Have miracles ceased? Not too long ago a friend asked, “Where do you preachers get that ALL miracles have ceased?” He later indicated that if miracles have ceased then there is no need to pray for the sick. We hear others make statements like these: “Every time a baby is born a miracle takes place”; and “When a seed is sown and comes up as a plant instead of a seed, that is a miracle.” Some are even teaching today that conversion is a miracle wrought by God on the sinner. That is Calvinism and puts ALL the burden of salvation on God. I understand that one prominent preacher among us is teaching that there is nothing for a man to do in the plan of salvation: it is entirely up to God. That, of course, would mean either universal salvation or else it would be God’s fault any time an individual was lost. Both ideas are absurd and not substantiated by ANY passage of Scripture.
In 1 Corinthians 12-14 Paul deals rather completely with the miraculous spiritual gifts in the church at Corinth. In chapter 13 he uses three examples to show that ALL miracles were to cease. In verse 9-10 he compares knowing in part and prophesying in part (the Miraculous Age) with that which is perfect and complete. Paul said that during the time of miraculous gifts they only know in part. They did not have the complete revelation. But when that revelation was perfected (completed) then that which was in part (miracles) would be done away. In verse 11 Paul compares the period of miracles as childhood and the period of complete revelation as manhood. The church in her infancy needed miraculous spiritual gifts in order to reveal, confirm and teach the precious gospel of Christ. After the complete will of Christ was revealed and confirmed and written down for all ages, there was no further need for those gifts. They passed out of existence. Just as one uses scaffolding in building a building and then removes the scaffolding after the building is completed, the age of miracles served the early infant church as a type of scaffolding until the complete will was perfected, revealed and confirmed. Finally in verse 12 Paul compares the Miraculous Age to looking into a glass darkly, getting only a faint picture. The age following is compared to looking face to face.
Why would anyone want to take the church back to the period of infancy? What purpose would miracles serve today? If one does not believe the Word of God which has been confirmed by miracles, he would not believe in the face of a miracle today either. Much confusion also exists because men do not recognize the definition of a miracle. A miracle occurs when God’s laws are by-passed (as the resurrection of Lazarus) or when something stands in opposition to the laws of Nature (as in the parting of the Red Sea). There may be other definitions that can be added, but this should enable us to see that the birth of a child, the growing of a plant from a seed, or conversion are not miracles; they all occur according to God’s divine laws.
Reader, read the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians. Study it carefully. You can easily see that all miracles have indeed been done away because we no longer have any use for them. They fact remains that we either have the entire Word of God and thus do not need miracles, or else we do not have the entire Word of God and thus still need miracles today. It is obvious from 1 Corinthians 12-14 that the former is true.
–PAUL M. WILMOTH
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