Mark 16:17 Signs and wonders


I was defending the Catholic Church to a protestant who believes his “healing ministry” proves the authenticity of his church, using Mark 16:17-18 as biblical proof. “Signs and wonders will follow those who believe.” He claims he see miracles daily in his ministry, both in church and out on the streets when he “proclaims the good news to the poor.”
Obviously he comes from the “word of faith” movement where health and abundance is a promise from Christ, and feels he sees the fruit of the that promise.
Defending the Church, I use authority, church history, etc. for my evidence.

My question is: What is a good response to his claim that the miracles he witnesses daily prove his point that he is part of the true church? He claims there are no healing’s in mass (false) and the Holy Spirit is not present like his church (false).
How do you go about discrediting someone who is so “on fire” about the miracle ministry they are part of?


You might recommend the book “Padre Pio: The True Story,” written by C. Bernard Ruffin, a Protestant minister.


You may need to rethink everything you thought you knew about the gospel message if you feel compelled to “discredit” this person. :shrug:


38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name,[g] and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:38-40)

49 John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:49-50)

The above passages show that miracles done in Jesus’ name are not limited to the apostolic Church. Therefore, nothing about a church’s authenticity is proved by the presence of miracles. All they prove is the power of Jesus.


Excellent point. I believe I incorrectly phrased what I meant to say. I do not want to discredit him, rather explain to him why miracles do not give grounds to the true church.

What would be the best response to an individual who believes in the word of faith movement and believes his ministry of healing (because of the many healing’s done daily) proves to him that his church is the true church of Christ?


Excellent point, thank you.


Yes, the Lord does honor faith.

And Catholics should pray and hope for those who have faith, that they one day receive the fullness of faith found in the Catholic faith.



Welcome to CAF (I see you only have a handful of posts).

You asked:

I was defending the Catholic Church to a protestant who believes his “healing ministry” proves the authenticity of his church, using Mark 16:17-18 as biblical proof. “Signs and wonders will follow those who believe.” . . . What is a good response to his claim that the miracles he witnesses daily prove his point that he is part of the true church?

Let’s assume the guy’s name is “John Doe”. Here’s what I’d say . . .

John. The verses you are alluding to, say . . .

MARK 16:15-18 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

There ARE QUALIFICATIONS with such teachings. PROVISOS that are explicitly brought out elsewhere in Sacred Scripture.

Here is what Mark 16 DOESN’T say . . . .

Not Mark 16:15-18 (Phantom Verse) ONLY Signs and wonders will follow those who believe. And IF these signs and wonders are seen, then and ONLY then, will we KNOW if they have a saving relationship with God. And if they don’t have these signs, we will know you are NOT in a relationship with God!

John. You NEED to preach a FULL Gospel. And the ONLY place I can find a FULL Gospel is in the Catholic Church (not necessarily from “Church men”, but from the official teachings of THE CHURCH).

John. That’d be the Catholic Church that Jesus founded.

Notice ALSO John what Jesus warns against.

MATTHEW 7:20-24 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. 21 "Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ 24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock . . . .

I’m pretty sure I know how John will respond to the above (he’ll change the subject and try to rail against “works” – this is what they are frequently taught to do in their traditions), but go ahead and get that far and come on back (or PM me) and we can go deeper into this issue.

Or if you already HAVE gotten this far, let myself and the readers of this thread know that too and I (and I am sure others) will offer some further suggestions then as well.

God bless.




If God is working through this man then so be it. Don’t stand in God’s way. If God is not working through this man then so be it. He will discredit himself.



There is no way to really tell how many miracles occur at Mass. Most of them are reconciliation with God and deep forms of inner healing (which is not to say that healings of other kinds do not occur) we are not there for the purpose of a wild show of signs from God.

I would urge you to affirm your brother in Christ, and commend his faith and desire to bring the light of God to others.

