Is God still in the miracle business? There is an entire swath of professing Christianity that would answer that question with a resounding and enthusiastic, “Yes.” The Word-Faith and New Apostolic Reformation movements (WF/NAR) are twin movements that, though there be a bit of distinction between them, have far more in common with one another and, in fact, they are today essentially melding into one. They both teach that there are modern day Apostles, that Christians are entitled to guaranteed physical healing and financial prosperity, and that signs and wonders are to be a normative part of the believer’s life. Though this author holds that these movements are doctrinally heretical and teach a different gospel,[1]such serious concerns are beyond the scope of this article. We will focus here specifically on whether or not their claims of the continuance of modern day signs and wonders are valid.

What is a Miracle?

We should begin by defining exactly what a miracle is because this is a term that is often misunderstood and misused even by theologically conservative believers with a high view of Scripture. A miracle is “an observable phenomenon effected by the direct operation of God’s power, an arresting deviation from the ordinary sequence of nature, a deviation calculated to beget faith-begetting awe, a divine in-breaking which authenticates a revelational agent.”[2]In other words, a miracle is an act performed by God that is an indisputable change in natural law that validates one of His revelatory messengers.

There is an important distinction we must make between a miracle and God’s providence. Floating ax heads, parting seas, talking donkeys, fire from Heaven, and resurrections from the dead[3]are miracles. The Lord snatching Philip away (Acts 8: 39) is a miracle whereas fortuitously running into someone who lends us aid is not. A man lame for 38 years suddenly walking is a miracle (John 5:1-9), but slowly recovering from cancer is not. We should give thanks to God for sending us people to lend aid and we should give thanks when one recovers from a disease (even when one does not recover from a disease!), but such things are not to be called miracles. Rather, they are acts of God’s good Providence.

Were Miracles Common?

Many have this idea that God was performing miracles all the time throughout the Bible. We think that had we been living in biblical times we would be seeing God perform one miracle after another. Such is not the case, though. For one, if miracles were commonplace then they would cease to be, well, miraculous. More definitively, though, is that even in biblical days miracles were quite rare events. Consider this: Between Adam and Moses, about 2500 years passed with precisely zero miracles. Then Moses and Joshua arrived and performed a dozen or so miracles. After they passed from the scene another 500 years passed with no miracles until the arrival of Elijah and Elisha who performed another handful of miracles. There then commenced another multi-century long drought of the miraculous (and of God even speaking) until the ministries of Jesus and His disciples[4]who between them, for a few decades, performed many miracles. With the closing of the Apostolic age until now there has been no one who can credibly claim to perform miracles. So, for the 6000 year or so history of mankind less than 200 of those years saw any miracles performed and only by 100 or fewer individuals. Surprised?

The Purpose of Miracles

Many professing Christians today believe that God performs miracles for our own benefit. If someone is sick, God desires to heal that person and would gladly do so if that person only has enough faith. The clear teaching from Scripture, however, is that God does not primarily perform miracles for the benefit of a particular individual. Rather, when God performed miracles He did so with the primary purpose of authenticating one of His messengers. The miracles of the Old Testament authenticated Moses and the prophets as coming from Yahweh and also showed Him as the one true God over pagan deities. The miracles of the New Testament authenticated Jesus as the Messiah and the Apostles as His spokesmen.

Individuals certainly benefited from the healing miracles of Jesus, but these acts were always done to authenticate Who He was and to affirm His divine mission to atone for sins. Jesus certainly had compassion on the sick, but their physical comfort took a distant back seat to his concern for their spiritual well-being. He knew their greatest need was not healing from sickness and disease but from sin.[5]

Are there Apostles Today?

Given that after Jesus was resurrected and ascended into Heaven it was primarily His Apostles who performed signs and wonders,[6]a crucial question to ask regarding the continuance of the Apostolic gifts is, “Are there modern day Apostles?”

In order to be an Apostle a man had to meet three requirements:

1) He had to be an eye witness of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ[7]

2) He had to be directly appointed by Christ to be an Apostle[8]and

3) He had to be able to perform the signs and wonders of an Apostle.[9]

None of the men who saw Jesus raised from the dead are around anymore. They have all been in Heaven now for almost 2000 years. This takes care of the first two requirements. As for the third, no one can do what the Apostles did. No one. No one today can heal the sick and raise the dead as did the Apostles. A careful reading of Scripture shows that the ability to perform signs and wonders were unique to the Apostles even in the days of Acts.

