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Related articles:
"God's Miracles"
"Have Miracles Ceased? I"
"Have Miracles Ceased? II"
"Have Miracles Ceased? III"

Related subtopics:
Casting Out Demons
Raising the Dead
Other Miracles
"God's Miracles"

Larry Ray Hafley

In the 1970's and 80's, some of our liberal brethren, influenced by charismatic claims of direct, personal "leading of the Spirit," said that God miraculously led them to financial gain and even to a parking place in a crowded parking lot! Well, if that were true, how would they answer the following article by a Jewish Rabbi?

"Last Passover the following took place: I was visiting a friend at the retirement home, bringing him matzo for Passover....On my visit to the retirement home I go lost and entered the wrong wing of the center....I asked directions to see my friend....I met the old man, who told me that he was very sick and that he...had been praying to God for someone to come and take care of his last request: that he be buried as a Jew. Needless to say, I was in total shock. Here I was, lost in a large retirement home not knowing where I was going and an old Jewish man tells me that God had sent me to say the necessary prayers so he could die as a Jew. 'You must be the angel that God has sent.'

"The man's faith in God was outstanding. He expected a miracle and received it!" (From the editorial page of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, April 2, 1996.)

Will brethren who claim that God miraculously leads them to certain beneficial situations say that God led this Jewish Rabbi to that man so that he could "die as a Jew"? (1) If they say, "no," upon what basis do they deny it? "Spirit led" men say they are guided as this Rabbi was. They, too, expect miracles, and they say they have "received" them. Their "evidence" is just as conclusive as this Rabbi's. The Rabbi's case is as strong as theirs. (2) If they say, "yes," do they believe that God wants a man to "die as a Jew"? Does God want a man "to die as Jew," a denier of Jesus as the Son of God (Jn. 8:21, 24; Rom. 10:1-3; 1 Jn. 2:22, 23)? If they say, "yes, God led this 'angel' to this man so he could 'die as a Jew,'" then they are saying that God desires that a man die as an unbeliever! In view of John 3:16, 18, 36, who can believe it?!

Conclusion: Miraculous leading of the Spirit occurred in the New Testament (Lk. 2:27; Acts 8:26, 29; 16:9, 10). However, such miraculous guidance was always, without exception, consistent with God's revealed will and purposes. No such miraculous guidance occurs today (1 Cor. 13:8-10). "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 Jn. 4:1).

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