7000 people of God did not bow to the idols imposed on Elijah’s nation forced to worship strange gods. God’s Remnant in face of adversity refused to bow to idols against God’s commands to serve only a Living God. Despite the pressure put on the prophets many remained loyal some in caves hidden from those persecuting them. On Mount Horeb in Israel in the dark cave sits the lonely prophet of God. This Godly elderly man, probably in his eighties felt all alone, completely given up on society. Forty days earlier, the prophet begged God to strike him dead. He was convinced, “This nation is too far gone. And the church is backslidden beyond repair. Every leader was puppet of the devil revival is simply impossible. There’s no hope Lord please take my life in 1 Kings 19:4. The saintly Elijah came to a despairing state hours after he won greatest victory of lifelong ministry. On Mount Carmel, Elijah faced 850 false prophets in a life-or-death showdown over whose God would prevail. Some 450 of these prophets served the pagan god Baal; the other 400 were priests of the idolatrous groves built by wicked Queen Jezebel. In a demonic ritual baal prophets danced and wailed, trying to awaken their god. The frenzy ended, the prophets lay bleeding profusely, totally exhausted. Elijah steps up on his turn so simply calls on the LORD and instantly supernatural fire fell from heaven. The engulfing blast of heat consumed the prophet’s sacrifice and twelve barrelfuls of water poured around it. It consumed the rocks on the altar. Awesome display of God’s almighty power. The false prophets trembled at the sight. And the backslidden Israelites who present all fell to their knees crying, “The LORD, HE is GOD the LORD HE is God in vrs. 18:39. Elijah the 850 false prophets so revival was back in Israel awakening Elijah had prayed for finally came or so he thought “This is God’s hour, the beginning of the renewal preached about so long.” Elijah so energized outran King Ahab’s chariot for twenty-five miles, back to the capital city, Jezreel. Thinking “Who can stand against what God has done today? This nation’s sensual, ungodly government must collapse with Jezebel’s next. She, racing back to her idolatrous father in Zidon. She’s heard about the fire from heaven so wants to escape Holy Ghost’s purge. The greatest moment in Israel’s history!” Elijah was convinced people would listen to him, determined to go straight to abandoned temple, to restore pure worship in Jezreel. But before he came near the city, he was accosted by a messenger from Jezebel. That the queen threatens, “the gods do to me and more also, if I make not his life as the life of one of them by tomorrow this time” in vrs 19:2. She told Elijah, “got one day to live, prophet before slayed the way slew idol priests.” Within twenty-four hours of incredible victory on Mount Carmel, Elijah is back in wilderness, trembling under a juniper tree, everything had backfired, overnight, all his hopes for the national renewal vanished.
Elijah who pours water on his sacrifice and still gets fire from heaven is forty days in mountain cave, alone.”So Elijah decided, “It’s all over if miraculous fire from heaven can’t motivate backslidden people, then nothing can.” The word of the Lord came to him, and HE said to him, What are you doing here, Elijah?” in vrs. 19:9. God’s was saying, “What is it bothering you, Elijah? What’s your complaint? So suddenly prophet unburdened his pent-up heart: “I was jealous for the LORD God of hosts as children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down the altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” in 19:10. What Elijah said was true that God’s people in sad state, wickedness abounds in Israel. And true prophets maligned and words mocked. In spite of this, Elijah remained faithful, wholly given to God’s cause and prayed fervently for revival so wrongly thinks he alone carried LORD’s burden. Elijah, felt was the only sin-hating, God-fearing preacher left in nation.” Elijah was overcome by loneliness was saying, “LORD, if others are as zealous for you as I am, where are they? I don’t see anyone crying out against sin as I do.” The fact is, praying people often are loners few are great socializing mixers. Those who wrestle with the LORD in prayer share burden of HIS heart. They see as God Sees, able to discern the true condition of God’s people, sobered by all the flesh and foolishness seen in life. So it drives them to their faces, praying as Elijah did with broken heart of concern. If you’re a person of prayer, probably felt alone, as Elijah did. Perhaps you too mourn over your nation. Maybe you cry out, as Amos did, “LORD, don’t let me sit back in ease while such great bondage exists in your church.” You wonder, as Elijah