Are You Part of the 7,000?
by Dr. James West
Dr. James West was our home pastor at Faith Baptist Church of Osterburg, Pennsylvania for 25 years. He stepped into the presence of the Lord on November 19, 2021.
Look with me, if you would please, at I Kings 17. Elijah has a face-off here with the King. The prophet of God versus the king of the land. He makes it very clear to Ahab that, because of his ungodliness, ‘there shall not be dew nor rain these years according to my word.’ He said, “Here’s my prayer, I’m going to go to God and ask God to shut heaven up.”
Verse two says, “And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.” God said, “I’m going to answer that prayer,” and He does answer. So for the next three and a half years, God shuts up heaven and there is a terrible drought, because Ahab was leading the nation to sin against God.
Then God tells Elijah that He’s going to dry up the brook that’s providing water to Elijah, and God does dry up the brook. “And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.”
Elijah has to leave Cherith, go to Zarephath and find the widow. He asks her what she’s doing. She says, “I’ve got just a little bit of meal and a tiny bit of oil left, probably enough to make one little cake. I’m going to make it for me and my son and then we are out of food, and we’re going to die. We’re starving to death because this great famine has taken place. It’s been three years without water or dew.”
You’ll never believe what Elijah says. “Before you do that, why don’t you go make me a little cake first, and then go and fix one for you.” Of course, God honors her faith and obedience and a miracle takes place.
Look at verse 14, “For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.” Elijah assures here, “He took care of me, God’s going to take care of you.”
We know the story, he leaves, and then her son dies. She’s distraught and says, “Oh my sin from the past has come back to haunt me.” She goes and gets Elijah to come back with her and he says, “Where’s the lad?” He takes him upstairs. Look at verse 21, “And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” I like verse 23, “And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.” He says, “Se? Everything’s alright. Everything’s okay”
Then you come to chapter 18. It’s the third year. Elijah, after three years in hiding, is told, ‘Go show thyself.’ God says, “Go show thyself unto Ahab and I will send rain upon him.” So then Ahab says, “Obadiah, I want you to go find Elijah.”
Elijah and Obadiah meet and he said, “You go tell Ahab that Elijah’s here.” Doesn’t sound like he scared of King Ahab. “You go tell him I’m here and I’m looking for him.” He got all shook up. Obadiah said, “Wait a minute! Just as soon as I do that, the Spirit of God’s going to carry you out of here.” He said, “And when that happens, I’m going to be in trouble. He’s going to kill me.” Obadiah said, “I’ve taken care of the prophets, I’ve hid God’s prophets and saved their lives. I fear God, you know that.”
So Elijah leaves and he runs into Ahab. Look at verse 17, “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” Isn’t it amazing how the political leaders believe it’s our fault? The decisions they make against God and the Bible causes all the havoc, yet they look at us and say, “Hey! This is all your fault!”
But look what Elijah says in verse 18, “And he answered, I have not troubled Israel;…” Oh no, big boy, it ain’t me! You’re not putting the blame here, because the blame doesn’t lie here. It lies in the authority that God has place on you and you have misused that authority. It says here, “but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD…” That’s why we had three and a half years of drought. That’s why there’s a famine, because you won’t obey the word of God. You have forsaken the commandments of God. “...and thou hast followed Baalim.” We all know, every preacher knows, that God hates idolatry. He hates it with a passion; it robs him of His glory. An affection that belongs only to God.
“Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said...” Now here’s the famous statement, “How long halt ye between two opinions?” That’s a problem for a lot of people. It really is, they halt between two opinions.
He goes on and makes the statement, “...if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” Not a word!
“Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.” He said, “I’m the only one left.” Ever felt that way? “I’m the only one left.” I mean we feel that way sometimes, don’t we? “It’s just me. I’m the only one still standing for God. I’m the only one standing against Ahab and Jezebel. I’m the only one standing against idolatry and the false prophets. I’m the only one.”
So then he goes, and you know the story, he tells the prophets of Baal to go and get two bullocks. He said, “You take one, I’ll take one. You cut yours up, get you some wood, make you an altar and put it out here. Go ahead and start crying and praying to your God.”
