A STUDY ON THE CONTRASTING
PERSONALITIES OF THE TWO
LORDS OF THE BIBLE. WHICH IS
THE TRUE LORD AND WHICH
IS THE FALSE ‘lord’?
About 1968 I attended a meeting in Texas of a fellow evangelist who was preaching on end-time events. His text that night was from Matt. 24 where we find Jesus departing from the temple and walking up to the Mount of Olives. Jesus had just finished the most scathing denunciation of his career on the scribes and pharisees in Matt. 23. His final word was, “Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate — abandoned and left destitute [of God’s help].” I Kings 9:7; Jer. 22:5, Matt. 23:38. If you back up and read the whole chapter in a modern version the directness of Christ’s words are incredible. And then, as if that were not enough, He told them that they would be held responsible and found guilty of every righteous person who had been martyred from Able to Zechariah. v. 35. How could this have happened to a nation of people who had been given more information about God than any other on the face of the earth? Jesus explained it to them: “Why do you not understand my language? It is because my revelation is beyond your grasp. Your father is the devil and you choose to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and is not rooted in the truth; there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie he is speaking his own language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But I speak the truth and therefore you do not believe me.” John 8:44, 45. NEB.
“If God was your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word; a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening-because you’re not on God’s side.” John 8:42-51. The Message Bible in Contemporary Language.
Jesus’ dialogue with these blind Jewish leaders is recorded for us today upon whom the “ends of the world are come.” I Cor. 10:11. These incredible statements were spoken by Him only after He had totally exhausted every other means of reaching their hearts and minds. It must have broken His own heart to have to speak so bluntly, and must have hit them like a bomb blast, totally blowing their minds. Were they aware that Satan was their father and that it was he whose voice they were listening to and following? Obviously not. They were totally blind to it just like their fathers were blind to the fact that the Lord spoke through Isaiah and Jeremiah and all the other prophets. Stephen spoke to that point very clearly in Acts 7 when he told them in verse 42 that God had to give up on their fathers and allow them to worship “The host of heaven,” connecting it to the animal sacrifice system which even Paul in I Cor. 10 said was the worship of demons. And, of course, they stoned Stephen to death because of that and for quoting from Isa. 66 and then telling them that even though Solomon had built a marvelous temple, which King Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed in 586 BC, God does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Christ had reached a point of desperation, as it were, and was using the strongest language possible with the hope and intention of trying to shock the leaders of the nation into reality; to wake them up to the fact that they were facing total destruction, which eventually came in AD 70. “Little did the Jews realize the terrible responsibility involved in rejecting Christ. From the time when the first innocent blood was shed, when righteous Abel fell by the hand of Cain, the same history had been repeated, with increasing guilt. In every age prophets had lifted up their voices against the sins of kings, rulers, and people, speaking the words which God gave them, and obeying His will at the peril of their lives. From generation to generation there had been heaping up a terrible punishment for the rejecters of light and truth. This the enemies of Christ were now drawing down upon their own heads. The sin of the priests and rulers was greater than that of any preceding generation. By their rejection of the SAVIOR, they were making themselves responsible for the blood of all the righteous men slain from Abel to Christ. They were about to fill to overflowing their cup of iniquity. And soon it was to be poured upon their heads in retributive justice.” DA 618, 619. Everyone knew exactly what Jesus was talking about. The history of how king Joash had commanded that the prophet Zechariah be killed right out in public with the words of warning fresh on his lips, was well known. 2 Chron. 24:20. “His blood had imprinted itself upon the very stones of the temple court, and could not be erased; it remained to bear testimony against apostate Israel. As long as the temple should stand, there would be the stain of that righteous blood, crying to God to be avenged. As Jesus referred to these fearful sins, a thrill of horror ran through the multitude.” DA 619.
Now, friends, it was on this very day, after speaking these solemn words that Jesus left the temple. “Pharisees and Sadducees were alike silenced. Jesus summoned His disciples, and prepared to leave the temple, not as one defeated and forced from the presence of His adversaries, but as One whose work was accomplished. He retired a victor from the contest.” DA 620.
