Why outstanding miracles are not common in churches today
During His earthly mission, Jesus Christ performed spectacular miracles, to the admiration of His disciples and the people generally. And after His ascension, the Apostles continued in that fashion, so much that their shadows were said to have healed diverse ailments. Back here in Nigeria, records had it that during his days, Prophet Joseph Ayo Babalola, the founder of Christ Apostolic Church, raised the dead, healed lepers and lunatics, the lame walked, just as the blind had their sight restored. Today, however, despite the proliferation of churches, the number of people with physical ailments, disabilities and various afflictions is on the increase, while church leaders appear helpless and unable to heal or come to their rescue. Did the ability and power to heal and perform outstanding miracles disappear with Jesus and the early apostles? CHRIS IREKAMBA and ISAAC TAIWO report.
• ‘The Problem Is Not With God, It Is With Man’
• ‘Today, The Gospel Is Mixed Up With Materialism’
‘We Don’t Experience Outstanding Miracles Today Because Worshippers Are No Longer Faithful’
(Rt. Rev. Oluranti Oluwole Odubogun, retired Anglican Bishop, Diocese of Ife)
REASONS why we don’t have spectacular miracles are many. One is that faithfulness is diminishing on the part of worshippers, as well as true sense of commitment. God counts on faithfulness and expects those He will use to be outstanding in the virtue of faithfulness. They should be faithful to their callings, as there is no room for deviation in whatever form. Another reason is that these days, since the so-called men of God cannot pay the price, some have turned to the use of occultic power. But the lighßßßßt and darkness can never operate together. And of course, there is a limit to which occultic power can go, because God is the only Sovereign One Who has power.
The Bible tells us that in the land of Egypt, magicians of Pharaoh were using their occultic power to do the miracles that God was performing through Moses. However, it got to a point they could no longer perform those miracles. Satan’s power has an end, but the power of God is endless. Also on Mount Camel, prophets of Baal performed a lot of gimmicks to invoke fire, but there was none. In their frustration, they cut their bodies to the extent that blood came out, but they were disappointed. They even went as far as prophesying as their boss; the devil gave their utterance. Despite all that, however, fire refused to come down from heaven and Elijah, the prophet of God made jest of them and told them to cry out more, as probably their god was sleeping or went on a journey. They failed woefully. The Bible says the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.
‘Outstanding Miracles Still Exist, But In The Last 40 Years, The Glory Has Been Directed To Man’
(Apostle Alex Bamgbola, CAN Chairman, Lagos State Chapter)
JESUS remains the same yesterday, today and forever. We may not see miracles on the Internet, and the press may not be proclaiming outstanding miracles, but miracles are still in existence. Both known and unknown men of God are still being used to perform miracles. The problem is that in the last 40 years, the glory has been ascribed to man and they would not allow God to take the glory. This, however, does not mean that miracles have faded away. The dead are still being raised. We still have the description of seven churches in the book of Revelation merging with the present-day Churches. Some think they are alive, whereas they are dead. God is using ordinary people and missionaries, who have Jesus and are truly serving Him in Spirit and in truth to perform miracles.
‘God Has Not Changed; It Is Man That Changes’
(Dr. Taiwo Akinola, Presiding Bishop/Founding Pastor-General of Rhema Christian Church International, Ota, Ogun State)
THERE are issues involved in miracles, which include: Word of God, Faith of man and Mercy of God. Days of miracles are still with us and God is still showing mercy through release of miracles. God has not changed; it is man that changes. If Ministers do not allow God’s Word to dominate us, He would not work through them. Miracles cease, when ministers do not preach the Word or the people do not believe the Word. God is still interested in releasing miracles to loose prisoners, set captives free and deliver the oppressed, as He said in His word: “He sends His words and heals them.”
‘Problem Is With Ministers And Their Lifestyles’
(Pastor Bunmi Idowu, Presiding Pastor, Shining Family Church, Ota, Ogun)
GOD has not changed. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is constant and what He did in the past; He is still willing to do today. We can then look at miracles and problems surrounding them in three perspectives, which are: Faith, Power of God and Leakages.
