I posted this statement today and had some interesting responses. I will deal with one of them. “One small miracle by a Charismatic by faith is more valuable than 1000 Reformed sermons.”
Billy responded with:
“(1) A miracle is not an end to itself.
(2) A miracle (physical healing or any charismatic supernatural scenario) can mean nothing if the crowd misses the point. Many in the crowd, where the miracle of multiplication of bread and fish, missed the point that Christ is the Bread of Life. (3) Meanwhile, the preaching of the Word under the operation of the Holy Spirit inwardly regenerates a sinner. (4)True conversions born anew with the genuine and observable fruit of sanctification and evidential maturity leading to glorification of the saints is more important that a miracle (even if the miracle is from God).”
(1) Miracles happen for different reasons. Some miracles, a small minority of them are to confirm a ministry or a future promise. One such miracle is when Jesus said, “know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home,” (Matt. 9:6). Yet Jesus says statements that indicate most of His miracles were to fulfill His ancient promise to Abraham (Luke 13:10-17, Mark 7:25-29, Galatians 3). There is a category difference between a sign miracle to “confirm” a future promise or ministry versus a miracle to “fulfill” a promise already given.
With that being said people who find the Bible and God is not humble enough for them will always ignore God in order to make them sound more humble by appealing to things such as God centeredness. Usually, the people who hate God the most surround themselves with religious talk and activities, but are never able to produce true fruit that proves election such as miracles, the baptism of the Spirit and healing. Just like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, they are masochists but surrounding themselves with outward displays of the person they hate the most.
Also, miracles are for God’s glory. However, this is misleading in the sense all things are for God’s glory, in the ultimate sense. Even my unbelieving family members burning in hell are to the glory of God. Just as you can always answer any question about reality with God’s sovereignty on the ultimate sense, you can do the same with God’s glory for the ultimate purpose for everything. It is like saying “things are things that exist.” Such statements are true, but also unhelpful. Even imaginary trees exist in my mind, so what? Thus, such an immeasurably broad answer is not helpful if a specific question is being asked. It is like my mom asking “what would you like to eat for lunch tomorrow” and then I answer with “food.” Yet, this is how most Reformed people answer biblical questions, and they think they are intelligent. LOL!
I could go into more detail, but will deal with this in one brut slap. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete, (John 16:24).
Jesus says by asking and receiving miracles that the end result will be to our joy. Early, Jesus said it would bring the Father glory. Yet, Jesus the most God-centered man who ever lived, has no issue saying, miracles are for your joy, as an end to itself. People who cannot receive God’s love for them have a hard time with this, because receiving from God takes a level of wisdom and maturity they do not have. This might be a surprise, but Jesus thinks many loving thoughts toward His children, and wants them to be full of joy. He wants to answer prayers with miracles and make their hearts burst with joy, simply because He loves us. God gave us His Son, how will He not freely give us all things? God’s love is an end to itself. God’s love to Himself is an end to itself, and the Father loves us with the “same love” He loves Jesus with. And in this sense, His love to give us miracles for “our joy,” is an end to itself. To say otherwise is to say God’s love for Himself is not an end of itself.
It is also an end to itself in the same way healing is according to the will of man, is an end to itself. For more of this see Vincent Cheung, “Healing: the Will of Man.” For quick summary remember the woman who Jesus told her she was a dog. Jesus correctly told her it was “not God’s will” to minister to gentiles at this time. Yet, after she gave an argument based on faith, Jesus relented and said, “Women, your will be done.” In this sense, the miracle was for her joy, in accordance with the will of man. Jesus the most God-centered man did a 180, going from, “this plan is the “will of God,”” to the “will of man be done on earth.”
Also, the statement of Jesus to receive miracles so that our joy is complete is not a suggestion, but a command. You are commanded to receive miracles and to be overjoyed by them in thankfulness, as an end to itself. If you do not do this, you are in rebellion against the command of God. Miracles is a proof of election and the lack thereof a proof of reprobation.
