Discussing Elijah's story last night with my wife, Ramona, we were discussing the symbolism of the items involved in Elijah's sacrifice in his battle with the 450 prophets of Baal.
We read that the 12 stones of the altar that Elijah reconstructed, represented the 12 tribes of Israel. We see that God accepted the sacrifice of Elijah, slaying his enemy Baal, and rescuing his wife and children from Baal (Asherah and Israel). Not only that, but we also see that Elijah bathes the altar in water, and then the Lord consumes everything with fire. Here we see a symbolic baptism of water and fire for all that is on the altar (and the altar itself). Asherah and Israel, God's wife and children, are cleansed and purified by water and fire. So too, when we truly offer ourselves upon the altar of God, we are cleansed and baptized by water and fire (Spirit).