And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village…Luke 9:54-56
A True Sign
How do you know if you’re a man or woman of God? Disciples James and John apparently thought it was in possessing the ability to call down fire from Heaven in order to consume souls. It would appear that they had taken an Old Testament verse out of context.
So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
2 Kings 2:10
The truth of the matter is that contextually, James and John were partially correct, bearing in mind the figurative and literal applications. The reality is that being able to call down a consuming fire from the Heavenly realm is a sign that a person is a man or woman of God. James and John, the ‘Sons of Thunder’ had erred in their application—they were hell-bent on annihilation while Jesus was Heaven-bent towards salvation.
“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29
Godly men and women always have the ability to call down consuming fire, as long as it is directed to consume a person’s spirit; not his soul. God’s word is that fire! The Christian is commanded to operate in such a method that will win souls to Christ, not condemn them to a spiritual death. Therefore, it is a sign that you are a man or woman of God if you function in this manner—you have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to call down such fire from Heaven!
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
There will come on the scene one who also will be able to call down fire. I am of course referring to the Antichrist. I for one do not believe I will be on the scene when Antichrist makes his earthly appearance, but nevertheless, he will possess this grand ability. Now I don’t want to end on a somber note, but rather use the point to emphasize that our propensity must always be towards saving souls and satan’s function and goal will always be the exact opposite–destruction. Make no mistake about it, antichrists (note: little ‘a’) are on the scene as you read this. Anyone who operates with a mindset to condemn and destroy is drawing upon the spirit of antichrist—that was the case with James and John.
Suffice it to say, if you are not a born again believer and find yourself trying to survive in Tribulationary times, do not be deceived by the great signs you might see. Jesus Christ is the only way!
- Spirituality – Re: Armageddon and Antichrist 666 are they real ? (disclose.tv)
- Does Jesus Love You? (carolynpriesterjones.org)
- My challenge to believers of the day… which side of the fire are you on? (37stories.wordpress.com)