GIFT OF MIRACLES (CONT.)

 

I am Abiodun Adegoroye and with me in the studio are three of our evangelists. David Akpata, an evangelist with the church of Christ Kado, our sponsoring congregation; Splpmon Effiong, a minister serving in Gwagwa /Tasha and Felix Ekpenyong, a servant of God serving as preacher in Masaka congregation opposite Angwan Fulani fuel station along Jankawa road, Masaka

Last week, we started a critical study on the issue of miracle. We did define miracles, and we equally paid a careful attention to “when has God used miracles and why?” Today, as we promised, we are going continue in examining the scriptures in order to clear the confusion that is spreading throughout our religious landscape about miracles making people to run from one pastor to another seeking for miracles, signs and wonders instead of studying the word of God and developing faith in God based on His word found in the Scripture. But, before we delve into today’s broadcast, please kindly join us as we approach the throne of Our Father in heaven for guidance.

Prayer:

Listening friend, today, we are going to continue in our study on miracles and the gift of miracles by carefully allowing the word of God to enlighten us on the question, “Are Miracles Necessary Today?”

Beloved listener, diligent study of the word of God as revealed in the pages of the Holy Scriptures reveals that when the Old and New Testaments were completed, God’s revelation was finished. LTBS from Hebrews 1:1-2

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Heb 1:1-2 ESV)

You see, those prophets and the Son of God, Jesus Christ, through whom God gave us His revelation had their works and revelation authenticated through many signs, wonders and miracles. Now, that the complete revelation of God has been fully accomplished, is there any ongoing need for God keep performing miracles as He did in the past in order to re-authenticate or re-substantiate His revelation again? Does God do miracles on demand? And do the phenomena being hailed today as signs, wonders and miracles bear any resemblance to the miracles performed by Christ and the apostles? The answer to all these questions is NO. Nothing in Scripture indicates that the miracles of the apostolic age were meant to be continuous in subsequent ages. Nor does the Bible exhort believers to seek any miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In all the New Testament epistles or letters, there only five commands related to the believers and the Holy Spirit. These are:

“Walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:25)

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit” (Eph 4:30)

“Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18)

“Do not quench the Spirit” (1Thes 5:19)

“Pray in the Spirit” (Jud 20)

There is no command in the New Testament for believers to seek miracles. But in our religious world today, all that people want to hear is, “come and receive your miracle”, “come, your miracle is on the way.” As a result of this distortion of the word of God, people are now running from one pastor to another seeking for miracles, instead of seeking for the salvation of their souls in Christ Jesus. Have you forgotten the response Jesus gave to the religious leaders of his days, the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were seeking for miracles before believing in Jesus Christ? LTBS from Matthew 12:38-39

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Mat 12:38-39 ESV)

You see, Jesus was saying that a generation of people that demands that He performs miraculous signs to prove to them who He is, in order that they might believe is a wicked generation. But, do you know that even if God continues to do miracles as He did, which was recorded for us, many would not still believe? Beloved listening friend, remember that several times, Jesus criticized people who only believed after they saw a sign and praised those who believed without seeing. LTBS from John 20:27-29

“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Joh 20:27-29 ESV)

This tells us that, we are not to seek for miracles before believing in the saving power of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Rather, we are to believe in the saving power of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ based on the revealed written word of God. And this is the heart of the Gospel of John. Thus, the Holy Spirit guided John the beloved to write this down for all generations. LTBD from John 20:30-31

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Joh 20:30-31 ESV)

Listening friend, in spite of this clearly spelled-out instruction of God’s word, some continue to claim that the spectacular gifts to perform miracles, signs and wonders are to continue today. Please, does the word of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit support such conclusion? We should allow the Bible to help us reach a conclusion. For instance, concerning tongues speaking, the Holy Spirit says that tongues are signs for unbelievers not for believers. But, today, any religious gathering even when it is made up of the husband and the wife, you will hear them emotionally fired up and uttering unintelligible speech, yet claiming to be speaking in tongues. LTBS from 1 Corinthians 14:22:

“Thus, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.” (1Co 14:22 ESV)

You see, the word of God clearly states without any ambiguity that tongues were never intended to edify believers, but to convince unbelievers of the truthfulness of the gospel, as happened at Pentecost in Acts 2 and Acts 10. Beloved listening friend, @ LTBS we are saying from Scripture that miracles, signs and wonders all served as signs to authenticate an era of new revelation. As the age of revelation came to a close; the signs ceased also. Little wonder, one of the world’s renowned theologians, B. B. Warfield wrote:

