Messages Preached

I claim no authorship, some were borrowed, all preached with God's leadership

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Elijah On Mt. Carmel

[1]  ELIJAH ON MT. CARMEL


[1] adapted from "Handfuls On Purpose", Smith-Lee, Eerdmans Publishing, Vol. IX page 203


1 Kings 18:17-40  And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?  (18)  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.  (19)  Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.  (20)  So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.  (21)  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.  (22)  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.  (23)  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:  (24)  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.  (25)  And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.  (26)  And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.  (27)  And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.  (28)  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.  (29)  And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.  (30)  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.  (31)  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:  (32)  And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.  (33)  And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.  (34)  And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.  (35)  And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.  (36)  And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.  (37)  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.  (38)  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.  (39)  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.  (40)  And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

       

INTRODUCTION:           There Are Only Two Religions:    
              1.           The Religion of Man;
Man's religion may have much that is attractive and pleasing to men, but it lacks power and authority.     It is a lifeless body.

              2.           The Religion of God.
The religion of God is attested as Divine by miraculous fire from Heaven in answer to believing prayer

1 Kings 18:37  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

We have here-

I.            THE RELIGION OF MAN                                                      (v 19)
              A.           Its Followers
                             1.           There is many.

1 Kings 18:22  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

                             2.           A depraved religion will always be popular               
                                           i.            With a depraved humanity

Matthew 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

              B.           They Were Earnest.
                             1.           They cried aloud and
                                           i.            Cut them­selves with knives,          
                                           ii.           With zeal,
a.               But not according to
              knowledge

Romans 10:3  For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

                                           iii.          Is like a train on the wrong track.
                                                          a.           Obviously misdirected.
                                                          b.           Extremely dangerous
                                                         
              C.           They Were Deceived.

1 Kings 18:29  And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
                             1.           The favour and power of God
                                           i.            Cannot to be purchased with works

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
                                           ii.           Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
                                           iii.          Washed by the Holy Spirit
                                           iv.          It is always God’s Mercy

                             2.           The Holy Spirit will not   
                                           i.            Cause us to leap upon the altar and
                                                         a.           To cut ourselves

1 Corinthians 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
3.               It is by faith

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  (9)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Galatians 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

II.           THE RELIGION OF GOD AND HIS WORSHIPPERS.
              A.           It Cannot Be Said Of Christians
                             1.           What they worship
                                           i.            They know not what

1 John 5:20  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

              B.           They Are Comparatively Few.

1 Kings 18:22  Then said Elijah … I, even I only, remain ...

                             1.           Here is but one against four hundred and fifty,                                     i.            That one is not Elijah,
                                                          a.           It is God,
                                                          b.           Who Elijah trusted.
                                           ii.           The battle is the Lord's

1 John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

              C.           They Are Deliberately Faithful.

1 Kings 18:30  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me…

1.               See the calmness of Elijah.
i.                No “leaping and cutting” with him.
ii.               He doesn’t move hastily
a.          Because he believes in God

Isaiah 28:16  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

                                           iii.          To have such faith

James 5:17  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

D.              They Are Divinely Favoured.

1 Kings 18:38  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

1.               Our God is a consuming fire.
2.               When He comes
              i.            He consumes the hard heart,
                             a.           Licks up the dust of sin

Matthew 3:11-12  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  (12)  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

III.         THE CALL OF ELIJAH FOR A DECISION.

1 Kings 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions?...

              A.           That There Are Two Opinions.
                             1.           God's and man's.

Isaiah 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

                             2.           They are as wide apart as light and darkness.
                                           i.            Which do you follow?

Psalms 139:17  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

              B.           That There Are Many Who Halt Between Them.
                             1.           The choice is between the "wisdom of man"
                             2.           The “wisdom of God

READ:  1 Corinthians 1:19-30

                                           i.            Between sin unto death and
                                           ii.           Obedience unto righteousness

Romans 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

              C.           Only Those Who Have Decided For Jesus Are Safe
                             1.           When the people saw it they said,

1 Kings 18:39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

3.               The prophets were slain at the brook

1 Kings 18:40  And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

CONCLUSION:               Have you ever been to Mt Carmel, thought you were the only one who cared.  Felt so alone, discouraged because you were just alone?
              I have, many times since I became a believer.  Many times while here at this church.  Many times I wanted to call down the fire of God on my heart, to sear it from my desperation.   To help me just carry on in God’s work.
              How many times I have put out the fleece, to determine God’s will.  There have been those times, however, there are also all those other times where God has blessed not only me, but this church and individuals within this church.  It is great to see the rains of blessing shower down on droughts of blessings.
              Elijah hid in a cave to hide, because he feared for his life, because he felt he was all there was for God.  God reminded him that He had many more just like him.
              So, what valley are you in?  Are you hiding from God, afraid to worship as you could, because of some sin? 
              God knows where you are and He knows why you are withdrawing from Him.  So, look to:

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  (2)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God requires one thing from you, and that is you must decide what you will do.  It is your decision, not mine, nor is it God’s responsibility.  It is yours, to renew your mind, to not be conformed to this world.  God want you to make the right decision.  Joshua said:

Joshua 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

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