Remember what Daniel said? He said your gods have eyes but they don’t see. They have ears but they don’t hear. They have a mouth, but they cannot speak. Elijah said, “You go ahead and call out to them. See if he answers you or not.” The Bible said just about noon, Elijah begins to mock them. I mean, he had no mercy on them at all. I mean, they’re jumping up and down on the altar, they’re cutting themselves. Elijah’s over there saying, “Hey, maybe your god is pursuing, chasing after something. Hey! Maybe he’s asleep, taking a nap! Maybe he’s on a journey! Better cry a little louder!”
Man they’re over there, the Bible said blood’s pooling everywhere. It’s a mess. All the nation is watching, so is Ahab. Then the prophet of God says, “You know what, fellas? Bring my bullock over here.” They cut it to pieces. He said, “Go get those stones and were going to make an altar here. Twelve stones, each one representing one tribe of Israel. He said, “Bring the wood and put it on there, and just for good measure, make a mote around it. Go get four barrels of water and pour it on there. Go get four more barrels, and another four barrels.” The Bible says that the water went all around it.
The man of God knelt down and prayed. Look what it says in verse 37, “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones,” It even consumed the stones! God took it all. Notice what it says here, “...and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”
Verse 39, “ And when all the people…” I can see them standing there with their mouths dropped open. “ ...all the people saw it,” All the nation. The people saw it, the Bible says. “…they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there…” He’s done with them. They’re gone.
Then he says, “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.” The people have chosen God, God has shown himself. He said, “Go back home, because the rain’s coming.” He tells the servant, “Go and look.” He goes and prays seven times. Boy, here comes the rain. He had a prayer life, Elijah had a wonderful prayer life. How do you know? Because God heard him and answered him over and over and over again.
Then we come to chapter 19. Even after all of the victories, he gets a little discouraged. We’re going to get discouraged, fellas. I don’t know how you can be in the ministry and not get discouraged. I’ve learned this about discouragement, you can’t live in discouragement all the time. You can’t move in and stay there. You might be there for a little while, but you got to pull yourself out of it.
So he leaves his servant, went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down beneath a juniper tree, and he requested for himself that he might die. That’s discouragement. I’ve heard Brother Roloff say it over and over on the radio. He said, “I’ve been discouraged, but I ain’t never prayed to die.” But Elijah prayed to die, Moses prayed to die, Job prayed to die.
“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.” (I Kings 19:4-8)
Look what he says. He requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It’s enough!” By the way, remember, he thinks he’s the only one left. ‘There’s nobody else but me. I’m the only prophet of God left here.’ He said, ‘I don’t want to be here any more. Lord, it’s enough. Go ahead and take my life if you will, take away my life for I am not better than my fathers.’
We know the story. He goes to sleep in discouragement and an angel touches him and says, “Son, rise up. I’ve got some food for you. I’ve got some water for you.” He eats, goes back to sleep. God shows up again, “Son, I’ve got some more food for you. Rise up, eat. Your journey’s gonna be great, it’s gonna be forty days, from this meat, for forty days he went on his journey.
Notice what he said in verse 9, “And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?” Why are you in a cave? You know fellas, the ministry’s not in a cave. The people are not in a cave. Souls are not in a cave. God said, “What are you doing here? Why are you in the cave?”
“I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” He said, “Lord, it’s just me.” I think that’s the third time. “Hey, I’m the only one here, just me.”
Verse 11, “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” Now God is speaking, God has his attention. He’s alone.
“And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle,…” Oh, when God speaks to the spirit of man, and to the heart of man. It’s different than any other voice, my friend. It’s not audible. But we know that voice. We know that voice. Elijah wrapped his face in his mantel and stood at the entrance to the cave, and behold a voice came unto him again. God’s going to ask him again. “What doest thou here, Elijah?” There’s a world to be won. There’s a work to be done. The ministry’s a battle, but we’re battling for something, for Someone.
And he said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord of Hosts because the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, slain Thy prophets with a sword, and I, even I only, am left and they seek my life,to take it away. He said, “Lord, I don’t think you’re hearing me. They’re here to kill me, and you know if they kill me, Lord, there’s nobody else. There’s no body living. I’m the only one. I don’t have any one to help me.”
