Loud shrieks

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

For unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks were coming out of many who were possessed, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. So there was great joy in that city. Acts 8.7-8

After the death of Stephen in Acts 7.54-60, a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem. All, except the apostles, were forced to leave Jerusalem and were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. Everywhere they went, they shared the good news of the word.

Philip had gone to the main city in Samaria. He was preaching about the Christ. The crowds were paying attention to him with one mind. They could see the miraculous things that he was doing and there was great joy in the city.

Simon, a magician, also believed in Philip’s message and was baptized. He was amazed at the miracles that were happening. When he realized that the power of the Holy Spirit was passed on by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money to receive this power to pass on the Holy Spirit to others. He was sharply rebuked by Peter who told him to repent of his sin for his heart was not right with God.

The ability of Philip and others to heal the paralyzed and lame, as well as to be able to free a person of an unclean spirit brought great joy to those in the city. The miraculous gifts confirmed the words that Philip was preaching!

#risingjoy #Acts #miracles

We do not need a miracle to help someone facing hard times

In 1 Kings 17 Elijah is fed in two different miraculous ways – 1) wild ravens on an orderly mission, and 2) a hungry widow with bottomless jars. But that does not mean we need either of these to help someone in hard times.

In 1 Kings 18:3-4 we are introduced to a man named Obadiah who did something rather wonderful, dangerous and costly, but not miraculous. He fed one-hundred persecuted people, hidden in two caves, with bread and water.

While bread and water may not seem very impressive to some observers, bread and water just happened to be two items difficult to come by during the three-year climate change Samaria faced. And yet Obadiah came through so the prophets of the Lord could persevere.

The miraculous times of God-given food and drink recorded in the Bible are interesting moments to think about and they bring with them valuable lessons (Matthew 16:5-12), but as James (who was familiar with the lessons of Elijah’s story – James 5:17-18) told the church in the first century, doing what we can to help someone facing hard times does not take a miracle, but (like Obadiah) it still takes a living faith to use our God-given blessings.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17 NKJV)

#benevolence, #faith, #helping, #miracles


8-11-2017 No Natural Sign

There is a difference between “natural” happenings and “miraculous” events. “Now the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD’” (Exodus 10:1-2 NKJV). God’s miracles stand out as “signs,” because there is nothing on earth like them! The ninth plague in Egypt was a “darkness which may even be felt” and lasted “for three days” (Exodus 10:21, 23 NKJV). A “solar eclipse” which is predictable and natural is not a “sign” or a “miracle!”
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#miracles, #natural, #solar-eclipse

What does the Bible say about the miracles of Jesus

by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. “ (John 21:25).

John sent disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, and Jesus told them, “Tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Luke 7:22).

People marveled when they saw the miracles of Jesus saying, “even the winds and the sea obey Him” (Matthew 8:27). They were amazed and said, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:12). The Bible says, “they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” (Luke 5:26).

What is usually referred to as miracles, are also called signs, wonders, and mighty works.

The Old Testament tells of miracles, as well as miracles performed by followers of Jesus, but more were done by Jesus than others. Jesus performed miracles to show that He was the Son of God. His disciples performed miracles to confirm their teachings, and that they were doing God’s will (Mark 16:20).

As noted in the verses above, Jesus did miracles to convince us to have obedient faith in Him that we might be saved from sin and have eternal life in heaven. As Jesus stated, “I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

#bible-study, #miracles

Believe: Matthew 9.28 VOTD

“When he went into the house, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.'”

Matthew 9.28

Jesus did not always require faith before healing someone, but when he could develop it in those to be healed, he did, since that was his main interest.

So today why does Jesus always require faith before salvation?

#faith #miracles #VOTD


4-15-2016 What Is The Church of Christ #5

Before Jerusalem was destroyed, Jesus warned, “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5 NKJV).  Bible miracles, however, “are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31 NKJV).  After Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70, many have come establishing churches “in His name,” and also have deceived many.  But God said of false prophets of old: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:16 NKJV.  “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 17 NKJV).  Only the Bible speaks the truth.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#churches, #in-his-name, #miracles, #truth


12-24-2015 One Miracle For One Prophet

God’s Prophet today is none other than Jesus Christ. After Jesus fed 5000 men (not counting women and children!) with 5 barley loaves of bread and 2 small fish, then gathered up 12 baskets full (more than He started with!), “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world’ (John 6:14 NKJV). God made it clear, with such an overwhelming miracle witnessed by thousands, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. “And many of the people believed in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?'” (John 7:31 NKJV). God has not given such miraculous demonstrations to endorse anyone else as His Prophet. Jesus’ miracles should lead us to Him and no other.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#gods-prophet, #miracles


9-17-2015 Miracle or Mirage

When a paralyzed man was brought to Jesus, He forgave his sins and said, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins –He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!'” (Mark 2:9-12 NKJV). No music, no shouting, no hand-clapping, no lifting, no supporting, no propping up of this man was needed. Jesus did a miracle, but today, we only see cheap imitations.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#cheap-imitation, #forgive-sins, #healed, #miracles


9-11-2015 Why Were Scriptures Written?

