Emotions are like wind, earthquake, and fire. We feel up, we feel down. Elijah had this wild swing. He triumphed and then wanted to die. He ran to the cave at Horeb for he needed to see glory of God and to hear the still small voice of His holiness and to see the future. Soon Elijah saw his successor in Elisha. (1 Kings 19:4-20; Isaiah 6)

Speaker: Thomas Schaller, Peter Westera
Sermon: 12603
7:00 PM on 10/25/2023

P. Pete Westera.

Good morning. Good start! First words out of my mouth and I’m way off base! I’ll do a little
introduction for you. It’s so good to be here, isn’t it? Love that song service. Good job ladies.
Amazing. Okay. Get us in the mood. We’re just ready to hear from God.

I did a class this morning. It’s a leadership class. I’m trying to teach about being a leader. I
thought there’s probably not a better chapter in the Bible than Isaiah 6. So, we spent two hours
talking about Isaiah 6:1-9. I’ll just give you a couple little parts that we talked about this morning.
I’ll try cause I have four pages of notes from a two-hour class.

God is the maker of real leaders. Only he does it. The kind of leaders that we’re talking about
can only be raised by God. How does he do it? In Isaiah 6, we see this beautiful sequence.
Sequence of eternity. The effect on my life. What will happen. Step A through B, C. How does it
go? What happens to us? What does God want to have happen to us? We know this chapter so
well. I know you know it, but let’s read it together.

Isaiah 6:1, I know. I know. It’s amazing just a great thought that a year when the throne was empty,
God opened up the heavens and showed Isaiah an eternal throne. A throne that would never
be empty. When his throne is empty, when the throne in our hearts is empty, the visions start
pouring in, the rhemas happen, the Word of God starts speaking to us, and all of a sudden we
see clearly. There is now in our life, in our heart, room for him.

King Uzziah dies, and Isaiah saw a beautiful vision, a visible image. God enabled him to see an
inconceivable thing. No man can see God, but here Isaiah sees the vision and what does he see?
Divinely imposed vision of the Lord, Adonai, and in John 12, we read that it’s Jesus Christ. Of
course, it’s Jesus Christ. Who else would he possibly see but Jesus. Isaiah standing on the earth
looking into eternity. Hindered by time. Hindered by space, but clarity of mind. An empty
throne, and he sees something that he has never seen before that very few people have seen.
He sees the Lord. He observes the throne. On the throne a personality, a person. Not five
thousand gods. Not a spirit or mother nature or some movement. He sees a person, a person
that we know very well, Jesus. How beautiful. How clear.

My daughter-in-law is pregnant. My beautiful daughter-in-law is pregnant, and when she was
first pregnant, we talked about the baby. It was the baby. And then some time went by and we
found out or she found out that it was a boy. So, now we refer to it no longer as a baby, but as a
boy. The little boy is coming. And then a few weeks later, my son and his beautiful wife come to
me, and they tell us that they have a name. His name is going to be Grant. Guess what
happened? It is no longer a baby. It is no longer a boy. It is Grant. We now know him. We see
him. It’s very clear to me.

And this is Isaiah for me. The whole Old Testament talks about the Messiah, this mystical
person that is coming. The covenant. The promise. And then Isaiah starts talking and it clears up
real fast. It’s Jesus all the way through Isaiah 53. Unmistakably Jesus Christ. Undeniably. No
way. Jesus Christ from Nazareth, the Messiah. And it is clear. It’s clear to Isaiah.

He is sitting up on a throne and he has the authority. He is ruling and he is in charge. Despite all
the rebellion, all the idolatry, all the minds that are wandering away, Jesus Christ is on the
throne, and he is sitting, and grace is reigning, and he is in charge. When we see him, this is
something I realized. We never see Jesus any other way then in the shadow of the cross. A
thousand years from now when we look at him, we will always remember Calvary. It will never
be void of that moment, those days, those hours.

We will always think of Jesus and keep in mind what he did, what he accomplished. That is the
part that makes him so beautiful. And I think Isaiah did not know about Calvary, but he saw the
Lord and it did something to him. It did something magnificent to him. It changed him. Christ
comes into focus, and he is sitting there on his throne. Enthroned grace. He is high and lifted
up. Of course, he is. God lifted him up. God raised him up. After Calvary, God put him on a
throne high and lifted up. Highly exalted him. And he is the King of Kings and the Most High
God.

