Documented Miracles: Lie #8: “Miracles ceased with the apostles.”

7 Great Lies of Organized Religion – Lie #8

Where I grew up, they said: “Miracles don’t happen anymore. They ceased with the disciples.” I believed what they told me.

Dozens of personal experiences and medically documented cases have caused me to do a 180 on this. Miracles are REAL. The idea that miracles are fake is literally the 8th lie of Organized Religion. (Fake miracles masquerading as real ones are the other side of that coin, by the way… and there are many fake miracles.)

Miracles are far more common than many would have you believe. Today, I share several of my own personal experiences. And several thoroughly documented events.

Before we dig in, I need to tell you a conversation with my younger brother Bryan, whose story I tell in my book Evolution 2.0 and on my site www.cosmicfingerprints.com.

Bryan had gotten a Master’s Degree in Theology at Master’s Seminary in Southern California. Master’s is very conservative and holds a doctrinal position that miracles ceased after the disciples. He’d spent time in the ministry including a stint as a missionary. Because of mounting doubts, he was bailing on the whole thing.

He says to me:

“Perry, I’ve studied the New Testament inside and out. I’ve studied Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. And you know what? There is NOTHING in the Bible whatsoever to suggest that miracles should stop.

“So… WHERE’S THE MIRACLES???”

I rifle through my mental file folders. I’ve heard lots of stories 3rd hand. No personal experiences of my own to report.

(Gulp.)

He continues: “Every single supposed ‘miracle’ can be explained by sleight of hand, placebo effect, or wishful thinking. There’s no such thing as a medically documented miracle.”

He was definitely right about the New Testament part. Nowhere is there so much as a hint that the miracles were going to go away. In fact miracles are held out as proof of the authenticity of Jesus as the Son of God. From healing the paralytic to forgiving sins to feeding the 5000 to rising from the dead, all are offered as things only God can do.

I was quite concerned that he was right about the placebo effect and the wishful thinking. Made me queasy.

Felt like a sucker. A mark. Gullible.

Plus, when you turn on the TV and see the faith healers plying their trade, most of us run out of the room screaming. Educated people are way too smart for that, right?

What if all this stuff about miracles is hocus-pocus and Santa Claus? What an icky, shameful feeling.

My eyes were suddenly wide open for information that would either confirm or deny this.

For several months I was almost persuaded that he might be right.

But little by little things started happening. The evidence began to point the other way.

Experience #1: I had lunch near Cincinnati Ohio with an old co-worker named Charlie Keck. September 27, 2002. Charlie was an engineer who lived in Tipp City Ohio. His wife was named Geri, and she’d had lupus.

She’d *had* lupus. But she didn’t have it anymore.

She and Charlie had treated it for years, prayed for years that it would be healed, and it wouldn’t budge.

Then one morning at her Bible study, a woman suddenly stood up and said, “God just told me to pray for you, to be healed, RIGHT NOW.”

So they did. And Geri felt this warm sensation flushing through her abdomen and the lupus was healed. Just like that. No more doctor visits, no more treatments. The whole chronic disease, gone.

Experience #2: I got to Rajahmundry, India in June 2007 with the customer service manager at my company, Jeremy Flanagan. Jeremy, as it turns out, has been having experiences like this himself. Healing people.

At a church service one Sunday, the pastor, Isaiah Gottimukkala, invites anybody who wants any kind of healing prayer to line up in front of Jeremy. Jeremy calls me over to help him and we start prayin’ for people.

One woman, maybe 60 years old, had fallen a year ago and hurt her arm. She could not raise her elbow past the middle of her chest. When she moved her arm up and down she complained that her shoulder would crack and pop and Jeremy and I could feel that too, when we put our hands on her shoulder when she’d move it.

He started praying for her. Probably spent 15 minutes. By the time Jeremy was done both shoulders felt identical, there was no cracking and she could raise her arm above her head on her own strength.

I asked her to do it for me and I snapped a picture. She said it didn’t hurt anymore and both arms were equally good.

Another lady, Mary, maybe 30 years old, had somewhat recently had brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. She pulled her hair back and I could tell just brushing my hand over her head that there was a big piece of her skull taken out and a large indention on her head.

She complained that she’d been having seizures since the operation, and she has had no feeling anywhere in her left arm.

Jeremy started praying that God would heal her entire skull and put everything back. We prayed for her and prayed for her. After about a half hour her head hadn’t changed but she started feeling tingling on her skin and by the time we were done, she said she could feel everything with her left arm exactly like her right arm.

No success on her skull filling in. Not yet anyway. But she was VERY excited about the feeling come back in her left arm!

We go home, and 2 months later I email Pastor Isaiah’s brother, Ananth. I want to know if these people are “still healed.” (Or did the problems come back? It sometimes happens.) Here’s his reply:

Respected Mr. Perry Marshall,

Greetings from India!

Thank you very much for your prayers.

Your trip to India was amazing. Many were healed and increased their faith in God.
They are sharing their testimony to many people. Many times they are asking about you and Mr. Jeremy for prayers. We told them that next year definitely they will come to pray for you and for many.

I would like to share the testimony of my Grand mother(My father’s mother). Her name is Mrs. Suvarthamma and her age is 75. She was suffering from severe headache and neck pain from so many years and also if she takes anything from her mouth she will be feeling pain in her throat.

After your prayers She is completely healed. She is very happy and doing all the works easily irrespecitve of her age. God did miracle in her life through your prayers.

Another women named Mrs. Mary, Her age is 30. She had operation on her head. Hair was fully sworn and the head was like smooth sponge. She used to have pain on her head daily. and also her hand is not working and she doesnt have any feeling on her hand.

After your prayers she bacame healed. She feels her hand and she can do works with that hand normally as another hand. Praise the Lord.

Every one hearing of her witness, asking us about you and requesting us to bring you back to India.

These are some of the Miracles happend because of your prayers.

My brother Pastor Isaiah and his wife Surekha and all the boys of the Rajah Boys Home and Pastors in the Deep Forest are sending their greetings to you.

Thanking you Sir,

Yours faithfully,

Ananth

I’ve told you about two people there in Rajahmundry India. There were many more – most got some benefit, some didn’t seem to get any. These are the most dramatic examples of what happened. But I’ll tell you one thing: I learned that prayer CHANGES things. Especially when administered the way the apostles always said to.

I fully understand that a lot of people reading this are very, very skeptical.

As well you should be.

After all, you weren’t there, were you? No you weren’t. You only have my word to go on.

Well, I forgot to bring my portable MRI machine on the plane so I could do before / after scans of all these people, and as concerns this particular event, my own eyewitness testimony is about as good as I can provide right here.

If you’ll stick with me, later in this article I’ll give you information on publicly documented miracles that you can investigate for yourself. Meanwhile I’ve got more personal experiences to share.

Healing evangelist Todd Bentley: Crazy as all get-out, but the miracles were real.

Todd Bentley: A crazy, controversial guy, but some of his miracles were real.

Experience #3: In the spring of 2008 a “revival” broke out in Lakeland Florida. Hugely controversial. A guy named Todd Bentley, a Canadian Harley-riding preacher guy with jeans and cowboy boots and covered with tattoos started healing people in this crazy tent meeting.

It grew and grew until 5,000 to 10,000 people were showing up every single night. This went on until August 2008. The whole thing caved in when Bentley was found to be having an affair with one of his staff members.

(Hey, I told you this thing was controversial. Wait, there’s more…)

I jumped on a plane and flew there to see the whole thing for myself. I was there May 27, 2008.

On the hotel shuttle bus to the meeting I met a woman from Hong Kong who had flown to London to pick up her daughter, a college student who had severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The daughter was skinny as a rail and looked like the walking dead. They were there to get healing.

I get there and the whole place is a freaking nuthouse. Loud music, crazy people dancing and singing, and rolling around on the floor. This Todd Bentley guy is marching around the stage, shouting, kicking people, slapping them, proclaiming them healed.revival

Across the stage the people go. Bentley is yelling all kinds of proclamations. At one point he stops and says:

“I’m telling you right now, somebody in here has been deaf in one ear for 34 years. Who is that? Thirty-four years deaf. The Lord just spoke to me. Come up here.”

I’m in the center section near the back. About 20 feet from me, over my shoulder and to the right, a guy raises his hand. “That’s me. I went deaf from a gunshot 34 years ago today.”

Bentley prays for him and he’s healed, instantly. You can watch this in this video:

 

The man’s name was Brian Burgee. He’s pastor of Rock Church of Tampa Bay.

Brian’s story was reported in the Charlotte Observer on June 19, 2008. You can read it here.

I met Charles Chandler, the reporter who wrote it. We have a mutual friend who lives in North Carolina.  Chandler followed up with the people described in the article personally and checked their stories.

I was there that night. I saw it happen with my own two eyes.

This article is referenced on Wikipedia. My neighbor is the editor in charge of the Todd Bentley page on Wikipedia. The healings in Lakeland were such a hot potato, most of the mainstream media wouldn’t touch it.

When people are really getting healed and things are happening that the establishment claims are impossible, mostly what you get is silence. Or irrational protests from people who still insist it’s impossible.

(Not all that different from atheists trying to tell me DNA isn’t actually a code.)

 Jeronimo and Noemia Cessito, Beira, Mozambique

Jeronimo and Noemia Cessito, Beira, Mozambique

Experience #4: I have a friend named Noemia Cessito. She and her husband Jeronimo run a school, church, AIDS hospice, medical clinic and feeding program in Beira, Mozambique. I went to visit them in the summer of 2003.

Mozambique is extremely poor. Luxuries that westerners take for granted are simply unheard of there.

Noemia tells this strange story:

When I arrived in Mozambique in 1984, the country was in the middle of a 15 year civil war. It was a hard time. A lot of people were dying not just from the fighting but from starvation.

One evening our church met for prayer. People started to pray for things like shoes, a chair, a shirt, a loaf of bread. I never heard anyone pray for a pair of shoes or a loaf of bread before. I had always prayed: “Lord, please provide for my needs.”

So, I was sitting beside this little six year old girl and we divided into pairs to pray. That little girl began to pray, “Oh God, give shoes to my brother, Carlos. Oh, God, give some some bread to my sister Maria. And I said “Amen” to each of her requests.

Later at home, I got down on my knees to pray some more and when I was kneeling, I was trying to pray for the war because I had heard about a terrible battle on the Zamebezi river.

In the middle of thinking about that, I got this desire for some ice cream. I thought, “Good Lord! How could I possibly think about ice cream now when there is so much war and starvation?” But yet, deep in my heart, I heard a voice saying, “Ask for some ice cream from God.”

I ignored the thought. How could I possibly ask for ice cream when so many people are starving and are in so much need? I continued to pray. But my mouth started to water because I so wanted to have some ice cream. And then I began to cry. I didn’t have the courage to say, “God, please give me some ice cream.” I knew that I could, but I didn’t have the courage.

But, then at the end of my prayer, I said to God, “God, I would sure love to taste some ice cream.” And then, I cried some more. I thought, how selfish can I be! There are so many suffering and starving. I was crying because I was homesick for Brazil, and I so wanted a taste of ice cream.

