Pursuing the Power: Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

Pursuing the Power: Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

Second in a series called "Passion for God"

Miracles really do happen. I've seen many people instantly healed. I was taught that sickness is from the devil and that it's always God's will to heal our minds, bodies, and hearts. Having gone through systematized training, learning to heal all three parts of us: mind, body, and soul, my husband and I were sent on the road as full-time ministers.

I have been in conferences from one end of the country to the other. I have seen jewels, angel feathers, and have had gold dust appear on my hands. I've witnessed healings that were medically verified. I'm not here to judge if this is good or evil, but I can tell you it is real.

God's ways are not our ways. The Bible is full of unusual stories, people who were healed and delivered supernaturally!

I am a witness of the supernatural realm. I have felt fire on my hands as a highly regarded prophetic leader prayed for me. But later, I discovered he was an active member of the occult, a sex addict, and rapist. How do I know? Because he personally told me, one-on-one.  His pastor knew the truth, too, but said that "God's grace" covers him, as long as the man keeps taking steps forward (attends discipleship classes). 

My commitment to you is I will open up the closed doors and allow you to see and hear behind the scenes. The word "occult" means "hidden, or secret". We need more people to walk in the Light, telling their stories and not hiding behind the veil of secrecy. We can write our way to freedom.

What is evil? Some people focus on the manifestations. They create videos of Hindu worshipers having the same manifestations as our modern charismatics. They talk about the danger of altered states of mind. Some call it psychic frenzy. But I'm not here to talk about manifestations. I want to take you behind the scenes and behind closed doors, to examine what it means to have God's anointing pouring out of a person exhibiting ungodly character. 

A little bit of bad Christianity can infect the vast majority of good people. Because most of us are nice and polite, we often miss what is happening in secret, hidden behind the scenes.

When churches invite men and women with questionable character and background, good and evil have blurry boundaries. Grace may become evil's accomplice more often than you may want to know. If you follow the money trail, signs and wonders is a big business.

The pursuit of position, power, and praise poisons passion for God.

Many  ministers have charisma, charm, and can be extremely good storytellers, even though they emerged from lives of past degradation with bleeds into the present. The anointing may be real, and the offering plates fill faster when they speak. This is what makes it a confusing issue – where is God when a pastor with a genuine anointing becomes a perpetrator of unrepentant abuse? How do we handle abuse in the pulpit? How much time do we extend to a fallen minister before he or she returns to the platform? What does true repentance look like?

Are there Saul's who are blindsided by the Goodness of God, stopped in their tracks, and totally transformed, yes. There is Grace and Mercy at the Cross. Thank God, or I would be doomed! I'm not talking about that kind of grace, though.

Consider this: Paul spent a number of years in the desert AFTER his miraculous transformation. He was accountable to the other disciples before he ever began ministry. He had a contrite spirit! He needed desert training before entering public ministry. Jesus, himself, needed desert training and learned obedience through his suffering. David had many years of desert training before becoming king.

Desert Training. The desert is the antidote to the pursuit of power. The desert is where we discover godly passion and pleasure, where we learn to lean on God instead of our own strength and understanding.

  • The desert, not the stage, is where our true character is molded and where our false identity is starved out.
  • The stage is where we feel pressure to remain in performance mode, and where our false identity thrives.

The environment of signs, wonders, and miracles is an open door evil cannot resist. Why? Because it's about POWER. We call it "power ministry". People involved in the occult are drawn to signs and wonders, as we read in the book of Acts when Peter cursed a man named Simon the Magician who suggested buying the lessons so he could perform supernatural signs and wonders.

I don't advocate eliminating the "power ministry" but I do advocate removing known abusers, manipulators, and con artists from the pulpits.

Remember the prophetic leader who was also an active occult participant, a rapist, and murderer? He told me himself his reason for attending our church was this: "I need more power. I know what power the occult has; I want to find out what Christianity has. If you guys have more power, I'll step over the line and come to your side. But if you don't have more power than this, I'm staying in the occult. It's safer there."

Jesus never caved into the seductive voice of desiring power or control, thus ending up being nailed to a cross. There's probably a lesson there for all of us. — David Grant

We live in a time where good is called evil, and evil is called good.  The greatest evil today lurks behind the masks of ordinary pastors and church leaders

Deitrich Bonhoeffer risked his life for justice, eventually being murdered by the Nazi's. There are some ministries today, who, like little Hitler's, are willing to threaten loss of job, loss of reputation, and even death if you do not stay silent about the abuse happening to you. Being under their authority is like living in a concentration camp. We silence the abused and cover up the crime.

There are good pastors and church leaders, but it seems the good ones are often the most persecuted, shunned, and even murdered. They speak up and take action when they witness injustice. They are watchmen on the wall.

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 3:17-19)

I speak up for the sake of the desert-walkers, those on the journey we call the dark night of the soul. They, too, have been shunned, silenced, and served eviction notices. They are true believers but yet they feel forsaken, forgotten, and friend-less. Some are dead.

Bad Christianity is in danger of infecting and harming the vast majority of good Christians who wouldn't dream of abusing people. Something needs to change.

The change will come not from church policies, but from the conscientious action of brave individuals.

I want to quote a writer named Job, who conveys my heart regarding pursuing the power…

So no, those who truly believe in God are not after angel feathers, gold dust, and jewels popping up out of thin air! We are not after new visions, revelations, and secrets. Why? The reason is that those things, while impressive to behold, have no lasting value. They are not the things that the kingdom of heaven is built on. So what true believers love to see and hear about are CHANGED HEARTS as evidenced by CHANGED BEHAVIOR.

