Miracles are not just exciting occurrences. When God created the universe, He set in motion natural laws to sustain the universe as well as to cause the planet earth to support life for some, unknown to man, period of time to accomplish his purpose. Man, without God is restricted to live and achieve whatever he can within those natural laws. He is unable to accomplish anything outside of those restrictions. In the beginning, God, who is not restricted by these natural laws, understandably since He established them, performed many feats which were outside those laws, or circumvented them. This is perfectly understandable since there are no natural laws which will allow something to be made from nothing.
And He created matter from nothing, sufficient to form this enormous universe. That was a miracle, just as was the creation of life, plants, animals, man, etc., and all from the same basic form of matter. With a tiny program in each cell, dictating every feature and factor involved in its particular form.
This beginning perhaps is, by far, the most tremendous grouping of miracles God has ever performed. However it was not His last. After the creation was complete, God dealt with man, one on one, for some time to get things going, speaking miraculously to him and issuing His commandments for the conduct of man and to start the process of the coming of His Son to redeem mankind whom God had the foreknowledge that he would sin and require a plan to be reconciled unto Him.
Miracles continued to be performed, as was required to accomplish God’s purpose. He spoke to the various patriarchs as needed and, miraculously destroyed all mankind except 8 people due to the extreme wickedness which prevailed in society. After the universal flood, He continued to speak to certain of the patriarchs and directed some, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as to the future land of Canaan where their cildren would become a great nation to furnish the lineage of His Son, Jesus the Messiah. But there was a period of time, some 300 years in which God seemed not to intervene just prior to the birth of Jesus. At least there are no records of His doing so.
Then came the miraculous birth by the virgin Mary whom God chose to bring forth His Son. God, through providence and miracles where needed, protected His Son’s life until he was about 30 years old. At this point, God performed very few miracles on His own, but did speak out concerning the baptism of His Son as well as the configuration in the mount.
Jesus himself performed many miracles, only some of which were recorded for us. Let us review a list of at least some of Jesus’ miracles.
To post many of these quotes would consume far too much space, so we will simply name some of these with a link to it for the reader’s benefit if he should desire to read the details:
Jesus’ first miracle was when his mother asked him turn the water into wine: (John 2:1-11 KJV)
Jesus heals a nobleman’s son. (John 4:43-54 KJV)
In the chapter linked below, Jesus performs a number of miracles, heals a leper, heals a centurion’s servant without going to him, healed Peter’s mother-in-law who was sick, cast devils out of a man, calmed the stormy sea, then cast out more devils. Read the full chapter: (Matthew 8 KJV)
And many more, to read them all, carefully read the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But keep in mind that only a tiny portion of those things which Jesus did recorded. Read here what John says concerning it:
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:30-31 KJV)
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 KJV)
Now, for the most part the foregoing covers a large portion of the miracles performed by God Himself, Jesus and others who lived under the Old Testament law. The ability to perform miracles was primarily vested in the Godhead, though prophets and others were given the power to call on God to do some things until the Christian dispensation came into being on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection when the Holy Spirit descended and entered the twelve apostles (Acts 2) bestowed considerable power to them. They were able to recognize all truths, remember all things Jesus had taught them and could speak in languages they had not studied before and many other things, healing and even the power to raise the dead. ut one of the most important was that they were given the authority and power to lay their hands on newly baptized Christians and bestow a gift to them, of a variety of abilities. Read the entire chapter of Acts 2, in order to get the story.
Now, notice that during the Old Testament times, miracles were confined to the people chosen of God to be able to perform them. Even Moses could not perform miracles without the consent and assistance of God. Primarily it was the directly from God or some of he prophets who had been granted tha power. But at the end of Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, here is what he says:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:38-39 KJV)
What he refers to here is that which all the early Christians received. When they repented and were baptized into Christ, the apostles were empowered to lay hands on them and bestow a gift, some could speak in a language they had never studied, some could interpret those languages being spoken. Some could discern if one was speaking truths, some could prophesy, some could preach the gospel message, an other gifts. All of these gifts were being freely given for one reason. The gospel message was not written. The apostles were given the ability to know all truths and teach the gospel to others. But that was only twelve men (thirteen after Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus and made him an apostle) and the message was to be taken into all the world. So there had to be many others with the power to evangelize. Two of those men we know was given the gift of preaching were Stephen and Philip. Steven was martyred for his boldness in teaching and Philip is recorded for much teaching in the book of Acts.
Now something that must be remembered. Only the 13 apostles had the authority to pass a gift on to other Christians. Only the new Christians who had been able to have the apostles lay hands on them, received a gift. Consider this scenario now. It becomes obvious that, after the apostles had all died (all were martyred except John), there were no other people to pass on a spiritual gift to others. When all of those died who had been given such a gift, there were no more spiritual gifts. And that is the situation until this day.
This writer once passed a small rural church which was conducting a series of revival services. There were banners and signs erected in the yard advertising that fact and it told the things they would be doing. Preaching by someone whose name is now forgotten, congregational, miracles performed, dead raising…! It was some distance from my home and it was not service time at that point. So I did not have the opportunity to go and witness the ‘dead raising’. Every person who attended that service, and every one privy to it, knew full well there was not going to be any dead raising accomplished. No newspaper articles announced anyone being raised from the dead by this phoney claim.
Many different groups believe they can work miracles and so, anything that comes to pass after they have prayed for it, is considered a miracle. Especially when it is someone who is very ill and yet recovers. There is nothing miraculous about those things. People are known to recover from an illness quite often, even after their physician says there is no more he can do. Some who never had a prayer offered in their behalf. We never read of a Biblical miracle where someone recovered in a few days or weeks. Biblical miracles were accomplished instantly.
There are those who profess that they can speak in tongues (usually referred to as unknown tongues). Can they really? The tongues given to those who were being baptized into Christ, were not unknown tongues. They may have been (probably were) unknown to the one who was given the gift, but they were foreign languages that some spake and understood. Why else would they be given when the very purpose was to spread the gospel?
The reason the gifts were given to those new Christians was to enable the gospel to be spread farther and faster than with only the apostles. The reason that Jesus used his power to heal and cast out devils, and to raise the dead, was to prove to the world that he was the Son of God and to confirm his word. The reason the apostles had and used the miraculous power of healing, ability to be unaffected by poisonous venom from snakes, etc. was to confirm their authority to present Jesus’ words and to confirm the same.
After the New Testament documents were written and wide spread, there was no longer any need for the miraculous gifts to enable people to speak the truth. They were recorded and widely spread to be taught and read, much as they are today. They were not bound in one book at athat time and would not be for some time, but the writings had many copies available and were being taught from the pulpit as now. Please read the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians carefully and prayerfully. You will see that Paul is telling everyone that the miraculous gifts would be gone when that which is perfect is come (the perfect law of liberty of Jesus Christ). It came very shortly after this and remains with us today. It is what will save any and all if only it is taught in its simplicity and truths.