After His crucifixion and resurrection many who were awestruck by His words that day took their stand for the truth and became mighty instruments of the Holy Spirit to spread the message of salvation to all who would listen while probation lingered for this apostate people and nation until October 66 AD when the Roman armies came and surrounded the city. They withdrew a little later, which was the door of opportunity Jesus had predicted for His people to escape. No believer in His words died in the next siege that lasted until AD 70.
Our country and the whole world stand today in a similar circumstance as the Jewish nation at that time. The leaders who heard Jesus’ words of warning that fateful day were shocked and filled with terror even though they tried not to show it. They could not imagine their magnificent temple lying in a heap of ruins. But now an unseen danger seemed to be threatening them. This foreboding of coming disaster had also affected the disciples. In an effort to call forth a more positive statement about the future the disciples pointed out to their Lord the strength, beauty and magnificence of the various buildings of the temple, as if to say, Lord, surely all of this will stand forever.
But Jesus had no encouraging words about the future. The Jewish nation had sealed its very own fate: “Do you see all these? Truly, I tell you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Matt. 24:2. These words were not spoken privately so many no doubt heard Him. A little later, as He sat on the Mount of Olives, four of His disciples mustered up the courage to ask Him for more details of His prediction about the temple. “And as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple (enclosure) Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Him privately, Tell us when is this to take place and what will be the sign when these things, all (of them), are about to be accomplished?” Amplified Bible. Mark 13:3, 4. We have always assumed that all 12 of His disciples were with Him at this time but there were only four. It is possible that Jesus had invited them to be with Him for a special time of meditation, prayer and instruction. It is extremely important here that we notice the very first seven words that came out of Jesus’ mouth. “TAKE HEED THAT NO MAN DECEIVE YOU.” Matt. 24:5.
So, the leading sign of the end is DECEPTION. During the last year of his life, AD 66, Paul expanded upon this theme of deception to his young disciple, Timothy, from prison in Rome. “But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.” 2 Tim. 3:13. Amplified.
So, with all this information before us today, we are able to clearly see that Jesus Himself taught that Satan had been able to palm himself off to the leaders of Israel for centuries as their Father. They were convinced that Jehovah God was truly their heavenly father when in reality it was Satan.
REVEALING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE
FALSE IMPOSTER GOD OF THIS WORLD
This study on the Two Lords is pivotal. You will either understand it and allow the Holy Spirit to expand your knowledge about God or you will go the other way. It is your choice. Matthew 7 contains Christ’s concluding remarks of the Olivet discourse. And he saves His most important teaching to the last. In Matt. 7:13, 14. Jesus tells them there are two gates to enter in this life. A narrow gate which leads to eternal life and a wide gate which leads to destruction. And then in vs. 15 he warned them to “Beware of false prophets.” He warned us because they may look like sheep but in their hearts and minds they are nothing but ravening wolves. So, how do you know the difference? “By their fruits you shall know them.” Matt. 7:20.
In Galatians 5 Paul makes two lists. In the first he lists the “Works of the flesh.” I find it most revealing that the first four are sexual sins: Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lasciviousness. These sins are also progressive, including homosexuality which Paul clearly condemns in Romans 1, yet almost all churches today have chosen to excuse homosexuality on the grounds that homosexuals are born that way and cannot help themselves. This is the doctrine of Babylon today and why John the Revelator calls for an exodus of her in Rev. 18:1-6, even stating that she (the church) “is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, etc.” vs. 2. This is why Paul’s next two listed sins are idolatry and witchcraft which has to do with evil spirits or demons. These two lead right into the next 11 which come as a result of allowing evil spirits to lead and control.
“But when you follow your own wrong inclinations your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group — and there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. 5:19-21.
