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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why Doesn't God Prove His Existence through Miracles?

Luke 23:8 (NIV) 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle.

I watched a PBS program last week which debated whether or not the world would be better off if religion was eliminated. There was a survey taken before and after the event in which the audience either believed it should be eliminated or not. The predictable result was that the world would be better off if religion was eliminated.

The predictability is found in those who are selected for such a program. It is like selecting individuals who will comprise a jury. Do you look for those who are more likely to go in your favor or those who are able to make objective decisions from subjective content? The answer is obvious.

There is no way to "scientifically" prove that the world would be better off without religion. Isolated incidents can be chosen to present the case either way. But somewhere on the list of "reasons" the apparent absence of proven miracles arises.

Jesus could have performed a miracle before Herod and escaped His execution. His miracle would have prevented Herod's soldiers from treating Him badly. His miracle could have stopped the religious people in their tracks. His miracle before Herod could have sealed a belief in Him that would not be challenged. But He did not perform a miracle.

Obviously, He could have if He did what the Bible says He had done. Simply walking across Herod's swimming pool (as Jesus Christ, Superstar suggests) would have been sufficient. So, why didn't He?

Jesus knew what He had to do. He had to be innocently killed so that He could be the Savior of the world. He could not do anything selfishly for His own protection or noteriety. He saw the greater picture of God's glory which would come through His death, buriel and resurrection. He did not live for the moment. He lived and died for eternity.

Still, there are people looking for a demanded miracle. These miracles must be perfored on cue. These miracles have no more purpose than to prove that there is Someone greater that exists beyond the sight of human beings. The secular community says, "Produce a miracle and we'll believe you." Is that really true?

Look at the miralces that most believers cannot explain. I have seen a stroke victim completely and istantly cured after prayer. The doctors examining the person did not understand what happened. There was a stroke and then there was no evidence of a stroke. I have a person in my congregation who went to be by the bed of his sister who had been brain dead for four days. After turning off the resperator, she awoke and told everyone she was hungry. (The hospital called her Lazarus after this.) The doctor wept. He said it was a genuine miracle.

The problem with miracles is that an unbelieving group will either dismiss it as originially having faulty information (the lady must not have had much of a stroke; the lady must not have been truly brain dead, etc.) or they will choose to ignore it altogether. There is no number of miracles which will cause an unbelieving group to believe. They will always point to the times when miracles were needed and weren't performed. They will either question God's goodness, His knowledge or His power. Ultimately they will question His existence. They cannot understand why He would refuse to perform a miracle when the question of His existence is at stake.

God is always seeking true believers who will commit themselves to Him without having to see a miracle. He seeks those who seek Him and not His miracles.

Mark 8:11-12 (NIV) 11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it."


high-expressions said...

Firstly, all must know God is NOT our genie in the bottle. He is NOT at our beck and call! I know there is a Christian song commonly sung in churches today that said that “God is mine”. To be fair the song did say, “We are His, and He is ours”. In other words, taken together, it speaks of oneness, and NOT “I own God like I can own a genie (well, a little devil) in the bottle”.

Some do NOT believe it, but it is true, a man can keep a “little devil”, and that little devil can be “housed” in various objects; I have been told by a brethren of his experience with a staff who had the “little devil” living in a hollowed pineapple (He picked up the pineapple and noted that it was really light!). This brother shared that he observed the little devil punctured the tyres of all the cars parked in a parking space, except his, at the command of the little devil’s owner.

Now, that was the little devil. No, we do NOT own God like that staff (of the brethren) who owns the little devil. Actually, God owns us, we do NOT own Him. He is NOT at our beck and call, like the little devil was. God answers to no one; for nobody created God. God only answers to His own holiness (that is something for you think about!). God is God, and God is the Creator, and God is Sovereign, and God is Wisdom, and so, God only does what is righteous in His eyes. He is sovereign, meaning He has the prerogative to do what He wants, but whatever He does, it will be a righteous thing.

God said in the Word, He is NOT “moved” by men’s own wishes or desires. Sometimes, it looks as if that was the case; that God has moved according to the desires of men; but in actual fact, it is always God moves according to His righteousness. We have God moving for us or a situation; it is because our desire match His - the norm is like that. Scripture said the prayer of a righteous man avails much. The explanation is simply this: A righteous man is one who is in agreement with God, meaning what he desires, is what God desires, and since he is asking God to do what God Himself has wanted to do in the first place, and at the timing he desires, why does He NOT want to do it, or render the anointing and power for the occasion, giving rise to, at times, miracles, which are unexplainable occurrences. Therefore, man’s “duty” or the thing to do, is to desire the desires of God, to will the will of God, or in other words, be in agreement with God, or be righteous. “That is NOT easy, man!” Yes, that is NOT easy. It is some joker who pretended that it is easy. It is NOT easy to be in full agreement with God much of the time. But that it is hard, does NOT mean that we do NOT pursue it. Remember, we CAN grow in righteousness, and God looks at the heart of man.

Is really that there shall be no signs? No.

Did God NOT give signs? He did, and there were many. Did God say, “Hello, men, you are NOT to consider signs at all!” No.

