Elijah's hatred for the sins of Israel sprang out of his very strong love for God's people. He was not a people hater, only a sin hater. He was not a man of revenge, but rather a man whose heart yearned for Israel's return to the Lord. To understand the spirit and power that was upon Elijah, you must hear his heartbroken cry on Mount Carmel: "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 when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces" (1 Kings 18:37-39).

Elijah was not at all interested in being validated as a prophet. He wanted only to see the honor of God restored and the backslidden in heart "returned to the Lord." True prophets, though they may sound hard against sin, are at heart merciful, kind and patient. And when they see real biblical repentance, they are builders and restorers of breaches.

I believe there exists today an Elijah company of true shepherds. Not all preachers are backslidden or self-serving. I am hearing from a growing number of holy shepherds who have been wounded and rejected by uncaring sheep. Some are being literally driven out of their churches for preaching holy standards. But cruelest of all are the so-called prophecies and denunciations from harsh "prophetic voices" that have no mercy or redemptive quality to them.

If you should ever hear a "prophet" pronouncing curses on anyone, you can be sure he is not walking in the Spirit of Christ. He is often a proud, self-proclaimed Elijah, full of arrogance and lust. The Word says clearly, "Bless, and curse not" (Romans 12:14). Those who go about speaking of cursing ought to shudder at these warnings: "As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like as with a garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones" (Psalm 109:17-18).

The Elijah company is comprised of a weeping people and any prophetic word that comes forth from their lips is bathed in tears. In brokenness and godly sorrow, they walk in repentance. They refuse to wink at sin and they fear no man or devil when it comes to standing up for the honor of Christ.