“Miracles do not appear on the pages of Scripture vagrantly, here, there, and elsewhere indifferently, without assignable reason. They belong to revelation periods, and appear only when God is speaking to His people through accredited messengers, declaring His gracious purposes. Their abundant display in the Apostolic Church is the mark of the richness of the Apostolic age in revelation; and when this revelation period closed, the period of miracle-working had passed by also, as a mere matter of course…. God the Holy Spirit has made it His subsequent work, not to introduce new and unneeded revelations into the world, but to diffuse this one complete revelation through the world and to bring mankind into the saving knowledge of it.” (Banner of truth, 1918, pg.25)

Listening friend, if we are all objective in studying the word of God, without any prejudice, you will agree with the Bible that God has given to the world one organically complete revelation, (the New Testament) adapted to all, sufficient for all, provided for all, and from this one complete revelation He requires each person to draw his/her whole spiritual sustenance. God expects us to rely on the given revelation rather than look for new ones as if the ones He had confirmed with miracles are insufficient. LTBS from Hebrews 2:3-4

“How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” (Heb 2:3-4 ESV)

You see, the word of God is very clear that the chief purpose for biblical miracles was to confirm or authenticate (the validation of) the messengers whom God used in giving His revelation. Consider briefly the words: “It was confirmed” which points to the past, and it is an accurate reflection of the Greek text. Here is a biblical word that the miracles, wonders and signs gifts were given only to the first-generation apostles to confirm that they were messengers of the new revelation and we today are warned not to neglect what they have already been given!

Beloved, we need to answer yet another question in this broadcast, that is, “Does God promise Miracles for everyone or every believer?” The answer to this question is an affirmative NO. This question is very important because in our religious landscape today, some believe and insist that God wants to do miracles for every believer. They often say, “God has special miracle just for you.” Listening friend, are Christians supposed to seek their own private miracles? If you study the miracles done by Jesus, you will find out that not one of them was done privately. The purpose of Jesus healing the sick and performing miracles was to authenticate His messianic purpose. Similarly, while the apostles also healed people, their primary purpose was to authenticate new revelation, and this revelation is never a private issue. So, those who are seeking for miracle and claiming to perform miracles today, what do they want to confirm? Their own revelation or the revelation of God that was confirmed already which is meant for us to believe and be saved? Which one?

Beloved, are you aware that Satan wants to substitute his word for that of God? Sometimes, we clearly see that Satan is also displaying some signs. Many believers do recognize this deception of Satan, but because they sometimes are looking for immediate solution to their physical problems, they fall prey to fake miraculous claims. Indeed, those who pursue miraculous signs are setting themselves up for satanic deception. This is because they do not love the truth of God’s word. Listen to the instruction of the Holy Spirit in the book of 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12:

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Th 2:9-12 ESV)

Well, if you want to keep seeking for miracles or expecting to have a miracle, as servants of God we encourage you to have a rethink, least you are deceived. It is very clear that there is nowhere in the Scripture where today’s believers are commanded to seek for Spirit’s manifestation in signs and wonders. The Holy Spirit through Paul simply said Christians are to walk in the Spirit. LTBS from Galatians 5:25

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal 5:25 KJV)

This simply means those who are Christians must be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. To be under the influence of the Holy Spirit means that a Christian life is to be directed by the Spirit of God. And how would the Holy Spirit direct us today in order live within His realm? The Holy Spirit directs us today through the word of God. That is why Holy Spirit in Colossians 3: 16a says, LTBS:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…” (Col 3:16 KJV) When the word of Christ dwell in us richly, we live according to the direction of God’s word, thus, we are said to be living in the Spirit. Now, walking in the Spirit means walking in obedience to the direction of the word of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the pages of the Scripture. LTBS Galatians 5:16-17

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Gal 5:16-17 ESV)

Beloved listening friend, in order to be within the realm of the Spirit one must be led by the Spirit-inspired word of God and not seek after miracles, for a person may see miracle and still go to hell fire. Jesus stated that if people will not believe the Scripture God has already confirmed through His own prophets, such a one will not really believe even if a spectacular miracle happens like someone rising from the dead to speak to him/her (Luk 16:27-31)

Beloved listening friend, how would your life be in harmony of the direction of the Holy Spirit? This can only be done by the only means designed for us by God. What means has God designed for us in order for our lives to be in harmony with the direction of the Holy Spirit?” Beloved, the only means designed for us today is “Faith.” How can you have faith today? Faith does not come by having or seeing miracles. Rather, faith comes from hearing the word of Christ, i.e., hearing the words of Christ which was confirmed by signs and wonders and were documented for us. LTBS from Romans 10:17

