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miracles

A true miracle is an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38).

It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.

“The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking place around us. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true as to the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of iron at the command of the prophet.

The simple and grand truth that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not superceding, but directing and controlling all physical causes, acting with or without them.”

God ordinarily effects his purpose through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also of effecting his purpose immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm the possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand intervening to control or reverse nature’s ordinary movements.

In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to designate miracles:

  1. Semeion, a “sign”, i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38,39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.

  2. Terata, “wonders;” wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).

  3. Dunameis, “might works;” works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.

  4. Erga, “works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in working” (John 5:20, 36).

Purpose

Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of God.

Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man, therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials that he is God’s messenger. The teacher points to these credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the authority of God. He boldly says, “God bears me witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles.”

Credibility

The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers, following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle, because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to. Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any facts of history well authenticated are credible.

Miracles, it is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary to our experience, but that does not prove that they were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the ground of competent testimony.

An atheist or a pantheist must, as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles are not impossible, nor are they incredible.

  • Is it LOGICAL to believe that the biblical miracles really happened? Answer
  • If Christ’s miracles really happened, why weren’t they reported by historians? Answer
  • “Miracles are not possible,” some claim. Is this true? Answer
  • CHRIST’S MIRACLES—Has science disproved the miracles associated with Jesus Christ? Answer

123 miracles recorded in the Bible (partial list)

  1. CREATION of the universe, including plants, animals and humans (Genesis 1-2)

  2. WORLDWIDE FLOOD EVENT—destruction of the entire world by a divine Flood and the miraculous preservation of 8 righteous people and representative land-dwelling, air-breathing animals in the Ark. (Gen. 7, 8)

    View Flood and Babel movie sequence from The HOPE

  3. Tower of BabelCONFUSION OF LANGUAGES (tongues) at Babel (Gen. 11:1-9)—a world of one language instantly transformed into a world of many languages

  4. SINFUL CITIES DESTROYED—destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:24)

  5. SUPERNATURAL DEATH—Lot’s wife turned into a “pillar of salt” (Gen. 19:26)

  6. SUPERNATURAL CONCEPTION—Isaac conceived by very elderly Sarah and 100 year old Abraham at Gerar (Gen. 21:1)

    ELDERLY NURSING MOTHER—Sarah was also able to naturally nurse baby Isaac. (Genesis 21:7)

    The ten plagues of Egypt (Ex. 7:20-12:30)

  7. WATER TURNED TO BLOOD—Water everywhere became BLOOD. The fish died, and the river stank. (Exodus 7:14-25

  8. FROG PLAGUE—God suddenly covered the land of Egypt with FROGS, and later supernaturally killed them, leaving them to make Egypt again stink (Ex. 8:2-14; Ps. 78:45; 105:30)

  9. LICE PLAGUE—“All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 8:17-18)

  10. FLIES—God sent “grievous” swarms of flies upon all the people and houses of Egypt, covering even the ground, except in the land of Goshen (where the Israelites dwelled fly-free). (Exodus 8:20-24)

  11. MURRAIN suddenly killed Egypt’s cattle (Exodus 9:3-6)

  12. BOILS AND BLAINS—The sixth plague, of “boils and blains,” like the third, was sent without warning (Ex.9:8-12). It is called (Deut. 28:27) “the botch of Egypt,” King James Version; but in Revised Version, “the boil of Egypt.” “The magicians could not stand before Moses” because of it.

  13. HAIL WITH FIRE AND THUNDER (Ex. 9:13-33). Warning was given of its coming. (Compare Ps. 18:13; 105:32-33).

  14. LOCUSTS—The plague of locusts, which covered all of Egypt, so that the land was darkened with them (Ex. 10:12-15). The Hebrew name of this insect, arbeh, points to the “multitudinous” character of this visitation. Warning was given before this plague came. Again, the nearby land of Goshen was spared.

  15. LOCALIZED DEEP DARKNESS—The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Ex. 10:21) is described as darkness “which may be felt.” It covered “all the land of Egypt,” so that “they saw not one another.” It did not extend to the land of Goshen (verse 23).

