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Ceegen
Aug 20th 2014, 11:12 PM
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:" - Matthew ch12 v39.

Did Jesus say this because they were seeking a specific "sign" to show that Jesus is who he said he is? To prove to them that he is Messiah?

Along those same lines, if we already believe, is it still evil to ask for a sign from God to let us know that something we're doing is what he wants us to do? As it pertains to seeking guidance rather than proof?

"Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said." - Judges ch6 v37.

Gideon already believed, but was seeking guidance by way of a sign. Does this mean that Gideon was "evil and adulterous"?

little watchman
Aug 20th 2014, 11:54 PM
Perhaps not the best example, but I think of the Apostle Paul who prayed three times to be relieved of his "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7). If he received a definitive answer the first time, he probably would not have continued to ask. God's answer became clearer as Paul continued to ask, culminating in "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." So keep asking God for an answer until it is clear to you. Would a "fleece" test really accomplish that, or would you wonder if it was just a coincidence? Also keep in mind that a fleece might be forcing an answer according to your timing. I don't know how a yes/no fleece would indicate "wait."

Protective Angel
Aug 20th 2014, 11:55 PM
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:" - Matthew ch12 v39.

Did Jesus say this because they were seeking a specific "sign" to show that Jesus is who he said he is? To prove to them that he is Messiah?

Along those same lines, if we already believe, is it still evil to ask for a sign from God to let us know that something we're doing is what he wants us to do? As it pertains to seeking guidance rather than proof?

"Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said." - Judges ch6 v37.

Gideon already believed, but was seeking guidance by way of a sign. Does this mean that Gideon was "evil and adulterous"?

1 Thess 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

I really like signs. The hearing too. I think that's why Jesus was not going to give many signs. He wanted them to believe.

BroRog
Aug 21st 2014, 01:06 AM
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:" - Matthew ch12 v39.

Did Jesus say this because they were seeking a specific "sign" to show that Jesus is who he said he is? To prove to them that he is Messiah?

Along those same lines, if we already believe, is it still evil to ask for a sign from God to let us know that something we're doing is what he wants us to do? As it pertains to seeking guidance rather than proof?

"Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said." - Judges ch6 v37.

Gideon already believed, but was seeking guidance by way of a sign. Does this mean that Gideon was "evil and adulterous"?First of all, take note of the fact that Jesus had already given them a sign when he healed the man with a withered hand, to which the Pharisees responded with hatred and conspired to kill Jesus. Then Jesus casts a demon out of a man, and the Pharisees claimed Jesus was working for Beelzebub. No matter what Jesus did, these Pharisees would not be convinced. Another group of Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign, and when he answered them, he called them an adulterous generation. Why adulterous? Often times the Bible uses the term "adultery" when speaking about Israel's relationship with God. Since the prophets picture Israel as the wife of God, then when she commits idolatry, it is like she is adulterous.

Consider the following passage:


Again the Lord spoke to me further, saying, "Inasmuch as these people have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah And rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah; Now therefore, behold, the Lord is about to bring on them the strong and abundant waters of the Euphrates, Even the king of Assyria and all his glory; And it will rise up over all its channels and go over all its banks. Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel. Be broken, O peoples, and be shattered . . . Isaiah 8:5:9

During Isaiah's time Shiloah was a gently flowing fountain located in SE Jerusalem. It didn't produce vast amounts of water; just enough to water the city. And it flowed reliably year over year, never failing to give water. And God, through Isaiah, accuses Israel of not being satisfied with that fountain. Apparently, Israel didn't see or understand that God was giving them water by giving them a fountain that ran reliably for generations. It would be easy for me, and I suspect easy for them, to classify things into two categories: natural and supernatural. Nature does the natural; God does the supernatural. In reality, though, God does them both. Whether we are talking about a fountain that gives water without fail, or a rock that gushes with water when Moses hits it with his staff. God is responsible for both the gently flowing fountain, which to untrained eyes looks "natural", and the miraculous supply of water that came from a rock looks "supernatural". But God does both.

