1. Revelation 13:13 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What evil intent is behind this beast's performing of great signs?

Revelation 13:13 (ESV)

13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,

Upon God’s command Moses performed marvellous signs in the presence of Pharaoh (Exodus 4:17, Exodus 4:20; Exodus 10:2; Exodus 11:10). In the course of his earthly ministry the Lord Jesus did many wonderful signs (e.g., healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons). After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit the apostles also did many signs and wonders (Acts 2:43; Acts 5:12). In each of these cases, the mighty works were commonly done through words. Here the beast seeks to imitate God’s servants as a means to break their adoration for God (see Exodus 7:11, Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:7, Exodus 8:18; Exodus 9:11) and instead entice people to worship the first beast. As a striking example of a great sign the beast performs, we are told that he makes fire come down from heaven in the sight of the multitudes. Jesus had warned of false prophets who would “perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).