6. THE MIRACLE GOD AND HUMAN MISERY
As the world’s population has mushroomed to well over 6 billion earthlings, the world’s suffering has grown proportionately. Plagues and famine are killing millions. We hear of earthquakes around the world that near and even exceed the 7.0 mark on the Richter scale. Tens of thousands lose their lives, with thousands more seriously injured.
We don’t know what all of that is like in America, at least not in my lifetime so far. Katrina was however a bitter taste of it! Around the world, horrible ongoing catastrophes, backward societies, no insurance, and not nearly enough hospitals, doctors or medicine!
The numbers of the sick, the dead and dying in international pestilences and cataclysms are so huge that we cannot conceive of them. Here in America, if five students get killed, the whole nation pays close attention. Yet when thousands lose their lives globally, it is just another item from abroad.
At the most we wonder if any Americans or Canadians were there at the time. Does anyone care? Many would categorically state that God doesn’t. The age old debate about a loving God and human misery!
I want us briefly to follow Jesus around, God in the flesh, in a very small but power-packed and compassionately caring tiny segment of His earthly ministry in the midst of human misery. A quick snapshot as it were of about one day or so in Jesus’ earthly life! What we are about to see is not in the least bit untypical, but rather atypical. Jesus walked daily amidst suffering and dying humanity. And in Christ’s life and ministry on earth, we find nothing but compassion, mercy and power as the Bible unfolds “The Miracle God
” before the eyes of the world.
Following Christ for the disciples proved to be consistently and constantly unpredictable, amazing, suspenseful and expectant. They and we soon learn that:
“GOD MAY AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT DO ANYTHING BECAUSE HE
CAN DO EVERYTHING.”
His disciples didn’t know just what to expect next. Jesus was always several steps ahead of them, and they had all they could do to catch up, let alone catch their breath. Before they could even begin to adjust to one miracle, He was performing another. They were either constantly gazing at wonders, or wondering what they were gazing at. So too those who truly believe in and follow the Christ today will be surprised! It is certain! While you will always find Him dependable, you will not always find Him predictable.
We should have known from prophecy. That is why one of His prophetic names is “Wonderful!” (Isaiah 9:6) Which means, “Always more full of wonder than you can ever imagine.” This is “The Miracle God” of the Bible. With Him, wonders and wondering never cease. He rocks His followers back on their heals again and again. He always raised and still raises eyebrows, while religion in many churches shuts people’s eyes during sermon-naps.
Please read Luke 8:26-56. It all took place in an amazingly short period of time. Here is an absolutely remarkable and breathtaking series of events which reveal “The Miracle God
” and “The God of Miracles
!” We must base our convictions not upon church tradiction
(tradition contradicting the Bible), but upon the all-powerful God and the God of all power revealed in Scripture.
I am reminded of the words of Jesus Christ to the Sadducees who were disputing with Him on the subject of the resurrection. He said to them in Mark 12:24,
“Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the
Scriptures, or the power of God?”
7. THE GADARENE DEMONIAC
Jesus had just returned from delivering a demented and wild man of demons. A demoniac who had been multiply possessed by scores of demons! He was the unwilling but helplessly invaded host of an army of these relentless and remorseless tormentors. In fact, this pathetic fellow could not keep his clothes on, and chains could not contain or tame him. He broke the chains and shackles in pieces, and nobody could subdue him. He cut himself with stones and mutilated his body. In short, a raving maniac.
This is the way this man existed day and night for many years without pause or intermission. Agonizing in mental and physical agony without relief! It all must have been perpetually intolerable.
Satan will invade the human mind with strange and unfathomable terrors which then send out insane impulses to afflict the body that are totally contrary to any right reason. People no doubt called him a madman. When in fact he was a devilman! Possessed! That means exactly what it says. In short,
“WHEN A MAN IS LEFT TOTALLY TO HIMSELF AND TO THE DEMONS,
THEY BECOME ONE AND THE SAME.”
