MIRACLES TODAY

Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles for that); this book is about miracles that occur today.

Miracles Today: The Supernatural Work of God in the Modern World. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021

Keener is not one to throw ideas against walls to see if they’ll stick. Keener is one of the best-known scholars of the Bible and early Christianity in the world today. He is careful with his research and documents everything. The point of the book, as the back-cover states, is to demonstrate via examples “that miraculous works of God, which have been part of the experience of the church around the world since Christianity began, continue into the present.”

This stated goal is admirably accomplished by Dr. Keener. He commences the book by addressing a few preliminary questions. What is a miracle, anyway? Why do some people assume that miracles don’t happen? Do many people witness miracles? Do only Christians report Christian healings?

He then launches into the main portion of the book in which he briefly relates the details of hundreds of well-attested miracles, but especially healings. This middle section comprises about 75% of the book proper. At the end of the book, Keener addresses a few more key questions people often wonder about miracles. Why don’t we see more miracles in the West? What is the role of faith? What about when healing is temporary? What does the Bible say about non-healing?

Let us not be tardy in praying for the sick but be on time in step with the Holy Spirit.

I appreciate Keener’s candid honesty in acknowledging that most blind people who have received prayer are still blind, and most dead people prayed for are still dead (pp. 137, 202). He comments, “What we call miracles are still the exception rather than the rule,” (p. 221). But his main point is that whether you or I have personally witnessed a dramatic miracle or not, many significant and verifiable miracles have occurred and still occur in answer to the prayers of God’s people all around the globe.

One other thing I appreciate about this book is Keener’s acknowledgment that more dramatic miracles occur more frequently on the frontlines of Christian evangelism than they do where the church is well-established (pp. 31, 33 135, 183, 201, 203). He still affirms, however, that such dramatic miracles sometimes happen in the West, too (pp. 151, 203).

Practically, this book reminded me to stay expectant when I pray. In any way He chooses, and at any time He chooses, God may do something momentous to display His glory and help those who witness His mighty acts of mercy to trust Him more fully.

WHEN GOD’S DISCIPLES GO MIRACLES FOLLOW

Missionaries working with Southern Baptist Convention (IMB) reported baptisms were up 81% from 2019 to 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), and salvation testimonies continue to pour in.

The increases are particularly significant in a denomination where many cite missions as their reason for joining and staying.

Typical Testimony: A 53-year-old Thai man with chest pain went to see an IMB medical missionary outside Bangkok. The man collapsed in the clinic and regained consciousness only after the IMB missionary, a physician, performed emergency medical procedures.

As they waited for an ambulance, the man prayed to receive Christ, prompting the doctor to ask, “When did you start to become interested in God ’s story?”

National IMB missionary preaching to Thai congregation

The man pointed to the place on the floor where he collapsed and said, “Right there. Before that, I had never been interested at all. But when I collapsed, I heard God call my name three times, and I knew he was warning me.”

That wasn’t an isolated incident, according to IMB reports. The evangelistic surge, missiologists say, is attributable to the fact we are there (obedient to God’s call), the pandemic, and the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. Several years ago under David Platt, IMB transferred ministries from missionaries to national partners.

“We have seen the Holy Spirit working across the globe in mighty ways,” said Wilson Geisler, IMB director of global research. One missionary team “saw the first believers among an incredibly tough-to-reach people group.” Another “saw more people coming to faith in 2020 than in the previous three years combined.

Jesus promised that in the last days before His return the GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS, the only good news in a time of tribulation will be proclaimed throughout the whole world. Do you want to be part of the team proclaiming the GOOD NEWS? You can be like David (“I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” Acts 13:22), just obey the indwelling Holy Spirit.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24: 14

GOD DOES HEAL PEOPLE MIRACULOUSLY TODAY

God is in the healing business. He provided you with your immune system. It heals your body of disease. However, on occasions, as this atheist cancer doctor discovered God does answer prayer with miraculous healing.

This article published in USA Today: Cancer Doctor Was an Atheist but Now Has ‘Profound Faith’ After Investigating Power of Prayer to Heal.

A longtime cancer doctor believes prayer can be powerful and effective at healing the afflicted, sharing in a recently-published USA Today opinion piece how his investigation into invocations (the act of calling upon God (Holy Spirit) for healing) led him from “being a scientifically based ’empirical’ atheist to someone with a profound faith.”

Dr. Gary Onik said he has “encountered at least one terminal cancer patient who was healed by a worldwide prayer effort on his behalf,” and shared his journey of investigating how prayer can help the afflicted.

It was the aforementioned case that led Onik to think deeper on the matter.

