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Should We Expect Miracles Today?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2022 5:50 pm

Should We Expect Miracles Today?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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April 19, 2022 5:50 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 04/19/22.

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The following program is recorded content created by Truth Network. We're going to be talking about a biblical subject, namely, should we expect, can we expect, according to the Bible, God's miraculous intervention today, not just in the saving of souls, which is the most important thing of all, not just in God's work of sanctification in our lives, which is crucial and foundational, but also in supernatural healings and other types of miracles. Should we expect these things today according to the Bible? Now, you may have an experience that confirms what's written in Scripture. You may have an experience that causes you to question what's written in Scripture. But ultimately, we don't base our theology on our experiences.

We base our theology on what's written, having experienced God in such a way that we know that His Word is true. The Word is now the test. The Word is now the standard.

The Word is now the way by which we evaluate everything else, including human traditions. 866-348-7884. If you are convinced that tongues are not for today, that prophecy is not for today, that miracles of healing on any type of regular basis are not for today, please give me your scriptural basis for that view. Please tell me why, based on the Bible explicitly, you say those things are not for today. Because I want to take a few minutes to show you from the Bible explicitly why they are for today.

866-348-7884. At the bottom of the hour, we're going to be joined by Professor J.P. Moreland to talk about miracles, to talk about his own experience in his new book, which gives us a guide to experiencing miracles. But let me say this first. Nowhere does the Bible say you just push a button and get automatic results all the time to all your problems, all your questions, all your issues. Nowhere does the Bible say that we will never be sick. Nowhere does the Bible say that we will never struggle or have hard times. And nowhere does the Bible say if you simply have enough faith, all your problems will go away.

That is not what the Word of God says. That being established, should we go to God for miraculous healing and expect that he will heal? I don't mean that I keep doing something willfully and knowingly to get myself sick. I keep abusing my body and sinning against God and say, I'm sorry, heal me. I'm sorry, heal me.

I'm sorry, heal me. No, God may give me over to my bad choices and to my abuse, and he's not obligated anywhere to continue to show that mercy. But generally speaking, your parents and your child gets a terrible diagnosis.

They're two years old. It's not that they've been doing abusive things to their body. It's life and death. Should you be able to go to God in faith and confidence, say, Lord, we're asking you to heal our child? I'm not asking what happened in a similar situation that you may have had to live through, an unbearably difficult situation. I'm not saying what happened.

I'm saying what does the Word say? Should we expect miracles today? One of the most amazing things that happened to me as a brand new believer was I was instantly healed of hives. I had been suffering for them for some months back and forth. They were, you know, these blotches that just start appearing in your body and, you know, they grow into like these little blister sizes.

But, you know, depending on where, I had them up and down my arms and back down to the lower back and probably upper legs. And it was just this tormenting itch. And I had them for weeks and finally went to the doctor and got this prescription medicine.

And it took a few days before they started to abate and then after a week had basically disappeared. And I was so new in the Lord. I was so absolutely brand new that when I was home alone as a new believer and in the middle of the night getting up just itching from head to toe or wherever I was itching and getting on my knees and asking God to heal me, I was so new that I didn't know if God would hear me if I prayed alone. Because I knew that the church kept saying we're two or three gathering his name or we're two or three agreeing.

So, I didn't know if I needed someone else to agree with me if God would hear me. All I know was I wasn't healed. Remember my mom getting up and running the bath and then giving me this Aveeno cream to put on that would mitigate the itch a little bit, but I was still miserable. Then finally went to the doctor, got the medicine. And then after taking it for a week, no more symptoms, no more signs, no more blotches, no more itch, I thought, okay, I'm good. And it's winter, so I'm wearing long sleeves and a coat. Going to school, we had almost a half hour bus ride because we had to go to this other district for our high school. And I'm on the bus getting close to the school and suddenly realized, I'm starting to itch.

What's going on? And I thought, oh no, you didn't have any medicine with you because I thought I was fine. And then I thought, even if you had it, it takes like 24 hours before you start to see any effect. So I started to panic a little bit.

I know there are far worse things than highs. It's just when you get hit with it and it's terrible itch, it's at that moment, you're in a bit of a panic. So by the time I get to school, I realized it's spreading.