Consider Acts 2:43, “Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place among the Apostles.” Notice that the signs and wonders were being done by the Apostles. Acts 5:12 is even more clear, “At the hands of the Apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people.” Notice the specificity and clarity of the Holy Spirit as He inspires God’s Word. The signs and wonders were being performed “at the hands of the Apostles” who were “among the people.” Signs and wonders were simply not being performed by Christians at large, but by the Apostles and there are no more Apostles today. Period.

Has God Changed?

One of the primary arguments that believers can perform signs and wonders today is the biblical truth that God does not change.[10]The reasoning is that if God did miracles in the past (which He did) and God does not change (which He doesn’t) and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (which Hebrews 13:8 states) then He should be performing miracles today with the same frequency as He did back then.

But this is to fall into a logical fallacy. Using this logic then one would be compelled to say that we should still be sacrificing animals today. He required it in the Old Testament, and God does not change, so we should be doing it today. But no believer today is sacrificing animals. Why not? Did God change? No, but His revelation of Himself has progressed through the ages culminating in the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:2-3). Jesus’ single sacrifice on the cross put an end to the need for animal sacrifices.[11]

One of the interpretive errors made by adherents of this movement is to assume that everything that occurred in the book of Acts should be occurring for believers and the church today. If it happened in the Bible, it should happen today they reason. However, this is to confuse the descriptive with the prescriptive. In other words, even though every event recorded in the Bible happened, not everything recorded in the Bible is to be considered normative. Not everything that the Bible described is prescribed. As we’ve already mentioned, God made a donkey talk but I sincerely hope you haven’t been seeing any talking donkeys lately. If you have then I would recommend Ephesians 5:18 as your next memory verse!

Are Their Claims True?

There is certainly no shortage of miraculous claims today. One would be hard pressed to watch “Christian” television networks such as TBN, Daystar, INSP, etc. for more than about ten minutes without hearing a televangelist make claims of regularly operating in signs and wonders. Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California claims that gold dust and angel feathers fall from the sky in his services. Todd White, head of a ministry called “Lifestyle Christianity” can be seen on YouTube going up to people at random on the streets and commanding them to be healed. One of his more well-known tricks is to command a person’s leg to grow about half an inch.

All of these things, though, are just that – tricks. I have researched and studied this movement and its claims for over 20 years now and can tell you that there is not a single verifiable case of anyone performing a genuine physical healing – much less a resurrection – as did the Apostles. No one. God is not dispensing gold dust and angels are not dropping their feathers. And if Todd White can heal people randomly on the streets then the first place he should be going is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and heal those sick and dying children of cancer. If he can command a leg to grow then surely he can command cancer cells to die.

But you won’t catch Todd White or Benny Hinn or any of the other panoply of fake miracle workers anywhere near a hospital. They can’t do what they claim they can do. They are charlatans who prey upon the poor, the sick, the desperate, the widows, and the gullible for personal financial gain.


Many in this movement accuse someone like me of not believing in the Holy Spirit, not believing in the spiritual gifts, and not believing in the power of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. I fully affirm both the Person and regenerating, indwelling work of the Holy Spirit of God. I fully affirm that genuine believers are given the spiritual gifts of teaching, mercy, administration, exhortation, etc. (I only assert that the Apostolic gifts[12]have ceased). I also fully affirm that God not only can but does physically heal people today when it is His sovereign will to do so. I reject, though, that anyone possesses the gift of healing as did the Apostles.

This is not a question of God not being able to heal people or perform miracles. Of course He can. God can do whatever He wants to do (Psalm 135:6). The greatest miracle, though, is not when the blind see or the lame walk. The greatest miracle is when the dead are raised, not physically, but spiritually. The greatest miracle is when God takes those who are spiritually dead in sins and makes them alive in Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul states, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).”

Want to see the real power of God unleashed? Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!


[1]For more information on the cultic origins of these movements and documentation on their doctrinal heresies, see my DVD entitled Clouds Without Water available at

[2]Harrison, Everett F., Baker’s Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1960), pg. 356.