I can only imagine the real scenario. Perhaps Satan had ulcerated his mind with black and oozing sores of past sins called to remembrance again and again. Always presenting to his mind those filthy scenes in ever larger and more inflaming details, he was walking every closer to the horrifying prospect of damnation. So then, what more effective but demented suggestion but to make him lacerate his body in punishment for his ever magnified guilt. Whatever! But be sure of this:
“WHILE SATAN’S OBSESSION IS TO BRING MAN TO HELL IN THE HEREAFTER,
YOU CAN BE SURE THAT HE WILL TRY TO GIVE HIM A STRONG
DOSE OF HELL RIGHT HERE.”
What barbarism it is for man to coldly and murderously shed another man’s blood! Cold blooded murder! We live in a society of multiplying barbaric mass murderers. Some are known as serial murders. They are social vampires, and the more blood they shed, the more they thirst for blood.
But it is even a deeper depth of sadistic barbarism to slowly and torturously shred one’s own flesh and spill one’s own blood as a constant way of life, or should we say death? Demons, when they possess a person, will cause that person to burn, cut, sicken, drown and even kill himself in what society calls suicide. Don’t ever forget that Jesus in John 8:44 tells us that Satan is a murderer from the beginning. Satan is the original serial murderer who is still at large. Why? Because he hates man intensely for being the image bearer of God.
While God will lift a man far above himself, Satan will drag a man far beneath himself. Every temptation not resisted will destroy. Satan then forces a man ever downwards in his mental, moral and spiritual state. He who Satan causes to fall, falls further and further and never stops falling until he reaches the bottom. You might say that this demoniac had reached the bottom. The next step was the bottomless pit.
The demoniac did not live in a house because neither he nor those around him could be safe there. It is a sad thing for a man not to be safe in his own house, but how much sadder when he can’t be safe in his own body, the most precious domicile of the two. This man appropriately lived amidst the tombs, for he was a dead man walking. He was the terror of all the people who passed by him.
When this man saw Jesus, he rushed toward Him. We don’t know whether there were people in the area watching, but if there were, they would have no doubt screamed to Jesus, “Watch out, He’ll kill you.”
When this demoniac-maniac came to Jesus, for some reason he went for Christ’s feet rather than His throat. From inside the man came a loud voice that explains the reason when he said, “What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” The demon recognized that he was in the presence of the Son of God, and fell down at Jesus’ feet immediately in trembling submission. Even the devils believe in God and tremble.
When Jesus asked, “What is your name?” The voice came back, “Legion.” That meant that there were thousands of demons molesting that man. Legion is a Latin term for a unit in the Roman Army numbering between 3000 and 6000 soldiers. Incredible! However, there was one demon-general who was in charge of the hosts of demons. He was in charge of all the tormentors. Sort of a microcosm of Hitler and his Third Reich!
Jesus commanded the evil spirits to come out of him, and then sent them into a herd of swine per the demons request. They want warm bodies to dwell in. Pigs were better than nothing. The pigs – Mark the evangelist indicates about 2000 porkers – went pell-mell into the water and then drowned, ruining the pork economy. It all reminds me of King Pharaoh and his cruel legions of taskmasters drowning in the Red Sea.
The next thing we know is that this man is now fully clothed, sitting calm and in his right mind
. Glory to God! Hallelujah!The before Jesus and after Jesus scenes are stunning and breathtaking! I have seen the same glorious delivering power of God with variations on a theme, in that there were no pigs involved. However, the before and after scenes were no less dramatic. Jesus said about Himself in John 8:30,
“If therefore the Son shall make you
free, you shall be free indeed.“
The people had only seen and heard this man before screaming and hollering, tearing at himself and breaking his chains. When they saw him now fully clothed and in his right mind, incredibly they were more afraid of Jesus and the ex-demoniac than they ever had been of the former demoniac-maniac. They begged Jesus to leave the area, and it appeared that they would rather have had that fellow still bound by Hell than freed by Heaven.
Jesus left, and the now freed man begged Jesus to be able to go with Him. Jesus told him instead to go back to his Gentile people and tell them the great things God had done for him. He did just that, and the people marveled at him.
I mean to say, how sweet, how welcome a sight to see such a miraculous deliverance transporting this man of misery personified from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of God’s love! You would think that it made the Gentile world of his day celebrate his miraculous deliverance. Not so fast! Think again!
Because of mankind’s natural love of and comfortableness with sin and darkness, and man’s natural hatred of and uncomfortableness with righteousness and light (John 3:19), they vehemently opposed light and tried immediately tried to extinguish it. Jesus kicked the demons out of this tortured man, and for that the people kicked Jesus out of their territory. They preferred the darkness. Go figure!
