MIRACLES, sometimes translated “signs” and “wonders”. They are contrary to the laws of nature, and that is why they are called “miracles”! God made nature and its laws and He can change these laws and work miracles at any time He desires. Christians today, through prayer can call upon the Lord to work, as will be brought out, but the question is, can Christians still work the miracles of the apostles? “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (Matthew 10:1, Mark 3:14-19, Luke 9:1) The apostles were given special power that the average Christian does not have today, and did not have even in the days of the apostles. II Corinthians 12:12 “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” If these were for all Christians, it never would have called them “the signs of an apostle”.
Some have used John 14:12 to teach that we should still be doing the same miracles as the apostles. “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12) But in the context, Christ was speaking to the apostles and it was for that time period. In the first century the “the signs of an apostle”, were for the apostles, and a few sent out by them (as Stephen and Philip the evangelist). All Christians did not go around working miracles; for example, it was necessary to call Peter to raise Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-42). Acts 2:43 tells us that the ones who where performing these miracles were the apostles. “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” Again in Acts 5:11-12 “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people….” There were thousands who were saved in the church at this time (Acts 2:41, 4:4), but the miracles were “by the hands of the apostles”; there would have been no reason to say “by the apostles”, if all Christians were doing these. (See also Acts 4:33, 14:3, Romans 15:19)
It needs to be remembered why these “signs of an apostle” were given. There are many miracles in the Bible and they showed forth God’s power and demonstrated that Jesus was the Christ. “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs….” (Acts 2:22, also Matthew 11:4-5, Romans 1:3-4) Miracles and signs of the apostles confirmed that the new revelation was of God. (They did not yet have the New Testament.) “Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” (Acts 14:3), “the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” (Mark 16:20), “which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost,” (Hebrew 2:3-4), “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;” (John 20:30-31) These sign gifts were not for someone’s amusement, but had a divine purpose and that was to confirm that the new revelation (New Testament) was of God. And not one word has been added in 2000 years, even by those who claim they are modern day prophets. And once the New Testament was completed (during the life of the apostles) the purpose for “sign” gifts was no longer needed, and one would expect fewer miracles. Just like a sign that points the way to a city you are looking for, once you arrive there you no longer need the sign. The early church spread rapidly because of these signs, and Jews would listen to the new teaching about God “For the Jews require a sign….” (I Corinthians 1:22)
Today if someone is sick, the first thing he should do is pray, and then follow James 5:13-18, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…” If after this he is still not healed, he should go to a doctor. (Obviously if there is an emergency, one would not wait for the elders of the church to arrive but go straight to the emergency room. See HEALING, see EXORCISM).