Why does God do all these things? I don't know. His ways are different than our ways; He sees the heart while we see the body and actions; He knows all while we know so little.
The usual passages cited to explain why these things no longer occur are I Cor 13/8 and 13/10:
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away... But when perfection comes, the imperfect will pass away"First off, this is (IMO) mainly a passage about love's being eternal - not about signs & wonders. Secondly, there is no indication when this will be. The reference to "perfection" is often interpreted as being the Bible, but there is no evidence that this is what is meant. None. Zilch. Look on in the following verses. Do we see Him "face to face" yet? Hardly. This whole interpretation is a desperate attempt at avoiding God's intervention in our daily lives - an attempt to maintain control, to deny God's power - in essence, it is no different from Lucifer's "I will" attitude Is 14/13,14) which got him kicked out of the presence of God.
Well, sometimes it might be just ignorance.
I don't say this lightly, or to be ugly. It's very sad. But I don't see any other way to interpret it, or to put it. (Especially in light of the fact that in I Cor 12 & 14 Paul spends so much time on Spirtitual gifts.) I am not saying thaht this attitude will cause anyone to be left out; I am saying that such an attitude is wrong, especially when it condmns others, and when it says that such things, which are of God, are of Satan. I especially think the leaders to scream this most violently to their followers are going to be extremely upset when they meet God face to face and find out how he feels about their accusations and misguided teachings.
Most, if not all, of the great revivals (nevermind the beginnings) of Christianity (and pre-Christian Judaism) have included miraculous signs and wonders such as these. Jesus Himself, in John 14/11-12, promised that those who believe in Him will do greater miracles than Him.
The NT abounds with examples of deliverance, the best known case probably being when the Gadarene demoniac was set free (Lk 8/26-39).
God can deal with people in various ways that make others think one is drunk. I have seen people unable to quit laughing, unable to stand, unable to speak coherently, and when attempting to sing, end up howling or something similar because that was the only noise they could make vaguely like the song they were trying to sing.
I don't know why God doesn't always heal when we ask. I'd love to have my eyes healed so I don't need glasses, and my back healed so I could do more, and my shoulder healed where the collarbone wasn't treated fully after a wreck. But as God spoke to Paul, He spoke also to me: ``My grace is sufficient'' (II Cor 12/9).
Some people believe that everyone who asks should be healed; they believe that not being healed is a sign of insufficient faith or of sin not dealt with. While these are possibilities, they are far from givens. Paul had a ``thorn in the flesh'' (II Cor 12/7) from which he was never delivered or healed. Paul told Timothy to drink wine for his stomach troubles (I Tim 5/23), not to pray for healing (which he had presumably done). I must further note that many of these self-styled healers who claim lack of healing is proof of sin have to wear glasses. What's their problem?
So pray, in all the belief you have, for healing. If God doesn't do it supernaturally right then, take medicine or see a doctor. All God's children will ultimately be healed - the other side of that which we call ``death'', when we get new bodies and are all made whole.
Finally, if Jesus had healed all those with whom He came in contact, or even all those who asked, I don't think the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) would read as they do. If such healings were commonplace around Jesus, why the uproar and amazement at every healing right up until His crucifiction?
Note that in several cases, Jesus dealt with disease by casting out evil epirits.
In some services, people will be ready to "catch" these people and lay them down gently. If I am there, and see something going on, I will usually try to do this, but I've seen God's power hit people many times where they just fell and cracked the floor or a chair or something - with no ill effects.
The first times some people pray for others and this occurs, they may say, "I knocked them down!" or something similar. This is merely excitement and misunderstanding. We do the praying, God does the rest.
"I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you."This manifestation of God's relationship with us can take various forms.
Visions cover a lot of ground. They may reveal something of God's nature, have a prophetic nature, show something going on in the supernatural, give insight into a problem, or any number of things. Their meanings are sometimes obvious, and sometimes obscure (requiring prayer and/or interpretation to comprehend).
While visions occur wheil we are awake, dreams occur while we sleep. When the Bible speaks of dreams it typically refers to dreams sent by God for a specific purpose. Sometimes the dreams are obviously from God; other times the dreamer only later realizes the significance of the dream. On occasion, I have been relating what seemed to be a random dream to someone else, only to have them tell me it was from God (sometimes they were clearly right, other times I never knew, or they were clearly wrong). Generally, when God sends a dream, He makes it quite clear that it's from Him, and that the dreamer needs to pay attention.
An example of knowledge is found in Acts 16/16-19, when Paul realized that the woman following them and proclaiming who they were was possessed. (In particular, this was a case of "discernment of spirits".)
Paul's letter to Philemon was an excellent example of wisdom. How could any Christian resist such an entreaty?
Copyright 1995,2003 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved. Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514