Defending Bible Miracles.
There have always been arguments whether the Bible miracles are true or not.
Modern discoveries and science say that there are no such things as miracles. They say the laws of nature and physics cannot be changed, so therefore nothing can happen that goes against these principals.
The argument goes, that the so called Bible miracles are now known to have natural causes and anything that can occur naturally cannot be said to be a miracle.
E.G. They say, the rainbow after the flood was said to be a sign from God, yet we know that rainbows are caused by the refraction of light through water drops in the atmosphere.
It is also believed that at certain times a wind would blow in a certain direction which would cause the Red Sea to reveal dry ground.
These are just two of the reasons given for miracles being natural events.
However, when we examine just these two miracles, we find that even if they had been caused by natural means, it does not prove that they were not brought about by divine intervention.
The Bible states that before the flood there had been no rain.
Gen 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
We also know that God created a firmament of water above the earth.
Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
When God decided to flood the earth, the waters that were above the firmament, fell to earth, in the form of rain.
After the flood, the sun’s rays caused the refraction and the result was the rainbow.
The answer to this question is not “the what” or “the how”, “but the when”.
The rainbow only appeared after GOD flooded the earth. This was an act of God.
The parting of the Red Sea, again, it is not what caused the waters to part but the when. It was when Moses dipped his staff into the sea. The sea parted only after GOD told Moses to put his staff into the water. Again this was an act of God.
Many arguments against miracles exist.
Another one is the sun standing still in the book of Joshua.
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the nation took vengeance upon its enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? “So the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down almost a full day.”
14 There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man, because the LORD fought for Israel.…
Everyone today, knows that the earth goes around the sun and not the other way round.
The sun did not cease to go around the earth, because it never did before. Neither does the sun rise in the East and sets in the West. The earth rotates, which gives, from the earth’s perspective, the rising and setting of the sun and moon.
The truth is, that it was the earth that stood still and so, in respect of the earth and man perception, it was the sun and the moon that stood still.
However, this only happened when GOD stopped the rotation of the earth, which was a reversal of the laws of nature.
Despite possible ‘natural’ causes for some events, there are many biblical miracles where there can be no natural explanation.
A staff, turning into a snake: God told Moses to cast his staff on the ground and it turned into a serpent.
Exodus 4:3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
An iron axe-head floating: When a man’s axe head fell into the river, God performed a reversal of natural law.
2Ki 6:6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
The raising of Lazarus, from the dead, after four days.
Joh 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Of course the resurrection of Jesus body after a gruesome execution and around 36 hours in a tomb.
Luk 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
Luk 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
These cannot be explained away as coincidences and if true, are clearly supernatural events.
Those that argue that miracles can’t happen, because they would be breaking natural laws, do not accept the fact that if there are laws, then it follows that there must be a law maker and if laws are established by a supernatural agent, then they could also be modified or temporarily suspended for a purpose.
There is an idea that miracles were happening all through the Bible. This is not correct, miracles were few and far between.
There are only a few accounts of miracles in scripture. The time of creation, the time of Moses in Egypt, the time of Elijah and Elisha and then the time of Jesus and the early church.
The truth is, if God actually exists then miracles must be possible, and highly probable.
If you can believe the first verse in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”, then you should have no problem believing that the same God that did this, can work miracles.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing will be impossible.
The most important miracle in the Bible is of course, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If this did not happen, then Christianity means nothing, for there is no salvation, no heaven, no hell and it means that we should eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
1 Corinthians 15:14-19 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
So, is there evidence for the resurrection?
This is one of the chief miracles of Christianity (along with the incarnation, where God became man in Jesus) and as Paul reminds us, our faith stands or falls on this.
Although the resurrection appears incredible, it is based on very solid evidence.
First of all, did Jesus die on a cross?
Well, eye witnesses testified that he did. The reason the Romans did not break His legs, as was the custom, was because He was already dead.
John 19:32 31 It was the day of Preparation, and the next day was a High Sabbath. In order that the bodies would not remain on the cross during the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies removed.
32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and those of the other.
33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.…
There were witnesses to Jesus dying, His mother, and John was there.
Matt 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
There was the evidence of His death and was confirmed by the observation of ‘blood and water’ coming from his pierced side. This only occurs as a post-mortem event.
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
When Jesus was taken down from the cross, He was prepared for burial, He was wrapped in grave clothes which would have rendered Him incapable of unwrapping Himself and then rolling away a 1 ton stone and overcoming Roman guards or Temple police.
Mat 27:57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
The tomb was sealed and a watch was set over the tomb.
Mat 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
The argument that Jesus followers stole his body is not feasible. They too would have to get the body out of the tomb and get past the guards without being seen.
If Jesus had not died and the disciples had stolen His body, why would they later be martyred for a lie.
Even the Pharisee’s accepted that the tomb was empty.
Matthew 28:11-15 “While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”
The fact is plain, the tomb was empty. Not one of the historians of the time doubted Jesus died. Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus and Lucian all recorded His death.
The idea that the Jews had removed the body of Jesus does not hold up to scrutiny. When the disciples claimed that Jesus was risen from the dead, it would have been simple enough for the Pharisees to have produced His body as proof that He hadn’t, however they never did.
There was loads of evidence of sightings of Jesus after His resurrection, not only by His disciples and the two on the Emmaus road but He appeared to 500 at one time.
1 Cor 15:5, 6 and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve.
6 After that, He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles.…
Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
The wide spread of Christianity is proof that the resurrection was accepted and believed and the proof is in the lives, from then till now, that have been transformed by the power of His death and resurrection.
There are today, many that claim that they have experienced a miracle.
However there is a difference between providence and a miracle. A miracle is when natural laws are suspended whilst God does a work.
Providence is God controlling the things of man that it may fulfil His perfect will.
A miracle then, is God doing a work that cannot be attributed to natural events.
Miracles were for a sign, a sign of what?
Miracles were a sign of revelation. Miracles introduced new days of revelation.
As mentioned earlier there was three periods of miracles. All three of those periods of miracles were times when God gave new written revelation.
Miracle accompanied Moses giving of the law. Miracle accompanied Elijah and Elisha the prophets that spoke the words of God.
In the Early church, Jesus Christ did miracles, the Apostles did miracles and these miracles accompanied the New revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the foundation for the Christian doctrines.
I do not believe that men today, perform miracles, however, I do believe that God can.
There is no need for signs and wonders to attest the revealed words of God, for there is no new revelation to be had.
We have all that we need for salvation and Christian life in the final revelation of Jesus Christ, the Bible.
The canon is now complete.
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;