Discover Your Spiritual Identity!
The Revelation of the Names and Titles God Has Given His People
"Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and wonders" (Isa. 8:18a, AMPC).
Foundationally, a "sign" is something that directs a person to a desired goal (like street signs or business signs). In like manner, God sends supernatural "signs" to guide us on our earthly journeys and then causes us to become "signs" who guide others.
Other definitions include the following:
A "sign" can be a natural token symbolizing a spiritual reality, like the "sign" of the rainbow given to Noah representing God's promise to never allow a global flood again.
A sign can be an extraordinary, supernatural happening that reveals or validates God's true identity, His will or His purposes.
A "wonder" is a divinely orchestrated, miraculous event that causes those who witness it to be filled with awe concerning God's greatness.
The First Level of Prophetic Revelation
On the first level, this prophecy was simply speaking about Isaiah and his children. The naming of each child at birth was a prophecy concerning the destiny of both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel.
Isaiah named his first son Shear-jashub, which means, "A remnant shall return." It was a prophecy that the northern kingdom of Israel (made up of 10 tribes) would conquer the southern kingdom (made up of 2 tribes, Judah and Benjamin) and carry many away captive, but a remnant would eventually return to their homeland.
Isaiah named his second son Maher-shalal-hash-baz, which means, "Quick to the plunder and swift to the prey." It was a prophecy that the northern kingdom of 10 tribes would reap the judgment of God and be attacked by the empire of Assyria who would plunder them.
The Level of Prophetic Revelation
There is also a higher, Messianic level to this prophetic passage.
Hebrews 2:13b (AMPC) quotes the beginning of this verse ("Here I am, I and the children whom God has given me") as proof that a new covenant had arrived; a time when God's people would be a part of His family, not just citizens of a covenant nation. However, if the beginning of the sentence foretold born-again believers in the New Covenant, then the next four words must refer to us as well:
"I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders" (Isa. 8:18a, AMPC).
We have been filled with God's Spirit to fulfill this role. Having received God's miraculous influence in our lives, we become the means by which His miraculous influence infiltrates the world around us.
Israel in Egypt
At pivotal points in the history of God's dealings with mankind, He has employed supernatural "signs and wonders" to indicate His involvement in the affairs of both individuals and nations. There is no greater example than the deliverance of the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt.
The highest King gave Moses three signs to convince the Israelites and the Egyptians that he was truly sent from God: 1) His rod, thrown down, became a serpent; 2) water, poured out, became blood; and 3) a hand withdrawn from his bosom became leprous, then clean.
Then God produced more awe-inspiring signs and wonders in Israel like a pillar of fire by night, a cloudy pillar by day, manna from above and a gushing river of water from the rock that followed them in the wilderness. Through these things, Israel became a sign and a wonder in the world. This awakened faith in generations following that God could continue to manifest Himself supernaturally to confirm His love and power toward us all.
David's Wonderful Declaration
Another great example is David, who enthusiastically proclaimed, "I have become as a wonder to many" (Ps. 71:7, AMP). The MEV translation says, "a wondrous sign." Surely, his family and his nation "wondered": they marveled at how a common shepherd boy became a world-renowned warrior, bringing down a famous Philistine warrior named Goliath with just a stone and a sling. Where did his power come from? The anointing, of course. David's declaration should be ours as well — for all believers have the potential of being a "wonder"—a source of awe and inspiration—lives evidencing the supreme blessing of divine influence.
Jesus and the Church
When the Savior came into this world, Simeon, the prophet, held God incarnate in his arms at the temple and announced that the little baby would be a "sign" that would be "spoken against" (see Luke 2:25-34). After Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter described him as "a Man attested by God . . . by miracles, wonders, and signs" (Acts 2:22, NKJV). That's how the New Covenant was introduced into the world and it continued with the disciples.
Under the backlash of religious persecution, the early church prayed for miraculous manifestations, saying, "Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus" (Acts 4:29-30, NJKV). We should still be praying this way.
I became a sign and a wonder from the time I received Jesus into my heart. When I was searching for the truth back in 1970, I began studying yoga, Hinduism and Sikhism under an Indian guru. Eventually, I became a teacher of yoga myself at four universities in the Tampa, Florida area and I was running a yoga ashram (a commune where devotees study more intensely).
Because of the influence of a friend, one day I asked God to give me a supernatural sign — to verify that Jesus was truly the only way to heaven and the Savior of the world. Though I prayed all day long, the "sign" did not happen until late that afternoon. Unknown to me, there was a prayer group in town that was interceding for me because they read about me in the paper. One of its members picked me up hitchhiking that day, even though at first he had no idea I was the yoga teacher he and his prayer group had been praying for.
When I stepped into his van, I felt a surge of excitement. A picture of Jesus was taped to the ceiling of the van. I knew it was my sign (a God-incidence, not a coincidence). On top of that, Kent (the guy driving) just "happened" to be a former yoga student himself, but he had found the Lord — so he knew exactly how to witness to me. God is such a genius.
Within an hour of receiving that "sign" from God, I became a sign and a wonder to my yoga students. That afternoon and the remainder of the week, I announced my conversion to my classes and told them I had unknowingly misled them, and that Jesus really was the only way. I shut down my ashram immediately. Most of my students became Christians also. So, do you see the pattern?
When you receive a sign and a wonder from God, quite often, you become a sign and a wonder to others.
Explore this wonderful subject more deeply by listening to a former episode of Mike Shreve's weekly podcast called "Discover Your Spiritual Identity." View his messages on YouTube, youtube.com/mikeshreveministries. You may download the free booklet that tells Mike Shreve's conversion story called The Highest Adventure: Encountering God by going to thetruelight.net.
Mike Shreve has traveled evangelistically in the United States and overseas since 1970, with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic, and was a leader in the Jesus Movement in the early 70s. His primary biblical teaching for the past 35 years has been the spiritual identity of believers. This powerful insight is featured on his weekly podcast on cpnshows.com and his TV program — both titled Discover Your Spiritual Identity. It is also the theme of his Charisma House book titled WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. The first three categories on his YouTube website expand on this amazing revelation youtube.com/mikeshreveministries.
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