Faith is needed on the part of Ministers that are living right to invoke the power of God to release miracles. However, leakages are occasioned by the lifestyle of ministers, when they are not living right. As long as Ministers focus on Jesus, and work in absolute obedience to His command, He, Jesus, the author of true miracles would not deny Himself, because He has promised that those signs would follow them that believe.
Unfortunately, many ministers believe in living in affluence and they try to please people rather than God. Ministers are being distracted by falsehood of who is superior, pride of my ministry is the biggest, rivalry, prosperity and who uses the biggest SUV in town, among others. Ministers indulge in careless lifestyles that are not consistent with the call and these are being practised with impunity. Any minister who is ready to work in total obedience and play according to the rule of the game, as outlined by the Owner of the work, Jesus Christ, miracles, signs and wonders would follow their ministry, as of old, because Jesus remains the same, and it is impossible for Him to lie.
‘Today, How Many Ministers Are Paying The Price?’
(Pastor Kunle Ojo, Mountain of Fire)
The power is still there for those who are ready to receive it. In our realm here, we live by faith, which is delivered to us by the Word of God. Ministers have to pay the price. The Bible says we should not deceive, nor lie and we are expected to be straightforward. But how many ministers are paying the price? God is still there; ready to give out His power of miracle, as long as the vessels present themselves in an acceptable manner as vessels of honour to be used. The problem is not with God, but with man.
‘We Need To Practise Holiness To Make Miracles A Permanent Experience’
(Dr. James Akanbi, General Overseer, God’s Mercy Revival Ministries)
It is not as if we do not see them again, it is just that we do not have them in the quantum we used to experience before. The problem lies in the decrease of commitment at the level of leadership. The covenant that created those levels of miracle is almost non-existent. But thank God, some are still getting into that kind of relationship with God, which we have witnessed. However, it is agreed that it is not at the level of what took place in the past.
God is God of dispensation. This generation, I believe, need a lot of God’s Word to put people in the right standing with Him. We have seen miracles, but we have not been able to see righteousness. There is need for the exhibition of righteousness, so that miracles would be a permanent experience in the lives of recipients. It is also necessary to point out that God always wants His people to be miracle workers. Jesus spoke about the generality of believers being miracle workers and not just some selected few. When righteousness is captured, the ability to capture the power of miracles would not be an arduous task.
‘Ministers Should Understand That Without God Dwelling In Them, They Can Do Nothing’
(Pastor Olusegun Daodu, Christ Reigns International Church, Ibadan)
Our God is a miracle working God, Who alone does clean, outstanding miracles at any given time and as it pleases Him.
However, God needs vessels through whom He can perform miracles. God’s plan is to dwell in man, to use him to demonstrate His power, which we call miracles. We have inhibitions today, because many ministers are not pure and upright with God. God wants to break and destroy the devil’s work and would want man to be liberated from devil’s hands, but He needs qualified and clean vessels.
Today, many are not seeking for God to dwell in them; rather, they seek power and have abandoned the giver of the gift. When God is not in the life of a minister, he would pray and nothing would happen. We can deduce that the Church is sleeping, but revival is coming again, when we would see and witness more than what we have heard. Ministers should begin to know the secret that without God in-dwelling them, they can do nothing.
‘Some Ministers Want To Direct God, Instead Of God Directing Them’
(Rev. Gilbert Awajimijan, Assemblies of God Church, Port Harcourt)
The major problem is lack of dedication and focus on the Word and God. Ministers are chasing shadows. Today, the gospel is not being preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, but is mixed with materialism. Targeting a miracle and supporting this with other things will hinder God’s power.
Our fathers in the past depended solely on the Holy Spirit without having any option ‘B’. Today, there is a lot of option ‘Bs’. Ministers want to perform miracles, so that they can be known, make money, be invited to minister in other churches and be greater than others. It has become a platform for rivalry, which negates the reason for miracles. The moment the motive is thwarted, miracles would be withdrawn, if they were to come from the true source, the Lord Jesus Himself. God is still working, but it is not being done massively because ministers want to be ‘assistant God.’ Ministers want to direct God and not God directing them. There is absence of total obedience. The way out is to re-focus and do it the way God wants it to be done and allow Him to take the glory. It takes an average Minister to be dead to self and alive to God of miracles to use him.
