Jesus warned that false prophets would arise who would perform great signs and wonders. What does Jesus mean by this description? The word “great” holds two meanings. One of them describes quality, like a great meal, tasteful as well as healthful. It also means quantity, abundance. Thus, a great meal can include the quality of the food as well as the amount of the food.
In like manner, false prophets will provide signs and wonders of high quality and abundance. They will not produce a trick or slight of hand, but many high quality demonstrations of power. What does the word “signs” mean? It describes some unusual occurrence that transcends the common course of nature. These false prophets will do magnificent things, beyond the ordinary. They will use those displays as evidence of their calling.
Not only will they have attesting signs but wonders, too. “Wonders” speak of the miraculous. A false Church leader may have the ability to perform miraculous and supernatural things. Some false prophets will exhibit astounding manifestations and claim a special anointing of God upon them. Moses described this very thing in Deuteronomy, thirteen centuries before Jesus’ birth, long before this dreadful error arose. Moses’ warning helps us know how to discern between the false and the true, the true messenger of God and the false prophet of God. They sound so much alike, so how can we know?