Bringing Fire from heaven has been done by the Lord Jesus Christ. However, being turned into fire for God is difficult because of the cares of this world that has invaded the hearts of men. So, we have to constantly repair the altar of the Lord by examining ourselves to ensure we are still in the Faith.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye are reprobates?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5.
We also need to “dig a trench” round our heart, the altar of the Lord in the Temple called “Man“, guarding the heart with all diligence.
All these were done by Elijah, not just to bring fire from heaven but to also bring a revival in Israel; the people went on their knees, acknowledging the Lord is God.
“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.” – 1 Kings 18:39.
The third cost of bringing fire from heaven was the next thing he, Elijah did, PUT THE WOOD IN ORDER.
“And he put the wood in order. – 1 Kings 18:33a
Wood hates fire and runs from it!
I remember when I lived with my grandmother in my secondary school days. We cooked with fire wood. We would be around the fire not only to keep an eye on what was cooking but also to keep pushing the wood back into the fire. Left unattended, the fire would go out.
The human body, like wood, is stubborn and resists the fire of purification.
The fire of God will not fall when your flesh is in the way. You have to keep putting it “in order”, pushing it back as sacrifice, into the fire of revival.
Paul acknowledged that there is nothing good in the flesh.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” – Romans 7:14
You have to keep forcing your body to comply with the Word of God. Put it under, subject it to the Word of God; drag it and not let it behave the way it wants. This is your duty, your “reasonable service“. (Romans 12:1)
The human body is like an animal; a stubborn animal. When brought as a sacrifice, the animal must be bound to prevent it running away.
“God is the LORD, who hath shown us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar.” – Psalms 118:27.
If the animal is not bound to the altar, it would run off!
Paul said “mortify“, which means to subdue the body, conquer it and not let it have its wants and desires; restrain it, humiliate it and do not let it have its way.
“For if ye live according to the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” – Romans 8:13.
Your body should be presented as a sacrifice to the Lord.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” – Romans 12:1.
Your flesh has to be bound!
It wants to fornicate and indulge in adultery, restrain it! Drag it to church; force it out of bed in the morning even when it suggest continued sleep! Shun its suggestions and make it do the Will of God! Put the wood in order!
Part of putting the wood in order is in praying for your enemy.
“Bless them who persecute you; bless, and curse not.” – Romans 12:14.
Often times we “feel” like praying against them. Our flesh reminds us of what they did against us, how painful it was, the shame we went through and we “feel” like cursing them.
Whereas the Word of the Lord says pray FOR, NOT AGAINST, them!
“But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44.
It can be painful! Yes. However this is what being a disciple is all about! We do not act what we feel, but obey the Master, even in much pain, agony and tears. The body must be shunned and not followed!
Beloved, the flesh is an enemy to the fire of Revival. If there is coldness, it is from the body! It resist everything God.
As disciples, we are to deny ourselves, even our comfort, a thing the body indulges in.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [ cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].” – Matthew 16:24. AMP.
May we find grace to put the body in order.
John the Baptist said he was not the Messiah; and that the Messiah would baptize men with fire.
The Messiah came and confirmed sending fire on the earth but not until He had been baptized Himself: on the cross.
“I am come to send fire on the earth, and what will; and how am I straitened till it shall be accomplished!” – Luke 12:49-50.
Consequently, He asked the disciples to wait at Jerusalem to receive the promise of the Father, which came on the day of pentecost, turning them into awesome vessels. Fearful men became fearless; they became flames of fire! The fire of Heaven was kindled on the earth and earth has never remained the same.
This fire separates brothers, sisters, families, friends, etc, because like Jeremiah the Word of God is like fire in the bones bringing about the difference between Godliness and worldliness.
In the previous write up we talked about rebuilding the altar of the Lord, to be Living Stones; STONES OF FIRE.
(2) DIG A TRENCH
The second thing Elijah did was dig a trench ROUND the altar.
Do not allow anyother thing go near your heart! Place a check, a garrison, around your heart.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23
You are not only to “keep” or “guard” your heart but expected to decisively deal with any threat that comes close to it!
“Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” (Proverbs 4:24).
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
“PUT AWAY”, “PULL DOWN”, “CAST DOWN”; these suggest that something should be protected!
If you compromise with the world, it is from your heart. Starve Satan of his desire to have your heart by not allowing worldliness to creep close to it.
Hear God’s instruction to Moses.
“And thou shalt set bounds to the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up upon the mount, or touch the border of it: whoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through: whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” – Exodus 19:12-13.
The throne of God must be protected, revered and honoured. Be separate; live sanctified and entertain only good thoughts and imaginations.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.
There are family members and friends that stir evil thoughts in us, through suggestions, advice or even by their conduct and character. They will want to lure us back to the life we lived before meeting Christ; a life of immorality. They would make jest of us and ridicule us for our faith and belief, making us angry.
We should note these ones and as much as possible keep them at arms length, yet not hate them. We are not permitted to hate anyone, but rather expected to love them and as much as lie in us, to live at peace with them.
Nevertheless, there should be a limit to whatever interactions we have with them, in the work place, in the community, in the bus, on the street, etc.
Yes, we may meet often, yet not influenced by them.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in season; its leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he doeth shall prosper.” – Psalms 1:1-3.