The world of sinners would much rather have an “R” and “X” rated movie theater in their neighborhood than a church built next door to their house. Why? Because Heaven scares the Hell out of them, that’s why, and they feel far more at home around Hell than they do around Heaven! We read that the Gentiles were frightened of this now right-minded, fully clothed, delivered and completely calmed ex-demoniac. In short:
“BECAUSE OF THEIR SADNESS OVER EVIL BEING DEFEATED IN THEIR
WORLD, THEY CANNOT REJOICE WHEN GOOD IS VICTORIOUS
IN THEIR NEIGHBOR.
So it was and is that they feared him who was delivered not only, but they were threatened by Him who did the delivering. Jesus said to demons in the demoniac, “Come out!” The people said to Jesus, “Get out!” Jesus and his delivered follower had become social nuisances. As Sarah Palin seeks to lifted life up, the godless secularists sought to bring her down. Sarah Palin and her Down Syndrome son Trig are just as much social nuisances today as Jesus and His freed ex-demoniac were to the Gentile world of that day. That is how it works in the clash of the Kingdoms of darkness and light.
How did the “Miracle God” in the flesh deal with Satanically inflicted human misery? The Bible summarizes it in Acts 10:38,
“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit
and with power, and how he went about doing good, and healing
all who were oppressed by the devil;
for God was with Him
Did you read that carefully? How could we miss it? Healing ALL that were oppressed by Satan! Whether the demonic oppressions were spiritual, mental or physical, he healed the multitudes of people who were being abused and overwhelmed by multitudes of demonic oppressors. The point being:
“WHAT A PITIFUL ARMY A MULTITUDE OF DEMONS IS ON THE ONE
SIDE WHEN GOD IS ON THE OTHER.”
Finally, from all of this, are we to conclude that what Jesus Christ majored
in then, He at most minors
in now? Are we to accept the argument – a majore ad minus
? This has been devastating to the cause of Christ. Are we to take a Biblical survey of all of the miracle passages of sacred history only once again to submit to the tradictional
church counsels and the frail, stunted and tradictional
conclusions of men? Are we to read in Scripture unendingly of some of the greatest battles ever fought in spiritual warfare, and then decide that no more are such battles being fought nor are such victories being won by Christ today? Are we to accept the teaching that the SAME GOD
Who did all of that no longer does any of that?
Bible book after Bible book after Bible book of miracle deliverances only to have the Bible slammed shut in our faces! What kind of sick religious game are we playing here? It is has been the denial by the church of the continuance of these miracle deliverances by Christ Jesus that has enabled the Devil to raise Hell in people’s lives. Most of the modern church ought to hang its head in shame for having given Satan and his demons sanctuary.
8. THE HEMORRHAGING WOMAN
, right on the heels of this miracle deliverance another miracle begins to unfold and astound! While the demons gave their victims no respite, Jesus didn’t give them any down time either. Jesus has just returned from the other side of the Sea of Galilee. The multitudes were waiting for Him and very excited to see Him.
An official of the synagogue, a man in leadership, comes up to Jesus, bows before Him and asks, “Would you come to my house? I have an only daughter. She is 12 years old, and she is dying.” Once again, there is no human solution. Terminal! Remedyless! All options are gone, except one. Jesus immediately starts toward the man’s house.
Now the mob of people quickly increases and they are pressing against Jesus. Suddenly Jesus stops the entire pushing parade and asks, “Who touched me?” Those who still can move back a bit and say, “I didn’t do it.” Peter, who else, tries to explain, “Lord, they are all pressing against you. They all may have touched you.” As if Jesus didn’t know and feel that! Thanks Peter, what would Jesus do without you?
Coming to think about it, I probably would have said the same thing. Peter isn’t the only open-mouth, insert-foot disciple that ever walked the earth. But then again, perhaps Jesus didn’t feel the crowd jostling Him. He seems to have only the sensation of one person touching Him. “No,” Jesus said, “Someone touched Me, I felt the power go out of Me.”
