The Bible makes it clear that God is not the only one who works miracles. Satan can also perform supernatural signs. Jesus warned three times in Matthew 24 against deceptive miracles in the latter times. He said, “False christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Signs and wonders are therefore not always a sure sign of God’s activity, since they can also be performed by false christs and false prophets.
These warnings are very important, for the time is at hand. Christ have said; “Take heed that no man deceive you.”- Matthew 24:4. Deception will play a very big role in the last days, for the “…devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.“- Revelation 12:12.
In the Book of Revelation 16:13,14 under the sixth plague which is still future, shortly before the return of Christ, we are presented with the following words; “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Notice that the miracles which will be done during the time will be done by devils, meaning demons, yes, fallen angels.
The Apostle Paul gives the same warning in his discourse about the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:9,10).
The false prophet (Revelation 13) will promote the authority of the Antichrist, with the ability to perform great signs, even making fire come down out of Heaven.
But before that time comes, Satan will have to do a preliminary work of this miracles. We know that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8).
Satan is using men to deceive fellow men and this he does via ” great signs and wonders” and also unsound doctrines. In this he arises counterfeit prophets. So where do these counterfeit prophets and teachers arise? The Bible is explicit: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you.” (2 Peter 2:2-3). These individuals arise among the professed Christians. They are usually not some blasphemous atheists from somewhere unknown. And other than miracles, what do they do? Peter continues to say, “and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.” They will make money or a living out of you and God’s name.
Christ said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23). What a tragedy!
These individuals call Jesus “Lord, Lord” which shows that they are professed Christians, and notice that Christ says “Many of them” not few. Christ tell them; “I never knew you“. That means that the power behind the miracles done by them was not from God but from Satan. For there are only two powers in this universe, God almighty and Satan.
Remember how the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon? “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one.to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.“ (Acts 8:9,10). It is no wonder Paul says, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.“ (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15).
It is also a fact that God can work very powerful miracles. Christ worked miracles. But he also preached the word of the Kingdom. He rebuked error and sin among the people and he told them to repent, but only few accepted him. The problem with many who followed Christ followed him for wrong reasons, that is for miracles that he was doing. “They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?” (John 6:30). And when Christ then began to preach, many stopped following him. Are you following Christ because of miracles and are those miracles from God or Satan? If we just follow because of feelings and emotions and not the Word of God, we will be deceived in an instant.
Christ also told his disciples to do miracles, but they were not just there to heal. Their primary mission was to preach Christ and Him crucified. Unfortunately, even those who work miracles under the power of Satan speak some truth of God in his name, to deceive. God says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Test all things says the Lord. Do not just believe, test what they say with the scripture and “to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light (truth) in them.” (Isaiah 8:20). The early Christians “…received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11).
So, we need to be very careful in who we dealing with. It is written; “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves…Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15, 20).
(Partly based on an article posted by News24 on 13 September 2013)