It's spreading badly. And got into a room that was our little homeroom and our special part of the school that we had. We had gone on strike as radicals before I was saved and had this special wing of the building.

And anyway, I get into our homeroom area and I'm the first one in there and sitting down or one of the first, I don't remember anybody else being in there. And I take my coat off, roll up my sleeves. I thought, oh no, I got these blotches and they're growing now.

You know, they're not just red on your skin, but they rise up and they're thick all over my arms and spreading. And there was another guy also newly saved. So I said to him, agree with me because I thought if there are two of us, that it'll happen.

I was so raw. I was so new in the Lord. I thought, okay, if there are two of us, then we pray the prayer of agreement, it'll happen. So we just prayed kind of silent prayer together and agreed.

And next thing the room started getting, people started coming in and the room started getting filled with people. I got distracted. I would say less than two minutes, less than two minutes later, I realized, wait a second, there's no itch. There's no itch.

Not only that, when I rolled up my sleeves, there were no blotches. They had completely disappeared. Gone. Gone.

Even with the medicine, it took hours and hours or a day or more before you started to see anything. Now just gone instantly. Well, that got my attention. That was absolutely miraculous. And there's no question it was divine intervention.

Just like God had set me free just a few weeks before that from drugs and I was instantly set free from all the drugs I was pouring into my body being called drug bear and iron man. At the same time, in the years that followed, there were people I prayed for that had cancer and they weren't healed. And there were allergies I had that at one point I broke through in prayer and they went away.

But otherwise I struggled with them for a while. And in other words, it wasn't always this, we'll push this button and watch what happens. And because of that and some other things, I began to question and get skeptical about what the Bible really said. And then when God really brought me back to, okay, what does the word say to the point of doing my doctoral dissertation on the Hebrew word for healing so that I could study it from every angle and then go from there into the New Testament and really work these things through based on the word, not based on experience, based on the word, I believe in the ongoing miraculous gifts for today, based on the word. I've had a lot of amazing experiences, a lot of wonderful things I've seen with my own eyes.

Many of my colleagues have seen things even more wonderful with their own eyes. Much of it is documented by medical doctors. There are whole books that are out just recounting miracles. And again, many of them documented by medical science where doctors say, only way to explain this, we can't, it's a miracle. Doctors saying that. Even non-believing doctors say, you know, we have no way to explain this.

It's going to say it's a miracle. And at the same time, many others we've prayed for that are still sick, some chronically, some in great pain and others that we've lost. I don't mean a 99 year old person that is sick and now they go home to be with the Lord. I mean younger people, husbands, newly married, leaving their wives in this world. I mean, we've had our share of tragedy.

So I'm not giving the impression that you just press the button, all your problems go away. However, I'm a hundred percent sure based on scripture that the sign gifts and God's miraculous intervention should be things that accompany the gospel on a fairly regular basis according to the Bible. So let's start in Acts chapter 2. Acts chapter 2, and I just wanted to ask you what the word says here. Okay, so this is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of Pentecost, Shavuot, right? And there are the tongues, and new languages, and people gathered.

What is this? Look at what Peter says, beginning in verse 14, because some are saying they're drunk, others are hearing the praises of God in their own languages. Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them. Men of your day and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give ear to my words.

For these people are not drunk as you suppose. And it's only the third hour of the day, meaning nine in the morning. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel. And in the last days, it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Now, Peter adds those words, and in the last days, it shall be.

It's not what's written in the Hebrew. The Hebrew just says, after this. So, Peter adds this, and in the last days, it shall be. To say what Joel spoke about then is happening now, in these last days. And the New Testament makes very clear that the last days, that's from the time of the death and resurrection of Jesus, or even his ministry, his death and resurrection, until his return. So, we have been in the last days for two thousand years.