Unbelievers hearing the gospel and getting saved. People confessing their sins and turning from them rather than using their works, church membership, background, or “anointing” to justify remaining in them. People overcoming the grief of losing a loved one. People forgiving those that have done them grievously wrong. The fearful becoming bold, the haters becoming lovers. THAT is what Christians should seek after and try to participate in. And those are what we Christians should be after.

…Why put all the emphasis on the things that Satan can imitate while ignoring the things that he cannot?  I don’t know about you, but while hearing testimonies about people delivered from asthma personally touch me because I was healed of the same, what I really love hearing about are testimonies of God delivering them from selfishness, hate, pride, lying, meanness, sloth, lust, and irresponsibility, for those character flaws and many more I had them, and let me tell you they were much more destructive to me and those around me than my asthma was! — POSTED by JOB 

Amen, Job… My ongoing deliverance from pride, prejudice, fear, a critical spirit, selfishness, low self-esteem, and timidity are far more valuable to me than all the "power trips" of being in the environment of signs, wonders, and miracles. My healing and deliverance from the worst sins cost me everything. 

My healing from bleeding for seven months straight cost me nothing, but I'm grateful for it. My husband was healed from a spinal cord injury, and I'm grateful he had his first night of sleep afterward… but what followed was worse than physical pain, as the ministry leaders that healed him put him on a platform, gave him a microphone, and sent him out to minister while in an openly abusive state. It killed our marriage, our family, and it forces him to live in the shadows, even while serving to this day in the public light. 

At one time, I was the worst of sinners, and all the time I ministered everyone patted my back and called my ministry "GOOD". 

When I privately confronted my own pride and prejudice, my own timidity and fears, my own selfishness and critical spirit, the change in me caused others to see the same in themselves. I didn't point my finger at anyone but me, but for me to"be real" and to be vulnerable challenged the status quo. To remain in denial, they had to expel me. 

It put me in the desert. But it gave me my life back. It renewed my passion for God.

Passion for Truth and Life, not the pursuit of position, power, and praise will help us to call good GOOD and evil EVIL. A little bit of bad Christianity can infect the vast majority of good people. One prevention is looking to see who has been desert trained. Don't be eager to put people on stage or in public ministry; you might just ruin their lives and infect a whole bunch of good people. 

Don't be too eager for a physical healing. God may be doing something much more powerful in you, during your time of illness, than He could do if you were up and running. In my own personal experience, those who receive instant miracles of healing end up with some other kind of disability… whether emotional, spiritual, or physical. Not always, but enough so, that for me, I have learned to listen first for Father's voice. And sometimes He doesn't want to instantly heal a person. His has His own reasons.

Remember Jesus, who warned the man he had healed the previous day, "Be careful, or something worse may happen." Sometimes an instant healing can be dangerous to our souls, although I have rejoiced over many such healings and I'm grateful to God that He's still in the healing ministry on earth today.

Passion for God, not exhibited in the pursuit of power, praise, and position, but manifested in rest, trust, and vulnerability is an antidote for the toxic faith environment to which we have all been exposed.

Be you. Be free. Tell your story!

My Full Story     What I Believe    Contact Me

With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2014 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Schiller February 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm

From Chris Anderson, of First Love Ministries:

Layers of Deception – Depths of Idolatry

The factuality of a lying sign and wonder is only the final coup de grâce on an elaborate multi-layered deception giving context to the Father’s proving of our true hearts before Him. In our lead up discussion, we identified several precedent layers on which lying signs and wonders form. We review them once again here all together:

– The Presence

Remembering that false christs primarily arise from within the body of Christ, the firstlayer for setting up antichrist deception comes from the fact of God’s sensible Presence in our midst (the “cloud”). We sense God’s real Presence in a corporate meeting, therefore are predisposed to receive whatever is ministered under its canopy as real and from God. For many churches, the fact of the Presence is all that is tested for. As long as the Presence is sensed, no testing of anything conducted under it is considered necessary.


– The Anointing


The second layer for setting up antichrist deception comes from the fact that the minister in question possesses a verifiable spiritual anointing with power for ministry, usually either in prophecy or in healing. A real prophetic or healing anointing is upon a minister inside a worshipful gathering. And again, for many, the fact of such anointing is enough, speaks for itself, and thus its accompanying message needs no testing.


– The Sincerity


The third layer for setting up antichrist deception is that the minister of a false sign or wonder is sincerely convincing, because he or she is functioning under a priori deception or self-deception, masking his or her own heart from consciousness of the deception. The apparent sincerity of heart of the minister wins the trust of the listeners. “How could anyone so sincere be deceiving us?” is the conclusion. And any questioning of one sounding sincere is considered to be “judgmental.” 


– The Sign


Finally, upon these three layers, the fourth layer of the lying sign itself actually comes to pass. Perhaps it is a prophesied event, or perhaps a self-standing miracle. A certain event may actually take place that the deceiving prophet predicted would come to pass. Or people may in fact be healed through the deceivers’ anointing for healing.




– The Idolatry


Nevertheless, against the weight of all these layers is the testing and proving for the evidence of a false message. We are testing for a message seducing our hearts into:


·        the worship of angels, spiritual phenomena, the anointing, and/or the messenger;

·        reinforcing our identities in the institutions and entities of the world, especially the political institutions;

·        strengthening our affection for the world’s cultural allures—their material possessions, their sports, their musicians, their movies, their eateries, their fads, etc.


Joyce October 8, 2014 at 9:06 am

Amen, Sister, Amen.  The time of healing and restoration is a time of learning at the Master's feet.  I thank God for it…and YOU!


Susan Schiller October 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

Hugs… thank you… and more hugs!


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