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MIRACLES:

The Characteristics of Bible Miracles

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    There are many religious groups who teach that miracles can still be performed by man.

 

B.      There are many men who go around the world acting as if they are miracle workers.

 

C.     We are told that about 80% of Americans believe that miracles still happen.

 

D.    Three things would stop the deception.

1.      Honesty

2.      A study of Acts 8:14-18a, I Corinthians 13:8-13 and Ephesians 4:7-14

3.      A study of the characteristics of Bible miracles

 

E.      In this lesson, we want to focus our attention on the last thing mentioned:  “The Characteristics of Bible Miracles.”

 

I.                   BIBLE MIRACLES INVOLVED A HOST OF ACTIONS

 

A.    Bible miracles were not confined to just sickness and illness that are on the inside of man.

 

B.      Bible miracles involve all kinds of things.

1.      Healing blindness, deafness, seizures, leprosy, issue of blood

2.      Raising the dead

3.      Turning water into wine

4.      Feeding multitudes with small amounts of food

5.      Stilling storms

6.      Restoring limbs

7.      No effect from poisonous snake bites

8.      Walking on water

9.      Casting out demons

10.  Causing an axe head to float

11.  Parting the waters of a sea

12.  Producing an abundance of fish

13.  Ten plagues

14.  Stilling of the sun

15.  Barren women given children

16.  Money found in a fish’s mouth

17.  Fig tree destroyed

18.  Armies destroyed

19.  Rain withheld from the earth

20.  Remaining alive in a blazing fire

21.  Remaining alive in a den of hungry lions

22.  Water provided to thousands in the wilderness

23.  Surviving in a fish’s belly for 3 days

24.  A donkey speaks

25.  A nation afflicted with emrods

 

C.     These kinds of miracles are NOT performed by so-called miracle workers today.

 

II.                BIBLE MIRACLES WENT BEYOND NATURAL LAW, DISTANCE, AND TIME

 

A.    Many things that involve natural law are called miracles today:  the birth of a child, surviving a car wreck, recovering from an illness.

 

B.      Miracles workers want the individual present in order to heal him.

 

C.     Miracles works are not able to influence time in any way.

 

D.    Bible miracles went beyond all of these things.

1.      Beyond natural law.

a.      Natural law says that two or three pounds of iron will never float in water.

b.      II Kings 6:6

 

But the man of God sad, Where fell it?  And he showed him the place.  And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

 

2.      Beyond distance

a.      When we are sick, the doctor wants to see us in order to evaluate our condition so we can be treated.

b.      Jesus healed individuals He did not see (John 4:49-53, esp. 53).

1)      A nobleman requested for Jesus to come and heal his son.

2)      Jesus did not go, but said:  “Thy son liveth.”

3)      The nobleman was met by his servants as he went home and they told him, “Thy son liveth.”

4)      He asked them when he began to improve.  They said:  “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”

5)      John 4:53

 

So the father knew that is was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth:  and himself believed, and his whole house.

 

3.      Beyond time (Joshua’s battle with the Amorites, Josh. 10:12-13a).

 

Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israle, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.

 

III.             BIBLE MIRACLES WERE IMMEDIATE

 

A.    When we watch the miracle workers on TV, they take a long time to bring the so-called miracle to pass. 

1.      They pray over and over.

2.      They rebuke the unclean spirit numerous times.

3.      They have to start all over again.

 

B.      Bible miracles were instantaneous.

1.      A blind man (Mark 10:51-52).

 

…And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

 

2.      Peter heals the lame man (Acts 3:6-7).

 

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up:  and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

 

IV.             BIBLE MIRACLES DID NOT ALWAYS REQUIRE FAITH

 

A.    There are numerous examples of individuals who were healed who did not demonstrate faith.

1.      Lazarus was dead when Jesus brought him from the grave (John 11:43-44).

2.      The faith of the centurion cause his servant to be healed (Matt. 8:5-10)

3.      Jesus healed the paralyzed man because of the faith of those who bore him (Mark 2:3-5).

4.      Jesus healed the ear of Malchus and he did not express any faith in Jesus (Luke 22:51).

 

B.      Of the 35 miracles Jesus performed, only 10 of them involve the faith of the recipients.

 

V.                BIBLE MIRACLES COULD NOT BE DENIED

 

A.    When we watch “faith healers” perform their so-called miracles, we really doubt the veracity of their miracles.  Sometimes, we almost laugh at them.

 

B.      Bible miracles, however, could not be doubted.

1.      The third plague on Egypt was convincing (Exo. 8:19).

 

Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God…

 

2.      The Pharisees of the miracles of Jesus (John 11:47)

 

Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we?  For this man doeth many miracles.

 

3.      The council of the Jews after Peter healed the lame man (Acts 4:16).

 

…What shall we do to these men?  For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem and we cannot deny it.

 

VI.             BIBLE MIRACLES CAUSED OTHERS TO WONDER IN AMAZEMENT

 

A.    There are many miracles recorded in the Scriptures wherein those who beheld them were astonished.

1.      The stilling of the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 8:27)

 

But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

 

 

 

2.      The removal of an unclean spirit (Mark 1:27)

 

And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this?  What new doctrine is this?  For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

 

B.      It is interesting that one of the words the Holy Spirit used to describe miracles is the word “wonder” because of the effects the miracles had upon those who saw them (Acts 2:22, 43).

 

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know…and fear came upon every soul:  and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

 

VII.          BIBLE MIRACLES INVOLVED NO DECEPTION

 

A.    In the Bible, we read of “lying wonders” (II Thess. 2:9) and “sleight of men and cunning craftiness” (Eph. 4:14).  These works involve stunts of men that are “fake” miracles. 

 

B.      There have been many miracle workers who have been exposed for working lying wonders.

1.      Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:11)

2.      Bennie Hinn

3.      Robert Tilton

 

C.     The miracles of the Bible were always real.  There was no deception at all.  Those who performed them were never accused of deception.

1.      Jesus (John 3:2).

 

…Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:  for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

 

2.      Paul’s argument to the Galatians based on miracles (Gal. 3:2, 5)

 

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?...He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

 

VIII.       BIBLE MIRACLES WERE DONE AMONG MANY CREDIBLE WITNESSES

 

A.    When Jesus fed the multitudes, there were thousands there.

1.      Four thousand on one occasion (Mark 15:38).

2.      Five thousand men, not including women and children, on another occasion (Matt. 14:21).

 

B.      Oftentimes the ones who behold the miracles and acknowledged them were

1.      Enemies (Ex., the Jewish council, Acts 4:16)

2.      Idolaters:  many of the Ephesians were healed by having the handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul touched (Acts 19:11-12).

3.      Non-Christians:  the barbarous people of Melita, (Acts 28:3-6)

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    Bible miracles and the miracles that men perform today are diametrically opposed.

 

B.      If men could really perform miracles, all would know it.  There would be no way to deny it.

 

C.     Do your miracles in the same way they were done in the Bible. 

Do the type of miracles they did.

Do the number of miracles they did.

 

D.    The reality is that the proof is in the pudding and the so-call miracle workers have no pudding just a lot of wiggly jello.