Q & A

What signs and wonders are genuine?

Counterfeit products are a major problem for manufacturers such as Nike, Puma, Samsonite, etc. The counterfeit product is so well made that most buyers accept it as the genuine article. Only a trained eye can detect the difference between the counterfeit and the genuine. In the movie ‘Catch Me If You Can’ (based on a true story), Leonardo DeCaprio plays the part of a sophisticated criminal whose skill in producing counterfeit cheques results in him accumulating millions of dollars before he is finally caught.

Throughout the history of the church, the genuine and the counterfeit have existed side by side. The genuine is easy to recognise, while the counterfeit requires closer inspection. This is particularly true in the area of signs, wonders and visions along with other manifestations, divine and otherwise. There is an abundance of evidence in the Scripture to convince us that the signs and wonders in the ministry of Jesus and the early church were genuine.

The Miracles of Jesus

The miracles of Jesus were undeniable. Not even his enemies, of which he had many, could deny what their eyes had seen. Honest hearts, like that possessed by Nicodemus, were compelled to say to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one can do the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” (John 3:2) The man who received his sight concluded, “If this man [Jesus] were not from God, he could do nothing.’ (John 9:33) And when Jesus drove out demons from those who were possessed, his enemies did not deny what had occurred, but attributed his power to “the prince of demons.” (Matthew 12:24) This was sheer prejudice on their part; they were rejecting clear evidence.

The Miracles of the Apostles

A man crippled from birth became the recipient of God’s miraculous healing power through the ministry of the apostle Peter. Seeing the crippled man Peter said to him, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” We read that “instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them [Peter and John] into the temple courts, walking and jumping and praising God.” (Acts 3:2-8)

The following day, the religious authorities interrogated Peter asking him, “By what power or what name did you do this?” (Acts 4:7) Peter told them that it was by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that this miracle had occurred, a fact they could not deny: “since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.” Furthermore, the religious authorities continued, “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it.'” (Acts 4:14-16)

The miracle was genuine. It was instant, it could be verified: “For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.” (Acts 4:22) And both the followers of Jesus and his enemies acknowledged it.

The Charismatic Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The church of God in Corinth was richly endowed with charismatic gifts from the Holy Spirit. Some had the gift of healing, others the gift of tongues, others the gift of prophesying. When the believers assembled as a church and the gift of prophecy was being exercised, it had a remarkable effect upon an unbelieving visitor. “But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!'” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)


The miracles of Jesus, the apostles and the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit were supernatural. The evidence is compelling. Nothing like this had ever occurred before. The miracles were always instant and complete. Blind people did not receive partial sight; they received perfect vision. The lame did not have to use crutches, but walked, leaped and jumped upon being healed. These were genuine miracles.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like to have a look at the rest of our 5-part study on the topic of signs and wonders. Please click here to access this material.