About noon the next day a truck from Zimbabwe drove up to the door where I was staying and the driver got out and knocked. He wanted someone named, Naomi. I didn’t understand English at that time but he kept saying Naomi, Naomi and I finally realized that Naomi must be my name in English.

So I took the package and when I touched it my heart froze. I knew right away what it was because the box was cold.

So I asked the driver, “Who sent this? Where did it come from?” He didn’t understand me but finally through gestures I got out of him that someone at the airport gave him that box to deliver to “Naomi.” It had been flown in on a plane from South Africa. To this day I have no idea who sent it or where it came from.

Well, I put that little carton of ice cream in the freezer of the refrigerator with a sense of overwhelming gratitude. It was then that I began to understand that I can ask from God even the most insignificant things.

Since then I’ve faced a lot of hard times. I’ve nearly died of malaria, and I’ve gone hungry. But, as the many difficulties arose, I would remember that carton of ice cream. It’s the biggest lesson of my life.

Experience #5: I’ve got a friend named Jess Smiley. She and her husband Sam live about 2 miles from my house. We go to church together.

Jess feels the sorrow, but sings anyway

Jess feels the sorrow, but sings anyway

The last 7 years have been HARD on Jess.

7 years ago her husband Jamie contracted leukemia, a form that is lethal. After a 2 year battle she lost him.

In the fall of 2007 her son Alex was 11 years old. He had started developing bruises on his skin and a doctor’s appointment revealed that he too had leukemia.

Wow. An 11 year old boy with leukemia. Imagine facing that.

Alex went through 9 months of brutal chemotherapy treatments and it went into remission.

18 months later, it came back. With a vengeance.

More chemotherapy. More prayers. More desperation.

Alex chose to stand up and FIGHT.

Since Alex was losing his hair, several of his friends, including Dylan Fancher, all decided to shave their heads as a sign of Solidarity with Alex during his healing and recovery process.

Below is a video of Alex shaving Dylan’s head in the restroom of Alex’s hospital room:

Alex Smiley shaves Dylan Fancher’s head: Solidarity, and Friends Forever

Just the day before, Alex had begun his Chemo treatments. (The joy of shaving Dylan’s head sorta made up for the first day of chemo.)

That was July 6, 2009.

On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, an infection raged out of control and Alex died. A young man full of promise, gone at age 13.

Jess feels the sorrow, but sings anyway

Jess had remarried since Jamie’s death. She lost both her husband and first-born son to leukemia.

She made it through Alex’s funeral under the care of friends, lots of prayer and a couple pints of vodka.

Words cannot express how grieved we all were. We all prayed so hard. For Alex to be healed. For this curse to be lifted. But Alex lost the battle. For whatever reason, rescue did not come.

Jess soldiered on.

It just so happens that we were with Jess at a church conference in Toronto. On the night of January 20, 2010, God SPOKE to Jess and in a moment of laser clarity, showing her that He was pushing a “reset” button on the destiny she thought she had lost. He was restoring to her what she thought was no more.

That night God also gave her an impartation of JOY and LAUGHTER.

The bitterness and the grief melted away and she began laughing with delight. For weeks she was almost giddy and exuberant.

It was like nothing I had ever seen.

All I can say is, you had to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it. I’ve told you some miracle stories. People getting healed of lupus, deafness and paralysis are all remarkable. But being healed from aching loss and sickening sorrow over a lost husband and dear son – that one takes the cake.

It’s not that she doesn’t miss Alex or Jamie. Or that she doesn’t still grieve. It’s just that the bitter sting has been taken out. Jess experienced a literal impartation of the beautiful scripture of Isaiah 61:

For those who grieve in Zion— 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
instead of ashes, 
the oil of gladness 
instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise 
instead of a spirit of despair. 
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
a planting of the LORD 
for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins 
and restore the places long devastated; 
they will renew the ruined cities 
that have been devastated for generations.

My friend, I do not know why Alex and her husband were taken from us. God alone knows the answer to that question.

But God did minister to her in her sorrow in a most profound way.

YOU have also lost loved ones.

YOU have also had unanswered prayers. We all have. I know the feeling of exasperation and desperation when you pray and it feels as though those prayers are bouncing off the ceiling.

Jess Smiley knows that feeling too. Believe me, she does.

You pray for the uncle or aunt or grandpa or child. Your prayer doesn’t get answered the way you want it to. It’s bitter and dark.

But you know what…

You only have to experience ONE undeniable miracle and then you KNOW. After that, there is no going back.

And that’s what happened to me. I’ve only shared a small collection of stories. There are others. They’re real and I’ve seen them with my own two eyes.

Experience #6: 0n April 17, 2012, I was at a conference in Moravian Falls, North Carolina, sitting right next to a woman named Dierdre from Sydney Australia when she was healed after 40 years of severe hearing loss in one ear. Here’s me interviewing her about what happened:

Remember Brian Burgee from Tampa Florida, above, who was deaf in one ear and was healed in 2008? With the Dierdre experience I have now seen TWO people who were healed from deafness in one ear, both from childhood accidents, both deaf in that ear for more than 30 years. I was a personal direct witness and I have both testimonies on video. Recall that Burgee’s healing was also verified by reporter from the Charlotte Observer.

I solemnly attest to you that all these people and experiences are true and I have reported them to the best of my ability.

I will never again be at the mercy of theories from someone who thinks miracles are fake. Cuz I know they’re real.

But they are my experiences not yours.

Do you want God to show up in your life?

Then right now I give you permission to ASK HIM. If you seek God you will find Him.

But there’s something else I wish to offer you as well.

And that is:

Documented evidence of other miracles.

1. The book “Real Miracles” by Richard Casdorph, M.D., medically documents 10 miracles. Each chapter is a case study of one miracle, including doctors reports, xrays, etc. It reports ailments like huge tumors, Multiple Sclerosis and cancer vanishing completely, with medical documentation.

If you’re the least bit curious about this, just go ahead and buy the book. It’s on Amazon.

2. In Catholic circles, the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima on October 13, 1917 is very well known and has been exhaustively documented.  Literally 70,000 people including all kinds of newspaper reporters and people of every age and background testified to what happened near Fatima, Portugal. The event was predicted in advance on July 13, August 19 and September 13 that same year by three children. Which is why thousands of people were there to witness it.

Wikipedia does a good job of summarizing what happened. (Yes, I understand, if you’re a protestant you probably don’t relate to the “Virgin Mary” stuff. That’s OK. There’s no rule that says you have to.) I encourage you to study the event for yourself and see if there isn’t substantial evidence that something miraculous occurred.

3. In September 2010, the Southern Medical Journal published an article titled: Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Prayer (STEPP) on Auditory and Visual Impairments in Rural Mozambique. The official publication can be found here and the original authored manuscript from Indiana University can be found here. 24 people were tested; hearing of deaf subjects improved by 10-60 decibels. Vision of some of the blind subjects also improved, ranging from none to 15X.

I am personally only 1 degree of separation from the healers involved in this study. Here in Chicago I have some friends Nathan and Liz Stanton. They were married in Mozambique by pastor Heidi Baker who is a missionary there. For the Southern Medical Journal research, Heidi Baker partnered with Global Awakening in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania, who sent a teaching team to my own church not long ago.

Heidi Baker is well-known in Mozambique for going into villages, asking villagers to bring her their deaf, then healing them. At minute 5:56 you’ll see Heidi Baker heal a deaf woman in front of a large crowd of people, live:

This video is an excerpt from the movie Finger of God. by Darren Wilson. He’s the narrator of this documentary. I’m personally acquainted with him, having met him in November 2009. Darren himself was ardently against miracles until a relative experienced a miracle he could not explain, which launched him on a journey of investigation.

4. On Friday August 30 2010, Delia Knox was healed after two decades of paralysis. She stood up in her wheelchair in the Mobile Alabama Convention Center and walked around the room in the presence of thousands of eyewitnesses.

The following report appeared in the Mobile Alabama Press-Register, September 2, 2010:

MOBILE, Alabama  — On Christmas Day 1987 singer and evangelist Delia Knox lost the use of her legs after a car she was a passenger in was struck by another vehicle driven by a drunken driver.

Now, on a video made last Friday, Knox is seen walking for the first time in 22 years during a revival at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center.

The video, which is on YouTube and on the site of the Mobile church run by Knox and her husband, Levy Knox, is said to be a testament to not one, but numerous miracles said to have taken place during the Bay of the Holy Spirit Revival.

You can watch the YouTube video of the live healing taking place here:


On Thursday October 21, 2010, Delia Knox returned to her home town of Buffalo, New York and into her mother’s arms. The local TV station WIVB Channel 4 taped the homecoming and reported the healing:


delia_levy_knox2

Delia Knox and her husband Levy, next to her wheelchair

Finally there are some things that need to be said about miracles. Quoting 1 Corinthians 12:28:

“And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.

“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.”

If you’re a Christian, I challenge you with this:

Most of the church, the protestant church in particular, has been actively disobeying this command. These verses clearly present a hierarchy of authority and gifts:

1. Apostles

2. Prophets

3. Teachers

4. Workers of Miracles

5. Healers

6. Helpers

7. Administrators

8. Those who speak in tongues

The protestant church has amputated #1, #2, #4, #5 and #8. The teachers and administrators have been left in charge.

Paul said to desire the greater gifts.

The church has been banning them.

I know pastors and seminary professors who’ve been fired from their jobs because they believed in miracles. How tragic and anti-Christian that is. I have a friend who had severe ADHD and was deaf in one ear. He was healed of both at once in May 2007. He won’t let me use his name and picture here on my blog because his father is a prominent figure in evangelical Christianity and news of a miracles might threaten his dad’s career.

And we wonder why the church is anemic??? We wonder why there’s an atheistic bias in the western world? It’s no surprise church has become a flaccid, legalistic, boring institution. A dreary way to kill an otherwise enjoyable Sunday morning.

It’s because 5 out of the 8 spark plugs have been yanked out. The engine is coughing and sputtering on 3 of its 8 cylinders.

Why are “Cessationist” arguments invariably so complex and insert all kinds of assumptions which themselves have no scriptural support?

MANY Christians say to me, “Absolutely I believe God still heals. God can do anything He wants to. God just does it whenever he chooses to now. He doesn’t heal through healers.”

If that’s you, I’ve got a question for you:

Can you show me ONE place in scripture – Old or New Testament – where ANY person was healed without a healer?

Cessationists often say “The gifts were only present for the apostolic age – a short, special period of time to validate the apostles so they could finish writing the scriptures.” Where did they get that?

The Bible never says anything of the sort. When Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14 “Earnestly desire the greater gifts”, was he only talking to apostles?

Cessationists are often skilled rigorous expositors of scripture, but the cessationist arguments don’t meet their own standards of interpretation.

The church has sliced off one of its testicles and thrown it in the garbage. No wonder it doesn’t feel like a man.