That all must have sounded absurd not only to Peter but to everyone within hearing range. The maddening crowd pushing and shoving and nothing is felt by Jesus worth mentioning. But one person in particular touches Him and He feels the omnipotence of God going out of Him as if drawn by some irresistible magnet, and He says so!
There is a ghostly looking woman, who, when someone points to her, realizes that there is no way for her now to escape notice. She somehow had crept up behind Jesus, and crouching down touched only the hem of His garment mind you, and her 12 year hemorrhage had instantly dried up. Her coming up behind Jesus was not a sneaking fearfulness, but rather a self-emptied humility and reverence.
Just the other day while listening to Rod Parsley on TV when he was speaking about life’s crises and problems, suddenly he said to God, “So God, what are you going to do about it?!” Can you imagine that? In other words, get with it God and do what You are supposed to do. I wouldn’t have dared to say such a thing to my earthly father, let alone to my Heavenly Father. Thoughts like that would never cross my mind, let alone form on my lips. Rank insolence on the part of hosts of modern religionists who think they can snap their fingers in God’s face, and talk at God like He is some sort of inferior, and like they are entitled to His every blessing. The modern religious world has gone nuts! Hear me:
“JESUS DID NOT FEEL THE WOMAN’S TOUCH FROM A MOUNTAIN OF
ARROGANCE, BUT FROM THE VALLEY OF HUMILITY.”
I know that what I am about to say now will go over like a lead blimp with the name it-claim it crowd. Too bad! They have their own tradictions to deal with. When we have suffered under a long affliction, we must search ourselves and ask whether the suffering has humbled us. Has the long standing affliction greatly weakened sin’s hold on us and greatly strengthened our hold on God? Has it led us to disesteem the world and esteem Christ far more? If so, then be grateful to God for what He has done and is doing. Then you can say with the Psalmist in Psalm 119:75,
“I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness
Thou has afflicted me.”
Then it may be that after 12 years, or whatever the case may be, He will quickly and completely remove the affliction. If not, then there is more work to be done in us, and the affliction may linger longer, but always with His all sufficient grace to enable. After all, a proud man of 40 years may require humbling over 20 years. You don’t expect a proud man to grow humble easily over night, do you? That is not how it works. Oh, I know, God can do it in an instant, but:
“BUT WHAT GOD CAN DO DOES NOT DICTATE WHAT HE WILL DO.”
His perfect wisdom and knowledge decide that. Always!
But always remember:
“GOD DOES NOT CAUSE US TO PASS THROUGH THE FIERY FURNACE
BUT THAT HE MIGHT PURGE AND REFINE US.”
“GOD PRUNES US ONLY THAT WE MIGHT BE MORE FRUITFUL
So it was that this little wisp and weakling of a woman with her simple but strong faith drew the healing power from Jesus before He could give it. As soon as it left Him it went into her, as if it were poised and waiting for someone to bless. God is more willing to give than we are to receive. So much so that His being and clothing ooze with His grace, mercy and power which just jumped at the opportunity to save and heal and deliver. It has been said of certain men that they wear their feelings on their sleeves. It can be said of Jesus that He wears His mercy and power like a garment.
She had touched “The Miracle God” and experienced “The God of Miracles.” She had touched “The Almighty God” and received of “God’s Mighty Acts.”
She now comes forward and kneels before Jesus, trembling. The Bible tells us in three gospels about this incident. We know from Mark’s account that she has been hemorrhaging for 12 years, and has gone from doctor to doctor. No doctor had been able to help her, and she has run through every dime she had. “I touched you
,” she confesses, “and my hemorrhaging has stopped
Get it? Can’t miss it! I touched You – hemorrhage stopped! Cause and effect! It had baffled the skills of the physicians of her day. How often have we heard that? The doctors can do nothing! So it was, one touch of Jesus and the bloody flow instantly ceased.
Don’t be to sure! I have heard it again and again. Jesus just happened to be in the neighborhood. It could have been coincidence! Chance encounter when nature simply ran it course. I have been told such things when I reported miracles to the churchy folks. They would rather believe in Dr. Chance than Dr. Jesus. Her blood flow stopped, but they make my blood boil.