There's not a period after the last days before Jesus returns, right? And in the last days, it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on my male servants and female servants, in those days, I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. So, according to Peter, this outpouring of the Spirit of which Joel spoke, this outpouring on all flesh, this outpouring where sons and daughters, male and female servants, prophesy, people see visions and have dreams, that this is for the period called the last days. When you scroll down to the end of that passage, verse 21, it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. That's the reality during this period called the last days. So, according to Peter and the New Testament, this outpouring of the Spirit was not just a temporary thing then, but with prophecy, with dreams and visions, is characteristic of this period in which we live the last days. And Paul urges us in 1 Corinthians 14 to earnestly pursue the gift of prophecy.

And nowhere does the New Testament rescind that. So, this is for today, friends. This miraculous intervention is for today.

We'll be right back. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks for joining us, friends. 866-348-7884, doing our best to be your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity.

This is a day especially for spiritual clarity as we look at what Scripture says. And, you know, I did a mini-debate with a Christian woman who said that Charismatics put too much emphasis on divine healing. And asked her the question, do you think the medical profession puts too much emphasis on healing? And it was when you look at it like that, that's what doctors do. That's what nurses do. That's what hospitals do. They care for the sick. They help people get better. They helped me when I had some heart issues with COVID earlier this year and how to be hospitalized for a day.

I appreciate it deeply. And that's what they do. That's why they do what they do.

That's why they study for so many years and sacrifice for so many years. So, those that are burdened for the sick, the believers, the leaders that are burdened for the sick, many of them have spent years in agonizing prayer because they pray for so many hurting people it breaks their hearts. Because they have so much compassion.

Because they sit with grieving families. And they think, God, it's your nature to heal. And if we could see more of your power healing the sick, it would demonstrate your compassion.

It would bring glory to you. So, Lord, we're asking you to heal. We're not asking you to do something contrary to your nature or contrary to your word, but very much in harmony with your nature and in harmony with your word. And those that are really called to healing ministry, I don't think they put too much emphasis on healing. And I know one leader that for years he would do two 40-day fasts a year just to break through. Just he felt I've got to break through to a deeper place in God to see him move more.

But again, the question is, what does the Word say? Now, if you're listening on the same network I'm listening, you just heard an ad for Dr. Mark Stangler's health supplements. So, Dr. Stangler is our partner in ministry, and he gives a special discount to all of you, our listeners, and then in turn gives a donation to our ministry with every order that you place. So, I am 100% for eating and living healthily.

God radically changed my life almost eight years ago, and it's been incredible ever since. So, there's much that we can do in cooperation with God, who amazingly made this body. And if you want to get health supplements that will help you further, then by all means go to vitaminmission.com, vitaminmission.com. It could well be a large percentage of the sicknesses that we deal with on a regular basis are due to unhealthy lifestyle, and we can make choices with God's help that'll turn a light around.

Again, vitaminmission.com, where you can go to get these health supplements. But what about the cases where there's nothing we can do? What about the cases maybe where in ignorance we did things that got ourselves sick? What about healing today? Well, let's take a look in Jacob, James, chapter 5. Jacob, or James, as you have it in most of your English Bibles, chapter 5. And I just want to read this, and you tell me. You tell me what Scripture's saying, all right? So, we start in verse 13. Is anyone among you suffering?

Let him pray. That's not just first century, right? That's a general statement, correct?

Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. That's not just for the apostles of the first century, right?

That's a general statement, correct? Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the congregation, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one or heal the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins he'll be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

So, that's a general commission to the body, to the leaders. We should be praying for the sick on a regular basis. We should be anointing them with oil.

We should be asking God to heal, and we should be praying in faith and expectation that it'll happen. Now, I was once having a dialogue with a leading national pastor about this on a debate show on Christian radio, and he commented and said, we do that. It is scriptural, but we hardly ever see results. Well, I appreciate his candor.

He may have even said we never see results. I appreciate his candor, and I appreciate his obedience, right, that he said, it's in the Bible, therefore we do it. So, again, the point is, this is what scripture says.

This is not a mysterious verse. You say, well, what about the prayer of faith will save the sick? Well, the Greek word sozo can be used for healing someone from sickness, so saving them from sickness, saving them from demons, saving them from sin, saving them from death.

So, it's a very holistic word in that respect. But here, it's not talking about that they'll be saved, meaning go to heaven. You anoint them with oil and pray for them, and they die on the spot and go to heaven, so they're really saved.

