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Can televangelists do miracles?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23

You see them on the TV—Televangelists causing amazing miracles to occur. People in wheelchairs walk. People with back problems dance. People who have a hard time seeing now see clearly.

So what’s happening here? Is it real?

Many believe that today’s televangelist are modern day false prophets. If that is so, could false prophets do miracles? Matthew 7:22 seems to indicate that false prophets/teachers did prophesy in God’s name, cast out demons and perform many miracles.

Here are some possible explanations for what happened in Jesus' time:
  1. God could have given them the power, despite their hearts, in order to reach the people who wanted to believe and needed help. For example, a spiritual medium (the Witch of Endor) called up the spirit of Samuel for King Saul in the Old Testament. A miracle supposedly caused by a false prophet, but controlled by God for other purposes.
  2. The false prophets thought they were doing miracles, when they really were not. They were sincere but ignorant.  They watered down the truth and communicated things that did not really occur.
  3. The false prophets maliciously manipulated people into thinking they were doing miracles. They selfishly wanted all the glory.
However, it’s more likely Jesus in this statement referred to those who manipulate people into thinking they were prophesying, exorcising and doing miracles when it was really a scam. The false prophets believed they were doing miracles, but God was not involved.
We cannot judge the hearts of televangelists today. We cannot say all those miracles that occur on television are real or fake. Many of them are unverifiable. Getting up from a wheelchair is hardly the same as restoring a missing limb or curing someone of a facial disease.

Televangelists (for the most part) use emotion and energy to stir audiences and to get their adrenaline pumping. It’s amazing what you can do when thousands are looking at you on TV or in a stadium. The pressure can make a person with back problems dance!

Some questions to ask:
  • Can televangelists do miracles off stage?
  • Can televangelists walk into hospitals and cure people?
Jesus never used any tricks to do the miraculous.  The miracles he did were permanent and powerful, without explanation.  He performed them in small groups and in large groups.

When he walk the earth, nobody questioned if Jesus really did miracles.  They questioned whether he was God.  By doing miracles, and rising from the dead, Jesus proved it.