TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

1 Kings 17 – 18

1 Kings 17

Elijah

Elijah was a man of God; he was loyal to God above his loyalty to the king, the priesthood [ministry] or anyone else.  God used Elijah to correct the king, the people and the priests who had fallen away from God. 

Elijah was not a priest, he was a man selected directly by God and sent by God to correct the nation and turn the people back to an enthusiastic zeal to live by every Word of God.  

Prophets are called out directly by and are ordained and sent  personally and directly by God.

No prophet of God was ever ordained by any man; with the  exception  that God sometimes  told a prophet that a certain man would be his successor, like Elijah was told that Elisha would succeed him; nevertheless that choice was God’s and not Elijah’s.

Prophets and men of God are to be known by their fruits (Mat 7); any man that proclaims himself a prophet without any fruits of a prophet, is not a prophet:  You shall know them by their fruits.  And anyone who has to spend much of  his time insisting  that he is a prophet, is not a prophet of God.

Today the Ekklesia is filled with men who claim to be apostles or prophets; either to deceive people to follow themselves, or to stroke their own inflated egos.  Remember the warnings of Jesus Christ in Matthew 7 and Matthew 24; and test every word of man by the whole Word of God. 

The first two chapters about Elijah show that we must be faithful to keep the Word of God above the teachings of any man. 

The destruction of the prophets of baal followed by the heavy rains;  is consistent with the withholding of rain during the tribulation, the destruction of the resisting armies by Christ at his coming; the acceptance of the Eternal and the destruction of the false teachers. 

This is also an allegorical prophecy of a withholding of the rain of the Holy Spirit except for a very few, during this age of wickedness; and then the pouring out of the spiritual rain of God’s Spirit on the earth after the wicked have been destroyed (Joel 2:28).

Elijah told the king of Israel from God that there would be no rain or dew on the land because of the wickedness of the king and the people.  This was a direct challenge to the false gods to prove whether they could provide rain when the Eternal had stopped it.   When they began to see the effects of the drought, the king and people would have appealed to their false gods for rain. 

The withdrawal of rain was intended to prove who was stronger and who was the real God indeed; the Eternal or the gods and the self-will of the people.

1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

God commanded Elijah to hide himself for a time.

17:2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 17:3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 17:4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 17:5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

Because Elijah obeyed God, he was fed and had water in his refuge: just as those who are zealous to obey God today; will eat and drink in their modern refuge [which is NOT Petra]

17:6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 17:7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.

Then Elijah was sent to Zidon [modern Sidon of Lebanon] to find refuge with a widow.  Now consider that this woman lived in a foreign country and Elijah did not stay in Israel but found refuge from God outside Israel.

Luke 4:25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

1 Kings 17:8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 17:9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

Elijah obeyed God and left his own country to sojourn with a poor and humble widow in a strange land, to teach us that God resists the proud and dwells with the humble.

17:10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

The widow was extremely poor and impoverished yet she was willing to care for Elijah, and God had chosen her [for her godly humble and serving nature] to care for Elijah.

17:11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 17:12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 17:13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

Elijah told her the word of God and she obeyed and gave her last food to Elijah.  Is there such faith and obedience in the Ekklesia today?  How many would obey God when tested like this?

17:14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 17:15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 17:16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

Because of her obedience, her son was raised from the dead.   Could God not have prevented this illness?  This illness and death was permitted by God as a lesson for us, and this event was an allegory that if we humbly live by every Word of God like that widow; we shall be raised from the dead in the resurrection to eternal life. 

17:17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

The dead have no hope and the living have no hope for the dead; except in the Eternal and his mercy for those who are faithful to live by every Word of God.

17:18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? 17:19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

17:20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? 17:21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul [spirit] come into him again.

Even so, the faithful and obedient to God shall be raised up on that day; not merely to a transitory physical life, but to eternal life in the Family of God.

17:22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul [spirit of life] of the child came into him again, and he revived.

When the resurrection to spirit takes place on the sixth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the two prophets rise up from the dead along with vast numbers of others; then Israel and much of the world will know that the Eternal is God indeed. 

Why will the nations refuse to bury these two? 

Because they have prophesied that they will be resurrected in 3 1/2 days from their death and the people want to see if their dead bodies will come back to life; but God will use that lack of burial to graphically demonstrate that they were his servants and their resurrection in front of the nations will demonstrate God’s power over death itself. 

Then many will turn to God and sincerely repent and say: 

Revelation 11:11   And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city [Jerusalem] fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

With the work of these two, completed by Almighty God in their deaths and resurrection; the way of the Eternal shall be prepared; and in that day shall Judah and Israel know that the Eternal is God, and that his prophets have spoken the truth.  

Then they will know that their deliverance and the coming of Messiah the Christ is at hand; and they shall turn to the whole Word of God with all their hearts and welcome him with shouts of Hosanna [Save Us] when his deliverance is at hand! 

Then when Messiah comes the forces of wickedness will be destroyed and  all Israel will rejoice in the Messiah of humanity!  Very quickly after that when God’s Spirit is poured out on all flesh and the eyes of all remaining humanity are opened, all nations shall come to Messiah the King with great rejoicing!

Isaiah 2:2  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord‘s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

1 Kings 17:23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.

 

1 Kings 18

Now when God was ready to restore rain to Israel, he sent Elijah back to Ahab.  Here we see clearly as we did with Moses, that prophets of God do not speak their own words, rather they are faithful to speak only what God has told them to speak.

1 Kings 18:1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. 18:2 And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.

