Many denominations today insist that these occurrences only happened during the biblical times and do not exist today or do they?
I know of two instances that recently happened that the medical doctors cannot explain. In the last two weeks I have read and heard on TV news about a pregnant lady getting an epidural to begin the birthing of her unborn child had died and so did the child. Efforts to revive both had failed. Both had no vital signs, and the bodies had already turned the deathly color due to no circulation. The Doctors had allowed the father to hold the child for a moment before being taken to the morgue. In an unexplained mystery after several minutes, both came back to life after being clinically dead.
Another instance in the same time frame a man was admitted to a hospital feeling sick and died. He was dead for 47 minutes. No pulse, no breathing, or any vital signs The doctor attending him felt compelled to continue working on him to bring him back to life. Usually after 10 to 15 minutes a person that dies has no chance of being revived as I have been told but this doctor was led not to give up. After 47 minutes, he was brought back to life with no apparent signs of any issues related to such a long time with out oxygen or blood circulation.
At a press interview, the man stated he thanked God for allowing him to live. The Doctor nodded in approval. The man did state of an experience in the after life but refused to elaborate on it as being personal. Was this divine super natural intervention? What else could it have been?
As we all know from the scriptures, there are several instances of Jesus and his disciples hearing from God, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, and giving sight to the blind but did it stop in biblical times? Perhaps not.
In order to offer credibility to what I am about to write, I am going to use my own personal experiences and material from 3 of Jack Deer's books on the matter. Jack Deer is was a professor of the Dallas Theological seminary, pastor of several Churches, and author of best selling books in faith. He wasn't one to openly embrace the super natural powers, gifts, tongues, healing, or prophesy at first but that ideology changes with first hand experience over a period of time.
Smith Wiggelsworth ( 1859 to 1947) comes to mind as a start claiming he had actually brought back to life a lady who was considered to be dead. He also had healing powers and the gifts of tongues and interpretations as well as being filled with the Holy Spirit. Although a layman, he had written a few books on his experience and preached of faith supported by the love of God and his fellow persons. It is applicable to also consider he had the gift of prophesy too based on his writings.
Jack Deer tells of an incident where he and two others members of his church prayed for a lady that had an aneurysm as diagnosed by angiogram test and her Doctor. She was to have another test done the next day. The next day she went for another angiogram and the aneurysm had disappeared. Her doctor told her that aneurysms do not disappear but have to be surgically corrected. His only explanation was she was healed by a miracle. And that miracle was divine.
In another incident in 1986 Jack Deer had went to hear John Wimber ( Vineyard founder)at a curch in Texas. Wimber had called up a lady with severe back pain that had just been to a Doctor. He even called out her name and gave specifics. Jack being the skeptic he was had many questions for John Wimber after the services that night only to find out that was the norm for Wimber being able to pick out ones in the gathering that needed healing as led by the Holy Spirit.
Jack Deer speaks of another man named Paul Cain who he met in 1988. Paul Cain played a major role in the late 40's and early 50's healing revival of that time. He left the movement in 1958 disgusted with the corruption and abuses in the movement that seemed to take hold. Jack Deer attends a meeting with Paul Cain. From the audience he ask for diabetics to stand and he prayed for them. He looked at a lady and told her she was not diabetic but had low blood sugar. He goes on to tell her she has serious allergies. He mentions the lady had a weak valve in her heart and a growth on her pancreas. He went on to say the Lord heals those conditions. Further visits with her Doctors revealed of all that was wrong was healed. The Doctor had no explanation except that it was a miracle.
Now these miracle healings were done in the 20th century. Not 2,000 years ago. I could continue but I think you are getting the drift. It seems the Holy spirit is alive and well in the 20th century and doing miracles for those that will only believe. How was he getting this information about these people? Through prayer and the intervention of the Lord and the Holy Spirit. Through Paul Cain's prayers to the Lord these people were healed. You might say he has prophetic and healing gifts.
Spiritual gifts has been covered before in earlier articles but it remains one of the vital parts of serving the Lord. We all have at least one of the spiritual gifts. Some have more or many. It just depends on you experiencing the gifts or seeking them out. Here is a case of practice makes perfect. Do not be afraid of the gifts. They are divinely given to you for the asking by the Lord. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit and earnestly love God and your fellow humans, the Spiritual Gifts will be granted by the Holy Spirit through the grace of God. How wisely you use the gifts in service to God will depend on your humility and honesty. Do not become boastful or proud but be humble. Other wise you will fail and face humiliation.
Prophesy is no longer relevant in modern times. or is it? We all know about prophesy in biblical times where the prophets stated "Thus says the Lord". This was actually God speaking to the prophets to convey a message and or warning. Can that happen today? I don't know but I do know God can do what ever He feels like doing when He wants to or how He wants to. I also understand from Revelations there will be two witnesses that will prophesize to the world for a given time and no one can do them harm (Revelations 11:3-12).
In today's prophesies, I would have to imagine that it deals more so with us on a personal level revealing our hidden issues and our future. Yes there are prophets in that respect in the 20th and 21st century. Jack Deer also experienced the modern day prophet in a Mike Bickle that was a pastor in a church in Kansas City. Mike Bickle revealed to Jack Deer his most hidden feelings and revealed his future. As Jack Deer says, "Prophets tell us the things we cannot see. They do it by revelation from God. They do it to encourage, comfort, and strengthen us so that we can see and marvel at the beauty, splendor, power, goodness and the wisdom of Jesus."
Now this doesn't mean you have to go around and profess to be a prophet proclaiming gloom and doom. You have to do just the opposite to be a true prophet. You encourage and reinforce the faith in God and along the way you heal the sick and afflicted.
Then you ask why such miracles, gifts, supernatural occurrences, and prophesies are not wide spread in all churches? There are many various reasons but I think it is certain denominations rejected these doctrines as out of date with today, a rise of ungifted bureaucratic leadership who put out gifted people, or it was too Pentecostal and weired. In short, they have strangled the free will of the Holy Spirit and God's will. Certainly a direct disobedience to God's commands ( 1 Cor. 12:31 14:1-39).
As it is called today, the Charismatic movement has gained a foot hold in the Christian faith and is growing although there are a number of skeptics and churches that still discount it's validity. Can we refuse to acknowledge that people like John Wimber, Paul Cain, Mike Bickle, Jack Deer, and others are successfully healing, seeing visions, and prophesying just as it was in Biblical times? The evidence is overwhelming to the contrary just as it is prophesied in the scriptures in the coming end times.
I have to say I was the biggest skeptic on the gifts and prophesy when I became a believer. I had never heard of such in my earlier years as it was not the doctrine for the churches I attended back then but the scriptures I read personally now says otherwise. We must all believe in the powers of the Holly Spirit and listen to what that still silent voice is telling us from the scriptures. Only then can we experience all the wonders that God has put before us in serving Him in all His glory. The gifts are there for the asking if only we ask with a true heart and compassion to serve God in all His glory through the Holy Spirit.
Could I be now classified a Charismatic Evangelist? I don't know, but I do know that I do believe in all that I am is for the grace of God and desire all that He has to offer me in service to Him. I will trust in Him to lead me in His desires.