A good morning to you dearly beloved listener. You are on LTBS broadcast on Ray Power 100.5 FM and we welcome you to yet another apologetic broadcast concerning the truth of God’s word which is necessitated by the plague of false pronouncements in today’s Christian world and which fortunately for lovers of the word of God, had been prophesied in the Bible! The word of God says, “For some people have slipped in among you unnoticed. They were written about long ago as being deserving of this condemnation because they are ungodly. They turn the grace of our God into uncontrollable lust and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus the Christ.” (Jud 1:4 ISV) These distortions started close to 2000 years ago! For instance, this distortion has made many people in our religious landscape today to believe that whatever happens that they cannot explain by naturally means must be a miracle. We will be looking at this issue shortly.
Beloved listening friend, this morning, we are glad that the Lord has given us another great opportunity to hear from Him that form of teaching that is able to save us from the shackles of human errors and traditions that has plagued the Christian landscape since the 2nd century A.D.
This is LTBS and LTBS is a sponsored broadcast of the church of Christ, Kado. The Church of Christ Kado assembles and worships along EFAB Estate road 4 houses away from the Polaris Bank at Life Camp junction, and adjacent TOFANA hotel.
Now that the lockdown has been eased to permit face–to-face interactions, won’t you come and visit to see how simple the New Testament form of worship is? Please continue to contact us with the following numbers: 090771628077; 08060411389 and 08033824662. You may check our broadcasts on Facebook on Church of Christ, Kado Annual Bible Lectureship page and request for copies of our broadcasts using the numbers already given. You can call us or send SMS or contact us by WhatsApp.
I am Abiodun Adegoroye and with me in the studio are two of our evangelists. David Akpata, an evangelist with the church of Christ Kado, our sponsoring congregation; and Felix Ekpenyong, a servant of God serving as preacher in Masaka congregation opposite Angwan Fulani fuel station along Jankawa road, Masaka.
Listening friend, do you know that everything in the world began miraculously but does not continue miraculously? Do you know that it is the providential law of God that makes things keep happening the way we are seeing it today? Do you also know that there is a difference between the miraculously power of God and the providential power of God though it is the same God working His good pleasure? Think about it! Please join us in a word of prayer as we ask God for His grace and wisdom to speak His word as He has revealed it in the pages of the Holy Scripture.
Beloved, may we once again remind you that @ LTBS, we continue to reiterate our belief concerning the word of God which is the seed of the kingdom of Christ, that the church can be reproduced the way it was when Jesus Christ designed and founded it with the same seed that was used to produce it close to 2000 years ago. In fact, we strongly believe the Bible teaches us to restore and maintain the undenominational Christianity as revealed in the pages of the New Testament of Christ and we pray that you will join us in this noble quest. Above all, we believe strongly that all we need in this life to worship God acceptably and at the end have eternal bliss with God in heaven has been revealed to us in the pages of the Holy Scripture. Thus, we do not need any new revelation; we do not need any new truth; we do not need an angel to come and tell us what to do and we do not need any miracle from God to truly believe that His word in the Scripture is sufficient for us.
Beloved listening friend, for the past few weeks, we have been having critical studies on the issue of miracle, which were an offshoot of the study of miraculous or spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit. And we have been having responses from you and we sincerely appreciate you for all your responses. Even though many believe that until Christ comes again, miracles must be performed by God to prove and authenticate His words, @ LTBS we uphold from the Bible that miraculous gifts, or spiritual gifts as designated in the Scriptures were given to the apostles and those that lived during the first century for specific purposes. Miraculous powers were given directly to the apostles when the apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2) in fulfilment of the promise of Jesus in Acts 1:5. Earlier in John 14:26; 15:26; and 16:13; Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit to these apostles after He ascended to heaven. His purpose for doing so is clearly stated in those verses. Now, the apostles were empowered miraculously by the Holy Spirit to speak by revelation from God, to remember perfectly what Jesus had taught them, and to perform miracles as signs or proof of the Divine origin of their message. LTBS from Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:1-4.