“Well, who is this woman?” you ask. Under God’s Law in Leviticus – as a hemorrhaging woman she was ceremonially unclean. She was not to touch anyone, and no one was to touch her. If she had been married, she is now divorced. And man had added his own rules – if she is hemorrhaging, not only is she unclean ceremonially, but she is obviously immoral. In other words, there must be gross sin in her life. We have gobs of these same kind of self-righteous accusers today.
Imagine not being able to touch a human being for 12 years, or for that matter have no one touch you for 12 years either. She has no doubt forgotten what it even feels like. How does a woman like that get through the mob with the fatigue that she would have known throughout the years? And all of that with the conviction that she must touch the garment of Jesus and she will be healed! The touch alone must have felt like Heaven to her.
The Lord looks down at her and says,
“Your faith has healed you, depart in peace.”
It is true faith that causes a terribly weakened and emaciated person weakly but aggressively and expectantly, against all odds and hindrances, to cast herself down at Jesus’ feet and touch His garment for her miracle. Her believing persistence and insistence to reach Christ and touch him rewarded her with a total healing and now finally a life of peaceful wholeness instead of hemorrhaging halfness. No one can imagine how profound was her peace!
That is what Jesus is saying, “Your faith has healed you
.” Notice that closely. Well, which is it, her faith or Jesus? Can’t we take Him at His word? Don’t mess it up! Faith has power with God! What is dominant in many tradictional churches is not the power of faith
but the power of fate
. Of course, it was her faith. Jesus said so!
But faith by itself is meaningless. Faith to be faith must be put in someone or something. Bottom line, it was not her faith in God, but the God of her faith that ultimate healed her. But Jesus credits her faith. This woman is the personification of Hebrews 11:6
“…for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder
of those who seek Him.”
In so much of modern Christendom, intellectualism has penetrated its churches and seminaries. Horrible! Been there! Done that! But let’s get something straight here – the Christian faith is a faith not first of all of the head but of the heart, not of intellect but of intimacy. She believed in Christ with all her heart. That is why she put her weak legs under her strong faith, and touched Him when she was mandated to touch no one.
I am not saying that we are to be brainless in our faith. Of course not! But, you can have a mind chocked full of God-thoughts and God-stuff (theology) all of your life, and just sit around seminary coffee tables having cerebral joustings and verbal debates, and yet never have a heart beating with sincere trust and confidence in Him. Only an intimate heart-faith reaches Jesus.
As the old saying goes, “Many theologians, seminarians and Biblical scholars die by degrees.” If the heart is torn from the body, it becomes a dead body. But even more:
“IF THE HEART IS SEPARATED FROM FAITH, IT BECOMES DEAD FAITH.”
Likewise, we touch the Lord through prayers of faith. But that faith-prayer must be in our hearts as well as in our mouths. (Romans 10:8) So again:
“IF THE HEART IS SEPARATED FROM PRAYER, IT BECOMES DEAD PRAYER.”
Twelve long years of internal hemorrhaging! Then she touched “The Miracle God” Who proved to her that He is indeed “The God of Miracles.” The long daymare and nightmare has ended! Listen:
“ WE SHOULD NEVER GROW DESPERATE OR HOPELESS UNDER ANY LONG PAIN
OR AFFLICTION, BUT RATHER COMPOSE OUR TROUBLED THOUGHTS WITH
THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE MIRACLE GOD IS ALWAYS RIGHT ON TIME.
Twelve long years of suffering and humiliation! But:
“IF SHE HAD NOT KNOWN THE HUMAN
MISERY, SHE WOULD HAVE NEVER
KNOWN THE DIVINE MERCY.”
Twelve long years of frailty and exhaustion! But:
“IF SHE HAD NOT KNOWN THE HUMAN WEAKNESS, SHE WOULD HAVE NOT
DISCOVERED THE DIVINE POWER.”
8. THE DEAD DAUGHTER
, and by the way, when “The Miracle God
” performed the miracle in the life of the woman with the issue of blood, by that time He was already on His way to perform another miracle. It is difficult to click the cameras of our minds fast enough. And all of this in but about a day’s work!
Have we forgotten? Do we remember the 12 year old girl who was dying and was near unto death! Her Dad, Jairus by name, had fallen down at the feet of Jesus and asked Him to come to his house and lay hands on his only daughter that she might be made well and live. Jesus had gone with this father, as we now recall, when the crowd gathered around Him and the hemorrhaging woman touched Him.