  16. DEATH OF ALL FIRST-BORN—people and beasts, struck by an angel of death in a single night / Israelite first-borns spared, if blood was painted around their door. (Ex. 11:1-8; 12:29-30)

    Exodus miracles

  17. BURNING BUSH not consumed (Ex. 3:3)

  18. SNAKE—Aaron’s rod changed into a serpent (Ex. 7:10-12)

  19. RED SEA DIVIDED at just the right moment; the nation of Israel passes through on DRY GROUND. The sea then violently consumes the Egyptian army. (See: Passage of Red Sea) (Ex. 14:21-31)

  20. DRINKING WATER FIXED—Bitter waters of Marah sweetened (Ex. 15:23-25)

  21. MANNA sent daily to feed the Israelites, except on the Sabbath (Ex. 16:14-35)

  22. WATER from the rock at Rephidim (Ex. 17:5-7)

  23. Nadab and Abihu consumed for offering “strange fire” (Lev. 10:1-2)

  24. Complainers consumed by FIRE at Taberah / the destruction stopped in response to Moses’ prayer (Num. 11:1-3)

  25. EARTH OPENS AND SWALLOWS Korah and his company. (Num. 16:32-34)

  26. “There came out a FIRE from the LORD, and consumed” 250 particular men fleeing the earth swallowing at Kadesh (Num. 16:35-45)

  27. PLAGUE—at Kadesh almost instantly killing 14,700, and stopped by Moses command Aaron to run with a incense censer among the people and “make an atonement for them” (Num. 16:46-50)

  28. AARON’S ROD “brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” at Kadesh (Num. 17:1-11)

  29. WATER PROVIDED IN DESERT—from the rock, after smitten twice by Moses, in the desert of Zin (Num. 20:7-11)

  30. “The Lord sent FIERY SERPENTS among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:6)

  31. BRASS SERPENT on a pole in the desert of Zin—“if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” (Num. 21:8-9)

  32. The JORDAN DIVIDED, so that Israel passed over dryshod near the city of Adam (Josh. 3:14-17)

  33. The WALLS OF JERICHO fall down at God’s command, after the Israelites prove their faith in Him (Josh. 6:6-20)

  34. The SUN AND MOON STAYED MOTIONLESS (longer day) to enable the Israelites to win a crucial battle (Josh. 10:12-14)—Can we explain the “long days” of Joshua and Hezekiah? Answer

  35. MEGA HAILSTORM destroys the Amorite army in a battle with Joshua (Josh. 10:12-14)

    Miracles in Israel or surrounding God’s prophets

  36. BALAAM’S DONKEY PROTECTS AND SPEAKS—An angel is dispatched against Balaam to express God’s anger. Balaam’s ass (donkey) repeatedly protected him from the angel and ultimately spoke to Balaam (Num. 22:21-35)

  37. SAMSON’S STRENGTH (Judg. 14-16)

  38. WATER from a hollow place “that is in Lehi” (Judg. 15:19)

  39. IDOL SUPERNATURALLY FALLS—Dagon falls twice before the ark of the covenant. (1 Sam. 5:1-12)

  40. DISEASE—Emerods on the Philistines (1 Sam. 5:1-12)

  41. SUPERNATURAL DEATH—men of Beth-shemesh smitten for looking into the ark of the covenant (1 Sam. 6:19)

  42. SUPERNATURAL THUNDERSTORM causes a panic among the Philistines at Eben-ezer (1 Sam. 7:10-12)

  43. THUNDER and RAIN in harvest at Gilgal (1 Sam. 12:18)

  44. SUPERNATURAL SOUND—“The sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees” as a supernatural sign to attack the Philistines with God’s help at Rephaim (2 Sam. 5:23-25)

  45. SUPERNATURAL DEATH—Uzzah smitten for touching the ark at Perez-uzzah (2 Sam. 6:6, 7)

  46. DISEASE AND HEALING—Jeroboam’s hand instantly withered and then restored (1 Kings 13:4-6)

  47. PAGAN ALTAR DESTROYED—Jeroboam’s new altar supernaturally destroyed at Bethel (1 Kings 13:4-6

  48. PROPHET KILLED BY LION immediately after disobeying God’s direct command (1 Kings 13:1-26). His donkey was spared.
  49. WIDOW’S MEAL AND OIL—a widow of Zarephath’s meal and oil increased (1 Kings 17:14-16)

