Why does God, at times, do the miraculous? Because miracles reveal truth about God’s sovereign, glorious character (John 11:40 ). When a miracle is viewed properly it is viewed as a revelatory act that glorifies God and communicates truth about Him (John 11:40). God is a majestic, omnipotent and sovereign God and He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants. He is not limited by time, space or matter like us. Miracles remind finite people that He is an Infinite God!
It is our contention that those who are looking for the “signs” and “wonders” miracles at this time in the Church Age cannot possibly glorify God because they actually miss the miraculous things God is presently doing to glorify Himself. Because miracles are, at specific times, important to God’s different dispensational programs and times.
Miracles are not a bunch of random supernatural acts, they have specific purposes at specific times. In fact, as we will see, God does the miraculous at certain, specific times to demonstrate a change in His dispensational time program and most of the time the change has something to do with Israel . Dr. Pentecost said, “Miracles were especially designed by God to convey a message to the nation Israel” (The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, p. 118). In fact, it was Paul who said “Jews ask for signs” (I Corinthians 1:22).
For example, during the wrath time of the Tribulation, which will re-gather Israel, spectacular judgmental miracles will be packed into a seven-year period of time, which will feature one powerful display right after another. This will leave the entire world standing in awe of the wrath of God and His miraculous power (Revelation 6:13-17). These miracles will send a message to the world that says “You are presently in a Divine Time Zone of Judgment.”
Miracles have served to reveal the credentials of those who were truly approved by God to communicate His Word. The vast majority of great biblical people did not do or perform any mighty miracle. For example, there is no record of men like Noah, Job, Abraham, David or Solomon performing some mighty miracle. Certainly all named experienced God’s amazing power, and accomplished some amazing things, but they did not walk in before someone and do some spectacular miracle, like healing some sick person or raising a dead person.
Even Daniel, who certainly was able to do some amazing things, would have had a perfect opportunity to perform a miraculous healing of Nebuchadnezzar’s mind, but he had no such power (Daniel 4:28-37). Miracles became the credentials for an elite few in Scripture. For example, miracles validated Moses as the leader of the nation Israel (Exodus 14:31; Deuteronomy 34:11-12); they validated Jesus as Messiah, Savior and God (Acts 2:22); and they validated all of Christ’s apostles (Acts 5:12; II Corinthians 12:12). God initially performed miracles through these men to substantiate who was truly approved by Him.
Once they were established and known, their miracle working ability ceased. We would naturally expect false teachers and promoters of false doctrine to be able to do the satanically miraculous, especially in a non-sign-and-wonder miraculous time zone. There would be no better deceptive trick than for Satan to have his agents do miraculous things in a time when God’s true servants don’t do those kinds of things. If Satan could sidetrack people from what God is actually miraculously doing, it would be a very effective tactic.
Because miracles served to generate faith in Christ (John 10:25, 38; 14:11; 20:30-31), the greatest number of miracles in all of history occurred during the ministry of Jesus Christ and His apostles. Fifty-seven specific known miracles were performed during this time. If miracles are viewed properly, they should produce faith in the unseen God, not the “seen” miracle.
It is certainly not wrong if one would believe on Jesus Christ because of the miracles He performed, but it is rare (John 10:37, 38). The fact is many who actually saw spectacular miracles did not and would not believe (Luke 16:31; John 12:31, 37). The problem with just looking at a miracle is that the miracle doesn’t have the power to change the heart.
As Dr. Chafer observed, “A miracle might incite wonder, argument, or curiosity; but it would not have the power to engender in the heart conviction of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, nor could it create that inner thirst for the Water of life apart from which there is no person-al, intelligent appropriation of Christ as Savior” (Vol. 5, p. 172).
(To be continued in my next article, “How Does God Actually Perform Miracles?”)
Pastor David E. Thompson is pastor/teacher at Texas Corners Bible Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a nationally syndicated radio show reaching all across the United States. Pastor Thompson may be classified as a true systematic Bible expositor and communicator of God’s Word. He carefully expounds books of the Bible in a way that is contextually, exegetically, grammatically, historically, and theologically accurate to the text and relevant to the time. He is also an very skilled in New Testament Greek.