THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION OF THIS STUDY
Many books have been written by notable men and women who long to help us deepen our walk with the Lord. We know that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and as such only it will change us into the image of His Son. Here is the dilemma; religious books, not based solely on the Bible and exclusively on its principles, contain man’s opinions and are at risk of error.
1Thessalonians 5:21 commands us to: “Prove all things.” That means we are to prove all doctrine that a man is teaching; we are NOT to prove – or judge – the man himself. We may see great zeal for the unsaved and devotedness to God in a man. However, it is his teachings that the Bible commands us to prove. Even then, we are to be mindful to state the truth in love. In a report like this it is essential, I think, to feel great empathy for the one in error while still feeling deep concern for what has been written. In Jeremiah 6:27 the Lord calls Jeremiah an “assayer of metals.”
In assaying, to confirm that a find was gold, it was given an “acid test.” A test sample was used to mark a touchstone and the degree to which it dissolved when the acid was added determined whether it was gold. An acid test gave an incontestable result. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/acid-test.htm
Yet, having determined that the metal was gold was not sufficient. The quality of the gold had to be determined. Was it 10k, 12k, 24k or the purest of all with no dross in it that lines the transparent streets of Heaven? If the Bride of Christ is to walk on the streets of Heaven, both the streets and she are to be fit for each other – pure and holy. In this humble appeal to all the saints, the Word of God will be our acid test to discover the purity of the teachings involved. Over the next few weeks, I will discuss two “rainmakers” in this study: the first is Elijah, who is found in various places in the Bible. The second discussion centers around Honi of “Circle Maker” fame.
Biblical Discussions of Deception
2Ti 3:13 states the principle that people may deceive others for one reason – that they too have been deceived.
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
– 2 Timothy 3:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
Truth has to shine a light to deliver everyone involved – deceiver and deceived – from darkness and there is only one light the Bible says we are to shine – that is the Light of His Word.
Since this study is to be strictly Bible-based, there are Scriptures dealing with discernment that are necessary we understand. The first are those in Deuteronomy 13:
Punishment of Apostates
‘13 If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.”
– Deuteronomy 13:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
In verse one it states that the words given by the prophet or dreamer of dreams will come to pass. This would lead you to believe that these words were, therefore, from God. However, notice that verse one also states that by acting in obedience to this new plan the prophet or dreamer of dreams gives you, you will be led away from the One True God. You will be deceived by indulging in actions that are not in agreement with God’s Word. God allowed this to happen to test you to see if you love Him and Him alone. Keep the following in mind what Paul says to the Corinthians in 2Cor 11:3-4, “3But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!”
ELIJAH: GOD’S PROPHET
First let’s examine the character and significant events in the life of Elijah, God’s prophet. This examination will be basically line upon line, precept upon precept, in respect for the Holy God Who was the director of the actions described.
Elijah Proclaims a Drought
17 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
– 1 Kings 17:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
Elijah’s name means “my God is Jehovah” and he will amply prove that as his life unfolds before us.
Notice some significant things about this man Elijah. He comes out of nowhere – with no introduction, no lineage, nothing…except he knows God; he stands before Him and he’s come, bravely and obediently, to bring a message to Ahab from God. That’s all the “credentials” he needs. The rain will stop – and start again – only at God’s express command. That is the message God has entrusted Elijah to bring. Faithfully, Elijah will obey, and God will refine him in the process.
First, God refined Elijah at the brook at Cherith by feeding him with the help of unclean ravens (1Kings 17: 3-7). God next took Elijah to Zarephath whose name means “the place of refining” (1Kings 17: 9-24). Not only was this one of the strongholds of Baal worship but the king of this area was the father of Jezebel! Yet it was not these “enemies” that would be used to refine Elijah, but a widow. The Lord told Elijah to ask water of this woman…but, how could he? According to Mosaic law, it was an act of ultimate degradation to ask shelter from a strange woman; to ask for food or water was even worse. Elijah condescended to these actions for one reason – God commanded him. Obedience was all that mattered.
As we follow Elijah’s actions from chapter to chapter one question must be asked: what was “the secret” to the prophet’s power? Something very simple. It was humble, total obedience to the will of God. Just that. No matter what it cost him, Elijah humbly obeyed.
Besides Moses, Abraham and David, the most frequently mentioned Old Testament character in the New Testament is Elijah. He is mentioned 30 times.
The Results of Elijah’s Obedience
Once more God would test Elijah’s obedience: this test would be even harsher than the ones previously endured. It was considered a great sin for a man of God to touch a corpse. When the widow of Zarephath’s son died and Elijah embraced the boy in angst, Elijah was acknowledging the boy as his own family. Everything culturally and physically recoiled from the humiliating act of such intimate contact with this young corpse. Yet he knew God was commanding it. Note that this miracle of the first Biblical resurrection was not performed in front of anyone else – Elijah and God were privately locked away with the widow’s son as Elijah prayed without fanfare. This was simply one more in the long string of events where Elijah humbly obeyed his God.
Are you wondering by now why so much time has been devoted to all these “incidentals” if this study is supposed to be about rainmakers? The answer is simple. It is the events that occurred before the sending of the rain that shaped Elijah into a prophet God could trust. The incident of the rain is simply the climax to what happened atop Mt. Carmel when all Israel came near. The sending of the rain was witnessed only by Elijah and his servant. It was God’s blessing to a people who had finally come back to Him and destroyed the idolatrous system of Baal. Follow me as we journey on with Elijah.
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For this series, scripture is taken from the New King James Version unless explicitly stated otherwise.
I would like to thank my fellow consultants for all their assistance in getting this blog published: Michelle Arrington, Hannah Hall, Ariel Mcgarry, Carol White, Tracy Yoder, and J.P.Wilhelm. Their encouragement and patience have been invaluable to me.