  50. RESURRERCTION—widow’s son raised from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24)

  51. DROUGHT in response to Elijah’s prayers (1 Kings 17-18)

  52. SUPERNATURAL FIRE in response to Elijah’s prayers (1 Kings 18:19-39)

  53. RAIN—in clear response to prophet Elijah’s prayers (1 Kings 18:41-45)

  54. RAVENS DELIVER FOOD—prophet Elijah fed by ravens (1 Kings 17-18)

  55. FIRE FROM HEAVEN—Ahaziah’s captains consumed BY fire from heaven near Samaria (2 Kings 1:10-12)

  56. RIVER DIVIDED—Jordan divided by Elijah and Elisha near Jericho (2 Kings 2:7, 8, 14)
  57. SUPERNATURAL TRANSPORT—Elijah carried up into Heaven (2 Kings 2:11)

  58. WATERS OF JERICHO HEALED by Elisha’s casting salt into them (2 Kings 2:21, 22)

  59. DEATH BY BEARS—2 bears miraculously destroy 42 “young men” immediately after they mocked the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 2:24)

  60. WATER PROVIDED for Jehoshaphat and his allied army (2 Kings 3:16-20)—“Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.”

  61. WIDOW’S OIL MULTIPLIED (2 Kings 4:2-7)

  62. RESURRECTION—The Shunammite’s son given, and raised from the dead at Shunem (2 Kings 4:32-37)

  63. POISON REVERSED—The deadly pottage cured with meal at Gilgal (2 Kings 4:38-41)

  64. HUNDRED MEN FED with 20 barley loaves and ears of corn at Gilgal (2 Kings 4:42-44)

  65. INSTANT DISEASE AND HEALING—Naaman instantly healed of leprosy, Gehazi instantly afflicted with it (2 Kings 5:10-27)
  66. IRON AXE-HEAD MADE TO SWIM in the river Jordan (2 Kings 6:5-7)

  67. MIND-READING PROPHECIES—Ben Hadad’s secret plans discovered. Hazael’s thoughts, etc., through the prophecies of Elijah (2 Kings 6:12)

  68. INSTANT BLINDNESS—Syrian army smitten with blindness at Dothan (2 Kings 6:18)

  69. HEALING—The Syrian army healed of blindness at Samaria (2 Kings 6:20)

  70. RESURRECTION—Elisha’s bones revive the dead (2 Kings 13:21)

  71. MASS DEATH—Sennacherib’s Assyrian army of 5,180 killed overnight by an angel near Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35)

  72. SHADOW OF SUN GOES BACK TEN DEGREES on the sun-dial of Ahaz, Jerusalem (2 Kings 20:9-11)—Can we explain the “long days” of Joshua and Hezekiah? Answer

  73. INSTANT DISEASE—King Uzziah instantly struck with leprosy, Jerusalem (2 Chr. 26:16-21)

  74. PROTECTION IN BLAZING FIRE—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego delivered from the fiery furnace in Babylon (Daniel 3:10-27)

  75. PROTECTION FROM HUNGRY LIONS—Daniel saved from hungry lions in a sealed den (Dan. 6:16-23) / Those who falsely accused Daniel were then thrown to the same lions, who killed them. (Daniel 6:24)

  76. JONAH SURVIVED IN THE FISH’S BELLY and safely landed (Jonah 2:1-10)—How could Jonah survive three days in the belly of a “whale”? Answer