“So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17 ESV)

You see, our faith in God and in all His blessing does not from having or seeing miracles, rather it come from hearing the word of Christ which has been documented. John the beloved will continue to reiterate this persistently. LTBS from John 20:30-31:

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Joh 20:30-31 ESV)

The word of God has spoken. Instead of people to hold on to this revealed word of Christ and stop looking for miracle, they appear mesmerized to continue listening to charismatic religious leaders more than the word of God. Beloved listener, do you want hope? Do you want an anchor? Do you want something to carry you through life? You need the word of word of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the passages of the Holy Scriptures. LTBS from Romans 15:4

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom 15:4 ESV)

Beloved listening friend, do you now believe that we do not need miracles today in order to have hope and faith in God. ALL we need now is the word of God which was written down for us having been confirmed by miracles, signs and wonders.

Remember, you are listening to LTBS. If you’re just joining us for the first time, LTBS is a sponsored program of the church of Christ that meets at Lifecamp junction, 4 houses away from Polaris bank at the Lifecamp junction.

Having seen that miracles are not necessary today for us to be faithful Christians, are we now diminishing the power of God? No! The undeniable fact remains that in the early pages of Acts, Jerusalem was filled with miracles. However, after the martyrdom of Stephen, no more miracles were recorded in that city. Something was changing. The miracles of the apostolic age were not to be the pattern for succeeding generations of Christians. We have no mandate to seek miracles. However, we do have mandate to study and obey the word of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the pages on the Scripture. This is because it is only the word of God that is able to make us wise and mature. Again, we do have a mandate to live by faith and not by sight which comes from seeing miracles. LTBS from 2 Corinthians 5:7

For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2Co 5:7 ESV)

In line with walking by faith and not by sight, Jesus promised all those who have faith in him that they will do greater works. LTBS John 14:12

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (Joh 14:12 ESV)

Listening to charismatic leaders who are advocates of signs and wonders ministry, you would think this promise refers to miracles Jesus was performing and that it bypassed the apostolic age and is being fulfilled in their meetings. Beloved listener, a clear and precise study of the Scripture reveals clearly that “Greater works” does not mean more spectacular miracles. No one, even the apostles of Jesus could and did miracles greater than Jesus!  Nothing in this context of John 14 speaks of supernatural signs and wonders. Listening friend, what is greater work than raising the dead? LTBS from John 5:20-21

“For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” (Joh 5:20-21 ESV)

The word of God clearly indicates that a greater work that raising a dead man is the giving of spiritual life to a sinner. Of course, the apostles’ works were greater in scope, not in quality, than those of Jesus. They took the gospel to the ends of the known world in their day. Their work of saving the lost or giving life to sinners was made possible only because Jesus rose from the dead. That was the gospel they preached that saved sinners. This is a great work that reached out to every part of the world. So, today greater works Jesus promise continues as we continue to preach the gospel of Christ. Those who hear the gospel of Christ and believe it, who having repented of their sins, surrendered themselves to our Lord Jesus Christ through baptism will receive the spiritual life (rise from death). This spiritual life makes them to be free from sin and condemnation on the last day. LTBS from Romans 6:3-8:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Rom 6:3-8 ESV)

Beloved listening friend, are you ready to receive spiritual life so that you will be set free from sin? Why not believe the word of God this morning, repent of sin and surrender your life to Christ, instead of jumping from pillar to post seeking for miracles? If you are ready, do not hesitate to contact us with the numbers we will give or visit any congregation of the church of Christ nearest to you and you will be freely assisted.

Dearly beloved, remember you are listening to LTBS. You can obtain a free copy of today’s broadcasts and other broadcasts of LTBS by contacting us with the following numbers: 090 771 62 877, 080 604 11 389 and 0803 382 4662. You may also contact us by email with cockaddo@yahoo.com and as well check our website with www.churchofchristkado.org. LTBS is equally on TV. Always remember to watch TV program of LTBS on ITV UHF Channel 142, and Star Times Channel 130 every Saturday from 6:00pm -6:30pm

Our study of the Holy Spirit continues the same time next week if the Lord tarries and by His grace. We will be interacting with you next week and taking your questions.

May the Lord bless you and family this week and grant you insight into His words. From all of the crew of LTBS in the studio, we say, “Do have a wonderful week!”


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