Lying Signs and Wonders

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Hi M____,
Thank you for your question.
I have just written a letter on this subject. I hope you do not mind me forwarding it to you in answer to your question.
I too, believe we should still pray for the sick. But “as he is so are we in this world” should not be construed to mean that we should all be expected to have all the gifts of the spirit which Christ had. We are specifically told that such is not to be the case:

1Co 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 
1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29  [ Are] all apostles? [ are] all prophets? [ are] all teachers? [ are] all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Paul tells these Corinthians to “covet the best gifts.” He goes on to say that prophecy is a much more desirable gift than the gift of languages.:

1Co 14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [ to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an [ unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

 We are specifically told to seek to edify the church instead of self:

1Co 14:12  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church .

There is very good New Testament advice as to what are the best spiritual gifts to seek after. Neither physical healing or physical tongues are mentioned. Here is what is mentioned:

1Co 14:12  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church .

Now let’s look at the scripture you reference, “As He is so are we…”

1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in l ove dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Again, no mention of spiritual gifts other than love.  Yet we are told that our love is perfected and we may  have boldness in the day of judgment “because as He is, so are we in this world.” And then what does John go on to emphasize? Is it gifts which affect our physical well being? No, again John seems to have Christ’s attitude toward the flesh:

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [ they] are spirit, and [ they] are life.

Now Christ did say:

Joh 14:12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [ works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Now I have seen miracles performed, but I have yet to see anything in the physical realm which even comes close to approaching what Christ performed. I have yet to see anyone lame from his mother’s womb walk. I have yet to see anyone blind from his mother’s womb see. I have yet to see anyone raised from the physically dead. Yet I am convinced that I have done “greater works than these.”
I hope you see what I mean when you read these letters I will forward to you. What it all boils down to is that I do indeed cry out to God for mercy when I am afflicted. I cry even more when someone I love is afflicted. But I do not for one moment believe that I can “command God concerning the works of His hands.” My prayers are always “nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” So then whether I or my loved ones are healed, my faith is not at all affected.

Joh 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [ are] they that have not seen, and [ yet] have believed.

Physically answered prayers actually work against “the trial of your faith.” It is those who believe God even if He slays them, that are where God wants them:

Job 13:15  (a) Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: 

So it is not our faith that makes us “as He is” so much as it is “the trial of our faith.”

1Pe 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Pe 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [ him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, [ even] the salvation of [ your] souls.

What is “the end of your faith?” Is it prayers which are answered concerning our physical well being? Apparently not. If that were what faith is all about, then why are we told that it is the trial of our faith that is so precious to God?
Physical well- being is not “the end of your faith.” The end of your faith is the salvation of your souls.” I have always been struck by how little faith- healing is mentioned in any of the epistles of any of the apostles. Of course it is mentioned where the gifts of the spirit are listed in 1Co 12, but it is certainly not being emphasized.

1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:30  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

James mentions spiritual healing:

Jas 5:16 Confess [ your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

When was the last time you heard a sermon preached on the connection between “confessing your faults” and receiving healing?
Peter too, mentions healing as being the healing of our sinful nature:

1Pe 2:24  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

It is amazing how little is made of the gifts of healing in the apostles writing. In contrast to this are reams of verses which assure us that we must suffer for the sake and name of Christ:

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

I think you are right on in how God uses physical healings as “strong delusion” which is nothing more than answering a man according to the idols of his heart. It seems inconceivable to orthodox Christians that God is actually in the business of speaking in parables to the multitudes of Christians “because it is not give to them to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”

Matt13:1  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
Matt13:2  And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Matt13:3  And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
Matt13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them [ the multitudes who believe in Christ] in parables?
Matt13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Matt13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Matt13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

The wonders and miracles are not the lie of “lying signs and wonders.” The miracles and healings are genuine. It is the lying doctrines which accompany those miracles which will deceive so very many of the multitudes of today’s established religion.

Rev 13:14  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; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

I think your assessment of this use of miracles is on target. God is deceiving the masses and the delusion is “strong.”

Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

2 Thess2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2 Thess2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thess2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2 Thess2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Remember, this is not ‘out there’ somewhere.  Rather this is all within each of us as we have all been taken in by carnal ‘Corinthian babes in Christ” ministers who “came behind in no gift” but they were “yet carnal.” We have all been guilty of putting “signs and wonders” ahead of “a love of the Truth.”
We have all been completely unprepared to understand how a man can have such physical manifestations of the power of God and yet be completely devoid of spiritual understanding and Truth.
I hope these letters I will forward to you will answer your questions on this subject. If not please let me know.

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