"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word." - 1 Kings 18:21
THIS TEXT has been misinterpreted and misapplied by many worldly wise professors. Most of the people try to change this important question that Elijah asked to why halt ye between two opinions, and they try to make it applicable to the whole Adamic family. This question does not even favor why but how long halt ye between two opinions? You will find by reading the context that the question does not apply to the entire Adamic race but specially to the children of Israel. I believe Elijah knew how long they would halt between two opinions until God made Himself manifest unto them that He was God. Then they would cease to halt between two opinions. I think that this text as for the specific purpose of showing Israel that the Lord was God; and to eradicate the other opinion that was possessing their hearts that Baal was God. Baal had 450 prophets and Elijah was the only true prophet at that time (as they thought). The hearts of the children of Israel were halting between two opinions. Outwardly, Baal had 450 prophets to one of the Lord. False prophets today are about the same ratio and even the children of God, when left to themselves, wonder if there is something to their false doctrine, seeing that they have so many advocators. You will notice, in the text, that Baal's prophets were to choose between two bullocks. False prophets today make their own choice; they even advocate that the people may choose their Savior and direct their own steps and seal their own destinies. This is a false opinion as we hear Jesus saying: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." Yes, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that "God hath from the beginning chosen you."
Peter said: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood." Paul writes to the Ephesians: "According as he hath chosen us in him." This is the opinion as rendered in the Bible, which is different from the opinion as advocated by the false prophets. Thus here are two opinions; one is opposite to the other. False opinion: You are obliged to choose God. True opinion: God hath chosen His people. This false opinion will even be in the hearts of God's people until God sees fit to burn out this false opinion by making Himself manifest.
Baal's 450 prophets were to have the choice of the two bullocks, the first call to their gods and the heat of the day as well as the dry wood on the altar to prove their gods. They called loud and long and even cut themselves until blood gushed forth for their gods to answer by fire. At the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah repaired the altar by building one of twelve stones and ordered great quantities of water to be poured on the wood and around the altar so as to fill a trench. After doing this he prayed quietly to the Lord to make Himself manifest and to prove to Israel that He was the Lord God and that He had turned their hearts back again.
"The fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God" 1 Kings 18:38,39
Yes, our God is a consuming fire and it burned up every trace of man's work and left nothing. The false opinion had been burned from the hearts of this people and then (not before) did they cease to halt between two opinions.
Dear child of God, have you not experienced the consuming fire of Israel's God? Have you not experienced the burning that consumed every false opinion; all of your self-righteousness; every ounce of your seeming ability – in fact, every thing, deed, or thought that you had ever trusted in a natural way? Yes, our natural opinion is that we can direct our steps. The opinion as stated in the Bible is, "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." How long will ye halt between the two opinions? Ye will halt between the two opinions until God the Lord makes Himself manifest by proving to you that you cannot walk as you would.
It is the opinion of the natural man that he can choose light; yet, the true opinion is that man chooses darkness rather than light. The opinion of man is that the natural man can receive the things of the Spirit and by studying and applying himself know them. This opinion is a contrast to the scripture; "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Man's opinion is, that surely, part of the way to heaven and eternal life is by the works of the creature. Yet, the opinion of the Bible is: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
Peter was halting between opinions on the mountain of transfiguration when he said: "Let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." I think Moses represents the law, and Elias represents prophecy in that trio. Peter was halting between two opinions as to which should be given the most honor. He continued to halt between these opinions until Moses and Elias disappeared and the Lord God answered from the cloud and said: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." The false opinion of the law having any dominion over God's children was eradicated. We hear Jesus saying, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Then it is not part of law and part of grace but solely an unmerited favor through Jesus Christ. The opinion of some men is that they are enabled through the act of regeneration to perform or not to perform upon volition of their own free will and receive blessings in this time because of their obedience and cursings because of their disobedience notwithstanding the scriptures which say, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Also, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." And many other scriptures too numerous to mention which is in contrast to this false opinion.
It is the opinion of man that he can life perfect in this present life. This opinion is not in accord with the apostolic experiences; therefore, it is a false opinion that must be burned out. People of God will halt between these two opinions – opinion of man and opinion of God – until the opinion of man is burned out. The opinion of the apostle is plain, "When I would do good, evil is present with me." "For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that do I." And "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." Also, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
So, we are hoping and looking forward to the day when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality and this natural body shall be raised a spiritual body. Yes, we are awaiting the time when the creature shall be delivered out of the bondage of corruption unto the glorious liberties of the children of God, then we will cease from every false opinion.
Elder E. J. Lambert
"Tried in the Furnace" Pgs 63 – 67