SIGNS & WONDERS & MIRACLES
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Hebrews 2:3-4 (KJV)
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
GOD'S STAMP OF APPROVAL
Look closely at the scriptures above. They reveal some very important spiritual truths for us to take hold of. We find that Luke in Acts 2:22, states that Jesus Christ was "approved" of God by "miracles, signs and wonders". That is not a verse you want to skim over quickly, it is dynamite! Luke is saying, this man Jesus was not just a phenomenal teacher, or merely a gifted orator and charismatic leader; though he was certainly that and more. To be "approved" of God has a very special meaning, and worth examining. Luke was ascribing the power of doing supernatural acts to Christ, which was another way of saying: Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, a man that proved Who He said He was, by the very things He did - in essence: If you need proof of Who Jesus Christ is, look no further than at the very works He did for all to witness while He was here among us!
In the book of Hebrews, verses 3 and 4 f chapter 2, we find the same idea expressed, only now it's after Jesus has ascended into heaven, and the words are slightly different. The writer of Hebrews, uses the expression in verse 4: God also "bearing them witness", both with signs, and wonders, and with various miracles... to bear witness means to: give evidence or proof of something. What both of these passages are saying to us is that, God proves He has sanctioned, and blessed, and approved of the person or persons who are ministering to others in His name - and according to His purpose and will; by signs, wonders, and miracles. Whew! That is for us as modern believers also a way of saying in reverse, or conversely: Where we find no signs, wonders, or miracles, or very few - we may rightly conclude that God is "not bearing witness" or "approving" of that ministry... Strong words, perhaps - but only if you believe God is content to no longer show forth His power in performing signs,wonders, and miracles in the earth. The modern church has learned to be satisfied without them. That is a pity, and evidence of a "powerless church" that has succumbed to doctrines of demons and unbelief.
VINES EXPOSITORY GREEK DICT
lit., "to point out, to exhibit" (apo, "forth," deiknumi, "to show"), is used once in the sense of proving by demonstration, and so bringing about an "approval." The Lord Jesus was "a Man approved of God by mighty works and wonders and signs," Acts 2:22. See PROVE, SET, No. 17, SHEW.
Here we find that to be "approved of God", means to "prove by demonstration". That is simple, God proved that Jesus was His son, by demonstrating it through miracles, and signs and wonders. But, as we all know that just wasn't enough for many who witnessed these great manifestations of supernatural power through Christ's many acts of miraculous healing, and other inexplicable feats of wonder and otherworldly power. Turning water to wine, feeding multitudes with a few fish and loaves of bread, and even raising persons from the dead were not enough to win over many who blindly reasoned away these wondrous acts with "unbelief" that Jesus Himself was amazed by...
Mark 6:6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
John 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
MY FIRST MIRACLE...
As a new Christian, I hadn't been told yet that miracles and signs and wonders were no longer for today - that would come later. I was just naive, and simple enough to believe that God could still do the kind of things I was reading in the New Testament, like healing people after you laid hands on them and prayed for them. As I read the things that Jesus did, and that the early apostles and disciples did in the Book of Acts; I was filled with faith and a strong belief that we could still witness the power of God today if we would just act boldly in faith. For some reason, that was very easy for me as a new believer - I had yet to be taught otherwise.
One day, I went to visit my mother who was staying in an upstairs apartment in a house that had another apartment on the ground floor. As I pulled into the driveway that afternoon, I heard a moaning sound coming from the downstairs apartment. It sounded like someone was dying or in serious trouble. I quickly ran up the steps of the porch, and tried to peer into the downstairs apartment, by placing my face close to the screen door. As I strained to see through the old webbed screen that is common to those kind of old screen doors; I saw a woman standing on a chair and she was yelling and screaming in pain, "Help me, help me, please help me!"
I forced the door open after a couple of hard yanks, and ran over to where she was standing on a chair with her hand smashed underneath a window that had fallen on it. * This is the kind of window found in older homes, that has pulleys inside the wall, it is very heavy to lift, and is often very difficult to move up or down. I reached over, and gently pulled the window up - off of her bruised and battered hand, and then lifted her off of the chair and down to the ground. The woman's name was Bernice, a short elderly woman, who was a seamstress, and probably only weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet, really. She was hysterical, and screaming about how her hand was smashed, and how she would no longer be able to sew or do any of her work as a seamstress.
A PRAYER OF COMPASSION...
I remember very little about everything that was going on at that moment, but I do remember feeling compassion for this woman. With less than a minute having passed from the time I lifted the window off her hand, I told her to calm down - that Jesus was going to heal her. I grabbed her wrist, and I looked down at her hand that was severely bruised, red, and showing the obvious signs of being broken or fractured at the very least. If you've ever smashed your hands or tissue on your body, then you know how skin looks when it has been smashed or hit very hard. For some strange reason, I never gave that a second thought - I just began to pray for her and my words were not rehearsed or eloquent that day; but they most surely were spoken in faith and from the heart.
"In the name of Jesus, I speak healing to this hand now - amen!" (or words very similar to those)
In a nano second, before I could blink - her hand before my very eyes was completely healed, and restored to normal - the same as her other hand. She began to move her hand and open and close it, then she began to thank me over and over - she was so excited she began to jump up and down in the room shouting, "THANK YOU - O THANK YOU!" I quickly told her, "don't thank me, it was Jesus who healed you - thank Him." We praised God together, and the presence of God was very strong in that living room - the glory of God was with us in a mighty way. That was my first miracle. *Note - Bernice had been trying to water some plants as I recall
Bernice went to be with the Lord only a couple of years after that miracle happened, but I'm sure she was never quite the same after having that experience. I know it changed me forever. I knew God could theoretically still perform miracles and signs and wonders; but honestly seeing one, only a few inches from my eyes, and instantaneously - well, that took me to a new place in my walk with God, and buoyed my faith to a new level that had me believing GOD CAN DO ANYTHING!! Sadly, I was later to be told that God no longer does miracles or the supernatural among us anymore; that those manifestations had ended with the early church long ago... (the modern day Sadducees
Looking back now, I can see that as a new believer, who had not been taught any false teachings or doctrines of demons yet; my faith was strong and childlike - ready to believe God could and would do amazing and awesome things if we would just dare to believe Him and take Him at His word. Fighting to keep my simple faith in God's promises and words to us, would prove to be harder and harder as I became involved with the modern church and many of the mainstream denominations who no longer teach or believe God still does miracles, signs, and wonders. Keeping this simple, childlike faith has been an ongoing struggle for me over the years because of all of the "unbelief" that is in the church today. I know it must break God's heart, and it most certainly quenches the Spirit of God from "bearing them witness" with supernatural manifestations of His power...
Do you still believe in miracles, signs and wonders? I hope so, God does.
Matthew 17:19-20 (KJV)
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Blessings to all/michael/fool4CHRIST
Write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...