Christians say “I’m in a spiritual battle” or “Satan is really after me.” These words are true. If you’ve accepted Christ as your Saviour, then you’ve rejected Satan. He doesn’t like that. He especially doesn’t like it if you’re a born-again, on-fire, Bible-believing, God-fearing Christian. That’s when the battle begins.
Many Christians don’t recognize the signs of the spiritual battle, become fatigued by the fight, and concede defeat. Jesus never promised that a Christian’s life would be easy.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Some of the tribulation we face is the same as what everyone faces, whether believer or non-believer. We get sick or money gets tight…Christians aren’t exempt from these things, and often it’s our own choices that cause the trouble. The real tribulation comes when Satan and his minions target us with spiritual battles, but very few pastors teach about spiritual warfare. Scripture is clear that spiritual attack is real, but many Christians are ignorant of the facts. We know we aren’t to talk to the dead or play with tarot cards, but closing our eyes and plugging our ears won’t make the enemy go away.
God is also a spiritual force. We talk about the Holy Spirit, but our own ignorance hampers His power within us. When we deny His power, we give the battle over to the enemy. For a spiritual battle, we need spiritual weapons…we need to fight fire with fire.
Elijah found that out. He was an amazing man of God…a prophet who spoke God’s truth in spite of a corrupt and evil government led by Ahab and Jezebel. The demonic influence in the court of Ahab and Jezebel was strong, and we see that same demonic evil controlling many governments today. Even then there were some brave people who served God Almighty.
Elijah was a prophet of God who spoke God’s truth even though it brought great persecution upon himself. There were a few faithful men within the government. A man named Obadiah was one such man. When Jezebel had killed the prophets of the LORD who were within her jurisdiction, it was Obadiah who saved 100 of them. Today the persecution of people who serve God is strong, but there are people within governments who know the Lord. We need to pray for their safety.
Jezebel wanted Elijah dead, but God had other plans. The evil of a corrupt government is no match for God’s power, but we need to believe and trust God and boldly stand against the evil. That’s what Elijah did. He sent Obadiah to tell Ahab where he was. Did Obadiah rejoice over his mission?
“And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not” (1 Kings 18:9-10).
Persecution against the Jewish people continues today, as well as persecution against Christians. It’s satanic. The spiritual battle rages, and Christians sleep.
Obadiah told Ahab where to find Elijah, and Ahab met with him. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was very corrupt, and it became very demonic under the rule of Ahab and Jezebel. God still sent help which was rejected by the government.
“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou has followed Baalim” (1 Kings 18:17-18).
Christians need to pay attention. In America we have our own Ahab and Jezebel. Corrupt leaders who serve Satan. Bill and Hillary Clinton come to mind, as well as other leaders who speak loudly and promote sin. They have forsaken the moral standards of God’s law and promote sin and corruption. Deviant marriage practices, abortion, etc., are evidence of Satan’s control over the leaders of many nations today. The Christian voice is being silenced; and instead of recognizing the spiritual force behind the evil, Christians keep silent. There’s no fire in our walk because we’ve quenched the fire.
Elijah had no fear of Ahab because he knew the battle was spiritual and that God was on his side. God would fight the battle, but Elijah had to do his part. So, he put out a challenge.
“Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred which eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:19).
Baal is a demon god whom Jezebel worshipped. Worship of this demon included human sacrifice among other demonic practices. “The prophets of the groves” are worshippers of the demon Asherah.
Ahab and Jezebel were evil rulers, but God would show His power through Elijah. The battle was spiritual, just as the evil we face today is spiritual, but Elijah didn’t keep silent. He obeyed God even if that meant risking his life. Ahab took up the challenge. His pride and arrogance caused him to believe his demon gods were more powerful than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Besides, he had a large number of false prophets against Elijah; sheer numbers would defeat one man.
One man who fully follows God is a majority.
When all were gathered, Elijah asked a question of the people.
