We must accept that the spirit of dissent is essential in any reformation.We understand that we are the Elijah company.
We cannot be part of this company and not intimidate people who are hostile to the demands of the Word of God
The Elijah company is humbled under the mighty hand of God
This company is activated by the Word of the Lord
We are able to stand before God at the mountain, enduring violent and great turbulence that would break rocks to pieces…. Endure the earthquake, endure the fire….. All the while waiting for the still, small voice of the Lord…. While waiting for the impartation that would activate us into the next phase in our journey…
Nothing else fires up this company other than the spirit filled Word of God….
We have no personal agenda…. Our passion is to turn the hearts of the people
1. Towards God…..
2. And fathers to their sons, and sons to their fathers….
We are zealous to dismantle all forms of idolatry that would be present themselves as obstacles to this process.
The angel speaks to the ageing Zacharias about John the Baptist…
17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Jerusalem was clearly concerned about the great number of people following John the Baptist…. So they sent a delegation from the Pharisees to meet with John…
Observe the conversation….
He does not introduce himself….
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (Isaiah 40:3)
The attitude of John the Baptist towards the Pharisees and Saducees was the same as the attitude of Jesus…
The public opinion was the same concerning Jesus….
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
The opinion amongst the priests and Levites from Jerusalem was that John could have been one of three people….
This means that his ways, his speech, his passion and zeal for God related to these people….. They all carried the same intensity for the things of God….. The fact that they thought he could be Elijah means that he operated in the spirit of Elijah….
“Make straight the way of the Lord”
14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.
It is the same spirit that fires up this company.
But here is the stark reality.
That the opinion amongst the Pharisees of this present day is that they do not see the connection. They do not see our association. If we observe church opinion …. They support Peter’s plan of constructing three tabernacles….
They are saying…. This one is for Christ
this one is for Elijah
This one is for John……
This is not the way it should be. the spirit of Elijah should fire us all up….
We should present a message that reflects the core values of these great reformers….
It is in these shared values that we will discover our synergy…
What are believers expecting to see?
Matt 11:8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
We are not called to be comfortable in king’s houses…. We represent the voice that cries out in the wilderness…..
We must demand an end of the vacillation between two opinions…
We thank God for the consistency and faithfulness of the saints to the call for reformation….
The feature of the ministry of Elijah is that he demanded that the people would choose their gods…… We do not run around with decision cards soliciting the membership of people who would come to the altar…..
The Elijah company will challenge the church of this day….
“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21)
But here is the reality….
Elijah never told the people who to choose…. He never looked for people to cross over from the eight hundred and fifty prophets ….
He merely demanded that the people would choose….
He trusted God completely to support His prophetic utterances….
Now look at Jesus…. Same thing
Jesus said the same thing to the Laodiceans…
“I wish you were hot or cold”
Jesus never instruct the church in Laodicea to be hot
We do not function from a place of weakness; we function from a place of great strength. Our trust is in the Lord.
Just spend a moment thinking about how some of us operate.
We spend hours with people trying to persuade them to support our ministries…. To come to church….
This is not the modus operandi of the Elijah company
We say simply …. CHOOSE
The choice is an uncomplicated choice
God or Idolatry. Stop vacillating.
Falter …. The Hebrew word “passah” …. lame or limp
As the Elijah company, the spirit of Elijah needs to drive our ministry.
We do not preach messages that place no demand on people ……..
The signature trait of this present Elijah company demands that our adoration and worship is for the ONE true God….
John the Baptist cried out “Prepare the Way of the Lord”
Jesus Himself declared to the Pharisees …..
“ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
In my humble understanding of the Elijah anointing, the choice is between two sides. And these two sides are easily identifiable in this present day.
GOD or IDOLATRY
Everything that represents God OR Everything that represents idolatry
FACTORS THAT WILL INTIMIDATE BELIEVERS TO FOLLOW IDOLS….
1. Desire for prosperity
In Canaan Israel was influenced to worship Baal and other deities.
The Canaanites controlled all of the fertile valleys
The children of God had the arid region on the hills.
We need to be mindful of these motivating influences that will distract us from following the Lord our God…. Materialism, intermarriage (being influenced by foreign doctrines), political persuasion ( how Jeroboam set up two golden calves …. he gave the people a choice to worship at either altar)…
King Ahaz’ reign was marked by Baal worship….
2 Chronicles 28:22-25
22 Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord. This is that King Ahaz. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, saying, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.
Material prosperity is not a sign of faithfulness to God.
We will go from the frying pan into the fire
Stay in the frying pan….even if the heat is unbearable….. It is God’s frying pan
“Though He slay me, I will trust Him”
2 Chronicles 28
24 So Ahaz gathered the articles of the house of God, cut in pieces the articles of the house of God, shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and made for himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem.25 And in every single city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord God of his fathers.
Here is a king who is unable to choose God.
He despised the articles of the house of God…. he despised the legacy of previous kings like Asa….
Guess what? Elijah is not going to spend days with him explaining to him why he should choose God.
This is what idolatry would do….
Ahaz made an idol out of the Syrian worship culture
He burned incense in the Valley of Hinnom …. The other name is particularly significant which is Topheth which means inferno….
This is where Ahaz offered his sons as a sacrifice to Molech… The Canaanite fire god …God calls this practice an ABOMINATION….
In times of great distress we can worship any opportunistic idol that will offer relief to our crisis.
Ahaz decided to adopt their patterns
He cut into pieces the articles of the house of God….
This is the king of Judah
His name means….
The verb אחז (ahaz), meaning to take hold of, seize or grasp, is used in pretty much any sense in which two naturally disconnected entities become firmly united.
What we are dealing with here is IDOLATRY in its purest form.
Where kings are unable to make a clear choice; and then stay with the choice irrespective of any challenge. We thank God for kings like Josiah who restored the integrity of the worship of the one true God.
We thank God for His enduring love for Israel that he would send His Son, the Christ, through this blemished tribe of Judah….
How long will we falter between two opinions?
So as the Elijah company, we are called to demand ONENESS IN THE WORSHIP OF THE LORD OUR GOD.
Some scholars believe that Elijah came from the tribe of Benjamin…. The feet generation…. The tribe of Benjamin was fierce and ravenous, warlike, bold and they were unintimidated, fearless and courageous……. It is no coincidence that we find the same passion and zeal in Paul concerning idolatry….
Paul and Barnabas were speaking in LYSTRA and a cripple received his healing….
That sign seeking community said….
“The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker
12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,
Barnabas and Paul did not wait to see it; they heard it and they began to destroy their clothing. This is the spirit of Elijah.
This is one of the defining characteristics of Elijah …. Humility…..We are men with the same nature as you….. It takes humility to make this statement….
Paul declares …. Do not drag us into your idolatrous culture…..
We will not be part of this….
TEARING OF ONE’S CLOTHES….
The tearing of one’s clothes is an ancient tradition among the Jews, and it is associated with mourning, grief, and loss.
To Paul this was treated as the loss of a loved one…. What did he lose?
He lost his goodwill with God….His integrity.
We must not elevate our nature…. be careful…. We are all flesh
Here is the challenge of Paul….
TURN FROM THESE USELESS THINGS TO THE LIVING GOD….
He spoke in the spirit of Elijah
Choose God or Idolatry!