“Rather than dismiss this miracle as inconsistent with my empiric and rationally based training, it made me consider how the new scientific knowledge of quantum physics and human consciousness might support the idea of prayer-facilitated healing,” he wrote.

Onik spent a decade looking at how prayer and science might coalesce, and then found himself facing his own terminal prostate cancer diagnosis. Like many others, he had a choice: to seek prayer — or not.

Based on Onik’s research, he said he “knew that prayer had to be a major component” of his own treatment. He decided to seek prayer, so he posted a video and people from all over the world — and from a diversity of beliefs — reached out to offer invocations.

Onik decided to avoid surgery for his cancer, which had spread to his lymph nodes and bones, and instead relied on prayer and a special immunotherapy regime he created.

“It is now three years since my diagnosis,” he wrote. “Prayer combined with immunotherapy treatment has left me free of metastatic cancer and potentially cured.”

Onik’s not sure he would have been healed without prayer, but there’s one thing he is certain of: prayer is important, especially when it comes to cancer.

As Faithwire previously reported, the benefits of faith continue to be shown in scientific studies. For instance, a new Gallup poll found better mental health trends among Americans who routinely attend worship services.

Christians, though, know the power of prayer, as the Bible repeatedly implores believers to seek the Lord in this way. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) reads, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

This is what Francis Chan had to say about prayer and miraculous healing on a mission trip to Myanmar. His experiences of the miraculous with his wife and family have changed them. They could never go back to the old life regardless of how comfortable it was.

“There’s no way I can communicate to you how much peace I felt,” Chan stressed. “I am sharing the Good News with a village of people who have never heard of this before. I can’t tell you how right it felt.”

Later in his message, Chan revealed that while in the village he asked God to help him heal those suffering. 

“I’m going, ‘God, please, please hear,’” he recalled. “People started coming forward for healing.” “Every person I touched was healed,” “I have never experienced this in 52 years. I’m talking like a little boy and a little girl who were deaf. We laid hands, she starts crying and smiling. These are not Christians who have even heard about Jesus, and she’s freaking out. We lay hands on her little brother, we lay hands on him, and he starts hearing for the first time.” Chan admitted that the entire process was out of his “comfort zone,” adding, “This is stuff I’d read about, but I’m going, ‘Man, it happened. It happened.’ Stuff left and right.” “I thought I had faith, but my faith was at another level, and I think there are some things that contributed — some of it was just faith in His word, that when Jesus says, ‘I am in you and you are in Me,’ to take that literally,” he declared. 

There is no doubt in my mind that in these “last days” before Jesus returns that if we step out in faith and do what God is calling us to do that we will see God’s miraculous power at work just as Francis Chan did, whether it is healing or any of the other eight gifts of the Spirit.,

Are you a spiritual foodie? Chan challenges.

MIRACLES EVIDENT IN FASTEST GROWING CHURCHES

Church growth in Nepal

In 1951, Nepal reported no Christians in its government census. And by 1961, that number increased to just 458. Today, the World Christian Database ranks the country as the 12th fastest-growing Christian population in the world with 1,285,200 believers, said database co-director Gina Zurlo. The real number might be higher.

Until 2008, Nepal was a Hindu kingdom. For Hindu radicals, being Nepali means being culturally Hindu, Pastor Tanka Subedi told CP. Subedi leads Nepal’s Family of God Church and serves as director of the International Nepal Fellowship. Although most Hindus live in peace with Christians, he said some fiercely oppose the Gospel. “The prime minister himself says he doesn’t believe in God but is Hindu,” said Subedi. “State media and government officials [say] Christianity is coming to Nepal to destroy our culture. It’s challenging to evangelize people who have that mindset.”

The pressure and violence Christians experience from Hindus places the country at No. 34 on Open Doors USA’s global persecution watch list.

Despite rising persecution, Christians continue to share their faith, Subedi said, because the government can’t arrest them all. We come from a persecuted background. We were never free. We are used to it, he said.

People feel eager to become Christians because of the reality of the Christian faith and the healings, Subedi added. 

Nepalese Christians Reuters/Shruti Shrestha

Suroj Shakya, a 41 year old church elder in Nepal told CP that he became a Christian at 8 years old after God healed him from food poisoning. When Suroj was 19, his mother Gita Shakya was diagnosed with a painful, paralyzing spinal growth. Doctors told Gita and Suroj, that her best option for healing was a risky, potentially lethal surgery, Suroj shared with The Christian Post. Surgery was expensive, and Gita’s husband, Babukaji, a Buddhist priest, refused to pay his Christian wife’s expenses. Doctors in Singapore gave 19-year-old Suroj two days to decide whether to let his mother live in terrible pain or risk her death.