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.”(Mar 16:17-20 ESV)
“Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 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 2:1-4 ESV)
We hope to throw a more critical light on Mark 16:17-20 as it forms a major part of the argument for the continuation of miracles. It is however good to remember that the apostles were empowered to impart miraculous gifts to other saints through the laying on of their hands for specific purposes. We have read this severally from Acts 8:5-18 and Acts 19:6. LTBS
“When the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money” (Act 8:14-18 ESV)
“And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.” (Act 19:6 ESV)
The apostles were laying the foundation of the Christian faith and were thus empowered with this gift to ensure that all Christians have access to God’s word for their edification and to establish them in the faith so that they will have the ability to defeat Satan! Therefore anywhere they know that Christianity had sprung up, they will go there and lay hands on the new converts to grant them access to the inspired word of God! This was what happened in Samaria. When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that there were new converts at Samaria, they left Jerusalem for the sole purpose of imparting these spiritual gifts by laying hands on these new converts. The same with Paul when he discovered disciples in Ephesus, he inquired if anyone has imparted spiritual gifts to them and upon discovering that they haven’t even heard of this gift, he helped them to understand the truth of the gospel and laid hands on them for the reception of the spiritual gifts and that is when these men began to speak in tongues. When Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, he expressed desire to come to them to impart these gifts also. LTBS from Romans 1:11:
“For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, that you may be established” (Rom 1:11 EMTV)
If any is not blinded by former misunderstanding of these gifts and their purposes, he will see that this was what the apostles were doing as they moved around. They empowered the new Christians with ability to access the inspired word of God directly so that the early Christians will not be, as Paul explained to the Ephesians, “infants, being tossed as by waves, and being carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in regard to deceitful scheming, but speaking the truth in love, they may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph 4:14-15)
So miraculous gifts were to establish the church then. The same thing that John and other apostles said was the reason they were directed by God to give later generations the written word of God! (Joh 20:30-31) With the New Testament written, Satan will no longer be able to deceive believers except those who do not believe the truth written!
So we uphold that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit which were exercised in the early church and in the preaching of the gospel in the days of the apostles were for revelation of the Word of Christ and for signs to unbelievers as proof of the truth and divine authority of the message preached (1Cor 14:22). Once the revelation was completed and confirmed, the purpose of the miracles was accomplished, and they ceased (1Cor 13:8-10) leaving three powerful things: faith, hope and love and love, greater than spiritual gifts, remains active in Christianity even till today. The miracles which Jesus did were recorded so that the hearers may believe that He is the Christ. LTBS speak once again as we have been reading 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)
Beloved, the record of the signs done by the apostles is our assurance that they spoke from God. God has confirmed them as His messengers and apostles. The message is authentic and the apostles and prophets of the first century demanded therefore that we should contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3) instead of still demanding for signs and wonders to believe God’s word already confirmed! Beloved listening friend, come to think of it, why should we demand or expect a sign from God when His signs had already been given? God has given us sufficient proof to establish faith in our hearts, the faith that comes from hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). How did religious leaders deceive us today that they are miracle workers or that the things that are happening to us is a miracle?
Beloved listening friend, you need to shine your eyes to the fact that apostles of Christ were special messengers and were given special powers no one on earth today has and miracles that no one can replicate. Those who are parading themselves as apostles of Christ without the credentials of genuine apostles are wicked and are deceivers. Paul warned about this many years ago and we are seeing it in our generation: LTBS from 2 Corinthians 11:12-15!
