Wednesday: Ministry and Miracles
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False revivals often place their major emphasis on miracles. Genuine revivals focus on ministry.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

False revivals emphasize spectacular signs and wonders; genuine revivals recognize that the greatest miracle is a changed life.

The healing miracles of Jesus testified to the fact that He was the Messiah. As our compassionate Redeemer, the Savior was concerned with alleviating human suffering. But He was even more concerned with the salvation of everyone He touched with His healing grace. The purpose of Jesus’ redemptive ministry was to “seek and save” lost mankind (Luke 19:10). Speaking to the religious leaders regarding the paralytic, Jesus declared, “‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’”-then He said to the paralytic, “‘Arise, take up your bed and go to your house’” (Matt. 9:6, NKJV). The crowd’s response to this miracle was to glorify God (Matt. 9:8).

Miracles were an outgrowth of Jesus’ redemptive ministry, but they were not the main reason He came to earth.

What can we learn from these texts about how people can be deceived in the last days? 2 Thess. 2:9-12Matt. 24:11-1324Rev. 19:20.

These people are deceived by false miracles “because they did not receive the love of the truth.” When the desire for the spectacular is far more important than the desire for a new life in Christ, the mind is open to deception. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus concludes with Jesus’ insightful words, “‘But he said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”’” (Luke 16:31, NKJV). In other words, spectacular signs and marvelous wonders can never take the place of understanding and then following God’s Word. Obedience to God is primary; signs and wonders, if and when they come, are always only secondary.

What kind of miracles have you experienced in your own life, in your own walk with the Lord? What have you learned from them? How important are they to your faith?

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Wednesday: Ministry and Miracles — 11 Comments

  1. Did I get it right? Ithink I dont want more of elaboration more than this: JESUS' ministerial work and miracles were ment to glorify GOD(Hebrews 10:7;Psalms 40:7,8) and the will of GOD is "to save that which was lost." (Matthew 18:11)

    Like(16)
    • Well Petro, to me, the author did a very well job in the placement in reader's mind the role of miracles in a proper perspective.
      I am to Avoid them in my growth of my relationship with the Lord. BUT, in some rare event that the Lord sees that a miracle through me would bring/encourage an other person to increase their trust in the Lord, then the Lord would permit that miracle to pass through my hands for that benefit of that person.
      There are two aspects of the Lord that attract people to the Him. One is what we would label His personality and character. The other is His power. Only te Lord, NOT we humans, can see which aspect attracts a human being to the Lord. If it is His power that attracts me, then I am in trouble(but, not necessarily because my initial attraction to His power may transform my attraction to his personality). If it is his character and personality, then there is hope for me(but, not necessarily because my initial attraction to His personality may transform my attraction to his power).

      Like(3)
  2. Let the one who is working the miracle guide you to the love of God and not how he is an expert in working miracles, since even the devil can work miracles! Let us avoid being the victims of worshiping people and not our creator God.

    Like(17)
  3. I have had many experiences that let me know personally that God is real that have helped me to draw closer to Him. I have had thousands of answers to prayers as well as some manifestations and dreams. Still, any experiences that I consider miraclulous must lead me deeper into the Word of God, and they must agree with the truths I find there. I pray for the guidance of God's Holy Spirit as I study so that I will learn truth and not be deceived. God wants to be found and to have a relationship with each of us, so He does not make it hard to find out the truth about Him if we genuinely want to know it. I love getting to know Him!!!

    Like(14)
  4. Can anybody explain to me what is meant in 2 Thess 2:9-12. I am confused on the part that says 11 "God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie" would God really do that and for what purpose?

    Like(0)
    • Inonge, please read the context:

      "... those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. "

      God offers "the love of the truth" to all "that they might be saved." Those who refuse the truth will believe lies instead. The choice is theirs/ours.

      Because God is all-powerful and could overrule our choices, he is credited as "sending" what we choose. But note that in the text those who receive "strong delusion" have clearly refused "the love of the truth."

      Like(5)
    • Hello, Inoge Mooleki! What a good question! I find the issue clear when coming at the picture of God from a different angle when I study other texts along with the one you mentioned. Here is one of those comparison texts:

      Jeremiah 29:13 (New King James Version)

      And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

      God does not ever make it difficult for people to see the truth if they truly want it. However, He leaves the choice with them. The trouble with hesitating and not really looking for the truth is that we do not realize our danger. When we do not fully choose God and His protection, we do not have it. When we do not have God's protection, we are automatically vulnerable to deception, delusion and darkness.

