Is A Miracle?
A miracle is a mighty act or
manifestation of the true God. In fact, manifestations of the natural world are
miracles in and of themselves. However, since people are so used to natural
phenomena, natural manifestations are no longer considered special. For the
foregoing reasons, we call extraordinary supernatural events miracles/wonders.
Let us examine the following biblical miracles:
Miracles in Nature
The Red Sea was
divided (Ex 14:21, 22).
The pillar of cloud and of fire in the
wilderness (Num 9:15–22).
Water coming out of the rock (Ex 17:5, 6).
The ground split apart (Num 16:31–33).
The sun and the moon stood still (Josh
Rain after a three year and six month drought
(Jas 5:17, 18).
The storm stilled (Mt 8:23–26).
Transforming a limited quantity into an abundant
amount, e.g., the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves and two fish
(Mt 14:16–21; cf. Mt 15:34–38; 1 Kgs 17:13–16; 2 Kgs 4:1–7).
Capturing a great deal of fish in a net (Lk
5:4–7; cf. Jn 21:6–11).
Naturally seeing tongues of fire (Acts 2:1–3).
Miracles Dealing Specifically With People
The clothes of the Israelites did not wear out,
nor did their feet swell (Deut 8:4, 29:5).
Samson was endowed with great strength (Judg
Elijah was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind (2
Gehazi became a leper (2 Kgs 5:26, 27).
The Syrian soldiers were struck with blindness
(2 Kgs 6:18, 19).
Daniel’s three friends were cast into a burning
fiery furnace; yet, they were all unharmed (Dan 3:24–27).
Nebuchadnezzar became insane (Dan 4:24–33).
When Daniel was in the lions’ den, the lions’
mouths were shut so that he was not hurt (Dan 6:22).
Jonah did not die in the belly of the great fish
for three days and three nights (Jon 1:17; Mt 12:40).
The Holy Spirit caught Philip away from the
Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:39, 40).
A paralytic was healed (Mk 2:1–12).
The man with a withered hand was healed (Mk
The woman, with an issue of blood for twelve
years, was healed (Mk 5:25–34).
The man with dropsy was healed (Lk 14:2–4).
The lepers were cleansed (Mt 8:3; Lk 17:11–14).
The blind men recovered their sight (Mt 9:27–30;
Lk 18:35–43; Jn 9:1–7).
A deaf man with a speech impediment was healed
The fever of Peter’s mother-in-law was healed
(Lk 4:38, 39; cf. Jn 4:52, 53).
Malchus’ right ear was healed (Lk 22:50, 51; Jn
Those who were bitten by snakes were healed (Num
21:8, 9; Acts 28:3–6).
A dumb demoniac was cured (Mt 9:32, 33; Lk
A blind and dumb demoniac was cured (Mt 12:22).
The daughter of a Canaanite woman, who was demon
possessed, was cured (Mt 15:21–28).
A demoniac in the synagogue at Capernaum was cured (Mk 1:23–26).
The epileptic boy was cured (Mk 9:16–27).
Seven demons were cast out of Mary Magdalene (Lk
The woman with a spirit of infirmity for
eighteen years was cured (Lk 13:10–16).
Unclean spirits were cast out by Philip (Acts
The spirit of divination in the slave girl was
cast out by Paul (Acts 16:16–18).
Resurrecting the dead
The resurrection of the widow of Zarephath’s son
(1 Kgs 17:17–24).
The Shunammite’s son was raised to life (2 Kgs
Jairus’ daughter was raised from death (Mk
The widow’s son of Nain was raised from death
Lazarus was raised after having died four days
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus himself (Jn
20:1–18; cf. Jn 10:18).
Dorcas was raised to life (Acts 9:40, 41).
Eutychus was restored to life (Acts 20:9, 10).
Why Does God Perform Miracles?
To execute his deliverance
The ten plagues were miracles delivering the
chosen people out of Egypt
(Ex 3:20, 7:20–12:36).
