Archive for April, 2009

Elijah the Tishbite Destroys Prophets of Baal

April 28, 2009

Prophet’s Name: Elijah the Tishbite
Miracles performed: Stopping the rain, raising a boy from the dead, Prophecy
Most Noted for: Defeating the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.
Era Served: Reign of Ahab and Ahazia (Ahab’s son) in the northern kingdom of Israel.

Elijah was easily the most prolific prophet since Moses, in term of national prominence and miracles performed. He appeared out of nowhere and directly challenged the wickedness of King Ahab and his Baal worshipping wife, Jezebel (yes, this is where the pejorative use of the name comes from).

How wicked were Ahab and Jezebel?

1 Kings 16:30-33 – Ahab worshipped Baal (a fertility god to which sexual and human sacrificial rites were performed) and did more evil in the sight of God than all the kings before him.

Kings 21:5-16 – Jezebel killed Naboth so that she could give his vineyard to Ahab and imprisoned or killed as many prophets of the Lord as she could. (1 Kings 18:4)

As the story goes, God sent Elijah to Ahab to tell him that because of his wckedness, it would not rain until Elijah gave the word. He didn’t give the word for three years and it culminated in one of the most dramatic displays of God’s sovereignty.

Elijah requests that Ahab gather all the people and the prophets of Baal on Mt.Carmel for a contest (1 Kings 18:19). The terms were simple: whichever god consumed a sacrifice laid upon an altar would win and be worshipped as God. It was God and Elijah vs. Baal and 450 prophets for the souls of Israel. Elijah let the 45 pray first. The bible says that they cried out for Baal to consume the meat laid upon the altar but there was no answer. They danced and cut themselves. All the while Elijah mocked their foolishness from morning until the evening when he finally put a stop to their vain attempts and declared it was his turn.

Elijah repaired the altar of God which had broken from neglect. He poured 12 barrels of water on it. He also filled a trench that surrounded the altar with water and then he prayed.

1 Kings 18:37-39 “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou are the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 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. 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.

Afterwards Elijah had the prophets of Baal killed.

This was a great victory, but Elijah soon found himself running for his life as Jezebel sought to kill him. He felt alone and isolated. It was at this low point that God told him of the seven thousand that he had reserved for Himself who had not bowed a knee to Baal.

Often after great victories we find ourselves in low, dark places, but take heart. God is sovereign and He is still in control.

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Jesus Saved Me From Even 23 Minutes In Hell

April 1, 2009

 I recently came across a book about a man’s vision of hell and claims of being trapped there for 23 minutes, just so he could come back and tell us of its dangers. His account is sensational and tantalizing. Could it be that he is a modern day prophet appointed by God? After all God can and does still work miracles. Why couldn’t this man’s claims be true? It was at least worth a look.

I believe that miracles still happen today, but the Bible says in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Let’s put this spirit to the test with the scriptures.

There are many scriptures that cast doubt on Bill Weise’s claim to have to been forsaken by God, allowed to experience hell and return to reveal to us the danger, but Jesus said it best in Luke 16:19-31.  

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. [6] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers [7]—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Basic point – If they do not believe Moses, the prophets, or Jesus – then they won’t believe Bill Weise. The issue is settled. There is no need for anyone to rise from hell to tell us it exists. Jesus has already revealed it to us and even if someone was allowed no one else would believe them if they didn’t already believe Jesus and the Bible to begin with.

If you want to know what one can expect in hell, read the Bible. If you want to escape it (keep in mind that it is the penalty of for breaking even one of the ten commandments), give your life to Jesus Christ. He paid the ransom with his own life to keep you from it and he arose on the third day to give you new life and an eternity in heaven.