“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed” (Luke 1:1-4 NKJV). (1) Luke’s “orderly account” would make certain what Theophilus had only heard (i.e. “oral traditions,” or “gossip”); (2) This written Scripture completes the “word delivered;” (3) This “orderly account” was to certify truth distinguished from “many” other narratives; (4) “Certainty” of faith came from sure, written “scripture” and not from any other source!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#certainty, #jesus-christ, #miracles, #oral-traditions, #son-of-god, #written-scriptures


7-22-2015 The Holy Spirit Or The Written Word?

Why do people listen to what God says first but not last? Jesus promised the Apostles the Holy Spirit when He said, “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26 NKJV). When this happened on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4, 14-22), “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen” (Mark 16:20 NKJV). Those miracles cease when the word “was confirmed to us” (Hebrews 2:3). Scripture says, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37 NKJV). The written Word is God’s Message today.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#holy-spirit, #miracles, #signs, #written-word


4-16-2015 “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) – Miracle Worker

Even “the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, ‘What shall we do? For this Man works many signs’” (John 11:47 NKJV). If miracles prove His claim, the number and power of them is overwhelming. In one chapter of Matthew alone (the 8th) Jesus heals: a leper, a paralyzed man, Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever; cast out demons “with a word; stopped a storm on the sea; and cast out so many demons, it drowned about 2000 swine. It’s no wonder, then, that “many of the people believed in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?'” (John 7:31 NKJV) No one else has done the works that Jesus Christ has done. Read all about it in the Bible.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#chief-priests, #miracles, #pharisees, #signs

What an atheist did answer, then me (3)

QUESTION: What about miracles? What all the people who claim to have a connection with Jesus? What about those who claim to have seen saints or angels?

ATHEIST: What of them? Demonstrate an actual miracle, or introduce me personally to a saint or an angel, and then let’s discuss the matter.

CHRISTIAN:To an atheistic naturalist there is no acceptance of the historical record that attests to the validity of such, there is mere rejection because of ideology (not evidence). However, the particular ideology accepted that seeks to use a back door rejection is met by a miracle coming in the front door because of the “have to” acceptance of a miracle at the very beginning (clarity on this tomorrow).

#evidence, #miracles, #naturalism

The vacuum of a miracle-less life

The origin of life? It’s all natural says the “naturalist”. Nothing too special. Just a game of odds, that’s all. And by no means a miracle! Highly evolved nothings…I mean animals – that’s what we are.

And what of the emotions that we feel? Only chemicals it is said. Nothing is real. It’s only a reaction. And the love for your child? Only a deep functioning desire to see your DNA passed along. After all, that’s all an animal wants to do. And we’re just highly evolved animals anyways.

And the tears that get shed from the loss of loved ones? They’re not real either. Just a response to the lessening of your chances for survival. That’s where it came from! It’s all thanks to the gift of evolution. Survival of the fittest, and you’re not “as fit” as you once were.

I hear it from time to time on television. Scientists who believe in evolution but yet they use the word miracle. I believe it happens when they let their guard down and their humanity shows through. But of course if pushed on the subject they would say the use of the word miracle is only a figure of speech; much in the same way that an atheist uses God’s name in vain. The animal must take the place of the human to be rational after all. Everything has a natural explanation. Right? It has to! So says the unbeliever.

Thus we are brought to the results of a miracle-less life. Nothing but a vacuum! A heart that becomes like the black-holes that are adored.

Now I’m not saying that all atheists have no emotions. That’s not my point. My point is that the emotions that are as real as the nose on our face, to an honest atheist, do not matter because they are not real. They have no point outside of the forces of the evolutionary train pushing us forward on tracks that cannot be escaped. Tracks that go nowhere.  Tracks that take away our person-hood. Tracks that take away the reality of emotions. Tracks that take us away from miracles. Tracks that take us away from hope. Tracks that take us away from our Creator!

Don’t get pulled into the vacuum that says it’s all naturally explainable. It can’t all be explained – at least not through man’s science, because man’s science doesn’t even know all of the questions!

