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End of Miracles (their Purpose)

(Scripture reading: Isa 40:21-26)

 

Thesis: to teach the hearers the purpose of biblical miracles, in view of much false teaching being brought forth concerning this subject today.

 

Text: Gen 1:1-2:2; Eph 3:3-5

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Gen 1:2  And the earth was waste (formless) and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved (was moving or hovering) upon the face of the waters.

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Gen 1:6  And God said, Let there be a firmament (expanse) in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Gen 1:7  And God made the firmament (expanse), and divided the waters which were under the firmament (expanse) from the waters which were above the firmament (expanse): and it was so.

Gen 1:8  And God called the firmament (expanse) Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Gen 1:9  And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Gen 1:10  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:11  And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs (plants) yielding seed, and fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and it was so.

Gen 1:12  And the earth brought forth grass, herbs (plants) yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after their kind: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:13  And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

Gen 1:14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament (expanse) of (the) heaven(s) to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:

Gen 1:15  and let them be for lights in the firmament (expanse) of (the) heaven(s) to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Gen 1:16  And God made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Gen 1:17  And God set them in the firmament (expanse) of (the) heaven(s) to give light upon the earth,

Gen 1:18  and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:19  And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Gen 1:20  And God said, Let the waters swarm (abound) with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open firmament (expanse) of (the) heaven(s).

Gen 1:21  And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that moveth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:22  And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.

Gen 1:23  And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

Gen 1:24  And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle (live stock), and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind: and it was so.

Gen 1:25  And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle (live stock) after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the ground after its kind: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle (live stock), and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gen 1:27  And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Gen 1:28  And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill) the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Gen 1:29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb (plant)  yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food:

Gen 1:30  and to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb (plant) for food: and it was so.

Gen 1:31  And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Gen 2:1  And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Gen 2:2  And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

 

Introduction,

  1. In this study will be looking at a very pertinent subject today, “miracles,” specifically “the end thereof.”

 

  1. I purpose to prove in these series of lessons that the miracles of which we read of in the bible were always meant to be “temporary,” and they were in fact always that way throughout time as we know it, and that they were rather the “means” and not the “end” the “goal” in God’s plans.

 

  1. Not that God couldn’t or wouldn’t perform a miracle today, in fact the biggest miracle of God is still to come at the coming of the Lord, but rather that the miracles that we read of in the bible were purposeful to bring about certain conditions, and when said conditions were in place those types of miracles were discontinued according to God’s holy will.

 

  1. This is why we don’t see something made out of nothing today (Gen 1; Heb 11:3), this is why we don’t see the dead being raised today (Lk 8:52-56; Jn 11:1-46; Acts 9:36-43), this is why we don’t see the diseased and infirmed being cured instantly and completely today (Mt 8:1-17; Acts 3:1-10; ect.), because it isn’t according to the will of God today.

 

  1. But a careful and complete study will show that in the areas of conviction (being brought to the conclusion that one is lost), redemption (being saved), and sanctification (being holy, set apart “from” the world and “to” God) even in the age of miracles the Holy Spirit employed and still employs His sword, the word of God (Eph 6:17).

 

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

 

  1. We need to understand that Christianity, the Way is a taught religion (John 6:44-45), the Holy Spirit works thru teaching (John 14:26); He taught and revealed “all things,” “all the truth” to the apostles and NT prophets (John 14:26; 16:13; 17:17), and they wrote it down by inspiration (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21), and it is by that word that we are one with God (John 17:20-21).

 

    1. The Holy Spirit gives light by the word (Ps 119:105; 130; 1 John 1:7);
    2. By the word He begets (Ja 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; John 3:8);
    3. He purifies by the word (1 Peter 1:22);
    4. He quickens by the word (Heb. 4:12; Ps 119:50);
    5. He cleanses by the word (John 15:3);
    6. He gives faith by the word (Rom 10:17);
    7. He sanctifies by the word (John 17:17; 2 Thess 2:13);
    8. He purifies hearts by the word (Acts 15:7-9);
    9. He convicts by the word (Titus 1:9; John 16:8);
    10. He saves by the word (Ja 1:21; Acts 11:14; 1 Cor 1:21);
    11. He reconciles to Christ by the word (2 Cor. 5:18-21);
    12. He makes free by the word (John 8:32);
    13. He converts by the word (Ps 19:7);
    14. He gives understanding through the word (Ps 119:130; Eph. 3:4).