No, it's obviously not, and that's why different translations will render it differently. But it will save the sick person from sickness, and if they've committed sins, in other words, if they're sick because of sin, God knows mercy will forgive their sin and raise them up. Now, we could ask why we don't see more healings, why it seems so many believers die of cancer even after prayer. We can ask those questions, and those are fair questions to ask, but we really can't question if the Bible says that this should be done on a regular basis. I mean, it's written, there are explicit instructions. Even confessing our sins, praying for one another that we may be healed, you could say that means spiritual healing and our interpersonal relationships.

I don't think so. I think because sin is often a cause for sickness, not always, absolutely not always. And the last thing I'm saying is if you're sick, well, you must be in sin. If you're sick, well, you must have abused your body. If you're sick, there's something wrong with you. No, no, no, quite the contrary.

Not saying that for a split second. But there are times when our sin contributes to our sickness or opens the door to our sickness. And James, Jacob is writing and saying, hey, because of this, confess your sins one to another and pray one for another that you'll be healed.

This can be a key to physical healing. So if, for example, I was guilty of abusing the Lord's Supper, 1 Corinthians 11, I was taking it in vain. I was getting drunk and eating all the food before the poor got there, drinking the wine from the Lord's table and getting drunk.

And now I'm one of those who's sick. Well, you confess that to your friend, you pray one for another, and healing can come with it. One last passage. Again, I could build on this for hours and really go through lots of scripture, but 1 Corinthians chapter 12. Paul writes that concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were litustrated, mute idols, however you were led there, for I want you to understand that no one, speaking of the Spirit of God, ever says Jesus is accursed, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, obviously in a true profession of faith way, except in the Holy Spirit.

Anyone can say the words, but to say them in a true faith confession is only by the help of the Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are varieties of service, but the same Lord. And there are varieties of activities, but as the same God who empowers them all and everyone. So you have Spirit, Lord being Son, and God being Father here, all working as one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, to another the utterance of knowledge, according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit who are portions to each one individually as he wills. And then when he gets to the end of the chapter, I'm going to scroll down to verse 27, he says, now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God is appointed in the church first apostles. You say, well, that was just for the New Testament time. Oh, keep going.

Second prophets, well, that was just for the New Testament time. Okay. Third teachers. Okay, that's for today. Working miracles.

Oh, I guess that's for today, too. Then gifts of healing, helping, administrating various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles, are all prophets, are all teachers, do all work miracles, do all possess gifts of healing, do all speak with tongues, do all interpret, but earnestly desire the higher gifts.

And then he says, I'm going to show you the most excellent way you bring this all together with love. And then it functions as it should in 1 Corinthians 14. What's interesting, as Paul speaks of all those things, including apostles prophets, but we leave that out for now. Miracles, healings, tongues, prophecy. He speaks about all that. In chapter 14, he urges us to earnestly seek the spiritual gifts, especially prophecy.

And he never, ever says, nor does anyone in the New Testament ever say that these things will stop before Jesus returns or tell us to stop seeking them. So years back, once I became convinced about divine healing and miracles for today, I was saved in that environment, then got skeptical for a while, then came back to it through study of scripture. And then God really rocking my life by his spirit.

I really focused on it a lot. I meditated on healing a lot. I meditated on verses about healing a lot. I tried to digest it into my innermost being, what God's word said, scripture after scripture. I carried memory cards with me with verses on them in English and in Hebrew to meditate on and to think about and pray for greater compassion in ministering to the sick.

And so a lot of neat things happened. No, I didn't see someone with a twisted body get out of a wheelchair, but I saw some neat healings. And parents would tell me about the baby I prayed for the year earlier, the miracle that happened, and others would tell me about healing. And I remember wondering, do I have some gift of healing? And I said, you don't have a gift of healing.

You're nowhere near that. She was right. But as I focused on it and prayed for the sick more, we did see the sick healed. But then, of course, many were not healed.

You said, what do you do? I follow the Bible. And I continue to pray for the sick. And I continue to expect God's miraculous intervention because it is written.

And I'm a sola scrutinia. It's written. That's my guide. That's my foundation.

