People often say God shows them things or signs, they think they see signs everywhere, whether it is in the sky above them or the ground beneath them, some even claim to see them in their food. For instance I recently have seen several people claiming to have seen God’s hands in the clouds. But this is just not what Scripture tells us is happening today. Christ tells us in 2 Corinthians that we are to walk by faith not sight, that means we are to trust what God’s word says and have faith that it is true not be looking for physical, visible signs.
It’s true that in times past God did sometimes speak to certain people and give them visible signs in both the heavens and on Earth. For instance he gave Moses many signs as he brought Israel as a nation out of Egypt and through the wilderness. Then later he spoke to and gave his prophets signs for the nation of Israel as well. Jesus in his earthly ministry and Peter on the day of Pentecost both talked about signs in the heavens that would occur during the last days leading up to and during Daniels 70th week as well.
But all of these signs and messages have one thing in common, they are all to do with the nation of Israel – they are signs to Israel that confirm prophecies or things spoken to them by God. They are never random messages or signs that only make sense much later in retrospect. All through Scripture when these signs and messages occur they are to for and about Israel and have to do with God’s promises to them, they are never to the gentiles and nation’s or about them although occasionally a gentile or nation may see or be used to deliver a message to God’s chosen nation Israel.
“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:” — 1 Corinthians 1:22 KJV
The one time anything related to Gentiles was seen in heaven was when the glorified risen Christ shined down on a Jewish Pharisee named Saul, who became known as Paul, and saved him by grace alone on that Damascus Road one day. But that was much more than just a sign in the sky, that was God Almighty pouring out his glorious grace on the world apart from the nation of Israel by saving a Jewish man who was also a Roman citizen – the perfect man for what God was about to do.
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:” — Acts 9:3 KJV
Israel and her promised Kingdom was put on hold and God revealed the secret he had kept hidden in himself since before the world began. Before “Let there be light.” God had cooked up the most amazing plan ever to reconcile both heaven (which was already unclean in His sight) and Earth in Christ. The Earth through Israel which was spoken of ever since the world began starting in Genesis and will be fulfilled in the future beginning with the promised Davidic kingdom of Christ on Earth. The heavens though, they get restored in Christ through the Body of Christ which God is forming of all who trust Christ for their salvation today and are made members of his body.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” — Ephesians 2:11-13 KJV
Each and every person today who believes that Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose again for their justification before God is instantly and eternally saved. Then they are sealed by the Holy Spirit into Christ, made a new creature in him, a member of his body. It is a gift of grace by God and all we have to do is accept that Jesus Christ did it all, paid it all and it is finished. In that instant we are saved, sealed and seated in Christ. It’s by grace through faith.
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” — 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” — Ephesians 1:7 KJV
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” — Ephesians 1:13 KJV
God will pick back up with Israel after the body of Christ is caught up and Daniels 70th week begins in the future. At that time salvation by grace through faith alone for all will end and salvation will once again be of the Jew on a faith plus works basis such as we see in Acts 2:38 and 3:19. Unlike today when God is dealing with men individually and saving us one by one, in the future salvation will be through Israel and the only way for Gentiles to be saved will be for them to become a Jew or to bless Israel in some way. And since the Jew requires a sign then God will begin giving them what they require, signs and wonders.
Today we have no signs and wonders occurring. Scripture is very clear that today we walk by faith and not by sight. We are to lean upon the word of God as our means of interpreting the world around us and knowing God’s will for our lives. We are to study to understand what he is doing by rightly dividing the word of truth. All of Scripture is true, it is all God’s word, but it isn’t all in effect at every moment. Salvation is always by faith and the shed blood of Christ but the means of showing that faith and obtaining access to that salvation changes.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” — 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
For instance Noah had a salvation plan given to him – build an ark. Abraham was told to leave his father’s land, trust God and wait for a child then to sacrifice that child. All through out the Old Testament we see how God gave different instructions to each person along the way and how the action required to show their faith is different. Israel as a nation had to do certain things such as get water baptized and confess their sins of rejecting God, killing their Messiah and blaspheming the Holidays Spirit to be saved and enter their future kingdom. Their program will again be filled with signs that verify and prove all the prophecies that God gave that have yet to be fulfilled.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” — 1 Timothy 2:3-4 KJV
But today God’s will is that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth by grace alone through faith alone. We don’t get signs, wonders or miracles. For a time while Paul was receiving from Christ the revelations that would become and compete our Scriptures their were signs and miracles occuring such as tongues (actual foreign languages not nonsensical babbling like some teach today), prophecies (confirmation of revelations given to confirm what was Scripture and what was faked lies), and healings (signs done by Paul to counter those by Peter and the 11 to provoke the Jew to jealousy and believing the gospel of the grace of God and becoming a member of the body of Christ. The signs and wonders done at the beginning of the age of grace ceased though in time. By the time the last book of Scripture, 2 Timothy, is penned by Paul the signs and miracles have ceased because that which is perfect – the completed word of God, the Bible – was come. That’s why Paul told Timothy to take wine medicinally and why he left Trophimus sick in Miletum instead of just healing them.
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” — 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 KJV
Because we have the completed word of God today we don’t need to look for signs in the earth or the sky or listen and seek for a word from God. He has already given us all the words he wants us to have in the Bible. If you speak English they are found in the King James Bible and that is our final authority, where we go to know what God is doing and what we need to do. We have faith that it is enough and we walk in that faith and assurance. We don’t look for signs or for God to show us things (notice those things are only clear in retrospect when in Scripture they are clear immediately and do not have to be made to fit a situation) we read His word and walk by faith in it. The reading is our sight and if we want to hear God speak read it aloud.
Grace and peace.