“But I will go on doing what I'm doing in order to deny an opportunity to those people who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals in the work they are boasting about. Such people are false apostles, dishonest workers who are masquerading as apostles of the Messiah. And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their doom will match their deeds!” (2Co 11:12-15 ISV)
Beloved, many of the things people claim are miracles are the providential work of God but because many cannot differentiate between providence and miracle of God, they are easily deceived. As you keep pondering on the said statement, you will agree with us that a vast majority of today’s healing received from acclaimed miracle workers are fake cures. An in-depth and systematic investigations of most of the big crusades that usually called for people to come for their miracles, healings and deliverance have revealed an elaborate system of fraud. “How is it a fraud?” You may ask. There are many ways of carrying out this fraud in the name of performing miracles using the power of God. One of the ways is that they usually send out syndicates to the community where the crusade will take place for them to gather information about the problems of people. And those people will be persuaded to attend the crusade. But before the commencement of the crusade, the syndicate will give their master, the miracle worker information they gathered. The acclaimed miracle worker will then use the information given to him to prophesy and the people will be asked to come out and receive their healings or deliverance as the case may be. Another way is that the receptionists in the crusade ground are trained to talk to people as they arrive and gather information as to any ailments they might be suffering. They will pick out likely candidates and radio the information to the miracle worker, who has an earpiece-receiver. He will then announce that he has been told by the “spirit” that there is someone present with acute back ache or whatever. That person jumps up shouting “Me, Me,” and rushes up to the stage where he or she is “healed.”
Those receptionists or ushers will on occasion encounter a person with an obvious ailment, such as open cancerous wound, or a large goitre on the neck, or some other similar problem. They would not dare to allow that person to go up to the stage, but they are sent to a private room for prayer. Why? Because they know that the “miracle healer” could not heal this person, and they don’t want a farce to be seen on the stage. Listening friend, there have been documented cases of blatant fraud where people fake some disability, and go to be “healed” before a large audience. And the pastors claiming to be miracle workers still use the name of Jesus Christ and do some demonstration, deceiving the generation that seek after miracles instead of the true word of God for the salvation of their souls. In one of the so-called miracle crusade, a man who was acting as dead person died in the coffin. Even after the whole abracadabra was exposed, people are still trooping into that same church following the same man as pastor today. It is a miracle seeking generation! According to online news and social media information, one 44 year old woman, Mrs Bose Olasunkanmi was used by several fake pastors to perform fake miracles in Nigeria. The woman has been arrested after confessing being paid for every successful performance. In her words from the online newspaper, “My only regret is that it was a fake miracle performance, which deceived many genuine children of God and enriched the fake miracle performing pastors and prophets.” (https://m.guardian.ng/news/end-of-the-road-for-woman-used-by-pastors-to-perform-fake-miracles/)
Apart from the fake miraculous healing during crusades, beloved listening friend, do you know that many of our healings comes as a result of the state of our minds? Doctors affirm that some of our sicknesses are psychosomatic, that is, they are caused by the mind. This means that if your mind is convinced that something is wrong, then something is wrong. Thus, if you convince the mind that the ailment has been removed, then it is gone. The same thing has been demonstrated to occur with hypnosis. It is the matter of the mind over the body. Today’s acclaimed miracle workers, knowing the psychology and power of the mind, usually use this principle to psychologically heal their audience. And the naïve audience thus attribute the power of the healing to the man of God as an instrument in the hand of God. Please, be wise beloved listener. There was story of a young lady who as a result of accident could not walk again. But after sitting on the wheelchair for many months in despair, she was psychologically provoked by an acclaimed miracle worker to rise up and work. In her desire to walk again, her adrenalin flowed and her strength increased so much that she could actually move her leg and walk. If her mind was not convinced that she could walk again as the religious leader was speaking, she would still be on wheelchair. One’s mind can exert healing over the body and words can trigger health. Solomon said this centuries ago. LTBS from Proverbs 17:22 and 16:24:
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Pro 17:22 ESV)
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Pro 16:24 ESV)
Listening friend, if you study your Bible and notice very carefully, you will realize that religious leaders today are motivational or inspirational speakers. In the midst of this inspirational or motivational messages, they will prophecy and declare that the Lord says you can do it. Thus, the hearts of people are provoked and they psychologically achieve their physical benefits. That is why in a fit of emotion at the healing service, a person may have some affliction, some inability to walk properly, or something like that and being convinced they have been healed, the body’s adrenalin might provide enough strength to begin walking. But then a few days later when the adrenalin subsides, the ailment returns. God’s healings written in the Bible in the do not reverse!
