Is Jesus Performing Healings
And Miracles For Believers
In Our Time?
By Jan Lilleby
Unfortunately it is pure disaster to have to listen to and observe many types of evangelists and preachers today, whether from their pulpits or as we observe them on the internet such as with YouTube media.
I am thinking mostly of that which concerns healings and wonders promised the audiences ‘If you only believe’.
In my article found here in my website on ‘The Great Commission’, I am giving an expository scrutiny of Mat. 28 and the command from Jesus to ‘Go out into all the world’ and so forth, and Mark 16 with its ‘Laying on of hands and casting out demons’ and so on and so forth – and the Biblical stern fact that we can by no means use any parts of the four gospels as if they are faith-doctrine to the Church in our time, the ‘One New Man’ which Paul called the Body of Christ.
The four gospels were written only as historical documents on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and His twelve apostles. As soon as one steps out of that specific Bible truth, using these gospels as faith-doctrine to the Church, you will be victim of a hailstorm of errors and misunderstandings what concerns to speak the truth from the pulpit. We shall have a brief look on this below, some selected few examples of rather weird and quirky ways of putting forth lies about miracles and healings.
Shortly before I wrote this article I happened to come over a video clip (a Norwegian evangelist abroad on a crusade-podium) in a fired-up-speech to a multitude of people on a green field – it was found on this evangelists own website, using it to gain more followers and supporters for his campaigns abroad (Asia) – and he came up with (shouting over the P.A. system) several Bible passages taken out of context.
One of those was the known words of Jesus spoken to His disciples “Where two or more of you are gathered in My name, there I shall be in the midst among you”. (quoted from the mentioned video clip.)
Thus suggesting that Jesus was there, among the people present, to perform miracles and healings. He used this in a typical manner which we often see with these Pentecostal evangelists, trying to‘Fire up’ an expectation that the Lord will do miracles in the meetings. If you only believe!
The audience filmed responded with loud shouts of praise and hallelujahs and clapping of hands etc.
But – is this a true and sound way to understand the Bible in our time?
The quote by this evangelist on Jesus in their midst…to start performing healing-miracles in that meeting…was very much taken out of the true context.
Ampl. Bible, Mat. 18:19, 20 says:
“Again I tell you, if two of you on earth (in the land) agree about whatever they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in Heaven. - -
For wherever two or three are gathered in My name, there I AM in the midst of them.”
These words, was actually a promise given His disciples, and was never promised the Church dispensation at all. It is for certain that this was things Jesus told His followers – the Messianic Jews – and thus it was in the context of those believers as entirely segregated according to the Law of Moses. All other people were shut out of this. The world was not ‘God’s people’ on earth, but ONLY Israel was. That is why Jesus said to the heathen woman in Mat. 15:24:
“…I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Consequently, ALL OTHER PEOPLE were not included in Jesus’ promises to His disciples. Jews only! This is a Biblical fact you can take to the bank.
Israel, since the days at Sinai they were God’s property and His own people, set aside from the nations so they could become a holy priesthood for God.
Jesus practiced the very same segregation which first came to expression by Moses and Aaron at Sinai, Ex. 19:5, 6 quote from Ampl. Bible:
“Now, therefore if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine. - - And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, set apart to the worship of God. These are the words you shall speak to the Israelites.”
Thereby I have proven for certain that the
promise of Jesus to be among them when they
are gathered, was not for others than the Jewish
Messianic believers as we observe them
in the gospels and in Acts.
It were those that Jesus clearly said He was sent to, people of the house of Israel!
It is not complicated.
These believers were on the inside of that ‘Wall of Partition’ which Paul, thirty years later, wrote in Eph. 2:14, 15 were torn down at Israel’s falling away from God. The segregation of Israel as a chosen people for God, ceased in 62-63 A.D. - when Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians from his jail cell at Rome.
But that wall between the Jews and the Gentile-world was still up, during Jesus’ earthly ministry in Israel as well as the following ministry of His apostles described in Acts.
When pastors and preachers cannot (or will not?) understand such a simple and straight forward Bible truth – Jesus’ own words on His segregated ministry to Jews only – that is pretty unique. Do they reject such Bible truth just so that they can keep on with their lies and false gospel-preaching from their podiums, and nobody stopping them?
Notice also, that Jesus never promised that He should be present in huge multitudes, He explicitly said ‘for wherever two or three are gathered…’ – while in the images in the video I mentioned, you can see at least ten thousand people gathered on that plain, if not more. Thus we have at least two barriers stopping those who think this is for the entire world to grab. One, you will have to be a Jewish Messianic believer in the capacity of being one of the Lord’s disciples. And therefore one of those segregated Jews at that time. Two, Jesus never promised it to multitudes like we find in many crusades held by evangelists abroad, or domestic. He said ‘two or three’ people, and that’s it.
