The Spirit and Power of Elijah
The Spirit and Power of Elijah
Online Sermon Notes
Sunday 14th June, 2020
Last weeks message has opened up for me a fresh sense of expectancy, anticipation and urgency for what lies ahead for us as Christians – and as the church together.
And I sense too at the moment a call to boldness for all of us – in speaking out things that we know are truth and light – but to the world we live in, may not be culturally acceptable – and may even cause offence. More on that later.
One of the words that we will all remember as part of the narrative of 2020 – is the word “unprecedented.” You’re probably as over hearing that word as I am.
Certainly for most of us – we are experiencing and seeing things that are either unprecedented – or at the very least – there is an increase and stirring in things that the bible speaks about – that will happen more and more in the last days.
I spoke last week about the rising lawlessness that we are witnessing. I’m not speaking about the right to protest against injustice. We all need the freedom and right to stand up for things we don’t believe are right.
I’m speaking about the rioting, the violence, the looting, the burning of buildings, the outright lack of respect for authority and other peoples property. I’m speaking about the agendas and actions of extremists.
I believe this is all making the way soon for the “son of lawlessness” that the bible speaks of, to step in and steer the world in a direction towards its final destruction.
Well, it all leads me this morning to stir ourselves up with a fresh fire to be ignited on the inside of us – to look for and walk in the opposite spirit to what’s happening in the world around us.
God is preparing for Himself a people in these last days, who will stand up in faith – and proclaim Truth. A people who will prepare the way of the Lord for His second coming – just as John the Baptist prepared the way for His first coming.
I’m talking about a people who will carry and walk in the spirit and power of Elijah!
Elijah of course was a real man – a prophet called by God to speak to his generation around 800-900 years before Christ was born. He was raised up by God to speak to the nation of Israel in a time of increasing crisis and hostility.
And further over – at the very end of the Old Testament – we hear the prophetic voice of Malachi:
Mal 4: 5-6
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
Is he saying that Elijah will appear again as a man – hundreds, even thousands of years later?
No. Not the man. But the same spirit that Elijah carried will be manifest in later generations.
And we know this because an angel spoke of this same spirit when he prophesied the coming of John the Baptist – who prepared the way for Jesus to come the first time.
John 1:17, “ He will also go before Him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
It’s interesting that the angel expands on the turning of hearts to include all who are disobedient – and to make a whole people prepared for the Lord’s coming.
But it wasn’t just for the first coming.
Jesus spoke to His disciples in Matthew 17:11
“Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.”
This is after John the baptists time. Jesus is speaking of a future day – the Day of the Lord that we looked at last week.
And this confirms what Malachi said – that it will be before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
The birth of Jesus was not the dreadful day. That was a gracious and merciful day.
But the second coming is great and dreadful because it’s the day of judgement – not the day of grace. For those who have rejected Jesus – who have blasphemed His name – who have rebelled against righteousness – who have trodden on the Blood of Jesus…
It will be the most terrible day in all of history. We can’t even imagine the torment they will experience – simply because they chose to say no to the most amazing grace and gift of eternal life.
So that is just a brief background to the fact that the spirit and power of Elijah will shine forth to prepare people for Christ’s return.
But what does that mean for us?
What will it mean for you and I to walk in the spirit and power of Elijah?
Well we have to look at Elijah’s life – his character – his actions – and see how that translates into 2020 and beyond.
Because this will be us walking in the opposite spirit to the spirit of this world.
This is not an exhaustive list. Just a few thoughts that I have. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it too.
Let’s look at that prophetic scripture from Malachi and also the words of the angel to Zachariah about John the Baptist.
The spirit of Elijah will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the children to their fathers.
In a world and an age now where rebellion and lawlessness is rife, and where families are under so much pressure – where fathers and mothers are struggling to hold everything together – there is an increasing strain in family relationships.
Rather than closeness, love and support – many parents and children are experiencing an increasing sense of isolation, abandonment and stress.
And our relationships are vulnerable to brokenness simply because we live in a broken and fallen world.
But the angel showed us that it’s not just about fathers and children. It’s about the disobedient – it’s about a people who Jesus so desperately longs to be prepared to receive Him as their King.
His hearts desire is for all people to know Him and receive Him.
So here is our mission – it’s to do all we can – by the power of the Spirit – to bring healing, reconciliation and restoration to people’s lives – to families – but most of all – to reconcile people to God.
The spirit and power of Elijah is about reconciling people to their Father in heaven – to come as children with hearts that are turned towards their Saviour Jesus Christ.
We have a “turning hearts” ministry.
There’s a verse in 1Kings 18 that I think summaries Elijah’s calling.
This is the time that he gathered all the prophets of Baal together with the prophets who sat at Jezebel’s table. On mount Carmel he exposed their evil for what it was.
In verse 21:
“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.”
And this just highlights Elijah’s stand for righteousness and for uncompromising truth. For him it is black or white.
On Mount Carmel – he destroyed the false and evil prophets before the people. It was a day of tremendous bloodshed.
How do we translate that to 2020?
Well, I’m not planning on slaughtering any prophets any time soon.