(2) This is just so stupid I feel befouled just answering it. The passage mentioned about the feeding and the crowd not understanding cuts both ways. Jesus also preached and taught, and they still did not understand. Thus, I should conclude that preaching is a lesser thing than x or y? But this was the argument he used against the miracle. Dumb.
It is true that preaching is foundational in the sense of knowing the truth. But my comment about miracles is not addressing the “foundational issue of knowing the truth.” Thus, this section of critique is a non-relevant fallacy, and shows they are intellectually incompetent. I am talking about “a” and then they either stupidly or they knew, but then tried to do a slight-of-hand fallacy and made it about “h” instead.
(3) This is a ridiculous critique against my original statement. Again, this cuts both ways. The blind man Jesus healed believed because of the miracle. Of course the Holy Spirit was behind the invisible rebirth, but the miracle is what was highlighted, not preaching. Jesus said more than once even if you do not believe what He is saying, you should believe because of His miracles. In either case, the preaching or the miracles, if one believes it is because of the invisible work of the Spirit. However, we not talking about that ultimate level. We are dealing wit the argument of Jesus, who was the most God-centered man who ever lived. He said miracles should lead you to believe in Him. John records more than once in his gospel that miracles were the catalyst for many people believing in Jesus (Lazarus for example), not the preaching. In fact, on the day of Pentecost, where the baptism of the Spirit came down with miracles, and the crowed asked about the miracle, 3000 were saved. Peter’s ending remark was to be forgiven, and “then” they can receive the miracle of baptism of the Spirt, if they have been predestined for it.
(4) This is so stupid its funny. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, [proving] yourselves to be my disciples, (John 15:7-8).
Billy’s argument is that “fruit” which prove your sanctification and thus prove your confession is true, is more important than miracles. This is like saying “how long have you been hitting your wife” loaded question.
Jesus says by asking and receiving miracles, you prove to be His disciples. Thus, by Billy’s own standard miracles are the most important thing we can be pursuing. According to Jesus, if you do not have miracles, then you prove you are chosen to be a reprobate.
I say this often, but fighting against God will always make you lose.
Points 2-3 are non-relevant points to my statement, and I only answered them to show the stupidity of them. Point (1) is the real issue.
It is true that God has made it so that pouring His love into us, is what gives Him glory. This is the ultimate end. However, like I said before, “for the glory of God” is so broad, it is meaningless unless defined. This is going to be obvious, but it needs to be said in light of the above stupidity. Because the way God ultimately glorifies Himself in us, is by pouring His love into us (the details), then if we truly want our life to be “for the glory of God,” then we need to receive the abundant love of God. Just being a theological troll by going to every site and posting “for the glory of God,” does not do the thing that brings God’s glory, which is to receive His love in our life. Paul in Ephesians 3 in the context of talking about the width, length, height, and depth of God’s love says that God will answer our request exceedingly beyond what we ask. Therefore in a miracle of financial provision, there were 12 large baskets left over. This is how God loved Jesus when His Son asked for help. We are now sons of God. God loves us as much as He loves Jesus, and as much as the Father loves Jesus, Jesus loves us the same love (John 15:9, 17:26).
You glorify God, not by how much you give love to God, but by how much you receive from God’s love. It is true that we love God by obeying His commands, and yet, it is these very commands that commands us to ask for miracles and receive them so that our joy my be full. God’s command includes more than this, but not less than. It is true that it is more blessed to give in human relationships, but with God it is more blessed to receive. Therefore Jesus rebuked Martha, because she had this backwards. Receiving is the “better part” in relation to God. When you are blessed, enriched and healed by receiving from God’s love, you glorify Him the most. Human superstition and speculation in pagan religions give to the gods to honor then, but in Christianity, we receive His abundant life and love and by this we honor the true God.
Thus, one miracle by a charismatic receives God’s love 1000 times more than 1000 reformed sermons, and thus glorifies God 1000 times more than 1000 reformed sermons. Solo Deo Miracles is how to give us all the joy. Solo Deo Miracles is how God loves us so much, as an end to itself. Solo Deo Miracles is how God gives Himself all the glory.