In our last Q&A, we explained that God did not give Satan or his demons the power to heal human beings. In this Q&A, we want to explain “miraculous healings,” “caused” by Satan, which, upon further scrutiny, prove to be not true healings at all.
In our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World,” we wrote the following in Part 2, “The World of Demons,” on pages 42-44, 51:
“We must not underestimate the power and influence of Satan and his demons. The Bible tells us that Satan ‘deceives the whole world’ (Revelation 12:9). His biggest deception, no doubt, is to convince unsuspecting man that he does not even exist. He deceives others by pretending that he is an ‘angel of light’ (2 Corinthians 11:14). Many preach as ‘his ministers,’ transforming themselves ‘into ministers of righteousness’ (verse 15).
“John later said that ‘many deceivers have gone out into the world’ (2 John 7), and he warned us in 1 John 4:1 to ‘…test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.’ Christ prophesied for the end time that ‘…false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect’ (Matthew 24:24).
“Satan and his demons can show great signs and wonders. It is prophesied that Satan will ultimately give his power to a religious leader who will work ‘signs… by which he deceived’ the people (Revelation 19:20). False religious teachers, inspired by demons, might even be able to accurately foretell the future (Deuteronomy 13:1–4; Acts 16:16–19).
“Satan has the power to inspire people to go to war (Job 1:9–15; Revelation 16:13–14; Revelation 20:7–10). He has the power to throw down fire to consume man and beast (In Job 1:16, people felt that God brought this fire, but the context shows that Satan was the power behind it). As the ‘prince of the power of the air’ (Ephesians 2:2), he can bring destruction through mighty winds…
“There are many Scriptures that prove that Satan or demons can possess animals and people, forcing them to do terrible things (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). Demon-possessed people can be extremely violent (Matthew 8:28) and self-destructive (Mark 5:2–5). They lose all sense of decency (Luke 8:27).
“The Bible also shows that demons can possess or influence people to make them spiritually, psychologically, and physically sick. Even Paul was sick because ‘a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me’ (2 Corinthians 12:7). Through the influence of demons, people can be mute, deaf and dumb (Mark 9:17, 25), epileptic (Matthew 17:15–18), and infirm (Luke 13:11, 16). When a demon leaves such a person, it may appear as if the person has been healed from a physical sickness…
“Sorcery, witchcraft, hypnosis, and certain meditation practices are further methods of Satan to overpower the mind of a human being and to make him or her into a helpless victim…
“In Job 2:1–7, we are told that Satan obtained permission from God to bring terrible sickness upon Job, but he was not allowed to kill him. Again, we see that Satan must act within the limits given to him by God.”
Based on these comments, we should be able to see that even though Satan does not have the power to heal, it might appear that sick people are “healed” when Satan removes sicknesses from them with which he had inflicted them in the first place. But this has nothing to do with true godly healing.
It is also explained in Scripture that such Satanic or demonic withdrawal (leading to the perception of “healing”) might be very temporary. When Jesus Christ cast out demons, He would give the command to that demon not to return into the human being, and the healing of the sickness, initially caused by Satan or that demon, would be permanent. Compare, for example, Mark 9:25:
“… Jesus… rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!'”
On the other hand, when a demon voluntarily departs or goes out of a person, he may return together “with other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is WORSE than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45; compare Luke 11:24-26). These kinds of “voluntary departures” are not permanent “exorcisms,” nor do they constitute physical healing.
In addition, Satan or his demons could make someone physically or mentally sick, without actually possessing a person. In the case of King Saul, the demon would plague him at times, coming and leaving, but while the wicked spirit severely influenced him, King Saul acted irrationally and with extreme violence.
Satan wants to deceive people, and he is a liar and the father of lies, as well as the destroyer. He does not really have the welfare of people in mind. He would not truly heal people, even if he HAD the power to do so, except for the purpose of deception. Since he does not have the power to heal, he deceives mankind by pretending that he heals people. He and his demons will “cooperate” with religious preachers, giving the appearance that these false ministers have power to heal, by voluntarily withdrawing from sick people whom they had made sick in the first place.
As we read above, Satan is pretending to be an angel of light, and “his ministers” are transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. Satan gives power to his servants and ministers to show great signs and wonders to deceive. They will be working LYING wonders, including apparent healings and exorcisms. It may appear as if God had used those ministers to heal a person or cast out a demon, but in reality, these “signs and wonders” by satanic ministers are LIES.
We read in Luke 13:11-16, that Satan, through a “spirit of infirmity,” had inflicted a woman for eighteen years with a sickness, causing her to bend over and being unable to raise herself up. But since Satan and his demons are inferior to God, Jesus cured the woman by casting out the demon, and that spiritual and physical healing was permanent.