No, Ps Prentis did NOT misquote Scripture; Mark 8:11-12 did mention that signs were asked for, and Jesus did say, “no sign will be given”. So does God give signs or God will NOT give signs?

The simple answer is this: God gives signs when He wants to give signs, and He does NOT give signs when He does NOT want to give! He does NOT give a sign when according to His righteousness, a sign is NOT to be given!

In the Mark 8:11-12 text, the Pharisee asked for signs and God refused them. But, later in time, and in Scripture, we read that Jesus gave the signs to look out for, for the coming of End Time. See, it depends on the context, and the best context to get into, is the context of our desire being in agreement with that of God, for which case, our desire, being in agreement to His desire, will come to pass, for God gives effect to His desires.

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high-expressions said...

COnt. from preceding page

Can you narrow it a little for us, the circle or boundary? Well, Scripture said we are NOT to test the Lord our God; and so, if you are testing God in your asking, chances are that you get NOT the signs or wonders you are looking for. Satan tried that, at “Jesus’ Temptations”, and there, it was recorded for us, that we shall NOT test the Lord our God. Please, God is NOT subject to our tests, scientific or otherwise!

The point is God does NOT need to prove to anybody. It is preposterous of people to demand God has to prove Himself to anyone of His existence. If He reveals, that is His prerogative, if He doesn’t, it is also a prerogative of His, we cannot fault.

Yes, to us, we can always say, “Why doesn’t God make it simple and show us as we have asked?” But must He? We are wiser or He is Wisdom. Is it He has to listen to us, or is it the other way? Is it we prescribe what God is or is NOT to do, or is it the other way around, He prescribes, we do? Aren’t we preposterous?

The world’s way is, “Show me, and I will trust you”; that is NOT trust. If I show you, it has become a fact, there is no trust, absolutely no trust. It is increasingly ridiculous how the world perverts meanings of key words such as trust, faith, and forgiveness. For example, this is NOT forgiveness: “If you will do this or do that, I forgive you!” No, that is NOT forgiveness as in Scripture. You don’t get it; let me give you a clearer example – you step on my toe, and I want to step you back before I say. “I forgive you”. Am I practising the forgiveness as dictated in Scripture? No.

I give you another narrowing of the boundary, apart from saying “testing God is no go”; and it is God does NOT honor disobedience. Jesus could have done this or done that, to prove Himself, and to get Himself off the hook, so to speak, but He did NOT, in the so many occasions, why? Because He is to obey God. Jesus knew He had to die and die a terrible death of being crucified, but his assignment from God, was that; and He could NOT, want NOT to obey. The relationship between love and obedience is this: He who loves God, obeys Him and His Word, and He who obeys God and His Word, loves Him. The hallmark of love or a Christian is obedience to God and His Word, NOT signs and wonders and miracles. God’s signs and wonders and miracles can follow those who are obedient, but hallmark is obedience NOT signs and wonders; a mature believer knows that. The Word has it that the Apostle Paul said much the same, that he could do so many things, including supernatural stuff, like miracles and so on and so forth, but if these were NOT of love, they counted NOT; they were “noises” NOT sweet songs; and he would be like a clanging cymbal (1 Cor 13:1-3).

Now, I pray for the sick, and I actually conduct healing meetings every month. But I am fully aware that God is NOT at my beck and call! No, I don’t own God like the chap who owns the little devil. The chap said, “Puncture all the cars’ tyres except that yellow car’s”; and the little devil went about his assignment, and that brethren friend of mine, just watched from a distance, one by one, the tyres flatted out! As a side point, who say devils have no powers (but they are NOT greater that God’s)? Well, there was no one at the tyres, it was a miracle, it was a sign, and it was unexplainable; except that something did it. Now the little devil’s owner was NOT a Christian (my friend is), so can we just follow signs and wonders? No, what must we look at? Yes, the person, whether or NOT He is an obedient believer, and his volitional righteousness (NOT his imputed righteousness, that, that is the same for every believer). When he has the right hallmarks, then we can fellowship with him, and learn a thing or two from him, concerning the ways of God.

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high-expressions said...

Cont. from preceding page

Yes, I call on the name of Jesus, and I call on the name of God; I ask God to heal and minister; but I am very clear it is still entirely up to Him. What is the correct posture to take, beside this one that I have just mentioned? This is my posture (I welcome others to enlighten me, too; if they know of things I missed out):

1. I waited quite a long time to be quite sure that the “healing meetings” is what He would like to see carried out. I reflected on how He had used me in my church services, of receiving words of knowledge of people being sick, of praying for the sick, and the fruitfulness thereof, and the affirmations by others; etc. It is NOT a 100% thing, meaning I do NOT hear God saying in a still small voice, “Anthony, my son, I want you to do this “healing meetings” thing for me”. It is NOT like that, it is more of the pieces fall together, even as I am prepared to do it. The point is that God must want it, otherwise, it is pointless to conduct such meetings, for it is a DIVINE healing meeting; I cannot heal people, I am no doctor; God has to come to heal and minister. People say, and it is right, that there are many things we do in the Christian circle that men can do them, with or without God’s presence, but this is certainly NOT one of them. Without God you can still manage a “good” sermon or sermons. If you work at it, long enough, you can get a decent sermon out (you can get others’ help on it, too – get them to look over it, to “check” it for you, etc); but you cannot do the divine thing, the divine belongs to God. How can we divinely heal another? We can’t; only God can.