Israel wasn't satisfied with the fountain, she wanted God to work in an overt and obvious way. God was working behind the scenes, going unnoticed, providing for her needs all along. The fountain of Shiloah represents that fact. While it looks like a "natural" occurrence, in reality it is God at work -- silently, reliably, and with love. And it is so easy for us to miss that and assume God isn't doing anything for us. But he is. The irony is delicious. Israel, the unfaithful adulterous wife is seeking a sign of God's love and care. She is not satisfied with the fountain because she forgot or doesn't realize that even a fountain is under God's control, and the gently flowing fountain that reliably gives water year over year is God at work just as much as defending Israel from an attack by her enemies.

Jesus isn't saying that it's wrong to seek after a sign. A person isn't an adulterer because he seeks after a sign. The adulterer is the person who has forgot that God has already been taking care of us all along. And if we forget that, and if we are convinced that God is no available, we will seek other "gods" to help us: the god of money, the god of fortune, the god of love, the god of networking, the god of computer power, the god of human social interaction, or whatever god you seek in order to find security and happiness in this world. The only God that matters is the real God, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Reynolds357
Aug 21st 2014, 01:57 AM
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:" - Matthew ch12 v39.

Did Jesus say this because they were seeking a specific "sign" to show that Jesus is who he said he is? To prove to them that he is Messiah?

Along those same lines, if we already believe, is it still evil to ask for a sign from God to let us know that something we're doing is what he wants us to do? As it pertains to seeking guidance rather than proof?

"Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said." - Judges ch6 v37.

Gideon already believed, but was seeking guidance by way of a sign. Does this mean that Gideon was "evil and adulterous"?
No. Gideon was not indwelt by The Holy Spirit.

Old man
Aug 21st 2014, 07:18 AM
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:" - Matthew ch12 v39.

Did Jesus say this because they were seeking a specific "sign" to show that Jesus is who he said he is? To prove to them that he is Messiah?

Along those same lines, if we already believe, is it still evil to ask for a sign from God to let us know that something we're doing is what he wants us to do? As it pertains to seeking guidance rather than proof?

"Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said." - Judges ch6 v37.

Gideon already believed, but was seeking guidance by way of a sign. Does this mean that Gideon was "evil and adulterous"?

Jesus had been showing them signs (if you will) all along.


John 5:36 "But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish--the very works that I do--testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
John 10:25 “Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me.”
John 10:32 “Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?"
John 14:11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
They are actually the same sign that Jesus gave to John when he asked if Jesus was the one they were expecting.


Matt 11:2-5 “Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples (3) and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" (4) Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: (5) the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.”
The problem may have been that they all (including John) had a wrong expectation of the Messiah and were seeking signs in accordance with their expectations. While I believe John understood the sign Jesus had mentioned to him (through John’s disciples) the Scribes and Pharisees never did even though it was essentially the same sign.

The sign that Jesus finally told them they would get (rising from the grave in three days) they refused to acknowledge or believe as well.


Matt 28:11-15 “Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. (12) And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, (13) and said, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.' (14) And if this should come to the governor's ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble." (15) And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day."

Ceegen
Aug 21st 2014, 09:22 AM
I think the question is being misunderstood, so allow me to clarify:

Is there a difference between "seeking a sign" and "confirmation"? Especially as it pertains to the believer vs the unbeliever?

As an example of "seeking a sign":
A materialist says, "Show me proof of any non-physical thing."
A Christian then replies, "Thoughts and emotions/feelings are non-physical."
To which the materialist rebuts, "That is not proof, that is just an illusion which happens in the brain as the result of chemical reactions."

The result of this exchange shows that the materialist refuses to believe in anything other than what can be taken in through sensory perception, no matter how absurd their argument may be. You wouldn't be able to change this person's mind if they were set in denying that anything spiritual exists, no matter how well an argument you construct. (As an interesting aside, there were "materialist" Jews in Jesus' time: "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him," - Matthew ch22 v23).

An example of "confirmation":
A spy is going on a mission into enemy territory, and is instructed to rent a specific room at a specific hotel. Once there the spy is told to put a big X in a specific window using duct tape, to let the field agent already in place know that he has arrived. Confirmation that the message was received will be to watch for a specific street light to turn on and off 5 times in the course of a specific hour, after which they will meet at a predetermined location to discuss the details of the mission.

