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The God Who Consumes by Fire

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1 Kings 18:20–39 KJV 1900
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.
“The God who answers by fire”
I want to preach to you tonight on the subject;
“The God who answers by fire”
Nearly 3 years earlier; Elijah prophesied and He said to the people that “nether dew nor rain would come, but only by his word”.
Then the word of the Lord came to him; that he was to leave Gilead and head east of the Jordan to Cherith.
He said nether dew nor rain would come, but only by his word.
Then the word of the Lord came to him; that he was to leave Gilead and head east of the Jordan to Cherith.
and while he was there: the Lord would provide food for him by the raven.
The bible tells us that the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and the evening, and he drank from the brook
But eventually the brook dried up and God told him to leave again, and for him head to Zarephath and there he was to be taken care of by a widowed women.
the meal in the barrel and the oil in the cruise never ran dry.
and this is where the word of the Lord came to elijah again;
God told him to go and show himself to King Ahab.
Elijah had been hiding from the King; but God told him that it was time to come out of hiding and face the king.
The king wanted Elijah because the king thought that Elijah was a trouble maker.
so Elijah packed up and headed out to present himself to king Ahab.
At the same time; because the famine was so severe; King Ahab called a man by the name of Obadiah (the palace administrator) which was a devout believer in the Lord
Ahab said to Obadiah; go throughout the land and search for water and grass that we might be able to keep the animals alive.
So Obadiah goes one way and King Ahab goes the other.
and as Obadiah was walking along; he met up with Elijah the prophet
Quick backdrop on this story;
There meeting up with one another startled Obadiah; because he was a believer of the Lord and he knew that king Ahab wanted Elijah.
Elijah had been in hiding for three years from King Ahab.
Elijah recognized this within Obadiah so; Elijah said to Obadiah to go and tell King Ahab; Elijah is here.
Elijah said to Obadiah to go and tell King Ahab Elijah is here.
And Obadiah done as requested of Elijah.
And when Ahab saw Elijah he said to him;
Is that you, you troubler of Israel.
Elijah said; I have not troubled Israel , but you and your father’s house you all have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and ya’ll have followed baal.
ya’ll have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and ya’ll have followed baal.
Elijah told the King to gather all of Israel and all the prophets of baal and Asherah and all those that followed the baals and meet him on mount carmel.
Asherah and all those that followed the baals and meet on mount carmel.
and this where we are tonight.
on Mount carmel;
when they had all gathered; Elijah didn’t beat around the bush;
He didn’t try to sugar coat the message.
He began; by saying:
How long do Ye halt;
How long will you waver between two opinions?.................................
I ask you tonight
How long are you waver between two opinions?
Many people are claiming or giving themselves the title “christians”;
But the reality is many people are deceived.
Just like the the people of Israel;
They were deceived.
They were worshipping the idols of baal.
and this is the reason they were in a severe famine.
you can’t expect Gods blessings to be upon your life if you turn your back on His word.
They turned their back on the commandments of God.
and God spoke through His Prophet; Elijah,
That their would not be dew or rain until Elijah said so.
and because of this; Elijah had to flee for his life.
and the nation was in a severe drought.
If you and I are not careful;
we may see the blessing of God removed from our lives
You say not us;
God is being replaced on every corner with idols of every kind.
The bible tells us; we are to be sanctified; which means to come out and be separate from this world.
There is just as much sin going on within the realm the church as there is in the world.
Christians are becoming cold to the things of God.
There used to be a fire within the church,
People used to be passionate about the things of God.
But somewhere along the way;
the fire has dwindled down.
Now; I’m not looking to get on a bus and go back to what use to be,
I’m looking for a fire for today.
I want to see people on fire for the Lord.
I want to see people baptized in the Holy Ghost.
I want to see people called to preach and teach this Gospel.
I want to see these young people go to their campuses and take a stand for God; no matter the consequences.
but it will never happen as long as we halt between two opinions.
Elijah was standing before the people and he knew they were confused.
Baal was supposed to be the god of the rain;
but they were in a severe drought.
Didn’t make any since
Elijah told the people; get two bulls and let the prophets of Baal choose which one they want and he would take the other.
He said; have the prophets prepare the bull they choose and and I’ll prepare mine;
and will put it on two separate piles of wood but we want set it on fire.