This is one of the reasons that TV healing ministries have become such a circus: it’s partly because most of Christianity has marginalized the healing gifts. This is why some healers are charlatans. But it’s a whole different world when you see people whom you’ve known for years get healed in person, with your own eyes – not on TV. When you experience it for yourself, like I have.

My friend, let me assure you: When the church begins to operate on all 8 cylinders, it becomes a force to be reckoned with. As all my friends who’ve been healed will attest. The atheists and cynics and religious gestapo can whine and moan all they want to, but real people are being set free every day.

(Oh, and I haven’t said a single word about the awesome power of prophetic people. I’ll save that discussion for another post.)

You’re invited. If you’re ever in Chicago, come to Greater Chicago Church, 705 Jackson Boulevard, Oak Park Illinois on a Sunday morning and I’ll introduce you to some of these dear friends. They’ll look you in the eye and tell you their stories and you’ll know it’s all for real. If you need healing, they’ll pray for ya, too.

The same thing is happening in every city and town in the world. It’s seldom in the newspaper or on TV. But maybe that’s for the better. Cuz it’s going on just the same.

In Matthew 11, Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist was in prison. He was depressed and discouraged. Nothing was going the way he’d planned. He had grave doubts because his prayers weren’t being answered.

John sent a message to Jesus.

When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

Amen.

Perry Marshall

P.S.: There’s a popular atheist jingoism these days: “Why doesn’t God heal amputees?” It’s often stated with spitting anger and venom. The assertion is made that there’s no such thing as an amputee whose arm grew back. This held up as proof positive that miracles don’t exist.

To date I haven’t personally met an amputee whose arm has grown back. Today I told you what I have seen. The closest I’ve come is my friend Yosef Bender from Chicago. Yosef was at a Kathryn Kuhlman healing service many years ago. (Casdorph’s book “Real Miracles” investigates 10 of Ms. Kuhlman’s healing incidents.) Behind Yosef was a woman who had one arm that was too short with a single finger at the end instead of a hand.

From the stage, Kuhlman called out that there was someone up in that section whose arm was deformed. A few seconds later, Yosef heard this intense commotion and loud crying behind him. He turned around and this woman’s hand had fully grown back. She was so happy she was crying hysterically.

This is as close as I’ve personally gotten to a healed amputee.

Documented histories of healed amputees do exist. The Miracle of Calanda occurred in Calanda, Spain in 1640, according to 17th century documents. The documents state that a young farmer’s leg was restored to him after having been amputated two and a half years earlier. This event is described in detail in the book Il Miracolo by Vittorio Messori. This is described in detail on Wikipedia.

I rather suspect there are at least a few healed amputees out there. Will the skeptics listen to their stories? I don’t know. Will they change the skeptics’ minds? I don’t know. But if you want to think for yourself investigate these things on your own, I recommend that you start by reading Real Miraclesby Richard Casdorph, M.D.

811 Responses to “Documented Miracles: Lie #8: “Miracles ceased with the apostles.””

  1. Duncan Pugh says:

    Hi Perry

    Another interesting article but I feel that the question of whether or not miracles ceased with the disciples is as ineffective in providing justification for Christian belief and practice as ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is in discrediting it.

    If I have understood you correctly, your message is that if miracles, supernatural events, events that are beyond scientific explanation or comprehension, can be proved to continue in our own times then this strikes a decisive blow at scientific criticisms of belief in God.

    Miracles either occurred, continue to occur, or they didn’t and don’t _ but even if they did and do, they are of relatively insignificant relevance in comparison to the life and teachings of Jesus.

    Jesus himself is said to have refused to perform miracles in order to convince people of his authority, I will not insult your knowledge of the Bible by elaborating any further on this. Indeed, the canonical gospels, as opposed to those that didn’t make it into the New Testament, were included because they don’t overdo it on miracles and as a group of four are relatively consistent on how they are used by Jesus/Mark/Matthew/Luke/John.

    For me, the question about the significance of miracles is expressed perfectly, although perhaps somewhat paradoxically, in John, Chapter 3, verses 14-15:

    “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
    That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    In John Jesus is the ‘word made flesh’. Unlike Moses who lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, John’s Jesus is himself the sign that will convince us of the ‘glory’ of God; ‘glory’ being a translation of the Greek ‘doxa’ _ the word translates in Plato as ‘opinion’, as opposed to ‘truth’/’the good’. This is an illuminating contrast in itself.

    Sure enough Jesus was ‘lifted up’, like so many others before and after him; despised, rejected, ridiculed and abandoned by even his closest followers, suffering the death of a common criminal. This is the most significant miracle, whether you believe in an afterlife or not. It is miraculous because Jesus forgave that injustice. It is a flesh and blood miracle. It cannot be challenged by science. It makes Jesus’ message of mutual repentance and forgiveness objective and true for all time. It lives on even now and it is this kind of evidence, rather than assertions that miracles really did/do happen, that give force and longevity to Jesus’ ‘spirit’ and that of those who try to follow his example.

    I have much respect and admiration for the forum that you are providing here but I am adamant in my belief that appeals to the supernatural are completely futile in trying to restore authority to Christian beliefs. It is action that must speak for Christianity not words about purportedly empirical proof that miracles occur and are the exclusive domain of Christianity.

    • Anna says:

      Bravo Duncan!
      Doesn’t the Scripture say, “An adulterous generation looks for a sign and wonder”? If prophesy is viewed in terms of the end times, is it not the FALSE Prophets who perform many signs and wonders in order to deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect?

      Is today’s Christianity offering “bloodless sacrifices” to the Holy One? A very “sobering” question…especially to those who “get drunk in the spirit”.

      • Hi guys,

        I do agree that focusing on or looking for miracles for the sake of the miracle is certainly entertaining a wrong heart. The whole looking for signs and wonders issue. Yep, spot on.

        However, Jesus taught us how to live, and part of that teaching involves being greater than your environment, your circumstances and your enemy. We are created as spiritual beings primarily and physical beings secondarily. The entire Bible makes it clear that the spiritual realm is greater than the physical, but we have allowed our circumstances to dictate otherwise in our minds and so this is where we are at.

        Much of Jesus’ messages involved expanding our thinking, understanding WHO He is and who we are to Him, so that we are not merely subject to this world, both spiritually and physically. We are IN but not OF this world, yes? It’s great that you give priority to the teaching, but again, the miracles come out of the teaching, we do not accept the teaching because of the ‘proof’ of a miracle.

        So, allow your minds to grow in understanding of Him, to see the world as He sees it. Seek to understand more of Him by Scripture and prayer, not to try to prove Him wrong by His own Words, because it is Jesus example we are to follow and like it or not, His example involved miracles.

        IJN

        Matt

      • Personally I just say: It is not by performing or not miracles that will make me or whosoever true Christian or not.
        Actually, the Devil is the father of the lie, by performing fake miracle.
        Jesus did the miracle to help us ‘to see’: “though ye believe not me, believe the works”.
        Consequently: saying that we have to wait for a miracle is miserable: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
        And saying that there is no miracle anymore is just saying that “God is unable to do things anymore”, how can people just say what God should do? (“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”)
        So the best thing is just to do what is recorded in Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
        Anyway: whosoever believes in Jesus is by miracle!
        “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”
        (It is the reason why, a many intellectual, scientist, … persons can’t believe Jesus, but my 3yo son can. :) )

    • rtaylor says:

      What about the miracle of changing water into wine? A completly pointless miracle. No lives in danger, no disease to cure. Just a lot of drunken people at a wedding running out of wine. But of course he was cajoled into doing it by his mother Mary, now known to some as the Blessed Virgin Mary,
      who some people believe is up there in heaven, with Jesus and his Father, God. many miracles are ascribed to the BVM because of this very incident in the bible. She interceded on behalf of these drunken partygoers with Jesus. He granted her wish. She is up there now waiting to intercede on behalf of the faithful.
      It is after all, just a question of faith.

      I am of the opinion that this suppossed miracle was an attempt to get the followers of the Son of God, Baachus to follow the Son Of God , Jesus. Baachus was the god of conviviallity and good cheer. Within moderation of course.
      Many miracles where attributed to Baachus too. He had many followers. His followers had faith in him.

  2. I have to agree for whatever that is worth!
    God is the ssviour of all mankind, especially those who believe, (especially) but not exclisively the term usxe is “ALL” and I know (believe) that God knows what He is doing, even if we do-not.
    alsio I would go through all the letters “(epistles)” of Paul, and mark how many alls are in them…

    Sumner Morrill Koch
    celestials1938@msn.com

    Amen

  3. Christ, died for all, consequently all died, they just have not become aware of it, as of yet.

    Koch

  4. As all are dying inj Adam even-so all shall be made alive in Christ, the same all in both cases, and all means all!

    Koch

    • Dave DeLuca says:

      Adam brought death to the world and Jesus removed it. We are no longer supposed to die. We die now because we think we are supposed to. Follow the footsteps of Christ and don’t die.

      • John Donovan says:

        Christ promised (in Rev) that death and hell will be destroyed. Wake up and accept the gift of healing!…every day! THATS how you keep your body alive forever.

        There is a way that seems righteth to a man, but in the end are the ways of death.

        It SEEMS right that we should die, but that’s a lie. DON’T BUY IT! Never put a period where G*d puts a comma!! (or an ellipsis)

      • Ryan Healy says:

        Dave,

        Actually, Jesus overcame death, but has not removed it… yet. Men still die and it has nothing to do with whether we want to die or not.

        Also, you said, “Follow the footsteps of Christ and don’t die.” Well, Christ DID die. So if we are to follow in His steps, then we ought to share in his suffering. Indeed, we ought to die daily.

        The Bible says, “As in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive.” The verse does NOT say: “As in Adam all die, so in Christ all don’t die.” Being “made alive” presupposes a condition of death.

        Anyhow, for what it’s worth…

        Ryan

        • John Donovan says:

          Ryan,

          Jesus died so we don’t have to. Men still fall into perdition, does that imply men MUST fall? Men wear hats, Bob is a man but that does not mean Bob wears a hat. Your logic lacks consistency. A negative proof is not a proof at all, it’s a logical fallacy.

          Again, Jesus died so we don’t have to. Didn’t he say “These and greater things, men shall do”? I’m certain that when I learn to raise the dead, I’ll be able to cure a common cold.

          Lastly, your use of second-hand English interpretations of ancient Greek and Latin texts is highly suspect. The literal Greek translation (from the Diaglot) is more like, “As for in the Adam all die, so also in the Anointed all will be made alive”. Sounds more like a poetic metaphor than a death-panel edict. “Being made alive” happens when you’re baptized and does not “presuppose a condition of (physical) death”.

          The real question here is why are you so gloomy about your physical self? Is that being a good steward of what the Good Lord graced you with?

          • Ryan Healy says:

            John,

            You said, “Jesus died so we don’t have to.”

            Where is the scriptural basis for this claim? I just searched the entire Bible and could only find one occurrence of the phrase “Jesus died.” It appears in 1 Thess. 4:14.