The reason that Elijah was told to flee; Jezebel had used her influence as Queen and priestess of Baal to kill as many men of God as she could find.

18:3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 18:4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

The meeting of Elijah and Obadiah the master of Ahab’s household.

18:5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. 18:6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

Elijah tells Obadiah to announce his presence to Ahab and Obadiah greatly fears for his life from Ahab and Jezebel.  It is clear that Jezebel [who was a type of Babylon the Great; and the Queen of  spiritual idolatry] had total control over Ahab in the kingdom.

18:7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah? 18:8 And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 18:9 And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? 18:10 As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. 18:11 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

Obadiah is afraid that Elijah is playing games with him and will flee away after he has told Ahab where to find Elijah.

18:12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth. 18:13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD’s prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 18:14 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.

Elijah then informs Obadiah that he intends to see Ahab that day.

18:15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.18:16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

Then Ahab king of Israel saw Elijah whom he blamed for the drought.  It seems clear that Ahab and Jezebel blamed not only Elijah but all the men of God for the famine and used that excuse to slaughter hem. 

Elijah immediately sets the record straight, informing Ahab that the famine came from God as the result of the idolatry of Ahab and his people.

18:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18:18 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.

Elijah would not have done this on his own, but would have been doing what God had commanded him. This event was set up by the famine which demonstrated to the people that God was stronger than baal who could not bring rain when God had withheld it. Elijah then tells Ahab to assemble the 450 priests of baal.  This was to reveal that the Eternal is God and that the idols of men were not gods at all. 

Like this event, when Christ comes he will reveal that the Eternal is God to all nations and he will destroy all idolatry and wickedness from off the earth.

18:19 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. 18:20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.

Then Elijah challenges the people to chose between their idols of men and the whole Word of the Eternal God!

18:21 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.

There were other men of God, but only Elijah dared to take an open stand and to publicly stand alone upon the whole Word of God.  How like that, it is today.

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.

Elijah then prepared a demonstration for the people to help them to finally understand who was the true God; the Eternal or the idols of men. 

  • In our time God will again withhold the rain for 31/2 years and the false gods of men will not be able to relieve the drought, proving that the Eternal is the greater. 
  • Then at the end of that 31/2 years he will raise the godly dead back to life, this time as eternal spirits in the sight of the nations, proving the power and greatness of God the Almighty.
  • After that demonstration of power, Messiah the Christ will return to the earth with his resurrected faithful and they will destroy wickedness from off the earth, just like Elijah and the repentant of Israel destroyed the prophets [servants] of baal!  Only this time the repentance will be lasting and God’s Kingdom will rule over all the earth

18:23 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: 18:24 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.

The idol followers went first

18:25 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. 18:26 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.

18:27 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. 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 18:29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice [the sacrifice was offered (burned on the altar) at sunset, even though the preparations began about 3 p.m.], that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

Elijah came next and in comparison to a whole day’s appeal to Baal, Elijah prayed for only a few seconds.

18:30 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. 18:31 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: 18:32 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.

18:33 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. 18:34 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. 18:35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice [the sacrifice was offered (burned on the altar) at sunset, even though the preparations began 3 p.m.], that Elijah the prophet came near, and said,

The Prayer of Elijah

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. 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.

Then the Eternal YHVH answered by fire upon the altar.

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. 

At the end of the tribulation and the day of the LORD, after all the wicked are destroyed; all nations will acknowledge God the Father and  Messiah the Christ, and they will welcome him at his coming WITH his resurrected chosen.

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.

Then the prophets of baal were destroyed just like all of the idols of men will be destroyed at the beginning of the Kingdom of God.    Then the ten kings will understand that they have been deceived by the false prophet and they will turn on the false religions and destroy them.

Revelation 17:16  And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  17:17  For God hath put in their hearts [allowed them to be deceived]  to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

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.

Elijah then told Ahab not to fear eating and drinking without the restraint of the famine, for the rain comes, because of the destruction of baal and the idols and false religion of men. 

These heavy rains are a type of the Holy Spirit raining down on all flesh once wickedness has been destroyed and the Kingdom of God established (Joel 2:28). 

18:41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

Seven times Elijah checked the seacoast skies for rain, before it came.

18:42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 18:43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.

18:44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not.

As clouds filled the sky, king Ahab ran to Jezebel in Samaria, and Elijah ran to meet him in the way, because of the word of the LORD to Elijah..

18:45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 18:46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

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  1. I wonder how many times beforehand the priests of Baal had been able to call down fire and various other amazing signs in order to deceive the people that they were the ones who should be obeyed? (Not unlike the magicians of Pharaoh when confronted by Aaron and Moses) Otherwise why would they agree to such a ridiculous proposition?
    Likewise,the “prophets of the groves” (perhaps the corrupt priesthood which were ordained by Jeroboam to officiate at the golden calves he built to keep the tribes he ruled from going to Jerusalem to observe the feasts. They got to eat at Jezebel’s table and were men of means and influence–until God had them destroyed. It will be interesting to see who and how God identifies the false prophets and wicked among the churches of God in our midst when the time is fulfilled.

    Tim McCaulley
    Jacksonville FL

    God will empower his two servants who will instruct the brethren to go to the place which God has chosen and some will obey and go while many will obey their corporate church and refuse to obey God’s Word by his servants. There will be a clear dividing of those who have turned to a zeal to live by every Word of God and those who idolize men; which dividing will be accomplished by our own choice.

    Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    God has not left the brethren unprepared to make such a choice, which preparation is the function of this work. James

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