But I do heed a call to boldness. And I know the time is coming very soon where every person is going to have to choose one side of the fence or the other.
There will be no sitting in the middle.
And our mission here is to speak the truth – the uncompromising truth of who Jesus is.
God detests mixture. No longer will people be able to dabble in a little bit of this religion – a little bit of that mysticism – add in some new age humanism…
People are going to have to choose who they will serve.
We are called to be a Joshua generation.
Joshua 24: 15, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of [a]the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Let that be our life’s motto: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Live out the spirit and power of Elijah by choosing to serve the Lord for yourself.
If you want to get a pretty clear picture of what the end times will look like, have a read of Luke 21.
It speaks of wars and rumours of wars; there are deceptions, earthquakes, famines, persecutions, betrayals – even betrayal by our own family members.
No wonder the spirit of Elijah speaks of family reconciliation. It’s the opposite spirit the what happens in the end days.
But one thing that it says in Luke 21 is that we will experience the day of vengeance – and there are ample scriptures that speak about it being the day of God’s vengeance.
So here I believe is a call to living out for ourselves and being willing to share with others – a healthy fear of the Lord.
Yes – right now He is gracious – He is forgiving and merciful – He is patient with us and His love abounds towards us.
But when He returns – He will come as one who will have a sharp two edged sword coming from His mouth and He will be ready to slay the wicked and destroy the nations that have hated Him and rejected Him.
A healthy fear of the Lord would have us stand in absolute awe at His majesty – His mighty power – the One from whom our very breath comes.
And He will not tolerate or cover wickedness forever.
We need to choose – but people in our world need to choose – to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God – to humble ourselves under the fear of the Lord, that we as a generation have pretty much lost or minimised.
In the story of Mount Carmel, after the evil prophets failed miserably to get their god to set a fire under their sacrifice – it says:
1Kings 18: 30-31, “Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”
And of course, as we know, the fire of God came from heaven and completely consumed the sacrifice that Elijah had prepared.
But here’s the thing I want you to see.
It says Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.
So the forth thing about the spirit and power of Elijah – as it speaks and ministers to us in 2020 – is the call to rebuild broken altars of the Lord.
As I was preparing this message – it’s as I was writing these words that I sensed the anointing stronger than on anything else.
We have broken altars in our own life. Altars that have gone in to disrepair because we have failed to worship with the right heart – we’ve failed to read the Word with the same passion – we’ve failed to receive communion with a pure appreciation and heart response – we’ve failed to offer our lives up to God with the same devotion that perhaps we once had.
But this is not about condemnation. It is about the spirit and power of Elijah bringing conviction of heart – and also a renewed passion and fire for His Word, for prayer and worship and a life of devotion.
Elijah was totally sold out to God. His life was completely selfless.
Yes, he did have times of retreating and hiding as pressures came upon him – and God would say to him – “What are you doing here Elijah?” What are you doing in a cave – feeling sorry for yourself?
And God Himself lifted Elijah out of that place and revealed Himself to Elijah in a fresh and powerful way.
But let’s encourage one another – let’s support one another – let’s be accountable to one another – that’s what the body is for – right?
Let’s help one another live this life of worship, prayer and devotion together – and lead others into it also.
That’s what the spirit and power of Elijah will do for us.
Finally No. 5 – remember this is not an exhaustive list. I’d love you to add to it and let me know.
But finally for now – we are all called to minister and release the signs and wonders of the spirit of Elijah in these last days.
And the best way we can do that is to put our eyes upon Jesus – and to follow after Him.
John 14:12, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
The spirit and power of Elijah is the work of the Holy Spirit.
And when Jesus went to be with His Father in heaven, He then sent the Holy Spirit to live in us – to empower us supernaturally.
It’s the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead – the spirit of resurrection life and power.
As darkness rises up in the world around us – as lawlessness abounds – we will see – without any doubt whatsoever – we will see an uprising of holy power and God’s sovereignty.
We will see the miracles, the healings, the deliverance, the signs and wonders – and most importantly of all – we will see men, women and children running to the presence of God – running to salvation in the name of Jesus.
Many will choose Him. And that’s the call of Elijah as well.
Repent and be baptised.
And I want to invite anyone who may be listening – and you have never actually surrendered your life to Jesus Christ – you have never really repented of your sin and mistakes – now, in this very moment, is your opportunity to do just that.
The time is short. The world as we know it will come to an end. But hose who believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, will be saved.
So let’s all of us close by surrendering our lives to His Spirit this morning. And let the anointing of the spirit and power of Elijah wash over you – and clothe you like a mantle.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Firstly I lift up to you those whose hearts are turning to you right now. Thankyou for Your forgiveness. Thankyou for your grace and mercy. As they confess to You from the depths of their heart – their sorrow for living a life separated from You – we ask that You fill them with Your presence – and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let this be a brand new day – the beginning of eternal life – the beginning of real love and hope.
And for all of us – let the fire and passion of the spirit and power of Elijah fall upon every one of us.
Anoint us with boldness, power, the call to uncompromising truth.
We want to bring light to the darkness.
Let Your name be glorified in and through us in these last days.
We pray these things in Jesus name.