While Jesus was still speaking in the context of the healed and no longer hemorrhaging woman, an unnamed messenger came rushing into the scene from the home of Jairus and said to this father,
“Your daughter has died, so you don’t have to bother this Teacher any more.”
Time had elapsed. Precious time! Time to us is of the essence. God is not bound by time, and therefore at times tries our patience. We must learn and live the first great principle of these true stories:
“PATIENCE IS THE TOTAL SUBMISSION OF THE WHOLE MAN TO WHAT
GOD COMMANDS US TO ENDURE.”
The Lord then responded to the servant,
“Don’t be fearful any longer, only believe and she will be made well.”
Only believe! We truly learn here what faith involves! It is the second great principle of these amazing stories:
“FAITH IS THE TOTAL SUBMISSION OF OUR UNDERSTANDING TO WHAT
GOD COMMANDS US TO BELIEVE.”
Major problem! Easier said than done! Not only had the daughter expired, but the servant’s faith and hope had expired with her. It is too late for her to be made well. You don’t make a dead person well. What are you talking about Jesus? Unwell is one thing, but dead is quite another. Since when do you call a dead daughter merely under the weather, when her body is headed under the ground?
The servant didn’t realize that he was talking to “The Miracle God” in flesh. This was Immanuel – The Mighty Strong God With Us. More than that, we so often allow ourselves to see God through the trying circumstances, rather than seeing the trying circumstances through God, and therefore we cannot see “The Almighty God” at all. True indeed:
“WE ARE MUCH MORE INCLINED TO BRING GOD DOWN TO OUR THOUGHTS,
RATHER THAN RAISING OUR THOUGHTS UP TO GOD
When Jesus arrived at Jairus’ house, everyone there was weeping and in great mourning. Jesus shockingly said to them,
“Stop weeping, for she is not dead, but is asleep.”
Stop weeping! Are you kidding? When the Bible uses the word weeping, it means to break forth into sobbing and wailing. They were in the grips of uncontrollable grief and overflowing sorrow at the death of this dear young girl and daughter. We both know how precious daughters are in the family. And then on top of that this was Jairus’ only daughter. Grief beyond words!
So they mixed their weeping with disdainful, mock laughing at Jesus for saying that she was only sleeping, for they knew that she had died. They were offended at His terribly insensitive words, and felt no doubt that Jesus should be weeping with them. Their crying-mock-laughing pointed at Jesus was saying, “What kind of ogre are you? You are offending us? You are dishonoring the memory of this now dead daughter.”
Furthermore, Jesus knew the Old Testament Scriptures, where God acknowledges in Ecclesiastes 3:4,
“There is a time to mourn.”
Certainly this must be one of those times. This is that time if ever there is one that mourning and weeping are truly in season. Anything else is out of season. I mean to say, not to mourn here is unnatural and even unscriptural. More than that, Scripture commands us in Romans 12:15,
“…and weep with those who weep.”
God commands us to weep with our friends in their hour of weeping. History tells us of the inhumanity of the Romans emperors, that when they put someone to death, they often forbid the grieving loved ones to mourn. Here Jesus tells the mourners to stop it.
Something totally out of the ordinary is happening here. The people wanted “The Mournful Jesus.” Who they were about to meet was “The Miracle Jesus.” In the heart of Jesus, this was not a time to mourn. For Him, that time had already past. Read on!
When Jesus entered the house, He did not allow any of the mourners to come in with Him. He had already demanded of the messenger that he exercise faith that the girl would be saved from death. He would not allow these weepers to bring into the house with them their spirits of faithlessness, morbidity and fatalism. No amount of weeping would raise this girl from the dead, but would only keep her so.
So Jesus took with Him instead Peter, John and James as well as dad Jairus and his wife, the girl’s mother. He took the daughter by the hand and simply said to her, “Child arise!” Her spirit returned to her body, she instantly arose, and her parents were obviously astonished. Jesus immediately gave them two commands. First, He ordered them to feed their daughter. Second, He ordered them to tell no one. I am sure that the first was much more easily complied with than the second. The third great principle for our Christian lives in these stories is this:
“OBEDIENCE IS THE TOTAL SUBMISSION OF OUR WILL TO WHAT GOD
COMMANDS US TO DO.”