He told them to call on there god and He would call on his God;
and the god that answers by fire-
He is God.
The people agreed.
so here they were on mount carmel.
the prophets of Baal prepared their bull,
they cut it into pieces and placed it on the pile of wood and they began to call of the name of baal.
they called and they called; but nothing happened
they called from morning until noon and baal didn’t show up.
Baal: answer us
But there was no response.
They danced around the altar they made; and they continued to shout:
Baal; Answer us,
and again nothing would happen
no doubt the people where confused and discouraged.
And Elijah the prophet began to taunt them’
He told them to shout Louder.
Maybe your god is in a deep thought.
maybe he is busy!
Maybe he is busy or traveling
or maybe he is sleeping;
and the people shouted louder and took their swords and began slashing themselves until the blood began to flow.
They continued frantically until it was time for the evening sacrifice;
but the bible says: no one answered them and no one paid attention.
could you imagine the scene in your mind:
How rideculious it must have been.
from morning until evening.
the people making fools of themselves.
calling on a god that didn’t even exist.
cutting themselves;
these people had lost their fire
they had taken their eyes off of the one true God.
and they found themselves in utter despair.
can I tell you:
they were living in utter despair.
but Elijah steps back on the scene.
He said to the people:
“come here to me”
They came and I want us to notice what the Prophets does.
He didn’t tell them to send him a $1000 and all their problem would be taken care of.
He didn’t tell them: to start this program or that program.
He didn’t tell them:
He didn’t tell them:
He didn’t tell them:
He didn’t tell them:
But the bible tells us that: he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down.
Let me say that again:
He repaired the altar of the Lord.
Elijah took twelve stones; one for each of the tribes descended form Jacob.
with the stones he built an altar in the Name of the Lord.
Not in the name of budaah or alla
But in the name of the Lord.
The name that is above all names
Elijah digs a trench around the altar large enough to hold t.
He arranged the wood and cut the bulls into pieces and laid it on the wood.
Then he told the people to fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.
He told them to do it again three different times.
The bible tells us that the water ran down the altar and it filled the trench that had been dug around the around
couple things I want us to notice:
1. first of all there was a great famine in the land;
and water was the most precious resource of the day.
Man cannot live without water and we know from the scriptures there was a lack of it
because the king himself wander through the land to scout for water.
It was precious and scares,
But Elijah told them to fill four jars and pour it on the altar.
three different times until the offering; the wood; and the trenches were filled.
now I want us to realize this tonight:
2. God does not accept just any ole offering.
He knows the sacrifice that is made when we offer something to Him.
So many times we come to the altar; and we bring our offering;
but the reality is that; many times our offering hasn’t cost us anything.
we come half hearted and we might do good to shed a tear.
but for the people to pour that water on the altar: it was a sacrifice.
It wasn’t done half hearted
they had already seen; that their god wasn’t going to show up;
and I believe they were desperate;
they wanted something real.
Is there anybody in the house tonight that is desperate,
Is there anybody in the house tonight that wants something that is real.
when they had finished pouring the water
and the offering was wet.
and the woods was wet
and the trench was filled.
the bible tells us that Elijah stepped forward, and he prayed
Lord; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today,
not tomorrow; but today.
that you are the God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
Elijah had been with the Lord.
He prayed; answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God.
and that you are turning their hearts back again.
Then the fire of the Lord fell
The fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice;
it burned up the wood;
it burned up the stones and the soil;
and it also licked up the water in the trenches.
some of you haven’t been in the fire in a long time.
some of you have some wet wood.
some of you are like the stones and the soil.
and some of you have trenches in you life that are filled with junk.
but i come to tell you tonight that if you give God your best offering;
It don’t matter if you watered down.
It don’t matter if your heart is stone;
It don’t matter if you have a trench dug around and its filled with the things of this word.
because when the fire came down form heaven; it consumed everything in its path.
you may think that you traveled to far down the road of sin and you’ll never get that fire back.
but if you come to the altar with a genuine offering.
If you will put everything you are and everything you will ever be on the repaired altar of the Lord.
there is a fire from heaven: that consumes;
there is a fire from heaven: that heals
there is a fire from heaven: that delivers
there is a fire from heaven: that will set the captives free
you may be bound by sin
but Jehovah God is the God who answers by Fire................
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