He said, “I have no other support. There’s no one else to take on the ministry. There’s no one else to stand with me, to carry on the work. They seek my life, I mean, they want me dead. Lord, you know I didn’t bow to Ahab.” And he didn’t. “I didn’t bow to Jezebel, but I did run a little bit. I didn’t bow to Baal nor did I kiss him. I’ve not done that. But I’m the only one that didn’t do it. I’m the only one that has stood for the faith. I’m the only one that has stood for Your commandments. I’m the only one that has stood for the word of God. I’m the only one that has stood for separation. I’m the only one that has stood for the church. I’m the only one, God, just me.”
God said, here, ”Elijah, I want you to go and anoint Hazael, to be king over Syria. I want you to anoint Jehu to be king over Israel. And there is Elisha waiting for you. Training, getting prepared for the ministry.”
Then the Lord said, “You know I have to straighten you out son. You have a missed concept here.” Here’s the missed concept,” Look at verse 18, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” I call this the 7,000 club. God said, “I’ve got my club, it’s the 7,000 club. You’re the not the only one! I mean, there’s more than a hundred! There’s more than a thousand. He said there’s more than 5,000. He said to Elijah, “I have 7,000 left in Israel, and they’ve been faithful to me. By the way, God always has his remnant. We may not know all of them, but God has His remnant. There’s people that are doing a work for God right now, today, and we don’t even know who they are. They have not bowed! They will not kiss the idol! They have not compromised!
Eilijah said, “I and I only am left, Lord.” The Lord said, “No, you’re wrong about that. I’ve still got 7,000. I call it the 7,000 club. 7,000 that will not bow. 7,000 that will not the kiss the right hand. 7,000 that won’t compromise. 7,000 that wouldn’t change.
Remember the 700 club? Huh? Remember Pat Robertson,who founded the 700 club? When I think of the 700 club, I think of those that are given to change. But when I think of the 7,000 club, those are the preachers who stand strong, who are not given to change. Seven hundred are given to change when it comes to the Word of God. You check out where the 700 club was forty years ago, and I promise you it’s totally different than it is today. Their stand on the Word of God, their stand on separation, their stand on the church.
Do you know why Brother Corle had to write a book on the Pre-trib Rapture? Because people in our ranks are given to change. Men in our independent, fundamental Baptist circles are changing. The 7,000 club, they would not change. No matter how wicked the world got, the 7,000 club didn’t change. No matter how bad it was, no matter who was in office. The 7,000 club said, “We’re not changing. We’re not changing, we’re not bowing, if we have to die then we have to die.”
You know Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego were part of the 7,000 club. In their day, Daniel, they said, “What are we gonna do with Daniel?” We can’t find any offense against him. We’ve gotta attack his God. So they did, they got the king to make a decree about him praying to his God and you know what Daniel did? Daniel prayed just like he did everyday. You know why? He’s part of the 7,000 club. He said, “If I perish then I perish. But I’m not moving and I’m not bowing and I’m not giving in.”
We’re living in a day and age, my friend, we cannot bow and we cannot give in. Modesty is still modesty. God still declares in His Word that a women is to dress in modest apparel. Did you know about that? See we’re fickle humans, given to change. Thank God for the 7,000 that would not bow. No compromise, integrity, they loved God. They loved God more than they loved man. You know there’s coming a time, fellas, when you’re going to have to decide if you are going to obey man or obey God. Its coming fast.
Though many shall wax cold, but not the 7,000. Love for sin will increase, but not with the 7,000. Most will turn aside, but not the 7,000. Most will be given to apostasy, but not the 7,000. Most will compromise, but not the 7,000. I want to ask you something tonight, do you belong to the 7,000 club? Or just the 700 club. There’s men that have sat here through the years, and I’m not being harsh, I’m not being mean. I’m just telling you. It’s true, men that used to sit here and say amen, they’re no longer in the ministry. Will that be you in the next year?
I mean, we really can’t lose anymore. Our ranks are small enough the way it is. Thank God for the 7,000 who wouldn’t bow to king Ahab, the 7,000 who wouldn’t bow to the godless queen, 7,000 who would not forsake God, 7,000 wouldn’t bow to a pagan shrine. 7,000 feared God more then they feared the control of a king. 7,000 loved God more than they loved their lives. More than they loved their own life.
