As I search out the English word "Miracle" and all of its variations in Scripture (Hebrew) and The Epistles (Greek), I am amazed to find three definitions in Hebrew and four in Greek. Why?
Hebrew: Miracle (figurative or literal);
H226 - Owth - A Signal (a sign or indication of), a Beacon (a symbol or representation), a Flag (a symbol or representation), a Monument (a symbol or representation), an Omen (a symbol or sign of ), a Prodigy (an outstanding example), a Token (a symbol or representation), Evidence (a result of).
H4159 - Mopheth - a Token (a symbol or representation), Omen (a sign of things to come), a Sign (indication of) or a Mystery (not understood).
H6381 - Pala' - Too hard to understand (in other words, a condition of ignorance or worse).
These don't sound like supernatural phenomenon to me.
Greek: Miracle (figurative or literal);
G846 - Autos - Baffling (in other words, a condition of ignorance).
G1411 - Dunamis - Powerful, Strength, Forceful, Mighty, Wonderful.
G1909 - Epi - (A primitive preposition of) Time, Place, and Order.
G4592 - Semeion - A Miracle, a Sign (indication of) , a Token (a symbol or representation) or Wonder (in other words, a condition of ignorance). The Supernatural is only hinted at in this one, and even then only in the sense of ignorance or superstition of the observer.
Not one of these definitions positively establishes "A Miracle" as a "Magical Phenomenon" or as a manifestation that cannot be explained by science or the forces of nature, but rather as something that goes beyond the current understanding of uneducated or ignorant people. I, also, noticed that The Greeks tended to be more awed (by definition) than the Hebrew people.
Moreover, by these definitions, this would make a deceptive "Crop Circle" a miracle, because it was a mystery to most people.
ONE SHOULD NEVER ASSUME THAT THE MIRACLES OF YHWH ARE BEYOND COMPREHENSION OR UNNATURAL (Supernatural); RATHER THAT WE HAVEN"T NECESSARILY BEEN INFORMED YET.
A Miracle or an Enactment?
Is not the Enactment of Baptism a parable of physical death and Spiritual Resurrection of the dead? IF SO (and it truly is), then physical baptism itself is an Enactment of a Present or Future Miracle.
Was Lazarus really dead and then brought back to life?
1Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4When Yahshua heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of Yahweh, that the Son of Yahweh might be glorified thereby.
5Now Yahshua loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
8His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
9Yahshua answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13Howbeit Yahshua spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14Then said Yahshua unto them plainly, Lazarus is near death.
Note: in verse 14 the word translated as DEAD in Christian Bibles is Greek #599 "Apothnesko" which is derived from Greek #575 "Apo" meaning (lies near), indicating that Lazarus "Lies Near Death" and not "is Dead," as the christopagans would have us to believe.
In this possible scenario, it is most likely that Lazarus was expected to be dead, but was actually in a trance like state or a condition like catalepsy.
TRANCE: a sleeplike state of altered consciousness marked by heightened focal awareness and reduced peripheral awareness. An altered state of consciousness as in hypnosis, catalepsy, or ecstasy.
CATALEPSY: is a condition characterized most often by RIGIDITY of the extremities and by DECREASED SENSITIVITY to pain.
Catalepsy does not appear of its own accord; instead, it often manifests as one in a constellation of symptoms caused by disorders that have physical causes. Catalepsy can be produced by conditions as varied as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and extreme emotional shock.
Symptoms include: rigid body, rigid limbs, limbs staying in same position when moved, no response, loss of muscle control, and slowing down of bodily functions, such as breathing.
CATATONIA: is a syndrome of psychic and motoric disturbances. In the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) it is not recognized as a separate disorder, but is associated with psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia (catatonic type), bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other mental disorders. It may also be seen in many medical disorders including infections (such as encephalitis), autoimmune disorders, focal neurologic lesions (including strokes), and metabolic disturbances.
While it is true that Lazarus was "Laid Out" as if for burial (or for being sealed up) when Messiah arrived; he was not yet sealed up nor does any verse say that he had been laid out for three or four days. The people probably expected Messiah's arrival for his beloved Lazarus, and thus would not have sealed him up. They may have just laid him out prior to Messiah's arrival. However, even though Lazarus was not dead, but near death, it is indeed beyond the ability of most humans to awaken the catatonic. Even so, who can say with certainty that Lazarus would or would not have awakened anyway, "AS PLANNED" by YHWH.