Sorry to say, but many unlearned Christians are using the Bible as if it is a Super-Market from which shelfs they pick with them everything they want to bring along. They own no understanding or concepts of God having a system for what He is doing and saying. Paul taught that God is a God of order and thus also of strict principles!
Jesus’ promises to His disciples were never transferred to the dispensation of the Church, the Body of Christ. In our time the Jews/Israel are no longer sat above any nations, but they are just one among the nations.
In this particular case, in which I don’t mention that evangelist’s name, I can inform you that I have had a substantial dialogue with him some time back via emails. I also sent him some articles on these issues to try to have him realize he had gotten things quite askew regarding healings, miracles and all those things. But in spite of this he just continues to ignore my polite warnings of errors, and he is thus guilty of doing doctrinal error willfully. He can no more say that he ‘acted in good faith’.
However, I am not saying that he speaks lies on Jesus as Savior and the core of the Grace Gospel, which is salvation by faith alone. He have got those things right.
But he keeps on attaching false promises to the preaching of the Gospel, promising that if they only have faith then they will be healed miraculously. And the entire Pentecostal-Charismatic fractions of Christianity are dominated by this very same doctrinal errors and misunderstanding of what exactly belongs to the Gospel preaching.
You don’t need a PhD education in Bible logics to be able to understand something
so simple as what I explained above.
That God and Christ can work miracles is beyond any doubt, right?
But this is not the same as if God should have promised that to us, the Body of Christ, the Church which Paul named ‘One New Man’, and to whom there were not any kind of segregation. The ‘Wall of Partition’ was as I mentioned, torn down as Paul emerged with the new free Grace Gospel which is a unique international Gospel to all peoples. In contrast, we know that while Jesus was ministering, - and as Peter and the eleven went out preaching from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 (and later on also Paul ministered to Israel during Acts period) – there was strict segregation for the believers, Jews and their Greek proselytes.
Only Paul brought that Grace Gospel we have in our time, and it was revealed 30 some years right after the closing of Acts in 62-63 A.D. as he wrote the Ephesians and Colossians, presenting this new free Grace Gospel revelation.
Folks, we have to remain loyal to Paul’s Gospel as it is explained in the two epistles.
This Gospel have no miracle-promises, no laying on of hands, no tongues or interpretation of tongues, no exorcism of demons, no prophetic speech, no Holy Communion, no ceremonies for Holidays, or confession of sins. And, of course: There is no ‘Mat. 28 or Mark 16’ in this new Gospel revelation of Paul, not the least whiff of it! All the ministry/gifts described in 1 Cor. 12-14 are gone, totally suspended by Israel’s falling away from God in Acts 28:25-28, and Paul was the one who bade Israel farewell on behalf of God – Israel and God have been entirely apart since then, and in 70 A.D. the Lord had the Romans burn and tear down the temple stone by stone, and thousands of war prisoners sent to Alexandria by ships to be sold as slaves (Deut. 28:68). The whole nation of Israel was annulled completely. Mat. 22:7 – Jesus’ prophetic parable of the ‘Kings Servants’ and the revenge of their deaths by burning the murderer’s (Pharisees’) city – which was Jerusalem!
Still, let us take a look at Mark 16 where we find Jesus promising miracles and signs, Mark 16:17, 18:
“And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages (tongues); - - They will pick up serpents; and (even) if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well (my comment: Here it should have said ‘get instantly well’ – because that is what we see in Acts!).”
To drive out demons.
We find in Acts that the apostles plus the thirteenth apostle Paul, performed such powerful works. Acts 5:15, 16 says:
“…they (the people) kept carrying out the sick into the streets and placing them on couches and sleeping pads. (in the hope) that as Peter passed by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them. - - And the people gathered also from the towns and hamlets around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those troubled with foul spirits, AND THEY WERE ALL CURED.”
This was about 18-20 months after Pentecost in Acts 2 – in the year 30 A.D.
These signs and miracles – driving out demons and healing lots of sick people, not only were according to Mark 16 and the Great Commission: Peter’s powerful ministry even surpassed it: He did not at this instance lay hands on the sick or the demon possessed, he wasn’t even there to heal or set free anyone at all. He was walking from one place in Jerusalem to another place…and God so happened to arrange this scenario that He just let Peter’s shadow fall on the sick ones and demon possessed along the streets – and voila!! – they were cured. Oh, excuse me: I missed out on one word, THEY WERE ALL CURED!
Paul also drove out evil spirits in his early ministry, when he preached to Jews and Greek proselytes in Acts period, a few years before he had the revelation of the new free Grace Gospel. Acts 16:16,-18 say:
“As we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination, and she brought her owners much gain (monetary) by her fortunetelling. - - She kept following Paul and the rest of us, shouting loudly, These men are the servants of the Most High God! They announce to you the way of salvation! - - And she did this for many days. Then Paul, being sorely annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit within her, I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out that very moment.”
