The truth revealed in Acts 2:22 and 23 is very interesting.
“YE MEN OF ISRAEL, HEAR THESE WORDS; JESUS OF NAZARETH, A MAN APPROVED OF GOD AMONG YOU BY MIRACLES AND WONDERS AND SIGNS, WHICH GOD DID BY HIM IN THE MIDST OF YOU, AS YE YOURSELVES ALSO KNOW: HIM, BEING DELIVERED BY THE DETERMINATE COUNSEL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD, YE HAVE TAKEN, AND BY WICKED HANDS HAVE CRUCIFIED AND SLAIN.”
Note these two verses:
“But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” John 12:37 and 38.
With these clear and significant statements, let us note several other statements
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” Romans 15:8.
“He (Christ) answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24.
“I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me.” John 5:36.
“The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.” I Corinthians 1:22.
Who was Jesus of Nazareth? He was a Man approved of God. To whom? Israel. Where? In the midst of Israel. How? By signs, wonders and miracles.
Christ was sent by the Father. One sent is an apostle. Christ is called “The Apostle.” Note Hebrews 3:1. Miracles in the Bible times were the signs of an apostle II Corinthians 12:12. So long as there were apostles there were signs.
The signs of the apostles were to bear witness that they had been sent by Christ. Hebrews 2:2 to 4. Note Christ’s words to His apostles: “Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.” John 20:21. Signs and miracles were the King’s credentials for Israel. The Jews required a sign.
The expression “a man approved of God” means “a man put on display by God.” Christ said to the Jews, “I and Father are one.” “I came down from heaven.” “Before Abraham was I AM.”
Christ said to the Jews, “you search the Scriptures (Old Testament), they testify of Me.” “I testify of Myself.” “John the Baptist testified of Me.” “But My greatest witness, supernatural works. “
In John’s Record, Christ is set forth as the eternal I AM. Seven is the Divine number. Seven miracles of Christ are recorded in John to cause Israel to believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. John 20:31.
1—Turning water into wine.
2—Walking on the water.
3—Healing the nobleman’s son.
4—Making the impotent man walk.
5—Feeding 5,000 people.
6—Healing a man born blind.
7—Raising Lazarus, three days dead,
We should not endeavor to prove the Deity of Jesus Christ by perpetuating or duplicating His miracles unless we can do all that was done in the seven miracles. God put them together.
It is likewise interesting to observe that, with one or two exceptions, the Lord’s order was to heal physically before healing spiritually. Some who received physical healing apparently were not concerned about the spiritual blessings.
In the case of the man born blind, after Christ gave him physical sight—note John 9:35 to 38: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”
Some today who attempt to perpetuate miracles of healing insist that the individual desiring Divine healing must first be saved. And then they quote Hebrews 13:8—”Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
Christ healed all manner of disease. He healed instantaneously. He raised the dead. He controlled nature inanimate and was not hindered by the laws of gravitation.
Christ proved, by His miracles, that He was the eternal God, in human form, and Israel’s Messiah. On earth Christ was sent only to Israel. The Jews required a sign. They were given many signs. “But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him.” John 12:37.
In this connection let us carefully note Romans 11:30 to 33—“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief; Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”
When the Jews had rejected and crucified the Lord Jesus, Gad made known the truth of Acts 2:23 and Acts 4:27 and 28:
“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” “For of a truth against thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”
While on earth the Lord Jesus spoke this parable against Israel “But His citizens hated Him, and sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” Luke 19:14 and 27.
Then note the Lord’s message to Israel, in Acts 13:46
“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
So Israel rejected the Messiah in their midst with signs. They also rejected the message of the Messiah’s apostles with signs concerning His resurrection. Then Israel was cast away, and that meant salvation for Gentiles.
Note Roman 11:11- Roman 11:30 and Roman 11:15.
“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid; but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.”
“For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”
When Israel turned from Christ in His incarnation, He prayed for them on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.
Then the resurrected Christ sent His Twelve and Paul to the Jews first. “Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:26.
We quote again the words of Paul in Acts 13:46, “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” Paul said this when he said to Israel, “it was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken unto you.”
But they would not receive Christ. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name; Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the. flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:10 to 13.
While Jesus Christ was on earth, the Minister of the circumcision, He said to His messengers, “go not into the way of the Gentiles.” Matthew 10:5.
Note the awful condition of the Gentiles at that time: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:11 and 12.
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were of nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:2 and 3.
After Christ had gone back to heaven He appeared in a vision to a new apostle. Note this apostle’s testimony—”And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw Him saying unto Me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive thy testimony concerning Me.” “And He said unto me, Depart for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” Acts 22:17, 18 and 21. Then note Paul’s message: “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” II Corinthians 5:16 to 18.
After these statements made by Paul miracles and signs waned and passed away. In Paul’s prison Epistles written after the close of “Acts” he wrote: “Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” II Timothy 4:20. Paul instructed Timothy to use wine for his oft sicknesses. I Timothy 5:23. In the last Epistles of Paul there is no record of .miracles, signs, healing, tongues, etc.
In Paul’s Epistles to members of the Body of Christ he did not refer to the Lord as “Jesus of Nazareth.”
There is a great difference between Jesus of Nazareth in the midst of Israel performing miracles and Christ in the Gentiles the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27.
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