Encouraging Christians In their faith In Christ, sharing the gospel with those without Him. During special times in Biblical history we see God intervene in miraculous ways to accomplish His divine will as well as to verify the ministry of men and women He uses for His divine plan. In the Old Testament we see how God used the miraculous ten plagues of Egypt to rescue His Chosen People from slavery in Egypt. We see God intervene with miracles and spiritual manifestations to impact and impress upon people that He was the Lord God as He worked through the Biblical leaders such as Moses and prophets such as Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament. History and Holy Scripture tells us that signs, miracles, and wonders were desired by Israel.
Jesus performed many miracles during His earthly ministry to prove to Israel that He was God’s servant and their Messiah-King. In the first century as the New Testament was being lived out and written we see that God distributed special spiritual gifts to validate the apostles and establish Christ’s church on the earth.
We see further evidence of this in the account of Jesus interacting with His disciples after his resurrection. So we see that these “miraculous” spiritual gifts ordained for use by God, given by Jesus and distributed by the Holy Spirit were bestowed upon the Apostles and those God anointed for service. Miraculous signs were also demonstrated by Jesus in His ministry as well, to validate He was the Son of God. While we know that these miraculous spiritual gifts confirmed and validated God’s messengers as they ministered and wrote God’s Holy Word, there is debate among followers of Christ today as to whether these special gifts are still functioning in the church. My personal belief is that the specific spiritual gifts of miracles and healings have ceased being given by God today. The word miracles is used 120 times in the New Testament and the root word in the Greek stresses the ability to do something supernatural, beyond normal and ordinary natural laws. This spiritual gift can be defined as the ability to perform supernatural acts that clearly demonstrate God’s power. It is interesting that as you study scripture regarding the situations of miracles being done, you find there are only two types of activity that are classified as miracles. There are two Greek words used for healing in the New Testament, one (“therapeuo”) is related to therapeutic healing, healing that takes place over a period of time. The New Testament records that healings were done by Jesus, the twelve Apostles, the seventy disciples and Philip, Peter and Paul.
Healings even occurred with handkerchiefs or aprons touched by Paul (Acts 19:12) although this was not typical of how healings were accomplished, it further validated the fact that God was at work miraculously. There are many people today who are claiming to be able to heal like Jesus did, stating they are anointed by the Holy Spirit to heal all sorts of infirmities and diseases. It is true that many who claim to be followers of Christ, but are not, will not only prophesy in Jesus name but also cast out demons and perform many miracles. But I say again, God can and does perform miraculous healings today by answering our prayers of petition for those we love and care about. We know that God does not always choose to heal those we pray for and while we may not understand this, we must trust that God has a divine will and purpose for all of us that is perfect, pure and holy. Below is a quote from John Piper as to this dilemma of what to believe regarding signs and wonders. End Note: I should mention that there is evidence in scripture that there can be miracles and healings performed by our demonic enemy and his evil horde. We welcome all - from those who are new to the Course to those who have studied ACIM for years. We are a community dedicated to uplifting our lives and learning how we can connect to the God within to co create lives that are meaningful.
He continued this miraculous provision by manifesting His Spirit in the form of a fire by night and a cloud by day as well as the parting of the Red Sea. Schwab’s book, “Let the Bible Speak…About Tongues.” It illustrates the time periods in Biblical history where God intervened through signs, miracles and wonders. But this is not the norm for how our Heavenly Father seeks to fulfill His divine plan on a regular basis. He wished to help them understand He was the same God whom their ancestors had served and worshipped.
These specific gifts were given to verify and establish their divine ministry as they laid the foundation upon which Christ’s church would be built. I will attempt to explain my own belief and interpretation as to what scripture has to say about these miraculous gifts with some comments of those who have similar opinions.

