This first appeared on The End Time in July 2011
By Elizabeth Prata
Today’s people want miracles. They want fabulous signs and wonders, and flock to places where they think God is performing them. I happen to believe that once the scriptures were closed that the signs and miracles all but ceased. God used the signs and wonders through His designated apostles (the 12 plus Paul) to authenticate the performer of those miracles as being from God. Acts 2:22 says, “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” 2 Corinthians 12:12 says, “The things that mark an apostle—signs, wonders and miracles—were done among you with great perseverance”. Hebrews 2:4 says of the Gospel, “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.”
Once the canon was set, once the apostles were dead, the signs ceased, because we now had the miracle of God revealed in His closed Word. In my opinion that is why we don’t see the large swathe of validated miracles and signs occurring today.
I’d like to make a distinction about the Tribulation. During that 7-year judgment period, there will be signs, wonders, and miracles. Many will be false (Matthew 24:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). Some of them will be true: (Revelation 11:1-6; Revelation 14:6-9). The very judgments themselves will be miracles, in that the laws of physics will be set aside and magnificent but deadly miracles will occur such as oceans turning to blood and 100 pound hailstones, and a sun that goes dark.
But between the period of the close of the canon/the death of the original apostles, and the Tribulation, showy miracles, especially those performed by apostles or disciples, have ended. In His wisdom here and there the Lord may certainly perform a sign in His sovereign will. In Mark 8:12 Jesus sighed deeply and asked of the people, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” He was saying that their belief rested in the show and not in faith. It is like that today.
Back to the clamor for miracles. In the ever-questioning God’s authority, emergent church, counter-reformation, ‘God spoke to me’ generation, they want a show. They desire a sign that will confirm the faith. But I remind us all, we overlook the miracles every day! There are so many. But they are getting lost in the clamor.
What about the miracle of a sinner repenting and coming to faith? It is the greatest act of a Holy God to draw a sinner to Himself for cleansing in redemption and forgiveness. It never fails to make me cry to see someone set aside the old man and ask Jesus to take over their life. It is a miracle of the Holy Spirit, since no man can make that decision for himself, being completely craven. (John 6:44).
What about an adulterous marriage restored through faith and love? It is a miracle, because they chose God as their foundation and not their lusts.
What about a teen or youth involved in cults, or cutting, or depressed and suicidal, brought to joy in the Lord after prayer and tearful prayers of the family and church?
What about the birth of a child? Each child, formed by the Lord Himself. (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13). What about answered prayer? A miracle that we have a God who listens to His people, though he is so High and we are so low. He listens and responds to us. A miracle. These are miracles. I praise the Lord for them all.
The quiet miracles from the Holy Spirit’s work are daily occurring around us. Take some time to thank Him for them. They are just as powerful, if not a more powerful witness to His everlasting love in this deeply fallen world.