III. Confirmation by miracles.
A. The truthfulness of the prophets and the apostles were confirmed by supernatural miracles.
Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists:
“In the fourth place, as to the conformity of their testimony with experience. The title of the evangelists to full credit for veracity would be readily conceded by the objector, if the facts they relate were such as ordinarily occur in human experience, and on this circumstance an argument is founded against their credibility. Miracles, say the objectors, are impossible; and therefore the evangelists were either deceivers or deceived; and in either case their narratives against the possibility of miracles, was founded on the broad and bold assumption that all things are governed by immutable laws, or fixed modes of motion and relation, termed the laws of nature, by which God himself is of necessity bound. This erroneous assumption is the tortoise, on which stands the elephant which upholds his system of atheism. He does not inform us who made these immutable laws, nor whence they derive their binding force and irresistible operation. The argument supposes that the creator of all things first made a code of laws, and then put it out of his own power to change them. The scheme of Mr. Hume is but another form of the same error. He deduces the existence of such immutable laws from the uniform course of human experience.
This, he affirms, is our only guide in reasoning concerning matters of fact; and whatever is contrary to human experience, he pronounces incredible. Without stopping to examine the correctness of this doctrine, as a fundamental principle in the law of evidence, it is sufficient in this place to remark, that it contains this fallacy: it excludes all knowledge derived by inference or deduction from facts, confining us to what we derive from experience alone, and thus depriving us of any knowledge, or even rational belief, or the existence or character of God. Nay more, it goes to prove that successive generations of men can make no advancement in knowledge, but each must begin de novo, and be limited to the results of his own experience. But if we may infer, from what we see and know, that there is a Supreme Being, by whom this world was created, we may certainly, and with equal reason, believe him capable of works which we have never yet known him to perform. We may fairly conclude that the power which was originally put forth to create the world is still constantly and without ceasing exerted to sustain it; and that the experienced connection between cause and effect is but the uniform and constantly active operation of the finger of God. Whether this uniformity of operation extends to things beyond the limits of our observation, is a point we cannot certainly know. Its existence in all things that ordinarily concern us may be supposed to be ordained as conducive to our happiness; and if the belief in a revelation of peace and mercy from god is conducive to the happiness of man, it is not irrational to suppose that he would depart from his ordinary course of action, in order to give it such attestations as should tend to secure that belief. “A miracle is improbable, when we can perceive no sufficient cause, in reference to his creatures, why the Deity should not vary his modes of operation; it ceases to be so, when such cause is assigned.”
But the full discussion of the subject of miracles forms no part of the present design. Their credibility has been fully established, and the objections of skeptics most satisfactorily met and overthrown, by the ablest writers of our own day, whose works are easily accessible. Thus much, however, may here be remarked; that in almost every miracle related by the evangelists, the facts, separately taken, were plain, intelligible, transpiring in public, and about which no person of ordinary observation would be like to mistake. Persons blind or cripple, who applied to Jesus for relief, were known to have been crippled or blind for many years; they came to be cured; he spoke to them; they went away whole. Lazarus had been dead and buried four days; Jesus called him to come forth from the grave; he immediately came forth, and was seen alive for a long time afterwards. In every case of healing, the previous condition of the sufferer was known to all witnessed the act of Jesus in touching him, and heard his words. All these, separately considered, were facts, plain and simple in their nature, easily seen and fully comprehended by persons of common capacity and observation. If they were separately testified to, by different witnesses of ordinary intelligence and integrity, in any court of justice, the jury would be bound to believe them; and a verdict, rendered contrary to the uncontradicted testimony of credible witnesses to any of these plain facts, separately taken, would be liable to be set aside, as a verdict against evidence. If one credible witness testified to the fact, that Bartimeus was blind, according to the uniform course of administering justice, this fact would be taken as satisfactorily proved. So also, if his subsequent restoration to sight were the sole fact in question, this also would be deemed established, by the like evidence. Nor would the rule of evidence be at all different, if the fact to be proved were the declaration of Jesus, immediately preceding his restoration to sight, that his faith had made him whole. In each of these cases, each isolated fact was capable of being accurately observed, and certainly known; and the evidence demands our assent, precisely as the like evidence upon any other indifferent subject. The connection of the word or the act of Jesus with the restoration of the blind, lame and dead, to sight, and health, and life, as cause and effect, is a conclusion which our reason is compelled to admit, from the uniformity of their concurrence, in such a multitude of instances, as well as from the universal conviction of all, whether friends or foes, who beheld the miracles which he wrought. Indeed, if the truth of one of the miracles is satisfactorily established, our belief cannot reasonably be withheld from them all. This is the issue proposed by Dr. Paley, in regard to the evidence of the death of Jesus upon the cross, and his subsequent resurrection, the truth of which he has established in an argument incapable of refutation.”
1 Then Moses answered and said, “But
will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, “The LORD
appeared to you.”‘
2So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
He said, “A rod.”
3And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), 5”that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
6Furthermore the LORD said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. 7And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. 8”Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. 9And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river [That is, the
1 Now the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, 2and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.”
2 Hear this, you elders,
“Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.
Then the LORD said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?
because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice,
Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against
So the LORD brought us out of
the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great wonders.
in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land,
And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed.