We cannot avoid interacting with people, however we should not forget who we are, where the Lord brought us from, where He is taking us and how we need to agree with Him to get us there. And one of the “how’s” of getting there is in having no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11).
“No, fellowship”, irrespective of the interaction. We should always remember this no matter where we are or in what company we find ourselves:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.
The fire of God does not come cheap and will cost you! It comes with a high price and as in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, is not transferable. You, and you alone are responsible for the presence or absence of the fire of God in your life!
For the fire of God to come down into your life, you need to:
(1) REPAIR THE ALTAR
The first thing Elijah did was build an altar of twelve stones. The nation of Israel at this time was divided into two kingdoms; Judah with two tribes and Israel with ten tribes. Elijah repaired the breach by building an altar of twelve stones.
An altar is the place of sacrifice within a temple.
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
“What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God, and ye are not your own?” – 1 Corinthians 6:19.
Every temple has an altar of sacrifice. Your heart is the altar of the Lord Jesus; that is where His throne is, where He dwells.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.” – Ephesians 3:17.
A divided heart can never produce the fire of God!
Like Elijah, you need to repair the altar of the Lord; your heart. Uproot the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matthew 13) that has invaded the hearts of men, becoming the image of jealousy and squeezing the presence of God from our life rendering us unproductive spiritually.
“Then said he to me, Son of man, lift up thy eyes now the way towards the north. So I lifted up my eyes the way towards the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.” – Ezekiel 8:5.
The North Gate was the most influential gate; of both the City and Temple.
“And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi.” – Ezekiel 48:31.
Dedicated to, reserved for, and given to three tribes: Reuben, the first born son of Jacob; Judah, the messianic tribe and Levi, the priestly tribe. All three tribes prefigure our Lord Jesus Christ.
He should have the preeminence and rule in our heart; but behold, some other thing is there represented by the cares of this world and the deceitfulless of riches!
“For thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:” – Isaiah 14:13.
The North, reserved for the King of kings, now has an intruder!
“When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever readeth, let him understand,)” – Matthew 24:15.
We have to deal with the intruder! Uproot his representatives else fire will not come!
We need to dethrone the image of jealousy. It distracts us from the Lord and His Will. That is why He said:
“This people draw nigh to me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” – Matthew 15:8.
We need to repair the altar of the Lord, by “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” – 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Beloved, in this dispensation, the fire of God is not something physical. His servants are fire! He will make you fire if you do not waste your precious and expensive time worrying over what you have or do not have. They are not important! The devil wants you to see them as important and so steals, kills and destroys your God-given joy and peace, and keeps you cold!
Seek, more than anything, the Way and Will of God (His Kingdom), and all your need will be met!
BRINGING FIRE FROM HEAVEN
“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. 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.” -1 Kings 18:36-38.
Fire is the divine indication of God’s approval, given in worship. It comes as a seal of approval upon every true and sincere worship.
Elijah offered a sacrifice in worship and fire came down; a sign that his sacrifice of worship was accepted or approved.
Moses led the entire camp in worship and fire came down.
David worshipped at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusit, God responded by fire.
Shedrack, Meshack and Abednego, worshipped and became flames of fire; hotter than fire.
Worship brings the fire of God. When it comes, it consumes, licks up and eats up everything in its path; wood, hay, stone, everything! Nothing can withstand the fire of God; demon, curse, affliction, nothing!
DOES FIRE STILL FALL FROM HEAVEN?
WHY IS IT NOT SEEN?
In the Old Covenant, they atoned for sin with physical things – animals. Things that can be touched. In the New Covenant it is not so: atonement is not done with what we can see or touch.
Also in the Old Covenant, materials and items of worship were external; incense, candles, the Ark, etc.
“Now“, in the New Covenant all materials of worship are in the heart.
The fire falls in the heart of a true worshipper, consuming, licking up, eating up the person and turning the individual into another man, for a better and greater glory. The fire burns in the bones, fills the heart, bursts through the mouth as mysteries!
It sat on the head of the disciples and they never remained the same!
The fire of God is a must for every child of God. Imagine going the extra mile, doing exploits, having extra strength, standing when others are falling, being a sign and wonder! It is the fire of God!
An occult sect once stood against my wife and I. They came against us several times and in several ways, yet they could not succeed. On one occasion, the Lord woke me up at 1am and asked me to “watch“. That was the only instruction I received, “watch“. Obediently I sat on the bed and just watched. Suddenly I saw two men come through the wall! I recognized one of them: the tall leader of the sect. He was in front, with a whip in his hand. Of course it was not an ordinary whip but a charmed one that has been known to bring death to their victims.
Quietly I watched as they went all over the house for us asking in yoruba, “awon da?” which means “where are they?” They went to the passage, into other rooms and came back to our bedroom. It was obvious they knew where our bedroom was. Equally obvious too, was that they could not see us! Halleluyah!
Every true worshipper is covered by the Lord.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” – Psalms 91:1-4.
That week, the leader of the sect died!
True worshippers are signs and wonders! The fire of God turns them to awesome vessels. God makes His servants (worshippers) flames of fire! You see them, but you cannot catch or cage them! They may look weak and fragile but you cannot break them! They are indeed wonders; to the demons, to the native doctors, to the philosophers, to the psychologists, to the atheist and to the world as a whole.
Join us next week for part 2