HEALING AND MIRACLES:
THESE ARE NOT FOUND PERFORMED
IN ACTS AMONG REGULAR MEMBERS
OF THE APOSTOLIC ASSEMBLIES!
After that the false revival of Azusa Street in 1906-1913 in Los Angeles took place – falsely assuming that ‘Pentecost Has Come’ – which was their regular slogan regarding the spiritual calamity taking place, - the very heretic idea that God from here on working directly in the regular members lives (healings, miracles, tongues etcetera) found favor with these believers.
The early Pentecostal movement had not only caught on to false revival (thinking that Pentecost of Acts 2 – with tongues, and followed immediately by great healing miracles, had happened) – but a false belief grabbed hold of their gullible minds, so that they thought that God would perform miracles/healings/wonders directly for each individual member according to their needs.
This is a very heretic doctrine and belief.
We find no such thing in the entire Acts history of over 30 years.
Neither can we find any examples of ‘Mass Prayer’ for sick people, like with those Crusading evangelists, of whom Benny Hinn is one.
GALATIANS 3:5 ARE MISINTERPRETED
English Standard Bible:
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—
Berean Standard Bible:
Does God lavish His Spirit on you and work miracles among you because you practice the law, or because you hear and believe?
New American Standard Bible:
So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
So then, does He who supplies you with His [marvelous Holy] Spirit and works miracles among you, do it as a result of the works of the Law [which you perform], or because you [believe confidently in the message which you] heard with faith?
We learn from Gal. 3:5 that the issue here is not whether the regular believer had been given miracles and healings each one in a direct manner, like, as if God answered their individual prayers by giving each one his own miracle/healing.
No, the issue here is rather: Did God work these miracles among them (like, in their meetings/congregation) by the Law or by the faith in Christ.
In other words, Paul was asking this interrogating question with himself in mind, as he was the one who had been there and ministered to them!
In 2 Cor. 12:12 we read, Amplified Bible:
“The signs that indicate a genuine apostle were performed among you fully and most patiently—signs and wonders and miracles.”
Notice a total similarity in text compared to Paul’s word to the Galatians.
Paul, of course, referred to the God given Holy Spirit signs and miracles which followed his ministry everywhere he went. It was the very same type of miracles and wonders, no doubt. He acted in same manner in Galatia as he later did in Corinth, and any other places he went.
And in no epistle can we find that he suggests that these signs operated among them in his absence!
So that heretical idea of miracles among the regular members, on their own, is just a human fantasy, nothing more. In James’ epistle we find that the members could/should call upon the elders of the congregation – that is, if no apostle was present. See more of this below.
Be aware that the passage in Gal. 3:5 – is not to be understood as if the Law was out of effect! Here many unlearned Christian believers go wrong. It was in effect indeed, but only by the New Covenant of Christ for Israel, did God work miracles among them. The New Covenant was added on top of the Law. Paul is just saying, - ‘Hey, you Galatians, you who keep up the Law and demanding that Gentile converts go and get circumcised according to the Law, have you forgotten that the faith in Christ is what brings you salvation, as well as miracles of healing? These things have not come as a result of the Law of Moses, but from your faith in Christ’.
Rom. 3:31 tells of the Law that it is intact and being established and upheld by the believers in Acts period. See also James’ greeting word to Paul in Acts 21:19, 20, confirming that the Law was observed by the entire assembly of believers in Christ at Jerusalem. But, again, the Law as such, did not bring them healings and miracles, only their faith in Christ did. Understood? Comprende?
THE GENERAL DOCTRINE IN ACTS ON HEALINGS
We cannot escape the general established doctrine and practices found in Acts, that these miracles, healings and signs were solidly attached to the Apostles of Christ. Including also Paul, the thirteenth Apostle.
Mark 16:20 is an exact conclusion stated of the entire ministries of the apostles of Christ, looking back in New Testament history, saying,
“And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them (through the Holy Spirit) and confirming the message by attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied.”
As the apostles established the early Messianic Jewish ‘church’ after Christ’s resurrection they traveled preaching the gospel (Peter worked only inside Israel, but Paul outside in the dispersion), healing diseases, raising the dead, and exorcising demonic spirits. Below you will find an account of the many scripture passages of their healings and miracles in Acts.
It is quite telling, to read Acts 2:43, and 5:12,
“And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers).
“Now by the hands of the apostles (special messengers) numerous and startling signs and wonders were being performed among the people. And by common consent they all met together (at the temple) in the covered porch (walk) called Solomon’s.”