“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” (1 Kings 18:21).
There’s the problem. The people kept silent. Had they come against Ahab and Jezebel, the Northern Kingdom wouldn’t have faced the corruption and evil that was gripping it.
Christians today need to ask themselves that very same question. When people like Hillary Clinton are not in jail, there’s a problem. When Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are running the government, I have to wonder why Christians are keeping silent. They can only be elected if they get votes. Christians seem to have voted against God. We need an Elijah to rise up and stand against the demonic corruption in Government. Not only in the United States, but every nation.
The challenge Elijah put out was that a bullock would be given to those who served Baal, and he would also have a bullock. These bullocks would be cut into pieces and laid upon wood for an offering. No fire would be lit.
“And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken” (1 Kings 18:24).
So the entertainment began.
“And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made” (1 Kings 18:26).
This would be a good Hollywood movie as there are many worshippers of Baal in the entertainment industry. Of course, Baal failed, so Hollywood doesn’t want to show the failure of their demon god.
Oh, how these false prophets tried to show their demon god’s power! It was powerless. Elijah had fun with their failure.
“And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked” (1 Kings 18:27).
God Almighty does not sleep.
“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4).
Demon gods always require blood…human blood. When the god of the false prophets failed, they gave him their blood.
“And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them” (1 Kings 18:28).
Blood is a sacrifice seen throughout the Old Testament, but Jesus Christ shed His blood for our salvation. Only demon gods require their followers to shed human blood as part of worship. Every time a Muslim blows himself to bits, remember he is sacrificing to a demon god. Every time an abortion is performed, a blood sacrifice is made to a demon god.
Brothers and sisters, how long will we keep silent? How long will we “halt between two opinions”?
When Joshua led the Israelites into the demon-possessed Promised Land, he faced people who worshipped those same demons. After the Israelites conquered the land, Joshua put out this challenge.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Christians need to choose to serve the Lord.
The prophets of Baal failed, and now it was Elijah’s turn to see what God Almighty would do. He repaired his altar and took 12 stones…one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Then he dug a trench around the altar, arranged the wood, and laid the cut pieces of the bullock on the wood. Then he made things difficult.
“…Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood” (1 Kings 18:33b).
Then he instructed his helpers to pour water on the sacrifice two more times, filling the trench with water. Then, Elijah showed his faith.
“And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again” (1 Kings 18:36-37).
Elijah didn’t run and hide and he didn’t do things his own way. He trusted the Lord and stood upon his faith. He knew God would win this spiritual battle even if the battle seemed lost.
“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 the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God” (1 Kings 18:38-39).
Elijah fought fire with fire. The fire of the false gods was empty and not there at all. The fire from God is powerful and real.
Christians, pay attention. We have fire, but we quench it. Remember the day of Pentecost?
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
The gift of tongues is only one of the Spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to every born-again Christian. Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we believed in the power God has given us instead of quenching the fire of the Holy Spirit? The Apostles accomplished great things in the name of Jesus because they believed Him and used their Holy Spirit power for His glory. They healed people, cast out demons, and brought many souls to a saving faith in Christ.
The spiritual fight is real. In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul addressed the importance of godly husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, and children. Then he told us how to fight fire with fire.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11-12).
Elijah fought against a spiritual enemy, and that battle still rages today. Elijah didn’t fight on his own, but fought with the help of the Holy Spirit. Today, Christians are indwelt with the Holy Spirit but most ignore Him. Paul describes the battle weapons we need to fight, and it’s incumbent upon every Christian to be fit for battle. Study through the rest of Ephesians chapter six and understand each weapon God provides. Don’t choose one, but take all of them into the battle.
Ultimately, Jesus wins the battle. Until He returns, we need to fight fire with fire. We need to use the fire of the Holy Spirit to stand against the non-fire of Satan.
“Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Don’t be double-minded, and don’t live with one foot in the demonic world. Fight.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God breathed.
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