Day 3: Wonders From of Old

                Before we get to the miracles of Jesus in the New Testament, it is important to grasp the magnitude of the signs and wonders in the Old Testament in order to show that signs and wonders are just how God works. God does not change. There were signs and wonders in the Old Testament just as there were in the New Testament and just as God intended there to be in the present. When we talked about Jesus healing on the Sabbath, it wasn’t that the Pharisees had a problem with healing or signs and wonders; they had a problem with this taking place on the sabbath, so much so they wanted to kill Jesus. It was because Jesus said that He was I am and they thought how dare you proclaim this. John 5:8 “For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” Today the church denies the power of God because they say the same; how dare you proclaim God’s power could be in someone therefore making that person like Jesus. This is odd because scripture tells us 1 Corinthians 12:9 “to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit. 10 to another miraculous powers.”
                I am not going to spend much time on the power found in the Old Testament even though there are so many examples. Today I am just going to give a few. The biggest wonder of them all is creation. If you can’t accept in the beginning God created in six days and rested on the seventh, you will not accept the rest of the bible. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Remember if you by faith accept God created the world, then you will not question any sign or wonder after that. Look for yourself but there are also sites that list all the signs and wonders. I am going to list a few. God flooded the earth (Genesis 7), destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and turned Lots wife into a pillar of salt (Genesis19) Then look at all that happened to the Egyptians and the plagues (Exodus 7-12) they encountered and then how the sea parted and army destroyed (Exodus 14). Deuteronomy 26:8 “So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.” Deuteronomy 4:34 “Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?”
                Then look at all that happened in the desert such as manna from heaven (Exodus 16), water from a rock (Exodus 17), the earth opening (Numbers16) and a donkey talks (Numbers 22). We saw water pile up (Joshua 3) and walls of Jericho fall after seven days (Joshua 6). We saw the supernatural strength of Samson (Judges 14) and the strength of David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23). We saw the power of Elijah raise a son from the dead (1 Kings 17), stop and start the rain (1 Kings 17) and fire consume soldiers (2 Kings 1). We then see Elisha do some amazing things too numerous to describe here. He also raised a son from the dead (2 Kings 4), fed a hundred with twenty loaves with leftovers (2 Kings 4). We saw the angel of the Lord put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrian soldiers (Isaiah 37) and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego lives saved from a blazing furnace (Daniel 3) King Darius proclaimed Daniel 6:27 “He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”
                There are many more signs and wonders to look at. For many in the church the Old Testament seems to be irrelevant to them but here we see the power of God on display just as we will see His power in the New Testament. King Nebuchadnezzar recounts his experience with God and his admission that God is sovereign. He said Daniel 4:1 “King Nebuchadnezzar, To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth: May you prosper greatly! 2 It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. 3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.” This is an amazing statement that goes beyond the Old and New Testament as the generations keep happening. This is why Peter could say Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Will you repent and believe?
                As we recall these numerous signs and wonders, know that God does not change and His promise is for us also. Jeremiah 32:20 “You performed signs and wonders in Egypt and have continued them to this day, in Israel and among all mankind, and have gained the renown that is still yours.” Scripture as we will see makes it very clear that receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is about power. 1 Samuel 16:13 “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” This is why he could defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17) Judges 14:6 “The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him (Samson) so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat.” To say that we are filled with the Holy Spirit but display no signs of power is false teaching especially if you are taught that God does not do that anymore (demonic doctrine). 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” When it comes to power we are told Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it,” and then we saw the power take place. Acts 3:2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 5:15 “As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”
                What we saw in the Old Testament prepared the way for the power of Jesus. The power and authority of Jesus prepared the way for His church to do as He did. Moses was told Exodus 34:10 “Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.” When Jesus came those wonders continued and they continued after Him with His disciples. Those wonders were to continue on even till today. Since we are not seeing the wonders today we ask what Gideon asked. Judges 6:13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” God then showed his wonders by defeating a vast army with three hundred men (Judges 7)
                Our journey is about repentance and remembering because the church has forgotten the power of God and in most cases do not realize this same power that rose Jesus from the grave is available to all who believe. Ephesians 1:8 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Psalm 105:1 “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 2 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 4 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 5 Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 6 you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.”