ARE THERE MIRACLES IN THE PRESENT AGE?
Charles E. Burch
First we must define the word "miracle". Many refer to a beautiful sunrise or the birth of a baby as a miracle. But these are not miracles, but NATURAL events. What is a true miracle? Webster defines the word "miracle" as "An extremely outstanding event manifesting a supernatural work of God." Natural events, no matter how beautiful or how great, are not miracles. Only a supernatural work of God can be called a miracle.
There are many miracles recorded in the Bible. Moses' rod became a serpent, and then a rod (Exodus 4:1-4). The waters of the Red Sea parted, and the Israelites walked through on dry ground (Exodus 14:21-22). A child died, and God's prophet Elisha brought him to life again (II Kings 4:32-37). Jesus calmed the Sea of Galilee by rebuking the wind and the sea (Matthew 8:23-27). Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14:24-27). Jesus healed the leper (Matthew 8:1-3). Jesus restored sight to the blind (Matthew 20:30-34). There are many more recorded in the Bible.
But why miracles? What was the purpose? God's word answered these questions. "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following" (Mark 16:20). The purpose of miracles was to CONFIRM or verify the word that was preached. Miracles were done by men of God to confirm the word of God which they preached. The miracles done by Jesus was to prove that He was the Christ, the Son of God. Miracles was never for "show" or "personal gain" or "personal ego", but to confirm the word of God that was preached and written.
The apostles were given the miraculous power by the Lord when the Holy Spirit was given (Luke 12:12; John 14:26; Mark 16:17-18). Other Christians received the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the apostles' hands (Acts 8:14-19; 19:1-7). But it was foretold that these miraculous power would cease. Paul listed nine miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit in (I Corinthians 12:8-10), then he said, "...But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away" (I Corinthians 13:8-10). That which is perfect is the complete revelation of God, His word. That word, "Once for all delivered unto the saints" was confirmed by the miracles which were done. We have the completed word today, no further confirmation is needed.
NO ONE ON EARTH TODAY HAS THE POWER TO PERFORM MIRACLES, AS CHRIST DID! If they do, why do they not empty our hospitals? Fact is NO ONE CAN PERFORM MIRACLES TODAY AS CHRIST AND HIS APOSTLES DID! What I have said does not diminish God's power at all. He has the power, but it is not His will. The purpose of miracles has been fulfilled.