 

    1. In fact many things that the bible says the Spirit does in these areas, it also says the word does, this is because again “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17) is that instrument, that medium through which God has determined to work in these areas

 

  1. I want you to note how God describes the nature of His word (turn to Jn 6:63) . . .

 

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life.

 

  1. God’s word imparts life, just like our spirits impart life to our mortal bodies (Ja 2:26), in like manner the word imparts spiritual life to those that believe it (look at Heb 4:12).

 

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is living and active (powerful), and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and of spirit, of both joints and of marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

  1. God’s word is powerful, beyond our comprehension, if you could separate soul and spirit, which is next to impossible because of the close nature of them, but if you could, if something could, that something would be the word of God, which cuts deep into our consciences and convicts us of our shortcomings in the sight of our most holy Father.

 

  1. God’s word brought our realm into existence (Gen 1), it keeps it going as it is even to this day (Heb 1:3), and it will ultimately take this realm and everything in it away (2 Pet 3:7-10).

 

  1. Thus we will break down this study into 3 specific lessons, which without a doubt, should convince the one with an open bible and an open mind (Acts 17:11), that the life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ (the gospel) is God’s power over sin and death (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18), and not miraculous signs and wonders we read of in the bible, nor were they ever meant to be. Our 3 major topics will be . . .

1)      The end of miracles, their purpose

2)      The end of miracles in OT prophecy

3)      The end of miracles in NT prophecy

 

  1. And in this specific lesson concerning the “purpose” of miracles, we will break down into 3 specific reasons . . .

1)      Creation

2)      Revelation

3)      Confirmation

 

I. THE PURPOSE OF MIRACLES “CREATION”

 

A. First we should consider the definition of a miracle, for it is commonplace today that when a seemingly unusual occurrence takes place, such as a serious auto accident in which a person is not injured as seriously as possible, or if a person unexpectedly heals from a disease or is healed quicker than expected, then many state “it’s a miracle” when in fact “it is not.”

 

1. Sure some of the circumstances may seem unusual, or even unexplainable, but a deeper and more thorough investigation into these situations usually reveal the reasons for the unusual circumstances, and are then likely and logically explained.

 

2. A miracle is defined as such “an extraordinary occurrence which could not be explained by the laws of nature and, therefore, is evidence of the intervention of  Deity, man cannot, by his own power, duplicate a miracle.”

 

3. We as Christians need to remember to “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet 4:11a), in other words, we should not be calling things miracles, which are not, like “the miracle of childbirth.”

 

a. We need not to be like the denomi “nations” round about us, but as a people for Christ’s own possession, chosen of God, through the gospel, doing all we can to advance the power of God unto salvation, and our words will make a difference, we need to be “in” the world but not “of” the world when it comes to our speech as well as every other aspect of our lives (1 Pet 1:15).

 

1Pe 1:15  But because the God who called you is holy you must be holy in every aspect of your life. (GW)

 

4. There has been 3 basic dispensations (ages) of God here on earth;

           

1) Patriarchy, (the patriaricle age) in which the fathers “patriarchs” of the families were the appointed priests unto God.

 

a. (Its important to note, that a “prophet” is one who approaches man, for God, and a “priest” is one who approaches God for man, since sin entered the world, man cannot approach God without a priesthood, and a sacrifice.)

 

2) The Law of Moses (the mosaic age) where there was a separate class of priests (from the tribe of Levi).

 

3) The Christian age (the church age), where every faithful follower of God through Christ is a priest (1 Pet 2:5, 9), and is able to approach God through our High Priest/Mediator/Advocate, Christ Jesus (Heb 3:1, 1 Tim 2:5; 1 Jn 2:1).

 

5. And it is interesting and should be noted that all 3 of these ages were initiated by miracles.

 

    1. In the Genesis account God created the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all that in them is in 6 literal days (Ex 20:11),  no one that believes the bible to be the inspired word of God would doubt that creation was indeed a miracle, for the Hebrew writer stated  (Heb 11:3) turn there . . .

 

Heb 11:3  By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.

