Q: #107. Are there still miracles today?
By: Steve Shirley
A: This is a VERY difficult question for me to answer. I guess the main reason why is because it is hard to define what a miracle truly is. What one person calls a miracle, another does not.
In the Bible, there were dozens of miracles that no one would question were miracles. For example, with Moses and the Israelites:
Aaron's rod turned into a snake (Ex 7:8-10).
Plagues came upon Egypt (Ex 7-12).
Water came out of a rock (Ex 17:1-7)(Num 20:1-13).
Moses parted the Red Sea (Ex 14:21).
Bread (manna) fell from Heaven (Ex 16:1-36).
We also have the many miracles Jesus performed such as:
Feeding 5000 from a loaf of bread and two fish (Mt 14:15-21).
Walking on water (Mt 14:22-23).
Calming a storm (Mt 8:22-27)(Mk 4:35-41).
Turning water into wine (Jn 2:1-11).
Raising Lazarus from the dead after four days (Jn 11:1-45).
Giving sight to a man who was blind from birth (Jn 9:1-7).
No one ever doubted these were miracles. However, what about things we see today such as sicknesses being cured, someone not being injured in an accident when they should have been, hurricanes breaking up in the open sea, etc... Aren't these miracles too? Yes, I believe they are, but there is a difference between these miracles and the miracles above (which I will now call "Biblical Miracles"). The difference between "Biblical Miracles" and the ones I just mentioned is that the ones just mentioned can be explained away by critics as just "luck" or "random chance."
Ok, now here is where it gets tricky... Many scholars make a distinction between Biblical miracles and the others. The Biblical miracles are called true miracles, and the others are called "Acts of Providence." Biblical miracles being acts for which no rational or natural explanation could be given, and Acts of Providence being things which could be explained away. Those who hold these views believe that the Biblical miracles are no longer for today, while Acts of Providence do occur today.
The main reason why they do not believe Biblical Miracles are for today is because they were given to confirm people were sent from God. Jesus said in a number of places that His miracles were done to confirm He was from God (Jn 3:2)(Jn 5:36)(Mk 2:10-12), and so that people would believe in Him (Jn 10:37-38)(Jn 20:30-31)(Mt 11:2-6). (Other places showing this: Acts 2:22, Heb 2:3-4). In addition, miracles confirmed that the revelation God's representatives were giving was from Him. However, because we now have God's complete revelation in the Bible, Biblical miracles are no longer needed to confirm a person is from God.
I see this as a reasonable explanation. Personally, I see no CONFIRMABLE evidence that the dead are rising today (I know there are many claims it has happened), I am unaware of any confirmable evidence that water is coming from rocks, bread is falling from Heaven, seas are parting, people are walking on water, etc...
On the other hand, I HAVE seen thousands of Acts of Providence occur. Many of these have occurred in my own life. I have seen God protect me in certain situations, heal me when I am sick, provide for me when I have needed it, etc... Just the fact that God saved me when I was such a godless mess was amazing.
Are these things that happened to me miracles? I sure consider them miracles. Would other Christians consider them miracles? Maybe. Would non-Christians consider them miracles? Very unlikely. This is why I believe we need to make a distinction in the types of "miracles" that occur today. An unbeliever rarely, if ever, questioned the supernatural origin of a miracle from God in the Bible (Ex 8:18-19)(Acts 14:11). However, they might do so with the Acts of Providence miracles we continually see today. So, as I see it, God no longer provides Biblical miracles so that people will believe or believe God is with some person, but He DOES provide these smaller Acts of Providence, which I feel are miracles as well, but are not meant to make people believe.
Let me also add here that the Bible does say that God can work through some people to perform miracles (As stated above, these would be Acts of Providence such as being used to help heal the sick, and not Biblical Miracles such as raising the dead). This is listed as a spiritual gift some people have been given (1 Cor 12:10,28). Personally, I do not believe any spiritual gift has ended as some believe, but I do believe that some have changed such as a prophet, but that is for another lesson.
Many of these gifts are also being fraudulently represented as being from God when they are not, and healing is one of them. We have much proof, for example, that many of the "healing" claims made by so-called "healing ministries" are not healings at all... This is a shame, and a hindrance to the cause of Christ, for which these people will answer one day.
The Bible also clearly shows us that miracles can occur that are NOT from God. These occurred in the Bible (Acts 8:9-13)(Ex 7:8-12)(Ex 7:20-22)(Ex 8:1-7) and will occur in the end times (Mt 24:24)(Mk 13:22)(Rev 13:14)(Rev 16:14)(Rev 19:20). Many people in the past, today, and in the future, have been and will be fooled into believing some miracles are from God when they are not. We are warned about people who perform false miracles in the Bible (Mt 7:22-23)(2 Thess 2:9-10).
Satan and His demons counterfeit the things of God (See: Q: #34.) They can counterfeit miracles. There are also people who belong to Satan who can counterfeit them as well. Do not believe every miracle is always from God.