So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people did not answer a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only remaining prophet of the LORD, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let the prophets of Baal choose one bull for themselves, cut it into pieces, and place it on the wood but not light the fire. And I will prepare the other bull and place it on the wood but not light the fire. Then you may call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The God who answers by fire, He is God.” – 1 Kings 18:20-24a BSB
We tend to get so wrapped up in TEMPORAL (relating to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs; secular: the spatial and temporal dimensions of human interference in complex ecosystems), that we forget that the SPIRITUAL (relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things) is the bigger picture, the primary focus, it is the TRUE REALITY. Jesus Himself commanded, “Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell”. (Mark 10:28) Paul commanded the Saints in Corinth who were tolerating sin- they thought they were WOKE, and acceptable of all behavior, This was done as a way to show how loving and inclusive they were—Paul told them to remove that person from the congregation and let Satan have his way with his body, in order that maybe he might repent and save his soul. Hear the Word of the Lord: I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship…. Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. (1 Corinthians 5:1-2,5-7a) It is appointed for man to die 1 time, then comes judgement. With the exception of Elijah and Enoch, only those in the LAST DAYS will avoid the first death! For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
Leader, for the majority of those who ever lived on this planet, the First death is unavoidable, however, The Second death IS avoidable. The first death is physical, the second death is Spiritual- separation from God for eternity. This world, in OUR FLESH, is just a practice ground, a proving ground, a training ground- to keep with the agrarian metaphors, a plot of land, where a seed called ‘YOU’ is planted…. a place to GROW into the likeness of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Through the unfairness of this life, and the hardness and harshness of this sojourn we learn how to LIVE and LOVE, how to FORGIVE and FORGET, how to have and give, MERCY AND GRACE. For that is what makes us like JESUS! If it walks like a Jesus, and it talks like a JESUS and it LIVES and LOVES like a Jesus…then it must be a CONDUIT, for a JESUS! The story of ELIJAH and the prophets of Baal is one of the few times where God takes this COSMIC battle between the WILL OF GOD and the OTHER WILL, and lets it play out on the small screen of the temporal world. This is one of the special times in the history of man-documented in the Bible, that God shows up and shows HE IS GOD, and there is NO OTHER LIKE HIM! We have other records, as well. The record of Gideon and his 300 men of valor taking on 145,000 Midianites, and destroying them, after they destroyed themselves and fled, see Judges 6-8. Let us not forget Hezekiah and the defeat of the mighty Assyrian army. 185,000 slaughtered by the Angel of the Lord, without the lifting of a sword by Hezekiah’s forces. Not only did God fight for His people, without them lifting a sword, He also dealt with His temporal enemy, who called himself KING Sennacherib; And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. (2 Kings 19:35-37)
Conduit, there are 2 vessels that we can be in the flesh. We can be a Cistern or a Conduit. A cistern is a vessel that holds onto things. Things considered a ‘cistern’ would be a cup, a vase, a bowl, a well, a dungeon, and if not careful, a human. We’ve all had people pour into us. If you are a cistern, you have held your blessings and use them for your personal use and gratification. The Dead Sea is one of the lowest places on the earth. A few underground waterways feed it, but nothing comes out of the DEAD SEA. Many who associate as Christians and who call themselves Leaders, are DEAD SEA Christians\Leaders. They are a receptacle for others blessings, other’s teachings, other’s givings…but they never give it away, give it out- they hold onto it. Elijah was a CONDUIT, for God’s power and glory. When Obadiah met Elijah, he called him MY LORD. He called him that because Obadiah knew that Elijah was a CONDUIT for God, that he stood in the presence of God and what Elijah said, GOD SAID. What Elijah did, Obadiah knew it was what GOD HAD DONE through Elijah. A conduit is a pass-through agent. The sole purpose of a conduit is to get something from POINT A to POINT B- to be a vessel that carries something else! This is what we are called to be, and this is why ELIJAH believed there were NO MORE LEFT. It sure didn’t look like there were any other CONDUITS left. To ELIJAH, everybody is looking like a CISTERN! This is a great story which I would highly recommend you spent time in, there is so much depth in this story- wallow in it. Consider, there was a drought and yet God had Elijah soak the offering in rare precious water. The rarest of commodities God made them use, knowing that He was bringing rain. Elijah made his servant look up to verify that God DOES what GOD SAYS. Notice the numbers; soak it three times, look up seven times…. Great story, Great meaning GREAT SAVIOR, GREAT GOD…Be a GREAT CONDUIT, for the GREAT I AM!!