In the book of the Acts of the Holy Spirit accomplished through the first apostles we read: “Then fear came upon every soul and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43).
Supernatural signs and wonders revealed God’s presence in the early Church. Through miracles, God gave tangible, visible evidence that He, who is supernatural, was in fact present. Miraculous signs occurred frequently. They were part of the ongoing, normal lifestyle of the Church. The testimony of signs and wonders created a healthy fear of the Lord and a sense of wonder in the people. God used miracles and wonders to authenticate the leaders He sent and to prove their message was His own. Miracles also commanded the attention of people outside the church.
Hebrews 2:4 “God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
The word wonders describes an event or object so strange that people stop to watch or observe it. It is a prodigy or a portent. In Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, wonders is found only in plural and in combination with the word signs. The word translated signs means a mark or token that distinguishes a person or thing from others. Sighs also can also point to remarkable events soon to happen.
The phrase signs and wonders appears 16 times in the New Testament, nine times in the book of Acts (2:19,22,43; 4:30; 5:12; 6:8; 7:36; 14:3; 15:12. See also Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; John 4:48; Romans 15:19; 2 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). Acts 2:43 begins a series of verbs of the imperfect Greek tense, which attest to the continual activity in miracles.
God gave signs and wonders to the Church as gifts. They were inseparable from the life and preaching of the Church. They were an integral part of the mission of the Church. Without the supernatural, Jesus Christ would not have been born and lived among men. Without the supernatural the New Testament Church would not have begun. The New Covenant people of God are called to be supernatural people in every area of life.
Acts 5:12a “Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles.”
Acts 6:8 “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.”
Acts 14:3 “So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”
The supernatural presence and power of God was evident in the following variety of ways:
HEALING: The Church ministered supernatural healing to people. As a result, the Word of God spread as it would not have otherwise.
Acts 9:34-35 “And Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.’ And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.”
Acts 14:9-10 “He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he sprang up and began walking.”
Acts 28:8-9 “It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.”
You can also have a look at Acts 3:6 and 8:6-7
Healing included raising people from the dead
Acts 9:40-42 “But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.”
DELIVERANCE: God supernaturally delivered people from difficult circumstances. Often angels participated in the deliverance.
Acts 5:19 “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out …”
Acts 12:7 “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ And the chains fell off his hands.”
Acts 28:5 “He (Paul), however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.”
God also delivered people from evil spirits (demons). Believers confronted the domain of darkness and cast out demons
Acts 16:18 “And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour.”
More next time…