Miracles (Part II)

The Nature Of Biblical Miracles

By Wayne Wells

Many claim to be able to perform the same miracles as Jesus and the apostles. We need to honestly examine their claims to see if they are speaking the truth. If the Holy Spirit is working through men today, we must not reject His work. If the Spirit is not working through these men, their fraud and lies need to be exposed.

If they can do what they claim they can do, then we should be seeing similar miracles as we can read of in the New Testament. There is no question of the truth that the Holy Spirit still works today. The real issue is: Is the Holy Spirit performing the same miracles today as He did in the New Testament?

The Miracles of Jesus

Do you see anyone doing these kinds of visible miracles that even the wicked cannot deny?

    Cure leprosy

Matt. 8:1-3

    Still a storm

Matt. 8:23-27

    Cure palsy

Matt. 9:1-7

    Raise the dead

Matt. 9:18-26

    Cure blindness

Matt. 9:27-31

    Feed 5,000

Matt. 14:14-21

    Walk on water

Matt. 14:26

    Wither a fig tree

Matt. 21:18-19


The Miracles of Others

Do you see anyone doing these kinds of visible miracles that even the wicked cannot deny?

    Speak in languages

Acts 2:1-12

    Strike liars dead

Acts 5:1-11

    Raise the dead

Acts 9:36-43

    Heal the paralyzed

Acts 9:32-35

    Strike the wicked blind

Acts 13:5-12

    No harm from snakebite

Acts 28:1-6


Characteristics of Miracles in the New Testament
  1. They were instantaneous: Mark 1:40-42, Mark 2:9-12, Mark 5:25-29, Mark 5:35-42, 10:46-52

  2. Faith was not always required from the one on whom the miracle was being done: Loaves and the fish (Matt 14:14-21), Fish with money (Matt 17:24-27),  Cursing of the Fig Tree (Matt 21:18-21), Calming the Storm (Mark 4:36-40), Water to Wine (John 2:1-11).

  3. Some had miracles not wanted: Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), Elymas (Acts 13:6-11).

  4. There were no failures after the Apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the only case of failure, the disciples were rebuked for their lack of faith, not the one needing cured: Matthew 17:14-21.

  5. All were healed: Matthew 4:24, 8:16, 9:35, 14:34-36,  Acts 5:16, 28:8-9

  6. They were acknowledged even by enemies: Matthew 12:22-24John 11:43-47Acts 4:15-16

  7. Some were because of the faith of others: Matthew 8:5-13.

  8. People didn't have to depend on testimony of others. They could see for themselves that a miracle had truly taken place.

  9. Miracles were used to support truth, not error.  Mormons, Catholics, Christian Scientists, Pentecostals, etc. all claim to perform miracles. Does the Holy Spirit support so many contradictory doctrines?
    God is not the author of confusion! -1 Corinthians 14:33

Modern "miracle-workers" often use the promise of Jesus to the Apostles in John 14:12 to support what they are doing.

John 14:12
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

If they can truly do greater works, why can't these works be seen? We need to be honest like the little child who cried out, "The emperor has no clothes!"

Jesus did not mean men would do greater miracles than what He did, not even the apostles did greater miracles. Jesus was speaking of the greatest work of all - saving people from their sins. Jesus was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. The apostles (and we) are sent to the whole world. By going to both Jews and Gentiles, the apostles did greater works than Jesus.

The miracles of Jesus and the apostles could not be denied by those who saw them. People were not dependent on the personal testimony of others, they could see them with their own eyes.

Matthew 12:22-24
Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
[They could not deny he had cast out a demon, they could only try to deny the source of Jesus' power.]
John 11:47-48
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
Acts 4:14-16
And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

What true miracle have you seen performed by any of the "miracle-workers" today? Not been told of, heard testimony of, but what have you seen?

(Wayne Wells preaches in Texarkana, TX. He is the webmaster for http://godofmercy.com and can be contacted at wayne@godofmercy.com.)

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