      God gives us what we want and have chosen by holding back His protection until we truly decide that we want it. In 2 Thes. 2, Paul is talking about those who have actually chosen to live outside the protection of God's love and truth. "They did not receive the love of the truth . . . " so that God would save them.

      Like(11)
      • Thank you ladies for your answers. It makes more sense when you think of it that way. We have a choice and God gives us what we want. The responsibility is on us to chose God, love, and truth at which point God does the rest.

        Like(2)
  5. This lesson is comimg at a right time when even some of our brethren are leaving the church for other churches where miracles are being done.
    We are living in the last days when these miracles are being performed and will increase as we near the end time- these deception of the devil is outlined in Rev 19 where even a false prophet will be at the centre stage.
    Our refuge and safeguard is the word of God. Isaiah 8:20 can help us and also 1Tim 4:1.

    Like(6)
  6. I like all of your answers to the 2Thes. 2:9-12. They strengthen me. I was in a Sabbath School class where the lesson was finished, there was more time. Some one brought up the same question as Inonge did. They fumbled around with it, leaving one to think that we are utterly lost. I knew better and went home and fortified myself with the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. My favorite is Psalm 27:1-8, Psaml 27:13-14

    "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?...The Lord is the strength of my life...My heart shall not fear...One thing I desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord...

    May I use words that come home? For when someone reads me 2Thes 2:9-12 it could find me in trouble, but then I read:

    He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock...And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises to the Lord...When you said, "seek My face," my heart said to You. "Your face, Lord I will Seek."...I would have lost my heart, unless I had BELIEVED...Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart;...

    Many other text all support the saving grace of God to the uttermost, if we turn our hearts to Him.
    My other favorite is Christ Object Lessons chapter 9, which I have carefully outlined in my mind.
    Through Christ:
    I desire the truth
    I give of myself to Christ without reserve.
    I seek salvation as though it were my most valuable possession in the world.
    I surrender all my bad habits to Christ. (Repent, confess, forgive,consecrate)
    I visualize Christ (abide and grow in Christ, doubt vanishes)
    I ask for and except the power of Christ bestowed upon me by the Holy Spirit (except discipleship)
    I am now ready to tell the world what Christ has done for me. (rejoice in the Lord)

    The Bible and the Bible only? Christ Object Lesions, Steps to Christ, Desire of Ages, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, and may others illuminate the Bible thus strengthening our CHOICE to let God lead us away from the path of destruction to the path alluded to in Hebrews 10:32-39. ..."we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

    Yes I believe in miracles, as long as they are to glorify God. Christ did miracles and bestowed this power on the disciples and apostles to let people know of the True God. We are seeing more miracles from God now in these last days, to glorify God and point people to His soon return. And yes there are miracles out there that Satan is counterfeiting to glorify self and disrupt the message of the Three Angles. Again lets not be of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
    Have Faith Friends, God Loves You.

    Like(1)
  7. I also questioned the text and the suggestion that the loving God, who gave His only Son, would, could ever send anything that is evil or intended to confuse or deceive anyone.

    After studying the Scriptures and the common beliefs of those in Bible times, I understand that it was generally believed that, since God is all-powerful and could prevent any evil occurrence, in a sense, by not stopping it He had caused it. The truth is that God never causes anything evil, but, for the purpose of jarring us, getting our attention, or waking us up, He may choose to withdraw His protective hedge so that we may see and experience the consequences of our very own choices.

    One who rejects the Word of God, refuses to read it or reverence it or obey it is showing that he does not "love" the truth. One who does not love the Word of God is no longer entitled to the righteous discernment given to believers to prevent them from being deceived by the evil one. One who does not love the Word of God automatically puts himself into the only other camp, that of those who hate the Word of God. God respects their choice and leaves them to the influence of the power they have chosen by rejecting Him.

    The same is true with regard to miracles. If we love the Word of God, read it prayerfully and obey, we shall not be fooled by the miracles of those who in fact do not love God, but are seeking to lead us away from Christ. The Holy Spirit, Himself, will be right there counseling us as to whether those performing miracles are worthy of our trust. Also, we are told what we can expect in the life of a miracle worker who is indeed of God. His words, his works, his speech, and his life should all agree with the Scriptures.

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