And his train fills the temple. And the outer garment filling the temple. I don’t know if he saw
Christ in a temple in heaven or if he was in the temple, Isaiah was in the temple seeing Christ. I
like to think the second one maybe. I tried to figure it out and learn, but I like the idea that
Isaiah is in the temple. Where else would he be? And he is tuned into God, and he sees him.
Jesus reveals himself in a beautiful vision and all his glory is coming down from heaven and the
entire temple is filled with his glory. And he sees Jesus. It’s a beautiful moment. An
unbelievable beautiful moment. And it’s, you know, inconceivable in one sense. But we know
what he’s talking about. We are very aware. We are reading this with him, and we are right
there with him.

The seraphim are around him and they respond beautifully to the presence of God. All their
beauty. All the celestial beauty that they have. They cannot stand his glory. They have to cover
their face. His glory. They have to cover their feet. There’s no self-effort. There’s no mention of
their own strength. In the presence of God, they hide themselves with their wings. Two wings
to cover their face. Two wings to cover their feet, and two wings ready to fly and serve and be
available to God. This is how the angels, these created beings, would be in the presence of God.
The glory of God is too much for them. Too much for them to understand.

So, what do they do? They cry one to another. It’s starting to sound a little bit like us. It sounds
a little bit like what we just heard. What else could you possible do when you get a taste of the
glory of God, but cry to each other. Corporately worshipping. Corporately singing.

Corporately standing there raising our hands together one to another in a beautiful way. Holy, holy, holy.
Beautiful expression of consecration. Their hearts are bursting. They cannot stand to do
anything else. Repeatedly. In the Hebrew, it sounds like they are constantly repeating the same
thing over and over again. That’s all that they can do in his presence. There are no words except
these words. Holy, holy, holy. The Lord God Almighty. The Lord God of hosts.

This is the appropriate response even for us when we sit in church. The whole earth is full of his glory.
I find it so fascinating to think of Isaiah standing in the temple looking up and seeing the glory of
God, but the angels around the glory of God looking down unto heaven. Guess what they see?
The glory of God. Right here. Right down here where we are. And we have missed it. We don’t
always see it. We’re walking around clueless and lost. This is really the point. We’re not waiting
for some magnificent, extraordinary vision of Jesus Christ in the throne room. He is here right
now. The fullness of God is everywhere. The whole earth is full of it. If he is full anywhere, he is
full in the church. The fullness of Christ.

We don’t need Isaiah’s vision. We have it. Just like my future – no, my present – grandson, I see
Jesus right here, right now on the throne. He is present. And he is here with us. And we can
sense him. We know he is with us, and we know that he loves us.

The posts of the door move. I love that. Jesus, a vision of Jesus rocking my world, my little, tiny
world. My little self-importance. My little house. My little room. My little car. My little work. My
family. And then the vision of Jesus Christ and everything in me shakes. Everything about me.
Everything that we are. Everything around me is shaken by the glory of God.

And then a beautiful response. The sequence. Then. The first then. What happens? The vision
produces a response by me. What is it? Oh, it’s bad. It’s bad. Oh, no! All of a sudden, with my
eyes, with my eyes seeing Jesus, with meditating on Jesus, with realizing that I’m reading my
Bible as I’m sitting in church and I see Jesus, what happens to me? Oh, no. Oh, no. I am in
trouble. I am in deep trouble. I am – he bursts out in an agonizing cry. Woe! Woe! Woe is me!
Woe is me! In the presence of God, woe is me!

You know, can you imagine Isaiah saying, hey, Lord. I got an opinion I’d like to give to you. Hey,
Lord. I got some thoughts. Listen up. Can you imagine uttering any other words when we see
the glory of God? Can you imagine talking about my accomplishments or my strengths or my
abilities or how much I’ve served or what we’ve accomplished last summer or a year ago or ten
years ago or how much Bible reading I’ve done or how many books I’ve read? Can you imagine
in the presence of God saying anything else? The answer is absolutely not. There’s nothing else
to say.

