As the title indicates, this is part 4 in a series. I strongly recommend reading parts 1, 2 & 3 in order to fully grasp what happens here.
In part one we determined that Elijah was a Torah keeping Gentile, grafted into Israel. He is the bookend counterpoint/counterpart to Moshe. Parts 2 & 3 detailed his future role during the 42 months of the Great Tribulation as pictured in 1 Kings 17. His ministry, as Malachi 4 teaches is one of restoration of children to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will remind them/us of the ‘Torah of Moses’ before the ‘great and terrible Day of the Lord.’
We will now begin to tackle 1 Kings 18 and the famed Mt. Carmel showdown. To do so, we need to understand what was going on religiously in Israel, the northern kingdom, now the ‘lost’ ten tribes. (If you want to know where/who those tribes are today, I highly recommend a study called The Lost Sheep. More deep Scripture that challenges the very foundation of church traditions with the simple truths of Yahweh’s Word.)
I was always under the impression that Baal worship was some terrible form of idolatry that was easily distinguishable from the true worship of the Living Elohim (God). Scripture seems to point to something a little different. Consider:
25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 29 He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense.
Notice, this passage is remarkably similar to Exodus 32:1-6 wherein Aaron fashions a golden calf and declares, and I quote, ‘a feast to Yahweh.’ Seriously, Aaron literally takes parts of the true worship and blends it with false paganism in a syncretized mish-mash for the purpose of maintaining religious power. Jeroboam does the exact same thing for the exact same reason! Sounds a lot like the church today with myriad traditions and doctrines inherited from the Roman Catholic Church which were originally instituted to keep or preserve papal wealth and power.
Here is another passage supporting the understanding that Israel was operating a syncretistic religious system designed to look remarkably like the true worship Moses had instructed:
32 They also feared the Lord and appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the Lord and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.
34 To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the Lord commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel; ………. 37 The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods. 38 The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 40 However, they did not listen, but they did according to their earlier custom. 41 So while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
2 Kings 17:32-41 select verses
Israel thought they were worshiping rightly and even ‘feared Yahweh,’ but they served their idols.
It is interesting to note that Baal means ‘lord.’ They were literally ‘serving the lord.’ Seems remarkably similar to the state of today’s church that claims the name of the ‘lord’ and practice pagan ritual holidays like christmas, easter, st. valentine’s day, lent, etc. [I would recommend reading RT:Names and/or watching Truth and Tradition to better understand the depth of error that we have in today’s church.] Simply, today’s church is not much different than Ahab’s Israel, which makes this story of Elijah so much more compelling in our time.
At the end of this 42 month period without rain, a picture of the Great Tribulation as we have already seen, Elijah is commanded by Yahweh to ‘show himself to Ahab.’
Without pasting the whole chapter in here, I’ll provide a link and simply paste in the salient verses. I Kings 18
Verse 2 tells us that the ‘famine was severe in Samaria.’ As I previously pointed out, the modern church very much resembles Samaria and has the attendant famine, however, it will be far more severe in the Great Tribulation. Spiritually and physically.
Verse 3 gives an encouraging description of Obadiah, one who served Yah. Even in the very house of Ahab, a type of antimessiah, there is true blue God-fearer. Contrasting him, we see in verse 4 that Jezebel is the woman that rides the Beast, drunk with the blood of the prophets. She is the one who kills the saints.
Verse 10 and 11 tell us,
As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to search for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made the kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you. 11 And now you are saying, ‘Go, say to your master, “Behold, Elijah is here.”’
The antichrist will search every nation thoroughly for all who defy him by worshiping rightly the living Yah. Torah-keeping Gentile believers in Yeshua will be on his priority list just as Elijah was on Ahab’s. Just read Revelation 12:17!! At the same time, there will be MANY who worship ‘the Lord’ who are not on his ‘hit list.’ Hmmmm….
Remember, Abba protects Eliyahu, even in Jezebel’s home turf of Sidon. He can/will protect you to according to His will. Obedience will be a Major factor. Disobedient children will be disciplined.
Eliyahu, our Torah keeping, grafted in Gentile (can you tell I am trying to drive this point home??), affirms in verse 15 that he stands in the face of Yahweh. Only the obedient stand here.
Ahab’s first words to Eliyahu are, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?’ What do you think the media will do to those who have the authority to smite the earth during the Great Tribulation? People will hate the Witnesses because they will believe it is them who are the ‘troublers’ of the earth.
Eliyahu is very specific in addressing why Israel is troubled and whose fault it is. He says,
“I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals.”
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
I promised at the beginning of this study that I would not hold punches. You have been warned. Now, /soap-box.