The Israelites received manna in the wilderness
to keep them from starvation (Ex 16:4, 5).
The Lord delivered Peter when he began to sink
into the sea (Mt 14:28–31).
To execute his judgment
The flood destroyed the wicked generation in
Noah’s time (Gen 7:4, 17).
Fire and brimstone from heaven destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
(Gen 19:24, 25).
Ananias and Sapphira deceived the Holy Spirit
and died immediately (Acts 5:1–11).
To glorify his name
God’s name is proclaimed through his mighty
deeds (1 Chr 17:21).
The paralytic walked again for the glory of God
Lazarus’ death was for God’s glory (Jn 11:4).
Miracles convince people to believe in God
The official believed in God after his son was
healed (Jn 4:46–53).
Many believers were added to the Lord through
the signs and wonders performed by the apostles (Acts 5:12–16).
The procounsul believed in the Lord when he
witnessed God’s power working on the sorcerer (Acts 13:12).
The mighty signs and wonders done by the Holy
Spirit caused the Gentiles’ obedience (Rom 15:18).
Miracles confirm the true message
The Lord worked with the apostles and confirmed
the message they preached by the signs that followed (Mk 16:20).
The Lord gave testimony to the word of his grace
by working great miracles through apostle Paul and
others (Acts 14:3).
Signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy
Spirit bear witness to the gospel of salvation (Heb 2:3, 4).
Miracles confirm the divine commission
Signs and wonders proved Moses was chosen and
sent by God (Num 16:28–30, 17:1–11).
The Lord works miracles to testify Jesus is the
Christ (Mt 11:2–6; Jn 5:36, 10:37, 38).
The signs of Paul’s apostleship were done among
the people in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty deeds of God (2
Cor 12:12; cf. Lk 9:1, 2).
The true church with the abidance of the Holy
Spirit should abound with all kinds of miracles (Mk 16:17, 18; Lk 10:19; 1 Cor
Miracles strengthen the believers’ faith
The power of Christ’s miracles resolved the
doubts of John the baptist (Mt 11:2–6).
Thomas dispelled his doubts upon seeing the
miracle of the resurrected Lord (Jn 20:24–28).
Miracles caused early believers and others to
fear God and to hold the apostles in high honor (Acts 5:11–13).
Paul reported the miracles and wonders God
performed among the Gentiles at the Jerusalem
council (Acts 15:12).
God’s miracles surpass sorcery and magic
Aaron’s rod swallowed up the Egyptian magicians’
rods (Ex 7:10–13).
The magicians acknowledged they were overpowered
and the plague, performed through Aaron, was “the finger of God” (Ex 8:18, 19).
Simon the sorcerer believed in God upon seeing
Philip perform God’s great miracles (Acts 8:9–13).
Elymas the magician was struck with temporary
blindness because he opposed Paul (Acts 13:8–11).
Miracles disclose God’s judgment
Most of the Israelites died in the wilderness
because of their unbelief, even though they saw God’s power and should have had
faith (Ps 106:19–26).
Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum will be
severely condemned, because they saw Christ’s many miracles yet did not repent
or believe (Mt 11:20–24).
Those who have seen miracles, yet remain in
unbelief, will be condemned (cf. Jn 15:22–24).
The Lord Jesus’ resurrection was a miracle in
the Lord’s generation (Mt 12:39–41). Moreover, the Holy Spirit’s descent today
confirms the Lord’s resurrection (Acts 2:32, 33). Thus, those who see the
manifestation of the Holy Spirit, i.e., speaking in spiritual tongues (Mk 16:17;
Acts 10:44–46, 16:17; 1 Cor 14:22), yet do not believe in the saving Lord will
not be excused from their sins (Jn 16:8; Acts 17:30, 31).
Requirements When Performing/Receiving Miracles
Miracles Should be Performed in Jesus’ Name
The Lord Jesus told his disciples to perform
miracles in his name (Mk 16:17).