Woe is me. Woe is me. The appropriate response. I am a man. Isn’t that the truth? He was
never more human than at that moment. He was never more a man at that moment in a bad way. Fully aware of the gigantic, infinite distance between him and God. I am a man of what?
Unclean lips. The dirtiest most vile part of a human being is his lips. It’s over. It’s revealed.
There’s no more hiding it.

James 3 comes to mind. You know, just this kind of difficult realization that everything out of
my mouth is pathetic in the presence of God and I have no words. And everything I’ve ever said
is embarrassing to me in his presence. That devil inside. That little devil inside of me. that vile
thing. That dragon is the first thing that I mention. I am a man of unclean lips.

And the vision is so great. The glory is so great. It doesn’t just make me recognize my own sin. It
makes me recognize everybody’s sin. Everybody’s depravity. The whole earth. Everybody. All of
humanity. Anyone that has ever walked on this planet. That is how great the glory of God is.
That is how great Jesus Christ is on the throne. Immediately penetrating my self-awareness and
awareness of humanity. We’re all in trouble. We’re a disaster. We’re a walking disaster without
Jesus Christ. We are completely destroyed by him. We bring nothing to the table. Nothing. We
have nothing to offer. We are completely undone as he so beautifully says. Undone and lost
and, you know, I would say a broken reed. A good way to describe Isaiah is to say he was a
broken reed at that moment.

But there’s more. We know there’s more. The next “then” after he realizes that my eyes have
seen the King. The next response, my response, God’s response – sorry – is to send me. Grace. I
have seen the Lord. I have heard the angels. Now, he’s going to touch me with grace. He’s going
to make me feel his grace. The reality of me and my life is that I need to get to a point where I
can feel his grace. I am so aware of my depravity, that they only thing that can possibly happen
is that I can feel his grace. All my senses are involved. Everything is engaged. Jesus Christ is
reigning. He’s on the throne. I’m aware of who I am in his shadow. And grace touches me and
moves me and changes me. Cleans us and changes my life. Fire from the altar.

What else could possibly clean a man? Fire from a bloody altar of Jesus Christ. Purging,
cleansing fire that takes over my old man and destroys him and gives him a new one. And I am
a new person. It’s the reality of my life now. The finished work has spoken. God has done his
thing. I am painfully aware of it, and I am rebuilt and reorganized in my thoughts. Grace is
reigning. Hallelujah! It has touched me. I can say so much more, but you know, what is the only
response to grace? Wow.

In closing, Jesus Christ saying, speaking, asking a question. Two questions. Whom shall I send?
To be honest, it’s heartbreaking. The question is heartbreaking. You think about Jesus Christ on
Calvary. What he did. The blood he spilt. The pain he suffered. That he even had to ask this? We
are so dense in our minds and so blind and so ignorant of his throne and his grace. Eight billion
human beings trying to pretend that they are good. The reality of humanity is that we are so ignorant. So much so that even after such a magnificent act as Calvary, Jesus Christ from his
throne has to say, you know, ask the question. Whom shall I send?

And this is not a condemning thought. This is just a sequence. The reality of who I am and what
happens to me when I see Jesus Christ who is right here with us. And then the second question.
Whom shall I send? Jesus Christ. Whom will go for us? The Trinity speaking maybe. What a
beautiful question. Right away, the heart of Jesus Christ exposed, revealed. All he cares about.
Let’s get to the point. You saw the throne. I’m going to give you grace. That’s done with. Now,
the next subject. I got to send somebody. Why? Because I love people. I died for them. I care
for them. The only thing, the only thought in my mind is people. And sending people to reach
people. And, you know, you know the rest of it.

In class this morning I said I won’t read the rest. It’s for you to read. It’s between you and God.
The answer to the question in the last part of verse 8 is for you to read privately between you
and God. The answer to his question is not something I can impose on you or anybody can
impose on you. You have to recognize Jesus here. You have to know who you are without him.
And you have to taste grace. You have to know what Jesus Christ is about. Then you can say the
same words that little Samuel said when he heard God speaking to him in that temple or Isaiah
said or Moses said or so many said or Jesus Christ said in eternity past, a long time ago. The
same words we utter as a response to the throne of God and the vision.

