Examples of the Supernatural
Do these examples show us the supernature is not real?
THE CLAIMED PROBLEM: There are also accounts of the sun standing still (Joshua 10:13); the parting of a sea (Exodus 14:21-22); iron floating (II Kings 6:5-6); the suns shadow going back ten degrees (II Kings 20:9-11); a witch bringing the ghost of Samuel back from the dead (I Samuel 28:3-15); disembodied fingers writing on a wall (Daniel 5:5); a man living for three days and nights in the belly of a fish (Jonah 1:17); people walking on water (Matthew 14:26-29); a virgin impregnated by God (Matthew 1:20); a pool of water that can cure ailments of those who dip in it (John 5:2-4); and angels and demons influencing earthly affairs (e.g., Acts 5:19; Luke 11:24-26).
The humanists have given us more examples of things that are “impossible.” I kept these examples together so we can look at all of them at one time. The point of listing these is revealed in the next paragraph. The humanist writes:
These biblical myths support the belief, which has been held by primitive and illiterate people throughout history, that supernatural beings frequently and arbitrarily intervene in this world.
The humanist calls the miracles on the above list myths, without any evidence to support that assertion. He also uses a propaganda technique called "stereotyping"—likening Christians to primitive and illiterate people—to make the belief in miracles seem repugnant. However, that is propaganda, not proof. All the humanist offers are assertions that none of these happened. Why? Because they violate "the laws of nature.” As shown on the previous page, since humanists limit the observable data to what they define as "natural," the definition of "the laws of nature" is circular and thus flawed and no proof at all.
Listing supernatural events does not prove they did not happen. It shows there are supernatural events described in the historical record of the Bible. Unlike humanists, the Bible includes everything that happened. Looking at ALL of the data is the only way to make a reasonable and rational evaluation of the claims of God and the Bible. It is real history, and God did act supernaturally. You can deny reality or deal with it.
So, what do we have here? Do any of the supernatural events on the humanist’s lists cause us problems in understanding the universe around us? No. Do any of these events cause problems with our scientific understanding of our world? No.
Most of these supernatural events happened during the five major historical periods when God was working supernaturally: creation (including Adam and Eve), Noah's flood, the time of Moses and Joshua, the time of Elijah and Elisha, and the time of Christ and the apostles. God was working in special and unique ways during these specific times. We can take events happening during these five periods off the list. These represent unique times that will not be repeated. Yes, supernatural periods such as these will happen again, but only as we approach the end times. If you are around when that happens, you will know it is God who is acting. There will be no doubt about that.
What about Satan and Demons?
While Satan cannot do supernatural miracles, he can do things that appear miraculous. Several of the items on the humanist list are not from God, but are from Satan or demons (or angels). An example is the talking snake (Genesis 3:4-5). Satan either indwelled a snake and made it seem the snake was talking, or took on the form of a snake. Satan and demons can assume the forms of living things, most often humans. This is not a supernatural miracle from God. However, these types of demonic activities still happen today. As in Adam’s day, they are used to deceive and are used lead us away from Christ. We need to recognize them and deal with them. (See the book: “Alien Intrusion” by Gary Bates.)
One event on the list is probably not a supernatural miracle: "a pool of water that can cure ailments of those who dip in it (John 5:2-4)." The part of scripture describing this pool (John 5:3b-4) is not included in the oldest manuscripts and appears to have been added later . It is not certain whether it describes what people believed or that an angel actually stirred the water. In most translations, this addition is in brackets so we know it was not part of the original. Since it has no impact on any doctrine or teaching, translators have left it in scripture.
What is left?
- The suns shadow going back ten degrees (II Kings 20:9-11);
- A witch bringing the ghost of Samuel back from the dead (I Samuel 28:3-15);
- Disembodied fingers writing on a wall (Daniel 5:5);
- A man living for three days and nights in the belly of a fish (Jonah 1:17 – this foreshadows the three days Jesus will be in the tomb.)
Although these did not happen during one of the five major periods of God acting supernaturally, they did take place in rare, unique circumstances during a time before Scripture was complete. Each had a specific purpose. Now that Scripture is complete, there is no need for these types of miracles, and thus we do not expect to see them happening today. Do any of these events affect our understanding of the world or science? No.
Can We Expect Supernatural Intervention Today?
God is still working. However, there is no indications in scripture that God is regularly doing supernatural miracles of nature today. But then again, would you know one if you saw one? What if someone has cancer and God supernaturally gets rid of it before it is discovered? No one would know a supernatural miracle had occurred. 2 Kings 20 is an example of that.
Today God most often works through providential miracles. These types of miracles involve God working through people and circumstances to bring about His will. An example of a providential miracle is a doctor performing a surgery with skill beyond what he normally has. Here is a link to the Grace to You web site and a sermon that gives more information about miracles (text and audio available): Tap / Click Here
As I have mentioned, Satan and demons can also intervene in the world supernaturally. However, they have no creative power, nor can they change the laws of nature. For example, demons are behind the occult and aliens (UFOs). Because they are spiritual (non-physical), they can do things that appear to violate the laws of nature.
As I mentioned, God causes supernatural events for a reason, and since we have the completed Scriptures, the reasons for supernatural miracles no longer exist (until the end-times begin). We could look at each one of the “miracles” on the humanist’s list to determine God's reasons for doing them, but that is not the point the humanist’s are making. Their concern is that believing in supernatural miracles, whether real or imaginary, means we believe "supernatural beings frequently and arbitrarily intervene in this world." That statement is simply not true. Supernatural miracles of nature are neither frequent nor arbitrary,
A few pages back I quoted Dr. James Hannam discussing history, Christianity, and science. We saw that believing in God (and miracles) did not interfere with the work of Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, William Thomson Kelvin, James Clerk Maxwell, or others. They all believed in God and miracles, and they all made major contributions to scientific knowledge… because of their belief in God.
The Bible does not teach that God frequently intervenes in this world supernaturally. He has the ability to enter the world supernaturally any time He wishes, but God only does so in unique circumstances that no longer exist. Supernatural miracles were used on extremely rare occasions, and are not expected today. This humanist claim is false.
In addition, God is not a God of confusion. He is a God of order. His supernatural intervention only takes place in very special circumstances to address a specific situation. It is never arbitrary. This part of the humanist claim is also false.
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. - 1 Corinthians 14:33
Conclusion: The humanist claims concerning the supernatural are false. God is not a God of confusion.
But humanists have more to say on this: When examined in the light of experience and reason, the Bibles claims about supernatural occurrences do not warrant belief. Our experience is that the natural world operates according to principles of regularity which are never violated. We also know from experience that many people are often mistaken or dishonest. Thus, its far more likely the Bible writers either erred or lied than the laws of nature were violated.
So, were the Bible writers mistaken or liars? Click here to find out...