That's my standard. We'll be right back. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on The Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. I'm holding in my hand an important book by distinguished author, J.P. Moreland. It is a simple guide to experience miracles. And if you know anything about J.P. Moreland, he's one of the most respected Christian thinkers in the church today. He's a distinguished professor of philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology. He's actually got degrees in philosophy, theology, and chemistry. And he's not one of these wild-eyed Pentecostals that says, God says that I believe it, that settles it, and that's it.

No, here's a deep thinker who's saying, hey, you, as a follower of Jesus, can really experience miracles today. So, J.P., thanks so much for joining us on the broadcast today. Well, Dr. Brown, it's so good to be with you. Thanks. Well, my joy to have you.

Really, it's an honor. How is it that you, as a thinking, philosophical man, not coming from, say, deep Pentecostal, Charismatic origins, how did you come to believe that miracles were for today? I did a study of Acts in the first four centuries of the church, Michael, if I may, and I discovered that there were three things that were uppermost in the minds of the leaders of the church the first four centuries. And one of them was developing a Christian mind. The second was discipleship and spiritual formation practices to develop a Christ-like character. And the third one, believe it or not, was the experience of the power of the kingdom of God through signs and wonders. And that is not based upon any view of spiritual gifts.

It's based upon so no matter what the listener's view of that is, it's based, for me, simply on the fact that the kingdom of God is here in a real form now, not what it will be, and we should be experiencing that. So I began to see these things start happening. And I wanted to describe my experience of this for 19 years now. And of course, earlier in my Christian life, I saw some things, because I wanted to be a credible witness. And one more point, Michael, there are about 50 miracle stories in this book, and I will stake my reputation on them because I vetted these things very, very carefully.

I know in person, a number of the people and I was able to talk to eyewitnesses. So that's what motivated me. I wanted all my brothers and sisters to start seeing more of this in their own lives in churches, balanced with the other two.

It gets goofy if you just, this is all you care about. But if it's balanced with the life of the mind, and we keep doing ordinary practices, I think it's a big part of growth for the church. Now, in a previous book, which we won't get into now in Kingdom Triangle, you did talk about the position of cessationism that says we should not expect miracles like this today as basically a smaller and smaller island. In other words, many people would have the impression that it's the fringe groups that believe in miracles today, but really, as the church is growing worldwide, it's growing with signs and wonders and Jesus being exalted. Why do you think that we still have some of these mindsets in America, very sincere brothers and sisters who love the Lord and love the Word? And yet, what causes it?

What do you think? Well, there are a few reasons, in my view. One, there was with the Azusa Street Revivals in 1914, and in the first two decades of the 20th century, there was an incredible intellectual assault on fundamentalists, and we lost all our seminaries and colleges to liberals. And so the church split into two. One was a more charismatic side, and the other was a Bible-only side. And consequently, the charismatics tended to move in a goofy direction, although not all of them, but generally speaking, and the Bible church movement tended to disregard supernatural activities as being for goofy people.

And so I think the first reason is that we don't talk to one another about these things. I go to churches, Michael, that are solid Bible churches, and have a show of hands. How many of you know somebody heal with a miracle 80%?

How many of you have had God speak and guide you in a way outside the Bible 80%? Answer prayer. But we don't share them, and so we think nothing's happening. So we're embarrassed about it, and we don't want to appear like we're goofy. The second reason is that, whether we like it or not, scientific nationalism is in the drinking water.

The view that the physical world is all there is, and the only way we can know reality is through physics and chemistry. And so our theological convictions have become just privatized emotional feelings and blind choice beliefs, and so we've lost our confidence that Christianity is really something we can know is true. Consequently, we don't want to come across like we believe in crazy things, where it's enough just to believe in God and that Jesus rose from the dead in a naturalistic culture. And if you go back to the early church, as you were doing your study there, and you think of Augustine, who has to revise his views on things writing City of God, so it's what, fourth century, and they document 70-something miracles in a period of a couple years. So this idea that the miracles just happened in the days of the apostles and it stopped, that's not even historically accurate.