 

    1. In other words “God said it in His word, we believe it, He made everything out of nothing, God said, and it was, for He spake and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast” this was indeed a miracle, this ought to teach us of the awesome power that is contained in the living and active word of the living God (Isa 55:11; Heb 4:12).

 

    1. And after this was done, on the 7th day God rested (Gen 2:2), now we know that God does not tire, as do we, for the bible consistently teaches that He is all powerful (omnipotent).

 

    1. Thus the only logical explanation is that God’s creating was completed, it was done, yet for a person to say that God is no longer creating today is in no way bringing into question His ability to do so (Mt 3:9), the fact is He simply chose to be done, everything He wanted to be in place, was, in order that His will could be fulfilled through it.

 

6. There is not too much that has been revealed about Patriarchy, yet we know He gave laws (Gen 2:15-17),

 

Gen 2:15  And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Dressing and keeping here implies some sort of responsibility given to man by God)

Gen 2:16  And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

Gen 2:17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

a.       Another reason that we know that God gave laws of some sort is for the fact that “by faith Able offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Heb 11:4), this teaches us that God instructed them on this matter also for . . .

 

Rom 10:17   . . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

b.      And much more than this is inferred in the patterns we see in the patriarchal accounts, (the similarities of altars, the similarities of sacrifices, the implied moral laws, and so on). Thus we can conclude that after the miracle of creation was accomplished, certain laws were given to man.

 

c.       And also God's natural laws were put in place (gravity, photosynthesis, sowing and reaping, action and reaction, and so on), and those laws would perpetuate God’s will for man and creation until He wills that a different system be put in place (the new heavens and new earth; 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1).

 

d.      And in creation certain things were designed to procreated itself, “after their own kind” by the seed principle, and of course, we learned that in God’s law for man “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).

 

e.       Creation still continues on to this day, and will until the 2nd coming of Christ (2 Pet 3:10), yet God’s first 2 laws for man (Patriarchy, law of Moses) were meant to be temporary, to bring man along, as he grew more able to learn, and do, the will of God.

 

f.       In order that when the fullness of time came about everything would be in place, and God could send “forth His Son, born of a woman (only, she was a virgin), born under the law” (Gal 4:4), to bring about His eternal purpose (Eph 3:10-11), the redemption of mankind through the church, in order that that which was lost in Adam (intimate fellowship with God), could be regained “in Christ” (Rom 5:12-21).

 

7. Then after “Patriarchy” God’s plan was ready for the next step “the law of Moses”

 

a. Which was basically set in place to teach man the severity of sin (Rom 3:20; 7:7),

 

b. To be a schoolmaster to them, which was to bring them to (Gal 3:24), and teach them through shadows and types about Christ (Heb 10:1), and His eternal kingdom which was to come (Heb 12:22-23, 28; 2 Pet 1:11),

 

c. And it was also meant to protect the seed line of Christ, in order that the descendants of Christ would not sin themselves out of existence, because of God’s Divine just nature (Gal 3:19).

 

d. But again, like with creation and the giving of the patriarchal laws, miracles were brought forth, (the non-consumed burning bush, the 10 plagues of Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea; manna for the 40 years of the wilderness wanderings, ect),

 

    1. God’s law was given, the covenant was established, the miracles ceased, God’s law, God’s word (the seed) took over, instead of God directly from heaven telling them day by day, what His will for them was to be.

 

    1. Of course there were times that God had to intercede through His prophets because of the disobedience of the people, yet surely God foresaw these setbacks before the foundation of the world, and made them part of His prophetic prowess concerning Christ and the coming of His kingdom (the church; Mt 16:18-19, Heb 12:23, 28).

 

8. And the same thing can be said about the church (Christian) age,

 

a. The miraculous birth of Christ initiated it (Mt 1:22-23).

 

Mat 1:22  Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,

Mat 1:23  Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.

 

b. And Christ’s ministry in the gospel accounts, and the spread of the gospel throughout the known world by His miraculously empowered apostles and NT prophets,

 

c. And when God’s law, all the Truth (John 16:13; 17:17), the perfect law of liberty (Ja 1:25), the gospel, the Way (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22), that one Faith (Eph 4:5) was once for all time delivered (Jude 3), the miraculous working of God ceased, and the seed principle took over, the word of God (Luke 8:11), in all its sufficiency, which is able to make mankind complete in God’s eyes (2 Tim 3:17), and contained all things therein that pertained to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3; John 14:26).

 

d. It is also interesting that the miracles which were performed by the power of the Holy Spirit which ultimately brought us our NT, were likely to have taken place for a period of 40 years, likened unto the miracles under Moses, as prophesied in (Micah 7:15; KJV).

 

Mic 7:15  According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things. (KJV)

 

e. For many believe that even the inspired writings of the apostle John were also completed prior to AD 70 (e.g. Redating of the NT; A.T. Robertson), and if that were the case, this would make it so,

 

f. And it could imply some sort of 40 year miraculous period that took place in the Garden at the beginning of time, such as the invisible God miraculously manifesting Himself physically to Adam and Eve in order that their fellowship would seem all the more closer (yet this is just speculation).

 

    1. Thus it is easy to see the consistency of the “purpose” of miracles in the “creation” of the universe,

 

    1. And when God in a sense also “created” His law systems; miracles also brought them forth, which included their seeds, and then the seeds took over; remember “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).

 

II. THE PURPOSE OF MIRACLES “REVELATION”

 

A. Now in our study of the purpose of miracles we will look at the area of “revelation.” For a definition thereof  look at what Paul wrote in the Eph 3:3-5 (turn there) . . .

 

Eph 3:3  how that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words,

Eph 3:4  whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ;

Eph 3:5  which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in (by) the Spirit;

 

1. In this passage we learn that God “revealed” the mystery of Christ, remember that a “mystery” in the NT is not something one can not understand without some sort of direct operation of the Holy Spirit, but rather it refers to “something not previously or fully revealed.”

 

a. And in this particular context the mystery revealed is the fact that God’s eternal purpose was that both Jew and Gentile alike would have the opportunity of salvation from sin, the hope of eternal life, and stand on equal footing in that location known as “in Christ” which is the church, the kingdom of God on earth.

 

b. It is also important to note that God revealed His message in “words” (2 Sam 23:3; Jer 1:9; 1 Cor 2:13 ASV; 1 Thess 2:13), which when read, can be understood.

 

c. And God intended for chosen men (apostles and prophets) to deliver His “word” unto others in order that through belief and obedience to that “word” they might have the hope of an eternal inheritance, Paul said to the Ephesians elders and to us in Acts 20:32 (turn there) . . .

 

Act 20:32  And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified.

 

d. Let us first note that when the apostle Paul no longer expected to see these elders he didn’t point them to those who would apostles after him (as in apostolic succession), no! He pointed them to God and His word. 

 

e. God and His word is able to spiritually build us up, to change us back into the likeness of Him (Gen 1:26), that likeness we lost by loving and seeking the things of the world instead the things of God (1 Jn 2:15-17), in order that we can be with Him and the other saints in the heavenly places (for a picture of this look at Rev 7:9-17).

 

Rev 7:9  After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands;

Rev 7:10  and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Rev 7:11  And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

Rev 7:12  saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they?

Rev 7:14  And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Rev 7:15  Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.

Rev 7:16  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat:

Rev 7:17  for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.

 

  1. Turn to Rom 1:20 . . .

 

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:

 

a. Rom 1:20 teaches us that we can know that there is a God by looking at creation (such complex designs certainly demand a Designer, and that Designer is God (Heb 3:4).

 

Heb 3:4  For every house is builded by some one; but he that built all things is God.

 

b. But we can’t know His will for us unless He reveals that will to us. Thus “revelation” basically is the eternal, invisible God revealing His words to men through prophets, by the means of dreams, visions and other diverse manners (Heb 1:1), through the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21).

 

2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (ESV)

 

2Pe 1:20  knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.

2Pe 1:21  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

 

c. Whose basic function is that of power; remember He is not power, like electricity, an “attribute” (as some religious groups erroneously assert), but His “function” as a Member of the Godhead is “power,” for no other “attribute” (such as grace, love, or power) is ever assigned the personality traits as is the Holy Spirit, for the bible states that . . .

