Revival At Mount Carmel

NTRODUCTION

I want to talk to you about some things that accompany REVIVAL but before I do, I want to qualify what I am saying with this preface. Revival is a grace gift from the sovereign God. We can prepare for revival but technically, we cannot work one up or even pray one up. We can shout, cut ourselves with knives and rave all evening like the false prophets but we cannot work up a revival because revivals are not worked up they are prayed down. BUT make no mistake, it is not our pious or even passionate prayers that causes the fire to fall. God sends the fire. He is the source and the giver of the fire. I’ve seen the fire fall one time in my life and that was over 40 years ago. I’ve longed to see it fall again since. I have seen God work, He is always at work but I pray for the fire of heaven to fall on the body of Christ. This country has not experienced a great spiritual awakening in over a century and a half. If you put every Baptist preacher in the convention in one room, they could not conjure up a revival: that being true, you know that I can’t preach up a revival. In intend to talk more about Revival this week than I did when I was here before but be it known, that I am a seeker like yourself. I pray to our merciful God for revival. If He saw fit to let it begin here today, I would be fine with that but I have been in the business long enough to know that if it happens [the fire falls], He will be responsible and we will give HIM the praise.

From the study of God’s word, I do see some things that accompany REVIVAL and I want to share those with you this morning.

[1] THE CONGREGATION

So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel to Mount Carmel [V.20]

I don’t know about you but at home we have 600 members and only one third of them show up on an average Sunday. At Easter we have over half but that is one Sunday out of 52. I have challenged them time and time again to fake a revival. I tell them, “Let’s pretend that we have had a great revival and all show up this Sunday.” It never happens. It is a miracle in reverse. I don’t know how they do it but we consistently have our 35% with the other 65% on vacation, at the lake, footballing or NASCARing. It amazes me. I wonder if they have a secret network. How do we have the 35% per week when it is always a different crowd that makes up the 35%. If all our people where to show up at once, we couldn’t seat them or park them but it never happens. I don’t think we will have REVIVAL this week or any other week unless we congregate and draw near. The first commitment we need to make is not to let anything hinder us from attending the services.

[2] THE PROCLAIMATION OF GOD’S WORD

Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” [V.21]


If you do a history of REVIVAL you will discover that all are accompanied by the bold proclamation of God’s holy word. This does involve a preacher but I wish to put the emphasis on the WORD rather than the preacher. The MESSAGE in this case is greater than the messenger. The editor is more important than the kid who delivers the news paper. The chief is more important than the waiter. We all know that some waiters are better than others but our interest is in the quality of the food. Elijah’s message was brief but to the point. The people had been compromising. They were trying to serve two gods and Jehovah is a jealous God. Judaism did not mix with paganism. Judaism didn’t mix with any religion. Christianity is the same in that sense. I read the other day about a new religion called Chrislam which is a combination of Jesus teaching with Islam. This bird will not fly, CHRIST IS LORD. He said that no man could serve two masters but that is exactly what the Israelites were attempting to do, they were attempting to serve baal and Jehovah. Elijah said, “Enough of this nonsense: you can’t serve them both so make up your mind. Choose today whom you will serve.”

[3] THE PREPARATIONS

Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” Come near unto me, AV] They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.” 34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

The first preparation Elijah had to make was to repair a broken  down altar. The altar had not been used in a long time. Jereboam corrupted Israel’s worship with the calves and than Ahab and Jezebel were promoting the worship of baal. Yahweh’s altar had been neglected and the stones were scattered. We think of an altar as a place to bring our sins and in the OT it involved confession and sacrifice. This process is vital to worship. When sacrifice and confession cease, we cease to worship. So the Israelites were guilty of idolatry and they had been unfaithful to Jehovah in worship. Impure worship is no worship in God’s sight.

Then we put the wood on the altar. Wood is combustible, it will burn up. It represents the temporal things that do not last. It is the wood, hay and stubble in our lives. It also symbolizes our works, our human effort.

Then they soaked the wood with water. These people were in a 3 and 1/2 year draught, water was the most precious thing they had. God wants the most precious thing you have on the altar. We cannot have REVIVAL apart from sacrifice and I think this is a major problems. We want God’s blessings but not His rule. We want Him to bless what we choose to do.