What have we just seen and heard? We must calm and collect ourselves here for a moment if we can. It is breathtaking! In review:
“FOR A MAN POSSESSED BY A LEGION OF TORMENTING DEMONS, JESUS
CAST THEM OUT
“FOR A WOMAN WITH A LIFE-DRAINING 12 YEAR HEMORRHAGE, JESUS
DRIED IT UP.”
“FOR PARENTS WHOSE ONLY DAUGHTER HAD DIED, JESUS RAISED HER UP.”
Back to back to back miracles! All as it were in a day’s work. God in the flesh, true God and true man, “The Miracle God
” with skin on Him being and acting Himself! How can anyone follow Him around and yet deny Him as he really is, “The Miracle God
,” and “The Almighty God
?” Miracles and mighty acts simply go with the territory. It is far more likely for Him to do miracles and far more unlikely for Him not to do miracles.
You see, the Bible does not build us up only to let us down. The Bible is not simply describing the historical Jesus. It is pointing us to the contemporary Christ. The Bible is not simply drawing us word pictures for us to remember Him by. It is presenting to us the real God who we can have in our lives for keeps. Demons get out! Hemorrhage dry up. Daughter arise! I now find that I am no longer afraid to hope.
8. THE UNMIRACLE GOD – THE GOD OF DEISM
In all that we have seen so far, is this really the God that we believe in? Is this “The Miracle God?” Is this “The Almighty God?” Are these “His Miracles?” Are these “His Mighty Deeds?” Is this “His Essence?” Are these “His Essential Acts?” Is this “The God Of The Bible?” Or have we substituted a far different god for the God of sacred Scripture – a tradictional god?
Vast segments of modern Christianity have created a tradictional god – that is the god of their ecclesiastical tradictions? They are not worshiping God but rather an idol? They have exchanged “The Miracle God” for “The Unmiracle God?”
There are many who believe in an “Unmiracle God
” which comes very close to the “God of Deism
.” What do I mean? There are those throughout history who have believed that God made the universe, and then let it run on its own. A god of total non-involvement! A distant god! A disinterested god! You know, like someone would wind a clock, a watch or a toy, and from that point on simply let it go, and then passively observe its unwinding and unwinding until it is totally unwound and runs it course to the end. God wound up the world at creation, and it is now gradually winding itself down.
Therefore “Deists” do not believe in anything like the incarnation of God in human flesh, for that would be a God of far too much involvement in world and human affairs. That is the “God of Deism.” Some of the more famous English Deists include John Locke and William Tindal. Some of the more famous American Deists include Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen.
Those who believe in and worship God, but also believe that God does not any longer insert Himself supernaturally into the natural order of things are in fact “Religious Deists.” He did at one time work miracles, but now the world that He created is running on the increated natural laws put there by the Creator God. He at the most governs and keeps these natural laws well oiled like a great cosmic machinist. But He never directly intervenes in or interferes with the natural functioning of things. If you will, He never supernaturally performs works that interrupt the natural – the “Unmiracle God.”
You will also find that such people cannot bring themselves to say in the midst of an inexplicable and marvelous occurrence things like, “Praise the Lord” or “Glory to God!” No, no, no! That brings God far too close and far too involved immediately in natural and human affairs. Keep Him out there where He belongs, or at the nearest between the covers of moldy theological books where we can dust Him off when we want to reflect on Him.
They are the same people however who will easily and frequently speak of “Mother Nature” and “Jack Frost” and “Old Man Winter” and “Frosty The Snow Man” and “The Man In The Moon.” By the way, all of these are really nothing but the gods of the heathen. The heathen speak of these mythical gods to make up for the big “God Hole” inside of their hearts. And the “Religious Deists” don’t realize that:
“EACH TIME THEY MENTION OR CREDIT ONE OF THESE HEATHEN GODS, THEY
REMOVE THEMSELVES ONE STEP FURTHER FROM THE TRUE MIRACLE
GOD OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
Deists and Religious Deists also speak constantly of the “Laws of Nature” as their point of reference in all things. More steps away from God! “Natural Law” gets all of the credit as the case may be. I am writing this teaching deep into the fall season, with the ever changing, breathtaking and color-splashed panorama of God’s miracles unfolding each day anew. It frustrates and infuriates me when Religious Deists ascribe it all to “Nature” or “Mother Nature,” whatever and whoever it or she are. When what we should be doing is going outdoors, lifting up our hands to Heaven, and worshiping God in the midst of it all.