Now, in order to see how this deception (of demons) works we only need to read the life of Jesus in the four gospels. Here is the perfect Son of God going about doing good, healing all who were oppressed of the devil because His Father was well pleased with Him and guiding Him in all He did, Acts 10:38. But almost every time He healed someone the church leaders were trying to find a way to have him arrested, put on trial and crucified. In Matt 12:10-13 we read how Jesus restored a man’s hand that was withered. You would think that everyone would be very happy about such a good work, and most of the “common” people were, but the leaders of the nation wanted to kill Him. Why? Because they said He had broken the Sabbath. But Jesus told them, “It is lawful (right or legal) to do well on the Sabbath days.” vs. 12. “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy Him.” Matt. 12:14.
Beloved, we have to stop and ask ourselves, What kind of insanity is this? These Jewish leaders prided themselves on being the best and most faithful law keepers in the world. Yet here they are seeking to break their own law by killing the Son of God. Let’s listen to the clear reasoning of the Son of God. So, the question comes to us today, who is the “Father” of the churches today in our modern “Christian” world? And why are church leaders taking a wrong stand on abortion and homosexuality as well as other issues? Is it not because Satan is their father the same as he was in the days of Christ? Yet, Satan has blinded them to this fact.
“My teaching is not Mine but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will He will understand the teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from Myself….Has not Moses given you the Law? Yet none of you practices the Law. Why are you seeking to kill Me?” John 7:19. Now, the Pharisees listening to Jesus were shocked that He could read their minds. They knew immediately that they were in conflict with infinite power. “Like a swift flash of light these words revealed to the rabbis the pit of ruin into which they were about to plunge. For an instant they were filled with terror. They saw that they were in conflict with Infinite Power. But they would not be warned.” DA 456. So, what did they do? They tried to cover up their murderous designs by accusing Jesus of being devil possessed. Incredible! In Matt. 12 the same issue is addressed by Christ when He told them that by accusing Him of casting demons out through the power of Beelzebub they were committing blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Matt. 12:31, 32.
Jesus’ dialogue with these blind Jewish leaders continued on through John 7 and 8 which I hope you will take time to read for yourself because of the incredible statement that Jesus makes to them after He has totally exhausted every other means of reaching their hearts and minds. It must have broken His own heart to have to speak so bluntly as to reveal that Satan was actually their father.
Now, having accepted this as a fact is it possible to find Scripture in the Old Testament which will reveal how Satan is identified as the imposter God, as both Jesus and Paul revealed? Yes, it is. Let us begin.
A CONTRAST AND CONTRADICTION OF
THE TWO DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES
BOTH CLAIMING TO BE “THE LORD.”
“And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 2 Samuel 24:1-2
“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.” 1 Chronicles 21:1-2
“And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.” 2 Kings 1:10 KJV.
“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” Luke 9: 54-56 KJV.
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord (Jesus) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. And above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5. Note: There are three heavens and there are two thrones. The true Lord (Father & Son) sits on His throne in the third heaven, in the center of the universe surrounded by the two thirds faithful angels who remain loyal to their Creator. The false lord (Satan) sits on his throne in the first heaven (atmospheric heavens of this planet, earth) surrounded by the one third of the fallen angels who rebelled with him and left heaven. Here is a text which reveals him sitting on his throne.
“And he (the true prophet Micaiah) said ‘Hear thou therefore the word of the (true) Lord (Jesus) I saw the lord (Satan) sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And lord (satan) said, ‘Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, (angel or demon)and stood before the lord (satan), and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ And the lord (satan) said unto him, ‘Wherewith? (how?)’ And he (evil angel) said, ‘I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he (lord satan) said Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.’ Now therefore, behold, the lord (satan) hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the lordhath spoken evil concerning thee.” Commentary: How do we know that this is the false lord sitting on his throne? Because the true Lord does not lie. “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” Hebrews 6:18; Numbers 23:19. And this “lord” is sending forth this evil angel to become a “lying spirit” in the mouth of ‘all these prophets who belong to you.’ Micaiah was the only true prophet of the true Lord. The rest were prophets of Satan. If a person cannot see this then what would ever persuade them? “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31. And so Jesus rose from the dead but how many believe Him today?
WHO TOLD ABRAHAM TO OFFER UP ISAAC AS A HUMAN SACRIFICE?
