“After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard. God also bearing witness with them both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”
This is a reference to the spoken ministry of Jesus Christ in which the Jews were warned of the judgment of the fifth cycle of discipline and the eternal judgment of the Lake of Fire for disregarding salvation through Him. Jesus Christ communicated to the apostles, the apostles communicated to the Church, the Church had spiritual gifts where men communicated to people, and men have been communicating to the Church ever since. Not only do we have the miracle of the preservation of the Word of God but we also have the miracle that in every generation there is communication. That is grace; that is provision; that is something none of us could ever do apart from God’s grace. Those who heard means that the apostles learned from Jesus Christ and continued to teach what they had learned after His ascension to Heaven.
God confirmed the spoken word of Christ by the additional testimony of miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. The purpose for all of these was to confirm the word spoken by Christ and His disciples. Though He often used men as agents of miracles, it was always the power of God that performed the miracle.
Miracles are events in the physical world that surpass all known human or natural powers and are performed by God according to His sovereign will. God has given every Church Age believer a spiritual life which has equivalent power to miracles and there are no miracles needed in our spiritual lives. Our spiritual life has the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit and the power of Bible doctrine in the soul and does not need miracles to execute or sustain that life.
Miracles are events beyond natural laws or phenomena and are performed by God. All miracles come from the sovereignty and wisdom of God. No human being ever performed a miracle though God did use certain human beings as instruments of miracles. This was even true in the use of the gift of miracles during the pre-canon period of the Church Age. The sovereignty of God plus the wisdom of God plus the power of God equals a miracle.
Miracles are always compatible with the will and plan of God. Satan’s counterfeit of miracles is the removal of a demon who has induced an illness to make it appear as if the person has been healed. All miracles in the Hypostatic Union were performed by the sovereignty of God, not the humanity of Christ. You have a spiritual life which is far greater than a miracle. Miracles are not a problem solving device.
There are three categories of miracles performed by Christ during the hypostatic union.
1. Creation related miracles were performed by the omnipotence of the divine nature of Christ because He is the Creator of all things. Creation related miracles were not subject to the Doctrine of Kenosis. These miracles were not in conflict with the Doctrine of Kenosis or the function of the prototype spiritual life. These miracles are based on the fact that Jesus Christ created the universe and during the Hypostatic Union He continually used His divine power to perform certain miracles like holding the universe together. These type of miracles were authorized and legitimate and did not conflict with the Father’s plan for the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
2. Messiah related miracles were performed by the deity of our Lord to give accreditation to the humanity of Jesus Christ as the son of Abraham, the son of David, and the Messiah of Israel. Jesus Christ in His divine nature is the God of Israel. In His humanity He is the king of Israel. Accreditation is authoritative credibility which demands faith or acceptance. Messiah related miracles are direct from the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Messiah related miracles were neither in opposition to Kenosis nor to the Father’s plan for the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
3. Agent related miracles were performed through the agency of the Holy Spirit during the Hypostatic Union. Agent related miracles were performed by the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit using men as representatives on Earth. The humanity of Christ could not perform miracles; they had to be performed by God the Holy Spirit. The miracles which came from the Holy Spirit also did not conflict with the Father’s plan. (Matthew 12:28; Luke 4:14-18)
These miracles were designed to give credibility to our Lord’s messages. All three of these categories were legitimate in the Hypostatic Union because they were a part of the plan of God for the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union. All three categories of miracles were the legitimate function of the Person of Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union. The first two temptations of Satan were designed for Christ to form a spurious (false) miracle not compatible with the will or plan of God.
Miracles were a part of the divine plan for the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union because they did not contradict Kenosis and because they did not function independently of the prototype spiritual life. Miracles were never performed by the power of the humanity of Christ in Hypostatic Union. Miracles have never been a part of the spiritual life of any dispensation. Miracles are a distraction to your spiritual life. You have been given the filling of the Holy Spirit as an equivalent power to miracles.