            Futhermore, if your statement is true, why did all of Jesus’s disciples die? I’m fairly certain they didn’t have much choice in the timing and manner of their deaths.

            You said, “Men still fall into perdition, does that imply men MUST fall?”

            I refer you to Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Or, if you prefer the literal translation, “For all sinned and are wanting of the glory of God.” Hard to get around the word “all.”

            Also of interest here is Romans 7:13-25. Even Paul says, “…yet I am fleshly.” In other words, he was not yet perfected.

            Then, a little further on, Paul writes in Romans 8:10, “Now if Christ is in you, the body, indeed, is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is life because of righteousness.” The body is dead… even if Christ is in you.

            You said: “I’m certain that when I learn to raise the dead, I’ll be able to cure a common cold.”

            Raising the dead is not a skill to be learned. Rather, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to hear the voice of God and do only what He says. He’s looking for an amen people — people who are in agreement with him in all things.

            You said: “Your use of second-hand English interpretations of ancient Greek and Latin texts is highly suspect.”

            I use multiple translations and am very familiar with mistranslations in English bibles.

            You said: “Sounds more like a poetic metaphor than a death-panel edict.”

            Let’s look at the literal translation (Concordant version) of the passage in question.

            “For since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ’s in His presence; thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.” 1 Cor. 15:21-24

            We know this is not a metaphor because it says “in fact.” What follows is a factual statement, not metaphorical.

            The order of the resurrection is important. Christ is the firstfruit. After Christ, the next to be resurrected are “those who are Christ’s in His presence.”

            Has this event taken place? Has anybody besides Christ received the incorruptible body yet? None that I know of. Until that time, man is dying and death is working in his members.

            1 Thess. 4:13-18 provides important details. In verse 15 we read that, “we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.”

            The dead in Christ have not been raised yet, so it is impossible that somebody who is living is already perfected and immortal.

            You said: “‘Being made alive’ happens when you’re baptized and does not ‘presuppose a condition of (physical) death’.”

            I beg to differ.

            Baptism is symbolic of dying to the flesh and being raised in new life. Just because you are baptized does not mean that you have literally been raised up out of the water in a new body.

            Also: How can you be made alive if you are not dead or dying? There is no need to be made alive if you are already alive.

            Please read 1 Cor. 15:35-57. There is no clearer description in the Bible of the difference between death and life, the corruptible and incorruptible, the mortal and the immortal. The passage says in part:

            “Thus also the resurrection of the dead. It [the body] is sown in corruption; it is roused in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is roused in glory. It is sown in infirmity; it is roused in power. It is sown a soulish body; it is roused a spiritual body.”

            If you are still flesh and blood, you have not been perfected, and you are yet mortal.

            You said: “The real question here is why are you so gloomy about your physical self? Is that being a good steward of what the Good Lord graced you with?”

            No, I don’t think that’s the real question. The real question is: What does the Bible say?

            Am I “gloomy” about my physical body as you have assumed? Not really. Although certainly it would be nice to not have cavities or periodic injuries from playing high-impact sports.

            If you and I met face to face, you would see that I’m probably one of the happier people out there. :-)

            Ryan Healy

            • John Donovan says:

              Ryan – If you stake ALL your faith on the syntax of a book that has been added to and edited for aeons, then I think you’re selling yourself short. Don’t you have the spirit of truth that will help your understanding transcend the dubious texts you’re been fed (and regurgitate)?

              The sad fact about ancient texts is that they have been edited, diluted and distorted to a certain extent. This is true for ALL sacred scriptures. The trick is to glean the eternal truths from the truths that were only true for that particular time.

              It seems to me that your pessimism teeters on the syntax of a sentence or two. It is this pessimism that casts a pall on the spirit of the ENTIRE text. The text that gives life is occluded by the spirit of pessimism.

              All may only refer to all who were there at that time. Don’t you ever use the work “all” to be a superficial inclusion? Like “I do that ALL the time”. Really? When do you sleep or eat? Kinda hard to get around the meaning of a word you use yourself. Yeah, that’s the spirit I’m talking about.

              The trouble I see with quoting Paul as a scriptural expert is that he was flawed in many ways. Not all ways but many. He could easily be painted as misogynistic and arrogant. Not quite the authority on human nature and spirit I would follow blindly into cul-de-sacs of right and wrong. And yeah, that’s the other spirit I was referring to.

              You said “raising the dead is not a skill to be learned”. I agree of course that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, however don’t we have to learn how to be a more worthy vessel for spirit? And isn’t that LEARNING essential to facilitating healing at ALL levels? Not just cancer but all the bio processes that foment death of the physical body?

              You use of multiple translations is commendable, however the key you seem to be missing is how some texts are simply irrelevant today. Ever read in the OT how it is a sin to let a sorceress live? Try that one in court.

              Your statement about the phrase “in fact” seems highly tenuous and subjective. One could also interpret it to mean, “In fact, through a man came death, through a man also comes the resurrection of the dead”, period. It does not imply we are all doomed, in fact it implies the opposite. That death was defeated by a man. The problem is that so many of us fail to believe it, thus trashing such a costly sacrifice.

              I find it somewhat arrogant to presume that simply because YOU have not met anyone who can heal themselves without limit, that no such person exists. With all your ratiocinating, I’d expect you to be a bit more rational.

              Regarding I Cor 35, again I have to ask Paul to take a back seat to his own hubris. Remember that he was tormented for his pride and I doubt it was because he wore fancy clothes. We’re talking about someone who would hunt down early Christians for Rome. I mean what seeds die before they sprout? And if you acknowledge that this is a loosy metaphor, then what’s your point?

              The real question must be what does The Spirit say? The Bible is only a book.

              • perrymarshall says:

                John,

                We have copies of the New Testament dating to the early 1st century. We have generations of texts following that.

                The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered 60 years ago; at the time the earliest Old Testament MSS dated from 1100. The DSS are 150 BC. No substantial differences.

                It is possible to examine the genealogies of these texts, and your statement that these books have been edited and added to for eons does not stand up to known facts. You can easily go online or to any major library and find dozens of versions of these texts from many different centuries.

                Not only that, when there are major discrepancies (of which there are a few) most Bibles make note of them.

                So nobody’s hiding anything from you and there’s no big mystery here. The texts are reliable.

                I can only speak for myself but I don’t base all my faith on any one thing. I refer to the Bible, to science, to personal experience, to common sense, to history and philosophy. Christianity holds up just fine according to all these criteria.

                Finally I would ask you to let go of your caustic and insulting tone. it’s not necessary and it’s not warranted.

              • robert taylor says:

                In the search for truth one should read more than one book. As you say the bible is only a book, written by man of course; just the same as any other book.
                As for Paul, who calls himself the chief of sinners and his previous occupation, persecutor of those who had a different opinion than he. He also admits to being a liar. He claims to have had a vision. Can we really take the word of a liar?
                How can we know if someone who admits to lying is telling the truth? Romans 3.7.

            • Robert Taylor says:

              Whatever happened to Jesus’s mother, The Blessed Virgin Mary? Surely she’s up there, in heaven with him and God, his father? She must be. We all want the best for our mothers so I’m sure Jesus wants whats best for his. And I do too. After all God did send the Angel Gabrial down to tell her she was special and had been selected to bear the Saviour of Humanity. So I can’t believe she’s not in heaven, with Jesus and his Father, God Almighty.

    • Yes, ‘all’ certainly does mean ‘all’. But even in such a small verse the context can be a little skewed.

      The Scripture is making the point that all who are in Christ shall be made alive, NOT that all shall be made alive, through Christ.

      1 Corinthians 15:22 For just as [because of their union of nature] in Adam all people die, so also [by virtue of their union of nature] shall all in Christ be made alive.

      IJN

      Matt

  5. Vishnu Pootna says:

    Miracles ceased with the disciples:

    “Divine intervention” is a term for a MIRACLE caused by God’s active involvement in the affairs of the world. Miracles are considered to be performed by breaking the laws of Nature. It was believed that order created by God could also be suspended by him. Research has found that “miracles” or seemingly miraculous manifestations may be produced by anyone who knows the occult laws of Nature, without the slightest intervention of God or Devil

    Sometimes while we are in the middle of a hopeless situation and when there seems to be no way out, suddenly a new factor is added and things begin to change for the better. It could be illness of a loved one or business on the verge of sinking, etc. When no way is found, people sometimes appeal to God to come and take charge of the situation. What may actually happen is that if under Nature’s law of Justice the relief has to come then things begin to change for the better and we feel that is “divine intervention.” In this respect the stories in the lives of saints and very holy people indicate the working of the Law of Justice which is difficult to understand or explain.

    When we seek to be brought out of pain, adversity or difficulty without making effort, through “divine intervention,” we are only trying to dodge the law of Justice. It would be better to do our best in a given situation and leave the rest to the Law. The divine within is always ready to help if we would only turn within.

  6. Gus Wales says:

    the New Testament I can believe in – there’s a power in it – and parts of the OT are too good to have been invented by man alone – but what’s God doing tacitly accepting child sacrifice in Judges 11? What about Exodus 21:7 condoning selling family members into slavery? – and Genesis 19 – Lot and his daughters? You can’t just say ‘that was then this is now’ as that would nullify natural law of right and wrong.
    Ig God didn’t approve he surely could have said. Completely baffling. And yet the power of God is there to see also. Maybe his contradictions are a reflection of our own.

    • perrymarshall says:

      Slavery in the Old Testament is NOT the same as slavery in, say, 19th century America. “Slaves” were more like contract employees and had rights, there were laws about when they had to be set free etc.

      Lot and his daughters – the Bible does NOT endorse everything it reports. Read the story and you’ll see what I mean.

      In Judges 11 a man made a STUPID vow that he should have never made (the Bible does not endorse everything it reports) but he took his vows seriously enough to act on it. A stupid man with integrity. Again, read these passages closely, in context, and see that the text does not approve all it reports.

      • John Donovan says:

        Perry, really? If you think that, punch your classical history teacher in the nose. The slaves of ancient history were nothing more than furniture. For example, the Romans would use their slaves for sexual stimulation and pretty much anything else they wanted. Those laws can only be equated with those we have now for cars and other chattel.

        The difficult answer here is to understand that not all sacred writings stand the test of time. They were only written for the period. The goal is to find the truths that are eternal. Unfortunately for some, that means having to search outside their comfort zone and look for sacred truths in other books.

      • Robert Taylor says:

        Lot and his daughters.
        Presumeable God saved Lot because he was the only righteous man in the city. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorah because the people there where unrighteous. Every man woman and child. Obliterated. Destroyed in a hail of fire. Sent by the Great God Jehovah.
        I do wonder why God did not destroy Lot and his daughters for what they did. It seems that every time God rescues someone righteous they go astray almost as soon as the rescue is over. The story of Noah is very similar. He also got drunk and ‘something’ happened between him and his son, Ham. The son got the blame for whatever it was and was banished.
        Perhaps it was all meant to happen. All part of Gods great plan. Or maybe it did’nt happen at all. We are just supposed to think it did. Believe that it did. All of the bible is true to those who believe. Those who have faith.
        It is just a matter of interpretation.

