By Weldon E. Warnock
Various religious groups offer testimonials of “miracles” being worked among them. Each group, regardless of their diversity of beliefs and practices, present the same evidence: human testimonies. Which group are we to believe? Is it the Christian Scientists, the Mormons, the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Catholics, or the charismatic groups that include several churches among us?
Many do not understand human anatomy and biological functions of the body. They also don’t understand the power of suggestion, hypnotism, over-wrought emotions, and the adrenal glands. Today’s so-called miracle workers use all of these things to make people believe they have received a miracle. Some respond very well to mental suggestion. The ancient priests of Asklepios, the god of healing, used suggestion to cure the sick. This was practiced at Pergamos, and some were helped, while others returned home in the same condition. Is it any different today?
In my investigation of claimed miracles, I have never corroborated the stories. A woman in Tampa, Florida brought by ambulance to a healing campaign, claimed to be healed before the audience. But on her return home by the ambulance, she had to be put back to bed. This I saw when I followed the ambulance. The next day I visited this lady and she told me that she was not really healed, but only thought she was. In Dayton, Ohio, a tract was circulated of a man who had been “healed” of blindness, an inoperable brain tumor and emphysema. On checking with his doctor at Lima, Ohio, the doctor told me that he knew nothing of a brain tumor, that his emphysema was simply arrested, not cured, and that his blindness was caused by a mental dysfunction, but was not organic blindness. Strangely, this man who was “cured” was still drawing disability from the government. Dr. William Nolan, a physician, investigated several of Katherine Kuhlman’s “miracle cures” and found not one legitimate case.
Christian Scientists report several “miraculous” cures in the book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. They sound like testimonies from a Bennie Hinn crusade. Here are a few of them: lungs restored, fibroid tumor healed, cataract cured, heart valve healed, cancer and consumption healed, diseased eyes healed. This is the religious group that denies the resurrection of Christ and the efficacy of His blood. Yet, their testimonies sound like we hear today. How can you reject theirs and accept yours?
The Catholic Church exceeds all of today’s testimonials. We are told that St. Deniss, who was beheaded by King Edward, picked up his head and carried it in his hands. His statue, among others, is over the entrance of Notre Dame in Paris. There he is, holding his head in his hands. Why would one deny this “miracle” and accept current testimonies of others? Saint Eustachius was converted by a deer while hunting. He saw the image of the crucified Savior between the horns of the animal, and he responded to a voice he thought he heard from heaven. Many, many “miracles” are attributed to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes.
Ellen G. White, the founder of Seventh-Day Adventism, claimed that she was taken up into heaven, saw a halo around the fourth commandment, to keep the Sabbath, and that God told her to come back and tell it. Can you outdo this testimony?
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, claimed that he was shown by the angel, Moroni, the location of gold plates on which was inscribed Reformed Egyptian language. The angel translated and dictated to Smith these inscriptions into English. This became the Book of Mormon. Mormons everywhere testify to this “miracle.” Why reject their testimony and accept self-acclaimed seers today who are always saying that God is speaking to them. These “miracle workers” are continually saying that the Lord spoke to them. What is the difference in Smith’s claim, and let’s say, Bennie Hinn?
Friends, the miracles of Jesus, his apostles, and disciples were uncontested. They could not be denied because they were obvious to the beholder. This is why we read that they marveled or were amazed. For example, Jesus instantly healed a shriveled hand (Matt. 12:9). The hand was seen before and after the miracle. It was no longer withered, but whole. None of us has seen anything like this. Jesus healed an impotent man or lame man who had not walked for 38 years (John 5:1-9). He immediately walked, yet this man did not even know who Jesus was (v. 13). So, he was healed without faith in Christ. So-called “miracle workers” today blame all their failures on a lack of faith on the part of the afflicted. Jesus healed a blind man who had been blind from birth (John 9:1-7). Do we hear of such miraculous cures now? Absolutely not! Peter and John healed a man crippled from birth. Immediately, he arose and walked, leapinq and praising God (Acts 3:7- 8). There are no testimonials of this happening today. Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:37-41). Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead who had been dead four days and his body had begun to decay (John 11:39-43). Have you heard of any testimonies of this kind of experience like Dorcas or Lazarus? Jesus healed leprosy, instantaneously (Matt. 8:1-3). Though leprosy was a loathsome and incurable disease, this did not impede the omnipotent power of Jesus. Why are there no testimonials of miraculous cures from former lepers? Ladies and gentlemen, what vast and obvious differences there are between so-called miracles today and the genuine and indisputable miracles recorded in the New Testament.
Without question Jesus has the power to work wondrous and marvelous miracles. He that made man at the beginning from the dust of the earth could surely make a diseased or afflicted body whole. Jesus did not resort to hypnotism, deceit, fraud, emotional frenzies, or mental suggestions. The issue is not whether Jesus can work miracles today, but rather is he exercising his power?
Many of today’s avowed “miracle workers” have proven to be charlatans, using fraudulent schemes and ploys. Some have been outright crooks and immoral reprobates. Multitudes of unsuspecting people have been duped. John wrote, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Miracles were to confirm the deity of Jesus and the words of him and his apostles (John 20:30-31: Mark 16:20). They were also provisional, to bring us an inspired Book, the Bible. They served their purpose and passed away (cf. 1 Cor. 13:8-10). Indeed, God answers prayers for the healing of the sick, but this is not the same as miraculous healing.
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