did, “Where are the Godly leaders and brokenhearted shepherds? Where are those who believe in holiness not the fleshly methods? Felt like out-of-step fanatic. Please, Lord, bring fellowship with others who see things I’m seeing.” So Elijah, alone in cave overwhelmed by loneliness hears still, small voice asking, “What are you doing here, Elijah? in 1 Kings 19:13. Once more, Elijah replied, “I, even I only, am left and they seek my life, to take it away” in 19:14. This time God answered him, “You’re not alone, Elijah, you’ll meet my servant Hazael. I want you to anoint him king over Syria. There’s Godly Jehu, you are to anoint as king over Israel. There is young prophet Elisha who will serve beside you.” The LORD said to Elijah, “I have remaining in Israel seven thousand prophets all whose knees have not bowed unto Baal, and all whose mouths have not kissed him in vrs 19:18. God said, “I’ve got 7,000 hidden ones, men and women who haven’t given in to the spirit of this age. They’re growing in MY Spirit, they all share same burden as you.” These 7,000 includes 100 true prophets hidden in caves by Godly Obadiah the high-ranking governor who served in evil King Ahab’s household. He hid 100 prophets in two caves of fifty keeping them alive with bread and water. Elijah knows all Godly men and Micaiah Godly prophet Ahab jailed prophesying truth to him in 22:8. Elijah knows these but is overcome by loneliness of calling. The 7,000 Holy Remnant people God was preparing today for the Coming Chaos. God hides a remnant in this generation not bowed to idols of this age. The baal worship origin at Tower of Babel, under Nimrod was, “Let us make us a name” in Genesis 11:4. Babel built monument to human success or accomplishment had a top observatory, astrologers followed the heavenly bodies to reach the stars.” In Elijah’s day, baal worshippers got the success, fame and prosperity by kissing idol’s feet sought fulfillment in areas of materialism and sensuality. These baal worshippers were God’s chosen people, so backslidden worshippers of Jehovah. God’s people drawn to blatant idolatry, lusting after idol prosperity. They fled to Egypt, when they faced poverty, hunger and homelessness after Canaan was hit by famine. They saw the baal followers materially rich, reasoned we had plenty of food in Jerusalem bowing to idols and so ‘blessed’ successful without suffering. But ever since we stopped worshipping idols faced hardship so goes back to the burning incense making drink offerings to queen of heaven to get things wanted again in Jeremiah 44:16-19. God’s people fell under seduction of material gospel spirit of greed and covetousness grip so their lives center on wealth recognition. There’s nothing wrong with success if things done in God’s way by clinging to Christ, tithing, submitting to God’s will. But there was unholy mixture, people bowed to Jehovah because in fear of HIS judgment yet covet idol material things. The spirit of baal in nation’s image of pagan gods bronze statue of increasing prosperity, great wealth, fame, human achievement gods nation bow to. A man is considered successful if he amasses billions of money to live the rest of life in ease, obtains recognition, it doesn’t seem to matter if marriage fail, consorts with prostitutes or ruins people in their pursuit of fame, power and wealth still treated epitome of success by world’s standards multitudes strive for. Entire nation asks who wants to be millionaire longing to strike it rich. This concept of success crept into the Church. Seductive baal spirit at work multitudes, believers driven by urgent need to make it big. As a result swept into such expected lavish living and bottomless pits of debt. This spirit produced cockeye view of success similar to the world’s. When Pentecostal movement in Canada held a seminar for “successful pastors,” it stipulated only ministers with congregations of at least 1,000 people could come, large numbers was criterion for success. When at first started working with gangs and addicts in New York introduced to well-known evangelist conducting a crusade at local church shocked, “If you don’t make it by the time you’re fifty, you’ll never hit the big time, got five years left to make it so working on TV series as a last chance to reach the goal.” Was so dumbfounded. What did he mean by “making it”? Did he want some kind of fame? “Making it” meant having enough money to pay the electricity bill at Teen Challenge Center. Or, it meant finding another drug addict who wanted Jesus to deliver them. Too often measure success in ministry by how big a church is or how fat budget. If you ask average Christian to describe how God has blessed him, he’ll probably answer, “The LORD has given me a new car, a nice home, a good income.” At