The result of this set of events happening in a specific order for two people who already have detailed instructions, aren't in need of any assurance of any kind (except maybe their safety, as they're spies, but that point aside...), but rather they are looking for confirmation that the instructions are understood. Almost like a legal contract of sorts, comparable to a "covenant", like God instructing Abram to be circumcised: God was looking for confirmation from then-Abram and later-Abraham that he understood the message being conveyed, and agreement to such a message resulted in an action on part of Abraham.

Does this make more sense? Because I think there is a difference between asking God for confirmation of something, rather than asking God to perform a miracle as a means of proving that He even exists. The former is looking for guidance in faith that an answer will be provided, while the latter is asking something absurd knowing they'll just explain it away as a hallucination or coincidence.

little watchman
Aug 21st 2014, 02:51 PM
A difference between God and the spies in your story is that God doesn't need to be told that you arrived at your rented room. It would be faithless to ask God to confirm that He has heard our prayers. We know He has, but will He be moved by them? Will He respond in the way we ask?

But perhaps God does need confirmation from us, not of our present circumstances but of our future committments. Why was Abraham instructed to offer his son as a burnt sacrifice? Much can be said about this--for example that God promised a nation through Isaac (Genesis 17:19) so would Abraham choose to see God as capricious and spiteful?; that Isaac was well-loved and could have become an idol to Abraham; that God placed Abraham in the same position He would face when sacrificing His only son Jesus Christ---but the explanation given by God was this: "for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son" (Genesis 22:12). The text suggests that God did not fully know Abraham's faith in Him until he was tested. From such tests God gets confirmation of our committment to Him and we recieve reminders of His faithfulness--signs, answers to prayer, even a covenental mark such as circumcision.

Protective Angel
Aug 21st 2014, 11:37 PM
I think the question is being misunderstood, so allow me to clarify:

Is there a difference between "seeking a sign" and "confirmation"? Especially as it pertains to the believer vs the unbeliever?

As an example of "seeking a sign":
A materialist says, "Show me proof of any non-physical thing."
A Christian then replies, "Thought, emotion and feels are non-physical."
To which the materialist rebuts, "That is not proof, that is just an illusion which happens in the brain as the result of chemical reactions."

The result of this exchange shows that the materialist refuses to believe in anything other than what can be taken in through sensory perception, no matter how absurd their argument may be. You wouldn't be able to change this person's mind if they were set in denying that anything spiritual exists, no matter how well an argument you construct. (As an interesting aside, there were "materialist" Jews in Jesus' time: "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him," - Matthew ch22 v23).

An example of "confirmation":
A spy is going on a mission into enemy territory, and is instructed to rent a specific room at a specific hotel. Once there the spy is told to put a big X in a specific window using duct tape, to let the field agent already in place know that he has arrived. Confirmation that the message was received will be to watch for a specific street light to turn on and off 5 times in the course of a specific hour, after which they will meet at a predetermined location to discuss the details of the mission.

The result of this set of events happening in a specific order for two people who already have detailed instructions, aren't in need of any assurance of any kind (except maybe their safety, as they're spies, but that point aside...), but rather they are looking for confirmation that the instructions are understood. Almost like a legal contract of sorts, comparable to a "covenant", like God instructing Abram to be circumcised: God was looking for confirmation from then-Abram and later-Abraham that he understood the message being conveyed, and agreement to such a message resulted in an action on part of Abraham.

Does this make more sense? Because I think there is a difference between asking God for confirmation of something, rather than asking God to perform a miracle as a means of proving that He even exists. The former is looking for guidance in faith that an answer will be provided, while the latter is asking something absurd knowing they'll just explain it away as a hallucination or coincidence.

I'll tell you my personal experiences of both. (some may disagree)


I've been searching for a church for about 3 years now. I like signs to lead me.

I had a Pastor come to our work 3 times in 2 weeks. I called that a sign to go there. Every and I mean every time I went there, the week up to that Sunday, I read scripture that was the sermon. Confirmation.

I stopped going there to try another church. A literal sign appeared at different houses around town. Sign

I have chose my old church from years ago, hoping that my wife will go back to church.
I wrote an encouraging post that God can only be given to Glory for and 1 month later those words were spoken by the Pastor of this church. Sign of the right church and confirmation that God leads us if we listen and write it down.