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; (In Hebrew Moriah means, Jehovah provides) and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Gen. 22;1, 2. Let us take the Scriptures as our guide as we seek to unravel this mystery. “Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:16,17.
Would it be logical and fair to ask, “WAS THIS COMMAND TO OFFER ISAAC AS A HUMAN SACRIFICE A ‘GOOD GIFT? Was it even a gift?” The answer has to be, “NO.” An unqualified and unequivocal, “NO.” Secondly, “DOES GOD TEMPT PEOPLE?” What does the Bible say? “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man:” James 1:13. If God does not tempt us, who then does tempt us? I Cor. 7:5; Matt. 4:1; Mark 1:13; Luke 4;2, all tell us that Satan is the one who tempts us, not God. In Gen. 20, we find that Abraham lied about his wife in order to save his life. He broke the law. This would naturally give Satan, the accuser of the brethren, a chance to accuse Abraham before the heavenly council, just as he did Job. He probably said to God before the council, “Abraham is not fit to become the Father of many nations. He isn’t even fit to live period, for he has broken your law. He deserves to die. He lied down in Egypt about his wife. The Messiah cannot come through his seed or line. He has disbarred himself by breaking your law.” But, Abraham must have repented of his sin, for God would not have blessed Sarah with baby Isaac if they had not repented.
The last and perhaps the most important point to consider in this story is the fact that it was God who told Abraham not to kill Isaac, Gen. 22:12. We know that God never changes, Mal. 3:6. It would be impossible for God to have told Abraham to kill Isaac and then for him to contradict himself by saying, “I changed my mind. Don’t do it, Abraham.” So, here again the Hebrew writer, Moses, under the inspiration of the Spirit put the blame on God for tempting Abraham. The command to sacrifice Isaac probably was given to Abraham in a dream or vision of the night, since God had spoken to Abraham before in visions, Gen. 15:1. The message apparently came that very night, as “Abraham arose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass and went unto the place of which God had told him.” Gen. 22:3. Abraham did not seem to question or doubt that the message was from God, for he promptly obeyed. Paul says Abraham believed God could raise Isaac from the dead, Heb. 11:19, which suggests that Abraham did have an inner struggle over this great sacrifice he was commanded to make, even though human sacrifice was a common ceremony in Abraham’s day.
Abraham probably did not question if the command to kill his own son was in accordance with God’s character, because most old testament characters thought of Jehovah as a God who demanded sacrifice and blood in order to appease his wrath. Remember that Abraham was straight out of paganism. But, he probably wondered how God’s promise to make Him a great nation could be fulfilled if Isaac was killed. But His loyalty to God was greater than his doubts and fears and this is what vindicated God’s faith in Abraham before the heavenly council, just as Job’s faith and loyalty had vindicated God before the same, council. Job 1 and 2. Abraham did not question God, but promptly obeyed. But whose idea was it? It was Satan’s idea for Satan, not God, is the killer. Jn. 8:44. Nevertheless, God took the blame and permitted this satanic idea to be communicated to Abraham. The voice sounded familiar. Could Satan, as an Angel of Light, been permitted to speak to Abraham? Yes, the very fact that a “horror of great darkness fell upon him” is proof enough since Satan is the ruler of Darkness, Ephesians 6:12.
The main issue here is: “WHOSE IDEA WAS IT ORIGINALLY TO KILL ISAAC?” THIS IS THE QUESTION WE ARE SEEKING TO ANSWER. We know the true Lord would never make such a suggestion, nevertheless, God took the blame for it before the universe to cover up for Lucifer just as He did in the case of Job. And remember that it was Satan who suggested that Job be tested, not the true Lord.
