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    February 12, 1891

    “Explaining Miracles” The Present Truth 7, 4.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Many very good persons have in the past been zealous to explain the miracles of the Bible. Of late years the number of these zealous souls have been increasing. Their motive is a laudable one, for they think that if they can take out of the way of infidels some of the difficulties of the Bible, and thus remove their objections to that book, many will accept its teachings. But however honest the motive may be, it is certain that they are engaged in a thankless task. If they knew the cause of infidelity, they would not think to cure it by such methods; and if they would stop to consider, they would see that if it were possible to explain the miracles of the Bible, there would be no inducement for an infidel or anybody else to accept its teachings.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.1

    Miracles lie at the very foundation of the gospel, and are the principal part of its superstructure. The very existence of God is a miracle; the creation of the world was a miracle; the fact that it is upheld by the same word that brought it into existence, is a miracle; our own existence is a miracle; and the plan of redemption is a stupendous miracle. A belief in miracles underlies all knowledge, and all true science. The first element of knowledge is to perceive that things exist. Before any advancement whatever can be made in science, the fact that things exist must be accepted. And this requires no reasoning, for we cannot help believing it. But the apostle says: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3. We look at the heavens and the earth, and ask, How were they framed? And the answer is, God formed them out of nothing; He created the matter which composes them: “He spake and it was; He commanded and it stood fast.” By His own word He caused matter to exist where the instant before there was nothing. Who can understand this? Nobody. It is a miracle; but the acceptance of it by faith underlies all true science.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.2

    But the devotee of “science falsely so called,” attempts to account for the existence of the worlds in some other way. He says that all these things which we see were evolved from a single particle of matter. But when he has gone back to that atom, which, as he claims, has by repeated self-multiplication, produced the worlds, he is still confronted by the question, How did this atom come into existence? And he can never get back of that “How?” So after all his contempt for miracles, he bases his theories on a greater miracle than does the believer in the word of God. For he assumes that inanimate matter created itself out of nothing; while the Bible brings to view an intelligent Creator.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.3

    Suppose that our zealous friends should, by some miracle, succeed in explaining the miracles of the Bible; would the infidel then accept that book? Certainly not; for all reason for accepting it would be taken away. The Bible would then have been brought down to the level of man; it would be nothing more than any man could produce. We might go further, and say that if it were possible to explain the miracles of the Bible, there would be no God in whom to believe. The very existence of God implies the existence of miracles. God could not be God, and not work miracles. An infinite God must do things which are above the comprehension of a finite mind. They are not miracles to God; there can be no miracles to Him,-for He simply does His own will. But the simplest acts of God must necessarily be above the comprehension of man. If it were not so, man would be equal to God. That the simplest acts of God are beyond human comprehension is demonstrated every day, in the growth of plants, the sunshine, the rain, and a thousand other things which we think we understand, because they are so common, but which no man can explain. We know that under certain conditions, certain results will follow; but why? God alone can answer.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.4

    And so it is a mistaken zeal which prompts one to try to explain the miracles of the Bible. No man can do it, but the very attempt to do so tends to lower God and the Bible in the estimation of unbelievers. It tends to make them think that God does not work in so very mysterious a way after all. Moreover, when believers attempt to explain miracles, the world accepts that attempt as an evidence that everything that God has done may be understood; and consequently when they read of something that absolutely defies comprehension, they reject it as false.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.5

    The reason why men are infidels is not because of the difficulties in the Bible, but because of the difficulties in their own hearts. When men lost the knowledge of God, it was not because they had nothing to reveal God to them, but “because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.” Romans 1:21-23. The fault was all in themselves. It is an evil heart of unbelief that causes men to depart from God, and it is the same thing that keeps them from coming to Him.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.6

    Says the apostle: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for He that cometh to God must believe that He is.” Hebrews 11:6. This proposition is self-evident. No one can come to God unless he first believes in the existence of God. And no one believes in the existence of God if he has conjured up in his mind some image to take the place of God, which is totally unlike God. And he who believes that God is, must believe in His power to work miracles. More than this, he must believe in the absolute necessity for the performance of miracles, because from the very nature of the case the infinite God must do things that are too wonderful for man to comprehend.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.7

    The fact that God is a wonder-working God is the great source of consolation to the Christian. To be sure the Christian rests in the promises of God, but what would those promises avail if infinite power were not behind them. When Christ commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel, He fortified them with the assurance, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” And thousands have read the promises of God, and have confidently rested in them, because of the words: “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in His excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:26, 27.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.8

    The miracles of the Bible are not to be explained, but believed. Our belief in them is the measure of our belief in God. We believe that God exists, that He is the Creator of all things, and accepting this fact, we do not find it at all difficult to believe that He caused the shadow on the dial of Ahaz to turn backward; that He caused the sun to stand still in the heavens, so that one day was as long as two; that He divided the Red Sea, and the River Jordan; that He caused iron to swim, and made the dumb ass speak with human voice; that He preserved Jonah alive three days in the whale’s belly; or that He raised the dead. Why should He not do such things? “Our God is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He would.” He made all things; why should we suppose that He has less power to control than He had in creating? No; it is the most natural thing in the world for our God to do wonderful things, because He is a wonderful God.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.9

    So we do not seek to explain any miracles; we cannot afford to waste time in so fruitless a task. And we know of no better way to convince infidels of the truth of the Bible then to put before them its plain declarations. The promises of God are not to those who understand them, but to those who believe them. Men may say that they can’t believe; it is not so; they can believe; they must believe or else be lost; for “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” E. J. W.PTUK February 12, 1891, page 56.10

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