And it goes against everything we know. And we have real evidence in the first four centuries that this stuff continued. Augustine saw one miracle where a huge thing on a guy's body left in front of his very eyes. Now, he was no idiot. This dude was still, his dissertations are still done on him today. He's a smart guy, and he was careful.

He didn't want to go after this if it wasn't real. So this has happened all throughout church history. Yeah, and that is the extraordinary thing, God's intervention. And then, like you said, when you just poll people, I'll just post something on Facebook and say, have you experienced a miracle of healing? And people start pulling these testimonies. It's quite amazing. Tell us— Society? Go ahead, go ahead, please. No, you go ahead, sir. So tell us a story that you document in your new book, A Simple God to Experience Miracles.

Okay. I list five kinds of supernatural events. Specific answers to prayer, healings, God speaking to us outside but under the authority of the Word, angelic and demonic manifestations, which are supernatural events, and then near-death experiences. One op I'll tell you is that there was in 2006, I think it was, there was a woman named Seagram, and she was a Jewish woman who was left to die for cancer.

She'd gone through all the medical treatments, and she was committed to hospice care. A friend, a Christian friend said, hey, I know a church where they pray for people on Monday night. Would you be willing to go?

What do you got to lose? It's Christian, but I know. So she said, sure, I'll go. So she went, came two Monday nights. I was prayed over, and she loved it so much. Nothing happened, but she just felt loved and cared for. So she kept, came again. The third Monday night, by her own testimony, she felt this hot oil start in the top of her head when there were three or four people laid hands on her, just prayed calmly over her, down to her toes, and she just felt all kinds of things happen in her body. And she said to them, I know that I'm healed.

And they said, well, thanks, but you need to check with your doctor. She called him. He was not seeing her any longer, but she paid for another scan. He fit her in that week, and his jaw was on the floor because she had 51 points of cancer all over her body and metastasized everywhere. And that was on the first scan months earlier.

And on this scan, not only was there no sign of cancer there, but there was no sign she ever had it. She committed her life to Jesus. I was doing a PBS special 11 years later on miracles. I wanted to use that. I emailed her.

I kept the email exchange. I said that all this happened to you, really. And she said, not only did it happen to me, just like you said, but I have never had the cancer come back in 11 years and I'm still on fire for Messiah Jesus. So, and in the book, I tell how people can tell the difference between a miracle and an accident, a coincidence, and this was a miracle.

Yeah, and again, friends, we are talking to Professor J.P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy, and if you read his books, he is a careful, meticulous thinker. As you have interacted with colleagues, both secular philosophers and Christian philosophers who may be from a non-charismatic background, how do they react to some of this evidence? Yeah, well, I think what's happening is that Christian scholars are becoming more open to this, because some of them are hearing and seeing things in their churches that are pretty clearly acts of God.

And so I think people are becoming more ready to share what they've seen and heard, and the word is getting out. Secular scholars just scoff at it because they think they have a trump card, and that is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and so if you're going to make an extraordinary claim like this, you have to have more evidence than just the ordinary acceptable evidence. So the resurrection of Jesus, nah, that's an extraordinary claim, and ordinary historical evidence isn't good enough.

You've got to have super abundant evidence. That's the way they protect themselves, but that claim has been completely devastated by a secular atheist philosopher of science who shows that that principle doesn't make any sense. That's what they do. Got it, yeah, and you know, there is the principle that we've all dealt with that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. You think that might have something to do with it?

Yeah. You know what's interesting? I came to faith in a little Italian Pentecostal church in 1971, heroin shooting, LSD using hippie, rock drummer, Jewish kid, got instantly delivered from drugs, and then, so, you know, my dad saw it, put in the needle in my arm, all this just instantly said free transform, couldn't deny that, and then I experienced miraculous healing as a new believer. As the years went on, I got somewhat skeptical, I began to question things, I saw things that didn't line up, so based on experience, not based on scripture, based on experience, I started to depart from this.

I remember reading B.B. Warfield's Counterfeit Miracles and Robert Gromacki's Modern Tongues Movement to convince myself this wasn't in the Bible, but the more I tried to become a cessationist, the more the word was against it. So I have a chapter in one of my books called Sola Scriptura and therefore Charismatic. Yeah, the experiences are wonderful confirmation, but we believe it because of the word. Okay, we come back, I want to get practical. J.P. Morland, A Simple Guide to Experience Miracles, Instruction and Inspiration for Living Supernaturally in Christ.