    • Robert Taylor says:

      There is a difference between the God of the O.T. and the God of the N.T. They are in fact two different Gods. The God of the O.T. describes himself as a ‘Jealous God’. Ex 20.5 The God of the N.T. is described as a god of ‘Love’. There is no love in jealousy and there is no jealousy in love. True love gives and asks nothing in return. Love abides. Never changes.
      Whereas jealousy demands and is selfish.

    • robert taylor says:

      Jesus said render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser’s. meaning pay your taxes to the Romans. The Romans supported slavery and in fact their whole economy was based upon slavery. One of their biggest fears was a slave revolt. Jesus also supported slavery. The Romans had actually been invited into Jerusalem by the then king of Isreal, Judas Maccabeus,according to my OT apochraphal version of events.
      Because of the bloody civil war going on between various factions of Jews. They could not agree among themselves and where always fighting each other. The Romans brought relative peace to the area. They where probably not considered as the enemy by most people. Only the most fundamental Jews. Jesus seems to have liked them.

      Judges 11;10
      ‘The Lord shall be witness between us; surely according to thy word so shall we do’.

      This means that once a vow or promise has been made it must be kept. There is no backing out. Jepthah made a promise to God that if God helped him overcome his enemies in battle he would sacrifice the first living creature that he saw on the reurn to his home. He was victorious and went home, expecting to sacrifice an animal of some sort but the first thing that he saw when he got home was his ownly child,his daughter, dancing ahd playing the timbrels, happy that her father had reurned victorious. But he had made a promise. And there was no backing out. So his own daughter became a human sacrifice to God. He bound her tightly, laid her on the alter of sacrifice and slit her throat. Her body was then burned and presumeably God savoured the odour of her buring flesh. Just as He did with all other burnt oferings.
      Lot and his daughters? Lot was supposed to be the only ‘Righteous Man’ in the cities of the plain. And so God saved him and his daughters. And apparently a few cases of wine too, because as soon as Lot is in a safe place he immediatley gets drunk and then has sex with his own daughters.(See Deuteronomy ref incest.) He bore two chidren by his daughters, Moab and Ammon who where to become the fathers of the tribes of the Moabites and the Ammonites.
      The Isrealites where to meet these tribes in battle later in history many times thru-out the bible.

      Another person who was rescued and then got very drunk and was involved in some sort of ‘scandalous incident’ with his own son was Noah. We are not sure what exactly happened but the son, Ham was banished. He became the father of Canaan.
      Exodus 10;25. Noah said,
      ‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren’.
      And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And the days of Noah where nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.

      The Lord truly works in mysterious ways.

  7. Erin Tolentino says:

    Actually i didn’t read the whole article but only parts of it, but i have these question in my mind…

    I don’t really believe in miracles, i only see them as coincidence, why not? anyone receives them randomly, it just happens… But let me assume for the moment, that yes, miracles, do exist… Now, what? so? they don’t affect me, or my immediate surrounding…

    Why of all the people, there are only a chosen few? what about us? what of those who most need them? why so bias on miracle? where’s the miracle when my friend died? now that my dad’s ill? the tragedies, the accidents, everything!? In the end, i could only sigh…

    Oh yeah, there has been a good challenge on miracles, amputees…

    • perrymarshall says:

      Erin,

      Well let’s start with a bit of logic here:

      1. Miracles only seem to happen to a very few people, if any
      2. Therefore miracles do not exist

      Does #2 logically follow from #1?

      Surely we could make the same statement about, say, people who make over $1 million per year. I’m sure some poverty-stricken people think that such people do not exist. But we all know they do. There’s no difference in the logic.

      OK, then why so few?

      I can only state my experience and that of close friends, as I belong to a faith community that earnestly seeks such things.

      Most healing is done by people with powerful healing gifts. 20% of the healers do 80% of the healing. No different than any other gift. And most healers will tell you stories like “I prayed for 100+ people before God healed a single person I prayed for. I felt stupid for a long time. But I kept pressing into it.”

      Not all that different from people who wanted to become a great guitar player – or make a million dollars a year. It took effort and dedication and perseverance.

      I submit to you that if you start asking around, you’ll find it’s much easier to find a person who’s experienced a significant miracle in their life than it is to find a person who makes $1 million per year. (In the United States, that’s the top 1% income bracket.)

      My experience is that the pursuit of God and the development of such gifts is no different than any other endeavor. Yes, some people have beginners luck but most have to really work for it. And I think we have to work to bring the Kingdom of God into our world. It is my prayer that this website inspires people to ask, to seek, to knock, to pursue the Pearl of Great Price.

      • Robert Taylor says:

        The funny thing I notice about ‘miracles’, is that they do happen and and have happened thru-out history. Miracles of healing happened before Jesus was supposed to have been around. In the ancient Pagan beliefs. Miracles happen today in various parts of the world and seemingly in the names of different dieties. The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven being one of these. Todd Bentley in Florida. I know that Todd is doing what he does on behalf of Jesus, he’s just a channel for the faithful to tune into. But thats the thing. It does not seem to matter what you believe in just so long as you Believe.
        Just get on the right wave length and have Faith.

  8. Chuck Harmon says:

    I’m loving this dialog.

    This is great material and, with some editing, would make a very interesting booklet at some point.

  9. I am from Massouri the show me state, and 71 years of age and never seen a mairicale except the Mircale of birth, and life.
    I have been studying the bible for thde bigest part of 50 years.

    • perrymarshall says:

      Sumner, You’re welcome to come to 705 Jackson, Oak Park IL on a Sunday morning and you can meet a bunch o’ people who’ve had miracles in their lives.

  10. Wow, Perry, this is great. We’re seeing a lot of depth, both of intellect and Scriptural knowledge, and this is fantastic and interesting for those who are mature enough to swallow it all without it wavering in their faith (Which from memory was how Perry began this article).

    I just wanted to make the comment based on some of the other comments, though, that the complexity of an argument will often lead us away from the simple truth of the original intent.

    To parallel a non-Biblical example (just to be different), Bruce Lee’s ‘A punch is just a punch’ concept. To most people a punch is just a punch. To the studying martial artist, the position and use of each part of the body comes into play. The relaxation of muscles and timing of muscle tension and fast twitch muscle fibres, the rotation of the hips and shoulders, finger positions, rotating of the wrists, the counter balance action of the opposite arm, the foot positioning, etc, all come into play. The action is practised and understood and practised over and over and over, thousands of times until the intricacies of the movement are trained and understood so well it becomes a natural movement that the individual no longer needs to think about how to perform it. Then, once again, despite the now vastly different ability of the student, a punch has once again become, just a punch.

    So many Bible scholars get caught up in their intellectual understanding of Scripture, translations, cultural interpretation, Greek, Hebrew, accepted Church organizational doctrine, etc, etc, that our arguments can sap the very essence of the original teaching.

    The details exist so we may continue growing into the wholeness of the gift of the teaching, but these details will not be correctly understood without the original core intention being maintained. If you don’t have the foundation right, you can forget the details.

    In other words, you can be correct in your argument, yet still be wrong in your attitude or reasoning or nature, which will defeat the whole purpose of the argument in the first place. But we kinda get a little hung up on winning huh?

    Relying on intellect alone will not get you to where you need to go. A picture paints a thousand words, right? Well, so too does a balanced relationship with Jesus quash a plethora of theological arguments.

    Theological arguments are fantastic; i love them and I have my side in most debates, but I’m refraining from quoting endless Scriptures to prove my points here because it would nullify the points I’m trying to make, which is mainly; relationship, relationship, relationship!

    As you guys well know, Jesus was backed into a corner, legally or theologically, more than once, but his responses showed that He was above it all and focussing on the big picture, but without dismissing or contradicting any Scripture, in context. (I.e. Keep the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, so along with the Sabbath, keep your perspective on it.)

    So too, are our theological discussions great, if they have a spirit of teaching and learning, of respect and humility, remembering who we are, Who we serve and not just airing our intellectual competitiveness. We were created to relate. We are relational beings and this should be at our very core. I know it’s easy to get caught up in debates, I’m no different, just so long as we come back to overcoming ourselves.

    Jesus used miracles. If Jesus used miracles to convince people then it’s hardly Biblical to discount them or consider them irrelevant. Did Jesus hinge everything upon them; certainly not, but you just don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

    What was Jesus’ focus when ‘performing miracles’? Well, from what I understand of His intent, (And I’ll separate healings from miracles for this point) it was in the nature of, ‘Well fine, if you don’t understand, or are having trouble opening your minds enough to believe what I’m saying, then at least believe what you can see with your eyes …’

    As Perry subtly pointed out, the NT segregates ‘Workers of Miracles’ from ‘Healers’, just as ‘Profit’ is separate from ‘Teacher’. Looking at Jesus, He seemed to perform miracles, almost begrudgingly at times since He should not have had to prove Himself, as I mentioned already, whereas He healed out of compassion and then sometimes felt obliged to explain a lesson to prevent, or correct, a misunderstanding. Or sometimes we have simply analyzed the circumstances to get the lesson out of it.

    If you know my Lord, and know Him reasonably well (And not just know OF Him or ABOUT Him from Scripture), then you will already relate to His personality and His character traits.

    You will also know, then, that if you are open and humble with Him, my Lord Jesus can and will do as you ask of Him, from within a parental style boundary, just as we love to give our children what they want, should it not contradict or hinder the Bigger picture, or the best interests of them and/or others.

    As a parent, withholding something from a child could be due to any number of different reasons. They didn’t ask correctly, weren’t polite, weren’t respectful, need a lesson in something, it will adversely affect someone else which the child cannot see, will indirectly cause danger or harm, etc, etc, all regardless of the good intentions of the asker.

    Now, (this one will stir ’em up) I also believe there is a level of learning to perform, or use your gift or commission to perform miracles yourself, aside from the perfect Will of God (Not against His will, but aside from it).

    Oh, I can feel the burning rage now. Ok, just to qualify, I don’t mean out of your own ‘magical’ powers or anything, but I’m talking about becoming affluent in using the authority of Jesus that He gave us.

    This is like the holy equivalent to why bad things are allowed to happen in the world. (Because God gave us the gift of authority to rule over the world, and with authority comes responsibility, so when we allowed sin to come in … etc. I assume I’m talking to people who already grasp this concept? I don’t ever want to sound condescending, but it all fits together). God wants us to grow and mature and as such grants us levels of authority and responsibility commensurate with our gifts.

    I’m talking about a whole other level of operating in the gifts and offices to which God has bestowed upon us now, well beyond the skeptical nature of some of these comments and questions, but I thought I’d throw it in here anyway, just to make the point that there is much more to learn beyond what most of us think we know, regardless of our ability to win a theological argument based simply upon our understanding of Scriptural pretense.

    Jesus said, those with faith will do these and greater things. Not Him through us, but us.