Tell them the healings are calls from the Holy Spirit to return to the One Faith handed down to us from the Apostles. :smiley:

[ and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276 ](“”)



Thank you so much for your post.

I recall a time, many years ago, there was a Pentecostal Church in my area that had an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t go, but other Catholics did and explained the atmosphere. They did not doubt that people were being healed of addictions and other things, but were a bit put-off by all the noise.

Finally, a few weeks later, a lady and her daughter who had been at one of their services, came to our Catholic Charismatic prayer meeting and said, (paraphrasing…I do not remember her exact words)…“All this can and does happen when we receive our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist…no fanfare, all in silence.”

That was very informative to me, and so true, but there is one thing more. It is good to be able to give a testimony to others as to what the Lord has done for you in silence. Many times in church ministries and organizations nothing gets deeper than skin deep. It is just business as usual, and almost nothing gets to reach deep inside of us and inspire us to change. It helps to share what the Lord is doing for us. It helps for others to come into this sharing when they hear and are inspired by others who do so.




You are so right Dorothy. One thing our separated siblings are very good at is sharing faith experiences. I never learned to pray conversationally or aloud until I attended Protestant gatherings. It was very awkward for me for a long time. I was also never taught how to share my faith experiences, and did not know how to talk about by beliefs with others. What Catholics really need are these sharing groups/communities where these skills can be practiced and supported. We don’t have the “domestic Church” that existed even 50 years ago, and many Catholic families don’t talk about the faith - they dump the kids at catechism and expect the teachers to do it all.


signs and wonders – are also explained by saint paul

in 1 cor chapter 12 and 14- this is what mark 16; 15-20 is also referenced to–, healings , revelation, word of wisdom- word of knowledge - etc–(9+ ministry gifts)

visions – an interesting vision Jesus had was also with saint peter–

when jesus had a vision of peter denying him 3 times–

this is what occurs in the prayer group i am a part of-- and moses in numbers 11:29

Numbers 11:29 - Bible Gateway

Numbers 11:29
New International Version (NIV). 29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the …

All though i was part of the Charsasmetic movement from 1966 – Catholics are not trained in this ministry application –

instead they are taught Isaiah 11;1-7 – of the 6 gifts of the spirit–

and on this forum the rule is

NO Private revelation, NO Centering prayer
I want to remind our participants of Content Rule 6:

Do not post material from unapproved private revelations.

Material from unapproved private revelations includes:
Personally experienced ‘visions’
Messages God asked you to transmit
Messages from Bayside
Messages from Medjugorje, etc.

If you post material from unapproved private revelations, your account will be subject to the Enforcement Rules, which could include immediate suspension or banning of your account.


Hi Justthistime,

Welcome to the forum.

I just want to let you know that many Catholics are into the Catholic Charismatic movement, and their prayer groups give Life in the Spirit Seminars regularly. We also have a three-day weekend gathering every year, that our Bishop attends. The speakers are awesome.

The charismatic gifts are manifested for the benefit of others. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are for us personally.




Many religions claim to have miracles, like the Hindu milk miracle in 1995 or the Qur’anic miracles of the muslims. One must always be careful with supernatural phenomena as their true origin is difficult to discern. God can work miracles through who He wants, but if the miracles of the protestant lead people away from the truth of our Church, it would be better if they did not happen. Christ will judge many people on the Last Day who claimed to work miracles (St. Matthew 7:22-23):

There are many who will say to me, when that day comes, Master, Master, was it not in thy name we prophesied? Was it not in thy name that we performed many miracles? Whereupon I will tell them openly, You were never friends of mine; depart from me, you that traffic in wrong-doing.

One way to approach to situation would be to tell him about genuine Catholic miracles that surpass his miracles, like perhaps the Holy Stigmata of various saints and approved Eucharistic miracles as that in 8th century Lanciano. If he wants to fight with numbers, tell him that Saint Vincent Ferrer did over 100 000 miracles and raised more than 30 people from the dead.


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