Praise God :pp.........



Edit add: Is or can confirmation be, seeing the fruit??? I think yes.

BroRog
Aug 22nd 2014, 04:52 AM
I'll tell you my personal experiences of both. (some may disagree)


I've been searching for a church for about 3 years now. I like signs to lead me.

I had a Pastor come to our work 3 times in 2 weeks. I called that a sign to go there. Every and I mean every time I went there, the week up to that Sunday, I read scripture that was the sermon. Confirmation.

I stopped going there to try another church. A literal sign appeared at different houses around town. Sign

I have chose my old church from years ago, hoping that my wife will go back to church.
I wrote an encouraging post that God can only be given to Glory for and 1 month later those words were spoken by the Pastor of this church. Sign of the right church and confirmation that God leads us if we listen and write it down.

Praise God :pp.........



Edit add: Is or can confirmation be, seeing the fruit??? I think yes.Aren't those little confirmations wonderful? :) What a blessing.

SeekFirstTheKingdom
Aug 22nd 2014, 07:24 AM
Awesome topic. Here is my contribution:

'a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign' was to call out the hypocrite Scribes & Pharisees who "knew their stuff" (in their own minds) yet couldn't see the Truth (Jesus the I AM) in front of them, and were asking for a sign as proof, while really mocking & doubting Jesus. (Matt 12:39)

Then the Pharisees and Sadducees asked for a sign, and Jesus gave them the parable inferring that they wouldn't have eyes to see or understand anyways (Matt 16:1-4

Specific to believers, remember doubting Thomas? (see John 20:24-29)

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed

Right? Now watch this: (Mark 16:17) And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

The amazing thing I see or that I get out of this, is that the hypocrites or unbelievers or religious Pharisees seek a sign, because they don't believe, they need proof, they have no faith. In contrast, they who believe, who trust and are faithful to Jesus, are proven or accompanied with signs which follow them (The book of Acts confirms this all over the place, as do the scriptures even OT and NT alike). The same is true TODAY.

Amen also on the whole confirmations being separate from seeking a sign in the context that the Pharisees did. Nothing wrong with blood-bought children of the LORD asking for confirmations, revelations, or 'signs' in the context of already believing The Word, etc. (Example of that humble honest mindset is: I believe, LORD, helps Thou mine unbelief)

As for the question, would it be considered wicked and adulterous to ask The LORD for a sign in that faithful and believing context? Remember This?

Acts 4:29-31

29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Shortly after this prayer/asking, see Acts 5:12 confirming that: "And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people"

See that? God surely granted them signs and wonders, so what is the difference here?

How amazing is our LORD? My opinion then; in summary, the deciding factor is whether or not you are a hypocrite in unbelief vs. a faithful believing child of the LORD who asks with boldness according to the will of and the Word of God.

Now, for those who are really stepping out in faith and believing, just wait, it won't be long now for John 14:12 to happen

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

Those of us who already go out now, in faith, with boldness and lay hands on the sick, who cast out devils, who are about The Father's business...in my opinion it is they who will be taking part in the upcoming final harvest, John 14:12 / Isaiah 60:1 style signs/wonders/power like never before. The ones who were bench-warmers in the church denying the power of God and arguing that the signs/gifts were done-away-with, may potentially miss out on that (unless the LORD is gracious there). Just something to think and pray about, I could be completely wrong here, I have no problem with that :)

The LORD loves great FAITH.

God bless everyone who reads this

Ceegen
Aug 22nd 2014, 08:14 AM
Awesome topic. Here is my contribution:

I just wanted to say that you brought some information to the thread that I hadn't considered, which confirms what I had been thinking of and looking for anyway. Good job and God bless.

:)

SeekFirstTheKingdom
Aug 22nd 2014, 09:20 AM
Glory to Jesus, brother.

Thanks for the great thread and kind comments.

Amen and amen

Protective Angel
Aug 24th 2014, 06:55 PM
Aren't those little confirmations wonderful? :) What a blessing.

Amen and as awestruckchild would say, "glorybumps".:hug: