The subject of miracles in the church has over the centuries continued to stir controversy, albeit unnecessarily so.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi
Those gifted with miracle-working grace have been subjected to severe attacks and even called Satanists by those in the church who feel threatened by the gospel of salvation confirmed with signs and wonders.
God is the source of all miracles, which he works out through human vessels he has anointed with the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 10:38).
A miracle is a divine, supernatural intervention in human affairs meant to correct anomalies that would have defied human effort.
The gospel without the miracle is incomplete. Even Paul wrote: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (Corinthians 2:4, KJV).
I find it very unfortunate that today we have Christians who argue that all we need is the Word and miracles are irrelevant.
If they had studied their Bible well, they would have appreciated that signs, wonders and miracles confirm the true gospel. Jesus himself told His disciples in Mark 16:17 that they shall be known as believers because in His name they will cast out devils, speak in new tongues, drink poison and not die as well as minister healing to the sick.
Further in verse 20, we are told that the disciples went everywhere “and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it”.
Religious spirits are anti-miracles. Churches that are controlled by religious spirits will just emphasise preaching and even discourage believers to seek miracles. In fact, some of them go to the extent of attributing miracles to the devil. But then, why would the devil want a cripple to walk or a sick person to be healed?
If Jesus came to, among other things, heal the sick, why should someone in need of healing not seek a miracle? I find it ironic — if not outright hypocritical — that the very people who preach against miracles and healings in the church dash off to the doctor at the faintest sign of an infection.
Jesus said he had a greater witness than John the Baptist because of his teachings and miracles which proved He was sent of God.
(John 5:35-36). Some ministries have been accused of concentrating on miracles in order to draw crowds. But crowds naturally follow miracles. Jesus was the greatest crowd-puller ever known, and the Bible says: “A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick.” (John 6:2, NLT).
It is strange that some Christians claim the age of miracles came to a close with the ascension of Jesus Christ. But the Bible is clear that among people appointed in the church by the Holy Spirit are “workers of miracles”, “those having gifts of healings” (I Corinthians 12:28, NKJV).
Others have argued that the devil and his demons perform miracles. And there is biblical evidence to that effect, too. The magicians of Egypt, in a dramatic encounter with Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh, did so (Exodus 7). In Revelations 13:14 and 16:14, we are told that the anti-Christ will deceive many through miracles.
Jesus also prophesied that they would be false prophets doing “great signs and wonders” (Matthew 24:24), and Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that Satan’s servants would display “power, and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
Now this makes it difficult for one to accurately judge whether or not a miracle is genuine, or from God, especially for the young in spiritual matters. It is here that the gift of discernment comes in. You have to pray for discernment. Use the Word of God as the measuring yardstick. Hebrews 5:13-14 explains that through experience in the Word, one is able to exercise their spirit “to discern both good and evil” and in that way, they will not be deceived.
But it is important to appreciate that Jesus performed so many miracles in a three-year ministry period that it is even recorded in John 21:25 that if they were all to be recorded, this whole universe would be too small to contain the books!