God sent down fire from Heaven every time a sacrifice was consumed. However, in the Old Testament, there are at least seven very significant recorded occurrences of fire from Heaven:
- Fire from Heaven destroyed Job’s flocks (Job 1:16).
- Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire from Heaven (Gen 19:24, Luke 17:29).
- Fire from Heaven devoured Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-2)
- Elijah called down fire from Heaven upon King Ahaziah’s soldiers (2 Kings 1:10,12).
- Fire from Heaven consumed David’s sacrifice (1 Chron 21:26).
- The sacrifice at the dedication of the Temple was consumed by fire from Heaven (2 Chron 7:1).
- Elijah’s sacrifice on Mt. Carmel was consumed by fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18:38)
Fire from Heaven in the New Testament
There is no record of fire being sent from Heaven by God in the gopels and the writings of Paul and the other apostles. However, James and John asked Jesus to call down fire from Heaven to consume a Samaritan village that had not received Him (Luke 9:52-54). But it was not Jesus’ will to judge the people of the city with fire. He told His disciples, “…the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…” (Luke 9:56)
In Acts we read of the Holy Spirit coming down from Heaven and appearing as cloven tongues of fire, but this fire did not consume. “…it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 2:3-4). The Holy Spirit is not fire. He only appeared “as” fire.
Fire Down from Heaven — yet to come!
During the seventieth week of Daniel (The Tribulation), the false prophet will “make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Rev 13:13), but this is not sent from Heaven by God. This is the power of Satan copying God’s fire from Heaven.
Fire from Heaven will come down again one last time. Following the millennial reign of Christ, when Satan is loosed, the nations are deceived, and Satan gathers followers to battle against God, then God will send fire to devour Satan and his troops.
Rev 20:9 And they [Satan and his troops] went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city [Jerusalem]: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Love Came Down from Heaven
Yes, God did send fire from Heaven in judgment. But God also sent Love from Heaven when He sent Jesus:
- John 3:31 He that cometh from heaven is above all.
- John 6:33 For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
- John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
- John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever…
Christian apologists Alex McFarland and Shari Abbott answer some of life's many questions concerning the gospel, faith, and the Bible by sharing Truth for a New Generation and Reasons for Hope found only in Jesus. For more information about apologist, evangelist, author, and religion and culture analyst, Alex McFarland, visit www.alexmcfarland.com. For more information about Shari Abbott, executive director of Reasons for Hope* Jesus, click here.
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