    The example of Smith Wigglesworth comes to mind. Upon his wife unexpectedly dying, he prayed for her and commanded that death release her. She did arise but said “Smith – the Lord wants me.” His heartbroken response was “If the Lord wants you, I will not hold you”. ( http://healingandrevival.com/BioSWigglesworth.htm )

    Did Jesus ministry finish with His death? Hardly! So I will say this. Anyone who claims miracles or miraculous healings do not happen any more, regardless of how well they know their Scripture, simply do not have a close enough relationship with Jesus, and i will be that blunt because ‘those people are not entering the door, nor are they allowing others to enter through it’, and ‘woe to those who will lead any of His little ones astray.’

    From my own first hand experience (I could find plenty of 2nd hand examples):

    My wife was healed of breast cancer in early 2003, after prayer.

    My 3 year old daughter received very obviously broken fingers in 2007, which x-ray’ed perfectly normal by the time she got to the hospital, after prayer.

    I myself, suffered a collapsed L5/S1 disc which saw me have unsuccessful spinal surgery, remaining in chronic pain and reliant on morphine and other pain relief drugs for 3 years, until I was healed overnight after a Prophetic Word when I gave God a commitment to finish my book, ‘Wake Up and Smell the Glory’ within 7 weeks in 2005.

    So no matter how many degrees someone has or how many people they have in their Church or how many big names will stand up and endorse their ministry, or how well they can win arguments with me all day long, My Jesus is alive and active and miracles happen every day!

    Thanks Perry, for a fantastic read

    In Christ,

    Matt Smith

    Matthew 13:13, John 14:11-14, Luke 11:52, Matthew 18:6

    • Anna says:

      Shalom dear Matt,
      This is a very involved contribution indeed!

      But Jesus/Yahshua gave Peter (the first member of the true Church, established because of his knowledge of the Christ, the Son of the Living God by The Father’s own revelation)THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM.
      Keys are extremely important and one of the keys in boiling all this down is when Yahshua said, “For this reason came I into the world and for this purpose was I born. That I should testify to the Truth. All those on the side of Truth hear My voice.”
      To quote from your above entry:
      “Theological arguments are fantastic; i love them and I have my side in most debates, but I’m refraining from quoting endless Scriptures to prove my points here because it would nullify the points I’m trying to make, which is mainly; relationship, relationship, relationship!”

      I do not consider all this to be simply a “Theological argument” “to prove points” since the devil tempted The Lord Himself using Scripture! And Yahshua responded with Scripture – The Sword which is the Word of God.”

      This whole dilemma on planet earth is Truth Vs Lies.
      The only way to dispel the lies/darkness is with The Word/Sword. “My people perish though lack of knowledge”
      Is the knowledge He is talking about, the knowledge that butterflies have wings for example? Clearly not. But the knowledge of His Word – The Word of Truth

      As far as relationships go, “This is eternal life. That they may know (experientially )You,The One True God and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent.”

      “Of One thing there is need.” I believe this to be: To be in right standing with God.

      If we do not earnestly contend for the Faith and KNOW God’s perspective on issues, we are doomed to deception.

      Love and Peace in Yahshua (Not “World-Peace”)
      Anna

      • Hi Anna,

        I really appreciate your reply.

        Maybe I sounded a little like I was trying to avoid making points based on Scripture. This wasn’t really the case, I was just trying not to take the easy way out of simply regurgitating big slabs of chapter and verse AT people as some are inclined to do. I prefer to take the time to explain why I stand on a particular interpretation. Maybe I didn’t do this particularly well initially, but I’ll try and use the Word of God more to back up what I’m saying here.

        From what I understand about your point on THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM, the Roman Catholic claim of being the ‘True Christian Church’ traces its’ authoritative lineage all the way back to Peter because of this single verse of Scripture, based largely around the point you made about Jesus giving Peter alone the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’, which relies upon Matthew 16:18.

        This perspective is somewhat flawed, I believe, and I’ll give you 2 reasons why. Firstly, the claim to being the ‘True Church’, when referring to exclusivity of it’s congregation, is one that is also falsely made by others, to which I’ll not bother naming here as I think it will lead us off-track, and it is a claim made basically to claim authority and power, not dissimilar in manner to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, and we’ve all read how that turned out. And let’s face it, Rome has established a bit of a reputation of thirsting for power down through the ages anyway. This, I feel, doesn’t line up with the Spirit of pretty much the entire New Testament.

        Considering all the extrabiblical and even some unbiblical intricacies of said denomination, which I’m not writing off altogether by the way (every Church has issues), smacks of the 500 odd laws Gods’ people established from the Commandments Moses lugged down from the mountain, of which God intentionally only gave 10.

        I certainly still consider this particular Church a Christian denomination, but just that, a denomination, and not of itself ‘The True Church’ as an exclusive claim. ‘Catholic Church’ BTW, means the ‘Universal Christian Church’, so all Christians are essentially Catholic, just not necessarily ‘Roman Catholic’.

        And secondly, to satisfy the Scriptural basis for this view, this claim is all based on the single Scripture below, to which people of this century have complete access and potential to understand, unlike the congregations of centuries gone by, who had no choice but to wholly trust what the priest was telling them.

        As you will see below, Jesus was speaking to ‘them’ (evidenced by verse 15 at the beginning, and again in verse 20), not just Peter, and referred to Peter as the rock ‘petros’ (meaning smaller rock) because of his revelation. Jesus then proceeded to declare that on THIS rock, ‘petra’ (meaning huge rock, which was the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God), He would build His Church.

        15He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am?
        16Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
        17Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and [d]to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.
        18And I tell you, you are [e]Peter [Greek, Petros–a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra–a [f]huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the [g]infernal region) shall [h]not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].
        19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth [i]must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth [j]must be what is already loosed in heaven.(B)
        20Then He sternly and strictly charged and warned the disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
        21From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised [k]from death.
        Matthew 16:18 (Amp).

        Peter the small rock, the revelation the large rock. He has built His Church on the revelation of the truth, which came to the disciples, and primarily Peter, by way of a maturing of their relationship with Jesus.

        It’s not accurate to be glorifying Peter as the founder or first member of the ‘True Church’, since the very next thing Peter did caused Jesus to say, ‘Get behind me Satan’ to him, and follows on from there! Not exactly something you’d expect Jesus to say to the very person He just gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven to.

        When you have a valued relationship with someone, you want to learn all you can about them. How would you do that with Jesus without becoming well versed in His Word? My book, ‘Wake Up and Smell the Glory’ contains approx. 300 Scripture references. That’s how much I do value the Word of God.

        You mentioned that you don’t consider this a ‘simple theological debate’, but my point is that theological debates are rarely simple and the simple truth of Christ can become lost in the details of people trying to prove their points (And even using the Word of God to justify it). I can express my swordsmanship too, but there’s a time and place and it can often sound condescending and I try not to talk down to people if I can help it.

        You mentioned; [Keys are extremely important and one of the keys in boiling all this down is when Yahshua said, “For this reason came I into the world and for this purpose was I born. That I should testify to the Truth. All those on the side of Truth hear My voice.”]

        Well, my question is then, do you hear His voice?
        And if you do, can you recognize the difference between His and others?
        And if so, how is this possible without a close working relationship with Him?

        I once heard God ask me, ‘What’s the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament?’
        I didn’t really feel clever enough to give Him a worthy answer on such a question, but apparently it was a rhetorical question, coz I soon heard Him answer Himself to me with just one Word I was not expecting, ‘Relationship!’

        You also said, “[As far as relationships go, “This is eternal life. That they may know (experientially )You,The One True God and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent.”]”

        and that is exactly my point about relationship.

        Matt

        • Anna says:

          Matt, I am not disagreeing with you at all. I too, appreciate the time you took to read through my reply and address individual points. This is great reasoning – thank you.

          When you ask if I(we) can discern the difference between Yahshua’s voice and another’s, this a very good question. From my testimony and the Word, it seems there is very little difference between the True Jesus (Yahshua) and the false Jesus referred to in 2Cor11:2-5 and His followers. In Revelation, it mentions that BOTH the Bride and the HARLOT are clothed in “fine linen”! (interesting to note here is that the very same Greek word for “linen” is used for both)
          The only way then, to know who is who, is by having a living relationship with the True God/Yahshua! Praise God your comments about relationship are altogether true! He says, “Follow Me” (and this AFTER He was crucified and rose from the dead)ie:to have a relationship with Him means exactly to know him intimately by living as He lived, carrying the Cross and experiencing the persecution that He said would follow. Puts a big hole in today’s “prosperity doctrine” as far as I can see. We need to be careful not to offer “Bloodless Sacrifices”.

          Love you in the Lord,
          Peace in Christ (Not “World-Peace”)
          Anna

        • robert taylor says:

          Jesus said to Pilate,’I am the way and the truth’.
          Pilate said, ‘What is truth?’ To which question there was no reply.
          Of course there is some sort of relationship between the OT and the NT. But the OT was written by Jews whereas the NT was written by Pagans.
          Peter is recognized as the first Pope of the new religeon of Christianity. How many keys was he given? How many doors does heaven have? Or is it just a metaphor, meant to be understood in another sense?

          I remember reading somewhere once, one of the old history books,quoting one of the ancient Greek philosophers saying, ‘Beware those who claim to converse with the Diety’. The idea of prophets, or those who claim to be prophets is not something to rely on. The prophet could well be a controling person who wants things his own way.

    • Yeah, some of my little rant was probably a bit vague and therefore may have sounded a little unbiblical, particularly since I intentionally chose not to quote (or copy n paste big chunks of) Scripture to make my point (albeit I do always appreciate the context), so to qualify some of what I was saying I’ll use this example.

      Jesus desire (one of them) is that we may grow and mature into the spiritual and relational people we were created to be. So, if you understand your authority in Christ, the enemy is no match for your faith.

      Luke 10:17 (NLT) – When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

      They could have demanded the demons do something obscure, so long as they came in the authority of Christ and used Jesus’ name as granted to do so.

      Matthew 17:14-20 (NLT)
      14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
      17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
      19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
      20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.[d]”

      Jesus actually sounds frustrated they were as yet unable to summon the faith to do it on their own (In His name, but still on their own).

      Matthew 12:25 (AMP) – And knowing their thoughts, He said to them, Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being brought to desolation and laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will last or continue to stand.
      26And if Satan drives out Satan, he has become divided against himself and disunified; how then will his kingdom last or continue to stand?
      27And if I drive out the demons by [help of] Beelzebub, by whose [help] do your sons drive them out? [j]For this reason they shall be your judges.
      28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you [[k]before you expected it].

      So, sure we need to be mindful of false prophets and workers of inequity, but I believe we need to be careful who we call false prophets or workers of inequity also.

      Luke 12:8 – “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man[c] will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. 9 But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels. 10 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

      Maybe the context of this Scripture is a little indirect, but in any case, I don’t think we want to be accusing any miracle of being ‘of the enemy’ if there’s even a chance it’s not.

      The whole point; How do we discern the truth from the deception?

      The same way you get to know anyone well; Relationship, Relationship, Relationship!