Did not YHWH create us all from the foundations of The Earth, and we all awaited our "Appointed Time"?
Was not Lazarus and all of YHWH's future children born to serve HIS purpose? I think So!
Apparently timing is of upmost importance with YHWH, and may actually be why Messiah was caused to wait two days after hearing of Lazarus.
Or was Lazarus performing an Essene enactment?
On the other hand, I believe what we might be missing when it comes to the Lazarus miracle could be explained with the discovery of The Dead Sea Scrolls. What we fail to fully understand is the process Lazarus might have endured when he broke from the strict Essene community he was part of, and into a renewed ekklesia with our Hight Priest Messiah Y'shua as his teacher, and King of Righteousness; this is of course ASSUMING that what we glean from The Dead Sea Scrolls is correct and what Lazarus was doing was performing an anactment (like baptism) of dying to his "old ways" in the Essene Community by performing a ritualistic "spiritual" death. Thus, what we read as a miracle could have just as easily been a process of initiation, a ceremony where an initiate into the priesthood would receive the new symbolic gift of spiritual "life" after performing a symbolic spiritual "death".
IF SO, then this ENACTMENT (which by its simple existence alone) would announce a new perspective on the mindset of Messiah and his followers; IF indeed they not only used spoken parables. but also, ENACTED them in ceremonies (Just Like baptisms are enactments of physical death and Spiritual resurrection) as well.
IF SO, then anactment ceremonies would not only perfectly explain the Lazarus miracle, but other so called miracles (water into wine, walking on water, etc.), as being Spiritual Parable ENACTMENTS. A form of private theatre used to explain Spiritual Truths.
Was the miracle of walking on water another Essene enactment?
The miracle is described in John 6:16-21, where Y'shua remained on the mountain to pray while his disciples set out for Capernaum. He joined them later in the early morning, and appeared to them while walking on water, they then get scared and he said not to fear, it is I, Y'shua, they then accept him onto the boat and they finished sailing to their destination. The miracle was also described in Mat.14:22-33 with Peter's failed attempt to walk on water because of his lack of faith.
Note: you have to wonder why Messiah's disciples set out by boat for Capernaum during the light of day, if indeed that was their destination, when traveling by night in those days would be much easier as you could look to the heavens to help navigate your way.
Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Essene ruin at Khirbet Mazin, an area just south of Ain Feshkha near Qumran, (home to the Sons of Light), an area where there is fresh "living water", a site believed to be where the ancient Essenes would baptise Gentiles. At this location they found the remains of a watergate where a water channel had led up to. It was a very long jetty that ran the length of the channel. At the end of it was a place where they would land their boat. It is believed that at this location, Gentiles were brought up out of The Dead Sea, hauled on board the boat, and carried on it in to the watergate, where they stepped out on the dry land in an enactment of Spiritual Re-Birth.
Let me state that "Miracles" for the ancients were NOT the same concept as miracles of today. Even so, for the ancients "Television", "Radio", "Lasers", high tech dentistry, plastic surgery, automobiles, airplanes, atomic bomb, dynamite, penicillin, etc. . . would, also, be called miracles. They are not miracles to us! So, I suppose, that what I am saying is that the ancients were less sophisticated than we are and less informed on The True Nature of YHVH, and their own unrealized capabilities. Therefore, miracles are SIMPLY "Unexplained Events" that were possible for YHVH, and a select few others. Many may have actually been "Illusions", "Disinformation", "Gossip", "Exaggerations". However, none of this is to say that YHVH didn't cause a giant fish to grow naturally (gigantism), and Lightning from the clouds is a REAL possibility for killing godless priests. Most of the Older Testament miracles had explanations that naturally occur all the time. However, the real miracle here is this: Making the events occur at the proper space in time, and that is the power of YHVH. YHVH created these event to occur even before the people (creatures too) that were to be involved in them were born. Similar to a "Time Bomb" set to go off. People are born every day with biological "Time Bombs" in their DNA. Why is it that mankind doesn't realize that earthquakes, and other natural diasters, are also preset "Time Bombs" as well? For some reason mankind doesn't, but YHVH did design "Time Bombs" for the universe (meteors, dying stars, continental shifts, black holes, etc . .), which are far more believable than "Magic" (that goes against the very fabric of YHVH's own creation); and therein do you have your answers; for how can we believe in a cycle of SEVEN and not, also, believe in design by TIME? We cannot !