Soon we will be in winter, and the Psalmist attributes all to the miracle-commanding voice of God just as Moses in Genesis does. We read in Psalm 147:15-18,
“He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly.”
“He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes.”
“He casts forth His ice as fragments; who can stand before His cold?”
“He sends forth His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow
and the waters to flow
Faithless man tells us, as he looks at these activities of “The Miracle God,” that these are all natural phenomenon. No more and no less. After all, scientists, we are told by the naturalists, can explain all of the natural processes involved in the ice, snow, dew and wind. No they can’t. Oh yes, to a point they can, but only so far. Scientists can explain what caused the dew, but they cannot explain the causes behind the causes that caused the dew. They can explain what makes ice, but they cannot explain what makes that which makes ice.
The Bible in no way contradicts natural science, but it goes back to the “The First Cause of All” which the natural scientists will not admit simply because they cannot explain “First Cause.” It is right here where science ends and faith begins! Man’s reason should be the first to convince him that there is a great and miraculous God Who is the uncaused cause of all things. But man’s mind has been darkened by sin. So we read in Hebrews 11:3 that faith must be first and understanding second,
“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God,
so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible
What we are saying is this:
“ALL OF THE NATURAL IS SUPERNATURALLY CAUSED AND BASED.”
Totally Biblical! “First Cause!” Therefore, the natural is supernaturally springing forth before us day after day. This means that we are surrounded by God’s miracles moment by moment, because nature apart from the supernatural would not and could not exist! Get it? Nothing ultimately is just natural. Why? Because it was and is supernaturally caused and sustained! Whether man wants to admit it or not, in all of creation’s chains of causes, it is absolutely mandatory that it all be traced back to and ascend to some all-wise and all-powerful first cause Who Himself is caused by none.
We read of that exact and only “First Cause” in Genesis 1:1,
“In the beginning God.”
And we find exactly and singularly that “First Cause” again in Job 38:28-29 in a series of “First Cause” rhetorical questions,
“Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew?”
“From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven,
who has given it birth
We must note that the “First Cause” questions are not “What” questions but rather “Who” questions. It is as if God is saying to Job, “Come now Job, get real! It would be completely contrary to the order and nature of all things not to establish a first cause. It would be absurd and illogical to do so. The order of all causes must begin in an absolute, final, and prime cause. And Job, I have given you a clue as to who is the first cause in verse 28, and it is not a what, but a who! Three guesses as to who that father is, and none of them count.”
I ask you today, “In your life, are you missing “The Miracle God” and therefore “The God of Miracles?” The time that you started spinning in your car, and you ended up with two wheels hanging over the mountain cliff, and two wheels on the ground at the top! And the car didn’t tip! Do you remember that? And those who finally came to your rescue told you that you and your car should have gone over by all appearances, but you didn’t! Did you meet “The Miracle God” that day, but still you missed Him?
And when it was only the Lord who could take a dirty prodigal life like yours and mine, clean it up and forgive it, and make totally new and righteous creations out of us. Isn’t that “The Miracle Father God
?” He who wants this God in his or her life will find that He is the life of the party. My son was lost and is now found, He was dead but is now alive. Come celebrate!
I personally feel that this is the greatest miracle in the whole world. And in a time when so many do not believe in anything much – why is it that in all my years of ministry I’ve never seen a Christian die who regretted Jesus or who feared eternity. And believers so often suffer more than unbelievers! Isn’t that “The Miracle God?”
I want you to know that “The Miracle God” is still “The God of Miracles.” He still lives! He is still fully active in human affairs. He still heals lives, bodies, minds, marriages, families, and all in His love, sovereignty, wisdom and to His glory. The next time you need a miracle, and I have no doubt for many that that is right now, don’t go out and say, “I’ve got to find another god.” You don’t, not if you have Jesus as your Lord and your Savior. And if you don’t, ask Him to be your Lord and Savior, and then the greatest miracle of your life will take place right here and now! Amen!