In the name of God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.

There is no way to bring healing up for review without a discussion and understanding of miracles. Healing is a miracle. Thus, the Bible reveals various healing miracles carried out by God and his agents.

What then are miracles and can an understanding of miracles render a more precise understanding of healing? Also can the review of miracles as they relate to healing offer us substance to discount the false healers?

Humanity, the people that know God realize a miracle is an extraordinary event. This event manifests divine power and is a wonder to human understanding. Also, for the record the manifestation of the divine power may happen with or without human agents of God.

As we look to the Old Testament in our chronological discussion of miracles and healing we see the Creation. The Creation is the greatest miracle ever to exist. (See Genesis 1:1, 2:3, 2:4-3:24). Additional and all other miracle stories in the Old Testament are based on Israel's understanding of God's continuous sovereignty over the created world and its history. Meanwhile, the miracle stories and wonders in the Old Testament are mostly noted in two particular traditions. One is found in the Exodus and conquest traditions, and the other in the Elijah and Elisha traditions.

We also ask how miracles can be distinguished from the other events that seem to be miracles. Again the word miracle literally means a marvelous event, or an event which causes wonder. Are works of Providence, answers to prayer, magic the work of demons, and exotic occurrences miracles?

Miracles are not works of Providence. The secular meaning of providence notes a common belief that a benevolent ordering principle governs the universe and human history. Thus, nothing happens solely by chance, but rather there is a guiding purpose that orders all things toward and end.

Meanwhile, the Biblical concept of God's providence reveals a universal confidence in God's loving care and protection of the world. In Exodus 3:12 God promised that the divine presence will remain in the world and protect those who need divine protection.

Miracles should not be confused with answers to prayers which do not constitute signs. Miracles also should be distinguished from works of magic. In magic, the wonder worker himself possesses a formula which caused the alleged result.

Miracles are truly not of Satanic or Demonic origin. Matthew 24:24 Christ warned that there will be false Christ and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders that they will even deceive the very elect. Finally miracles should be distinguished from mere exotic occurrences.

There are many events in nature that excite wonder, but such matters are evidence of nothing but oddity. Genuine miracles are always signs which teach a lesson. Thus, every miracle of God is a part of God's great integrated system of revealed truth.

The purposes for miracles are found in revelation and edification. John notes that the miracles of Christ are revealed that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and believing ye might have life through his name (see John 20:31).

The greatest period of miracles in all recorded history occurred during the Ministry of Christ and His Apostles. It was a time when humankind was at an all time low regarding spirituality. For example at the Exodus God's people had forgotten His name. At the time of Elijah and Elisha they had hyphenated His name with the name Baal.

Meanwhile, by the time of Christ and His Apostles God's people had turned the divine nature of worship into an idolatrous hypocrisy. Hence we see a great need for God through His Son to demonstrate His Superior Power. Thus, nearly 40 demonstration sign miracles are wrought by Christ and recorded in the Gospels.

Cont. Part 4: Miracles and Healing Further Defined

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