And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.
1 Samuel 10:9
So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.
1 Kings 18:1-46
1 And it came to pass after many days
word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go,
yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.”
2So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab; and there was a severe famine in
7Now as Obadiah was on his way, suddenly Elijah met him; and he recognized him, and fell on his face, and said, “Is that you, my lord Elijah?”
8And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here.”‘
9So he said, “How have I sinned, that you are delivering your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they said, “He is not here,’ he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they could not find you. 11And now you say, “Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here”‘! 12And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the LORD from my youth. 13Was it not reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, how I hid one hundred men of the LORD’s prophets, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14And now you say, “Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here.”‘ He will kill me!”
15Then Elijah said, “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely present myself to him today.”
16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
17Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”
18And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. 19Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, [A Canaanite goddess] who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. 21And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. 24Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.”
So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”
25Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.”
26So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.
27And so it was, at , that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29And when was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.
30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “
36And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
38Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!”
40And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.
41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of
So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”
44Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, “Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.”‘
45Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. 46Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.
You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, Against all his servants, And against all the people of his land. For You knew that they acted proudly against them. So You made a name for Yourself, as it is this day.
They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion [Following Masoretic Text and Vulgate; Septuagint reads in
He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number.
They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs; You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.
I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them.
When He worked His signs in
And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints.
Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.
Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
They performed His signs among them, And wonders in the
Our fathers in
They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
He sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt, Upon Pharaoh and all his servants.
To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever;
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. [Literally God-With-Us]
And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.
And this is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing which He has spoken:
You have set signs and wonders in the
You have brought Your people
And this shall be a sign to you,’ says the LORD, “that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for adversity.’
I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.
How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation.
He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
4Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
38 Then some of the scribes and
Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
29 And while the crowds were
thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil
generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to
it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. [NU-Text omits the prophet] 30For as Jonah became a sign to
the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the
men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of
the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than
Solomon is here. 32The men of
The miraculous feeding of over 5000.
13 When Jesus heard it, He
departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when
the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
14And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was
moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15When
it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted
place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that
they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
30 Then the apostles gathered to
Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they
had taught. 31And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves
to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and
going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32So they
departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
10 And the apostles, when they
had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and
went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called
1 After these things Jesus went
But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. [Verses 9-20 are bracketed in NU-Text as not original. They are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them]
Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.
And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.
1 On the third day there was a wedding
in Cana of
Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Now both Jesus
disciples were invited to the wedding. 3And when they ran
wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
4Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
5His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
6Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
11This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
Now when He was in
This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
1 After this there was a feast of the
Jesus went up to
7The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath. 10The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
11He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, “Take up your bed and walk.”‘
12Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, “Take up your bed and walk’?” 13But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
15The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”
Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of
38 Then Jesus, again groaning in
Himself, came to
the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39Jesus
away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
40Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. [NU-Text omits from the place where the dead man was lying] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.
Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.
36While you have the light,
believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things
Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—
Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
15But when they had commanded them to
out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16saying,
shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle
has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in
29Now, Lord, look on their threats, and
Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30by
stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs
and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant
31And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
12 And through the hands of the
apostles many signs and wonders were done among
the people. And they were all with one
accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13Yet none of the rest dared
them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14And believers
increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds
couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on
them. 16Also a multitude
gathered from the surrounding cities to
And Stephen, full of faith [NU-Text reads grace] and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the
And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to
6Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.
Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
18For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient-- 19in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation,
Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.
10Therefore I take pleasure in
reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s
when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have become a fool in boasting; [NU-Text omits in boasting] you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. 12Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.
1 Therefore we must give the more
earnest heed to
the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2For if the
spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and
disobedience received a just reward, 3how shall we escape if
neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by
Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4God also bearing witness both with signs
and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit,
to His own will?
significance of miracles is discussed at the following links:
Dr. Norman Geisler. “Miracles,”
Dr. Norman Geisler. “Miracles: Providing Validation for the Christian Faith—Part One,”
Dr. Norman Geisler. “Miracles: Providing Validation for the Christian Faith—Part Two,”
Glenn Miller. “Good question--Did the NT authors invent the miracle stories in the gospels?”
“Were the Miracles of Jesus invented by the Disciples/Evangelists?”
B. The prophets and apostles
counterfeits, and encouraged testing.
1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods’--which you have not known--”and let us serve them,’ 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.
Fierce witnesses rise up; They ask me things that I do not know.
He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit.
A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies.
A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks lies.
A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.
Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
Woe to you [NU-Text and M-Text omit to you] when all [M-Text omits all] men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
10 Then the brethren immediately sent
Silas away by night to
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
links for further edification:
Glenn Miller. “Critically Examine Everything?” http://www.christian-thinktank.com/everythg.html
Dr. Norman Geisler. “False miracles—Part One,” http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/theological-dictionary/TD1102W3.htm
Dr. Norman Geisler. “False miracles—Part Two,” http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/theological-dictionary/TD1202W1.htm
Dr. Norman Geisler. “False miracles—Part Three,” http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/theological-dictionary/TD1202W3.htm
Dr. Norman Geisler. “Magic and miracles,” http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/theological-dictionary/TD1102W1.htm
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