Demons were subject to the disciples in Jesus’
name (Lk 10:17).
Peter asked the lame man to stand up and walk in
the name of Jesus (Acts 3:6, 16).
In contrast, itinerant Jewish exorcists could
not cast out demons, even though they made use of Christ’s name (Acts
Those who work miracles in Jesus’ name, in
faithful reliance on the Lord, should know his will. Never use Jesus’ name in
vain, instead always petition the Lord’s name according to his will (Ex 20:7;
Jn 17:12; 1 Jn 5:14).
Have Great Confidence in Jesus Christ When
Miracles are done in great faith by those who
have great faith.
Elijah believed that God would send rain even
though he did not see any sign of rain from clouds (1 Kgs 18:41).
Moses trusted God would open a way for Israel,
even though he was at a dead end (Ex 14:13, 14, 21).
The Lord Jesus told the disciples, “For truly, I
say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this
mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be
impossible to you” (Mt 17:20).
Those who desire to be healed should believe in
Jesus and his mighty power.
The unceasing cries of the two blind men
illustrated their belief Jesus was the Son of David—the Savior (cf. Mt 22:41,
43); additionally, their cries show their trust in Jesus’ power (Mt 9:27).
Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; be it done for
you as you have believed” (Mt 8:13).
Paul perceived that the cripple had faith to be
healed (Acts 14:9).
For those incapable of believing and trusting
(e.g., babies or demoniacs), their family or household should possess a strong
The Canaanite woman prayed for her
demon-possessed daughter (Mt 15:22).
The centurion made petition for his servant (Mt
The four people bringing the paralytic to the
Lord showed a great faith (Mk 2:3–5).
The sick, who have
little or no faith, should be strengthened and encouraged.
Jesus told the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not
fear, only believe” (Mk 5:36).
Jesus told Martha, “Did I not tell you that if
you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40).
Jesus told a demoniac’s father, “If you can
believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mk 9:23).
Miracles Are Done Through God’s Spirit
The Lord cast out devils by the Spirit of God
Miracles cannot be done without God’s presence
(Jn 3:2; Acts 10:38).
Paul subdued the devil because he was filled
with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:9–11).
The ability to heal the sick and work miracles
are not due to human power, but rather they are the spiritual gifts given by
the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:9, 10).
Miracles Often Happen After Fervent and
Elijah prayed three times to resurrect the
widow’s dead son (1 Kgs 17:21, 22); he prayed seven times for rain to end the
long drought (1 Kgs 18:42, 43).
The request of the Canaanite woman was finally
granted by the Lord through her incessant prayers and petitions (Mt 15:22–27).
Despite opposition and rebuke, the blind man
near Jericho cried out loudly for Christ’s favor and blessing; as a result, he
was healed by the Lord (Lk 18:38–43).
The Lord said “But this kind [of demon] never
comes out except by prayer and fasting” (Mt 17:21).
Miracles Often Happen After Repentance and Forgiveness
of Sins Through Confession
The Lord forgave the paralytic’s sins before he
healed him (Mk 2:5–12; cf. Jn 5:5–9, 14). Some sicknesses may be related to sin
(cf. Jn 5:5–9, 14).
Confession of one’s sins and faults to another
may be necessary before praying for healing (Jas 5:14–16).
Elijah prayed for rain after the Israelites
rejected Baal and repented (1 Kgs 18:39–44).
God does not hear a sinner’s prayers (Ps 66:18;
Isa 59:1, 2; Jn 9:31).
How Does God Work Miracles?
By the laying on of hands
Jesus laid his hands on the sick (Lk 4:40).
Jesus laid his hands on the woman with a spirit
of infirmity (Lk 13:11, 13).
Paul laid his hands on the father of Publius to
heal him (Acts 28:7, 8).
The Lord said the power of healing by the laying
on of hands would be given to the disciples (Mk 16:18).