  77. GIDEON’S FLEECE—wet when it shouldn’t be, and dry when it shouldn’t be (Judg. 6:37-40)

  78. OTHER FULFILLED PROPHECIES—see: prophecy and prophets

    Miracles surrounding Jesus Christ or His appointed apostles

  79. FULFILLED MESSIANIC PROPHECIES (numerous—also see: prophets)
  80. MIRACULOUS CONCEPTION—the incarnation of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35) to a virginVIRGIN, and without genetic human parents (a Second Adam, genetically, without imputation of sin). See: Mary, mother of Jesus article
  81. STAR OF BETHLEHEM appears and leads wisemen to young Christ
  82. HEALING—2 blind men (Matt 9:27-31)
  83. MONEY—needed tax/tribute money miraculously provided in a randomly caught fish’s mouth, as promised by Jesus Christ (Matt 17:24-27)
  84. HEALING—deaf and dumb man healed (Mark 7:31-37)
  85. HEALING—blind man of Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26)
  86. JESUS PASSES UNSEEN through hostile crowd attempting his murder (Luke 4:28-30)
  87. FISH—the miraculous draught of fishes (Luke 5:4-11)
  88. RESURRECTION—the raising of the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 7:11-18)
  89. HEALING—woman with the spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11-17)
  90. HEALING—man with the dropsy (Luke 14:1-6)
  91. HEALING—ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
  92. HEALING—of Malchus (Luke 22:50-51)
  93. WATER TURNED TO WINE (John 2:1-11)
  94. HEALING—Cure of nobleman’s son, Capernaum (John 4:46-54)
  95. HEALING—impotent man at Bethsaida healed (John 5:1-9)
  96. HEALING—man born blind healed (John 9:1-7)
  97. RESURRECTION—Lazarus raised from the dead after (John 11:38-44)
  98. FISH—draught of fishes instantly caught at Christ’s instruction (John 21:1-14)
  99. HEALING—Syrophoenician woman’s daughter healed (Matt 15:28; Mark 7:24)
  100. LOAVES AND FISHES—4,000 fed from 7 loaves and a few little fishes (Matt 15:32; Mark 8:1)
  101. FIG TREE destroyed (Matt 21:18; Mark 11:12)
  102. HEALING—Centurion’s servant healed (Matt 8:5; Luke 7:1)
  103. HEALING AND EXORCISM—blind and dumb demoniac cured (Matt 12:22; Luke 11:14)
  104. EXORCISMdemoniac cured in synagogue at Capernaum (Mark 1:23; Luke 4:33)
  105. HEALING—Peter’s wife’s mother healed (Matt 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38)
  106. SEA STORM STILLED ON COMMAND (Matt 8:23; Mark 4:37; Luke 8:22)
  107. EXORCISMDemoniacs of Gadara cured (Matt 8:28; Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26)
  108. SWINE SUICIDE—about 2,000 swine rush into the water and drown after Christ allowed demons to transfer to them from demoniacs (Mark 5:1-20)
  109. HEALING—leper (Matt 8:2; Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12)
  110. RESURRECTION—Jairus’s daughter raised (Matt 9:23; Mark 5:23; Luke 8:41)
  111. HEALING—woman’s issue of blood healed (Matt 9:20; Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43)
  112. HEALING—man sick of the palsy healed (Matt 9:2; Mark 2:3; Luke 5:18)
  113. HEALING—Man’s withered hand healed (Matt 12:10; Mark 3:1; Luke 6:6)
  114. HEALING—lunatic child healed (Matt 17:14; Mark 9:14; Luke 9:37)
  115. HEALING—2 blind men instantly healed (Matt 20:29; Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35)
  116. JESUS WALKS ON SEA (Matt 14:25; Mark 6:48; John 6:15)
  117. FOOD—Jesus feeds 5,000 “in a desert place” (Matt 14:15; Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10; John 6:1-14)

  118. THE TRANSFIGURATION of Jesus Christ (Matt 17:1-8)

  119. RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ after declared dead by Roman authorities and buried for days (John 21:1-14)

  120. ASCENSION of Jesus Christ to Heaven (Luke 2:42-51)

  121. HEALING—Peter and the HEALING of a the paralytic Aeneas at Lydda (Acts 9:32, 35, 38)
  122. TONGUES—miraculous ability to SPEAK AND/OR UNDERSTAND A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (tongue) previously unknown to the speaker (See: Gift of tongues)
  123. DIVINE INSPIRATION of Scripture (Word of God)

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