The older I get the clearer it becomes that the primary revelation of God is through the miraculous. It is not speculation about the nature of the universe, time and eternity, first causes, or other philosophical approaches. There are some such verses in the Bible. Romans says that the creation reveals God’s power and divine majesty, (Romans 1, Psalm 19). However, the idea may be that the perception of the universe itself and our existence in it is perceived as miraculous.
The Hebrew Bible
In the Bible, God is known for doing great miracles and then by the prophetic word that interprets the miraculous. The flood and the deliverance of God have miraculous features. Its meaning is interpreted by God’s prophetic words to Noah. The call of Abraham and Sarah’s pregnancy is a miracle. God speaks to Abraham and gives him an understanding of this miracle. The plagues and the Exodus from Egypt are miraculous. Moses and Aaron interpret these events. Then there is miraculous provision in the desert. The miracles continue in the phenomena at Sinai. The miracles are the context for giving the Mosaic constitution, Exodus through Deuteronomy. They prepare the way to accept God’s word, a constitution for the nation of Israel. Jericho’s walls fell down, a miracle. Jehoshaphat is sent with worshipers and the invading armies kill one another (II Chron. 20:18-23). Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and God reveals himself in the miracle (I King’s 18). We know who God is and what He is like through His miraculous interventions and the interpretation of these events by the prophets. God is known by the biblical narrative of the people of Israel and the history of their history of miracles and their interpretation.
The Ministry of Yeshua on Earth
With the coming of the New Covenant, the fulfillment of prophecy itself is sometimes miraculous and is interpreted prophetically. The progress of the ministry of Yeshua is through a plethora of miracles. Yeshua is the great prophet who interprets these miracles. He calls people to believe in Him based on his miraculous works (John 10:37, 38). The resurrection was the great miracle that was interpreted by Yeshua and his disciples after his resurrection. The Gospels are the interpretation of meaning from the miracles of compassion and deliverance from Yeshua and his apostles during the day of his life on earth.
Progress through Yeshua’s Apostles, Evangelists, and Prophets
The Gospel progresses in Israel through miraculous events interpreted by his New Covenant Apostles and Prophets. This continues with Paul as he takes the Gospel to the nations. Miracles continue to be part of the cutting edge of extending the Gospel. Those miracles then are interpreted and provide the occasion for proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom. The theology of the New Testament, the books themselves, are the teaching of the Spirit through apostolic writers given their foundational credibility by the miraculous as a foundation for belief. Yes, the lofty nature of the teaching does give it credibility as well.
The First Centuries of Progress after the death of John the Apostle
This continues into the next two centuries after the death of John the last of the 12 Apostles. It is the key to the growth of the early Church. It continued into the fourth century. After this, the miraculous was not as frequent but never ceased. Ramsey McMullen, a noted Yale historian of the Roman Empire, wrote an amazing book, Christianizing the Roman Empire, where he argued that Christianity progressed and overcame paganism largely through the plethora of miracles through this period. Its miraculous power was demonstrated as far beyond that of paganism. One can doubt that the miracles really happened, but this is the testimony of the people who provided the records from those days.
The Testimony Today, the Story Continues
The testimony today is that on the cutting edge of the extension of the Gospel of the Kingdom in much of the world, especially Southern Global Christianity, the same pattern of miracles continues. We are seeing a return to the biblical pattern of miracles being a key to the extension of the Kingdom. The writings of Dr. Craig Keener in his Miracles, two volumes of amazing documentation in almost 1000 pages, show that this is key to the progress of the Gospel. Signs and wonders are key to the conversion of the peoples of nations all over the world. God shows himself in the miraculous and his evangelists interpret these miracles. God still heals the sick and casts out demons through his emissaries. He still raises the dead. Miracles today are not the context for a new revelation that is authoritative, but instead, confirm the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom and the authority of the Bible as our foundational book for how we are to believe and how we are to live.
Without the interpretations of miracles, we do not have sufficient revelation of God. We find that God is a God of love, who seeks to give people eternal life. He brings them into a loving community. However, he is a God of declared righteous standards and judgment for those who will not submit to God’s lordship and the Lordship of Yeshua. The God who heals the sick, cleanses the leapers, and raises the dead, also says that we are to live in fidelity in our marriages, raise our children in the faith, care for the poor and widows, and extend the Kingdom in sharing the Gospel. He confirms the universal standards of the Torah for all people (Matthew 5:16-19). The history of God’s miracles in the Bible is our narrative theology, or our theology is narrative. The history after the Bible is the story of the continued advance of the Gospel. This is why a true biblical theology is a charismatic theology. Isn’t it wonderful to live in a day of miracles?!
We foster this kind of Gospel of the Kingdom movement in Israel. Our new Bible College will be a school that teaches and fosters the supernatural miraculous Gospel of the Kingdom movement in Israel.