One other preparation is necessary and that is “Cut the bull”. I’m going to tell you why I think we don’t have REVIVAL, there is too much bull in our worship. We are not being honest with ourselves or God. We are playing church. We are acting like Christians instead of being Christians. Too much pretense. Does God see through it? You know that He does. I’ll be h0nest with: “I am shocked that God does what He does considering all the hypocrisy in the church.” When I was a young preacher, I heard Dr. Vance Havner tell the story of the church that went Hollywood. They brought in some type of entertainment every week. One Sunday they had a talking horse. They put the horse on the stage and his trainer ask him, “How many disciples were there?” and the old horse stomped 12 times and everyone applauded. Then he ask, “How many commandments are there?”  And the old horse stomped 10 times. Then some smart Ike from the back hollowed, “how many hypocrites are in this building?” Dr. Havner said the old horse went into a dance. I fully believe that we would experience some sort of spiritual renewal if we would just get honest with ourselves and God.

[4] THE PETITION

v.36…Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,  prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

There is absolutely no question that PRAYER has a vital connection to REVIVAL. I don’t know of any great spiritual awakening that was not preceded by a huge burden for men to pray. I don’t know how it is here but the most unpopular thing you can do in Danville is call a prayer meeting. More then a quarter of a century ago, we changed our Deacon’s meeting into basically a prayer meeting and one of my senior deacons removed his name from the ballot. He did not approve of the change. I am thankful to say that in these 25 years, I have had only one deacon to complain about coming early on Sunday morning for prayer. I do love prayer meeting which means I love deacon’s meetings. I must admit that as bad as things are, we don’t seemed to be burdened to the extend that we will met and pray fervently. I don’t think we have a China man’s change of having REVIVAL without prayer.

[5] THE INCINERATION

V. 38…Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!

Now we get to God’s part: Elijah preached boldly, he repaired the altar, he cut the bull and he prayed but it was God who sent the fire. Moses the great prophet and law giver said, “The LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” What we have here is a holocaust: everything was consumed even the stone and the dust. It came quickly in the form of a lighten bolt. From heaven, God nukes the altar, He vaporized it and everything on it.

Note Psalm 135:6-7…For I know that the Lord is great, And our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.

Jesus taught is Luke 9:24…“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Let me tell you what life is about for a disciple of Christ…it is about surrender, giving things up. Desiring for God’s holy fire to consume all that will not honor Christ.

William Borden was born in Chicago on April 1, 1887. He was the son of a wealthy family, the Borden Diary industry. His parents gave him an around the world ticket for his high school graduation in 1904. William traveled the world and not just the finer places in Western Europe but he toured the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, India and China. William was astounded by the pain and suffering he saw: it literally broke his heart and while on the trip he made a commitment to give his life to Jesus as a Missionary to China. He wrote in the back of his bible two words, “No Reserves.” William was not holding back, he gave everything to Christ including his wealth. He came back to the states and attended college at Yale. At Yale he was broken over their drift away from the word and into liberalism. He and a friend began a prayer meeting before breakfast praying for REVIVAL at Yale. When he graduated four years later, 1,000 of the 1,300 students were attending prayer meetings. From there he attended Seminary in New Jersey and then he was off to China by way of Egypt where he went to study Arabic. When he left the harbor for his overseas voyage, he wrote two more words in the back of his bible, “No Retreat. His target group were Muslims so he wanted to learn the language. While in Egypt, young William contracted spinal meningitis and went to be with Jesus within a month of his diagnosis. A lot of people thought William made a mistake in giving his life to Christ. He had so much wealth and potential, why would he give it all up? Days prior to his departure, William wrote two more words in his bible, “No Regrets.” His most famous quote is…”Say no to self and yes to Jesus, always.”