‘So-called Ministers Are Taking Short-Cuts’
(Pastor Alfred Femi Ajifowowe, General Overseer, Evangelical Christ Apostolic Church, Okota)
To my own understanding, God is still the same yesterday, today and forever and is still performing miracles. What we are seeing today, however, is that some people are coming up with fake testimonies, because they cannot pay the price to invoke genuine miracles from God. We read of recent of some fake ministers arranging people from different states to come to Enugu State to give false testimonies, with a view to attracting people to their churches. We cannot help God. It is only God that can help us.
We can see that so-called ministers are taking short cuts because they are not ready to pray as ministers of old did. They are not standing on the Word of God, as before and we know according to the Scriptures that God created heaven and earth with His Words. The Bible is God’s manual and the manual of any product is the mind of the producer. Failure to follow the manual of a product is to damage the product.
Nowadays, ministers are not standing on the Word of God and we can see the result. Many people are establishing churches today because they do not have jobs and those whose businesses have crumbled. Many do not have genuine salvation and never had encounter with God. Armed robbers, thieves, adulterers and fornicators come under anointing to continue their nefarious ‘businesses.’ God has not changed, He remains the same.
‘In Time Of Old, There Was Discipline, They Obeyed The Bible Totally’
(Apostle Joel Olasunkanmi Iyiola,
Bible-based Church, Ibadan)
The submission of the great men of God of old is wanting these days. The total submission to God’s will and His Word is not available today, as then. Today, many who call themselves servants of God find it difficult to submit to the Lordship and authority of Jesus, as was the case in the time of old. When I was called into the Ministry and was under the tutelage of a leader, he would just tell me that tomorrow, “You are starting seven days fasting.” And I had no option but to do what he commanded. Many young ministers under their leaders find it difficult to obey. They would rather come up with a lot of excuses not to do what they are told to do. This is one of the reasons we are witnessing the absence of spectacular miracles today.
In the time of old, there was discipline, and they obeyed the Bible totally. We should go back to the drawing board and allow the missing obedience to return. I have been in the ministry for the past 50 years and I thank God for His grace to remain consistent. Many ministers read the Bible, only when they want to pray or preach. Many do not listen to messages of others, as they feel they are above them.
‘It’s Real, God Is Still Doing Great Miracles’
(Pastor Lazarus Muoka, General Overseer, The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries, Worldwide)
To say that outstanding miracles are no longer being experienced in today’s Church is to show ignorance of the mighty work of God in The Lord’s Chosen. This is because God has distinguished the Chosen by miracles and proved beyond all reasonable doubt through the ministry, that He is the God of miracles, Who changes not. The establishment of the ministry and its three- fold visions of grassroots revival all over the world, revival of the Apostolic Christian experiences among the body of Christ and revival of heaven consciousness among believers, has brought about the manifestation of the power as of old (Hebrew 13:8) in this generation. Through this ministry, the world is now experiencing all the miracles of the Bible days. Everything about the ministry, ranging from its numerical growth to expansion of its presence in every continent of the world, is an outstanding miracle, attesting to the finger of God.
At The Lord’s Chosen, curable and incurable diseases are daily cured. Thousands of insane people have had their sanity restored. The deaf and dumb are not left out, as thousands have also received healings, since the establishment of the ministry. The mystery of incurable diseases, such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes and hypertension, among others, have been demystified by the abundant anointing of God upon the ministry. Here, more than a thousand people with 40 years and more with issue of blood have been healed.
Uncountable number of patients of curable and incurable diseases has testified of healings, after being confirmed healed by renowned health practitioners that previously pronounced they had the disease. Today, physicians of various disciplines from even referral hospitals in Nigeria and other parts of the world are referring patients to our ministry for healings. This fact is verifiable from lots of testifiers. Also, the finger of God in the ministry has raised several dead people. Sinners that are dead in trespasses and iniquities have been quickened through the gospel. The number of armed robbers, cultists, kidnappers and native doctors that were converted for the kingdom of heaven through the church’s consistent evangelism within these few years of its emergence, have surpassed what the law enforcement agents have arrested since independence.