What do we do? How do I build my faith? Can I receive a miracle if it's life and death? We're going to open that up when we come back with my guest, J.P. Morland. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks, friends, for joining us with my special guest, Professor J.P. Morland of tablet School of Theology. You may have read some of his books, some of his articles or heard him speak. He is a foremost Christian apologist and philosopher and his new book, A Simple Guide to Experience Miracles.

So, J.P., the book is comprehensive. You dispel myths and misconceptions. You've got these amazing testimonies that are faith building. How do you help someone start? What's a step one?

Maybe they're facing critical illness with a family member. God is their only hope. Where do they start? I think the first thing that you start is trying to grow your faith in this area, but you can't just will that to happen. So in the book, I have eight practical steps you can take to grow in your confidence of this sort of thing.

Let me give you one to start with. Start asking your friends at church or wherever you meet with brothers and sisters, have you ever seen a specific answer to prayer or know someone that was miraculously healed? Ever heard God lead or guide you or speak to you in some way that came true? Ever encountered a demon or an angel or do you know about a credible, authentic near-death experience? Now start asking people that and you will be shocked to hear the stories that come back from people that you know and trust because you're asking people in your circle of friends and in your church. The other thing you can do is start reading credible books on this by people that have good reputations. In the back of my book on A Simple Guide to Experience Miracles, I have a very selective bibliography of books on several areas that are trustworthy. And if you would read some of those, and in my book too, you'll get stories that just are true.

They have a ring of truth to them. The second thing that you want to do then is that you want, if you're sick, you want to gather other people that you trust and have them come to your home or meet you over at the side after the service. And you sit down and you let them put hands on you if you're comfortable with that, obviously in respectful places.

And I have a set of steps in there that are not formula, but they're useful. You can invite the Lord to come and say, Lord, if there's anything you want to say, we'll be quiet for a minute. And if something comes to someone, they can say, I don't know if this is from the Lord or not, but I seem to be getting such and such. Does that make sense to you? And if it doesn't, no harm, no foul.

If it does, then good. But then you began to speak prayer over this problem. And you have this person, they still are taking medicine, but they do this several weeks if they need to keep coming back. And every week for however many weeks, have this group of friends pray over you. And one person said, if you pray for 200 people, you're going to see somebody healed.

And that's actually true. And I have in the book 14 reasons that I think makes sense as to why God doesn't show up and do something when it looks like it would be in his interest to do so. Ultimately, it's a mystery, but there are some answers that may bring comfort to a person if they're not, God is not responding, and maybe two or three will help you in that particular circumstance. Those are some simple things that you can do. Yeah, and friends, the book is so pastoral and wise in its approach to say, hey, face your doubts, honestly. And here's how you deal with them.

So it's not one of these things that just has this carrot out and you just can never get it. It's quite the opposite, which I really appreciate. And especially someone coming from your background, you're going to be more sensitive to helping someone take these steps. You yourself have had some very interesting experiences involving angels or people seeing angels with you. What convinced you that this was real? Yeah, well, I have five different people in different parts of the country over about a three year period of time.

Without knowing each other, I'd never put it in writing. All tell me that they saw three angels standing around me, a tall one behind me, two shorter ones on either side, and they were guarding me. And this happened at a conference I was speaking at. I thought the lady was crazy. Then it happened to one of my grad students in philosophy who saw this in one of my metaphysics classes and he emailed me exactly what this other woman saw.

And he'd never heard of it. A lawyer came to visit me in my office just to talk about anxiety. And about 18 months later, he said, I've been afraid to tell you this. I've been sitting on this.

So here it goes. While you prayed over me, I felt presences come in the room and I opened my eyes and there were three angels around you, a tall one behind you, two shorter ones on either side. I had it happen again. And then two years ago, I had three eyewitnesses because a woman started walking across the foyer of the church during a break. And she said, I've been an atheistic Jew my whole life. I got saved 18 months ago and your books have helped me. But I wanted to tell you that while you spoke this morning, I saw and I said, stop speaking.