Suroj prayed, then decided it was best to do the surgery. But he didn’t know what he would tell his family if Gita died, he said. At that time, I felt so alone in Singapore because it was my first visit, and I had nobody to share my problems with besides talking with the Lord in prayer, he added.

Suroj heard a knock at the door. It was a group of local church members who wanted to pray for Gita. After 20 minutes of prayer, a miracle happened, he said. Gita stood up. She kicked out with her left foot, which hadn’t moved for years. She punched out with her left arm. Suddenly, she could move. Gita started to weep and praise God, Suroj recalled. “There was no pain and sadness, which she had before. Her face was changed into joy and happiness,” he said.

Afterward, Suroj said doctors didn’t believe Gita was the same woman. Babukaji didn’t believe his wife had been healed without surgery until he saw she had no scars. Then along with his son, Suman, he became a Christian.

Such stories happen often in Nepal, said Suroj. Despite persecution and poverty, the Nepalese church has grown incredibly quickly. The South Asian country has one of the fastest-growing Christian populations in the world. To secular Westerners, it might seem impossible. But the mountains of Nepal have witnessed incredibly fast church growth in part because of miraculous healings.

The church growth is because of miracles, Suroj asserted. “[If] people don’t [get healed] from the hospital, they go to the church and ask for prayer from the church leaders. When the church family and church leaders pray for the sick people, they are getting healed.”

I believe as persecution of Christians intensifies in the West the Christian remnant will be more like the church described in the Book of Acts. Healings and miracles will be normal and an important part of church growth just as it is in Nepal.

A BIBLE IS LEAKING OIL BY THE GALLONS/LITRES! IS IT PROOF OF END TIMES MIRACLES?

Fall 2016 | The Lord Speaks

In the fall of 2016 the Lord began to give us markers. First we believed He told us He would give us more instruction after the presidential election. When the election was over, He instructed us to live, eat, and breathe Romans 12:1-2, which says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

November 2016 – January 2017

From November 2016 to January 2017 our time together became more focused. The Lord again spoke to us in January and said He would show us after the inauguration what He had been preparing.

January 23, 2017 | Holy Spirit Moves

The inauguration was on January 20th. We gathered together on Monday evening the 23rd. Normally our times together would end between 8:30 pm and 9:00 pm. That night was different. Intercession and worship were very intense. Jerry was on his knees praying. Johnny and Leslie laid hands on him and began to pray. Jerry fell over on the floor and stayed there for about 45 minutes. Johnny and Leslie went over to the couch and did the same with Joyce, Jerry’s wife. After praying, Joyce said the Lord had done something so deeply in her that she would never be the same. We continued worshipping until around midnight. Jerry and Joyce were so affected by what happened on Monday night that they stayed home the rest of the week reading their bibles, praying, and worshipping God.

January 27, 2017

Friday morning, January 27th, Jerry’s granddaughter and great granddaughter came to visit. When they left Jerry picked up his bible to read. He had been reading in Psalms all week. His bible fell open to Psalm 39 and and he noticed a wet spot on the page that had soaked through to Psalm 63. He asked Joyce if the great granddaughter had spilled something on his bible. Joyce told him the baby had not had anything to drink. Later that afternoon Jerry and Joyce took the bible over to Johnny and Leslie’s home. They all agreed it was oil.

February 2017 | The Oil Begins To Flow

Over the next couple of weeks the oil moved through the bible from Psalm 39 through the book of Revelation and even into the back of the bible on the maps and the concordance. The oil stopped then appeared at the front of the bible in Genesis 1. It continued to move through the Old Testament to where it started in Psalm 39. It then began to saturate the whole bible. Jerry placed the bible in a gallon size Ziploc bag. When the oil began to fill the bag, we then placed the bag in a plastic container. Once in the container, the oil began to flow even more, filling that container.

April 2017 – Present

The bible is now in its fourth container. As the container fills up, Jerry takes the oil and puts it in containers until we get together and fill vials. We believe the Lord has instructed us to not advertise, to not market the oil, to not “knock” on doors, and to not try to convince people what it is.

His word to us was to give the oil away so He can replenish it. (story of Elijah and the widow with the jar of oil, 1 Kings 17:14) He instructed us to share the story, share His word, give the oil away, and the miracles will happen “outside the building.” And they have. His word was, “The church is leaving the building!” The oil has gone all over the world. We have given away over 150,000 vials. We receive testimonies everyday of the miracles God is performing in the marketplace, in the hospitals, in the workplace, in the streets, in almost every country of the world.