Fire From Heaven
When God accepted the animal sacrifices during the old testament period, He sent fire from heaven to consume it.
The pagan gods could not accomplish this task. This fact is shown in the story of Elijah and the false prophets.
Elijah, one of God’s prophet, challenged four hundred and fifty prophets of the idol Baal and four hundred prophets of Asherah to a contest. The Israelites were led astray into idolatry by the wicked king, Ahab, and evil wife, Jezebel. So Elijah called everyone to a meeting on Mount Carmel and said to them:
“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18: 21).
The people were speechless with shock because this was the ultimate challenge that will separate the tares from the wheat. It was a battle of good versus evil to determine who was the true and living God.
Elijah told the prophets of Baal to prepare an altar to their gods with a sacrifice and lay it on the wood, but they should not put any fire to it. He would also do the same.
Then they should call on the name of their gods, and he would pray to the Lord, and the God who answered by fire, He is God (1 Kings 18:23-24)
It is interesting to note that Elijah in the last sentence already declared who the winner was. The word ‘God’ was written with a capital G, meaning the name Jehovah who answered by fire. He already knew that only God was capable of sending fire from heaven to earth.
On the day of the contest, the false prophets worshiped first. They created a big commotion from morning until noon calling on their god, but it was stone deaf and could not hear them. They mutilated themselves while beseeching to their god but to no avail. Elijah jeered and mocked them while they carried on their sacrilegious performances.
Finally, when they fell exhausted to the ground, Elijah took over and prepared his altar ordering that they poured several jars of water on the sacrifice, wood and all around the altar. Then he called on the Lord God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and immediately He answered.
The fire came down from heaven and consumed the entire offering, the wood, stones, dust and even the water in the trench around the altar.
When the people saw this mighty act of God they all fell on their faces and cried,
“The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” (1 Kings 18:39)
Elijah destroyed all the false prophets and idols from the land, and the people repented and worshiped the Lord God. The Lord healed the land, and the drought ended (1 Kings 18:41-46)
Satan was humiliated on that day, and since then he has been trying to impersonate this particular miracle. He finally succeeded, and this was shown to John in the Book of Revelation.
John had a vision of two beasts. The first beast came out of the sea while the second rose from the earth.
The second beast performed great signs and even made fire came down from heaven to earth in the sight of men. As a result, the beast was able to deceive the people on earth.
The beast even went as far as telling the people to make an image of the first beast. Then power was given to the second beast to give breath to the image of the beast so that it could speak. This creature also caused anyone who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (Revelation 13)
As stated earlier, Satan cannot create life, but in the above verse, it appeared as if he was able to do so through this second beast. This second beast was so powerful that it caused everyone, rich and poor, great and small to receive a mark. No one was able to buy or sell unless they receive the name, number or mark of the beast.
Note that no one escapes! Everyone will receive a mark! This beast was able to perform miracles that Satan could not do with his prophets in the past.
Consequently, this beast became famous and popular on earth. It also made a name for itself because it had a name and a number. Note that the intention of the people who built the tower and city of Babel was to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11). Well, they finally accomplished this task in the vision of John.
Many theories existed concerning the identity of these two beasts. However, the identity of the beasts is given to us in the Bible. We only need to follow the trails.
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Who is this beast? Why was it so powerful that it was able to perform miracles that Satan could not previously be accomplished? Is this beast a human or a system? Or is it a country? Write your answers in the comment box below.
For more information about these beasts and their origin, get your copy of Harm Not The Oil And Wine.