragon is literally sending out a flood of false doctrine, ideology and philosophy accompanied by many lying signs and wonders. Revelation 12:15. I believe we are witnessing the last generation of humanity being turned over to strong delusion that seals them to damnation. II Thessalonians 2:10-12.

This last day work of the kingdom of darkness is so cleverly camouflaged until the very elect would be deceived if it were possible. Matthew 24:24. Thank God it is not possible. The elect walk by faith and not by sight. God’s word means more to them than the sign or wonder.

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