I wonder tonight, what club do you belong to. Let me give you just a couple points. Number one, you’re just not alone. You’ll feel that way at times. Church planters are gonna go out, they’ll get discouraged. You just have to keep going and keep going and keep going. There’s going to be days that you won’t want to get out of bed, but you gotta get out of bed and keep going and keep going. It’s just the way it is. God will strengthen you, God will encourage you, God will show up on your behalf. You just got to keep going.
Number one, you’re not alone. There are churches that believe the way you do. There are churches that stand the same way, the same convictions. You’re not alone, 7,000 more are out there. Elijah thought he was the only one that had these convictions, these standards. But he wasn’t! He just wasn’t. I wonder what he thought when God told him that. Embarrassed. God said there’s not just one, not just two, there’s 7,000 who believe the same way that you believe.
Number two, let me say this quickly. They stood in a wicked age. These are perilous times. Perilous times are not coming, they’re here. I mean, they’re here. You hear things everyday and you say, “I can’t believe this is happening.” Because it’s a wicked, ungodly time. But you know what? No matter the day or the hour, no matter the circumstances, the 7,000 did not cave in. You don’t have to give in! You don’t have to compromise! You don’t have to quit! You can keep on going. Even in ungodly leadership, they stood. Compromisers everywhere, they stood. Maliciousness everywhere, they stood. Government corruption, they stood! We must stand. I mean we must stand. We don’t have to be arrogant but we have to have some backbone. We gotta have some grit. We must stand!
Number three, let me say this. The third thing is, you have to choose. You know, I found out in life that you don’t wait until you get to the fork in the road to make the decisions. Because too many times you make the wrong decisions when you rush, when you’re upset. You need to make your decisions way before you get to the fork in the road, so that when you get to the fork in the road, you already know where you’re going to go. It’s not even a question. I don’t even have to think about it.
This King James Bible is the word of God, I don’t even have to think about it. Salvation is by grace, though faith, in the shed blood of Christ. I don’t have to think about it! Pre-trib Rapture position is right, I don’t have to think about it. The local New Testament church is right, I don’t have to think about it. Separation from the world is God’s command. God said, don’t even put two different kinds of seed together. That’s how much He’s for separation. Don’t even put two different kinds of animals together. He’s always teaching us about separation. I don’t have to think about it, make that decision now! Then when you get there, when you face the opposition or problem, you know where you’re going. Let me ask you a question tonight, are you part of the 7,000 club? Both are religious. One is given to change, given to worldliness.
I just read this the other night. When Henry the 8th died, his son, Edward comes to the throne. Young man, nine years old, he comes on the throne. Edward, he was a Protestant. I don’t think he was very devout, but he was a Protestant. He served for just a few years, and in his teens he gets very ill. He’s on his death-bed and they don’t know if he’s going to live or die, and he begins to write his will, who should take over after him. His sister Elizabeth is married to a devout Catholic. She’ll be coming on as Bloody Mary. He says as he’s writing it, it should be a male. A male must be on the throne. But he’s getting sicker by the day and he doesn’t know what to do. He knows there is no male. So he puts a little thing in there and says, “Or female.” For he knows Mary can’t sit on the throne. It won’t be good for England. So he goes to his cousin, Francis, and Francis’ first daughter, she’s 15 years old.
Ever heard of Jane Gray? She’s on the throne for nine days and she’s a devout Protestant. Mary takes over in an uprising. Ends up overthrowing her and putting her in the dungeon, the castle, wherever that was. They put her in there. While she is there in captivity, Jane wrote this, “I think that after supper I neither received flesh nor blood, but bread and wine, which bread when it is broken, and wine when it is drunken, it put me in remembrance of how, for my sins the body of Christ was broken and the shed blood on the cross. I ground my faith upon God’s word...” Listen to what she says here. “...and not upon the church, not on the church. The faith of the church must be tried by God Word.” This is a fifteen year old girl. “...And not God’s Word by the church, neither yet my faith.”
She wrote this and had it sent out to Mary a few days before Mary had her beheaded. When they took her to behead her, she had her devotional book with her. She was reading Psalms 51. She handed it to the person that was with her right before they beheaded her.
When I read that, I thought, “She was part of the 7,000 club.” She stood for right to the death.
Are you part of the 7,000 club?