Damina's teachings

 Response to Abel Damina’s  Teachings:  Elijah’s Fire

by Church Times

Olufemi Emmanuel & Ikechukwu Nwankwo  

 Abel Damina has been churning out a series of teachings that many people consider to be highly controversial for obvious reasons

Some of his teachings are deemed disturbing because they are apparently tailored towards contradicting the plain teachings of the Bible, and secondly, they seemed intentionally packaged to generate an upset in the body of Christ. Or maybe, to deliberately stir up attention and attract the focus of many in these days when online presenters take pride in how many people attend to their posts.

But whatever might be the intention behind the sensational messages of Damina, the most important thing is to give some responses to them from the context of biblical truth.

 

For or against the Bible

Therefore, the first thing that must be put in perspective is that you are either preaching or teaching the Bible or preaching or teaching against it. Doing the earlier requires accepting the 66 canonised books that constitute the Bible as absolutely true, and to do otherwise is to practice the latter.

There are many preachers out there who do not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. It must also be noted that though the truth of the Bible is infallible, it is presented in the limited language of men. It means that all of God is not limited to the things that are written, there are undeniable gaps representing the mystery that beats human understanding regardless of how knowledgeable man might be of the Bible. 

Nobody handles the Bible well without recognising this reality.  Unfortunately, rather than presenting the revealed teachings of scriptures, some preachers only place themselves above the word of God under the guise of having attained full knowledge of it and thereby doing some damaging fault findings by teaching the things they do not understand.

For the specific teachings of the Bible on certain subjects like the source of Elijah’s fire, heaven, and others,  if one does not limit one’s self to the plain word of God about these subjects, there will be a terrible interpretative summersault, the kind that Damina seems doing with his teachings. The problem is simply the unwillingness to accept the simple and plain teaching of the word of God about these things.

 

Elijah’s fire

What does the Bible teach about the fire of Elijah? Here is a theological response from  2 Kings 1:9-13

In 2 Kings 1:9-13, the prophet Elijah calls down fire from heaven to consume two groups of fifty men sent by King Ahaziah. This passage raises the question of whether the fire called down by Elijah is from God or Satan. A careful theological examination and analysis, grounded in scriptural contexts and doctrinal understanding, supports the view that the fire is indeed from God.

Firstly, the context of 2 Kings 1 is crucial in understanding the source of the fire. King Ahaziah, son of Ahab and Jezebel, fell through the lattice of his upper room and injured himself.

Instead of seeking Yahweh, the God of Israel, Ahaziah sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, about his recovery. God, through an angel, instructed Elijah to intercept these messengers and declare judgment on Ahaziah for his idolatry (2 Kings 1:3-4).

This context sets the stage for a confrontation between the authority of Yahweh and the apostasy of Ahaziah.

Secondly, When Ahaziah sent captains and their fifties to arrest Elijah, the prophet’s response by calling down fire serves as a demonstration of Yahweh’s power and judgment.

Elijah’s actions are consistent with his prophetic role, which includes pronouncing and enacting divine judgment. This is akin to his confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, where fire from heaven consumed the sacrifice as a sign of Yahweh’s supremacy (1 Kings 18:38). In both instances, the fire signifies divine intervention and authority.

Moreover, throughout the Old Testament, fire is frequently associated with God’s presence and judgment. Examples include the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), the pillar of fire guiding Israel (Exodus 13:21), and the consuming fire on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:17). These instances underscore the idea that fire from heaven is a manifestation of God’s holiness, power, and judgment.

Fire in line with Biblical pattern

In the case of Elijah, the fire serves as a direct response to the challenge against God’s prophet and authority. Elijah’s prayer and the subsequent fire align with the established biblical pattern where God vindicates His prophets and demonstrates His power through miraculous signs.

The fire is not an act of arbitrary violence but a theologically significant event that reinforces the exclusivity and sovereignty of Yahweh over against idolatrous practices.

The Hebrew phrase “Minshamayim” is a combination of “Shamayim” which is “Heaven” prefixed with the preposition  “Min” which is “from” meaning “from Heaven”. Throughout Scripture, the Use of “Shamayim”, makes reference to Heaven the dwelling place of God.

The broader interpretive tradition within Christianity has consistently viewed the fire called down by Elijah as an act of divine judgment.

The New Testament reference to Elijah in James 5:17-18 emphasizes his righteousness and effective prayer life, further affirming his alignment with God’s will. The judgment enacted through Elijah’s prayer reflects the broader biblical theme of God using prophets to execute divine justice.

 

Affirmation of God’s authority

Additionally, theological doctrines about the nature of God and Satan clarify that Satan, although capable of performing signs (2 Thessalonians 2:9), does so to deceive rather than to uphold divine righteousness. The context of 2 Kings 1 does not suggest deception but rather a reaffirmation of God’s authority. God’s judgment through Elijah is aimed at confronting apostasy and leading Israel back to covenant faithfulness, a purpose consistent with God’s character and redemptive plan.

In Conclusion, the fire called down by Elijah in 2 Kings 1:9-13 is best understood as coming from God. This interpretation is supported by the immediate scriptural context, the broader biblical pattern of divine judgment, and the consistent theological understanding within the Christian tradition. The event underscores God’s sovereignty, the seriousness of idolatry, and the authority vested in His prophets to enact divine will.

 

Olufemi Emmanuel is an astute Christian theologian, Bible interpreter, and scholar of Old Testament Prophetism. He is a lecturer at the West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS), Lagos . Email – olufemmanuel@wats.edu.ng

Ikechukwu Nwankwo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology with Special interest in Biblical Studies at the West Africa Theological Seminary. Email- iykeman121@gmail.com.

 

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2 comments

Oyewole June 26, 2024 - 5:30 pm

I totally agree with the views of these authors. If we keep interpreting scriptures out of contexts as most preachers does today, them it seems they have ulterior motive to draw attention to themselves, promote their ministries and become ‘popular’ at the expense of the Word of God.

Thanks for sharing this piece. Blessings

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Tosin Awolalu June 26, 2024 - 6:36 pm

I agree with these authors. The inerrancy of the Bible must be upheld as Truth. Innocent lambs must be shielded from all forms of unhealthy diet presented to them as they seek to know the True God.

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