Monday, June 21, 2010


Having stated in earlier parts of this series that I believe tongues ceased when the perfect, completed Bible was written, I would like to make an observation. The Bible seems to indicate God uses miracles or signs to confirm new things. This does not mean that God didn't do miraculous things at other times, but I see four periods throughout biblical revelation where there seems to be clusters of miracles. The first was during the Exodus of the Jews from Egyptian bondage. The miracles were as much for the benefit of the million or so Jews, as they were for the convincing of Pharaoh. If they had been manifested for the persuasion of Pharaoh only, they would not have continued for the next forty years in the wilderness. Israel repeatedly complained and doubted Moses, which is really difficult to understand when you think of manna, the cloud and the pillar of fire, and constant source of water in a desert. The Jews required a sign.

Following the period of the Judges and the united kingdom of Israel, the nation split into two very unfriendly groups: ten tribes remained united and were called Israel, and the other two tribes formed what was known as Judah (Judah and Benjamin). Israel's kings became more and more corrupt and distant from God, until the reign of Ahab who, married to Jezebel, led Israel into idolatry. God sent two prophets to convince Israel to return to Him, and because they had strayed so far from God, He gave the prophets miraculous powers. Elijah is recorded to have "performed" fourteen miracles and his student, Elisha who received a double portion of God's anointing (2 Kgs. 2:9), "performed" twenty-eight ( These miracles were intended to validate the prophets' warnings that God's judgment would fall on Israel in the form of a series of national defeats which would result in slavery to the Assyrians, and eventually to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome; that is, if they did not repent. The Jews ignored the signs.

The next cluster of miraculous events occurred with Jesus and His Apostles. Jesus worked miracles to validate to the Jews that He was the Messiah, and when Israel rejected Him, the Apostles were able to work miracles to validate their teaching concerning the Church. The Jews rejected the signs.

The next cluster of miracles will occur during the Tribulation. The seven-year judgment ending the fifth dispensation, also known as the Time of Jacob's Trouble and Daniel's Seventieth Week, will once again involve two prophets of God to warn Israel of their pending tribulation (Rev. 11:3-12). Since these two prophets work their miracles for the first forty-two months of the seven year period, they are warning the Jews who are experiencing peace, of the judgment about to fall on them. The Jew reject their signs as well (Rev. 11:10 - notice "they that dwell upon the earth" includes Israel).

These four clusters of miracles represent God's patience and long-suffering with a stiff-necked people. Apparently, even though the Jews require a sign in order to believe (1 Cor. 1:22), they "can't read."

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