But there’s still that question of where did we come from? And so the atheist pushes on, looking for the answer that they already have. Looking for an answer, or rather a question that fits the answer that they have already accepted and given to others to be accepted. And yet the question remains, “What’s the point of finding an origin of life that has no effect on the way it all ends?” Is evolution actually looking for its own beginnings?

Space may be one big vacuum, but the plug got pulled and the miracle of life began, not by chance but when in the beginning God….(Genesis 1:1).

Related Article:

#atheism, #creation, #life, #miracles

Two ends of the pendulum about Jesus’ miracles

“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” John 20:30-31.

At one end of the pendulum, the postmodern culture we live in works hand-in-hand with liberal theologians who completely discount any supernatural events including Jesus’ miracles recorded in Scripture. They disregard that which John says are written so that they might believe that Jesus is the Savior, the Son of God, and have life in His name. That course is a dead end—literally!

At the other end of the pendulum, are those religious folks who believe Jesus is still doing miracles and wants everyone to be healthy and wealthy. If He’s not working a miracle in your life, you don’t have enough faith. But notice that the purpose of Jesus’ already-recorded miracles were to bring readers down through the ages to faith.

Jesus certainly had to power to do more than we see Him doing to right the many wrongs of ancient Israel, but we always see Him selectively using that power for His true purpose.

Is it a miracle you believe?

Doug Kashorek, Plattsburgh church of Christ



#miracles, #religion


“Snake Salvation” — Really?

‘Snake Salvation’ TV star Jamie Coots dies after being bitten

Feb. 16, 2014, 3:22 PM EST

By Todd Cunningham

Jamie Coots, a star of the National Geographic TV reality series “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake and refusing medical treatment.

Coots was one of two pastors from a Pentacostal church in Middleboro Ky. featured on the show about snake handling at a sect of Christian churches in Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia and Tennessee, where worshippers believe faith will protect them from the venom of poisonous snakes.

Coots’ death was reported Sunday by Kentucky’s Lexington-Herald Leader.

Coots was bitten on his right hand by a snake. An ambulance crew and firefighters tried to talk Coots into going to the hospital, but he refused treatment, according to the report.

Coots had suffered serious bites twice before. He told the Herald-Leader that he nearly died in the early 1990s when a large rattlesnake bit him on the left arm, and in 1998, a rattlesnake he was handling suddenly struck the middle finger of his right hand.

Coots refused treatment for the excruciating bites in both of those cases.

“It’s a victory to God’s people that the Lord seen fit to bring me through it,” he said the day after the bite in 1998.

The Real Victory Is Truth

1. It is tragic that this man has died.

2. It is even more tragic that he, like some others, are so ignorant of God’s Word. Jesus Christ said the Gospel should be preached to “every creature,” but that the “signs” proving the truthfulness of that Gospel were for “those who believe” (Mark 16:15-20). The “signs” were for the miraculous beginning of its spread, for the Lord was “working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” By the time the Book of Hebrews was written, the word “which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3-4). All believers were never promised these “accompanying signs” because: (1) even though 3000 were baptized on Pentecost, miracles were only done through the Apostles (Acts 2:38-43); (2) even though Samaritans “had received the word of God” and been baptized, the Apostles, Peter and John, travelled to them and “laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:12-18); (3) Paul baptized Ephesians “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” but they only received the Holy Spirit “when Paul had laid hands on them” (Acts 19:1-7). Coots evidently didn’t understand that what Jesus had said about “signs” was not for Coots, but for the early Christians, and that only until the New Testament was completely written. The only example of a serpent bite, which Jesus had said would “by no means hurt them,” is in Acts 28:1-6, and it did not! The clue that Coots was not included in Jesus’ list of “signs” is that the article about Coots said he had had “excruciating bites” twice before! All miracles establishing the claim that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God” are written in the Bible (John 20:30-31), since “the faith” has been “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). There is no miraculous working of the Holy Spirit today that would  “confirm” God’s Word, and “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).

3. It is even more tragic that the publicity given this incident will associate such ignorance with so-called “Bible-believers” throughout the world. The Apostle Paul rebuked the “spirit of divination” (associated with Python, a serpent or dragon guarding the mythological Delphi), casting it out of the “slave girl” (Acts 16:16-24). She was proclaiming, “These men [Paul and Silas] are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not need, and should not tolerate, any false teacher’s endorsement, if for no other reason, because it would make a lying connection between Truth and error! “They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:5-6).

Incidents like this that has happened to this ignorant practitioner must not go unnoticed and unexplained, for the Truth leads to God (John 14:6), not to an ignoble end!

—–John T. Polk II

#accompanying-signs, #bible-study, #church-of-christ, #confirm-the-word, #miracles, #snake-handling