Revelation 13:13 – He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
In the last section, we saw that the false prophet operates in the power and authority of the first beast, who gets his power from Satan. The false prophet uses this power to do great signs, including calling down fire from Heaven. God sent fire down from Heaven on several occasions:
- Angels destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24, Luke 17:28-29)
- Moses called down fire and hail on Egypt (Exodus 9:22-23)
- God sent fire from Heaven to consume Elijah’s sacrifice before the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18)
- Elijah called down fire on the soldiers of King Ahaziah (2 Kings 1)
- God sent fire from Heaven to consume the sacrifices after Solomon dedicated the temple
(2 Chronicles 7:1)
- God will send fire from Heaven to consume His enemies at the end of the Millennium
But Satan also has the power to send fire down from Heaven, and when he used this power on Job’s household, it was mistaken as fire from God:
Job 1:9-12 – So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Job 1:13-16 – Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away – indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
As we will see in the next section, Satan gives his power to the false prophet to do great signs such as calling fire down from Heaven to deceive others. People tend to associate signs and wonders with the power of God, but God calls the signs and wonders of Satan a lie:
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 – 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.
As discussed in Revelation 11:3-6, the two witnesses perform miracles and call down plagues on the earth like Moses and Aaron called down plagues on Egypt. Perhaps, the false prophet performs signs and wonders to counterfeit the miracles and plagues of the two witnesses to discredit them the way Pharaoh’s magicians tried to discredit Moses. And as Pharaoh continued to have a hardened heart through the counterfeit plagues, most of the world will become hardened against God and follow the beast instead.
The battle of the signs and wonders between God’s two witnesses and the two beasts will test the hearts of the Jews too. Jews generally seek a sign before they will believe:
Mark 8:11-12 – Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”
John 4:48 – Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
God uses signs to test the Jews to see if they will follow the Lord or follow the signs:
Deuteronomy 13:1-4 – “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ – which you have not known – ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.”
However, many Jews will choose to reject the signs and wonders from the Lord because they don’t really have a heart for God and instead follow after the lying signs and their own hearts like the children of Israel in Moses’ day:
Acts 7:36-42 – He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years. “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ “This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us, whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven….”
While Jews look for signs and God gives them signs to test them, Christians do not need signs:
1 Corinthians 1:22 – For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom….
2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight.
“Great wonders”: The same phrase is used of Jesus’ miracles (John 2:11, 23; 6:2), which indicates the false prophet performs signs that counterfeit Christ’s. Satan, who has done supernatural works in the past (e.g., Exodus 7:11; 2 Tim. 3:8), must use his strategy of false miracles to convince the world that Antichrist is more powerful than God’s true witnesses (chapter 11), including Jesus Christ.
“Fire come down from heaven”: The context indicates that the false prophet does counterfeit pyrotechnic signs continually to convince men of his power, and also the elimination of the two witnesses (11:5, 7).
The False Prophet will deceive unbelievers of the earth by means of wonders and miracles, accomplished through satanic power. He will produce the miracles of Elijah and as a false Elijah as he will lead people to worship a false messiah.
We will see in the next few verses of Revelation that the Antichrist system, which is a counterfeit god, contains three positions. You see, the Antichrist is trying to take the place of the Godhead. The Godhead is God the Father, God the Word (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. The Antichrist system will contain Antichrist, the false prophet, and the beast. The devil is trying to mimic God. In our age, it would be no problem to have fire come down from heaven. This is a lying wonder.
In fact, signs and wonders are often a stumbling block for Christians. Consider the vision of Fatima. Nearly 70,000 people witnessed a strange phenomenon that made the sun look like a strange fireball coming down to Earth. This sign served to authenticate in the minds of many the visions of three children who claimed to see Jesus’ mother Mary:
“While many people believed the children had actually seen the Virgin, many others discounted the children’s story, subjecting them to much derision and ridicule. When it became known the Lady would visit the children for the last time on October 13, 1917, and had promised a sign that would convince the world she had appeared, many pilgrims made plans to attend.
Though the region had been subjected to three days of torrential downpour, nearly 70,000 people journeyed through the heavy rain and mud to the place of the previous apparitions to witness the predicted miracle. Many were scornful, unbelievers whose sole intent was to discredit the children’s stories.
Suddenly the “clouds separated… and the sun appeared between them in the clear blue, like a disk of white fire.” The people could look at the sun without blinking and while they gazed upward, the huge ball began to “dance.” The huge fireball whirled rapidly with dizzy and sickening speed, flinging out all sorts of brilliant colors that reflected on the faces of the crowds. The fiery ball continued to gyrate in this manner three times, then seemed to tremble and shudder, and plunge in a mighty zigzag course toward the earth. The crowd was terrified, fearing this was the end of the world.
However, the sun reversed course and, retracing its zigzagging course, returned to its normal place in the heavens. All of this transpired in approximately ten minutes. After realizing they were not doomed, the crowd began ecstatically laughing, crying, shouting and weeping. Many discovered their previously drenched clothing to be perfectly dry.”
After this “miracle in the sun,” more people turned to idolatrous practices of praying the rosary and veneration of Mary instead of turning toward Christ. Clearly this sign and wonder was Satan’s deception. If a sign seen by 70,000 can have such a large impact, we can only imagine how much more people will follow the beast when everyone in the world witnesses similar signs and wonders attributed to the beast.
image courtesy: Revelation 13:13 -ayin-dk
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.