To anyone who plans to read this: This is not a finished article. I only published it for the sake of printing it.
We must remember that Bible prophecy is rarely fulfilled the exact way that we the people might expect. This was the case before and during the time of Yahushua, and it will more than likely continue to be this way until His return.
But one thing we can always trust is that when it comes to eschatology, God reveals all that we need to know about what to expect in the future. Before He reveals anything in His word, He reveals the hidden things to a certain people.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.
Yahushua did the same thing. He spoke in parables so that His followers would seek Him, to find the understanding.
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
He also said something similar: For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. ~ Luke 8:17
So in this sense, I tend to think that I am like a detective, looking at all the clues to help build a case of hidden truth, yet a truth revealed in plain sight. We just gotta search it out.
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
For example, almost 500 years prior to Yahushua’s arrival on the earth, the prophet Malachi issued the word of the Lord saying, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” ~ Malachi 4:5-6
John the Baptist was asked a question by the priests and Levites from Jerusalem:
And they asked him, “What then? Art thou Elias?” And he saith, “I am not”. “Art thou that prophet?” And he answered, “No.” ~ John 1:21
They had asked John one question, two different ways and twice John told them that he was not Elias/ Elijah. The reason they were asking is because of the prophecy by Malachi.
So my question is, was this prophecy fulfilled? Let’s read the words that our Messiah spoke:
Matthew 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Yahushua publicly identified John the Baptist as Elijah who was to come. So when John the Baptist was asked, I wonder why he said no and yet Yahushua said yes.
Others during Yahushua’s own ministry, thought that He might be Elijah but He wasn’t. Here we have Yahushua who was speaking in His own time, that John the Baptist was the one who the prophets spoke about that was to come. We must take Yahushua at His word.
But we clearly have written testimony that John the Baptist said he was not Elijah. That’s because he wasn’t. He was John. If they had asked John if he had the same spirit as that which Elijah had, he might have said, “yes”.
The prophet Malachi’s words may not have come to pass in a litteral sense but they were fulfilled in a spiritual sense, which must have been intended.
John the Baptist was indeed the forerunner for the Lord’s arrival. We know through reading the scriptures that Elijah came in the form of John the Baptist.
In chapter one of Luke’s letter to Theophilus, Luke begins to tell the story of John the Baptist. I am using only two verses to get to my point.
Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
In this passage, the angel is talking to Zechariah, telling him that His Son John the Baptist, will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God.
Luke 1:17 And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John the Baptizer would minister to the people, before the arrival of the Lord. He would come in the ‘Spirit and Power’; the same type of mantle that Elijah had.
Because of this spirit and power upon John, parents would be more thoughtful of their children and the folks in this particular generation who then disobeyed God, would begin to think as they ought to. In this way, John was preparing a people to be ready for The LORD.
This is the fulfillment of the words spoken by Malachi. “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
We have another prophecy that most folks believe to be about John the Baptist.
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of יהוה, make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim.
The reason we believe this is because this is exactly what John did. He was the forerunner to Christ.
Matthew also recorded Yahushua speaking about Elijah coming on the scene but then goes on to say that he had already come.
Matthew 17:10-12 And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
The disciples had just seen a vision of Elijah up on the high mountain. Now they were asking Yahushua why the scribes say that Elijah must come first.
11 And Yahushua answered and said unto them, EliYah truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That EliYah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
First Yahushua said that EliYah truly shall first come, and restore all things.
We know that John came in the spirit and power of Elijah so his mission was to revive the decay in the family unit and turn the hearts of mankind toward repentance. In any case, John’s mission was to fulfil the prophecy spoken of by the prophet Elijah and prepare a people to receive the truth that Yahushua would soon begin to teach.
Just like the spirit of the prophet Elijah preceeded the Messiah’s first coming in the human body of John, he also came in power like that of Elijah, with a powerful voice speaking things that would cause fathers hearts to tender once again to their children and children’s hearts also to tender toward their fathers. Forgiveness is a very powerful thing and so is repentance.
During Elijah’s ministry, he condemned sin and tried to point the people to turn back to Elohim. That’s the same ministry that John the Baptist had. So the teachers of the law [scribes], also taught what the prophets had said so this is why the fella’s asked Yahushua about this.
But notice what else Yahushua said. He said that EliYah had come already but they had done unto him whatsoever they listed and that in the same like manner,He would also suffer of them. John was beheaded and Yahushua was crucified.
Nevertheless, Yahushua has said twice now that Elijah had already come.
When I think of a great and dreadful day, I think of the crucifixion. Not only had John the Baptist come in the spirit and power of Elijah, he was seen in the Spirit by Peter, John and James on the Mount of Transfiguration. He truly had come in the Spirit and the power.
The prophets of old saw Messiah’s day at a distance, and their vision was yet to come; but John saw that day dawn. While the prophets prophesied about Yahushua, John physically pointed to Him.
As a priest in the lineage of His Father Zacharias, John the Baptist even declared that Yahushua was indeed the Lamb of God. He examined Yahushua just as he would a lamb prepared for sacrifice. He found Him suitable to be the Lamb of God that would not only be sacrificed, but He would take away the sin of the world.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
So for this part of Malachi’s prophecy, it has already been fulfilled in John. As Yahushua Himself pointed out saying, “And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” Yahushua has verified that Elias has come and that we the reader, should receive this truth.
There may be another appearance yet to appear before the return of Christ but I am not so sure. The Israelites are still waiting for their Messiah because they did not recognize Him when He was here the first time. The prophet Malachi said the Elijah would come. Malachi never said anything about Elijah coming by Spirit and power, just that he would come. I suppose Elijah himself could come because we have no record of him dying and it is appointed to every man to die once.
In Judism every Passover, the seder table is set with an extra place to welcome Elijah the Prophet. If that culture of people were not willing to accept Yahushua, perhaps they have not received the truth that Elias has already come, just as Yahushua spoke.
Yahushua said that they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.
When the disciples could not reconcile what Christ said about Elijah, with what they had heard out of the Old Testament, they asked Him to explain it to them. We do the same thing. When we don’t understand something, we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us.
The last thing that Yahushua says on this subject is in verse 15: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
How hard of hearing are do we have to be to miss the fact that Yahushua said that Elijah has already come?
When I read these words, it seems like a secret code to tell me to pay close attention to what I have just read. These are things which require our serious consideration, and therefore we should heed this warning.
The things of God are of great and common concern. Yahushua is saying that every one that has ears to hear any thing, aught to be concerned to hear this. It’s almost seems to me that God requires that we rightly use the ears that He has given us and to use the thing in between them to reason. He does not want us ignorant of the truth.
Bible prophecy is rarely what we think and we can not build a scenario of it, just to suit our own purpose. The Bible is truth and we are to search here a little and there a little to find the answers that we seek.
Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
In any case, both John and Messiah’s message were not accepted.