I am being often provoked by hearing common Christian church members speaking of ‘God healed me of this, and healed of that’…and so forth. They try to convince you that they prayed to God (or Jesus) – and He healed them miraculously from headache, hurting hips and legs, and many other typical illnesses of our time. And yet, we cannot find the least support for such things in all of the N.T. scriptures. It’s just not there. But what we do find is that these nine Holy Spirit sign-gifts did cease as we learn of Israel’s falling away from God as a nation, Acts 28:25-28. And then Paul, shortly thereafter comes up with a new revelation, - the free Grace Gospel of Christ for us Gentiles, Eph. 3:1-9.
A mystery which had been hidden in God, before He revealed it to Paul in 63 CE. This is ultra-Biblical, for Paul taught that such signs were given only to Israel, so they could be certain that the apostles were God-sent (1 Cor. 14:21, 22). It means that these signs-miracles-healings NEVER had been given to other than Israel. These things are not for us Gentiles. At the fall of Israel in Acts 28, also Israel is now just a nation among all other nations. They are now Gentiles like us. In our time Israel is not representing God as a nation. They shall be re-instated during the seven year tribulation soon coming upon them. God send down Elijah and Moses to administer this tribulation, casting frightful signs and plagues upon them to bring them on their knees (Rev. 11).
In cases where there was no apostle present (in the assemblies) the sick and afflicted members were taught to call upon those ministers who stood under the apostolic authority, having the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 12-14) – and thus we still cannot find any doctrine among the apostolic assemblies saying that each member can on his own just pray to God for healing! As in the epistle of James,
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." ~ James 5:14-15
Scripture Examples of Healing in Acts
(The list is copied from Christianity.com)
And all these miracles and signs and healings must be considered
pre-Church events. The Church as we see in Ephesians/Colossians
did not exist while these events happened by the apostles!
The Acts-body of believers must not be confused with Post-Acts body.
The Lame Beggar Healed: Acts 3:1-10
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Many Signs and Wonders Done: Acts 5:12-16
Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria: Acts 8:4-8
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city.
The Conversion and Healing of Saul: Acts 9:17-19
So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
The Healing of Aeneas: Acts 9:32-35
Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Paul’s Healing at Lystra: Acts 14:8-10
Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking.
Paul Stoned at Lystra: Acts 14:19-23
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Paul and Silas in Prison: Acts 16:16-18
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
The Sons of Sceva: Acts 19:11-20
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Eutychus Raised from the Dead: Acts 20:7-16
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted. But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.
Paul on Malta: Acts 28:1-9
After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta. The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.
The Absence of Apostles in Our Time
You may have heard of the NAR-Movement – ‘The New Apostolic Reformation’ – which makes claims that God has raised a new end-time apostolic church which has the same power and signs as found with the original apostles.
This is a very weird and freaked out heretical movement. Actually, almost all modern religious movements - mainly those from the USA – are weird, freaked out and totally opposed to the Word of God. Inventions made by man and not by God.
One of the ‘celebrities’ in this movement is Pastor Bill Johnson, Reading, CA.
This sort of heretical movement has been planted here in Norway as well, where I live, and is called ‘Oslokirken’ (transl. The Oslo Church) pastored by the infamous Jan Aage Torp. It may be that branches from out of this church are found elsewhere here in Norway.
But USA is the nation in which this movement has its roots. It started with C. Peter Wagner. I have a short list copied from Wikipedia here, listing the most known churches in NAR. Image: C. Peter Wagner.
(Since I mention USA: Let it be noted that in USA I have found Christians who are in total opposition to any such weird sects/movements and the like. They are, thank God, holding much to the same ‘Acts-28’ belief as myself, and are rightly dividing the Word of Truth. So, in USA one can find the worst as well as the best, among Christendom. The nation has it all.)
Though few, if any, organizations publicly espouse connection to the NAR, a movement known for dominion theology and a belief in the continuing ministries of apostles and prophets alongside those of evangelists, pastors, and teachers, (Ephesians 4:11-13) there are several individuals often associated with this movement including:
John P. Kelly, founder of John P. Kelly Ministries and Convening Apostle
Randy Clark, Global Awakening
The editors (Jan Lilleby) comments to this:
These pastors/leaders are known as notorious heretics and false prophets, and they are all detested all over not only USA, but also in other parts of the world. They are the very proto-type of heretics, and seem to have much in common with those whom Jesus warned of in Mat. 7:22, 23 …”Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? 23: And then I will say to them openly (in public), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly (disregarding My commands).”
It is an ill warning sermon, as Jesus used the word ‘Many’ – many false healers, false prophets, false evangelists, false pastors….not few. The NAR movement is already come up into considerable numbers of followers. And then we can add same sort of heretics inside false movements outside of NAR, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Scientologists, Universalists, Preterists, Christian-Zionists, and the lot.
C. Peter Wagner of Global Harvest Ministries considered the year 2001 to be the beginning of the second apostolic age, for the movement holds that the lost offices of prophet and apostle were restored in that year.