                              1. He has a will (Acts 16:7).

2. He speaks (1 Tim. 4:1).

3. He has knowledge (1 Cor. 2:10,11).

4. He searches (1 Cor. 2:10,11).

5. He strives with man (Gen. 6:3).

6. He dwells (1 Cor. 3:16).

7. He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30).

8. He can love (Rom. 15:30).

9. He can be despised (Heb. 10:29).

10. He can be resisted (Acts 7:51).

11. He can be lied to (Acts 5:3, 4).

12. He can testify (John 15:26).

13. He can teach (John 14:26).

14. He can guide (John 16:13,14).

15. He can lead (Acts 16:6,7).

16. He can command, call and send (Acts 13:2-4).

 

            These types of actions cannot logically be assigned to an “attribute”

             But they can be descriptive of the living and active God, the Godhead, and every Member thereof,

             Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

d.      “Revelation” this revealing power of the Holy Spirit is basically what the Lord spoke of to the apostles in Mt 18:18 (YLT; NASB; turn there)

 

Mat 18:18   Truly I say to you (plural), whatever you bind on earth *shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you (plural) loose on earth *shall have been loosed in heaven. (*fut. pft. pass.)

 

e.       Because God’s word and thus will for mankind has always been decided by our all knowing  God (Ps 119:89, look there) . . .

 

Psa 119:89  For ever, O Jehovah, Thy word is settled in heaven.

 

f.       God miraculously gave selected men throughout the ages His forever settled will from heaven by the power of the Spirit (turn to John 16:12-15; 14:26),

 

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Joh 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.

Joh 16:14  He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.

Joh 16:15  All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you.

 

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.

 

g.      This would be opposed to the average individual in Christ (Jn 14:22-25)  . . .

 

Joh 14:22  Judas (not Iscariot) saith unto him, Lord, what is come to pass that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Joh 14:24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.

Joh 14:25  These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you.

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.

 

h.      The average saint through the non-miraculous indwelling of the Spirit, by the instrumentality of the word (Eph 6:17; Rom 10:17) would have God, Christ and the Spirit dwelling in them by faith (Eph 3:17-19; 2 Cor 5:6-8)

 

Eph 3:16  that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;

Eph 3:17  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph 3:18  may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

Eph 3:19  and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God.

 

2Co 5:5  Now he that wrought us for this very thing is God, who gave unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

2Co 5:6  Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord

2Co 5:7  (for we walk by faith, not by sight);

2Co 5:8  we are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.

 

i.        And they (the apostles and prophets in the Spirit) in turn delivered that (God’s) will through preaching and teaching, and they wrote those words down and are recorded in the bibles which we have today, Paul by inspiration wrote (1 Cor 14:37; 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Thess 3:14; 2 Pet 3:2).

 

1Co 14:37  If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.

 

1Th 2:13  And for this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when ye received from us the word of the message, even the word of God, ye accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also worketh in you that believe.

 

2Th 3:14  And if any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed.

 

2Pe 3:2  that ye should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles:

 

j.        Thus when one has an accurate word for word translation of the bible, one has the very words of God, which He through the power of His Spirit revealed from heaven through selected individuals, now that’s a miracle.

 

  1. So God used miracles to initiate His systems, the physical (the heavens, the earth, and all that in them is)

 

    1. And the spiritual (patriarchy, the law of Moses, that perfect law of liberty, the law of Christ, the gospel).

 

    1. He brought them (His spiritual law systems) about (created them) miraculously

 

    1. Then He revealed His will through them for His people miraculously

 

                                                              i.      In the Garden, likely verbally, the invisible God miraculously manifesting Himself to Adam and Eve

 

                                                            ii.      On Mt Sinai to Moses for 40 days (along with the 40 years in the wilderness)

 

                                                          iii.      And then to the NT apostles and prophets in the Spirit in the 1st century

 

    1. And we are blessed to have the revelation of God in its entirety, all the Truth (Jn 16:13)

 

                                                              i.      Which was once for all time delivered (Jude 3)

 

                                                            ii.      It gives us everything we need to be complete in the sight of our God (2 Tim 3:16-17)

 

                                                          iii.      All things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).

 

                                                          iv.      Therefore let us desire that pure milk of the word that we may grow thereby (1 Pet 2:2)

 

 

III. THE PURPOSE OF MIRACLES “CONFIRMATION”

 

A. Now we will look at our last, and probably most important purpose for miracles “confirmation.” These miracles were to confirm that the message that men of God delivered throughout the ages were not the musings of men, but rather were the very words of Jehovah God from heaven itself.

