“What about reports of people who have stood frozen like statues for days, or those who have apparently levitated in church, under the Spirit’s supposed power? Though charismatics associate that kind of hypnotic behavior with the Holy Spirit, the truth is it has nothing to do with Him. Scripture is full of warnings about fraudulent signs and wonders.” ~John MacArthur, Strange Fire, available at the Cleveland Public Library
As I previously stated, what I find particular peculiar about MacArthur’s belief that the time of signs and wonders is past, is his repeated reference to demonically inspired counterfeit miracles in the modern era. In short, God doesn’t do miracles anymore but the devil does, through believers.
You can’t have it both ways, either miracles exist or they don’t. To claim that the ones that do exist are demonically powered is to claim the devil does more than God in the world. On top of all of this, why would the devil do miracles that people give God credit for, what would be the point? MacArthur claims it is to lead people away from God, but each of these people talk about the miraculous enhancing their love for God.
In his book, That None Should Perish, author Ed Silvoso shares about a man named Mr. Alvarez who owned a horse-back riding ranch Silvoso used. Mr. Alvarez didn’t talk much about faith, but one day he listened to a minister share about prayer and healing.
The next day Mr. Alvarez woke up and found his prize bull dead. Remembering what he heard about healing, he went into the house and got some oil and anointed the bull “and the bull stood up and walked.”
Silvoso shares that like anyone else, he didn’t believe the man’s story. He then made the mistake of asking if Alvarez could have been mistaken. That is when Silvoso said he got scared, as Alvarez took off his glasses, stared him down and yelled, “Young man, I have been a cowboy for over half a century. I know cows and bulls inside out. If I tell you it was dead, it was dead! Understand?”
I too experienced a similar miracle with a dog that was part of our family. Though not dead, he had a stroke one night and went blind and was barely able to stand. One moment he was fine, the next he was completely changed, suddenly weakened and shaking with his formerly brown eyes grayed out.
Shocked, my wife and I prayed a fervent prayer that he be healed, perhaps the most fervent prayer we had ever prayed. The next day he greeted us, his beautiful brown eyes back, his health restored and wanting to play.
As with Mr. Alvarez, when we shared what had happened, some people were amazed, and others asked if we could have been mistaken.
Perhaps Stuart Chase said it best when he stated, ““For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Tomorrow we will look at a man who teaches classes on prayer, and the number one miracle he says he ever heard.