If Jesus were here facing the bloodthirsty murdering cutthroats consistently produced by radical Islam, what course of action would He suggest? Would Jesus “turn the other cheek” or would He go to war with terrorist rulers and nations?
The answer to that question as an end-time scenario has been given in the Two Witnesses who perform His will while preaching to the rebellious inhabitants of planet earth. With God-given power, they witness for three and a half years. Revelation 11:5 says, “And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.”
The Lord has impressed Second Kings 1:9-15 on me as a spiritual parallel to what the church has faced for some time in the western world. I always viewed this as an exciting passage in which Elijah extended the authority birthed in the confrontation with the prophets of Baal!
I was assuming the first was foundational for the second. The Holy Spirit impressed an entirely different view, which when applied to the church forces a decision from God’s Throne based on our willingness to take a stand. Verses 9 and 10 state, “Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. So he went up to him; and there he was, sitting on the top of a hill. And he spoke to him: ‘Man of God, the king has said, “Come down!”’ So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, ‘If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.’ And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.” This is not about Elijah being upset.
The Hebrew word translated “come down” is yaw-rad which means in the Qal Imperative, “prostrate yourself”. The king, as representative of political government, is demanding obeisance from Elijah, the representative of God’s government. God will not bow to political government nor allow His representatives to bow. The “If I be…” statement refers not to the man but to the God-ordained position the man occupies. The challenge went directly to the office Elijah held, demanding an official response.
Five Supreme Court Justices are acting just like king Ahaziah toward the church. They don’t learn easily. Verses 11, 12 state, “Then he sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty men. And he answered and said to him: ‘Man of God, thus has the king said, “Come down quickly!”’ So Elijah answered and said to them, ‘If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.’ And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.” The king reaffirmed his position, forcing Elijah to repeat his previous response. God honored it and fifty were toast. Supreme Court potentates routinely challenge the church and demand we bow in silence.
This pattern would not change until the representative of the king bowed to God’s government in verse 13, “Again, he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and pleaded with him, and said to him; ‘Man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight.’” Elijah could not bow. Political government had to bow or burn! The church has silently bowed.
Elijah was mainly a bystander in this confrontation, in that he could only respond to what political government initiated. Here is the parallel for us today. For forty years individuals posing as “kings” have continually demanded the representatives of God’s government prostrate themselves. I hear the Spirit saying – no more! God is ready to give us declarations as He gave Elijah. Let the fire of God come! Let the church truly represent Christ! Where is the word of the Lord in the mouth of the church?
When man’s government challenges God’s government by demanding obeisance, we have no choice but to declare the rule and reign of our King. Psalm 149 characterizes this process as an “honor” for all His saints. Executing the “judgment written” is as simple as declaring Psalm 2:12 or Isaiah 1:24-26. Take the honor; declare the judgment written! God will honor our words as Elijah’s.