CONCLUSION

I conclude with one final point, the OUTPOURING. Israel was dry, no rain in three and a half years. They needed a flood and they got one thanks to the mercy of God. I think of the words of the song, “Mercy drops round us are falling but O for the showers we plead.” Mercy drops are falling around Danville but we need a deluge, a flood, a shower. We need the fire of God to fall on us and consume everything in us that dishonors Christ. I want that more than I have ever wanted it in my life

Things that Accompy Revival

TEXT:

20 So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. 21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. 22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. 23 Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. 24 Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.” 26 So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!” 28 So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. 29 They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response. 30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.” 34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench. 36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,  prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” 38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

INTRODUCTION

I want to talk to you about some things that accompany REVIVAL but before I do, I want to qualify what I am saying with this preface. Revival is a grace gift from the sovereign God. We can prepare for revival but technically, we cannot work one up or even pray one up. We can shout, cut ourselves with knives and rave all evening like the false prophets but we cannot work up a revival because revivals are not worked up they are prayed down. BUT make no mistake, it is not our pious or even passionate prayers that causes the fire to fall. God sends the fire. He is the source and the giver of the fire. I’ve seen the fire fall one time in my life and that was over 40 years ago. I’ve longed to see it fall again since. I have seen God work, He is always at work but I pray for the fire of heaven to fall on the body of Christ. This country has not experienced a great spiritual awakening in over a century and a half. If you put every Baptist preacher in the convention in one room, they could not conjure up a revival: that being true, you know that I can’t preach up a revival. In intend to talk more about Revival this week than I did when I was here before but be it known, that I am a seeker like yourself. I pray to our merciful God for revival. If He saw fit to let it begin here today, I would be fine with that but I have been in the business long enough to know that if it happens [the fire falls], He will be responsible and we will give HIM the praise.

From the study of God’s word, I do see some things that accompany REVIVAL and I want to share those with you this morning.

[1] THE CONGREGATION

So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel to Mount Carmel [V.20]

I don’t know about you but at home we have 600 members and only one third of them show up on an average Sunday. At Easter we have over half but that is one Sunday out of 52. I have challenged them time and time again to fake a revival. I tell them, “Let’s pretend that we have had a great revival and all show up this Sunday.” It never happens. It is a miracle in reverse. I don’t know how they do it but we consistently have our 35% with the other 65% on vacation, at the lake, footballing or NASCARing. It amazes me. I wonder if they have a secret network. How do we have the 35% per week when it is always a different crowd that makes up the 35%. If all our people where to show up at once, we couldn’t seat them or park them but it never happens. I don’t think we will have REVIVAL this week or any other week unless we congregate and draw near. The first commitment we need to make is not to let anything hinder us from attending the services.

[2] THE PROCLAIMATION OF GOD’S WORD

Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” [V.21]


If you do a history of REVIVAL you will discover that all are accompanied by the bold proclamation of God’s holy word. This does involve a preacher but I wish to put the emphasis on the WORD rather than the preacher. The MESSAGE in this case is greater than the messenger. The editor is more important than the kid who delivers the news paper. The chief is more important than the waiter. We all know that some waiters are better than others but our interest is in the quality of the food. Elijah’s message was brief but to the point. The people had been compromising. They were trying to serve two gods and Jehovah is a jealous God. Judaism did not mix with paganism. Judaism didn’t mix with any religion. Christianity is the same in that sense. I read the other day about a new religion called Chrislam which is a combination of Jesus teaching with Islam. This bird will not fly, CHRIST IS LORD. He said that no man could serve two masters but that is exactly what the Israelites were attempting to do, they were attempting to serve baal and Jehovah. Elijah said, “Enough of this nonsense: you can’t serve them both so make up your mind. Choose today whom you will serve.”

[3] THE PREPARATIONS

Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” Come near unto me, AV] They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.” 34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

