Miraculous Power

Jesus Christ had but one theme which He preached during His entire public ministry. That theme was "The Kingdom of God, or Heaven" He preached it as the soon coming Kingdom. "The kingdom of Heaven is at hand". This He preached from the banks of the Jordan where He was baptized to the hill of calvary where He was crucified. This kingdom which he preached as being "at hand" was (and is) His church. His announcement of the soon coming kingdom and His declaration to the Apostles that "upon this rock I will build my church" Matt.16: 18) has reference to one and the same thing--The church. He not only preached the church or kingdom all during His personal ministry, but after His resurrection He spent another forty days with His Apostles "speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God". (Acts 1: 3) "And being assembled together with them, commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence." (Acts 1: 4-5) This is Luke's record in the book of Acts. In the book ascribed to him Luke says that after the resurrection of the Lord, "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (Lk. 24: 45-49) Mark's account of this same commission says, "And he said unto them, Go ye i nto all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." (Mark 16: 15-20. I have given this quotation from Mark to show that the miraculous signs listed in verses 17 and 18 were given to the Apostles.

We know from the account in Acts chapter one and Luke chapter 24 that the apostles did not "go forth" immediately and start preaching. They returned to Jerusalem and waited there for the coming of the Holy Spirit as the Lord commanded them. Jesus said He (The Holy Spirit) would come to them in Jerusalem "not many days hence", and He did so within about ten days as recorded in Acts chapter two. At that time He gave these Apostles the power to perform all the signs or miracles enumerated in Mark's record as well as enabling them to be REMINDED of ALL things the Lord had taught them, REVEALING things to come, and GUIDING them into ALL TRUTH. Thus the Baptism of the Apostles in the Holy Spirit provided with:


Thus fully equipping them to be Witnesses, Earthen Vessels, and Ambassadors of the Lord, and enabling them to give limited miraculous powers through the laying on of their hands. (Acts 8: 14-19) When this passage says that the Apostles (Peter and John) who came to Samaria "and laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit" it not does mean that they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, but simply that they received certain miraculous powers of the Spirit, such as Philip himself had in order to confirm (prove) what he preached. I say limited power because Philip had the power to perform miracles and signs (Acts 8: 13) but he could not give this power to others. Only the Apostles could do this by the laying on of their hands; so Peter and John (two Apostles) were sent to Samaria for that purpose.

We learn also from 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14 that there were others (than the Apostles) who possessed certain limited miraculous powers, but no one possessed all of the power of the Apostles. Paul said there were different gifts possessed by different men, but no one person possessed all of the gifts or power which the apostles had. (1Cor. 12: 4-11) "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, (who had full power) secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." These prophets and teachers were inspired, and thus spoke and wrote by inspiration, which accounts for the inspiration of some New Testament writers who were not Apostles (Mark, Luke. etc.,) However, all of these gifts were "in part". Necessary at the time when the New Testament was being written, but temporary in nature, and Paul said they would cease when "that which is perfect is come". That "which is perfect" is the New Testament, "the perfect law of liberty" (Jas. 1:25) which we have today, therefore no man can perform any of these miracles today, and all such claims to do so are false.

Go to lesson six Purpose Of Signs And Miracles