Beloved listening friend, according to history, a Pentecostal acclaimed miracle worker, named, Oral Roberts was a well-known TV evangelist and miracle healer. He taught and strongly believed in miraculous power by the laying on of the hands, as the apostles did. On one of his TV programs he revealed that a nine-foot-tall Jesus had appeared to him while he was praying in his closet. He said Jesus told him he was going to take his life unless he raised $8 million to finish the hospital he was building! Sure enough, some persons in Florida sent him the money. Here comes a question: “If Roberts could heal people by praying over them and/or laying his hands on them, why did he need a hospital? Do you remember that neither Jesus nor any of his apostles ever told those they healed to go find a doctor or a hospital?
Before, we conclude this broadcast, what is the summary of these thoughts raised from the Bible? The Bible records the genuine miracles of God and no one can deny them. But, dear listener, should we be concerned about fake miracles being done by man today which the Bible does not support? By fake, we mean inferior miracles that are not up to the standard of the ones recorded in the Bible. The reasons are obvious. These include:
- Miraculous power was given through Holy Spirit baptism and by the apostles laying their hands on certain ones (Act 2:1-4; 8:14-18). But there is now only one baptism. This is clearly captured in Ephesians 4:5. This is the water baptism which men are to administer. That is why the instruction in Matthew 28:19 to baptize people apply not only to the apostles but to all who hear the word of God and believe it. Since, there are no apostles alive today, who will lay hands on people to impart the spiritual gifts?
- Those who claim to have miraculous gifts do not claim all of them. I Corinthians 12:1-10 lists nine spiritual gifts. If one gift still exists, all exist. If God’s inspired prophets are still on earth, we should be adding their words to the New Testament. But this is contrary to those scriptures which affirm that revelation is complete. LTBS from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Galatian 1:6-9
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2Ti 3:16-17 ESV)
“I marvel that you are turning so quickly from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; except there are certain people who trouble you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel to you other than what we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, and I say again just now, if anyone preaches a gospel to you other than what you received, let him be accursed.” (Gal 1:6-9 EMTV)
Today, modern miraculous “prophets" contradict the revelation which God has already given.
- The purpose of miraculous gifts has been fulfilled. God's genuine messengers used miracles to prove their message came from Heaven. LTBS from 2 Corinthians 12:12.
“The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.” (2Co 12:12 ESV)
But God’s word is now confirmed as clearly captured in Hebrews 2:3-4 and we can know what to believe by reading God's revelation. LTBS from Ephesians 3:3-4.
“How the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,” (Eph 3:3-4 ESV)
Beloved, the word of God is very clear that it is when we read the revelation of Christ written by Holy men of God and given to us today, that we have insight, understanding and have faith in God Almighty. I will rather want to base my faith on what I read from the Bible than what someone else tells me or from some fake display by some so called men of God.
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 in baptism for the forgiveness of your sins?
If you are new to LTBS, we urge you to listen to what the woman caught in fake miracles said, ““My advice to people who go to church is that they should open their eyes well and know the type of church they are worshipping. If they are careful, they would discover on time whether they are in a genuine church or with fake pastors and prophets.” And balance even this ostensibly good advice with what the Bible has already said close to 2000 years ago. LTBS from 1 John 4:1 and 2 Timothy 4:3-4:
“Dear friends, stop believing every spirit. Instead, test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1Jn 4:1 ISV)
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2Ti 4:3-4 ESV)
Our study of the Holy Spirit’s gifts continues the same time next week if the Lord tarries and by His grace. 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!”