Elijah commands that the 850 prophets who ‘eat at Jezebel’s table’ meet him at Mt. Carmel.
Once gathered, Elijah addresses the people, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him; but if baal (the lord), follow him.” Possibly the saddest words in Scripture follow: ‘But the people answered him not a word.’
Remember, the ones who showed up for the ‘shoot-out at the Mt. Carmel Corral’ are not here just for grins! They have a vested interest either way! I think they KNEW where the truth was but were too afraid to follow it. They preferred blissful ignorance. How many today KNOW there are problems with paganism in the church, but they do nothing about it because it requires a commitment? How many KNOW they need to study much more deeply, but they choose not to because it would force action.
I have spoken with so many people who cannot refute the message of Truth from Scripture, but they prefer to stick their fingers in their ears, close their eyes and walk on. Nothing has changed in 2500 years. Judgment cometh.
Notice verse 24: Elijah said, “you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of Yahweh.” The NAME is important. I do not get wrapped around the axle on the pronunciation. Nobody perfectly knows that, but I can tell you a few things: There is no ‘J’ in Hebrew, and the non-descript ‘the Lord’ in your Bible is a gross mistranslation for purely traditional reasons (read the translator’s notes in the front of your Bible). Joel 2:32 says, “Those who call on the name of Yahweh will be saved…” Psalm 91:14 says, I will deliver him ‘because he has known my name…’ Jeremiah 16:21 says, “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know, This time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know My name is Yahweh!” There are dozens more verses that say the same thing. Elijah knew his God by name.
Elijah called on the name of Yahweh!
We will skip the taunting part, though my 12 year old just laughed and laughed over Elijah asking them, ‘maybe your god is on the potty. Yell louder!’ That’s what he does when he needs mom…
Verse 30 is where we see the ministry of Elijah culminate with some lessons for us today.
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” 32 So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed.
Elijah mocked the religious leaders, but dealt kindly with the people. They were, I suspect, as Yeshua called them, ‘sheep without a shepherd.’ “Come near me.”
Elijah ‘healed‘ (repaired) the altar of Yahweh. The Hebrew word, rapha H7495
רפה / רפא
râphâ’ / râphâh
1) to heal, make healthful
1a) (Qal) to heal
1a1) of God
1a2) healer, physician (of men)
1a3) of hurts of nations involving restored favour (figuratively)
1a4) of individual distresses (figuratively)
1b) (Niphal) to be healed
1b1) literal (of persons)
1b2) of water, pottery
1b3) of national hurts (figuratively)
1b4) of personal distress (figuratively)
1c) (Piel) to heal
1c2) of national defects or hurts (figuratively)
1d) (Hithpael) in order to get healed (infinitive)
Part of Speech: verb
This word is so rich, so full that it is hard to know where to begin. The ministry of Elijah is that of restoring the fathers to their children and children to the fathers. (Malachi 4). Elijah’s ministry will be one of protecting and bringing the Houses, Israel and Judah together. He is working to present a living sacrifice of all twelve tribes, represented by the twelve stones, and he does so ‘in the name of Yahweh.’
Marinate in these verses for a minute. Do you pray for the restoration of ‘all Israel.’ Do we, the grafted in Gentiles, through Yeshua, understand, acknowledge or appreciate that Judah prays DAILY for the return of the lost tribes? Do we pray for the peace of Jerusalem? Do we understand or acknowledge that there is NO covenant with the Gentiles? ONLY by being grafted into Israel, through Yeshua who ‘came for the lost sheep of Israel,’ do we have a place at the table? (Some of you are squirming right now. You should be. Relax and study. The truth will set you free from the doctrines and traditions of men.)
Elijah’s prayer is simple and specific. It is ‘to the Elohim (God) of Abraham, Isaac and Israel’ for the purpose of ‘turning their hearts back.’
Back to what? Pray tell…. Torah. Malachi 4. 1 Kings 18:18. The ministry of Elijah is turning the people back to Torah and true worship. The name. The proper definition of righteousness. The Messiah, the fulness of Torah, the Living Word and Lawgiver.
When the people saw/see it, they respond correctly. “Yahweh, He is God!! Yahweh, He is Elohim!! Yah is El!” Remarkably close to EliYah, thus validating the prophet’s name and ministry… Yahweh is our Elohim!
Next in this series we will identify the Two Witnesses and connect the dots with Eliyahu. There are still some surprises left and a couple items I am pondering that might be a shade speculative. I am praying the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) reveal a little more.
May the shalom of my King, Yeshua, guard your heart. If some of this is very new, I recommend the Reformation Thought series as you will get more pieces and links to help dig deeper into the truth in Scripture while identifying and avoiding the doctrines and traditions of men.