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How does God speak to men?
In times past God spoke to men by visions, dreams, miraculous wonders, and revelations. He once even spoke to a man by an ass. But those days have ceased. God hats spoken to men one last time, with finality, by his Son. And the word he has given us by his Son is the divinely inspired volume of Holy Scripture. Many tell us we should always expect a miracle. They tell us that if we do not see miracles, if preachers do not perform miracles, it is because we do not have sufficient faith, and the preacher lacks the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
Miracles in Scripture
A careful reading of Holy Scripture shows that all the miracles performed by human instrumentality in the Word of God fall into four distinct periods. They were all performed during MosesŐ era, the era of Elijah and Elisha, the time of the Babylonian Captivity, and during the days of Christ and his Apostles.
Times of Crisis
These were all times of crisis in which God was moving in a special way to further his cause. Put them all together and they represent a very small portion of all the years covered by the Bible. In a word, miracles took place intermittently, confirming GodŐs prophets as his prophets, confirming the Lord Jesus as the Christ of God, and confirming our LordŐs apostles as his apostles. They never produced faith in anyone, and were never intended to produce faith. They never increased anyoneŐs faith, and were never intended to do so. They were only given for the confirmation of Christ and the confirmation of chosen men as GodŐs servants.
Those who get caught up with the performance of miracles always miss the spiritual truths and messages they were performed to portray. — It was not the miracle that was important, but the message conveyed by the miracle. The miracles performed by our Savior were intended to portray the wonders of his grace. As he healed the bodies of men, making them physically whole, so he heals his elect, restoring that which he took not away, making chosen, redeemed sinners whole by his wondrous grace. As he raised people from the dead physically, so he raises sinners from death to life by his grace in the first resurrection and will raise the dead bodies of his saints in the glory of his second advent. As he miraculously fed the multitudes, so he feeds his saints by his grace, supplying all our needs, Ňaccording to his riches in glory.Ó
Apostolic Gifts Ceased
The apostolic age of miracles, signs and wonders, and speaking in tongues ceased with the fulfilment of divine revelation, with the full revelation of God given in Holy Scripture. Because we have the complete Revelation of God in his Word, we have no need for and must not expect the performance of miracles today. We have something far better than miracles; we have the Word of God (2 Peter 1:16-21). There have been none with the gift and ability to do those things by the Spirit of God since the days of the apostles. Those who yet pretend to possess such supernatural gifts are just pretenders. They are not the servants of Christ. The Holy Spirit tells us, with unmistakable clarity, that those who pretend to have prophetic and apostolic gifts today are not the servants of Christ, but of antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10; Revelation 13:7-18).