The Age of Miracles

The New Testament is full of miracles being performed not only by Christ and His apostles, but by some disciples as well. Does this mean that miracles can be performed today? In answering this question, we must understand the purpose of miracles in the first century. John tells us why Jesus performed miracles making it clear that, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:30,31). The miracles Christ performed confirmed His deity.

Christ promised the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit to His apostles, and in so doing identified the purpose of these miracles. He told His apostles, These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (John 14:25,26). Furthermore, He said, When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13). After Christ’s resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and gave them the power to perform miracles for the purpose of revealing the word of God and confirming that divine revelation.

When the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians concerning the use of miraculous gifts, he made it clear that these miracles would vanish away when the complete word of God was revealed and confirmed. Listen to him: Whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away (1 Cor. 13:8-9). The word rendered perfect means complete and refers to the complete revelation of God. Since the word of God has been revealed in its entirety (Jude 3; 2 Tim. 3:16,17), miracles have ceased.

Further proof of this is seen in the fact that it took the laying on of the apostles hands to impart these miraculous gifts. Acts chapter eight records that Philip went to the city of Samaria preaching the gospel and performing miracles (Acts 8:5,6). There was a certain man named Simon that had practiced sorcery, and he was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done (v. 13). Peter and John then came down to Samaria and laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money (8:14-18). Philip was not an apostle, hence he could not impart this miraculous power. That’s why Peter and John had to come to Samaria. When the apostles died and the last person they laid their hands on to impart miraculous gifts died, miracles died with them.

There are many charlatans today that claim to have miraculous powers and prey upon the desperate for their own monetary gain. There are also those sincere folks that have been led to believe that God does perform miracles today, consequently they are easily deceived. But there simply is no reason for miracles to exist today. The complete word of God has been revealed and that revelation has been confirmed. The age of miracles has ceased.