Wednesday 24 March 202
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13
The words here continue referring to the second beast that has appeared. As noted, it is probably led by the false prophet of Revelation 16:13 & 19:20. Of this beast, John says, “He performs great signs.”
The word “sign” is the Greek word semeia. It is the same word often used to describe Jesus’ miracles. In 2 Thessalonians 2, it is noted that the antichrist will do these things as well, but they will be false signs. The same will certainly be true with the beast –
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10
John next notes that included in his false signs is a sign found elsewhere in Scripture. John says, “so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.”
This is something that goes all the way back to Elijah in the book of 1 Kings. At that time, Elijah called for a great contest between the God of Israel and the false god Baal. Baal couldn’t do anything because it was no god at all, but Elijah stepped forward and, with only a quiet prayer, came the heavenly response –
“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!’” 1 Kings 18:38, 39
Elijah also called down fire on bands of soldiers in 2 Kings 1. The beast will likewise perform this sign by making fire come down from heaven. What John sees may be modern artillery, rockets, or some other type of warfare. It also could be some type of weather control, causing lightning or some other event to occur. Whatever it will be, it will serve its intended purpose.
Life application: The people will see these false workings and the coming verse says that they will be deceived by him. Whatever this fire from heaven is, it will be discernable as a false sign. However, like crop circles and global warming – both of which have abundant evidence for being false – people would rather believe the lie than accept the truth.
All true miracles have the overarching purpose of bringing glory to God. Any supposed miraculous event that doesn’t do this is not a true miracle. The beast’s signs will only lead people away from God, not to glorifying him. Failure is found in the false prophet’s signs, and failure is found in those who follow him because of his false signs.
Unfortunately, if the beast is led by the false prophet, this religious leader will sway people from every corner of the religious spectrum and will be heralded as a great man of God. The root of the problem here is that people have failed to check things out for themselves in the word which God has provided, the Holy Bible.
One cannot know who God is apart from how He has revealed Himself. And He has revealed Himself through Jesus. Further, one cannot know Jesus without reading the word that tells of Him. Be sure to read your Bible. There you will find God, because it is there that you will learn of JESUS!
Heavenly Father, if we would simply devote our time to reading and knowing Your word, we would save ourselves so many pains and woes. But alas, it is far easier to watch TV or go out jogging than to sit and read the beautiful words of life. And because of this, we believe many lies rather than the one truth. Turn our hearts to Your word, O God. Amen.