Jesus touched the leper and his leprosy was
cleansed (Lk 5:13).
Jesus touched the eyes of the two blind men and
restored their sight (Mt 9:29).
Jesus touched the eyes of the two blind men near
restored their sight (Mt 20:34).
Taking the sick by the hand
The Lord took Jairus’ daughter by the hand and
she was raised to life (Lk 8:54, 55).
Jesus took Peter’s mother-in-law by the hand and
the fever left her (Mk 1:30, 31).
Peter took the lame man by the hand and lifted
him up (Acts 3:7).
By anointing the sick with oil (generally
consecrated olive oil), and generally anointed by hand.
The disciples healed the sick by anointing them
with oil (Mk 6:13).
Anoint the sick with oil in the name of Jesus
and pray for them (Jas 5:14).
The above mentioned examples show
that miracles are often connected with the hands (Acts 5:12, 19:11).
Nevertheless, faith is a much more important factor than following ancient
customs (e.g., anointing the head with oil). According to the diverse levels of
a needy person’s faith, miracles of healings and blessings are granted
Other Methods in Healing
The seriously sick with little faith
Jesus spat on the eyes of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mk 8:22–25).
Jesus spat on the ground and made clay of the
spittle, and he anointed the blind man’s eyes with the clay, and told him to
wash in the pool of Siloam (Jn 9:6, 7).
Peter told the people to go out of the house,
and then knelt down and prayed by himself to raise Dorcas to life (Acts 9:40,
The sick with greater faith
By a word of the Lord the paralytic stood up and
walked (Mk 2:10–12).
By a word of the Lord the blind man at Jericho recovered his
sight (Lk 18:41–43).
The Lord Jesus answered a leper’s inquiry by saying,
“I will [to clean you]; be clean.” And the leper was cleansed at once (Mt 8:3).
Other incidents of sick people with faith
The woman, with an issue of blood, touched the
garment of Jesus and was healed (Mk 5:25–34).
The sick were brought out into the streets on
beds and couches, hoping that Peter’s shadow might fall on them and cure them.
This was the expression of their eagerness for healing. The sick were all
healed (Acts 5:15, 16).
The handkerchiefs or aprons brought from Paul
cured many diseases, and caused many evil spirits to come out of the sick (Acts
The Bible records many special cases of healing
accomplished because of the Lord’s great mercy and compassion. Thus, regardless
of one’s level of faith, a sick person may be healed through the Lord’s mercy.
The widow’s son who had died at Nain was raised
The man with a 38-year infirmity was told to
stand up and walk, and he did so (Jn 5:5–9).
Demoniacs and Exorcism
Mary Magdalene was possessed by seven demons (Lk
A man at Gerasenes was possessed by many devils,
and his name was “Legion” (Lk 8:27–30).
Demons may cause one to be out of control (Mt
A dumb man was demon-possessed (Mt 9:32, 33).
A slave girl who had a spirit of divination
appeared very good, for she followed Paul and other co-workers crying out that
they were proclaiming the way of salvation. However, the spirit in her was evil
(Acts 16:16, 17; cf. 2 Cor 11:14).
The practice of divination, astrology,
sorceries, enchanting, charming, mediumship, wizardry, or necromancy is evil
and usually relates to demonic workings (Deut 18:10–12; cf. Acts 8:9–11).
Methods of exorcism
The laying on of hands is not used in casting
out demons. Rebuke the devil/demons and never submit to its request.
The Lord Jesus rebuked the devil and told it to
be silent (Lk 4:33–35).
The Lord commanded the unclean spirit to get out
of a man (Mk 5:8).
The Lord Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit,
saying, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never
enter him again” (Mk 9:25).
The Lord cast out the spirits with his word (Mt
Paul cast out the devil in the name of Jesus
The devil is not willing to depart from any
person it inhabits and dwells in (Mk 5:7–10). One casts out demons in the name
of Jesus by faith, and fasting is necessary in most cases (Mk 9:28, 29).
