In the Old Testament
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)
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…but He didn’t do it. (Luke 9:52-54). And the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven and appeared as cloven tongues of fire, but this was only the appearance “as” fire. (Acts 2:3-4).
Fire Down from Heaven — yet to come!
During 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 will not be fire sent from Heaven by God. It will be Satan’s work of copying what God does. But 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.