The Duration of Miracles

TEXTHeb. 2:1-4

INTRODUCTION:

A.      OUR TEXT TEACHES THAT GOD BORE WITNESS TO THE APOSTLE'S

          PREACHING WITH MIRACLES.

B.      THE PURPOSE OF MIRACLES WASN'T FLESHLY GRATIFICATION.  IT WAS FOR

          THE CHURCH'S BENEFIT( 1 Cor. 12:4-7 ).

C.      HOW LONG WERE MIRACLES TO LAST AND WHAT IS A MIRACLE?

I.      WHAT IS A MIRACLE?

A.      NOT JUST SOMETHING WONDERFUL THAT WE DON'T UNDERSTAND.

          1.  Not natural phenomena - Birth, life, healing.

          2.  Not beating the odds - plane crashes, Dodgers, etc.

          3.  Not the exercise of unusual talents, Autistic Savants.

B.      MIRACLE, dunamis, "power, inherent ability, is used of works of a supernatural

          origin & character, such as could not be produced by natural agents or means"  ( Vine ).

          "An event or  action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence thought

          to be due  to supernatural causes, esp. to an act of God" ( Webster ).

II.     WHO IN THE CHURCH HAD THESE POWERS?

A.      THOSE WHO RECEIVED HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM.

          1.  The apostles( Acts 2:1-4 ).

          2.  Cornelius( Acts 10:44-48 )before he was saved.

          3.  Both cases a new teaching came to light( 11:13-18 ).

B.      THEY UPON WHOM THE APOSTLES LAID HANDS( 8:14-19; 19:6 ).

C.      NOT ALL HAD THESE POWERS( 1 Cor. 12:28-29; Acts 8:14-16 ).

III.    WAS THERE A TIME LIMITHOW LONG?

A.      1 Cor. 13.  CONTEXT FIRST!

          1.  The result of inspiration( 2:16 )

          2.  ch. 12.  A troubled church.

                   a.       Competition between tongues and prophets.

                   b.       Same Spirit, different gifts, to profit the church.

                   c.       We must pursue greater gifts than these( vs. 31 ).

B.      3 ARGUMENTS TO SHOW LOVE AS A MORE DESIRABLE GIFT.

          1.       Love is more basic( vs. 1-3 ).  It can stand without miracles. 

                   Miracles can't stand without love.

          2.       Love profoundly effects our lives( vs. 4-7 ). 

                   They had miracles but none of the benefits named here.

          3.       Love is greater because of duration( vs. 8-13 ).

                   a.       Love never fails, but miracles do. When? When that which is perfect

                             is come( contrast with partial knowledge )( 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ).

                   b.       vs 11.  What are the childish things?  Context!

                   c.       vs. 12. Our vision unclear...need for confirmation.

                             Now: 1 Cor. one of the first.  They saw in a mirror darkly, they knew in part.

                             Then: When that which is perfect is come( 2 Tim.3 ), face to face, fully know

                              as we are known( 2:16 ).

                   d.       vs. 13.  3 greatest gifts - duration.

Faith doesn't last forever, but outlasts miracles.

Hope doesn't either( Rom. 8:24 ), yet...

Love lasts forever, therefore it is the greatest.

C.      Zechariah 13.  THE CONTEXT TELLS US WHEN.

          1.       ch. 12:10.  "They shall look unto me whom they have pierced"

                   a.       Rev. 1:7.  The right language but no fulfillment claim.

                   b.       John 19:37.  Fulfillment claimed, the death of Jesus.

          2.       ch. 13:1.  "A fountain opened...for sin and for uncleanness."

                   a.       Heb. 9:13-15;  Rom. 3:23-26.  Only one fountain, for all on both

                             sides of the cross.

                   b.       "In that day" when they look unto him whom they have pierced.

          3.       ch. 13:7.  "The sheep shall be scattered." 

                   ( Mat. 26:31 ). Fulfilled "this night."

D.      ch. 13:2-6.  THE END OF PROPHECY.

          1.  "In that day"( vs. 2 ).  What day?

          2.  The prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land ( vs. 2b ).

          3.  The death penalty for the prophet( vs. 3;  Deut. 18:20-22 ).

          4.  Ashamed of his vision.

          5.  The hairy mantle( 2 Kings 2:8-15 ).

          6.  vs. 5.  Those who would be prophets will find other work.

E.      SOME OBSERVATIONS ABOUT Zech. 13:

          1.  In that day is used not to point out an hour on the clock, or a specific day.  It is

                    used to describe a time-frame.  "In my day..."

          2.  The time-frame is the period surrounding Jesus' death.

          3.  After this those claiming to be prophets are called liars.

          4.  Neither is there time or place for exorcists.

CONCLUSIONMIRACLES ARE NOT FOR TODAY.