And I had these two secretaries that still work with us and a buddy of mine in the church who was at the conference. I said, I want to ask you questions. Did you see angels? She said, how did you know that? I said, let's talk about that later. Did you?

She said, yeah. I said, did you notice if they were down on the floor below the stage? Were they hovering above me?

No. She said they were around you. Did you notice the number? She said there were three of them. Did you think they have a relative size? She said there was a big, tall one behind you.

He was a big dude and two little short ones on either side. And she had never heard, she didn't know anything about this. And I have three eyewitnesses that heard that conversation. And so there are five different groups of people that saw the same thing without reading it or not hearing it. Now that would stand up in a court of law. I myself have never seen them. I assume they're still with me.

I don't think I've done anything that would displease the Lord and send them away. So that is objective eyewitness testimony. And a lawyer, if he had five independent witnesses that describe pretty much the same court who didn't know each other, you think that would be good evidence for something? I think that's strong evidence. And I love the nature of the witnesses, too.

A former atheistic Jew, a lawyer dealing with anxiety, a grad student in a metaphysics class. I say that stands the cut, absolutely. Amazing, amazing. And like you say, unless we talk about these things, often people don't know what is happening or how the Lord has spoken, how the Lord has led. And I was actually writing a book a few years ago dealing with abuses in the Charismatic Pentecostal Church, but talking about what God is doing. And by the time I finished the book, I was so encouraged by putting all the testimonies together, because you forget things. And that's why the word is full of this. And then we've only got two minutes, but you have a lot about near-death experiences, too.

Yes. And you know what? I try to show that a lot of people are weirded out because they don't think they harmonize with the Bible. And I try to show that 90 percent of them actually do. And I just would like people to give me a chance to make a case for them without throwing them out, because the Bible is my ultimate authority.

If it contradicts the word, it's out of here. But if the Bible doesn't speak about it, then I'm open to letting the evidence go where it is. And I'm telling you, there is powerful evidence that people live after death and meet Jesus and are sent back because their work's not finished. You know, one of my closest friends in the world, Brother Yeh-Sieh Panam in India, his first wife died of cancer. It had spread through her body, into her brain and spine. She was crippled and passed away in a hospital. And 30 minutes after passing away with a sheet over her head with my friend sitting by the bedside just thanking God for the years they had together, she took the sheet off of her, stood out and said, I'm healed. Did you hear Jesus calling to her? This is while she was in his presence. She got out of bed and started jumping up and down, healed. And we met her after that. She lived, I don't know, four more years after that.

And, you know, the hospital was rocked by it. There was another eyewitness sitting there. And this is one of my closest friends in the world.

I met the woman. And God is so amazing, doing so amazing, such amazing things. And it's in keeping with his nature of being involved in our lives and being compassionate. But look at what we're doing, Michael. We're sharing stories. And I know darn well that people that are listening are being encouraged. Yes.

And so you're illustrating a main part of the booklet. Read about this. Talk about it. Don't hide it.

That story is so exciting you've made my day, dude. I mean, I'm going to be floating the rest of the day. Oh, come on. Yeah, the reality of God. And what hits home, and especially this time of the year—he's alive! He's really alive! He's alive!

No, no, no, buddy. Well, listen, it is a joy to have you. I'm holding the book up for those watching. J. P. Moreland, A Simple Guide to Experienced Miracles, Instruction and Inspiration for Living Supernaturally in Christ. Hey, thanks for taking the time to do this in such an intellectually sound way, but in such a pastoral way. May God use it to touch many. Well, I appreciate your ministry, and thanks for having me on, brother. My absolute joy. All right, J. P. Moreland, A Simple Guide to Experienced Miracles.

Thank you so much. And friends, we're out of time, but yeah, I encourage you to get the book. But at the very least, share testimonies with one another. Encourage one another. Next time you have a get-together with other believers, ask them, hey, can you give me an example of an amazing answer to prayer or prophetic word or healing? Let's edify one another and build one another's faith so that we can touch our hurting world with the good news and love of Jesus. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-29 19:02:25 / 2023-04-29 19:21:14 / 19

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