2. I do my best, but He is the VIP. While I fully understand, ultimately He must come to the meetings to heal and minister, I do my part well. I am asking to partner God, and as a partner, I do my part, and I am to do it well. Whatever reasoning that people (commonly the overly grace believers) come up with, to justify taking a “casual” attitude in such engagement is lame. Look, if you get someone much, much better qualified than you (in ability, etc), you don’t expect the person to come down to your “lousy” standards; rather we try to honor the honors given us, and we do our best. We do the things we are supposed to do, and do them well.

3. I constantly hold out a deferring attitude, an attitude of deferring to Him. I simply look at it this way: Is it I can do without Him or He can do without me? I cannot do without Him, and so, rightly, He should call the shot; and want Him to call the shot, because that is better.

4. I want people to be healed, and to be ministered to, but I am NOT the one who knows it all; He is. He is God; He knows all, and he knows what is best. I want people to be healed and to be ministered, but healed or NOT healed, I accept. In a way, I regard myself as the nurse, and God, the doctor. I am NOT the doctor, I only assist the doctor, and in my facilitation, I do what He wants done.

5. I am NOT the doctor, and rightly so, I need NOT be anxious for “patients”. I only need to be responsible in the matters expected of me, as a nurse to the doctor.

6. Hardly anyone goes to see a doctor because of the nurse; it is the “fame” of the doctor that draws. I am NOT the doctor, and so I cannot and will NOT lap up the glory of the doctor.

7. It is a matter of whether Dr Jesus is pleased to have me as nurse, NOT a matter of He has to prove He can heal. When He heals, I am glad and thankful; when He does NOT, I am still glad and thankful He came to the “clinic”.

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high-expressions said...

Cont. from preceding page

As to people doubting God has done a miracle, well, our job is to be truthful; people believing or NOT, is NOT our problem. If people accuse us of speaking lies, if it is expedient to show otherwise, we do so, other than that, it is up to them if they believe or NOT. We don’t produce the miracle, it is God who produces it; if they are doubting, they are doubting God, NOT us. "Produce a miracle and we'll believe you." - if that is the attitude held, that is testing God; and for that, it is more common you will NOT see a miracle, than to see one. Jesus healed many in Scripture, but Jesus refused to perform miracles to prove. As a healing minister, if you are NOT yet “over this”, you should want to “work” on this; for you should be beyond testing God; it is you know God can heal and does heal; it is you know God can perform miracles and does perform miracles.

“Patients” who come in, should want to be healed or be made whole. Doubting the existence of God or His ability to heal must be avoided. Heb 11:6 said that without faith it is impossible to please God, and he who comes to God must believe who He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. You may NOT get healed, but it is NOT God does NOT exist or that He is incapable of healing you or making you whole. It is just that for one reason or another, He does NOT heal you at this occasion.

If He heals He is right, and if He does NOT heal, He is still right. If you are NOT healed today; come back again. I am NOT taken aback if you come back again and again to me for prayer for the same unhealed condition; I won’t feel embarrassed! Why? Because I am the nurse or assistant, I am NOT the doctor. And I have no qualm if you say you want to go to someone else to be prayed for, instead. If it is the same doctor, Dr Jesus, it is fine.

I am all for signs and wonders and miracles God performs; well only rude believers don’t want these FROM God. It is rude NOT to want gifts from God. Signs and wonders and miracles of God bless, and believers don’t want them! At times, men are just that funny isn’t it NOT; some of us, don’t want signs and wonders and miracles, while others insist on them. Both lack understanding of God. When God gives, don’t refuse to accept, and when God is NOT prepared to give, don’t insist. Why? Because He is God. God means He is good, how can you NOT take, when He gives! God means He is Holy and He is Wisdom, and so, He is righteous, and He is Almighty and Sovereign; He does NOT answer to anyone or needs to prove to anyone; don’t test Him or doubt His ability. It can be you do NOT understand why He does NOT give or perform the sign or miracle, but you cannot test God or doubt His ability; how insulting! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the signs and wonders and miracles FROM God, only don’t form theology from experiences, per se. Why? Experiences are limited, but the truths are in His Word. A theology is formed from the Word, the truths; experiences only testify to the theology being correct.

Whether or NOT the world is better off without God (religion), is NOT the question to be asked, for the Christian faith is NOT just about the current life, and therefore, the current world! It is the world and the next world, or now and life after death. My own contention is that it is pointless to talk about the Christian faith if we cross out the “life after death” part. Christianity is NOT just a way of life. It is THE way of life but it is NOT a (any) way of life; and it is more than just talking about earthly life. “But you talked about after-life, who can prove it?” That is why I am of the Christian FAITH; and it is called FAITH, NOT FACTS; cannot be proved! As a final analysis, life is about taking stands; and at the very end of end times, we have to take our stand before the Judgment Seat of God.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions