Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Mount Carmel Forest Fire
January 6, 2011
Israel prides itself on self-reliance and its preparation and ability to handle anything that comes its way,
especially war; however, they found themselves so unprepared for this raging fire that they had to
ppeal for international assistance. It was as if a chink appeared in their near-invincible armor.
This is not the first time that this chink has been manifested. In the 2006 Lebanon (Hezbollah)-Israeli
battle, which some call the July War of 2006, Israel did not seem as invincible as it had in previous
wars. Israel was surprised by the depth and range of Hezbollah's missiles, which landed as far south as
aifa, bringing major civilian centers under attack. Further, an Israeli naval ship was crippled.
The point is this: Israel seems to be more vulnerable and less invincible that it has in its entire 62-year
history. This poses a question: Is God lifting His hand of protection from Israel? If so, why would He be
doing so at this point in time? See issues #04-1091 through #04-1094, August 2010, which deal with
dom and modern Israel.
Could it be that Jeremiah's prophecy concerning the people of Judah and Jerusalem, which foretells of
the final destruction of the earthly Jerusalem in order to make way for New Jerusalem, the heavenly,
oly city of God , is very near to fulfillment?
'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks
a potter's vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth because there
s no other place for burial. (Jeremiah 19:11 NASB)
Paul exhorts us to cast out the bondwoman and her son , which corresponds to the present
Jerusalem (Galatians 4:21-31). See issues #04-1086, August 8, 2010, Two Jerusalems , and #04-
1087, August 9, 2010, Cast Out Judaism and Present Jerusalem . Why? Because God's name is no
longer attached to the present Jerusalem; His name is upon New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12). The
present Jerusalem has been destroyed and rebuilt several times in its long history, but the Lord has
declared that it will be broken in such a way that it will never be repaired, that is, rebuilt again. Topheth
ignifies that it will be destroyed by the gehenna fire .
Now, returning to the Mount Carmel fire, we are reminded of a great biblical event that occurred on this
mountain nearly 2,900 years ago when Elijah the Tishbite was called forth as a prophet to Israel to
confront 450 prophets of Baal. Elijah showed up on the scene when Ahab the son of Omri reigned over
the northern Samarian kingdom of Israel for 22 years. [Note: For further understanding of the
significance of the name Omri , see issues #04-10104, August 26, 2010, Two Distinct Prophetic
Histories , and #04-10108, August 30, 2010, The Israelite Diaspora . Also, after Solomon's death, his
kingdom was divided into the northern kingdom (Samaria), which took the birthright name of Israel, and
the southern kingdom (Judah and Jerusalem), which retained the scepter under the name of Judah.
See issues #04-1079, August 1, 2010, Graftage , and #04-10103, August 25, 2010, Solomon's Divided
ingdom .]
Ahab did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all before him (1 Kings 16:30). He married Jezebel
and began to serve and worship her god Baal. So he erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal
which he built in Samaria and also made the Asherah (wooden symbol of a female deity). Thus
Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel before him (1 Kings
On December 2, 2010, fire broke out on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, south of Haifa. It spread
quickly and continued to December 5. When it was over, 12,000 acres had been consumed, 74
uildings destroyed, 17,000 people evacuated, and, tragically, 44 people killed.
"They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and
heir daughters to pass through the fire to Molech… (Jeremiah 32:35 NASB)
Thus, the condition of Israel in the day of Elijah was deplorable. It wasn't as if the kingdom of Israel had
fallen into some minor level of spiritual declension that could be easily reversed, or as if they had
accepted some error in their understanding of the Lord and His ways. It wasn't as if Elijah needed to
erely show up and speak an exhortation to them to lead them back to the path of righteousness.
No! The condition in the house of Israel was more than very serious; it was deadly. The kingdom was in
total apostasy. They not only had turned from the Lord, but they had turned to false gods. But it was
even worse than this, for Baal was a wicked, evil god that called for their sons and daughters to pass
hrough the fire, that is, to be sacrificed to the gods.
Elijah, who had a nature like ours (James 5:17), had to be given divine authority, a special anointing or
empowering, if you will, to turn the tide for the kingdom of Israel. He had no ability in himself to
undertake such a task, and some of his actions proved it, such as running from Jezebel and hiding in a
cave. Elijah had to be given authority from God for what he was called to do. It was a sovereign act of
God that raised up Elijah and called him to do what he did. Satan and its mighty forces of wickedness
were behind what was going on, and Elijah needed special equipping for the battle to confront these
nseen forces of darkness.
So, Elijah was called forth to confront the 450 prophets of Baal. The story of what happened on Mount
Carmel is so well known that I won't repeat it. What is relevant to our day is what Elijah prayed and
hat the Lord did after the foolish display of the impotence of the false prophets and their god.
(36) "O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in
Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. (37) "Answer
me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You
have turned their heart back again." (38) Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt
offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the
trench. (39) When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is
od; the LORD, He is God." (1 Kings 18:36-39 NASB)
The fire coming down on the mountain was not to simply display the impotence of Baal and the power
of God or even to prove Elijah was right; it had a purpose, and it was to turn the heart of the people
ack to the Lord God.
Is there a parallel in our day to the condition of ancient Israel? Ancient Israel sacrificed their children. Is
present-day Israel sacrificing their children as well? Today, civilized countries do not sacrifice their
children to gods by passing them through fire. However, many have legalized abortions, which could be
likened to sacrificing children. The US and many countries around the world are guilty in this regard,
just as Israel is. In the US, on average, about a million children are legally aborted each year; nearly 50
million have been aborted since 1973. In Israel, about 20,000 legal abortions are performed each year;
some estimate that both legal and illegal abortions total around 50,000; about 1.5 million children have
been aborted since 1948 in a country with a population of 7.5 million. Will God not judge the nations
(i.e., trees, as in trees of the forest), even the US, through the gehenna of fire (i.e., metaphorically, as
in forest fire) for these sacrifices, just as He did ancient Judah and Israel? Could it be that the Mount
Carmel fire is God's way of warning about what is coming to the Middle East, especially to Israel, and
erhaps other nations? Is it not time to repent and return to the Lord?
What is the condition of the heart of the people of the state of Israel? As a nation, do they know
Yeshua, the Lord and Savior of both the Old and New Testament? Or, have they rejected God's Son,
the Messiah? Surely, there are individuals within her borders that know and love Jesus, but, as a
nation, at best, they are described as secular. May many turn to the Lord Jesus while there is still time
and be kept from the hour that is coming upon Jerusalem as Jeremiah foretold. Lord, have mercy!
The Upward Call: #05-1106 [514]
By: Stuart H. Pouliot
It is most likely that the Baal Elijah confronted on Mount Carmel was Melqart , the god of Tyre, Jezebel's
home and a place where human sacrifices were offered. This connection is made by Jeremiah as he
poke against what had been similarly going on in Judah.