The Great Doctrines of Healing, Miracles, Signs And Wonders - Part II
In the July 2022 issue of this magazine, I set forth several significant verses in the Bible that emphasize the reality and possibility of healing, miracles, and signs and wonders. I truly believe that God heals and works miracles today!
Sad to say, many evangelicals and mainline denominational pastors and seminary professors believe and teach that the days of miracles are over. They preach and teach that the supernatural miracles and healings and manifestations of the nine gifts of the Spirit that we read about in the Gospels and book of Acts have ceased. These pastors won’t pray for the sick and hurting in their church services. They don’t believe in miraculous healing and casting out devils as Jesus taught his disciples to do.
Many non-Pentecostals emphasize I Corinthians 13:8 where the apostle Paul wrote, “Charity [love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
They teach that this verse means that spiritual manifestations such as speaking in tongues and prophecy and miraculous healings were discontinued at some point in history. They teach that miracles and gifts of the Spirit ceased at the end of the apostolic era, which would be about AD 95 to AD 98.
I interpret I Corinthians 13:8 as the apostle Paul referring to the rapture of the church. Consequently, when Christ raptures His church, there will be no further need for preaching, miracles, healings, or the gifts of the Spirit. Every child of God will be perfectly healthy, whole, in their glorified body, and our knowledge will be replaced by God’s knowledge. We know that at this time, the church will be in heaven.
Now, do we really think that the almighty God would lift His anointing off the church around AD 100 when the church was under great persecution by the Roman government? Very likely, John the Revelator died in Ephesus (located in Turkey). God did not use his death as an alarm clock to remove the manifestations of His power and glory from the church.
The truth is, many of the church fathers record miracles of healing, deliverance, and signs and wonders during the second, third, and fourth centuries of the church (read Hebrews 11:33-35.)
Yet many evangelical pastors teach that these incredible manifestations of God’s power such as healings, miracles, and prophecies have ceased. They really believe this. They call this the doctrine of cessationism. This is a sad, tragic, and terrible doctrine.
The correct position is called continuationism. God continues to work supernatural miracles, and signs and wonders today. Hebrews 13:8 declares, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.”
This ministry (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries) believes that the Great Commission set forth in Mark 16:17-20 is still in effect for today. Will we do it?
In his book, Counterfeit Miracles, Dr. B.B. Warfield admits, “The Apostolic Church was characteristically a miracle-working church.” He adds, “[A]nd it belonged [referring to the signs and wonders] therefore exclusively to the Apostolic age.” 1
Warfield further states, “The theologians of the post-Reformation era, a very clear-headed body of men, taught with great distinctness that the charismata ceased with the apostolic age.” He adds, “The period most commonly set for their continuance is three centuries; the date of their cessation is ordinarily said to have been about the time of Constantine.” [Roman Emperor Constantine I ruled Rome from AD 306 to AD 337.]
Dr. Warfield takes time to do some research and quotes Conyers Middleton, Archbishop John Tillotson, John Chapman and even the Reverend John Wesley. He says William Whiston sets the date for these miracles to cease at AD 381.
Warfield further writes, “There is little or no evidence at all for miracle-working during the first fifty years of the post-apostolic church.” He is referring to AD 100 to AD 150. My historical research does not support this position at all. The Holy Spirit worked with and through many of the church fathers during the second, third, and fourth centuries performing healings, deliverances, and miracles. Study Polycarp, Tertullian, Justin, and others.
Many highly trained evangelical professors do not believe that God is still working miracles and signs and wonders today.
1B.B. Warfield, Counterfeit Miracles, (Pantianos Classics, originally published in 1918), 5-8.