And the same is true in Abraham’s case. But at the last minute, God stopped the sacrifice when Abraham’s loyalty had been fully demonstrated before the universal council. If it had been God’s original suggestion or idea for Abraham to offer up Isaac, then God would have been basing salvation upon our performance or works which is clearly condemned in the New Testament. Rom 11:6; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8. It would have been, as if God had been saying, “Ah, let us see if Abraham is really worthy of my forgiveness, favor and my blessings. Well, he did what I said, therefore I will bless him.” God’s love and forgiveness is not based on our merit, works, performance or our goodness, for no one has ever been good enough. Therefore, no one has ever merited or earned His love, nor could they ever, if they tried. And many have tried. Instead, God’s loving mercy and grace is based on our need, not merit. Why even the holy angels need God’s love. God’s loving forgiveness has flown freely and steadily out of his great and magnificent heart of love from the beginning, for God never changes. Many people erroneously believe that God the Father now loves us because of His son’s death. They think the cross changed the Fathers mind toward us. But that is not true. God loved us before His only son died on the cross. “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE.” John 3:16. God the Father did not require the cross. God gave His only son as a gift. We turned that gift or perverted that gift into a human sacrifice. The cross is the price we made them pay to prove they love us. The Father loved us before Jesus died just as much as He did afterward, for He never changes. In fact, it was this love that motivated the Father to let His Son come to die for us so we might witness that mighty demonstration and be drawn to his great heart of love. The cross was not God’s idea. No, it was Satan’s idea which he planted in man’s carnal mind after he sinned. Our darkened minds could not grasp the reality and magnitude of the Father’s loving character. And so the cross on Calvary’s hill became the vehicle through which the Father’s heart was torn open and revealed to the universe. Golgotha’s lonely hill became the stage upon which the Father acted out this unfathomable love through His only Son. We wrote the script for God and He and His son Jesus played the role. He let us do anything we wanted to do to Him so we could see once and for all that He would never ever hurt us. That’s the price we made Him pay. But at the same time Judas demonstrated what happens to those who resist and reject that love. This is God’s justice. This is His punishment, His judgment, if you please. Think of the two gardens, four millenniums apart in time. In the garden of Eden God was seeking man to rescue and save him. In the garden of Gethsamane man was seeking God to hurt and kill Him. The cross demonstrated that God’s love and forgiveness has always been available. But our carnal minds could not see this truth “without the shedding of blood.” Heb. 9:22.
The blood of animals and finally the blood of God’s precious son was necessary to break our hearts and open our eyes so we could see that the path to the throne where the Father is seated has always been open. But our carnal eyes were blind to it. He has always wanted us to come to Him to receive His cleansing and healing touch. We see this clearly in the life and ministry of Jesus. Never once did he require anyone to go to the temple to sacrifice an animal before he could receive forgiveness. See Mark 2:5-12; Acts 10:38. In fact He cleansed the temple twice, once at the beginning of his ministry. John 2:13-17. And Luke 19:41-46, shows that He again cleansed it at the close of His ministry. We see Isaiah the prophet called at a very tender age to be a prophet. How were his sins cleansed away? A coal off of the altar was taken and laid upon Isaiah’s mouth and lips; “thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isa. 6:7. This “LIVE COAL” off the altar represents the love of God, Song of Solomon 8:6. God has three basic methods to cleanse us from sin. (1) Fire, (2) water and (3) blood, I John 5:8. Fire represents His cleansing love and its power to heal and restore the sinner to His favor. This was experienced by the disciples on the day of Pentecost, when they received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or the very presence of God into their lives. This came in the form of cloven tongues of fire. This was a fulfillment of John the Baptist’s prediction, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16.
Jesus represents all three of these elements. He claimed to be the “light (fire) of the world,” John 8:12. He said he had come to bring “fire” on the earth-that is light, truth and righteousness, Luke 12:49. He told the woman at the well that if she would drink of the “water” (Himself) she would never thirst again, John 4:14. And in the last day of the feast of tabernacles Jesus declared to all the Jews, “if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37,38. And last of all, He told the Jews, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” John 6:53. The Jews in the synagogue at Capernaum could not understand Him. They felt he was speaking against the law of Moses which prohibited them from drinking blood.
