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Summary: A biblical model for revival, from 1 Kings 18

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THE CONTEST ON MOUNT CARMEL; MODEL FOR A BIBLICAL REVIVAL

Elijah was driven with a passion that his apostate nation return to God. The contest on Mount Carmel provides a biblical model for revival both for us and for our nation.

There are 9 elements of the contest on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18 that jolted a nation back toward God. Those elements for a revival are:

1. Elijah prayed earnestly that it might not rain.

2. Elijah caused them to realize there was no middle ground anymore.

3. Elijah repaired the broken altar.

4. Elijah reminded them of who they were prophetically supposed to be.

5. Elijah methodically arranged the wood and the sacrifice

6. Elijah filled the altar with water.

7. The fire came down.

8. Sin was removed from the camp.

9. Spiritual restoration lead to earthly and financial blessing.

1. Elijah prayed earnestly that it might not rain.

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.

The background of this story is that for 3 ½ years Elijah has been praying that it would not rain in Israel so that the people might realize they have sinned and brought God’s displeasure upon themselves. The drought was to prepare the people to repent. The drought was to awaken their sleeping conscience through the door of human need. God often has to get our attention in the natural, before He can speak to us about the spiritual. We begin to get a picture of man who’s concern for Israel was so great that he didn’t care if they suffered in the natural, if it led to spiritual revival. The text in James doesn’t simply say, "he prayed," but that he prayed, "earnestly." He was so moved by their sinfulness that he earnestly asked God, "do whatever it takes to get this people’s attention."

2. Elijah caused them to realize there was no middle ground anymore.

1 Kings 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.

Watchman Nee said, "The same fire that melts wax, hardens clay." With such men there is no middle ground. Herod thought he could stay a middle course. He feared John the Baptist, knowing that he was a just and holy man. He enjoyed hearing him preach, and did many things that John suggested, but he never repented of living with his brothers wife, a sin which John confronted him about. Eventually Herod had to chose, and the man who heard John gladly and did many things, had to make a horrendous choice, murder John or lose his wife’s favor. He wished he could have it both ways, listen to John and listen to his wife. God brought him to the place where he had to choose. Instead of choosing life to his eternal shame and damnation he chose to murder the greatest minister of Christ who ever lived. Even so God is in the process at this very moment of bringing and end to Heordian Christianity. We see it in the church, where homosexuals are forcing denominations to perform same sex marriages (blessing services) or risk losing those adherents to a church that will. When Elijah came to Mount Carmel that day, the middle ground disappeared. When John challenged men to respond to God through repentance and the rite of Baptism, the middle ground disappeared. When Jesus walked on earth and said you are either hot or cold the middle ground disappeared. I also believe that just prior to the coming of the Lord, the middle ground that many have been hiding in will also disappear. God said that everything that can be shaken will be shaken.1

You cannot be ambivalent about men like John and Elijah, the very nature of their ministry forces you to decide one way or another. If you chose God you are blessed with the refreshing rain of heaven, if not your heart becomes hardened and you wind up committing sins you would have never dreamed possible. As we approach the end of the age, God is going to destroy the middle ground, for He hates lukewarmness, and in fact prefers coldness to it!2 One of the last verses of the Bible is hard to understand unless you realize that God will destroy the middle ground in the last days. Revelation 22:11 "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." He that is unjust let him be unjust still??!!! This thought is difficult to comprehend unless we put it in the context of the last days, you either take the mark of the beast, or you are murdered for nothing more than being a Christian. Though I believe in what’s called a pre-trib rapture I believe that this sifting and separating of men’s hearts is taking place right now before my very eyes. I am seeing the hot get hotter and the cold getting colder. Never has a generation been given over to a reprobate mind as much as this one is, and it is only going to get worse. In my country (USA) Christian’s are called the "Extreme Right," and the simple fact is we haven’t changed our views on right and wrong, but the left has gone further and further left. It is they who have moved further from the middle, and in fact what is today called the political middle ground in America, used to be called the far left. The middle has disappeared politically, morally and socially in my country, and I think it is probably true for the rest of the world as well.

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