After being named as part of the NAR, and critics believing that Bethel Church was instrumental in leading some Christians to embrace tenets of NAR, Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel became regularly listed as an NAR leader. Johnson admitting that he does believe in the apostolic and prophetic ministries, he denied however in an official statement that his church had any official ties to the NAR." (So far the Wikipedia.)
This excerpt from Wikipedia is just a little drop in the ocean. I leave it up to the reader to check it out on your own. You can find tons of anti-NAR writings on the internet, as a majority of Christian denominations condemns NAR all over the place.
However, the issue here is that there are no doctrine found in the Bible saying that the apostolic and prophetic callings/ministries ever were inherited down through the following generations, up until our time. The ones mentioned by Paul in Eph. 4:11-13 of the previous apostles/prophets who established the gospel of Jesus Christ, are not in present tense, nor future, but only mentioned in past tense. Paul gave a review of the elect servants of Christ who established the faith and the Gospel in the early days. There exists no ‘succession of apostles and prophets’ – you know, like as found in the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, with its Pope being a successor of the apostle Peter. This is pure human imagination, as is much of this huge church-body’s fantastic doctrines like Mass for the Dead, Holy Saints, Virgin Mary as one you can pray to, etcetera.
The imaginary heretical world of NAR, thinking they are real apostles, real prophets, working real miracles, is a world totally estranged to sound Biblical Pauline doctrine.
What I am saying is: After the apostles passed away during first century, there are no such ministries left on earth. If anyone calls himself apostle, prophet or other ministerial positions as if they are real Biblical ones, then they are committing the sin of lying. Liars are not promised any salvation, I can assure you. The ones Jesus warned about in Mat. 7 will be liars. Why else would He bid them to depart from Him?
The five ministerial offices found in 1 Cor. 12-14 cannot in any way be compared to our ministers. Those back in the day, were personally chosen for the ministry by Christ. We are not. No matter what we try to call ourselves – we are absolutely not to be taken for these Christ-chosen ministers of Acts period.
The Pentecostal movement had their ‘Kick-Off’ in 1906 by the revival meetings in Azusa Street…a totally imaginary ‘Pentecost’ trying to copy/revive Acts 2. See my separate articles on the subject.
The NAR movement is of same hoax and fraudulent beliefs only added more heretical elements to it. They operate in a dreamlike state of mind, totally disrespecting the Bible, disrespecting Jesus Christ, and desperately trying to imitate the miracles of the Acts era. It is totally false and untrue. It’s a farce.
It is my private opinion, that their many desperate twisting of the Word of God, will leave these believers losing their salvation. I am afraid this may be true. If you are a so-called NAR-believer, get out of it now. Get into Paul’s grace gospel, in which we are promised full eternal salvation by faith only,
Eph. 2:8, 9, AMP,
“For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9: not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].”
Paul’s genuine God-made calling for us Gentiles, our original, genuine GGM movement (“Grace Gospel Movement”) started in 63 CE, as Paul, our apostle/teacher, sat jailed in Carcere Mamertino in Rome. It is a long time ago, isn’t it? But it still is the only Gospel we are told to believe, as Paul points us to the risen glorified Jesus Christ at His Father’s right hand in heaven. Ephesians and Colossians are our grace doctrine of faith, describing our fabulous salvation by faith alone, no works, NO apostles/prophets and the lot. God’s own reformation was instigated, as well as concluded when Paul wrote the two epistles in 63 CE right before he got executed by Nero. Historians hold to a narrative where Paul was beheaded in 67 CE.
The miserable and swindling lying ‘gospel’ of the New Apostolic Reformation, instigated by C. Peter Wagner in 2001 CE goes straight into the waste-bin folks!
The majority of Christianity has cast it down there, but what about you?
There exists no Biblical sure evidence of any Christian believer’s ability/possibility to pray to God for miraculous personal healing of illness. This is also the ‘real life’ experiences of all Christian believers today: None of the healings/miracles/signs shown in the Acts are seen anywhere. But doctors, nurses, hospitals and nursery homes are seen all over the place! The Big Time healer Oral Roberts, had to get a Pace-Maker installed to save his life! This is notorious of all the known healers in modern times: They all went to doctors and hospitals for their illnesses. Many recovered, but many died eventually. God did not heal Oral Robert’s heart, did He? There is not one single pastor/evangelist/teacher/preacher anywhere who can honestly say that he witnessed a genuine super-natural miracle of God, the Father of Christ!
No Holy Spirit sign-gifts, including casting out of demons, healing the sick, speaking in tongues, etcetera, are in operation in our time after the passing away of the apostles.
The Holy Spirit is not operating with demonstrative visible physical healings and signs in our time. We simply have to go see a doctor for our eventual illnesses, and that’s it.
The Holy Spirit is rather described by Paul as a ‘seal’ in our hearts, a security given us for the hope of salvation to be experienced one day.
Eph. 4:30 is clear: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”