Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas
James 5:17 NIV Elijah was a man just like us… KJV subject to like passions as we are… LB completely human as we are… Worrell a man of like nature with us… Twentieth Century NT only a man like ourselves… New English Bible with human frailties like our own… Williams feelings just like ours… NT of Modern Speech with a nature similar to ours… Basic English Bible a man of flesh and blood as we are… John Knox a mortal man like ourselves… The Message a human just like us …
Intro: I began this series four weeks ago when I preached that Elijah was a man of prayer. I talked about Prayer being communion with God; Prayer being a time when God talks to us; Prayer being sweet fellowship with God, and that Prayer strengthens the child of God.
The following week, we looked at Elijah as a man of purpose. We saw that Natural man wants a life that is easy; but Spiritual man wants a life that will advance God’s Kingdom. We looked at the fact that Elijah’s Purpose was to wholly serve the Lord!
Two weeks ago, we saw that Elijah as a man of passions. Elijah had human frailties. He went through a time of great depression, because he allowed self-pity to take a hold of his spiritual life! He forgot to Whom he belonged! And, yet God translated him! Why? Because he was a man who sought after God. He was not moved by mere demonstrations of God’s presence – he contended for God Himself! He did not chase the wind that tore the mountain apart and shattered the rocks. Feeling the “earth move under his feet” with the earthquake did not victimize him. The supernatural fire was not something he sought! He waited until God Himself showed up, and heard Him speak to him personally in the gentle whisper. “God, help us to run after God and not ‘signs and wonders!’” Remember, it was Jesus Who said that only a wicked and perverse generation would run after signs!
Last week, we examined Elijah as a man of faith. Elijah believed and obeyed the Lord. In fact, we learned, that obedience to what God says to us is the only way to have faith! Faith is not merely a mental exercise, but it is allowing ourselves to be an effective instrument of righteousness in God’s hands. When we believe and obey, we will see the impossibilities become realities! When we live in ‘exercised faith’ the things that God wants to do can be done through us. As we become what God has ordained us to be, all things will become possible because I believe! We are not to seek a “small faith,” as small as a grain of mustard seed, but a “growing faith,” as a grain of mustard seed! We are to act upon what God is saying!
And finally, today, we will see Elijah as a Man of VICTORY.
More than just a human like us, Elijah was an effective instrument of righteousness in God’s hands. What God did through Elijah, He wants to do through us! Let us examine Elijah as a Man of Victory.
I. Elijah Is One Of Only Two!
There have only been two men who have ever lived on this earth and have escaped the reality of physically dying. They were Enoch and Elijah. But, I have hope that I will be numbered with them! There is a glorious promise in I Thess.4:16 & 17 KJV For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord
II. Elijah Was Instructed To Anoint Elisha!.
Elisha was to take Elijah’s place when he left this world. I truly expect to go in the Rapture of the Church, but if I go by way of the grave, I need to prepare someone to take my place.
Elijah did just that with Elisha. According to our friend, the Reverend Larry Lanphier, Elijah took Elisha to three places to get him ready to take his place. (II Kings 2) He took him to Bethel, Jericho, and Jordan.
- Bethel means “The House Of Bread” or “The House Of God.” Everybody need to get to God’s House! Some only come there when they are in trouble, and it was a good place for Jacob to go to wrestle with God until his very nature was changed. But, remember, Jacob first named this place Bethel when he left his father’s home and slept there. He saw angels ascending and descending upon a stairway to Heaven. He believed this was the gate to Heaven, and I believe it is our gateway even today! Bethel is also a place to receive nourishment to accomplish God’s plan for our lives! Bethel is an excellent place to begin your journey to do something great for God!
- Jericho means “the city of fragrance.” It was a place of satisfaction and comfort. We have got to teach people who work for the Lord that they need to learn to Rest in the Lord! If we do not learn to come into the Lord’s rest, we will grow weary in well doing and faint! But as we learn to wait upon the Lord, He will renew our strength. Workers in the Kingdom need to not trust in their own abilities, but to allow the Lord to be Lord of all!
C. Jordan was called “the river of death.” It is the place of total surrender. It was very much like the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed, Not My will, but Thine Be Done! It will be at the altar of surrender that the Lord’s anointing will come upon you so you can experience a double portion in your individual life.
You can not be ready to pass your mantle until you have taken your successor to Bethel, Jericho, and Jordan. You can not be ready to accept the mantle until you have been to Bethel, Jericho, and Jordan!
III. How Did Two Men Get Out Of Here Alive?
How did Enoch and Elijah and everyone who will ever be raptured qualify for instant translation? Turn to Heb.11:5 KJV By faith, Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Conc: Going to be in the presence of the Lord forever is truly VICTORY! And, we all can have that kind of victory in our lives, whether we go by way of the grave or by way of the trumpet call! It does not matter as much HOW we go, as it is WHERE we go! If we want to have the same type of Victory Elijah and Enoch experienced, then we must have the same testimony – that we pleased God.
We have seen that God wants us to be men and women of prayer, purpose, passion, faith, and victory. Then we must desire to be effective instruments of righteousness in God’s hands.
~ Pastor Erny