"...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:31)
By Prof. Mario Velez, Th.M.
Another temporary spiritual gift distracting many professing Christians today is the temporary spiritual gift of miracles as found in First and Second Corinthians (1 Cor. 12:28; 2 Cor. 12:12).
“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (KJV 1 Cor. 12:28)
“Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” (KJV 2 Cor. 12:12)
In 1 Corinthians 12:28 the word “miracle” is translated from the Greek noun dunamis meaning, “supernatural power.” In 2 Corinthians 12:12 the same word is translated “mighty deeds.”
As with the temporal gifts of apostle and prophet, miracles were given to confirm that these men were truly from God. Therefore, they were given the supernatural ability to perform these miracles at will, again to establish their credibility during the pre-canon age.
Today, the power of God’s completed Word is the greatest miracle to a positive believer. This is how we can overcome our problems; not by sitting on our hands waiting for a miracle. Of course, this does not mean God does not perform miracles in our day. They are just not done through some person who claims to have this gift. It is imperative to remember that Satan does have his deceptive ways of duplicating miracles today (Mt. 7:22-23).
“22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (KJV Mt. 7:22-23)
The words “wonderful works” in verse 22 are also translated from the Greek noun [dunamis] meaning, “supernatural power.” The Lord calls these individuals, whom He never knew, workers of “iniquity.” The word iniquity is a reference to “wickedness.” It is quite obvious from these verses that the supernatural power these individuals possessed came from Satan and not God. All the miracles being claimed today are designed to bring attention to man and is the method that these individuals use to control and manipulate ignorant believers.
The greatest power available to believers today is the ability to fulfill the Christian way of life through consistently residing under the power of the Spirit and maximizing God’s Word and our spiritual assets. The greatest thing in life is not a miracle, but having God’s Word residing in our soul. This, by far, is more important than any miracle that has ever occurred. Yet, it is unfortunate that believers are missing out because they are being distracted by so many apostate ministers claiming to have these temporary gifts. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes from hearing God’s Word, not by seeing a miracle!
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (KJV Rom. 10:17)
What truly counts is maximizing our relationship with the Lord, which is achieved by learning His thoughts as found in our completed Bible. It takes consistency in learning, retaining and applying God’s Biblical principles in all areas of our lives. A miracle is actually easy for the Lord since it does not require cooperation or positive freewill on the part of a believer; developing a relationship, on the other hand, does. A miracle does not carry you very far, as seen in the example of the Exodus generation who “murmured” or grumbled only three days after seeing the Red Sea parted and the Egyptian army destroyed. (Ex. 15:22-24).
“22) So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23) And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24) And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”( KJV Ex. 15:22-24)
The Exodus generation grumbled after three days of these miracles because they did not have a mature relationship with the one who had performed the miracles. As a result, they did not enter the promise land that the Lord had for them.
A lack of a mature relationship with the Lord will always cause us to emphasize the wrong things. Please don’t make the same mistake as the Exodus generation, don’t miss out on entering the promise land of maturity. The promise land of maturity is what the Book of Hebrews calls a confidential “rest” that we are to “fear” not entering (Heb. 4:1).
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”( KJV Heb. 4:1)