Just before His ascension to heaven, Jesus gave His marching orders to the apostles and promised that they would be endued with miraculous powers (Mk. 16:15-18; Acts 1:5, 8). Mark reveals that the disciples were faithful to the Captain’s commands and that the Christ was true to His faithful followers: “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mk. 16:20).
This inspired excerpt from early church history provides vital information on the purpose of miracles. Mark clearly indicates that the miracles were wrought to confirm the message of the apostles and early Christians.
Carefully consider this in light of Hebrews 2:3-4: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”
It is of utmost importance to recognize that every time God had special messages for man, He confirmed those messages with miracles. For example, when God commissioned Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, He provided Moses with miraculous abilities that confirmed that the messages to Pharaoh and Israel were from Heaven (Ex. 4:1-9; 7:3-12:33).
Additionally, the miracles performed by Jesus confirmed the message that He was and is God. Peter pointed this out in Acts 2:22: “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.”
God’s final message to man is the New Testament. Jude declared this undeniable truth when he wrote that the faith (the gospel) “was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). According to Jude, the New Testament message will never have to be modified or amended; it is perfect, complete, and finished. During its initial proclamation and recording, miraculous signs confirmed it to be from God (see Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:3-4). It might be said that those miracles were God’s “stamp of approval” on the Gospel. When that final message to man was completed, the need for miracles ceased. Paul foretold this very thing in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 where he stated that the “in part” system—the miraculous manner in which God’s Will was given part-by-part—would give way to the “perfect” system—the completely revealed Will of God.
To say that miracles still take place is to say that God is still revealing new messages to man. To say that He is continuing to reveal such is to put one in contradiction with clear New Testament passages such as Jude 3 mentioned above. The fact is, God’s final revelation has been presented to man and God’s stamp was pressed into it more than 2,000 years ago. The need for miracles has ceased since the record of Jesus’ miracles and the miracles of His apostles and other First-Century followers confirm that the New Testament message is God-approved.
That message is complete and all-sufficient. It is the whole of God’s Will for mankind and it—including the record of the miraculous—has the power to produce faith in the minds of all who accept it. This is demonstrated in John 20:30-31: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Taken from The Gospel Preceptor http://www.gospelpreceptor.com/