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In yesterday's weblog I wrote that Elijah ran from Jezebel because the remnant of grace in his day stopped praying for him, and he ran out of prayer support. Sorry, but this was not quite accurate. That was an older view dating back to the mid-1980's while I was still in my training years. I prayed about this further last night, and God updated my understanding.
Elijah did have the spiritual backing of the remnant of grace, which numbered 7,000 who had not bowed their knee to Baal. The important factor was that these were all part of the spiritual army of the day, led by God Himself. I do not know if they prayed daily for Elijah or not. It would have been nice to have that daily prayer, of course, but this was not the source of Elijah's spiritual backing. It was their unity, brought about because they were all dedicated "vessels" for divine service.
Elijah was able to defeat the prophets of Baal with the backing of 7,000. He represented them, and when it came time for that showdown at Mt. Carmel, it was not merely Elijah confronting them--it was the entire remnant of grace doing the work. Elijah was only their spokesman in that situation.
The problem was that it took more than 7,000 to defeat Jezebel. Elijah did not have enough backing for this greater job. The prophets of Baal were religious priests of a false religion of the day, and they were subject to Jezebel's rule. Jezebel represented a higher spiritual force which could not be overthrown except by a much greater number of prayer warriors who were willing to oppose her.
And so, Elijah was able to do his work of ministry up to a certain point, but no further. Then Elisha had to come to finish the job. We see a similar situation with Moses, who could take Israel to the Jordan, but only Joshua could take them across the river into the Promised Land.
Likewise, John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah, could not finish the work. This was a foregone conclusion when he began his ministry, as he himself confessed, saying, "I am not the Christ." John was like Elijah and Moses in that way. He was a forerunner who was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah who WOULD finish the job.
Many have come since then in the spirit and power of Elijah, and there have been even more who only thought they were Elijah. In my view, Elijah is not a single person but a company, a type of preparation ministry. I believe that the Church has had an Elijah-type ministry in every generation. Up to now, none of them have succeeded in bringing forth the Kingdom, because that is reserved for a greater Ministry of Christ.
Nonetheless, there is another reason for the failure of "Elijah" in these past generations. I believe that they were never able to raise enough prayer warriors in agreement and unity to prepare the way for Christ to lead us (like Joshua) into the Promised Land. Even John the Baptist himself "failed" in this regard--though I certainly recognize that this was all part of the divine plan from the beginning, so it was not a failure in that sense. Yet John was rejected and killed by Herod (the political leader who sat in Jezebel's seat), and this ensured that the Messiah would also be rejected and killed.
Of course, Herod violated the will (thelema) of God, but not the plan (boulema). It was always in the divine plan that Jesus would die in order to be the Sacrifice for the sin of the world. Nonetheless, we need to see the mechanics of this in order to see how things have changed in our day--to cause us to succeed where John seemed to fail. You see, we are living in the time when the preparation ministry of the Elijah company will actually succeed, making the way straight for the second coming of Christ.
I have been conscious for many years that we have been in an "Elijah" stage of development, and that we are all called to prepare the way of the Lord in whatever way we are led. I, too, have been doing what I can in this regard. God's Kingdom Ministries is subordinate to the greater ministry of which every believer is a part. God's Kingdom Ministries is my particular "organ" in that greater Body.
Sorry to belabor the point, but I want to make sure no one misunderstands me. In talking about Elijah, there will always be some who might think I am promoting myself to be Elijah. I am not. In fact, I press toward a much greater calling--to be part of the Christ ministry that is Elijah's successor. All of us want to break past Elijah, to finish up the Elijah ministry and successfully prepare the way of His coming, so that we can see the whole earth filled with His glory.
On January 23, 2004 the revelation came that we had entered into a particular time of Elijah's manifestation that was to last three years. This was a revelation concerning the Elijah Showdown at Mt. Carmel, where we find the prophets of Baal jumping up and down, doing a lot of activity and making a lot of noise, but failing to bring down the fire of God upon the sacrifice (1 Kings 18:26-29).
They were trying to manipulate God into accepting the sacrifice by fire. But they failed. A sacrifice represents one's heart, which is our spiritual altar. There is a law about how to build an altar (of the heart). It cannot be man-made (Ex. 20:24). It is the first law after the Ten Commandments. The law states that the stones of the altar must be shaped by the natural forces of Nature (that is, by God alone). The altar of Baal probably looked really nice, made of beautiful stones shaped perfectly square. But it was polluted by the hands of men.
When it came to be Elijah's turn, he rebuilt the altar of the Lord with the 12 stones of the tribes of Israel. Then he put the meat of the sacrifice upon the altar. But before praying for God to accept it by fire, he told them to dump four barrels of water upon the sacrifice and altar. Then do it again. Then do it a third time (1 Kings 18:33-35).
Only then did Elijah pray, and the fire of God consumed it all.
In 2004 we understood that this signified a three-year time in which we were offering to God a great national sacrifice upon the altar of our hearts. We understood that we would see three unusual years (summers) of hurricanes, primarily hitting Florida, which would be the sign of the water being dumped on the Sacrifice.
We are now (2006) beginning the third year of this cycle, leading to the Elijah Showdown. We have felt all along that we could see this "showdown" in September or October of 2006, though we have no direct word on this. At any rate, we believe that this time will not come until the end of the third hurricane season. It is quite possible that we will actually record 12 hurricanes coming ashore during these years.
My point is this: I believe we are now coming to the climax of the Elijah ministry. This is as far as Elijah himself was able to take it with his 7,000 remnant of grace. When I was led to call the "God is Able" Prayer Campaign for June 15, 2006, I did not know that this was an essential part of bringing Elijah's work to completion. But when we received an overwhelming response, it began to trigger a new revelation in me that fully clarified yesterday and last night.
The response to "God is Able" exceeded 7,000 considerably. It is not time yet to give you the precise number, especially since I cannot actually prove it. I can monitor the statistics provided by the web server and so I can prove a general figure, but only God could confirm the precise number. He has revealed that He now has a sufficient number of dedicated vessels to complete this work that Elijah started with the remnant of grace.
That number will only grow to a figure ten times as many as today. This is exciting to me.