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Matthew 24:24

Great signs and wonders (shmeia megala kai terata). Two of the three words so often used in the N.T. about the works (erga) of Jesus, the other being dunamei (powers). They often occur together of the same work ( John 4:48 ; Acts 2:22 ; Acts 4:30 2 Corinthians 12:12 ; Hebrews 2:4 ). Tera is a wonder or prodigy, dunami, a mighty work or power, shmeion, a sign of God's purpose. Miracle (miraculum) presents only the notion of wonder or portent. The same deed can be looked at from these different angles. But the point to note here is that mere "signs and wonders" do not of themselves prove the power of God. These charlatans will be so skilful that they will, if possible (ei dunaton), lead astray the very elect. The implication is that it is not possible. People become excited and are misled and are unable to judge of results. Often it is post hoc, sed non propter hoc. Patent-medicine men make full use of the credulity of people along this line as do spiritualistic mediums. Sleight-of-hand men can deceive the unwary.

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