[3]Floating ax head (2 Kings 6); Red Sea parting (Exodus 14); Talking donkey (Genesis 22); Fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18; 2 Kings 1); Resurrections from the dead (1 Kings 17; 2 Kings 4; Luke 7; John 11; Acts 20; Jesus’ resurrection recorded in all 4 gospels and referenced many times throughout the New Testament).

[4]This would include the 72 disciples commissioned by Jesus as recorded in Luke 10.

[5]See for example Matthew 9:1-8.

[6]The only two exceptions would be Steven (Acts 6) and Philip (Acts 8) who were close associates with the Apostles.

[7]Acts 1:22, 10:38-41; 1 Corinthians 9:1, 15:7-9.

[8]Matthew 10:1-7, Acts 1:24-26, Galatians 1:1.

[9]2 Corinthians 12:12.

[10]This biblical truth is referred to as the “immutability” of God.

[11]See Hebrews 7:27, 10:1-18; 1 Peter 3:18.

[12]The Apostolic gifts, or, “sign gifts,” to which they are also referred, include the gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, and physical healing.
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Comments to: A Biblical View of Signs, Wonders, & Miracles
  • Avatar
    August 27, 2018

    Very grateful for the clearly written, Biblically-sound take on this.

  • […] Article by Justin Peters (original source here) […]

    • Avatar
      May 25, 2019

      No more apostles !!! Thanks

  • Avatar
    March 7, 2019

    I have a question, I know you said you believe in the spiritual gifts and so forth. Just not the “gift of healing” as the Apostles did. Im confused because the bible does say that there are gifts of healing and working of miracles. I understand what your saying about the Apostles. I totally agree about NARS, and Prosperity gospel, Todd white, bethel. Scams! Jesus and Paul warns about signs and wonders in Matt 24:24. But I do believe God gives various ppl in the church these gifts as spoken in 1 Corin 12:7-10. These gifts are given by according to God’s will. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for common good”. Also in Gal 3:5 it talks further about it. “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” The most natural meaning of that verse is that God is working miracles in their midst by the Holy Spirit. He is doing this through the ordinary believers not through the apostles. Gifts of healings and workings of miracles are not for self-exaltation but for the benefit of others.
    God gives gifts of healing, it does not mean that you can heal at will or that everyone you pray for will be healed. Its God sovereignty. Anyways can you please explain Im confused or did I misunderstand what you said. Thank you so much and God bless.

    • Avatar
      September 25, 2019

      Excellent response and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am a firm believer in the administration of the gifts of the spirit and I believe God is still working miracles today and working through His people just as He did when He was on earth. God bless you all

  • Avatar
    August 25, 2019

    I appreciate this article, I am in the process of rebuilding my theology and this has given me a lot to ponder. However you say only the apostles were recorded working wonders but the Bible says, “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.”
    (Acts 6:8 ESV). Stephen was a deacon. I’m going to be honest I’m not sure what my question is, but the weight of that portion of your argument seems dependent on only the Apostles working miracles.

    • Avatar
      February 3, 2020

      Look at Acts 8:16. The power of the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on hands by the apostles. It is highly likely they gave Stephen that power but he could not pass it on.

      • Avatar
        September 25, 2020

        How do we know he cannot pass it on? Please don’t read any tone into this? Just curious as to how we know that.

  • Avatar
    September 21, 2019

    The entire article is nonsense and is not biblical. Apostle Paul was, as you pointed out, an apostle. However he only got saved after Jesus had already resurrected he was not physically present with Jesus at any point. The book of acts mentions a number of people, by name, who also performed miracles and they were not apostles either. Your entire argument collapses if you actually read the Bible, and not try to take certain parts out of context in order to rationalize some of these man-made opinions.

    And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom [using clever rhetoric], but [they were delivered] in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit [operating through me] and of [His] power [stirring the minds of the listeners and persuading them], so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom and rhetoric of men, but on the power of God.
    1 CORINTHIANS 2:4‭-‬5 AMP

    • Avatar
      November 9, 2019

      This whole blog is based on man made opinion and traditional man made theology with no wisdom or spiritual understanding. The fruit is all on the comments.

  • Avatar
    January 9, 2020

    Nuts to you who discount the working of the Holy Spirit today. I watched my own daughter being raised from the dead by her mother’s urgent prayer and my agreement with that prayer. You simply do not know what you are talking about and/or you are to lazy to submit yourself to the Holy Spirit so that He can work signs, wonders and miracles through you.

