Question: My friend was in a class at her church that was conducting an “Other Faiths” Bible Study on Sunday nights. One of the lessons spoke about the beliefs of Islam and their view of Jesus. My friend asked, “Well, why do they not believe Jesus is God if they believe He performed miracles.” One of the other students said, “The devil can perform miracles.” “Even healing?” she asked. The teacher then made the comment, “The devil has the power to heal…even Jesus said so in the scripture.” She was so stricken at what she was hearing that she couldn’t ask him where in the Bible he was getting this info. I told her that I had never heard of such information as Satan having healing powers. I know that each of us as believers, who are obedient, living in God’s will, has the power to declare healing. It’s just that oftentimes we don’t declare that power.
Answer: In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says to some who claim to have prophesied in his name and done many miracles and expelled demons in his name, that he doesn’t know them. How did they do those things, if indeed they did (and Jesus does not contradict that part of their testimony), if they were not His? Deuteronomy 13:1-5 mentions the case of a prophet who foretells by dreams and announces miraculous signs that actually take place, but prophesies of false gods. How can a false prophet do that? In Revelation 13 we’re introduced to the Beast and the False Prophet, servants of Satan who seek to rule and deceive the world by creating an image of the Beast that the False Prophet is able to give breath to so that it speaks and people worship it. Verse 14 says he was “given power” to do this, but it does not say who gave him the power. The most likely answer is that this power was given him by Satan. Satan was allowed to do powerful (“miraculous”) things to harm Job and his children. We read of demons that make people appear to be sick or handicapped (Luke 9:37-42; 13:10-13). It is possible that if Satan wanted to deceive people he might release a demon-influenced person from the demon-caused debilitation and it would look like a healing. However, we are never given an indication that Satan can actually heal a real disease.
I would also suggest that there are times when we cannot declare a healing because God has not willed for us to be healed. When Paul asked God three times to remove a “thorn in the flesh” (a “messenger of Satan” we are told), an unspecified ailment he suffered, God said no, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10). It seems that only God has the power and the wisdom to determine who does and who doesn’t receive healing (Exodus 4:11) and that Satan is not even used as an agent in healing. All he can do is counterfeit God’s healing.
As to Islam and it’s resistance to accepting Jesus as God, it is true that those who don’t know God can do “miraculous” things by the power of Satan, but not things that result in people genuinely turning from sin to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus’ miracles were indeed miracles of true healing and even bringing dead people back to life and pointed people to the true God. He also claimed to be the Messiah and accepted worship as God. The miracles he performed witnessed to the truth of his self-claims to be the Son of God, in fact, the one known as Yahweh to the Jews, God Himself. Moslems should, indeed, accept this about Jesus but will not allow themselves to accept this truth because it will counter all they have accepted from the teaching of Muhammed, who himself never claimed to do any miracles.
The Jews should have accepted Jesus and his miracles by testing his power and how it matched with his teaching. The religious leaders who claimed Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Satan (Mark 3:22-29) should have instead examined his teaching and made the judgment that he was not leading them to idolatry but to the true God, and should have approved him to the masses. This was their biggest failing.