This can be an act of showing that something exists or is true by giving undeniable proof or solid evidence.

Numerous times throughout the Gospels and the Book of Acts miraculous happenings took place that resulted in God being gloried. These extra-ordinary happenings were not to draw attention to Jesus or the impotent human vessels through which God worked, but to the all-powerful God and to the inner transformation and eternal destiny, He was offering.

It is recorded the early believers prayed, that God would heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders so the skeptical public would understand and come to faith in Christ (Act 4:29,30). This is the type of prayer God loves to answer. Examples of this happening include: “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said” as people were healed and set free of evil spirits (Act 8:6,7). Another is Paul saying his preaching and the Kingdom of God was not a matter of only talk but of the Holy Spirit’s power (Rom 15:18,19; 1 Cor 2:4,5, 4:20). He knew it would require more than a passionate speech of human reasoning to win the pagans to Christ (Zech 4:6). The Holy Spirit was powerfully evident, and this may have been a miraculous undeniable physical healing, or a gift of the Spirit in operation (1 Cor 12:4-11). So while the specific manifestation is not revealed (nor is it important to know) the focus is that Paul’s teaching was backed up by God’s awe-inspiring ability got their attention and persuaded them the gospel message was true with many becoming Christians.

Jesus said, “These signs will follow [accompany] those who believe…” (Mk 16:17,18). While we are to pray and believe for people to be healed, and situations to be resolved, this is not always the case. yet don’t be put off

Be obedient and leave the results to God

with a lack of results. We are told to pray and bring our requests to God (Phil 4:6). Our belief and trust in God is not dependent in what we see – it’s in God (Heb 11:6). We are to seek Him, not signs. While outward physical displays are remarkable, a deeper and longer lasting miracle takes place when a person turns to Christ and they become a new creation (Jn 1:12; 2 Cor 5:17).

God’s incredibly great power is working on our behalf – it is the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph 1:19,20). This divine capability is able to change the heart of sinners – including mine.  Does my life show the transformation He has made in me? It is recorded the authorities realised these men had been with Jesus because of the remarkable change that was not possible by normal means (Act 4:13; 2 Cor 4:7).

The Lord confirmed the bold declaration of the gospel with undisputable demonstrations of divine miracles – “the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it” (Mk 16:20; Act 14:3,8-10, 16:16-18, 19:11,12). On another occasion when God’s power was remarkably demonstrated, this convinced a high-ranking official to become a believer (Act 13:6-12). In another instance when Paul suffered no harmful effects from a snake bite, this led to an influential leader being healed with this demonstration of God’s power further extending out to touch many people (Act 28:3-9). The purpose of signs and wonders should be to gain people’s attention and bring about their salvation.

With any manifestation in the visible and physical realm the greatest demonstration is the conviction of sin, righteousness and judgement which the Holy Spirit produces in the human spirit leading to a change of heart and life (Jn 16:8). To be real a person’s confession of faith must have proof, a verifiable validation (Mt 3:8; Act 2:38; Jas 2:18). Actions accompanying our words demonstrate we mean what we say (Jas 1:22). The validity of our faith is not determined by any physical or external manifestation that is allegedly from God; a changed heart that is outworked in a transformed lifestyle is.

However, not all extra-ordinary happenings originate with God as Satan also empowers some of his followers to perform miracles (Ex 7:11,22, 8:7; Mt 24:24; 2 Thes 2:9; Rev 13:13,14, 19:20). Thus we must be aware Satan can work deceptive magic or counterfeit miracles besides God’s genuine mighty

Discernment is required

acts. A test to gauge the origin is, does it result in God or man being glorified? 

We should seek truth not the wonder of miracles. If people put their trust just in miracles rather than the truth of the gospel, then it is only a superficial and possibly a temporary conversion experience.

A demonstration can also refer to: a practical hands-on presentation showing how to do a particular task or how a piece of equipment works; a march or protest gathering which people take part in to show their opposition to (or their support) for something.

See also: character, civil disobedience, counterfeit, deception, discernment, display, manifestations, miracles, proof, protest, sovereignty of God, spiritual gifts, vessel.