As the glory manifests, the glory brings miracles. Acts 5 vs 12:
“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.”
God wants His church to be an instrument of healing today. When we speak of the New Testament church, we mean the type of church which is inspired, anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit and attested by the same signs, wonders and miracles which followed the ministry of the early church. The early church enjoyed no prestige or standing in community.
They did not have magnificent buildings. They had very little social refinements which came from education, culture and social position.
Instead, they were the social outcasts of their society. Despite all these apparent disadvantages, they succeeded in Acts 17 vs 6: “turning the world upside down” for Christ. How?
Principles evident in their ministry were a big booster.
4. And healings.
These were an essential factor in the growth of the early church. The “Acts of the Apostles” is full of great miracles which Christ did through those early believers. The glory of God was manifested and signs and wonders followed them.
The book of Acts is not only a historic account of that period, it is a divine blue print for the church in all ages. God never intended the miraculous to disappear with the death of the 12 Apostles of the lamb. Miracles were not only for the early churches, they are for our day too.
The Dynamic Effect of Miracles — as the Glory is manifested.
Miracles attracted great crowds. This was true in the ministry of Jesus. John 2 vs 23: “Many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which he did.”
John 6 vs 2: “And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.”
It was also true in the ministry of the early Apostles. The miracles wrought at the gate beautiful, Acts 3 vs 1-16: resulted in 5 000 people turning to Christ, Acts 4 vs 4.
Acts 4 vs 4: “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” Acts 5 vs 12, 14 & 16, Vs 12: “ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.” Vs 14: “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.”
Vs 16: “There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: And they were healed every one.”
Miracles confirmed the message.
Jesus predicted that supernatural signs would attend the preaching of the true gospel. Mark 16 vs 17-18, vs 17: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues . . .”
Vs 18, “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Acts 8 vs 6: “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.”
Believers who are well taught should not move from one church to the other following signs and wonders, instead signs should follow them. Every believer is anointed to perform signs and wonders. Signs and wonders are not a preserve of the few superstars.
The inference is clear. The people were impressed by Philips authority when they saw the miracles accompanying his ministry. So great was the joy and the response that the joy filled the city. Acts 8 vs 8: “And there was great joy in that city.”
Miracles met the real needs of the community.
There was always a tremendous crowd around the Apostles because so many sick people wanted to be healed. Healings and miracles always attract great crowds.
Miracles proved the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Many disputed the facts of Christ’s resurrection (even today). The many miracles which God began to perform in the name of Jesus convinced the multitudes of the reality of the resurrection. If Christ were still dead, then His name would have no power.
When Peter spoke to the elders concerning the healing of the man at the gate beautiful he said these words. Acts 4 vs 10: “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.”
Peter was obviously referring to the miracle in order to prove to them that Christ was indeed risen from the dead.
Miracles brought glory to God.
We read the following concerning the blind man who was healed. Luke 18 vs 35-43, Vs 35: “And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging . . .”
Vs 36: “And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.” Vs 37:, “And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.” Vs 38: “ And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Vs 39: “And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: But he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Vs 40: “And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him . . .” Vs 41: ‘Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.”
Vs 42: “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.” Vs 43: “And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.”
On another occasion, Jesus healed a man who was sick of the palsy. Mark 2 vs 12: “And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it in this fashion.”
Concerning the healing of the lame man at the gate, we read in Acts 4 vs 21: “So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.”
One of the ways of distinguishing genuine servants of God from false ones is simply this, who gets the glory when miracles take place . . . is it Jesus Christ . . . or the so called man of God?
Miracles established converts in the power of God.
Paul told the Corinthians that he had come. 1 Corinthians 2 vs 4-5, Vs 4: “ And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power . . .” Vs 5: “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
When the gospel is accompanied by the supernatural power of God, the converts are established in and by that power. The wisdom of men (philosophy, logic, rationale) can never establish men and women in the Christian faith.
Early church principles and practices that produced, signs, wonders, miracles and healings.
They practice the word of God.
Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2 vs 4-36 and Stephen’s address (Acts 7), are fine examples of the Biblical content of the preaching of the early church. Preaching the word of God carries a divine weight of authority. God always stands behind His word.
Jeremiah 1 vs 12: “I will hasten (watch over) my word to perform it.” Preaching the word of God will also create faith within the hearers as nothing else will. Romans 10 vs 17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
They exercised spiritual authority.
These leaders of the early church had a deep awareness of the authority which God had placed upon them through Jesus. John 16 vs 23: “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” Jesus had conferred upon them the “power of attorney,” a legally constituted right to act in His behalf.
Listen to Peter exercising that authority. Acts 3 vs 6: “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
Peter later made it clear to the astounded audience that it was through the authority in the name of Jesus.
They encouraged people to be healed.
In Acts 3 vs 7: “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
It was at that precise moment, as the man began to rise in faith, that the power of God went through his body. Without active encouragement of Peter, the miracle might never have happened. (Authority and encouragement).
They spoke by the power of the Spirit.
In the Upper Room, the disciples had been filled with the Holy Spirit.
It was a life transforming experience. Acts 4 vs 8: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel . . .”
They acted in boldness.
People marvelled at the boldness of Peter and John, and recognized this quality of boldness as a result of their having spent time with Jesus.
Acts 4 vs 13: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
In the atmosphere of faith created by the Holy Spirit and the word of God, miracles began to happen. Acts 8 vs 7-8, Vs 7: “For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.”
Vs 8: “And there was great joy in that city.” As the glory of God will begin to manifest, more miracles will take place in our streets, churches and homes.
Prepare for the glory that brings miracles!