As Paul later arrived at Ephesus, he performed multiple great miracles and wonders, such as had not been seen in that place before. Acts 19: 11, 12 say:
“And God did unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul. - - So that handkerchiefs or towels or aprons which had touched his skin were carried away and put upon the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.”
In the same chapter we are also reading of the well-known incident of the seven sons of Sceva the priest, who tried to drive out demons of a man, but on their own and therefore not under the authority of Christ. It went all wrong: The possessed man jumped at them and beat them up and really messed with them so much that they fled the house naked and bloody! (Acts 19:13-21). This incident made the people there come under great awe and fear of God, so much as to take their forbidden books of sorcery and burnt them. Paul was armed and authorized by God, and what a difference that made!
We cannot find one single inspired servant of God on earth today. All the special gifts were suspended when Israel fell from God. Paul and John were the last two apostles of Christ, and no one like them has ever showed up… almost 2000 years have passed.
In our modern times there have been and still is, false ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’ who claims to have super-natural power from God to heal and to perform miracles. They have for decades flooded the religious market by their TV-channels and other media, serving lies and fraud trying to pull a lot of money out of the gullible Christian audiences. But,- without any miracles happening. Heaven is totally mute.
No such operation belongs to this Church dispensation. It was only in the 30 years of Acts that such ministries existed as they offered to Israel to receive Jesus and have the millennial Kingdom established at His Second Advent. But Israel ultimately refused to believe as a nation, and fell away from God.
Even in the apostolic times there were restrictions on the miracle gifts. They could by no means just go about at their own private will and perform healings etc. No, Paul he taught restrictions in 1 Cor. 12:29, 30:
“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all have the power of performing miracles? - - Do all possess extraordinary powers of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”
Driving out demons from possessed people is described as a gift to work powerful works/miracles. It is a very special gift (v. 10).
At Israel’s fall (Acts 28:25-28) all
the miracle gifts and signs and wonders
ceased the very same day.
Heaven went mute.
The idea of evangelists entering foreign lands, for example India, Pakistan, Africa and other places, gathering multitudes on large green fields or arenas to try to show forth ‘signs, miracles and wonders’ to the Gentile multitudes, cannot be found in the Bible at all. It glitters by its total absence!
The idea is false, for such signs were given the apostles to perform before Israel/Jews and the proselytes, to have them believe on Christ. It had restrictions with it, just as there were restrictions as to who could do what in regard to these powerful spiritual gifts.
To drink something poisonous
Those who insist that miracles also goes for us today, in the Church dispensation, are not entirely honest in what they teach. They constantly omit drinking poison and grabbing dangerous snakes with their hands. They also omit Jesus’ commandment to sell all their belongings (that which was not needed to make a living). They have carefully (and doubtfully) sifted out such extreme signs and ordinances. They only hold to speaking in tongues, laying hands on the sick in prayer (without any results), prophesy, water baptism and baptism with the Holy Spirit.
In USA and possibly also other places, there are sects actually bringing snakes to their meetings to try to convince audiences that they are not hurt by getting bitten. Many of these fanatics have died and many are often sick by the poisoning…and in no way can they prove that they are immune to dangerous snakes. Fake miracles and a false doctrine hand in hand. I have yet to see that anyone drink poison to try to prove they are immune. Maybe someone has tried, but I have never seen any rapport of such activities.
It is obvious that Jesus never meant that any of His believers should willfully take up deadly snakes or drink any poison. They were protected by God if they by chance happened to get bitten or taking poison thinking it was just orange juice! Most Bible readers do understand this. This is not rocket-science.
In N.T. scriptures we can find only one incident where a snake bit someone: Paul was bitten at Malta as he gathered dry branches to fire up a bon-fire after their shipwrecking, Acts 28:3. Paul did not try to lift it by his hands, but the snake bit his finger, and Paul shook it off into the fire.
Regarding drinking poison there are no report in N.T. at all. Why, I don’t know. It may have happened, but we do not have a word of God for that.
It happens all the time here on earth – somewhere, somehow – there seem to be ignorant and illiterate people fuzzing on with the Bible as if it was a toy to play with. They cook up the most unbelievable crap of doctrines and speculations.
Don’t listen to such false teachings which
adds something to the Gospel that are
not there. Such as promises of
signs, wonders and miracles.
No such super-natural miracles exist today in the Church dispensation of the free international Grace Gospel of Paul.
Don’t ever believe or listen to so-called ‘reports’ from crusading evangelists saying miracles and healings happened in their crusades. It is total hoax all of it, I can assure you! It has got more to do with money-collection than it has to do with Gospel preaching.
No, we will rather listen to and take heed of what Paul taught us in Ephesians and Colossians, the letters describing our Gospel. We get learned and get real knowledge of Christ by studying his letters, and we are not told to chase for miracles. But wisdom and understanding. Col. 1:9 is clear:
“We have not ceased to pray and make
request for you, that you may be filled
with the full knowledge of His will in
all spiritual wisdom and in understanding
and discernment of spiritual things”