Devotion: PENTECOSTALISM ON MT. CARMEL...
June 25, 2018
SCRIPTURE: "Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded." 1 Kings 18:23-29 KJV
A MOMENT TO REFLECT:
Protestantism had maintained a relatively pure form as it entered the 20th Century. The Reformation's break with Rome, drew on Scripture as the only source of understanding and worshipping God, in Christ. The global revivals of the mid 19th century had opened the minds of churchgoers in America and Europe to Scripture in profoundly new ways. Great preachers broke upon the scene in England, like Charles Spurgeon and in America, like Dwight L. Moody. The Advent movement was born at the outset of this surge and new emphasis on prophecy and prophetic understanding as carried forward from Protestant Reformers.
Satan was not asleep. His formidable and almost unstoppable force against a systematic study of the Bible is emotionalism. Like dessert after a meal, Satan infused the tantalizing feeling of exhilaration in worship, like sugar. The feeling of exuberance was brought into Protestant congregations through Pentecostalism. The emotive experiences now viewed as necessary for worship within Protestant churches began in America with the Azusa Street movement of 1906. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azusa_Street_Revival).
Since the beginning of 'speaking in tongues and bodily jirations', other phenomenon has occurred within these demonstrative congregations, such as the Toronto Blessing (promotes uncontrollable laughter as evidence of the presence of the "Holy Spirit" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Blessing) . They are Satan's counterfeit to Scriptural study and Biblical adherence. Adherents rely on 'feeling' to verify conviction and justify decisions. Each of these systems has the common thread of emotionalism. In their attempt to appear Biblical, Scripture is misapplied and manipulated to validate, justify, and vindicate a worship format that is pagan in origin and Satanic in inspiration. It is not cultural. The same deep syncopation and rhythmic beats, can be seen among Animists, Occultists, Voodoo, and Santeria worshippers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santer%C3%ADa). Each of these religions have been syncretized into Protestant Churches and erroneously defined as 'African-American culture'. They are not. They are religious systems born of Satan's devising introduced into Protestant churches to subvert Scripture, delete study, and destroy reasoning. The priests and prophets of Baal exhibited the same bodily, emotive demonstration and worship format of Pentecostalism when they stood before Israel and Elijah on Mt. Carmel. Emotionalism in short, is a substitute for substantive, meaningful, cognitive delineation of truth as found in Scripture, that was exemplified by Elijah and the Protestant Reformers.
Tomorrow, we will consider the distinctive difference of Elijah's worship practice in contrast to the priests and prophets of Baal.
SPIRIT OF PROPHECY COMMENTS:
"The morning passes, noon comes, and yet there is no evidence that Baal hears the cries of his deluded followers. There is no voice, no reply to their frantic prayers. The sacrifice remains unconsumed.
As they continue their frenzied devotions, the crafty priests are continually trying to devise some means by which they may kindle a fire upon the altar and lead the people to believe that the fire has come direct from Baal. But Elijah watches every movement; and the priests, hoping against hope for some opportunity to deceive, continue to carry on their senseless ceremonies.
“It came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.”
Gladly would Satan have come to the help of those whom he had deceived, and who were devoted to his service. Gladly would he have sent the lightning to kindle their sacrifice. But Jehovah has set Satan’s bounds, restrained his power, and not all the enemy’s devices can convey one spark to Baal’s altar.
At last, their voices hoarse with shouting, their garments stained with blood from self-inflicted wounds, the priests become desperate. With unabated frenzy they now mingle with their pleading terrible cursings of their sun-god, and Elijah continues to watch intently; for he knows that if by any device the priests should succeed in kindling their altar fire, he would instantly be torn in pieces.
Evening draws on. The prophets of Baal are weary, faint, confused. One suggests one thing, and another something else, until finally they cease their efforts. Their shrieks and curses no longer resound over Carmel.In despair they retire from the contest.
All day long the people have witnessed the demonstrations of the baffled priests. They have beheld their wild leaping round the altar, as if they would grasp the burning rays of the sun to serve their purpose. They have looked with horror on the frightful, self-inflicted mutilations of the priests, and have had opportunity to reflect on the follies of idol worship. Many in the throng are weary of the exhibitions of demonism, and they now await with deepest interest the movements of Elijah.
(Prophets and Kings, pp. 149-150)
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