Sending down fire from heaven was one of the wonders that the second beast of Revelation 13 was able to perform.
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
Perhaps the second beast can be identified with materialistic science and technology.
I suggest the "fire from heaven" depicts modern warfare, rockets, and bombs, including nuclear weapons. It includes weapons such as the napalm used in Vietnam.
One of the most famous photos of the Viet Nam War was taken by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut. It shows a 9 year old Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, badly burned by a napalm attack, screaming in pain and naked, fleeing in terror from her burning village with her cousins and friends. Eventually Kim Phuc became a Christian, and forgave the men who dropped the bombs, who had caused her suffering, and left her body disfigured. She says, "forgiveness is more powerful than any weapon of war."
John said that the second beast deceived the people who dwell on the earth.
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. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
The image of the beast could be the media of television, and movies, etc. There is an "image" of the world that is presented by TV, and in movies, a human point of view. In contrast, the divine point of view is contained in the scriptures, and in prophecy, when it is properly understood.
Another kind of fire from heaven is mentioned in Revelation 20.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
This is a different kind of fire; the prophet Jeremiah likened God's word to a fire.
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.
Jesus said, referring to his words, that he came to send fire on the earth.
I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
The "fire from heaven" is God's word, the message of the Gospel.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The judgment of the enemies of God, that comes from the mouth of the two witnesses, is called a fire.
And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2013 by Douglas E. Cox
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