Additional Questions:

Why won’t God heal amputees? You never see missing limbs spontaneously restored. Why is that? Surely the prayers from amputees and their loved ones are plaintive enough.

Why doesn't God Heal Disabilities?In the Bible Jesus (God) is described as healing people with serious afflictions. A man born blind was given sight by Jesus. Why don't we see that happening today? A man with leprosy is instantly healed by Jesus. Peter and John instantly heal a man who was born lame and who is unable to walk. Paul did the same with a man in Lystra (Acts 14:8-10)

Before coming to a conclusion, we should ask, “What was the purpose of these miracles?” Until we understand why God either directly, or through a person, does supernatural miracles, we cannot know why He is not doing supernatural miracles today.

There is an assumption built into this question. That assumption is that God acts supernaturally because someone, in prayer, asks Him to do so. And if the person doing the asking is plaintive (expressing sorrow or being mournful), that is sufficient reason for God to act supernaturally.

This exposes some contradictory thinking on the part of atheists. The claim here is that because we do not see God working supernaturally in response to prayers, there must not be a God. On the other hand, a claim they make against the Bible is that:

These biblical myths support the belief, which has been held by primitive and illiterate people throughout history, that supernatural beings frequently and arbitrarily intervene in this world. (Did God Really Say?, Page 195)

Of course, as atheists point out, if “supernatural beings frequently and arbitrarily intervene in this world” science is destroyed, and it in fact becomes difficult just to lead a normal life because you never know when God is going to violate the rules, or even change the rules. The resulting conclusion is that, if God is acting supernaturally, and we can't trust observational science, then we live in an arbitrary existence and we have no way to study and make sense of the universe nor our existence.

However, whichever way they want to have it, the atheists have created an imaginary god and then claimed their imaginary god does not exist. They right! The god they've made up doesn't exist! But the true creator/savior God does exist. And He has very specific and limited reasons for His supernatural actions. They are neither arbitrary nor disruptive of the "natural" order.

Note: The supernatural is addressed in chapters 42, 43, 44 of "Did God Really Say?"

There are five major historical periods when God was working supernaturally: creation (including Adam and Eve's time in the garden),Noah's flood, the time of Moses and Joshua, the time of Elijah and Elisha, and the time of Christ and the apostles. God was working in special and unique ways during those very limited times. These types of supernatural periods are not happening today. However, supernatural periods such as these will happen again, but only as we approach the end times.

God's purposes in acting supernaturally can be understood by looking at what He was doing during these five periods:

1. Creation: bringing everything into existence. This was a one-time series of supernatural creation.

2. Judgment: the wickedness of the world had become so great that God first announced how people could be saved from His judgment (get on the ark), and then He brought judgment on the world (world-wide flood). This type of supernatural action will happen again. A world-wide judgment will happen again and the entire world, and all life on it, will be destroyed. However, as with the flood, God has warned us and has provided an escape. Just as the only way to escape Noah's flood was to go through the door of the ark, the only way to escape the final judgment is to go through the door who is Jesus Christ.

3. Demonstrate the message and messenger are from God: God validates His revelation of truth by accompanying it with supernatural miracles. That is the reason Elijah and Elisha are associated with miracles. It is the reason that Christ and the apostles are associated with miracles.

4. Demonstrate that Jesus Christ is God: Jesus did things that only God can do. Most lists of Jesus' miracles include 37 supernatural miracles. But, Jesus did more than that. He knew people's thoughts, for example, and answered their thoughts before they expressed them. While that's not a miracle outsiders could see, the person whose thoughts Jesus answered had the opportunity to recognize that something was happening that only God could do.

Chapter 43 points out that there are a few supernatural miracles that fall outside of the five main periods of God acting supernaturally. They are:
  1. The sun’s shadow going back ten degrees (II Kings 20:9-11);
  2. A witch bringing the ghost of Samuel back from the dead (I Samuel 28:3-15);
  3. Disembodied fingers writing on a wall (Daniel 5:5);
  4. A man living for three days and nights in the belly of a fish (Jonah 1:17)
  5. Let's add one not on the humanist's list, Gideon putting out a fleece in Judges Chapter 6.

These took place in very rare (five instances during a period of 4,500 years) and special circumstances.

#1 - This sign was requested by Hezekiah, and given to confirm God's promise that Hezekiah would be healed.

#2 - This is a unique miracle in all of scripture. The spirit world is real and demons (fallen angels) do interact with the physical world, at times impersonating the spirit of a dead person. This is the only recorded instance of God permitting an actual dead person to manifest... something that God had forbidden. Saul was the first king of Israel and God used the highly respected prophet Samuel (who was dead), who was probably the only prophet who would be believed in the circumstances, to prophecy Saul's doom resulting from his disobedience. These circumstances made it clear this prophecy was God and was true. Even the medium knew it was from God. (The message is validated by Samuel's appearance.)

#3 - Babylon was under siege. King Belshazzar was holding a banquet to bolster the moral of his people and call on his gods to deliver them. The finger writing a message on the wall made it clear this was a message from the real God, not the helpless Babylonian"gods.". Daniel was called on to read the handwriting, which was a prophecy of the destruction of Babylon. That destruction happened the same night. God could have given the prophecy through Daniel, but with the Medes and Persians already surrounding them, it would not have been clear the prophecy was from God. The finger writing on the wall made it very clear this was from God, that it was Daniel's God, the one and only God... and that the Babylonian “gods” could do nothing like this.

So, once again, God uses a supernatural action to validate His message.

#4 - The Ninevites were a major enemy of Israel and Job did not want to bring a message of warning to Israel's enemy. So he was running away physically and spiritually from what God wanted Him to do. Job booked passage on a ship to get as far away from Nineveh as possible. But God caused a storm and brought a great fish to swallow Jonah, bring Jonah back to land and the road to Nineveh.
God could have used other ways to get Jonah to Nineveh. But in using a fish God foreshadows our salvation through Jesus Christ. Matthew writes the following in chapter 12 of his gospel:

For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. – Matthew 12:40-41

#5 - Once again God is validating His message, this time His message to Gideon. In this case God chose to use someone who was weak theologically; in a situation in which evil was rampant and the Middianites were conquering Israel; and prophecy was not happening. God used Gideon putting out a fleece to validate His instructions to Gideon... instructions that had to appear to Gideon as though they were a suicide mission.

Does God need to validate His message today? No. We have the complete scriptures which are sufficient for all we need. Are we in a situation today that requires God to act supernaturally? No. Although God has the ability to act supernaturally whenever He wishes, there is no indication in scripture that He is acting supernaturally today. (See chapter 43). Today God works through providential miracles. These types of miracles involve God working through people and circumstances to bring about His will.

Recommended Resource:

Have The Apostolic Gifts Ceased? - This message from Phil Johnson addresses the question of the continuation of the apostolic gifts (miracles for example) and why they are no longer active today (free audio download).

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