If the miracles did not extend beyond the first century, how

does one explain the numerous alleged “healing miracles” of this modem age?

We are really not under obligation to explain or defend, as divine, a modem event

simply because it may have elements which are difficult to explain.

The antics of witch-doctors, fire walkers, psychics, etc., may be characterized by certain features that we kind difficult to understand; certainly, though, they are not associated with true spirituality.  That aside, there are several possible bases for so-called modem miracles.


FIRST, some instances of “faith healing” are pure fakery.  Consider the case of Peter Popoff, a ‘miracle-working’ cleric of Upland, California.  Popoff, who claimed the supernatural ability to give revealed information about people in his audiences (in conjunction with healing them) was receiving such information through a tiny hearing aid, messages being transmitted by his wife from backstage.  Prominent magician, James Randi, exposed the entire affair on national TV.  Randi also demonstrated that Popoff was providing rented wheelchairs for people who could actually walk, then at his services he was pronouncing them ‘healed.’


SECOND, some ‘miracle cures’ are claimed by people who honestly believe that God has healed them.  The fact is, however, they had nothing really wrong with them organically.  Their ailment was psychosomatic.  That means that though some bodily feature was actually affected, the real root of the problem was mental or emotional, hence by suggestion a cure might be affected. It has been estimated that more than half of all the people applying for medical treatment in the U. S. suffer from psychosomatic illnesses.  Taking advantage of this type of situation, the ‘faith healer,’ in an atmosphere of hysteria and feverish emotionalism, produces some phenomenal ‘cures.’  A Canadian physician, who investigated thirty cases in which Oral Roberts claimed miraculous healing was involved, found not a single instance that could not be attributed to psychological shock or hysteria.  Dr. William Sadler affirmed that after twenty-five years of sympathetic research into ‘faith-healing,’ he had not observed a single case of an organic disease being healed.  It is commonly known that an African witch-doctor can literally command a believer in voodoo to die, and within a prescribed time, the victim will expire.  Surely no rational person believes the witch-doctor has the Spirit of God.


THIRD, another possible explanation for some remarkable recoveries is a phenomenon known as spontaneous remission.  Spontaneous remission is an unexpected withdrawal of disease symptoms and an inexplicable disappearance of the ailment.  It occurs in about one out of every 80,000 cancer patients.  A while back newspapers carried the account of a bartender in Washington.  When the physicians had exploratory surgery, it was discovered that he was consumed with cancer.  His physicians expected him to live only a few months.  As time sped by, his disease utterly vanished.  There was nothing supernatural about it.  No claim of faith, prayer, or miraculous healing was involved.  Wouldn’t some faith-healer have reveled in taking credit for that cure?


FOURTH, it may be admitted that since physicians are human, they can and do make mistakes. Sometimes they misdiagnose a case.  They may judge an illness to be fatal when in fact, it is not.  Some of these situations are seized upon by modem ‘miracle-workers’ and a supernatural aura is attributed to them.


FINALLY, here is a point worthy of consideration that needs to be pressed with great vigor.  There is no alleged ‘miracle’ being performed today by those of a ‘Christian’ persuasion (Pentecostals, Mormons, Christian Scientist, Catholic, etc.) that cannot be duplicated by the various ‘non-Christian’ sects. Those who practice Transcendental Meditation, Yoga, Psychic Healing, Scientology, New Age Crystal Healing, etc., claim the same type or ‘signs’ as these others.  In fact, more than twenty million Americans of every conceivable religious persuasion annually report mystic experiences (including healing) in their lives.

Now, since the Scriptures clearly teach that the purpose of miracles, as evidenced in Biblical days, was to confirm the authenticity of the system (Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:4), does the alleged example of modem ‘miracle healings’ indicate that the Lord has authenticated all of these woefully contradictory systems?  Think of the implication in that—especially in light of Paul’s affirmation that God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33).

There is ample evidence that there were genuine miracles performed by divinely appointed men in the first century.  The New Testament abounds with documented cases.  But there is nothing comparable to those wonders being duplicated in this modern age.