Previously: Satan will be released – Revelation 20:7-8
Rev. 20:9 – They came up over the surface of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them. (HCSB)
Then fire came down from heaven
“They” in verse 9 are the armies of Satan, which surround Jerusalem. But fire descends from heaven and consumes them. We have seen references to heavenly fire in other passages:
- The Lord sends burning sulfur to destroy the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19).
- Fire comes down from heaven to consume a burnt offering, its wood and stones, and even a trench of water around it in the days of Elijah as he squares off against the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18).
- Fire again rains down from heaven on several occasions to destroy the messengers sent to Elijah by King Ahaziah (2 Kings 1).
- James and John ask Jesus for permission to call down fire from heaven on a Samaritan village that rejects the Messiah, but He rebukes His followers and leads them to another place (Luke 9:51-55).
- The two witnesses in Revelation 13 are able to call down fire from heaven.
- And here in Revelation 20 fire destroys the enemies of God.
Fire often is a sign of the presence of God and highlights His purity, holiness, and wrath.