And then, this beautiful anointing which is the word, “go.” There’s so much power in that word.
Such a wonderful commandment for us. Such anointing in that word. It is over us. The word
“go” is over us and it empowers me, and it gives me the motivation and directs me. Clears my
thoughts and my desires, and we go with that word in our hearts. And we serve with that word
in our hearts. We serve with the authority of the word “go” that came straight from the throne
room and it was given to us. We go in his name. Amen.

P. Schaller –

The word from P. Pete was so, so good. So profound and precious. Really. Wasn’t
it? The holiness of God. The standing on holy ground as it happened with Moses and then later
with Joshua and then I’ll wrap it up here with a few thoughts.

1 Kings 19. We have Elijah in a down, he’s in a down mood. So, 1 Kings 19:4. (Prayer). All right.
So, we have a little sequence here. 1 Kings is 18 with Elijah on Mt. Carmel, and he is very up.
We have up. By that I mean, he is spiritually effective. Alive. He sees God. The fire comes down.
The worshippers of Baal are shamed. Elijah has this authority as a prophet. He’s a mighty man.
He’s a mighty man. Now, he goes down. I have that in my mind. 1 Kings 19, and how that
happens to people like us.

Jezebel gives a threat in vs. 2. He is a passionate man. It says we have like passion. The word is
emotion. Elijah is emotional. He hears that word, that message from the queen Jezebel, so he
panics. He feels bad. Vs. 4.

Talk about emotions, right? I said something to my wife this morning. I go the problem with
drugs – prescription drugs, illegal drugs – is that the problem with them is when you are having
a good time you don’t know you are having a good time. And when you are having a bad time,
you don’t know you are having a bad time. Good word. If I take over-the-counter drugs which
are handed out all the time, like they numb you. You just go like this. You’re just a plane, you
know.

What’s wrong with feeling bad? What’s wrong with being down? What’s wrong with finding
some depression or some fear or anxiety or some worry? Aren’t we human beings? Are we
“robotons”? Computerized like machines? Or do we have feeling? And is this man of God up
and he’s doing amazing and then he goes down. Is that wrong? Aren’t our emotions given to us
from God so we can live our life and live our life in reality. And when something is bad and it
hurts me, what’s wrong with being hurt? What’s wrong with it? I’m hurt. I’m sad.

I’m discouraged. I’m in trouble. I want to know if I’m in trouble. You take drugs, you don’t know
you’re in trouble. You get high all the time, or you are just numbing yourself to the pain of life.
It’s like you are made to find God and know God and live with God as this story tells us. Isn’t
that good? Okay.

Bear with me. Be nice. Turn to your neighbor and say, be nice tonight. Work on it, okay? Be
nice. Why is it I don’t drink alcohol? Because when I’m having a good time, I want to know I’m
having a good time. Why is it, you know. There you go. That’s a good word for sobriety. And
probably you will develop and grow through your pain, and you learn how to be an adult and
you learn how to manage life and you learn how to comfort other people that need help. That’s
a good word. Okay.

Let’s go to vs. 4. He requested for himself that he might die. How about it? How many of you
have said, Lord, if you can make that happen right now, I’d take it. Anybody? Don’t admit it.
Yeah, but let’s admit it. No food poisoning. No suicide. No. We’ll let God take us home. Yeah.
No suicide. Okay.

Vs. 4. I’m not better than my fathers. Here’s a little picture. Here’s Elijah, and he compares
himself to his fathers. My fathers. I’m not better than them. I’m not as good as them. He just
compares himself to other people like this. This is what he does. He’s depressed. He feels he’s
failed somehow. He doesn’t want to live. This happens.

Vs. 5. This is a good word. Just eat something. Be careful when you are depressed, you just go
eat and go eat and go back to the refrigerator. Eat again. Your workout is from the couch to the refrigerator back and then back again. That’s your workout! Vs. 6. You’d think that’s enough of
that therapy. Go to sleep. Get up. Eat. And then go back to sleep. And you’re good. No, there’s
more eating to go on.

