The Battle for the Mind

Healed by Satan

In the case report which follows, we relate the astounding experience of a Seventh-day Adventist woman who was “healed” through an agent of Satan. We cannot emphasize too strongly that whenever we submit to be healed by one of Satan’s agents the devil does not work His miracles and then leave us alone. Whenever such a miracle takes place the healed one remains in the hands of Satan as his captive.

This experience occurred in Jamaica some years ago, and was told by a now deceased Seventh-day Adventist American missionary minister, John ___. We will refer to him as Elder John.

In Elder John’s church, a Seventh-day Adventist member suffered from a form of palsy which caused her to have a severe and rather disabling tremor, possibly much like Parkinsonism. She asked Elder John if he thought it wise that she consult a certain Jamaican healer who was reputed to have great success in healing all manner of diseases. Quickly Elder John advised her: “No, do not go!” Nevertheless, eventually she went to the healer and was apparently healed of her affliction. She did not fully realize that “the enemy [Satan] is revealed in persons to whom he has given power to work miracles.” Manuscript 125, 1901.

Concurrently with her healing, however, she stopped attending church services. She was very happy about being healed, but at the same time she had lost all interest in spiritual things. The Holy Spirit kept on wooing her, and in due time her lack of interest in spiritual matters began to worry her. She finally became so concerned and frightened that she sent for Elder John. She explained to him that she was greatly troubled, for since her healing she had lost all her desire to read her Bible or attend religious services.

“If I pray for you,” Elder John said, “should it be God’s will would you be willing to have the return of your former affliction, provided you could love God again, and worship with His people?” Undoubtedly, he explained to her how this might happen. “Yes, oh, yes, I would!” she answered. So Elder John offered a brief, sincere prayer in her behalf. Instantly, even during his prayer, she began to tremble with her hands as she had formerly done, indicating that her affliction had returned. However, her mind was once again attracted to the teachings of the Bible and she now desired to return to church to worship with God’s people. She had experienced a reconversion.

Satan Works Miracles

We are told that, where miracles are concerned, we will not be able to depend upon the evidences of our senses—what we see with our eyes and what we hear with our ears. (See The Great Controversy, 625.) We must depend wholly upon the counsels of inspiration; upon a “thus saith the Lord.”

Through His written Word, God clearly reveals that Satan is to work miracles by which he will take the world captive: “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Revelation 13:13, 14.

“Evil angels are working all the time upon the hearts of men. Satan is working with everyone who is not under the control of the Spirit of God. It is the lying wonders of the devil that will take the world captive, and he will cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men. He is to work miracles; and this wonderful, miracle-working power is to sweep in the whole world.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 51.

Posing as leader of the Christian world, Satan will cause disease and then apparently heal it: “We are approaching the end of this earth’s history, and Satan is working as never before. He is striving to act as director of the Christian world. With an intensity that is marvelous he is working with his lying wonders. . . . He creates sorrow and suffering and disease. Seeming to change his attributes, he apparently heals those whom he himself has tormented.” Manuscript 125, 1901.

In this connection, note the following passage: “Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles. They will make people sick by casting their spell upon them, and will then remove the spell, leading others to say that those who were sick have been miraculously healed. This Satan has done again and again.…These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

These are called apparent works of healing because Satan was instrumental through his agents in the tormenting of or casting a spell upon the sick one, causing the disease which he then apparently heals.

Apparent Healing—a Test

Please note carefully the last sentence of the above quoted passage: “These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.” Ibid. Who will be brought to the test by works of apparent healing? Specifically, Seventh-Adventists.

As we near the end, Satan will multiply his miracles and his apparent healings. He will, through his agents, appear to cure a great variety of maladies, including such physical disease as cancers and abdominal conditions, as well as psychological and demonic problems. We should not discount all of these healings as wholly fakes, for Satan is to work miracles in our day.

We have, as Seventh-day Adventists, felt secure, thinking that we, who have been warned of these false miracles, will surely recognize them. But let us remember that it is indeed Seventh-day Adventists who will be brought to the test by these miracles. Therefore it behooves us to study carefully and thoroughly the inspired differences between the false and the true.

Satan’s Agents

In these days of Satan’s multiplied deceptions, we need to realize that Satan has chosen agents to whom he gives his satanic power to work miracles. “Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles.” Ibid.

“He selects those who have not been drinking of the living waters, whose souls are athirst for something new and strange, and who are ever ready to drink at any fountain that may present itself.” Ibid., 50.

“The Word of God declares that when it suits the enemy’s purpose, he will through his agencies manifest so great a power under a pretense of Christianity that, ‘if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.’ The enemy is revealed in persons whom he has given power to work miracles.” Manuscript 125, 1901.

So great a power to work miracles will be displayed by Satan’s agents, that it will bring the very elect to the test. But let us bear in mind that “though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 51. Therefore, power—even great power—in working miracles is not evidence showing that an agent is a servant of God, or that his miracles are from God. On the contrary, these healings may be performed through “the miracle-working power of the great deceiver.” Ibid. Light and much power are not tests or an evidence that a work is from God.

“I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us Thy Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children.” Early Writings, 56.

True light and power experienced by God’s people will be accompanied with sweet love, joy and peace.