This is yet another of the sign gifts that verified not only that Jesus was the Son of God but also the Savior of the world. In the case of the seventy disciples that Jesus sent out, the miracles they performed verified their authority as ones who were commissioned by Jesus to go out to minister to those who were sick or possessed by demons, share His message and make more disciples. The other Greek word “iama” implies instantaneous absolute restorative healing (1 Corinthians 12:9).
The problem is when healing does not take place they often blame the faith of the person with the malady. He does this, not through followers of Christ who have the spiritual gift of healing, but by responding to our prayers which are offered up to Him in a faithful benevolent manner. When God chooses not to heal according to our prayers, our trust in God and faith in His judgment is always necessary to help us cope with His plan for us and our loved ones.
One stack argues that signs and wonders (like healings) were designed by God to help people recognize and believe in the Son of God and then to vindicate the authority of his apostles as they laid the foundation for the church with their inspired teachings and writings. There are examples that this occurs in the false religion of Spiritism as well as Spiritualism, not to mention other false religions.
He will counterfeit the true blessings and gifts of God to lead others away from our Lord Jesus Christ. Helen Schucman through a process of inner dictation she identified as coming from Jesus.A clinical and research psychologist and tenured Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, she was assisted by Dr. Come to a Thursday evening for sharing, reading, discussion, questioning and a deeper understanding of who you are in relationship to life. Accounts of these miracles are written in the Old Testament books and referenced by Luke in the book of Acts.
Dramatic and continuous miracles took place during specific limited periods of time that were focused on special interventions of God’s power to accomplish His divine will.
Often there are hundreds of years between such types of miracles and heavenly interventions.
Very likely Jews required signs to believe because they were in essence signs themselves to the world of God’s providence and salvation (Isaiah 8:18). God wished to save all peoples so opened salvation to the Gentiles and began ministering to them through signs and wonders as well. During this miraculous period of history where the establishing of the early church took place two other men besides the apostles also did wonderful signs. Volumes of books have been written on this subject and while you may or may not agree with my own interpretations and statements, I believe our Heavenly Father calls us to agree to disagree with these “non-essential” beliefs so that we may still love and minister to one another. We may have very strong convictions about such “non-essential beliefs,” but they should not affect our ability or motivation to treat other Christians with respect, dignity and love.
God does heal people and perform miracles according to His will and in answer to our prayers at certain times even today. But the emphasis of the word is always on the “source of power,” not on the display or action of power itself.
The sign gifts also confirmed and proved the Apostles were anointed by God to form the foundation of the church as well as write Holy Scripture as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus chose these seventy because He wanted every family, clan or tribe to hear the message of the Kingdom of Heaven that was at hand. Jesus gave the Apostles the ability to work miracles (casting out demons and healing physically) to verify their ministry. The word associated with the spiritual gift of healing is “iama” and as mentioned above, implies instantaneous healing of any infirmity because it is empowered by the Holy Spirit. This puts the burden on the person requesting healing and causes them to question their faith in God. I also know that our Heavenly Father works in miraculous ways through signs and wonders whenever He chooses to do so.
After the apostles died and their writings were gathered in the New Testament, the place of signs and wonders was past, and we should not seek them today.
Evidence in scripture states that false teachers and individuals will appear at times that will be able to do such signs and miracles.
William Thetford, her department head, who was also a tenured Professor of Medical Psychology at the Medical Center where they both worked.
This fact does not mean that God does not seek to intervene in our lives at times with miracles and healings as we pray for Him to answer our prayers. It is very likely that the nation of Israel had experienced so many miraculous signs and wonders from God that they expected signs and wonders as normative proof for God’s handiwork and divine will.

After all, God calls us to a unity in our faith in Jesus Christ and in our fellowship with other followers of Christ. This is supported by James 5:14 which instructs followers of Christ to call for the elders to pray over them. The one time that a person was not healed from demon possession was not because of the faith the person possessed, it was because of the lack of faith of the disciples (Matthew 17:20). The other stack of books argues that signs and wonders should be sought and performed today in Jesus’ name.
Schwab states, “In each major outbreak, miracles were needed to prove that these men were from God.
We must understand that miraculous acts of God are displayed not on a continual basis throughout history, but in limited periods of time at His holy discretion. The word “signs” appears 77 times in the New Testament and we see that these signs caused a response to the gospel as well as a validation of the ministry of early Christian leaders. Believing that the spiritual gifts of miracles and healings are, or are not, in operation today are examples of “non-essential beliefs.” In other words, while we may disagree on our own respective “non-essential” beliefs, we should be careful how we treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. James was written before the Corinthian letters and gives us the pattern for the church to follow. Unfortunately today, many television evangelists promote themselves as possessing the spiritual gift of healing to gain wealth and popularity.
The reason we don’t see so many is because of how little expectancy there is in the church. So the best I can do for you this morning is to show you some of what I see that pulls me in both these different directions. God gave Moses the ability to heal sickness and handle snakes (his wooden staff that changed into a snake) in order to teach Israel that he was God’s servant to deliver them from Egypt. James could have instructed believers who were sick to seek out someone in the local fellowship with the gift of healing or miracles to lay hands on them, but instead, he directed them to seek for the elders to pray over them. Numerous investigations and evaluations have been done on many of their claims and it is usually discovered that the healings were temporary or the health issues were psychosomatic or psychological in nature. But God is at work doing a new thing in our day awakening the church to the reality of these things.
Verses 30 and 31 of Exodus 4 states that once Israel saw these signs they believed (John 4:48). So with that said I will share my own thoughts that have come about through my study and research. This sets the pattern for followers of Christ to pray for healing rather than seek miraculous displays of healing through spiritual gifts. We are to follow the example of the Bereans and confirm what we are taught by others (Acts 17:11). As I listed above the “true” healings done by Jesus and His Apostles, were not of this character or type. Many Bible commentators think this was a physical ailment or condition that was not removed from his life even though he asked God to do so in his prayers. If this was a physical malady Paul could have sought out someone with the spiritual gift of healing to address this issue, but possibly Paul is implying here that not only does God not always heal, but also that the spiritual gift of healing is fading from use as the early church established its foundational beginnings. The epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy were written later than the Corinthian letters and therefore also seem to suggest that the spiritual gifts of healing and miracles were fading away. If the spiritual gifts of healings and miracles were still functional at this time, why did Paul not heal him Trophimus or instruct Trophimus to find a believer with the spiritual gift of healing to address his physical need? Yet another example is in 2 Timothy 4:21 where Paul instructs Timothy to use a little wine for the sake of his stomach and other frequent ailments. If the spiritual gifts of healings and miracles were still in effect why did Paul not instruct him to find a follower of Christ with the spiritual gift of healing to be healed? So I state again, I believe the spiritual gifts of healing and miracles faded as the early church eventually became established and are not in operation today. As I said before, I am not saying that God cannot choose to heal someone today miraculously by answering in a positive manner the prayers given by elders or other followers of Christ for someone in need.

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