Vs. 7. He gets to eat again. All right. Vs. 8-9. Let’s write that down. What doest thou here? What
doest thou here Elijah? He says it twice, verse 9 and verse 13. He says the same thing. I wonder
what he means. What are you doing here? This isn’t like you. This isn’t like you. Is that what it
means? What are you doing here? In the cave and the Bible teachers say this is the same cave
that God put Moses in the cave when his glory passed by. It’s like the cleft of the rock. It’s like a
sheltered area. Elijah went there. Maybe he wanted – I do not know. I do not know that anyone
really knows why, but I like to think that God is in this whole picture and he’s leading Elijah, and
he puts him in that cave, cause Elijah needs to see the glory of God like P. Pete says. Elijah
needs and when I am down, I need to see the glory of God.

Honestly, I feel that way about meeting together like we do by faith. You precious believers, the
Holy Spirit is going to show us one day. When we go to heaven, we are going to see the value of
assembling together. In our weakness, when I am down, when I am saying I would like to die; I
come here to the assembly and God puts me in that cleft and he does some work on us. And
here it is. Follow it with me, cause it’s really clear.

What are you doing here, Elijah? And there are three things here that don’t work. There are
things that don’t work when you are down, when you are in trouble, when you are really
thinking heavy thoughts, and you shouldn’t be there, but you are. You shouldn’t be in that
place. You and I shouldn’t be that severely affected by what Jezebel said. But we are cause we
are emotional creatures. We can just get triggered. Like something bad can happen and it
triggers all kinds of feelings and attitudes and so on. God says, what are you doing here?
Psychologically, what are you doing here? Spiritually, what are you doing here? What’s
happened to you? I am for you, Elijah. I am with you, Elijah. I’m going to help you, and this story
will help the people at 6025 Moravia Park Drive.

Let’s read it. vs. 10. And even I only. That is not Body life. When it’s I and I only, that’s not us.
You know, you have to learn in life to have the “I” pronoun, but it also has to be changed to the
“us” pronoun. Right? Us. We are the Body. But I only. I am jealous. Vs. 10-11. Let’s write down
here #1. The wind rent the mountains. Now, to tear mountains apart by pieces it has to be
hurricane wind. For a mountain to be ripped apart into pieces, because it says that strong wind
rent the mountains and break in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the
wind. After wind and earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. We got #2.
Earthquake. And then after that, there was the fire. #3. Fire. Vs. 11-12.

Now, here let’s think about these words here. What do they mean? What is it that Elijah is
feeling? What is he experiencing by these loud, powerful, radical expressions in life in this
world? It really means judgment. It means power, wrath, judgment.

It happened when Jesus died on the cross. When he died on the cross, there was an
earthquake. Like Jesus was judged by God. Elijah is feeling judgment. You and I feel that, too,
especially when you are down. What did I do to get this? Maybe it’s because of this or maybe
it’s because of that. Where is God? God is dangerous. God is dealing with me. God is judging
me. I got a problem. Where is God? God put him in the cave. He gave him these three things,
and then came the real answer and it was a still, small voice. I want to put here the word
“holiness” that goes along with P. Pete’s message. Holiness. The glory of God passed by, and
the Lord spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. I think that’s the answer.

We can be emotional, but hear the still, small voice. You’re emotions may stir up an
earthquake, a fire, – the first word was what? Wind. Wind. These are real things. But if I could, if
I could then just get really quiet and come before God in my heart and listen. He is not in the
wind. Jesus took the wind, so that it wouldn’t be ours. He took the judgment, so God would
speak a still small voice to you and I. That our meditation would be acceptable. That our love
would be touching the heart of God. That our faith – and in the story, by the way, the next
sequence is that Elijah, I’m going to send you to anoint three men. The king, right?

Two kings. One king and the other one. They are written there. And then the prophet Elisha. I’ll jump to
Elisha.

He went to Elisha who was plowing in a field. God told him to go to him. And he threw the
mantle on Elisha, and Elisha had a calling. And the message I feel, I understand in the text is
that Elijah kind of wants it to end. He doesn’t see the value of his ministry. He can’t see the
possibility of going on. But in effect, what happens, he hears the still, small voice and God is
saying it’s not over. I got another guy that I’m using. Your ministry is with seven miracles,
remember? Remember that teaching?

