Bible Miracles

A look at the Bible's awesome accounts of miracles, Old Testament and New wrought by God, Jesus, the disciples and apostles.

The word "miracle" plainly means a spectacular event, or an event, which triggers wonder. In Christian usage, the word "˜miracle' reaches beyond conventional meaning of the word. A miracle is described in these ways:

· An extraordinary event, unfathomable in conditions of normal natural forces

· An occurrence, which causes the witnesses to assume a phenomenal personal origin

· An occasion, which represents a proof (a sign) of consequences that are much broader than the occasion itself.

Miracles are to be differentiated from the kind of answers to prayer, which do not comprise "˜signs,' or expressive evidence for the unbeliever. What Christians know as miracles are not purely works of chance or common answers to prayer. They comprise a demonstrative result such as when Elijah prayed for fire on the altar of Jehovah, ["1 Kings 18:23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, it is well spoken. . . 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God."] God answered him with a demonstrative miracle convicting the priests of Baal that there was only ONE GOD!

Works of magic are not of God and miracles performed by the hand of God should be characterized as works of God not magic. Magic consists of nothing more than a wonder with a predetermined method, which causes the magical result. The power of the wonder worker is controlled simply by the skill of the worker and can be accomplished by anyone taking the time to learn the method used. Shown in Exodus 7:8-12 is the difference of magic and miracle! ["Exodus 7:8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. 10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods."] The magicians did the trickery with ease, but the hand of God through HIS servant Moses demonstratively swallowed up the magician's magic rods. The divine will of God is the dependent source of miracles. The one who does the miracle is nothing more than the servant of God.



Miracles are also confused at times with the works of Satanic or demonic origin and should be distinguished from them. Christ in his discourse from the Mount of Olives warned against this type of miracle. ["Matthew 24:24 for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."]

There are also events in nature, which cause one to wonder, or marvel and these should be distinguished from miracles of God also. These events in nature are simply oddities of natural phenomena. True miracles of God always teach a lesson and give a definite "˜sign', demonstration of God's truth to believers and non-believers alike.

Most of the miracles that are recorded in the Bible can be placed into three majestic eras. The first era includes the miracles of the Exodus:

· The burning bush

· The ten plagues of Egypt

· The parting of the Red Sea

· The crossing of the Jordan

· The fall of Jericho

· The battle of Gibeon

· Numerous other miracles between the parting of the Red Sea and Crossing of Jordan also

Following the first period of miracles there was a long period under the judges when godly faith was revitalized under the rule of David and Solomon. It was during this time that miracles were few. A period of idolatrous worship led to the 2nd period of great miracles. This period of miracles centered on the ministry of Elisha and Elijah. God restored his pure worship through great works and signs:

· The miracle of Jonah

· 2 great miracles at the time of Isaiah (II Kings 19 35 & 20:9-11)

· The miracles of Daniel

Again following this period of miracles until the time of Christ miracles were few. Perhaps the greatest time of miracles happened during the time of Christ and His disciples. During the time of the Exodus, the people of God had forgotten His name. Through the course of the ministry of Elisha and Elijah, the people had added Baal to his name. And now at the time of Christ, self-righteousness and hypocritical attitudes were rampant. There were close to 40 miracles of the demonstrative nature performed by Christ recorded in the Gospels alone. Many more miracles happened but were not recorded. "John 20:30 and many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:"

· Healing of the leper (Matthew 8)

· The centurion's servant (Matthew 8)

· The healing of the wife's mother (Matthew 8)

· Calming of the sea (Matthew 8)

· The casting of the devils into the swine (Matthew 8)

· A woman with an issue of blood (Matthew 9)

· The blind men healed (Matthew 9)

· A man with the withered hand (Matthew 12)

· The feeding of the multitude (Matthew 14)

· Walking on water (Matthew 14)

· A child vexed with a devil (Matthew 15)

· The lunatic son (Matthew 17)

· Cursing of the fig tree (Matthew 21)

· Calming of the winds and rains (Mark 4)

· The little child near death healed (Mark 4)

· A great catch of fish (Luke 5)

· The lame man made whole (John 5)

· The blind man healed (John 9)

· Miracles of the disciples/apostles (Acts 9; 13; 19; 1st Corinthians 12; Galatians 3; Hebrews 2)

These are just a few of the miracles of the third great era of miracles.

God does not reveal Himself always in the form of demonstrative miracles. Miracles though are a element of Christianity. From the creation of Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark to the birth, death and resurrection of Christ miracles have been a part of the Religious sector.

Miracles have a purpose""they are for edification and revelation: John 20:31 "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." Miracles are also by faith accepted as coming from God. No known system of laws can give answer to the workings of miracles by God. John 4:48 "then said Jesus unto him, except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." Acts 2:19 "And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:" 2 Corinthians 12:12 "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."

Resources:

Easton's Bible Dictionary

Home Study Bible Course

Ryrie's Study Bible

Bible Dictionary (teacher's edition)

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