The humanity of our Lord was being tempted by Satan to perform a lawful miracle in an unlawful manner. What was wrong then with Satan’s suggestion to perform a miracle to turn stones into bread? The source was what was wrong - Satan. Jesus Christ refused to solve a problem apart from the spiritual life. Jesus Christ provided the only solutions to your problems. When you go to outside solutions, like psychological therapy, you have rejected the greatest spiritual life in history. Why pray for a miracle when you have a day to day spiritual life that is far greater and far more powerful than miracles. Miracles are not problem solving devices. Miracles are not a part of the spiritual life. God does not perform miracles in answer to prayer. You have problem solving devices. God performs miracles without your prayers. For a believer there is no solution to the problems of life apart from the Ten Problem-Solving Devices. Miracles are not designed to solve your problems. Example—Paul prayed for a miracle three times to have his thorn in the flesh removed and the answer was “no.” For believers there are no solutions to the problems of life through miracles. The spiritual life and miracles are not compatible.
Satan’s attack of Christ during the three temptations were meant to destroy the legitimate function of miracles, which always come from God, and were never the function of the prototype spiritual life. The only way to do it was to tempt the Lord to use a spurious miracle that would be contrary to the divine objectives of the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union and destroy the prototype spiritual life. The miracles and the prototype spiritual life caused Satan to assume that he had discovered a weak spot in the line of defence in the area of miracles. The difference between miracles and the prototype spiritual life was that miracles always belong to the divine nature and the prototype spiritual life belonged to the human nature of Jesus Christ.
The strategy of Satan was to use a false, compromising, or spurious miracle to destroy both Kenosis and the prototype spiritual life. Satan tempted Jesus Christ to by-pass the prototype spiritual life, to operate independently of Bible doctrine circulating in His stream of consciousness, to get Him to reject the Problem-Solving Devices. The temptation was to do a right thing in a wrong way. The miracle of compromise called for the human nature of Christ to use His divine nature to turn the stones of the desert into bread. This was tempting Jesus Christ to perform a lawful thing in a unlawful manner.
Satan underestimated the power of the prototype spiritual life. Christ defeated Satan with the power of Bible doctrine. The spiritual life is far greater than any miracle or any ecstatic experience. Miracles come from the sovereignty, omniscience, and omnipotence of God.
Miracles were performed by God during the pre-canon period of the Church Age related to various spiritual gifts to validate the message of the apostles until their authority was established. No human being ever performed these miracles. These miracles were performed by God the Holy Spirit indwelling these believers to validate their message as being from God.
Spiritual gifts are divinely bestowed by the Holy Spirit in grace to those He chooses. Every believer in Jesus Christ during the Church Age receives at least one spiritual gift (some have multiple gifts) at salvation. A spiritual gift is a specific ability given by God the Holy Spirit to the believer. The word for gift in Greek is “charisma” and means “grace gift”. Therefore, spiritual gifts are not earned or deserved. The purpose for spiritual gifts, as stated in Scripture, is for the function of the body of Christ in the local church. (Romans 12:4-6; I Corinthians 12:11-31)
Within the category of spiritual gifts there are permanent and temporary gifts. Permanent gifts were first given to believers in the early Church and will continue to be operational until the end of the Church Age, which ends at the Rapture. Temporary gifts were also given to believers in the early Church, but were foundational for the establishment of the Church and are no longer operational.
Temporary spiritual gifts were foundational as the early Church was being formed. The purpose of gifts at that time was to confirm the spoken word of the apostles and disciples of the Lord. Some of these gifts were for the detection of heresy in the Church, which was rampant in the first century Church. Some gifts were given to evangelize unbelievers in their own language. When these known languages were spoken in the local church an interpreter was always required in order that the entire congregation could be taught. There were also temporary gifts that established the apostles’ authority over all churches. And finally, there were certain gifts given to men for the teaching of doctrine not yet a part of the canon of Scripture.