There’s – I want to finish here. Elijah had seven miracles. Elisha, Elisha. I hope I spelled it right.
He said, give me twice the spirit. Give me twice the spirit of Elijah, God. I want twice the spirit
of Elijah. You see, there’s a future in the church. Like God’s not done with us. God’s not done
with you. There’s a future in your life. And you say like this Elisha, this one here. He said I would
like twice the spirit. And he got it. He did thirteen miracles in his lifetime, and you would think it
would be fourteen. But he died. He was buried. And then a band of men were coming, and they
had to bury somebody. They threw the dead man in Elisha’s tomb. And that dead man came
alive. That was the fourteenth miracle which was performed after he was dead, but it was done
by him in the sense that the body of Elisha.

What I want to say, and I invite the whole church to be praying about our future as a ministry.
What I would love to think is that we would find our way. We will have high times and we will
also have other times, and in our faith walk, God will correct us in our difficulties. God will lead
us in the way, and he will show us you are not the only one. There are 7,000 that have not
bowed the knee to Baal.

And besides, there is a guy plowing in the field, and your calling as a prophet is going to pass on
to him. Who is going to pass on and be the next pastor here in Baltimore church in Greater
Grace. Why wouldn’t we be praying for that and believing that will happen? Of course, I believe
that will happen. And then in your life, we pass on to our children. We pass on in our
community. We pass on in our work. We pass on this amazing blessing.

But it doesn’t mean you couldn’t be discouraged, afraid. The wind, the earthquake, the fire, and
just be so much wrapped up in this world. And then the Lord has a still, small voice. And he’s
saying, no. I got my hand on you. You’re going to anoint a king, another king. Jehu. Then, you’re
going to find Elisha and anoint him. And he’s just going to be – let’s read it. It’s great. This is the
end, but you got to look at this.

Vs. 19. What is that? The coat, the cloak, the mantle. He threw it on him. That was it. The guy
had a calling. Elijah cast the mantle on him. That was all. It doesn’t say he convinced him. He
talked to him. It doesn’t say that he manipulated or gave him money or made a deal. None of
that happened. It was spiritual transfer of authority and calling from one man of God to another
man of God. From one woman of God to another woman of God. How amazing it is.

Look at the next verse. Vs. 20. Go back. What have I done to you? In a way, humanly, we are
not doing anything to each other. In a strictly human sense, it is not something we are doing to
each other. It is a spiritual effect of what God is doing with us. Why do we love each other? It is
God. Why do we understand each other? It is God. Why do our lives glorify God? It is God. Why
do we travel miles? Why in Europe do they go thousands of miles to go to Eurocon? And Russia
and India? Why do they get on trains and go two days on the top of a train? Through the
countryside at 20 miles per hour to go to a conference in Mumbai? Elijah says, what did I do to
you? Go back. The guy is going I’m not going back. I’m in. I’m called. I got something going on in
my life.

So, a man who said a little earlier take my life. I am done. I’m not better than my fathers is now
walking in something that you cannot explain. God is saying to him in his heart, I am using you
for my purpose and it’s not as bad as you think. I am with you and just hear my still, small voice.
No, Lord. I hear the wind and the earthquake and the fire and it’s terrible. And I want out. I am
down and I’m depressed, and I am eating and sleeping my way. And I want to eat again and
sleep again, and I want to take – I want to live like that. That’s what I want to do.

The Lord is saying, no you don’t. No, you don’t. I’ll put you in the cave, and you’re going to hear the still,
small voice. You’re going to be restored. You’re going to be healed. You’re going to be
encouraged. You’re going to be blessed. You’re going to meet Elisha in a field, cast your mantle
on him, and he’s going to stick to you like glue. Cause it’s me that’s doing this work. That’s
amazing.

Let’s think that way about our church. Let’s think that way about each other. Let’s help each
other in the calling that we have. We have good times and bad times, but that doesn’t stop
what God is doing. He’ll put us in the cave. Walk by. He will talk to us. He will help us. He will
lead us. And we’ll do fine.

Then, one day it will be over. We will see the glory of God on the earth as it is in heaven. We’ll
see what God has done and how he is glorified because he has done it all. Because he loves
you. He loves you. He really loves you. You are here glorifying him. He loves you. He is for you.
He loves you. He is for you. He really does. All of us. Very much. Very much. Praise the Lord.
Amen.

 

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