Miracles Are Not a Test Indicating God’s Favor

Because there will be both false and true miracles, and true and false agents, having great miracle-working power, miracles, in themselves, are not a test as to whether or not they are true. Yet, Satan will point to his false miracles as evidence that his works are from God: “We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation, that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness.”
Selected Messages, Book 2, 51.

While Satan and his agents will be pointing to their false miracles as evidence that Satan is the true healer, God’s people will be declaring that miracles in and of themselves, are not proof of a divine origin. Since these false miracles are to be performed before the close of probation we should expect to see them in our day—now! “The works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.” Ibid., 53. Could it be that this testing has already begun in our midst? We must bring every miracle-working claim to the law and to the testimony to determine its origin—including exorcism miracles.

The True Test

“None need be deceived” (Ibid., 50), for Seventh-day Adventists have in their hands the true test of agents, miracles or teachings—the law and the testimony. “Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1087.

“To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

“Christ says, ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ If those through whom cures are performed, are disposed, on account of these manifestations, to excuse their neglect of the law of God, and continue in disobedience, though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God. On the contrary, it is the miracle-working power of the great deceiver.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 50, 51.

In fact every statement and every miracle must be tested by God’s Word: “The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. At every revival of God’s work the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.” The Great Controversy, 593.

True Modern Miracles

Why are there so few modern miracles of which God is the author in this our day? If the popular healings are either fraudulent or satanic in origin, does not this offer a splendid opportunity for God’s people to demonstrate genuine miraculous healings? Sister White answers this question: “God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought.” Medical Ministry, 110.

“The way in which Christ worked was to preach the word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way; for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought.

“For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing combined with the teaching of the word.” Ibid., 14.

For the reason that Satan will exercise his power in working miracles, and because of the spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, God’s servants today will not find their safety in working miracles. Perhaps there will be but few genuine healing miracles wrought through the power of God, before that time when the latter rain falls upon God’s purified church, and then “the sick will be healed,” and “signs and wonders will follow the believers.” The Great Controversy, 612.

Sister White explains further that “The world will not be converted by the gift of tongues, or by the working of miracles, but by preaching Christ crucified.” Testimonies to Ministers, 424.

Today, our methods should be the same as were Christ’s: “He would not convert the world by His miracles. His work was to present the Word.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 411. Likewise, our work is to present the Word—Christ crucified.

Are God’s People Ready to Stand?

How sad to read that when Seventh-day Adventists are brought to the test by works of apparent healing, many, even of the members of God’s church, will be among those who will be deceived by Satan’s miracles. Are we prepared to stand during these perilous times?

“Evil angels are upon our track every moment. We expect a readiness on the part of bad men to act as Satan suggests; but while our minds are unguarded against his invisible agents, they assume new ground and work marvels and miracles in our sight. Are we prepared to resist them by the word of God, the only weapon we can use successfully?

“Some will be tempted to receive these wonders as from God. The sick will be healed before us. Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial which awaits us when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more fully exhibited? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? By departing from the plain precepts and commandments of God, and giving heed to fables, the minds of many are preparing to receive these lying wonders. We must all now seek to arm ourselves for the contest in which we must soon engage. Faith in God’s word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan’s power and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 302.

“It is fully time that every responsible worker should take his stand firmly on the word of God. This word is to be our defense when Satan works with such lying wonders that if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. It is then that those who have not stood firmly for the truth will unite with the unbelieving who love and make a lie. When these wonders are performed, when the sick are healed and other marvels are wrought, they will be deceived. Are we prepared for the perilous times that are right upon us? or are we standing where we will fall an easy prey to the wiles of the devil?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 352.

What a perilous time this will be for all of us who are living in these last days! “A superficial faith results in a superficial experience. . . . The light given me has been very forcible that many would go out from us, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” Ibid. Let us determine not to be among those having a superficial faith who will go out from us.

The Elect Shall Not Be Deceived

We have the promise that we shall not be deceived if Christ dwells within us: “Every one of us will be sorely tempted; our faith will be tried to the uttermost. We must have a living connection with God; we must be partakers of the divine nature; then we shall not be deceived by the devices of the enemy, and shall escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 50.

“Satan is playing the game of life for every soul.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 264. The battle for our minds will be severe.

“Let not the days pass by and precious opportunities be lost of seeking the Lord with all the heart and mind and soul. If we accept not the truth in the love of it, we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days, and believe them. Many strange things will appear as wonderful miracles, which should be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

Have we brought the test of the law and the testimony to the miracles claimed by the modern miracle-workers of our day? Even though these men may have great power to any and every extent it may be a power bestowed upon them by the great deceiver. Satan’s agents are pointing to their miracles claiming them to be a test of their authority. Have we carefully compared their methods and miracles with God’s Word? Let us not be among that number who will accept strange things which appear as wonderful miracles, if they ought to be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies.

“God calls for men of decided fidelity. He has no use in an emergency for two-sided men. He wants men who will lay their hand upon a wrong work and say, ‘This is not according to the will of God.’” Notebook Leaflets, No. 1, 4.

Editor’s Note: Taken from The Battle for the Mind, by Lloyd and Leola Rosenvold. Excerpts from the chapters “Satan is to Work Miracles” and “Healed by Satan.”