Important Points To Remember In Peforming
Guard Against Opposition and Resistance from the
Signs and wonders release people
from the devil’s bondage and begins to bring them back to God (Lk 13:11, 16).
When great miracles are performed, the devil will greatly attempt to oppose,
hinder, and resist God’s work (1 Cor 16:9).
The Pharisees blasphemed the Holy Spirit and
Jesus by saying Jesus cast out demons by the prince of the demons (Mt 9:34,
The Pharisees tried to convince the blind man
Jesus healed that Jesus was a sinner (Jn 9:24).
The scribes were filled with madness when they
saw Jesus restored a man’s withered hand on the sabbath
(Lk 6:10, 11).
The priests were filled with indignation when
they saw that the apostles healed the sick and demoniacs by Jesus’ power (Acts
The people of Gadarene begged Jesus to leave
them after Jesus cast the devils out of a demoniac (Mt 8:34).
Bar-Jesus tried to turn away the deputy from the
faith (Acts 13:6–8).
The Lord raised Lazarus to life. Afterward, the
chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council to put Jesus to death (Jn
11:47, 53, 12:10).
When Paul healed a cripple at Lystra, the Jews
persuaded the people to stone Paul (Acts 14:9, 10, 19).
Remember to Give All the Glory to God
Miracles happen because of God’s power and
grace; they are not the direct result of human power or religious piety (Acts
Elisha cleansed Naaman’s leprosy, but he did not
accept Naaman’s gifts of gratitude—he knew it was God’s doing (2 Kgs 5:15–17;
cf. Mt 10:8).
Paul cured the cripple at Lystra, but he refused
the honorable tribute of the city (Acts 14:11–15; cf. Ps 115:1; Lk 2:13, 14).
Any servant of God should never take pride in
miracles God does through him or her. Also, a sacred worker should never look
down on his co-workers, since it is God who grants his workers spiritual gifts
(Mt 7:22, 23; Lk 10:20; 1 Cor 12:28–30).
Give God glory through your behavior. The Lord
said to the healed, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall
you” (Jn 5:14; cf. 2 Pet 2:20).
True miracles are performed by
God’s will and power. The Bible says, “Blessed be the
LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things” (Ps 72:18, 136:4).
“The coming of the lawless one by
the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and
wonders” (2 Thess 2:9). Since the Lord’s coming is soon, Satan is working hard by
utilizing false signs and miracles.
How do we discern the work of
Satan? From antiquity to the present, Satan deceives the world and distorts the
truth, thus revealing his satanic power.
False Miracles by Sorcery
The Egyptian magicians turned rods into serpents,
but Aaron’s rod swallowed them up (Ex 7:11, 12).
The Egyptian magicians and sorcerers turned the
water of the Nile into blood (Ex 7:20–22).
The Egyptian magicians also brought up frogs
from rivers and pools (Ex 8:6, 7).
Simon the sorcerer practiced his magic in Samaria, and Simon was
mistakenly thought to be the “power of God which is called Great”
(Acts 8:6–11; cf. 13:6, 7, 19:19).
False Miracles by False Prophets and False
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise
and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the
elect” (Mt 24:24). The false messengers work signs and wonders by the power of
Satan (2 Thess 2:9).
The beast, coming up out of the earth with two
horns like a lamb and speaking as a dragon, is the false Christ who has the
power to work great signs and wonders. It can even make fire come down from
heaven (Rev 13:11–13).
False prophets can perform wondrous things (Rev
16:13, 14, 19:20).
The Holy Spirit “expressly says that in later
times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and
doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1). Therefore, every believer should be very
cautious in discerning the spirits. One should never be seduced by any strange
power or miracles, especially if the performers of such miracles and power do
not agree with the Bible (Deut 13:1–5; cf. 2 Cor 11:3, 4; Gal 1:6–9).