      Matt

    • robert taylor says:

      ‘Woe to those who would lead any of his little ones astray’.
      There is an underlying threat here. Thats what makes me wary of Christianity. This is the beginning of religeous persecution. In the name of Jesus. The threat of violence to other beliefs.
      A God of Love offers no violence. Even against non-belief.
      Only love.

  11. Friends,

    Out from among the heavens The Son of the Deity (God) who came to us was the chief Magician and the Magi came and brought gifts to Him, and they followed His star that guided them to Him (The Chief Magician) of white Magic! The Rosacrucians of old did the same, as their Chief Jesus the Christ (Messiah) and if there is a Rosacrucian on earth today he will never say so. Member of the Rosey-Cross the Cross with a white Rose.

    By the way He is the foundation of our Faith, and He gives Faith to whom-so-ever He wills.

    In the first part of the ministry of the Apostle Paul he healed the sick and even raise the dead when he was preaching the Kingdom to the Jews alone, then it was changed for the also rejected as they did before, So Paul was sent to the gentiles only and Jews also as a side note. what is called a joint body of Jews and gentiles together. at that time he asked God to heal him and was thus told my grace is suffeciant for you, and Paul never healed again for the grace of God was enough. (grace meaning the un-merited favor of God) No works involved just faith through grace, no miracles involved. The great commission was given to Israel alone at that time, and not to the gentiles which had no God. Grace and Ambassadorship was given to the Gentiles and the Jews together (in grace by the will of God) grace meaning un-merited favor” so this is what Scripture says on the subject and not what man says.

    God’s grace thru Christ Glorified at the right
    hand of God in and among the Celestials God’s CEO

    Jesus is our Ba-rock and Foundation

    Sumner Morrill Koch

    • robert taylor says:

      ‘He gives faith to whosoever he will’?
      Does that mean that he with-holds faith from others? Is that really fair? Is it because of Jesus that I don’t believe? Or is it by the grace of God I am a rationalist? Did Jesus make me a rationalist?

      ‘Joint body of Jews and Gentiles’.
      By Gentiles I think you mean Pagans.Of course, after the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion of the Jews in AD 70, there would have been a lot of Jews mixing with the Pagans. Many of the Jews may well have given up on their version of God after that awful time and been looking for something else to believe in. They do have a history of changing their Diety every now and then. They did not mind worshipping Pagan Gods everytime they thought their God was not doing enough for them. Its in the OT. Even King David did not walk in the way of Jehovah. There are a few other examples of Isrealite Idolatry and the worship of Jesus is yet another example.

  12. Acts 8 (Amplified Bible)
    Acts 8
    1AND SAUL was [not only] consenting to [Stephen’s] death [he was [a]pleased and [b]entirely approving]. On that day a great and severe persecution broke out against the church which was in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles (special messengers).
    2[A party of] devout men [c]with others helped to carry out and bury Stephen and made great lamentation over him.
    3But Saul shamefully treated and laid waste the church continuously [with cruelty and violence]; and entering house after house, he dragged out men and women and committed them to prison.
    4Now those who were scattered abroad went about [through the land from place to place] preaching the glad tidings, the Word [[d]the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God].
    5Philip [the deacon, not the apostle] went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ (the Messiah) to them [the people];(A)
    6And great crowds of people with one accord listened to and heeded what was said by Philip, as they heard him and watched the miracles and wonders which he kept performing [from time to time].
    7For foul spirits came out of many who were possessed by them, screaming and shouting with a loud voice, and many who were suffering from palsy or were crippled were restored to health.
    8And there was great rejoicing in that city.
    9But there was a man named Simon, who had formerly practiced magic arts in the city to the utter amazement of the Samaritan nation, claiming that he himself was an extraordinary and distinguished person.
    10They all paid earnest attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is that exhibition of the power of God which is called great (intense).
    11And they were attentive and made much of him, because for a long time he had amazed and bewildered and dazzled them with his skill in magic arts.
    12But when they believed the good news (the Gospel) about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) as Philip preached it, they were baptized, both men and women.
    13Even Simon himself believed [he adhered to, trusted in, and relied on the teaching of Philip], and after being baptized, devoted himself constantly to him. And seeing signs and miracles of great power which were being performed, he was utterly amazed.
    14Now when the apostles (special messengers) at Jerusalem heard that [the country of] Samaria had accepted and welcomed the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
    15And they came down and prayed for them that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit;
    16For He had not yet fallen upon any of them, but they had only been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
    17Then [the apostles] laid their hands on them one by one, and they received the Holy Spirit.
    18However, when Simon saw that the [Holy] Spirit was imparted through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he brought money and offered it to them,
    19Saying, Grant me also this power and authority, in order that anyone on whom I place my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.
    20But Peter said to him, Destruction overtake your money and you, because you imagined you could obtain the [free] gift of God with money!
    21You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is all wrong in God’s sight [it is not straightforward or right or true before God].(B)
    22So repent of this depravity and wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, this [e]contriving thought and purpose of your heart may be removed and disregarded and forgiven you.
    23For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in [f]a bond forged by iniquity [to fetter souls].(C)
    24And Simon answered, Pray for me [beseech the Lord, both of you], that nothing of what you have said may befall me!
    25Now when [the apostles] had borne their testimony and preached the message of the Lord, they went back to Jerusalem, proclaiming the glad tidings (Gospel) to many villages of the Samaritans [on the way].
    26But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Rise and proceed southward or at midday on the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza. This is the desert [[g]route].
    27So he got up and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship.
    28And he was [now] returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.
    29Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot.
    30Accordingly Philip, running up to him, heard [the man] reading the prophet Isaiah and asked, Do you really understand what you are reading?
    31And he said, How is it possible for me to do so unless someone explains it to me and guides me [in the right way]? And he earnestly requested Philip to come up and sit beside him.
    32Now this was the passage of Scripture which he was reading: Like a sheep He was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so He opens not His mouth.
    33In His humiliation [h] He was taken away by distressing and oppressive judgment and justice was denied Him [caused to cease]. Who can describe or relate in full [i]the wickedness of His contemporaries (generation)? For His life is taken from the earth and [j]a bloody death inflicted upon Him.(D)
    34And the eunuch said to Philip, I beg of you, tell me about whom does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?
    35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this portion of Scripture he announced to him the glad tidings (Gospel) of Jesus and about Him.
    36And as they continued along on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch exclaimed, See, [here is] water! What is to hinder my being baptized?
    37[k]And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart [if you have [l]a conviction, full of joyful trust, that Jesus is the Messiah and accept Him as the Author of your salvation in the kingdom of God, giving Him your obedience, then] you may. And he replied, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38And he ordered that the chariot be stopped; and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and [Philip] baptized him.
    39And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord [[m]suddenly] caught away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing.
    40But Philip was found at Azotus, and passing on he preached the good news (Gospel) to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

    Footnotes:
    a. Acts 8:1 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
    b. Acts 8:1 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
    c. Acts 8:2 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
    d. Acts 8:4 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
    e. Acts 8:22 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
    f. Acts 8:23 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
    g. Acts 8:26 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
    h. Acts 8:33 Adam Clarke, The Holy Bible with A Commentary.
    i. Acts 8:33 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
    j. Acts 8:33 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
    k. Acts 8:37 Many manuscripts do not contain this verse.
    l. Acts 8:37 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
    m. Acts 8:39 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
    Cross references:
    A. Acts 8:5 : Acts 6:5
    B. Acts 8:21 : Ps 78:37
    C. Acts 8:23 : Isa 58:6
    D. Acts 8:33 : Isa 53:7, 8

    • robert taylor says:

      Paul, the chief of sinners, the liar and persecutor. a very nasty man. Is this really the kind of man you can trust?

      What does that mean,’ He was suddenly caught up and the eunuch saw him no more.’
      I’m not a scholar but I think that this is an attempt to attract members of other faiths to the new faith of Christianity. Previously, in The Law of Moses a eunuch would’nt even be allowed into the temple to worship. It was against the Law. Lev 21-17-24. The eunoch was probably a eunoch because of his ealier faith, some Pagan beliefs did practice that sort of thing. As a matter of fact Jesus even recommends it for those who don’t want to get married.
      Matt 19.12.
      Jesus is adopting a Pagan practice here surely?
      Are there any Christians willing to do as Jesus says today or is that one of the bits that we don’t take seriously?

      • robert taylor says:

        Another bit that is rarely mentioned.Matt 12.39-41. Not to be taken seriously, or is it meant to be understood in some other sense?

  13. Son Messiah King is the surpreme Spirit of Deity, “(Jehovah Elohim)”

    SMK
    8-12-1938

  14. Their many wonders done by false Prophets in the name of Christ, who will say in that day look what I have done in your name, and Christ will say I nerver knew you depart from ye workers of inequity, (here that)?

    Many know of Him and many believe in Him many have heard of Him, but few really know Him….

    Sumner Koch

    • John Donovan says:

      Working wonders does not always equate with working inequity. Hear this…

      inequity [ɪnˈɛkwɪtɪ]
      n pl -ties
      1. lack of equity; injustice; unfairness
      2. an unjust or unfair act, sentence, etc.

      IMHO, there are MANY who create a lot of unfairness whilst praising the name of Christ. THAT’s who Jesus is talking about.

  15. Their are 88 stars in our constilation and 88 counties in Ohio which was named by the Indians. Ohio means sonmething big, and Chillicothe Ohio Means “(valley (vale) of death)”
    Something big is in the wind (the breath (Spirit) of God)

    And So-It-goes!

    Sumner M. Koch

    • John Donovan says:

      BTW, it’s written that nobody knows where The
      Wind comes from nor where it goes.

      • Anna says:

        Shalom John,
        Sorry for my ignorance, but could you please tell me what “BTW” stands for?
        Love and Peace in Christ (not “World-Peace”)
        Anna

        • John Donovan says:

          In 1975, Raphael Finkel of Stanford University compiled a collection of hacker slang, the Jargon File, from technical cultures, such as the MIT AI Lab, the Stanford AI Lab (SAIL) and others, of the old ARPANET AI/LISP/PDP-10 communities. Two items on this list in current use as Internet slang are “flame” and “loser”. By 1990,the Jargon File had been enriched with examples of shorthand used in talk mode between two terminals, (for example, “BTW”, “FYI”, and “TNX”) as well as some slang expressions in use on Usenet and new commercial networks like CompuServe (for example, “LOL”, “ROTF”, and “AFK”.)[1]

      • robert taylor says:

        Reference to false prophets and wonder workers.

        ‘To claim that Jesus worked miracles at will, and that these prove his unique character and spititual greatness, a Lama would retort,
        A, That they where not miracles.
        B, That others, with practice can do the same, and.
        C, that they prove nothing about spiritual greatness, being the power of evil Thaumaturgists* as well as good ones.’

        This suggests to me that Jesus was just another magician.

        * ‘Thaumaturge!’ Wonder working. A worker of miracles; a magician.
        Webster Universal Dictionary.

      • robert taylor says:

        The wind goes round in huge circles. caused by atmospheric conditions.Just look at a satelite picture of the weather map next time you’re watching TV.

