MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS
A miracle is a
work brought about by God's power, that is an event, an experience to awaken
a sense of awe. A miracle is brought about by supernatural means, unexplainable
by human kind, an effect transcending earthly knowledge, an effect in the
physical world which surpasses all known human or natural powers and is
therefore ascribed to supernatural agency, a wonderful thing; a marvel,
a surpassing example of some quality.
A sign is an omen, a token, to indicate, to communicate, to mark with a sign, indication of a symbol, to endorse, bless, testify and announce.
A wonder is something unusually strange, causing astonishment, or admiration, to be affected with a marvel, a cause of the emotion of surprise, a puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration, a deed or event.
Miracles recorded in The Bible describe astonishing phenomena that accompanies the Jewish and Christian Truths revealed about The Godhead. It is God transcending His ordinary laws of nature. God is not only the Maker of laws, but also their Sovereign.
The miracle of Creation introduced time and History to the world. Major signs and wonders are centuries apart, following the establishment of the Jewish Nation through Abraham and his barren wife Sarah, Moses, Pharaoh and the exodus from Egypt, during the wanderings of the wilderness, Joshua and the conquering of Canaan, the struggle with idolatry, miracles during the period of the Judges, Kings, and in Babylonian exile, the introduction of The Messiah with the virgin birth, Jesus' miracles in the gospel, and the miracles of the Christian Church, The Body of Christ. Miracles, signs and wonders are also prophesied during the tribulation at the End Times.
God works in the miraculous to claim attention to Himself and His purposes, through the activities of nature, history and people. Biblical miracles usually are designed to symbolise and stand for, or represent, blessings that God is willing to bestow on people, and have a two-fold value, physical and spiritual, as well as examples of power, might and control.
Miracles are performed directly by God the Father, God The Son and God the Holy Spirit. Each person in The Trinity exercises miraculous power as does messengers who carry out God's Will, being angels and human. God does permit Satan to copy supernatural signs and wonders.
The visible miracles, signs and wonders of Jesus were to confirm who He is, and what He came to do for mankind. The signs of Jesus' miracles were also pledges as well as proof and evidence. The supernatural marvel working by the intervention of God in the ordinary course of nature, bypassing the process of the natural systematic laws as an interruption, is explained in the example of when Jesus turned water into wine.
Humankind acknowledges miracles are by Divine force of powers greater than their own. Miracles of such work are not to be regarded merely as wonders that produce momentary amazement, there is also a spiritual reason.
Each Truine member of The Godhead has power greater than any being that was created. Angels were created by God and exist to carry out both His Will and His Work. Among the angels, power is delegated to announce supernatural events. Throughout the Old Testament and New Testament the angelic hosts are agents who are directed to carry out supernatural feats as directed by God.
Humans have no deity and like angels can only perform miracles as power is delegated. They are channels and instruments through whom God's miraculous power can flow. In the New Testament the miraculous gifts of The Holy Spirit were to be sought after and not neglected. Miracles operating in The Body of Christ confound and astonish the unbelief of the lost who have been deceived.
In a mysterious way, Satan and those under him have been allowed by God to use a measure of power. False miracles, signs and wonders were performed by the Egyptian magicians, and the Witch of Endor. Counterfeit miracles are used by Satan to support false religions and apostasy, to deceive mankind and to keep the ungodly blinded from the Truths of God. False prophets can perform certain actions for others to perceive as signs and wonders. It is the responsibility of Christians to warn those who have been deceived by a counterfeit display of the supernatural events. The miraculous power of God effects Satan, for he is a created being and not divine.
Miracles, sings and wonders are also agents by which judgement is carried out on individuals and on nations, as well as to deliver amazingly from danger.
Old Testament miracles established the supremacy of God over the 'dead gods' of idolatry. The miracles of Christ in The New Testament established Himself as The Saviour, His Divinity and His Messianic Servanthood and the coming of God's Kingdom. He came into history as the Miracle of Miracles, born of a virgin and born under the Law, born sinless, born in a human body that was prepared for Him.
Miracles, signs and wonders fall into clearly defined categories. Power of the created nature and nature's elements are defined throughout The Bible, as well as miracles noticeably connected to disease and death.
Awe-inspiring deeds are seen as evidence of the presence and power of God in the world. One part that miracles display is the demonstration of authority. The main miracles recorded are healing, raising the dead, of nature and the casting out of demons, miraculous births of barren women, military victory, supernatural strength for truimphant feats.
Miracles declare God's gift to people. The response is either faith and obedience or unbelief and rebellion. The purpose of signs are given to confirm God's Word and warn the rebellious as well as encourage believers. Signs usually result in a genuine desire to serve God.
Signs demonstrate God's power and the authority of His servants, which follow the preaching of His Word. Signs give assurance of God's presence and refute the doubting of God, they are a guarantee of His promises. The Bible warns against and how to discern false signs. A sign appeals to the human mind and understanding, a wonder appeals to the emotions, something that causes the spectator to marvel, but do not compel a person to believe in an awesome God.
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever".
Other purposes of Christ's miracles are to bring healing and wholeness, as well as fulfil God's Word. The reaction to the supernatural acts of Jesus was terror and fear, wonder and amazement, faith and gratitude, opposition and hatred. They were object lessons demonstrating His vast scope of authority.
|SCRIPTURES Psalms 77:14, Matthew 15:31, Acts 3: 8, 5:16.
QUESTIONS 1] What are miracles? 2] hat do miracles do? 3] Can miracles bring healing? 4] What was the response to Jesus miracles? 5] What did Jesus have authority over?
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