“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9)
Paul wrote to the Christians at Thessalonica that in the last days before Jesus Christ returns that great deceiver, Satan, will be as busy as ever trying to deceive people. Part of his repertoire will be “signs and wonders” or miracles. There is sufficient warning in the Bible to make us aware that not all miracles have their origin in God. In Deuteronomy 13 Israel is warned against assuming that all miracles are of heavenly origin; they may have another source. By what measure were they were told to test the author of the miracle? The measure given is the Word of God, the Bible.
On a number of occasions this writer has either heard of or observed events that were miraculous. Many of these carry the mark of God and are not contrary to the Word of God. However, there have been some in which the context reveals that they were not of heavenly origin.
Can Satan originate miracles? The Bible attests that he can. He was able to copy the first three miracles that Moses performed in Egypt (Exodus 7:12 – rods became serpents; v 22 – water to blood; 8:7 – increased the number of frogs). We should not assume that these were the only miracles he originated. Satan performed miraculous feats in the temptations of Christ (Matthew 4) and he will do so in the tribulation period in order to deceive people (Revelation 13:13).
There is every reason in Scripture for us to test miracles against God’s Word just as Israel was commanded to do and not just accept all miracles as being of heavenly origin.
Satan’s purpose in performing miracles is always to deceive gullible unlearned people, including saints, who are not well grounded in the Word of God. We ought not to be surprised when those in religions (even those nominally Christian) with a high degree of superstition in their make up are easily seduced but it is sad when true believers are seduced by a miracle that does not have its origin in God.
How can we discern the origin of a miracle? We may by careful study and comparison with God’s word. The alternative is to be deceived.