  • Avatar
    June 12, 2020

    Thank you for this article. l am glad you have been led to expose the false teachings of this movement.

    I will say that in Ephesians 4:7-12 it speaks about the gifts that Jesus has given to us as believers.
    7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
    8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”
    9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ?
    10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

    Also Mark 16:17 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

    I am not saying that every believer will have all of these signs, however this is a biblical truth that these signs will follow. i am also not saying that everyone will be healed however again biblically speaking God does still impart gifts of healing to His believers.
    Furthermore we are approaching biblical prophecies recorded in the book of revelations which speaks about the two witnesses being empowered supernaturally in the last days. Revelations 11:1-14. There is clear biblical evidence that the two witnesses represent both the jew and the gentile church which is all of us, and there is a greater awakening and empowerment coming to the true church.

    I think the safest way to approach the bible and minister to both believers and non believers is to take ourselves completely out of the equation and realize we don’t have it all figured out. We are learning, growing and as the bible says working out our salvation. I too was manipulated by the health and wealth messages, and am thankful for platforms like these in which people can expose this Antichrist movement. However we must be careful to not extract from biblical truths by saying no one has the gift of healing when there is clear biblical evidence that God has imparted this gift to some. Yes it is without a doubt all to the glory of God and He is sovereign in His will. However the word of God is powerfully complex yet simple at the same time. We have to be careful to not make the gospel personal and stick to the simple biblical facts as it is revealed to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless everyone! God is working out the kinks in all of our hearts. Keep steadfast in faith and love brothers and sisters.

  • Avatar
    June 17, 2020

    Hey Costi! This was a great post. Thank you for sharing. You and I have come to similar biblical conclusions on this matter (I admit I haven’t read any other of your posts yet). I released a book on the Holy Spirit and miracles last year called Clouded by Emotion. If you’d like a review copy, I’d be happy to provide it. God bless you.

  • Avatar
    September 28, 2020

    “The clear teaching from Scripture, however, is that God does not primarily perform miracles for the benefit of a particular individual. Rather, when God performed miracles He did so with the primary purpose of authenticating one of His messengers”. I believe that this is only part truth. If God is “Abba Father”, surely His love for His children would extend beyond “validating His messengers”. We are all of great concern to our heavenly Father. “Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.” This “validation” lasted for a short time as they attempted to take His life repeatedly afterwards. Who would dare to knowingly kill someone that they KNEW was from God? With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers, we are all validated from His perspective. When miracles are performed today, it does guarantee that the witness to the miracle is convinced that they are witnessing a messenger from God. They can write it off as so many have done in both the Old and New Testament. God is not “showing off” His messengers, He has a genuine concern for the health and well being for all created in His image and His likeness. You as a parent surely would not place the validation of one of your children’s acting as a mouthpiece for you over the health and well being of another of your children that is suffering maybe even until death. The primary concern would be for the healing of the sick and the secondary concern would be the validation of the healer. I believe that God places life first. Surely God can validate without the use of miracles. He heals because He first loves, He validates so that He point the source of healing back to Himself.

  • Avatar
    December 13, 2020

    very much important information

  • Avatar
    July 5, 2021

    Justin, I know there are crooks who distort the true word of God. I personally do not agree with the word of faith and new apostolic movements. But I do not disregard that Jesus has given his children the spirit of God and through that holy spirit we can perform miracles. For me the word of God is priority one as I have been called to be a teacher of the word. However, putting away the ability to perform miracles in the name of Jesus is what Satan also wants. I apologise if I have misunderstood your viewpoint on miracles and wonders but if u do not believe that today God doesn\’t perform miracles like healing through his people then you are believing a lie from the devil. I myself is a sceptic of all these miracles and wonders of these movements, however God has been using me in my ministry to heal people. I have also received many prophecies which came true. Just because someone doesn\’t have those gifts and do not experience them it is wrong to say that God doesn\’t perform the same miracles the apostles performed. If a persons heart is hardened to the things of God then they will never understand or experience what God has to offer them. It is same as the Pharisees didn\’t understand Jesus and the things he did. So brother I ask you to open your heart to Christ regarding the work of the holy spirit and then you will understand that God is the same yesterday today and forever, he who performed miracles through apostles who had the holy spirit, performs miracles through his children today who has the same holy spirit as the apostles.


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