True signs and wonders are fruit of walking in the Spirit and doing the work of the Lord. True signs and wonders were never intended for entertainment or "an event" that one travels to see.
Mark 16:17-20 explains: “And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well. … And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it].”
I will say it again: “True signs and wonders are fruit of walking in the Spirit and doing the work of the Lord.” Jesus knew that His followers would encounter many things in their individual lives and ministries that would have to be dealt with immediately. I have personally encountered a few serious demonic manifestations in others that had to be addressed immediately. I told the demon to shut up and come out! It did! (At the name of Jesus every knee must bow, Phil. 2:10.) There was no fanfare, but the person was set free.
I have prayed for many people who have been healed, and I personally have experienced healings in my own body. People have told me that I have certain spiritual giftings. I want to say, "Maybe, because I am filled with the Spirit of the Lord, but mostly, I have Jesus and the baptism of the Holy Spirit." As Christians, it should not be at all unusual to see disciples moving in true signs and wonders. And as Spirit-filled Christians, we should not be surprised when God moves through us in signs and wonders!
I think many people do not understand that when we have Jesus and are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we have all that He has given us to do the works that He did on earth, and greater! John 14:12-14 NIV: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
I have been a Christian for almost 60 years, and I have learned well 2 Corinthians 4:7 (AMP): "However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves." Brothers and sisters, we all need a plaque on our walls with this verse, especially if God is using us to minister to others. There is no place for pride when moving in signs and wonders. In ourselves, we are only frail, human vessels of earth, simply earthen vessels through which God can exhibit His grandeur and the exceeding greatness of His power.
When Jesus gave His charge in Matthew 28 to "Go into all the world and make disciples in all the nations" (paraphrased), He prevented any argument by “showing them his badge,” so to speak. "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." He is "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named" (Eph. 1:21). Parts of the church have been pretty good about telling people they need to be saved, but for the most part, the last part of the Matthew 28 charge has been left out: "and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
It is no wonder that we are in the mess we are in. We get people saved so they won’t go to hell and send them out into the world like sheep among wolves before they are trained for service. It is no wonder that people so easily turn to their "natural" inclinations and glorify the flesh.
*Steve Crosby made some good points in his article, "Babies and Bathwater: Lakeland and Beyond": They [deceived and gullible Christians] don’t know the Scriptures. They have no discernment. Their senses have not been trained (through exercise) to discern both good and evil. They receive a revelation and think they are now experts. They lust for supernatural power. They are hungry for celebrity and one-upmanship. They substitute experiences with angels for the worship and presence of God." [I recommend reading the entire article at the link below.]
Why? Because, for the most part, Christians have not been taught and do not practice 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth" [emphasis mine]. Jesus said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34)—not chase after signs, wonders, and angels. Nor have they been taught that “He [Jesus] must increase, but I [me] must decrease” (John 3:30).
Hebrews 5:12-14: "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil."
New disciples, and even older ones, can be trained in all of these points above by being holy in all of their conduct (1 Peter 1:15), but it must first start in the pulpit. It has been proven that the social, seeker-friendly gospel works for growing big churches, but it does not work for maturing disciples. Let's return to the biblical pattern, and let's grow up and start making a difference in the church and the world. Jesus still wants His body to move in true signs and wonders, but we must be aligned in right relationship with Him through His Spirit and His Word rightly divided.
It's time for the Church to move on to maturity, or few of us will be ready for the days ahead.
Restore Your Church, Lord!