one time a person might have answered God blessed me with burden for prayer and a fresh vision for lost souls, renewed my hunger for salvation. Jesus describes the believers as lukewarm who hear the word but cares of world, deceitfulness of riches, and lusts enter in, choke the word so unfruitful in Mark 4:18-19. So things interferes with walk with Jesus is sin if allowed to press into our hearts a drive for success, money or acclaim on knees before baal. Spiritual eyes will be opened and hearts grow hot so zealous for Jesus. In Bible temples of baal were packed so backslidden church was rife with unspeakable evil. That’s when the LORD boasted to Elijah of 7,000 who did not bow as 7,000 righteous saints. They resisted lust for fame and success so are wholly Mine.” We should be grateful to God for many great heroes of the faith: zealous prophets like Elijah, unbending prayer warriors like Daniel and mighty officials like Obadiah, men and women who did mighty exploits such as David and Deborah. I believe it’s right for us to study their examples to discern secrets of a Godly life. Elijah mocks and taunts if baal is god, daydreaming, using toilet, traveling or maybe asleep so wake him up. Despite Elijah’s sarcastic challenge it was evident their God was not alive. So many seek to emulate 7,000 unnamed, unknown servants who did not bow to baal. Hidden men and women of faith, rare and few. I believe the remnant God reserved for HIMSELF the Bible makes clear in all generations a small remnant stands true. In days of chaos, the church faces falling away of believers. And Paul writes at this present time the remnant is elected by grace in Romans 11:5. Jesus warns, “Enter in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many go in because the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few find it”in Matthew 7:13-14. Elijah’s prayers brought down fire from heaven by cries of 7,000 hidden praying God-lovers. They were in the underground meetings praying in fields serving alone in Ahab’s house, unknown to all but known to the LORD. Faithful in calling intercede, God heard them. Good Success in God’s Eyes is to be totally fulfilled ministering to HIM. God’s Servants make it to share earthly security with the hungry, poor destitute and know the LORD approves ministry. The 100 prophets Obadiah hid lived an isolated existence in caves for three to four years in severe famine had no outside ministry, out of public’s view forgotten by most people, couldn’t share Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel. God gave devoted servants precious gift of time, days, weeks, years to pray, study, grow, minister to the LORD. God was preparing them for the day when HE releases them to minister to HIS people. These men shepherd all who returned to God under Elijah’s ministry. Years ago the LORD blessed me with time gift pastoring the church, went into woods to preach to birds, trees, no plans, no agenda, no dreams. I only wanted to get to know God’s heart. I prayed daily seek the LORD ministering to HIM. I marked my Bible from cover to cover. Later, as a young, skinny, inexperienced preacher of small congregation in Pennsylvania town, held services in buildings with tarpaper roof congregation of farmers and coal miners. Totally unknown, thanks to example of praying father and grandfather God made me a man of prayer so blessings experienced came from precious early times with the LORD. I was hidden not seen by anyone but God knew my address all along. I’d spent my time wisely. Today, I urge all young ministers to do the same. I hear from the young preachers desperate they can’t find a niche in ministry. My advice is, “Quit looking for ministry. Spend your time seeking God instead. HE knows where to find you. HE calls you when HE Sees you’re ready.” Forget what others are doing, seems bypassing you with grand works but no greater ministry than prayer. Success at God’s Throne ministering to the LORD praying for others is already success in HIS Eyes. All true ministry is birthed in prayer.”
Mount Carmel in Israel is like long ridge running from north-west to south-east, approximately 20 miles long. Nazareth, is about 9 miles away from the foothills of the mountain by Galilee. Aerial view of Mount Carmel is west from the east showing a rugged plateau. And an aerial photo of present day Mount Carmel, with the city of Haifa. All true ministry is birthed in prayer.” Are you among the 7,000 who haven’t bowed? All through Bible, the number seven is equated with God’s eternal purpose. The number of 7,000 God quoted to Elijah denotes those who make up HIS remnant. People God sets aside for HIMSELF can be 7000 or 7 million, wholly given to HIM. The characteristics of these remnants are: three defining marks: