The Miracles of Satan

“I saw a miraculous healing. Surely that confirms that [this church, organization or person] is from God!”

The Israelites rightly looked for a Messiah who would perform miracles: Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. (Isaiah 35:5-6)

So when Jesus came and performed miraculous signs that demonstrated He was the Messiah, many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” (John 7:31)

Yet the same Scriptures warn of other “signs and wonders.” The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders… (2Thessalonians 2:9)

Times have changed. And with them, the implications of miracles. God can and does do work beyond human understanding. But now, so does Satan. How do we know the difference?

Here in the microwave generation where we want to be able to glance and know, this is even harder than it may have been in Jesus’ day. I’d offer two options for discernment.

First, there is the easy, quick way: The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). Sometimes we recognize immediately that the miracle worker shares in the same Spirit of God. But this is largely a feeling, and the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick… (Jeremiah 17:9). So to base a judgement between God and Satan on a potentially wrong feeling would not be the wisest.

Another option is to observe their life and character. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-16) What fruits are we looking for? Evidence of God’s Spirit – or of Satan’s.

What gives evidence of God’s Spirit? Love. Does this person seek the good of others, not of themselves? Joy. Peace. Does this person actively reconcile with those with whom there have been altercations? Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Is the worker or recipient of a miracle normally characterized by these qualities?

Sadly, we can’t put them in an x-ray machine at an airport and see these qualities inside them. Without letting time pass, and without the closeness of walking with them in everyday life, we can’t know if they demonstrate the presence of God’s Spirit or not. And with both the distance between most Christian leaders and their followers, and the constant presence of the technology bringing unreality into our hands and minds, seeing evidence in a person’s life is even more challenging.

And even as we seek accurate discernment, we grow in patience… Because God works all things together for the good…

Does it matter where a miracle comes from? God once told people that signs would confirm His Messiah. The Messiah came and performed signs and wonders. He has finished His work and returned to Heaven. Now God tells us plainly that all power and false signs and wonders will accompany the activity of Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

Do you know the signs of our times? From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. (Mark 13:28-29)

And miracles may not point to God, but to Satan. Beware.

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