There are churches that claim that they can speak in tongues, prophesy (predict the future directly from God), see visions, etc. These are all signs and they believe that Christians can do it today.
But let’s look at how signs started. As a physical group of people, Jews required physical proof.
Exodus 4:1-8: And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
Why did God start signs? Because of the Jews. Exodus 4 is the first time the signs happened.
These Jews were having a hard time believing.
Acts 28:27-28: “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.”
So, it was always a Jewish sign back then. But what happened during the acts of the apostle? The Jews were rejecting the signs more and more. The signs were fading away during this time.
1 Corinthians 1:22-23: “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;”
Christians go by faith and preaching the word of God. Jews went by sight, God says that they can see the sign. When the last apostle John died, that’s when the signs ceased less and less.
Who’s Stealing Tongues, Healings, and Visions?
Mark 16:17-18 is the prooftext for those who proclaim that signs are mark of one’s salvation:
Mark 16:17-18: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
What we must do though is realize the context. In this chapter, who is Jesus speaking to?
“Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”
Jesus is speaking to the disciples! Where do we see the most signs, healings, etc.? The books of Acts! And what is the full name of that book? The Acts of the APOSTLES!
The Apostles struggled with their belief. Jesus gave them these signs to make the Kingdom of heaven evident and to help set fire to their belief.
2 Corinthians 12:12: “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.”
Make note here that Paul clearly distinguishes that these acts were the acts of apostles.
Acts 1:21-22, 25-26: “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
The apostles had to be a part of the ministry of Jesus, experience His signs and the baptism of John, and be an eyewitness to His resurrection. Those things needed to be in place in order to be an apostle and demonstrate these signs. None of us have access to these things now, so none of us can claim apostleship. It makes sense that when the apostles died out, so did the signs and wonders die out. The Word of God is all the evidence we need today.
Revelation 2:2: “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.”
People have a right to test those who call themselves as an apostle. They need to be able to perform signs and wonders, including resurrecting dead people and heal people immediately. If you believe that signs and wonders are still active today, you are weakening the power of God.