How will we be able to tell a false miracle from a real miracle if the demons will be able to have that power to try to deceive us? (The False Christs and False Prophets spoken of in Matt 24:24, Mark 13:22, Revelation 16:13, Revelation 19:20) This has been a question on my mind and heart as a discerner to equip and encourage His faithful and the seekers in the days that are I believe very close at hand. It seems like it ought to be obvious, but we are told that our enemy will seek to deceive even the elect.
The first place where the word “miracle” appears in the bible is when Moses faces off against pharaoh with their staffs turning into serpent. One article had an interesting view digging into the wording used in the passage:
“Thus, we see that similar miracles are used to convince the Jews and the Egyptians. Yet, the miracles are not identical. For the Jews, Moses’ staff turns into a snake (nachash), while for the Egyptians, Aaron’s staff turns into a serpent (tanin).”
Besides the use of word differentiation, we can also see the nature behind the miracle.
It may seem obvious on the surface, but keep in mind…when you are in self deceit, your mindset is just that…into self. In that state, you are unable to see or grasp past your self. Pharoah quotes, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ (Exodus 7:9 NKJV blueletterbible).
The nature of godly miracles unfurls in Mark 9:39. In this passage, the disciples were concerned that a man outside their circle so to speak, was performing miracles. But scripture denotes the difference between “miracles” that are of real concern as opposed to true miracles. The big question is whose name and thereby authority is attributed? A true miracle is not attributed to ourselves and it won’t be attributed by the Antichrist.
A true miracle is done in the name of Jesus. And He even includes the fruit of the miracle: “no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.” (Mark 9:39 NKJV blueletterbible) because Jesus is steadfast.
In Luke 23:8 Herod exemplifies the behavior that Jesus attributes to a “wicked generation” that will ask for a sign or seek a sign rather than Jesus Himself.
On the surface, it may by fleshly logic, seem good, comparable to a doubting Thomas. However, Thomas had been in Jesus presence and wanted to see the wounds not for Jesus to prove Himself to him, but to stand up against the hearsay.
Herod, in this verse differs in motive two ways. Herod, from his kingly position wanted to see Jesus whilst Roman citizens in his kingdom had faith in Jesus healing power, coming rather to Him, seeking Him out, two springing to mind are the centurian who asked Jesus to heal his child (not having to physically come to his house,) and the other who, who at the cross, is recorded as stating, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” (Matt 27:54 NKJV blueletterbible)
The second half of Luke 23:8 says that Herod, “hoped to see some miracle done by Him.” (NKJV-blueletterbible). Hope is different than prayer and faith. Hope, by itself is wishing without active conversation and trusting what God says to your heart aligned with scripture. Herod was seeking evidence rather than trust in the Truth. “Faith IS “THE EVIDENCE of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV blueletterbible) and “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Hebrews 11:6-NKJV blueletterbible.)
Not that we aren’t called to use discernment and not that it is wrong to ask Jesus to reveal Himself. He wants us to get to know Him. But the real question is if you want to know Him personally or merely what He can “do for you” or know only His works or only in others cases know only His word. Most of us have heard the “I only need the Bible” dismiss of Testimony. There is a beautiful and sacred interactive relationship between Truth and Spirit. The scripture calls us to worship in both. The Pharisees are chided for knowing neither.
We find two characteristics of a true miracles nature observed by those who were secular in Acts 4:16.
1. That the miracle was evident to all.
2. That they themselves could not deny it.
FIFTH AND FINAL
The history prior to the miracle is recorded and verified. Over and over with Jesus miracles, the history of the person miraculously healed was accompanied by testament of the person’s history and backed up by witness…the parents who desired healing for their demoniac children, the parents of the blind man healed, the disciples witnessing the healing of the demonized man to his right mind, the woman who bled internally for years (how would they know that without verifying with physicians or people who knew her?), the man in this Acts 4 passage who for 40 years had lived this way. It isn’t just hearsay with no verifiable history testimonial to Jesus.