Dr. Louis Berkhof observed that the skeptic’s biggest objection against miracles was that they violated the normal laws of nature (Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 176). However, Dr. J. Oliver Buswell said, “Miracles are not violations of natural law … they are intelligent acts of a personal God.”
Natural to us and natural to God are two different things. He went on to say there is no logical problem for God to act in raising a dead person just as there is no logical problem for a man to act in raising his hand (Buswell, Systematic Theology, pp. 181-182). We give signs and signals by raising our hands all of the time. We wave “hello” or wave “goodbye” with hand signals. Just as we do this by raising our hand, God can give His sign or signal by raising one who is dead.
God’s signs are far beyond and above our signs. Supernatural miracles are not about what is normal and natural for us, but what is normal and natural for God. It is perfectly natural for God to create something that is so stupendous that we still can’t figure it out thousands of years later (i.e. body, brain). God can act well within what is natural for Him when He decides to reverse gravity for He made gravity. What is natural to Him is way out of our natural realm.
A miracle is not a violation of His natural cause and effect laws; it is simply some new effect He causes by His supernatural means. To argue from our miniscule perspective what God is or is not capable of doing is very foolish. What is actually needed to prove that a miracle has really taken place is good, reliable, and credible eye-witnesses.
The Bible is filled with such witnesses and some of them were heathens, not believers: 1) Acts 3:1-4:22 (3:4, 6-10; 4:1, 5-6, 16); 2) Acts 14:8-23 (14:8-13); 3) Acts 16:25-29. But in all reality, the greatest witness to miracles is a God who cannot possibly lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2).
Ada Habershon really gets at the heart of the matter of those who deny miracles when she said that those who try to explain away the miraculous are just trying to live life by “leaving out God” (The Study of the Miracles, p. 6). The apostle Paul warned Timothy of the existence of a worldly, false scientific knowledge that existed in his day (I Timothy 6:20) and would intensify as the Church Age wound down (II Timothy 4:3). He told Timothy to “guard” the truth and “avoid” the pseudo-intellectuals. Any who disbelieve miracles disbelieve the Bible. They do not have a developed intellect, but a deformed intellect.
True science based on true scientific fact will always lead to God. Dr. Habershon said it is important that as we learn more of science, we also learn more about the God about whose work science speaks (Ibid., p. 9). A true scientist who understands the normal laws of nature ought to be the first to testify and defend the miraculous that God has done that has gone far beyond those normal laws.
What are the Main Time Zones of the “Signs” and “Wonders” Miracles?
With the exception of the Church Epistles and the seven churches of Revelation, there are “signs” and “wonders” miracles scattered throughout the entire Bible. Dr. Herbert Lockyer has done a good job of tracking all of this in his book All the Miracles of the Bible. However, as we carefully search the Scriptures to systematically catalogue these miracles, we discover that the vast majority of the “signs and wonders” miracles occur in four main biblical time zones:
Time Zone #1—TheTime Zone of Moses and Joshua (1400 B.C.)
This is the time zone that began the Old Testament Law. Israel was in slavery and had forgotten about God. Thirty of the O.T. miracles occur during this period. In this particular time zone are the plagues and miracles of the Exodus and the miracles surrounding Israel leaving Egypt and entering the Promised Land. The obvious purpose of the miracles was to show Israel and the rest of the world that God was with Israel and that God had not forgotten about her.
Time Zone #2—The Time Zone of Elijah and Elisha (850 B.C.)
This was the age of the prophets and Israel’s apostasy. The miracles done by the prophets prove that miracles are not a sign of spirituality, for Israel was given over to idolatrous compromise, including the worship of Baal. Twenty-three of the Old Testament miracles occur during this time zone. There was a long period of spiritual decline after Joshua, during the days of the Judges, until the time of David and Solomon.
During that time miracles were far and few between. Then the Israelites fell into terrible idolatry, so God raised up two key prophets to call Israel back to Him. God used Elijah and Elisha and their “signs and wonders” miracles to bring the nation back and restore true worship. Dr. Buswell observed that from the time of Elijah and Elisha until the time of Christ and the Apostles, “miracles were very few” (A Systematic Theology of Christian Religion, p. 178).
Time Zone #3—The Time Zone of Jesus and His Apostles (A.D. 30-60)
Here is the greatest epoch time of miracles in all of history. The truth is ,we don’t even know how many miracles Jesus actually did (John 20:30). A minimum of 59 of the miracles of the Bible occur during this time zone. Jesus was presenting Himself as Israel’s Messiah and then His apostles were presenting truth that said God’s program had moved out from Israel to the Gentile world. The “signs and wonders” miracles were critical in establishing the truth of all of this. In fact, the Church Age sign of languages (“tongues”) said to an unbelieving Israel that God’s program was swinging out to Gentile nations.
Time Zone #4 —The Time Zone of the Great Tribulation (Future)
During the Great Tribulation “signs and wonders” miracles will dominate the entire seven years. There will be seven seal judgments which feature seven trumpet and seven bowl judgments that unleash a barrage of the miraculous. God will authorize Satan and his Antichrist and demons to do miraculous things during this time as well. It is no coincidence that one of the key focal points of God during the Tribulation will be the nation Israel (i.e. Revelation 7:4-8)
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.