WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 14, 2021
TOPIC: SEEK AFTER GOD, NOT MIRACLES
BY T. O. BANSO
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand” (Matthew 24:24-25 New King James Version).
Jesus was a man approved by signs and wonders Acts 2:22 says, “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus of Nazareth by doing wonderful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know” (New Living Translation). The New King James Version says, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know.”
Everybody needs a miracle, but be careful of false prophets doing great signs and wonders, not by the Spirit or power of God. Believers should not follow signs; signs should follow believers (Mark 16:17). You should be or desire to be the one God is using for signs and wonders in your generation, not the one running from one miracle service to the other in search of miracles.
These so-called prophets and spiritualists are taking advantage of people because of the numerous problems in society. Some of the challenges that push people to these false prophets are the consequences of irresponsible and non-responsive governments. With good governments in place, many of these charlatans would be rendered jobless.
Life’s problems are real, including physical and spiritual. And everybody, including the prophet, has one problem or the other requiring a solution. However, the false prophets and spiritualists exploit the adversities of their victims for financial gain and dehumanize them. Some of them do not see anything beyond the physical! Jesus said many false prophets would rise up and deceive many (Matthew 24:11).
We have many of them today in different countries who utilize the power of the media, conventional and social media, to publicize their stage-managed miracles and fake prophecies to attract unsuspecting or gullible audiences. To a large extent, they have continued to succeed as people travel from far and near to patronize them.
They are just very crafty and innovative! Some, however, depend on the power of the devil, which opens the lives of their clients to the devil. People have seen read, heard, or seen the scandals involving some of them. There have been distasteful revelations. They didn’t see any true vision or revelation; they didn’t heal anybody. Those they claimed to have healed were prearranged. The same thing goes for their prophecies.
Even those who have revelations among these charlatans do so not by the power of God; they are keyed into the realm of Satan, their master. Be careful of the prophets of Baal who carry the Bible as a cover-up and do things that give people the impression that they are genuine. Some of them spend so much money in creating and managing a positive image for themselves different from who they are.
In addition, to ensure acceptance by the body of Christ, some of these fake prophets and miracle workers cleverly seek association with genuine servants of God. They seek their endorsement! They want to hide their true identity under some respected servants of God so that people will conclude that if they have relationships with them, they must be genuine!
They believe in the power of their generous seeds, big tithes, and fat honoraria to ‘buy’ the association they desire. They abuse a spiritual principle. To them, the end justifies the means. Proverbs 18:16 says, “Giving a gift works wonders; it may bring you before important people!” (New Living Translation). The New King James Version says a man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. But what they need is repentance, not rebranding!
Rebranding won’t save them from hell but repentance. The sorcerers in the pulpit should repent before they perish. Association with genuine servants of God won’t deliver them from the wrath of God. Peter told Simon the sorcerer, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:20-22 New King James Version).
This does not mean that there are no longer genuine ministers of God. There are still many genuine, anointed prophets and teachers, authentic ministers of God who are still contending earnestly for the faith, which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). They are not removing the ancient landmark which your fathers have set (Proverbs 22:28).
These genuine servants of God must be careful of people like Simon the sorcerer who only want to use their association with them to further their selfish interest and undermine the kingdom of God. Paul warned, “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22 New King James Version).
The Bible has already warned that, if possible, the false prophets will deceive the elect. “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand” (Matthew 24:24-25 New King James Version). Mark 13:22-23 says a similar thing. And some Christians are being deceived today by supposed miracle workers and super prophets! Several non-believers are also victims.
This is just preparing the ground for the Antichrist who will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles; he will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 2 says, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (New King James Version).
At Cana of Galilee, a certain nobleman pleaded with Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son who was sick. Jesus asked, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe” (John 4:48 New King James Version). There are many people like that today.
Jesus told the crowd, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet” (Luke 11:29 New King James Version). See also Mark 8:11-12: “Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation’” (New King James Version).
Human beings always seek miraculous signs before they believe in a servant of God. But don’t wait for a miracle before you believe in God or accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. During His earthly ministry, Jesus performed many miracles in people’s lives and genuine miracles are still being done today in His name. Nevertheless, miracles should not be a condition for you to believe in Jesus. Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway” (John 20:29 New Living Translation).
If you are a minister of God, be true to God, your calling, and the people you minister to. Do not become a false minister because of financial pressure or desire for crowd or fame. Devote your time to the Word of God and prayer. Believe God to use you to perform genuine miracles in the lives of people. Don’t stage-manage miracles.
The sorcerers in the pulpit should repent and quit. They should renounce their covenants with Satan and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
Sincere seekers of Jesus Christ should seek after Him first, not miracles. Miracles are real. Believe God for your miracles but don’t let desperation make you fall into the hands of charlatans. God will give you your miracles. There is no problem God cannot solve. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall seek after You, not miracles. I shall not run after signs and wonders and neglect You. Holy Spirit, help me to deepen my fellowship with God. I shall not fall into the hands of charlatans, pretending to be true servants of God. Father, strike the fake shepherds and scatter their sheep. Deliver those who have been held in bondage by those pretending to be Your servants.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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