  16. Tom Mahon says:

    I have a very simple question as a new Bible student. How were the books of the Bible picked and authenicated? There appears to be many written manuscripts. How do we know which were inspired and written by people with the Holy Spirit?

    • alexk says:

      It is believed that under Constantine’s direction, the first bible was compiled at the council of Nicea, assembling the prevalent Christian writings that were circulating. Athanasius of Alexandria (who was present and supposedly influential at the Council of Nicea) wrote a letter to the Egyptian Churches in 367 BC. It is the earliest list of the 27 books we currently hold to be the New Testament. Its true there are many different manuscripts, but the amazing part is that there are very few variations between the different manuscripts. As to how the books were picked, I can only assume that they examined the books with thought and prayer. Most of the books which were omitted are still available today. The Apocryphal books are most prevalent and if you read them, it gives a glimpse of the decisions they made.

      • Robert Taylor says:

        Reference Constantine The Great. AD 306 The first Holy Roman Emporer. A brief history. He converted from paganism to christianity just before he died. During his reign he was responsible for the deaths of various members of his own family. His slaughter bill, methodically arranged , runs thus, Maximian, his wifes father. Bassianus, his sister Anastasia’s husband. Licianus,His nephew. Fausta, his wife (in a bath of boiling water). Sopater, his former friend. Licinius, his sisters husband. Crispus, his own son.
        This information comes from Religio peperit atque impia facta-Lucret, lib 1 v, 84.
        He knew that he was not far from death and he called in his pagan priests to give him some sort of absolution from his sins. The pagans told him that their beliefs did not condone the things that he had done and they could not give him absolution so he called in the christian priests and they told him that if he confessed his sins then all would be forgiven. Of course he ‘confessed’ and was ‘forgiven’ of his sins. After that christianity was adopted by his government and the pagans where persecuted. He died not long after this ‘conversion’.
        So began the Holy Roman Empire. Holy Catholicism that is.
        Have you been to confession recently?

      • Robert Taylor says:

        You say, ‘The amazing thing is there where very few variations between the various manuscripts.’ One possible reason for this is because they where all copies of previous manuscripts. Even the bible itself has gospels by differnt people at later times, which could be a sign of copying earlier manuscripts. The timescale between the supposed times of the writing of each of the gospels could give the immpression that one was copying from the other. Which one was the original? Was there ever an ‘Original’?

    • Anna says:

      Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

      This is more honesty and innocent sincerity than I have seen all the Christian Churches I have seen up to date!

      My beloved Tom, if you are a new Bible student, then welcome to the Way of Truth!

      Preferring to use the Hebrew name – Yahshua (Jesus Christ)to distinguish Him from the FALSE JESUS (see 2Corinthians 11:2-5),Yahshua tells us “Unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

      Your question is of the highest caliber and only when we are born of the Holy Spirit/Spirit of Truth, can we enter Heaven. But “The Kingdom of God does not come by men’s careful observance, for no one will say to you, ‘here it is’ or ‘there it is’, for the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you.”

      Therefore, in repenting and being baptized in the Holy Spirit, we are given the Spirit of Truth and only THEN, can we discern what is True and what is false. (No use trying to put the cart before the horse, if I may use this expression)

      There are many Scriptures in both Old and New Testament that have been tampered with (as you my have noticed) and some books whose author is UNKNOWN. To be saying this does not mean I am an heretic! It means, I am not afraid of facing the Truth that Yahweh already knows! You too, will do well to weigh everything up for without a love of the Truth, it is written that God Himself will send a strong delusion “that they should believe the lie. That they might all be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

      By God’s grace, I have followed the Way for 24 years and when I grappled with this same question, I was shown a most profound thing:

      BIBLE = The WRITTEN Word

      YAHSHUA = the LIVING Word

      “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

      In Isaiah, it tells us that when Yahshua had been tortured and crucified, He was disfigured to the point of being UNRECOGNIZABLE.
      BUT… even if He may have been unrecognizable – He is STILL The Word or “Promise” of God and nothing will ever detract from Who He really is. (even though MAN desperately tried to disfigure/discredit Him.

      In the same way, it doesn’t matter one iota how much man disfigures the Bible – the WRITTEN Word. It is STILL the Word of God and is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

      I think it is in Timothy, where it says, “And from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise through FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS” It is pretty clear then, what the purpose of the WRITTEN Word is.

      God is Spirit, not a Book and “We are in direct contact with God through faith in Christ Jesus(Yahshua)”

      Having said that, Yahweh tells us we can even learn from the ANTS and the BEES!

      Love and Peace in Yahshua (not “World-Peace”)
      Anna

    • Robert Taylor says:

      Hello Tom. I know its difficult to find something to believe in. Theres so much out there. But in your search to find Truth keep your mind open. Examine and and explore. Know what is truth and what is delusion by knowledge and not by faith. Know Thyself. God is Love.

  17. Erik Cancel says:

    Why did god punish the snake to have to crawl?? Why do women have birth pains??

    • perrymarshall says:

      Read Genesis 3 and you will find the answer there.

    • John Donovan says:

      Are you also upset that folks have to work for a living? (actually, I am too).

      Science has eliminated birth pains, although it’s still optional for those who are brave enough.

    • Robert Taylor says:

      Birth Pains. God, Creator of the Universe created birth pains.
      When God created life God created the fear of death into everything that had life. The birth process is a trauma for mother and baby. For reasons as yet unkown giving birth is a dangerous process. The pain and sense of danger of the mother is also reflected in the child at the moment of birth. Previous to this moment the child had existed in perfect harmony. ‘He walked with God in the garden’. he was at one with God. Then he did not even have to breathe for himself. Then comes the moment of birth, the first ‘event’. Something changed. One has to breathe for oneself. A change inteperature.All at once. This switch from harmony to the unknown has been given the attribute of fear by God, creator of the universe. When we become aware of our own existence we fear our non-existence. Naturally.

  18. peter cackett says:

    dear
    perry i,ve read with interest your wonderful articles, and i believe the bible does support miracles today, but i must admit until i personally experience one i cannot fully believe in them happening today,.i,ve prayed many times for healing and not recieved, and have been a witness to so many people saying they are partially healed, i believe if God were to heal it would be complete and perfect not partial, and also why would God trouble Himself with peoples minor ailments when there is a world full of atrocity and pain,sure if we need to get healing it should be for those who are suffering extremely all over the world, can you imagine a man laying his hands on his christian brother in the midst of a bloody battle where people all around are being blown apart screams and pain and death all around, and this christian is praying for his brother for healing of a bout of influenza or a headache, The miracle we need to pray for is that God will lift the terrible curse He put on mankind and lets start again with love first love second and love last, Surely the God of love will change His mind soon and withdraw His curse,i think we need God right now in this world but i think He,s on vacation, i hope He returns soon, Bless you ,Peter

    • perrymarshall says:

      I think if you go on a serious hunt for Christians who embrace miracles you will find what you seek.

    • Robert Taylor says:

      The God of Love?
      Surely the God of love will change His mind soon and withdraw His curse,i think we need God right now in this world but i think He,s on vacation, i hope He returns soon, Bless you ,Peter .

      the immutable unchanging God will change his mind? Surely that is impossible otherwise he would not be an immutable unchanging God. But to refer to the God of the bible as a god of ‘Love’ is wrong. When God spoke to the Isrealites, Ex 20.5 he specifically told them that he was a’Jealous’ God. Logic tells me that there is no love in jealouy, there is only selfishness. The God of the OT cannot be described as a God of love. We have his very own words to go on.
      As for witnessing a miracle, and then believing, just get yourself to Lourdes in France or one of the many other shrines to the BVM around the world and see what happens. Some people believe that ‘miracles’ are a regular occurence in these places.
      or you could just stay at home and read your bible.
      try 2.Thess.8-9. A good example of what God will do to those who demand proof.

      Keep the faith. God is love.
      Robert

  19. Lori Wynne says:

    Dear Ryan and beleivers,
    I am so blessed to have found this website.

    It has answered a prayer today, though no miracle occurred to write the newspaper about or money did not fall from the sky, my lord touched my heart and I am certain he is guiding my way always.
    Thank you again
    Lori

    • darrell evans says:

      It’s what our Lord does with each of us in secret. Matthew chapter 6 tells us this, and that means His Church is with us, within us. “Emmanuel”, Him in us and us in Him, Then it’s all about TRUST and Patience while waiting on Him to direct our individual paths, again, in secret, like He does with the rest of His creation, the plants and animals, everything having the breath of life in it. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, or because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. As for G-d, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.

      Psalms 37:3-6
      2Samual 22:31
      Revelation 3:20

  20. darrell evans says:

    Hello again Perry my friend; This is what I learned from our Lord Jesus Himself about man made organizations called “churches“, so I will share it with you.

     Every Earthly church, synagogue or temple built by the hands of men on Earth is corrupt, and led by deceitful minions of the Devil. Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all uncleanness.

    Bar none.

     The true Church of our Lord G-d is a living Church as the living body of Christ, and it’s hidden in a secret place within our hearts, where no man nor demon can go, and yet it‘s out in the open to be found everywhere for those who have eyes to see and ears with which to hear.. It’s not a building of cold stones and mortar, nor an institution of unrepentant sinners, calloused administrators and professors, such as we are faced with in today’s world.  Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

     There is only One G-d, and there is only Church of G-d, and G-d Himself said that He would make Peter, the “First man” ever to be re-born of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 16:17   And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.

    …. and that He would build His Church using Simon, called Peter, as the corner stone of it.  Matthew 16: 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

      So as far as I am concerned that tends to cheer me up, because His will is being done, here on Earth as it is in heaven, not man’s, man’s leads to death and destruction, ergo all is not proceeding wrong, the universe is unfolding as it should, it may not at first glance seem so to some of us, but our Holy Father works through those who believe in Him in secret …Job 29:4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of G-d was upon my tabernacle;

    ….as the following scripture says…Psalm 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.
    Genesis 49:5 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self will they digged down a wall.

    Deuteronomy 27:15 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen. (How many Earthly man made churches does this sort of thing or sells trinkets like stars, crosses and crescents?)

    Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.
    Psalm 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
    Psalm 18:7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah.
    .Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    Psalm 139:15 My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
    Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
    Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

     And if we want good health and nourishment He is right there with us in our heart waiting on us to just ask Him… “We have to ask, or He can’t give us something if we don’t ask for it. However we have to ask Him in secret; Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    Even though we have been blessed with this power, we must; Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of G-d, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Proverb 9:17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a G-d of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.

    Thank You Lord Jesus!
    And G-d bless you in everything “Good” you endeavor Perry my friend.

    • arthur charlton says:

      Hi there Durrel, I am not what you would call a Christian but my entire life now is filled with Gods love. your comments on the churches are in my opinion exactly right. All that is needed is for all of us to let God´s love enter our lives.Whenever Jesus entered a church of stone it was to criticize the actions of the leaders, His church was out in the open for all to see, not a hidden mumbo jumbo. Arthur in Paraguay God bless you.

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