On the other hand, demons may not always cooperate with those who pretend to work miracles by using the name of Christ, without having obtained godly authority to do so. This is especially true for those unordained persons who claim to be followers of Christ and think they can cast out demons. You might want to read what happened to some who tried to do this, as described in Acts 19:13-16.
We also need to state that some people may think they were healed while they were not, and others, claiming, testifying and “witnessing” their healing, are just simply frauds, being in conspiracy with fraudulent “faith healers,” whose goal it is to draw a paying following after themselves.
It is true, of course, that the mind of a person can have such a powerful influence on the body that a person may in fact experience physical improvement. God has put in motion automatic laws, pertaining to sickness and healing. The body can regenerate itself to an extent. When we cut ourselves with a knife, the wound will heal after a while. The same is true for psychosomatic symptoms, which might cause physical problems. Envy and jealousy can make us sick, quite literally. Once these wrong feelings are being dealt with, a revival of the body may be the automatic consequence.
But these are laws that are set in motion by God–they have nothing to do with the working of Satan or his demons. If, however, a person who is experiencing a natural improvement attributes the same to some kind of a healing power caused by “miracle-working holy water” or actions by a minister who is in reality a minister of Satan, then that person has inadvertently fallen into the trap of Satan’s deceptions.
We do take note of the fact that God has intervened to heal people in different ways and in different circumstances. For instance, He healed Naaman who followed the instructions of Elisha and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan (compare 2 Kings 5). In John 5 we read about the Pool of Bethesda that existed in Jerusalem and that was used by God in similar fashion to point to Himself as the true Healer (Psalm 103:3). In fact, Jesus came to this location and healed a man who had been infirm for thirty-eight years, showing that the Father had given to Him the power to heal–something He did for many sick people during His ministry, and the very thing that He commissions and empowers His true ministers to continue (Please see our free booklet, “Sickness and Healing–What the Bible Tells Us”).
We don’t want to deny the fact that God, in His mercy, might heal sick people who pray to Him, even though they do not really know Him. Or, true servants of God may pray for someone who is sick, and although the sick person might not know God, God might hear the prayers of His servants and heal the sick person. But in any case, such healing would be of God, not of Satan. Sadly, in far too many cases, people who were healed by God don’t give God the glory, but attribute their healing to false gods, “saints in heaven,” the “Virgin Mary,” far-Eastern powers or other such sources.
In addition, it appears likely that Satan or his demons may give the ability to some persons not to feel pain (we might think of certain gurus who walk on fire with their bare feet or who pierce themselves with spears or cut themselves with knives), or who, through the influence of satanic forces, appear to be able to make others sick by pronouncing a curse on them (we might think of the horrible practice of Voodoo sorcery and witchcraft, etc.).
Again, when these demonically inspired or possessed sorcerers “lift their curse,” the sick person may recover due to the fact that the demonic influence, which caused the “curse” of sickness, might cease, at least for a while. It should be clearly seen, however, that none of these evil practices have anything to do with the workings of the Holy God of the Bible.
We are to test the spirits whether they are of God. “Healing waters” are not of God, and neither are false ministers (pretending to be servants of God). Even though they might offer to pray for the sick (sometimes right over television) or they misappropriate the biblical concept of an anointed cloth and offer to send a “healing cloth,” they are in truth ministers of Satan, and any ensuing “healings” are neither genuine, nor are they of godly origin.
The Bible tells us how we can distinguish a servant of God and a servant of Satan. For one, he must understand and teach the truth about who and what God was, is and will be; as well as who and what Jesus Christ was and what He did; what He is doing today; and what He will do in the future (John 1:1-2, 5, 14; Hebrews 1:1-4; 1 John 2:22-23; 4:2-3, 14-15; 5:6; 2 John 7; Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14; 2 Peter 3:1-12). In addition, he must understand and teach the righteous law of God (Isaiah 8:16, 20; 1 John 2:4; 3:10). Otherwise, there is no light and godly power in such a person, and whatever he or she may do in regard to “healing” is tantamount to ungodly deception.
Christ warned, however, that some of the lying miracles and signs shown by the human instruments of Satan, claiming to be godly “teachers,” “preachers,” “ministers,” “priests,” “faith healers,” “evangelists,” “prophets” or “apostles,” will appear so real that even God’s very elect could be deceived, if it were possible. We must be careful not to fall for such deception, and reject any and all kinds of fellowship with Satan and his evil works of darkness (2 John 9-11; Ephesians 5:8, 11; 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17).
Lead Writer: Norbert Link