 

  1. Miracles were to be God’s stamp of authenticity on His message given by men.

 

  1. Yet today we see everyone, from the lowliest pentecostal disciple, to the pope, claiming to be speaking the very words of God, from God, yet often times contradicting one another and that without the confirming miracles.

 

  1. But God’s word is in perfect harmony (Ps 119:160), therefore they are, and will ever be, simply the words of men, which when followed, produce vain worship (Mt 15:9), and lead to spiritual death (Pro 14:12; Col 2:8). 

 

Pro 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death.

 

Col 2:8  Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:

 

  1. The OT teaches us that God’s miracles were meant to confirm the message of God’s spokesman (look at Ex 3:1-4:9 . . .)

 

Exo 3:1  Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb.

Exo 3:2  And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

Exo 3:3  And Moses said, I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

Exo 3:4  And when Jehovah saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

Exo 3:5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (This speaks of the purity of worship)

Exo 3:6  Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Exo 3:7  And Jehovah said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

Exo 3:8  and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

Exo 3:9  And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: moreover I have seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

Exo 3:10  Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Exo 3:11  And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Exo 3:12  And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be the token (sign) unto thee, that I have sent thee: when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. (Horeb is Sinai where God revealed the 10 commandments to Moses)

Exo 3:13  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them?

Exo 3:14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Jesus refers to Himself as “I AM” in Jn)

Exo 3:15  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Exo 3:16  Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, hath appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:

Exo 3:17  and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.

Exo 3:18  And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, hath met with us: and now let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Jehovah our God.

Exo 3:19  And I know that the king of Egypt will not give you leave to go, no, not by a mighty hand.

Exo 3:20  And I will put forth my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go. (Sometime God’s miracles are punitive)

Exo 3:21  And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty.

Exo 3:22  But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall despoil the Egyptians.

Exo 4:1  And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, Jehovah hath not appeared unto thee. (This is what people should say today to people that claim to be speaking for God)

Exo 4:2  And Jehovah said unto him, What is that in thy hand? And he said, A rod.

Exo 4:3  And he said, Cast in on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

Exo 4:4  And Jehovah said unto Moses, Put forth thy hand, and take it by the tail (and he put forth his hand, and laid hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand);

Exo 4:5  That they may believe that Jehovah, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. (Here is the purpose for these miracles)

Exo 4:6  And Jehovah said furthermore unto him, Put now thy hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow.

Exo 4:7  And he said, Put thy hand into thy bosom again. (And he put his hand into his bosom again; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.)

Exo 4:8  And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

Exo 4:9  And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe even these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

 

  1. In Ex 4:1-9 God basically states that the signs that God enabled Moses to perform were in order that they would “hearken unto thy voice” (Ex 4:9), in order that they would know that it was God’s message, and not Moses’.  Furthermore in Ex 4:12 when Moses said he was slow in speech, God said “I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say,”

 

    1. Moses would be speaking the very words of God, and the miracles were the proof of such.

 

  1. And in the NT it also declares this to be the truth, the basic function of miracles were to confirm that the words certain selected individuals were speaking, originated from God, not men.

 

    1. As seen in the case of Jesus, as asserted by Nicodemus in John 3:2 (turn there) . . .

 

Joh 3:2  the same came unto him by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him.

 

    1. This was also stated by the Lord Himself in Jn 14:10-11(look there) . . .

 

Joh 14:10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works.

Joh 14:11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

 

    1. And the miracles the apostles performed proved the same thing, that God was with them (look at Mk 16:20; Acts 14:3; Heb 2:3-4).

 

Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.

 

Act 14:3  Long time therefore they tarried there speaking boldly in the Lord, who bare witness unto the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

 

Heb 2:3  how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard;

Heb 2:4  God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will.

 

    1. As affirmed by Paul (2 Cor 12:12) . . .

 

2Co 12:12  Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience (perseverance), by signs and wonders and mighty works.

 

    1. Is the pope an apostle? Then let him step up and prove it, if not let him repent and renounce his man-made religion.

 

    1. It is also notable that we see no later prophet in the OT attempting to reconfirm the words that Moses delivered from God, as we see some asserting that they should reconfirm the NT today.

