Summary: Not one miracle performed by Jesus and the Apostles can be performed today by anyone claiming to have the gift of healing. Conversely, none of the so-called miracles today were done by Jesus or the Apostles.
SPIRITUAL GIFT OF HEALING
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MIRACLES OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES
PURPOSE - to focus attention on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Alleviation of suffering was a secondary benefit, not the primary reason for healing.
MIRACLE HEALING WAS A TEMPORARY SPIRITUAL GIFT:
1. The purpose of all miracles was to confirm that the apostles were preaching the word of God. Once their authority was confirmed, the gift was no longer necessary.
Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (NIV)
Acts 14:3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders. (NIV)
Romans 15:19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. (NIV)
Heb 2:4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (NIV)
2. Paul had the gift of healing when his ministry began.
Acts 19:11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, (NIV)
Acts 19:12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. (NIV)
3. Later in his ministry, he did not have the gift. It had ended.
a. He could not heal a friend and fellow Christian, Epaphroditus:
25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. (NIV)
26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.
27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. (NIV)
28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. (NIV)
29 Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, (NIV)
30 because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me. (NIV)
b. He also could not heal Trophimus, leaving him sick:
2 Tim 4:20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. (NIV)
c. Neither Paul nor anyone else healed Timothy of a stomach ailment:
1 Tim 5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. (NIV)
4. The Bible does not promise physical healing to a believer, but rather speaks of healing in a figurative way, of "spiritual healing", referring to healing from sin and spiritual death.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (NIV)
Strong’s # 7495 rapha’ (raw-faw’); or raphah (raw-faw’); a primitive root; properly, to mend (by stitching), i.e. (FIGURATIVELY) TO CURE: KJV-- cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, X thoroughly, make whole. See 7503. (DIC)
1 Pet. 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (NIV)
Strong’s # 2390 iaomai (ee-ah’-om-ahee); middle voice of apparently a primary verb; TO CURE (LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY): KJV-- heal, make whole. (DIC)
5. The Bible tells us to expect trials and sufferings as the result of being a Christian, to rejoice that we participate in the sufferings of Christ.
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (NIV)
DISTINCTIONS IN CHARACTER
The miracles of Jesus and the apostles were vastly distinct in character from all so-called "healing miracles" allegedly performed today. I’m going to make two statements that are absolute and plain to see if you compare the miracles in the Bible with the performances done today:
- NOT ONE MIRACLE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT can be verifiably performed today.
- NOT ONE SO-CALLED "MIRACLE" DONE TODAY was performed in the New Testament.