What about the fleece of Gideon miracle?
37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
39 And Gideon said unto Yahweh, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
40 And Yahweh did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Was it magic? Absolutely not! Was it a miracle or was it a blessing?
Scientifically speaking it had everything to do with the natural ways that condensation, mist (fog), and dew form. Wool is an insulator and does not retain heat or cold like the earth, but rather acts more like a collector of what ever is in the air (IF whatever is in the air is formed into a liquid such as a mist, fog, etc. .); IF the air has moisture that had NOT condensed out, then there would be no mist (etc.) to collect on the wool, but could condense out onto the earth, rocks, etc. (IF the earth and rocks were colder than the air). The wool would not be colder than the air, but probably the same temperature. Indeed, IF the fleece had been replaced back over the warm earth during the day, then the fleece would have held the heat of the surface of the earth beneath it and would have remained warm (incapable of causing condensation).
The Earth is a thermal conductor with great mass, but wool is an insulator with little mass, thus their properties are exact opposites.
Simply put: The humidy, temperature from the morning before was different on the morning after, and because fleece and earth are entirely opposite thermally (as well as structurally), the results were also reversed according to the weather. Gideon didn't have clue as to what was going on !
Here again we see TIMING (or FATE) as the issue. YHVH controls NATURE, therefore YHVH controls FATE.
Yes, not only does YHVH control fate and the timing of it, but there are rules that govern fate. For example Righteous Fate is much more highly expected to be showered on the Righteous than unrighteous fate is, because the Righteous are obedient to YHVH; of course the opposite is expected for the unrighteous.
G4592, shmeion, semeion (say-mi'-on)
neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of shmainw - semaino 4591; an indication, especially ceremonially or super-naturally:--miracle, a sign, a token (proof), a wonder.
And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
So HERE is the rub; IF no sign (miracle, G4592) was to be given unto "THAT GENERATION", then why is The New Testament full of "So Called" miracles (signs)?
MAKES YOU WONDER, HUH?
Neither TSN nor I believe that YHVH cannot perform miracles. However, it is my opinion that YHVH does so in a natural (as created) fashion, and that it is His servants that are compelled to be at the correct "Place in Time" when they occur. Rather than the servant demanding or being in control of the powers at work.
When "Unexplained Events" (Miracles or Signs) are the basis for ones faith, then those people (that seek such "SIGNS" in order to justify their faith) in reality have no faith at all. The following verse should explain this.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
"THINGS NOT SEEN" means "NO SIGNS", no magic, and no "Miracles".
What about in this latter day generation?
Today we are in the doubting generation, and all things are put under scrutiny. This age, if it were to be called one, would be the age of scientific reason. All things come under the tests of true or false, and there must be scientific evidence to back up the conclusion either way.
This generation doesn't seek a sign nearly as much as Messiah's generation did; today, society as a whole has started seeking solid understandable proof. However, without (Holy) Spiritual "Ears to Hear, and Eyes to See" the proof will still not come.
The Holy Spirit is a gift, and a power given by Yahweh. It is like a "miracle", and a proof that can never be proven by anyone except the person who has been gifted with it. With it comes a discernment that wasn't there before (a key that unlocks), an ability to forgive that was all but absent before (grace returned), and an ability to selflessly love that wasn't there before (righteousness).
YHVH's "Chosen Few" perform "miracles" today, just like Yahshua did. We heal and are healed (through the truth Yahweh has given us), we forgive and are forgiven (cleansing the uncleanliness which is sin), we repair things that were broken (hearts), we even raise "The Spiritually Dead" as we, too, were raised from "The Dead" (we bring others into the truth, as they turn from their path of destruction because they were spiritually dead). Yahweh does these things through His Chosen.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, Yahweh is my LORD.