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The Sign Gifts (Part 1) - Micah's Prophecy of the Sign Gifts

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For a master copy of the outline, click here: Charismatics

I. History of the sign gifts.
1. Throughout history there have been seasons where God enabled men to do signs and wonders. Example: Moses and Elijah.
2. Israel was accustomed to seeing signs from a prophet to know that he was from God (1Co 1:22; Joh 4:48).
3. Moses used miraculous signs to prove that he was from God (Exo 4:1-5).
A. They were only given to him for a 40 year period of time (Act 7:36).
B. There were not always signs and wonders from God (Psa 74:9).
C. If there were always signs and wonders, why were there so many people for Jesus to heal?
D. Many had been debilitated for years or even for their whole lives and had never been healed at the time that Jesus came (Joh 9:1; Mat 9:20).
E. Why was there no use of sign gifts in churches from the end of the first century until approximately 200 years ago?
4. It is a wicked and adulterous generation that has to see a sign to believe the word of God (Mat 16:4).

II. The OT prophecy of the sign gifts in the days of the Messiah.
1. The prophet Micah prophesied of a time in the future when God would show marvellous things for a time that would be according to the days that Israel came out of the land of Egypt (Mic 7:15).
A. According - adv. According to. a. In a manner agreeing with, consistent with, or answering to; agreeably to.
B. These marvelous things would happen for a period of time that would be agreeing with, consistent with, and answering to the time that Israel took to come out of the land of Egypt (Mic 7:15 c/w Lev 12:2 c/w Lev 15:19).
C. Israel spent 40 years coming out of the land of Egypt (Act 7:36; Act 13:17-19), therefore these marvelous things would last 40 years as well.
2. The marvellous things that were prophesied to come would also be according to (In a manner agreeing with, consistent with, or answering to; agreeably to) what happened during the 40 years coming out of Egypt (Mic 7:15).
A. Marvellous - A. adj. Such as to excite wonder or astonishment; wonderful, astonishing, surprising.
B. Wonder - 1. A marvellous object; a marvel, prodigy 2. A deed performed or an event brought about by miraculous or supernatural power; a miracle (a reference to Moses and the apostles working wonders is cited for the secondary definition).
C. Marvellous things, or signs and wonders, were done when Israel came out of Egypt (Psa 78:12 c/w Psa 78:43).
D. The Hebrew word pala that is translated as marvellous is also translated as miracles in (Jdg 6:13) and wonders in (Exo 3:20).
3. The prophecy was made to him, who would be the Messiah (Mic 7:18-20).
A. Jesus Christ is our God who pardoned our iniquities and transgressions (Mic 7:18 c/w Isa 53:5,11-12; Tit 2:14; Heb 9:15).
B. Jesus Christ is him who did cast our sins into the depths of the sea (Heb 1:3; Rom 8:3; 2Co 5:21).
4. Putting it all together: Micah prophesied of a time of signs and wonders that would begin in the days of the Messiah and last for 40 years, just as did the signs and wonders for 40 years when Israel came out of Egypt.
5. Some affirm that Micah was speaking of the return from the Babylonian captivity.
A. The return of Israel from the Babylonian captivity is likely a partial fulfillment of this prophesy.
B. But it is not a complete fulfillment of it because there were not signs and wonders recorded during that time, nor did the Messiah come at that time.
C. "...and that redemption by Christ, which both these [the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and Babylon - CEW] were typical of, was greater and more marvellous than either, being a deliverance from, and an abolition and destruction of sin, Satan, the law, hell, and death, and attended with things the most wonderful and surprising; as the birth of Christ of a virgin; the miracles done by him in life, and at death; the doctrines of the Gospel preached by him and his apostles, and the amazing success of them, especially in the Gentile world, being testified and confirmed by signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. This passage, both by ancient and modern Jews (k), is applied to the times of the Messiah. So in an ancient (l) book of theirs, speaking of the times of the Messiah, they say, "from that day all the signs and wonders, and mighty works, which the Lord did in Egypt, he will do for Israel, as it is said, "according to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt", &c.'' (John Gill, commenting on Mic 7:15, John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)

III. The fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy
1. The beginning of the 40 year period of signs and wonders (miracles) was when Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage in Cana (Joh 2:11).
2. Jesus began the signs and wonders in perfect fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy (Mic 7:15 c/w Psa 78:12 c/w Psa 78:43 c/w Act 7:36 c/w Joh 2:11 c/w Act 2:22).
3. At the beginning of miracles, Jesus was about 30 years old (Luk 3:23) which was approximately 30AD.
4. The 40 year period of signs and wonders would therefore run until approximately 70AD.

IV. The purpose for the sign gifts
1. Sign gifts were given to the early NT church for two primary purposes:
A. To convince the Jews, who were accustomed to seeing a prophet proven by signs, that the Messiah had come (1Co 1:22; Joh 4:48; Joh 6:14; Joh 7:31; Joh 10:38; Joh 14:11).
B. To confirm the Word of God spoken by Jesus and the Apostles (Mar 16:15-20; Heb 2:3-4; Act 14:1-3; Act 2:43; Act 5:12).
i. The great commission and the signs following which confirmed the Word of God were fulfilled in the days of the apostles (Mar 16:15-20).
ii. The great commission was fulfilled to the letter by the apostles (Mar 16:20; Col 1:6; Col 1:23; Rom 1:8, 10:18).
iii. The signs were fulfilled also, such as:
a. Casting out devils (Act 16:16-18).
b. Speaking in tongues (Act 2:4; Act 10:46; Act 19:6).
c. Taking up serpents (Act 28:3-5 c/w Mat 4:7).
d. Healing the sick (Act 3:6-8; Act 4:22; Act 5:16; Act 8:7; Act 28:8).
2. Once Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD and all the Jews were either killed or carried away captive, there was no longer a reason for God to give signs and wonders to convince them.
3. Once the New Testament was complete (perfect) and confirmed, there was no longer a reason for the signs and wonders to continue and the prophesied 40 year period ended and they ceased (1Co 13:8-10 - more on these verses later; Heb 2:3-4 - was confirmed).
A. Toward the end of Paul’s life, he couldn’t even heal himself (2Co 12:7-10) or others (Phi 2:25-27; 1Ti 5:23).
B. The signs and wonders were the signs of an apostle (2Co 12:12).
i. The office of an apostle was a gift from God like the ability to perform signs was a gift (1Co 12:28; Eph 4:8,11).
ii. Both gifts passed out of existence in the end of the first century.