AMIDST PERSECUTION Part IV

AMIDST PERSECUTION Part IV

MIRACLES

Leslie M. John

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)

Bible Encyclopedia and Webster’s dictionary define “miracle” as “an event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature; a supernatural event. Miracles can be wrought only by Almighty power, as when Christ healed lepers, saying, “I will, be thou clean,” or calmed the tempest, “Peace, be still.”

There are at least 123 miracles recorded in the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament (Ref: http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/miracle.html). However, according to Apostle John there are many other things which Jesus did that are not recorded.

Miracles are not confined to healing diseases but they are seen happening in many ways. They were seen in Old Testament period as also in New Testament period. Some examples of miracles that are not healing are:

Old Testament:

  • Balaam’s Donkey speaks to Balaam (Numbers 22:21-35);
  • Samson’s strength (Judges Ch. 14-16);
  • David obeys the Lord and smites the Philistines when “the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees” was heard (2 Samuel 5:23-25) etc.

New Testament:

  • Water turned to wine (John 2:1-11);
  • Wise men saw in the east the star that led them to Bethlehem where Jesus was born (Matthew 2: 9);
  • Tribute money was found in the mouth of the fish (Matthew 17:24-27) etc.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25)

In the early days when the disciples of Jesus Christ and Apostle Paul preached the Gospel they did miracles, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and they saw healing taking place instantly. These miracles helped people to seek God more earnestly and thus the Church grew fast and great. Miracles happen only at the discretion of the Lord, and in His time, and according to His will. No one can invoke the power of God to instantly heal a person. Miracles, similar to the ones that happened during the period of Jesus and/or Apostles, are not happening these days. “Faith-healing” miracles that we see now-a-days have proven more as hoax rather than real. God surely delivers His children from troubles, trials, and accidents, and untoward incidents, and infections.

When Jesus performed miracles He did not adopt one single method of healing. There were many who were healed instantly, and there was also a blind man, who was commanded to go and wash in the pool of Siloam the clay that the Lord made by spitting on the ground, and anointing the eyes of the blind man (John 9:7-11). This is the method that we see now and God helping His children by providing means and sources that would heal a person.

God helps heal a disease in a person with or without the aid of medication. As Jesus said there would come many in His name and do wonders, there are already who do miracles in His name, but in reality these miracles are like the ones that the magicians did during Moses’ time. The staff of Moses which turned into serpent, when Aaron threw it on the ground, swallowed up the serpents of the magicians.

“For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods” (Exodus 7:12)

The miracles by themselves are neither a means of preaching the Gospel nor do they save a person from eternal damnation. At the outset the person upon whom the miracle is performed should have confessed Jesus as the Lord and thereafter believed in heart that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day.

However, that pops up another question as to whether or not healing that takes place in the patients of other religions, when they believe in divine power and His provision of medications, is believable or not. Again, it is to be reiterated here that miracles, and miraculous healing are not the means of salvation, but they are a way to trust God in a dearest way.

The knowledge of the Truth is to be sought to know the living God and His provision for salvation. Peter says there is no salvation in any other except in Jesus Christ and we believe it is the Truth. No one can earn salvation by his/her righteous works for the simple reason that man can never become perfect and righteous.

“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18)

The authorities and rulers perceived as Peter and John boldly proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ that they were uneducated and common men, and yet because they were with Jesus they had divine knowledge. They saw the man, who was lame and was healed and the man was live standing beside them, and, therefore, they could not say anything to Peter and John in opposition. They conferred among themselves as to how they could force them not to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They could not. The lame man and his healing were so evident to the entire inhabitants of Jerusalem that they could not deny the notable miracle that was performed upon him.

The rulers adopted a tricky way of persecution by charging them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus anymore. However, the courage of Peter and John waxed great and they argued with the rulers asking them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Then the rulers and the authorities saw no way to punish them and, therefore, let them go. They were afraid of people, who praised God for the miracle that had happened in the life of the lame man, who was forty years of age (cf. Acts 4:13-22)

It is the courage of servants of God, and the people who can talk to the authorities, that brings results.