Jesus knew the prophecies predicted that he would be rejected and killed by his own people, Isaiah 53. He knew from Zech. 12:10; 13:16 and Ps. 22:16, that he would die by crucifixion. He knew Judas would betray Him. But Christ did everything in His power to prevent these events so as to save the Jews and Judas. For, by committing these acts, they were sealing their own doom. They were committing suicide. The cross of Christ is what destroyed them. They were slain by the blood that dropped from His sacred brow.
But, the cross is not what God did to His Son to pay our debt. Oh, no. The cross is the price we made the Father and Son pay to prove their love for us. Truly, they “bought us with a price.” I Cor. 6:20. This was all prefigured in the story of Isaac. Now we can look back and see what it really meant. “Now all these things happened to them as examples… for our admonition.” 1 Cor. 10:11.
WHO BROUGHT THE FIRE DOWN FROM
THE SKY ON MOUNT CARMEL?
From what we have already learned in the Scripture, we know that the “FIRE OF God,” is not a literal fire, for it does not consume literally. That is, it does not consume literally through oxidation. It does not burn up matter. But, the fire of God or God’s fire, which is His loving presence, has the appearance of fire. The burning bush is a good example of this, for the bush did not “burn up,” in the usual sense of the word. It was not “consumed.” When Paul says, “our God is a consuming fire,” Heb. 12:2, he is speaking in a spiritual sense, not a literal sense, otherwise, the 120 disciples in the upper room would have all been dead, literally consumed or burned up by the “tongues of fire,” on their heads. Instead of being hurt, they were transformed into the likeness of Jesus in their attitude and demeanor. Consumed by His love, the fire of bitterness, hatred, envy, jealousy and striving against one another for the highest place was gone, burned out of their lives by the “fire” of His presence. They were all of “one mind.” They were united in their purpose and desire to tell the world the good news of the gospel, that Jesus had risen from the tomb and truly was the Messiah, the Prince of Life. Having said this, we are now ready to go to Mount Carmel. What kind of fire was it that consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the trench? I Kings 18:38. This is literal fire that destroys and consumes matter. This is exactly the same kind of fire that fell in Job’s day, and “burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them.” Job 1:16. And it was called by the only servant that escaped, “THE FIRE OF GOD.”
This is the same, exact kind of fire that consumed the sacrifices of Abel, (Gen. 4) and Solomon (2 Chron. 7:1). This was real, literal fire that requires oxygen to burn. This is the same type of fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Nadab, Abihu and the 250 princes, as well as the two captains and their companies of fifty soldiers who showed no reverence or respect for Elijah when they came to arrest him. I Kings 1:9-15. James and John thought this should also be done to the Samaritans who failed to show the proper respect and hospitality to Jesus. “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias [Elijah] did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” Luke 9:54. Now, remember that Elijah is the “man of God” who took the sword and killed 450 prophets of Baal. Was this God’s perfect will or His permissive will? In other words, was God pleased with this or was He just putting up with it? “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” Acts 17:30. The next verse indicates that the standard of righteous judgment is the Son of God, even Jesus Christ.
After Jesus came, lived and died and rose again, we have the perfect example of what God has always wanted us to be like. But, Elijah, did not live in Christ’s day. When Peter took up the sword to defend His Lord, Jesus rebuked him. “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matt. 26:52. Christ then told Peter that twelve legions of angels were available to Him at a moment’s notice, should He but request their aid. If He was not calling upon them to deliver Him, why should He need Peter’s help? It was not God’s will for His Son to be delivered, for the demonstration had to be made in order for man’s eyes to be opened and his heart broken to the reality of sin and its terrible consequences. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” Luke 24:26; Compare Acts 14:22; Heb, 5:8, 9. We are so pre-occupied with our own pain and sufferings here below, that we sometimes forget that God must still be suffering terrific mental anguish. In fact, the Bible indicates that He suffers with us even now through all of life’s heart aches and tragedies. “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isa. 63:9. We already noticed that the servant blamed God for the destruction of Job’s property. He called this fiery destruction, “THE FIRE OF GOD.” But was this really God bringing down literal fire? No, it could not have been, for God never perverts His own creation and fire, literal fire, as we know it today never existed before sin entered, for it is destructive in its nature and there was no death or destruction before sin entered. Therefore, we must face the fact that the fire that consumed the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament was not from God. Therefore, they would have to be from Satan. Someone will surely ask, “Why would Satan bring fire down on Elijah’s sacrifice and not on the sacrifice of His own prophets of Baal?” The answer is simple when you understand how God operates. Since He takes both the credit and the blame for everything that happens, God has the right and authority to say what will happen and what will not happen. Nothing takes place without His knowledge or will (2 Chron. 16:9). “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” See also Heb.4:13.