 

    1. And in Gal 3:15 Paul states that once a man’s covenant is confirmed no one changes or adds to it, thus it follows that God’s word for us today (the gospel) which was once for all time delivered (John 16:13; Jude 3) and confirmed (Mk 16:20; Acts 14:3; Heb 2:4), never needs to be reconfirmed again,

 

                                                              i.      And why should it be, it’s a perfect law for an imperfect man (Ja 1:25),

 

                                                            ii.      It completely washes away sins, and they are forever forgotten (Heb 10:17),

 

                                                          iii.      And through the renewal of the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 4:16; Eph 4:23; Tit 3:5) it is able to change the vilest of sinners into a holy person of God, in order that they may be complete in God’s eyes (2 Tim 3:17) and fitted for heaven (John 14:6; 1 Cor 11:1; Heb 12:22-23)

 

    1. Thus through the gospel of Christ, the power of God unto salvation brought forth by the miraculous (John 14:26) and the providential working of God (Mt 28:20; Mk 16:15; Luke 24:47), we have everything that is needed pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).

 

2Pe 1:3  seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue;

    1. And the only place that knowledge is available today is in the New Testament (Covenant; Heb 8:8) of Jesus Christ.

 

  1. In John the 20th chapter it is written (turn there, John 20:30-31) . . .

 

Joh 20:30  Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book:

Joh 20:31  but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.

 

  1. Also in Heb 2:3-4 . . .

 

Heb 2:3  how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard;

Heb 2:4  God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will.

 

  1. The miracles of God created mankind . . .

 

    1. They bore man along throughout time by the means of His various laws,

 

    1. They prepared man for Christ,

 

    1. They brought forth Christ from heaven; the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

 

    1. He lived, died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again and ascended into heaven, and was seen by many who testified to these facts.

 

    1. And the miracles confirmed their testimony, and we have that testimony, and is that which we call the New Testament (Covenant) of Jesus Christ

 

    1. And if the Lord don’t come in our lifetime, we will also die (Heb 9:27), and rise again (Acts 24:15), but the question is this, will it be to the resurrection of life into heaven, or the resurrection of damnation into the lake of fire (John 5:28-29),

 

    1. The choice is yours, and God’s miracles made it possible, and here’s the plan . . .

 

One must . . .

1) Hear the word of God (Acts 2:37; Rom 10:17);

 

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

We must hear or read of the gospel, this is how God plants His seed (Lk 8:11) in our hearts

 

One must . . .

2) Believe that Jesus is the Divine resurrected Christ (Acts 8:37; John 8:24; Rom 10:9), and that God rewards those that earnestly seek after Him (Heb 11:6), this is when the process of “being saved" (Lk 13:23; Acts 2:27; 1 Cor 1:18; 15:2; 2 Cor 2:15) begins, Jesus said in Jn 5:24 . . .

 

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.

 

But not faith only (Ja 2:24), which is demon like faith (Ja 2:19).

 

One must also . . .

3) Repent of sins, (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3, 5), Jesus stated . . .

 

Luk 13:3   . . .  except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.

 

Repentance is a change in mind that results in a changed life, it may be a little at a time and in differing degrees,

yet all change.

 

One must . . .

4) Confess Christ before men (Acts 8:37; Rom 10:9) as it is written . . .

 

Rom 10:9  because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:

 

One must . . .

5) Be baptized (immersed) into Christ (Gal 3:27), into the death of Christ (Rom 6:3), where His precious blood was shed (John 19:34); unto (for the purpose of) the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38; 22:16); this is the point  where one is to die to self and live unto God (Rom 6:3-14)  . . .

Rom 6:3  Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Rom 6:4  We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:5  For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection;

Rom 6:6  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;

Rom 6:7  for he that hath died is justified from sin.

Rom 6:8  But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;

Rom 6:9  knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him.

Rom 6:10  For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Rom 6:11  Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.

Rom 6:12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof:

Rom 6:13  neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.

 

One must . . .

6) And live a holy and faithful life (1 Pet 1:15; Rev 2:10; Heb 12:14), not just one day a week, but every day,

1Pe 1:15  but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living (every aspect of your lives; CEB);

1Pe 1:16  because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.

 

Heb 12:14  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (ESV)

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