‘Spectacular Miracles Are Possible, If Only We Make Ourselves Vessels Of Honour For God To Use’
(Pastor Johnson Odesola, Assistant General Overseer to Pastor Enoch Adeboye, GO, The Redeemed Christian Church of God)
I don’t know of any other church, but I believe that the miracles of the days of the Apostle are still very much available, because God’s power is unchangeable. The Bible says in Malachi 3:6, “I am God, I changeth not…” and in Hebrews 13:8, the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” However, for miracles to occur; people need to yield themselves; they need to make self-sacrifice, do self-searching, fast and pray. Remember when Jesus brought a sick person to His disciples to cure, but they couldn’t cast out the evil spirit? They asked Him: ‘Master, why are we not able to do it?’ And Jesus replied: “Such things don’t happen, except by prayer and fasting.”
This is a generation of microwave. People are not patient enough, they are so anxious to have things done immediately. A fresh graduate wants to ride a big car immediately. Others want to build houses immediately. Indeed, it’s a generation that will never wait for processes, one that won’t want to pay the price. This is a generation that won’t want to sacrifice and yet the people want to enjoy every benefit. Miracles are still happening among people that are able to pay the price, as miracles doesn’t just happen. People who are willing to pay the price are the ones getting the miracles.
According to history and his autobiography, Prophet Ayo Babalola preached and moved from one place to another only on few days. He sacrificed so much and wasn’t materialistic, as is the case today in our generation. So, miracles are still happening, and the apostles didn’t go away with the miracles of old, but people of our generation are not willing to pay the price. Every miracle has a price tag and somebody paid the price for the lame to walk. Somebody must have prayed and fasted to be able to contact God, Who alone can do miracles.
The power to heal is still very much available, but we are the ones that need to make effort to tap into it.
Not so many pastors can fast these days or sacrifice like the apostles of old, who said, ‘we will give ourselves to the word of God, including praying and fasting.’ God’s power is still the same today, but the containers that carry the miracles to people are few. I know a few churches in this nation, where miracles and testimonies are still happening. I think it is the containers that need to search themselves; and they must meet the criteria and standard stipulated by God before such spectacular miracles can be performed.
People That Are Not Supposed To Be God’s Ministers Are Ministers Today’
(Dr. Francis Akin-John, Church Consultant, International Church Growth Ministry, Ipaja, Lagos)
If Ministers were not what God wants them to be, the Church would not be what it ought to be. Ministers are placed in the forefront. Where we got it wrong was that people that are not supposed to be ministers of God are ministers of God today. Secondly, a lot of ministers have deviated from God’s Word and His will and begun to apply secular principles and methods, which are making it impossible for the power of God to work. Miracles of the old are real, and Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
However, miracles are not happening like in the olden days because many of today’s ministers are not genuine. Now, most of the ministers of God are businessmen, company executives and bank managers. They are those with Naira in their pockets, those with oratory power and those that have knowledge of management principles, but God never called many of them. As soon as many can afford suits, they become ministers of God, but these are not the criteria. Today, there are ministers who depend on juju; some are members of occults, while some arrange miracles and prophecies, which are featured in the papers almost every day. We just read about some that arranged people to come and give false testimonies.
Ministers have deviated from the truth. Desire for money, fame and popularity have taken the place of Holy Spirit in the life of many so-called ministers of God. In this nation and Africa, most especially, ministers have deviated from the truth and are only seeking for how their church would be the largest. Today, we have a lot of pastors and not evangelists, who are saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the great commission. In some denominations, evangelists are not reckoned with, while everybody wants to be pastors to get offerings and tithes, among others.
Another reason is the lack of sense of commitment on the part of believers, these days. Anybody that would be used of God mightily like the people of old must be committed to their cause.
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