Satan was prevented from bringing literal fire down for the priests of Baal to consume their sacrifice. This is axiomatic (obvious). God would not allow this. Satan wanted to do this very badly so he could prove that Baal was superior to Jehovah. Satan was really the god or deity behind or back of Baal, the fire god.
The people’s minds were in darkness. They had no true concept of God’s love and forgiveness. Even Elijah did not understand the fullness of God’s loving nature. But the Lord used Elijah on the basis of what He did know and understand. God always takes us where we are and brings us to where we should be. Even Elijah believed in a Jehovah God who consumed animal sacrifices and he challenged the priests of Baal on this premise. Remember that until Christ came and died even the holy angels and the unfallen worlds were still subject to Satan’s visits, Rev. 12:7-13. Christ’s perfect demonstration of the Father’s true character in His life and death opened the eyes of the universe and Satan “AS LIGHTNING,” fell from heaven. Luke 10: 17, 18. And so on Mt. Carmel, Satan could still bring fire down from heaven and consume the sacrifices of even those who thought Jehovah required this. Thus Satan could still make the Father and Son look like they were animal killers and required blood to pay for the sins of mankind. He was the one who had placed this false concept in man’s mind after the fall and God allowed Satan to continue working through this system. Would Satan settle for this little of a control or this much control over the mind of God’s creatures? Yes, he would. Why not? It was better than nothing. At least he still had his foot in the door to lead them back to Baal worship whenever he had the chance. And so God had to put up with this and took the blame for what Satan was doing until Jesus came and took the whole system away by allowing Himself to be nailed to the cross. Elijah lived in the Old Testament times of killing and slaughter. He lived in the time of God’s permissive will, before Christ appeared 800 years later to show the Father’s perfect will. Man has worshiped the death God long enough. The truth of God’s loving character will smash every false idol in our hearts so we may become dwelling places for the living God, even a temple of His love. Just before Elijah was translated, God’s true character was revealed to him. Elijah had run away to Mt. Horeb or Sinai, where the Ten Commandments had been given to Moses. God let a windstorm, an earthquake and a fire pass by Elijah. But God was not in any of these destructive elements, for He never distorts his own creation. This is the work of Satan, the destroyer…. “A great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a STILL SMALL VOICE. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” I Kings 19:11-13. It is most interesting that the phrase, “A STILL SMALL VOICE,” is translated in the margin thusly: “THAT IS A DELICATE WHISPERING AS OF THE BREEZE AMONG THE LEAVES.” That dear reader, is exactly how Jesus described the work of the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus, John 3:8. Elijah had become frightened and lost heart when Jezebel passed a death decree upon him for killing the 450 prophets of Baal, I Kings 19:1-3. This terrible work of killing had unnerved Him. It was not God’s perfect will for Elijah to kill these priests. He was tired, exhausted and emotionally drained and when he heard a death sentence had been enacted against him, he temporarily lost his courage and faith in God’s ability to protect him and he ran away to the wilderness. But God did not forsake Elijah. The Lord forgave Elijah, taught him His true character and translated him. What a lesson about God’s love for those who will pass through the winds, earthquakes and fires of these last days when everyone is blaming God and His true SABBATH-Keeping people for all the destruction and aberrations of nature Satan will be bringing upon this planet. I want to stand faithful to God and proclaim His loving character so others will know that He is a life God, not a death God. Will you take that same stand too right now with me? God bless you my dear friend. Pastor Michael F. Clute.