  1. The first preparation Elijah had to make was to repair a broken  down altar. The altar had not been used in a long time. Jereboam corrupted Israel’s worship with the calves and than Ahab and Jezebel were promoting the worship of baal. Yahweh’s altar had been neglected and the stones were scattered. We think of an altar as a place to bring our sins and in the OT it involved confession and sacrifice. This process is vital to worship. When sacrifice and confession cease, we cease to worship. So the Israelites were guilty of idolatry and they had been unfaithful to Jehovah in worship. Impure worship is no worship in God’s sight.
  2. Then we put the wood on the altar. Wood is combustible, it will burn up. It represents the temporal things that do not last. It is the wood, hay and stubble in our lives. It also symbolizes our works, our human effort.
  3. Then they soaked the wood with water. These people were in a 3 and 1/2 year draught, water was the most precious thing they had. God wants the most precious thing you have on the altar. We cannot have REVIVAL apart from sacrifice and I think this is a major problems. We want God’s blessings but not His rule. We want Him to bless what we choose to do.
  4. One other preparation is necessary and that is “Cut the bull”. I’m going to tell you why I think we don’t have REVIVAL, there is too much bull in our worship. We are not being honest with ourselves or God. We are playing church. We are acting like Christians instead of being Christians. Too much pretense. Does God see through it? You know that He does. I’ll be h0nest with: “I am shocked that God does what He does considering all the hypocrisy in the church.” When I was a young preacher, I heard Dr. Vance Havner tell the story of the church that went Hollywood. They brought in some type of entertainment every week. One Sunday they had a talking horse. They put the horse on the stage and his trainer ask him, “How many disciples were there?” and the old horse stomped 12 times and everyone applauded. Then he ask, “How many commandments are there?”  And the old horse stomped 10 times. Then some smart Ike from the back hollowed, “how many hypocrites are in this building?” Dr. Havner said the old horse went into a dance. I fully believe that we would experience some sort of spiritual renewal if we would just get honest with ourselves and God.

[4] THE PETITION

v.36…Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,  prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

There is absolutely no question that PRAYER has a vital connection to REVIVAL. I don’t know of any great spiritual awakening that was not preceded by a huge burden for men to pray. I don’t know how it is here but the most unpopular thing you can do in Danville is call a prayer meeting. More then a quarter of a century ago, we changed our Deacon’s meeting into basically a prayer meeting and one of my senior deacons removed his name from the ballot. He did not approve of the change. I am thankful to say that in these 25 years, I have had only one deacon to complain about coming early on Sunday morning for prayer. I do love prayer meeting which means I love deacon’s meetings. I must admit that as bad as things are, we don’t seemed to be burdened to the extend that we will met and pray fervently. I don’t think we have a China man’s change of having REVIVAL without prayer.

[5] THE INCINERATION

V. 38…Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!

Now we get to God’s part: Elijah preached boldly, he repaired the altar, he cut the bull and he prayed but it was God who sent the fire. Moses the great prophet and law giver said, “The LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” What we have here is a holocaust: everything was consumed even the stone and the dust. It came quickly in the form of a lighten bolt. From heaven, God nukes the altar, He vaporized it and everything on it.

Note Psalm 135:6-7…For I know that the Lord is great, And our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.

Jesus taught is Luke 9:24…“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Let me tell you what life is about for a disciple of Christ…it is about surrender, giving things up. Desiring for God’s holy fire to consume all that will not honor Christ.

William Borden was born in Chicago on April 1, 1887. He was the son of a wealthy family, the Borden Diary industry. His parents gave him an around the world ticket for his high school graduation in 1904. William traveled the world and not just the finer places in Western Europe but he toured the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, India and China. William was astounded by the pain and suffering he saw: it literally broke his heart and while on the trip he made a commitment to give his life to Jesus as a Missionary to China. He wrote in the back of his bible two words, “No Reserves.” William was not holding back, he gave everything to Christ including his wealth. He came back to the states and attended college at Yale. At Yale he was broken over their drift away from the word and into liberalism. He and a friend began a prayer meeting before breakfast praying for REVIVAL at Yale. When he graduated four years later, 1,000 of the 1,300 students were attending prayer meetings. From there he attended Seminary in New Jersey and then he was off to China by way of Egypt where he went to study Arabic. When he left the harbor for his overseas voyage, he wrote two more words in the back of his bible, “No Retreat. His target group were Muslims so he wanted to learn the language. While in Egypt, young William contracted spinal meningitis and went to be with Jesus within a month of his diagnosis. A lot of people thought William made a mistake in giving his life to Christ. He had so much wealth and potential, why would he give it all up? Days prior to his departure, William wrote two more words in his bible, “No Regrets.” His most famous quote is…”Say no to self and yes to Jesus, always.”

CONCLUSION

I conclude with one final point, the OUTPOURING. Israel was dry, no rain in 3 & 1/2 Years. They needed a flood and they got one thanks to the mercy of God. I think of the words of the song, “Mercy drops round us are falling but O for the showers we plead.” Mercy drops are falling around Danville but we need a deluge, a flood, a shower. We need the fire of God to fall on us and consume everything in us that dishonors Christ. I want that more than I have ever wanted it in my life.