- First Coming Of Elijah
- Second Coming Of Elijah
- Third Coming Of Elijah
- Necessity of Elijah
- Necessity of Elijah Pt 2
- Fourth Coming Of Elijah
- Fifth & Final Coming Of Elijah
- Elijah's Ministry Before Rapture
Most Christians realize it is of utmost necessity for Jesus Christ to return, but why would Elijah need to come first? John the Baptist foreran the first coming of Jesus. If it were necessary for Elijah to come to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the Messiah when He came 2,000 years ago, would it be necessary for Elijah to come again before Jesus returns the second time? If so, what is the “spirit of Elijah” and how many times will God use this specific anointing? This topic is of vital importance because if there is an Elijah promised, then his ministry and Message must be recognized and embraced.
This question was asked of Jesus by His disciples.
Matthew 17:10-13, “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that
Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias
already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
Why was it necessary for someone with the Elijah anointing to forerun the coming of the Messiah? If more than a casual glance is taken of the first and original Elijah, we can learn much about God’s unchangeable way of preparing His people for His coming.
While there is precious little known of the first Elijah, God preserves in the Old Testament enough for all succeeding generations to garner a true sense of his uncompromising character and unwavering nature. He was certainly one of the most powerful and fascinating prophets of the Bible, and though his record is brief, it will serve as a hallmark for all successive appearances of this anointing. He seemingly appears out of nowhere from the rocky region of Gilead and finally vanishes mysteriously, riding upon a whirlwind with horses and chariots of fire. Although there were 7,000 others who did not bow the knee to Baal, he alone took on Ahab, the king of a backslidden nation and his wife Jezebel.
Ahab was an Israelite king who sought an alliance with Ethbaal king of Tyre by marrying his daughter Jezebel. Ethbaal was a priest of Astarte and his daughter Jezebel was very zealous of the promotion of idolatry and had led the people of God away from the worship of Jehovah. Ahab and Jezebel allowed temples dedicated to Baal to operate within Israel. That religion received royal patronage, breaking the first commandment. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5.
Elijah suddenly appears before Ahab, prophesying of a drought, saying, “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” The king dismissed the message of this unassuming hairy man that was dressed simply with a waistcloth of leather and a mantle or simple robe. As the third year of drought came to the end, Elijah suddenly appears again before the king and by this time Ahab is ready to listen.
Elijah demands a showdown upon Mount Carmel, a costal mountain range in Northern Israel. Here Elijah tested the gods of Jezebel by requiring that the God that answered by fire be accepted as the One and True God. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” I Kings 18:21
Then Elijah did what we will learn is the characteristic of this peculiar anointing: First, he repaired the old altar of Jehovah and offered upon it the required sacrifices. The fire of God fell confirming that He alone is the One true and living God and turned the hearts of Israel back to Jehovah and away from idolatry. While Elijah had the hearts of the people, he then had four hundred of Baal’s priests killed. From that time on, there was a constant battle between Elijah and Jezebel.
This is the work of Elijah and the stamp or trademark of his ministry: to restore worship back to whom it belongs by repairing and restoring the altar and turning hearts back to the original and true faith. Elijah did not build a new altar or religion but rather took the neglected stones and placed them back in order. This is what the “spirit of Elijah” will do each time that he comes. He will not institute a new religion but rather take the stones of the original foundational doctrines and put them back in their proper position and turn the hearts of the believers back to the original faith.
Elisha would continue the ministry of Elijah and would perform twice the number of miracles, one of which happened after his death. A dead man was thrown in his tomb upon his bones and the man came back to life! The trademark of the continuation of the “Elijah” anointing is shown in the continual battle against idolatry as Elisha worked to turn the hearts of Israel back to Jehovah God.
To correctly identify the spirit of Elijah, we need to look in the Bible. It certainly cannot mean the reincarnation of another person’s spirit. The Elijah anointing would have to be the Spirit of God working in the same definitive manner that it did upon the first Elijah. A close examination of the Scriptures reveals the standard that identifies those persons with the Elijah anointing.
1. It would have to be against idolatry i.e. false forms of religion including the false or vain worship of the true God Jehovah. Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8-9.
2. It would bring about a needed restoration of truth.
3. It would turn the heart of God’s elect back to the true faith.
It is written in Psalm 68:18, “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” This is God’s method of being seen as present among His people. Through gifts God anoints men and they become vessels that He reveals Himself through. The Apostle Paul established this same principle and referred to the Psalms when he told of the gifts that came from Jesus Christ after His ascension.
Ephesians 4:7-11, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, ‘When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.’ (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”
This Scripture reveals that all ministry gifts came from God, so the Spirit of Elijah is really the Spirit of Christ that comes as an anointing from God for a specific work. The Elijah anointing will anoint a single individual, not a collective work of a certain sect, church or organization, but rather a man set apart by God.
From Genesis to Malachi, when the curtain falls upon the Old Testament and it closes, God uses the seed of Abraham and ultimately the Law to unfold His master plan in order to teach man the nature of God and to prepare the world for the Savior. During that time, God’s instrumentality was this small obscure Hebrew nation of Israel. Some 650 years before Israel became a nation, God promised the faithful patriarch Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation and have a land of their own, and, through them, the people of the earth would be blessed.
Ever faithful, God fulfilled his promise when He brought His people back to their land exactly as He had foretold through Jeremiah, 70 years after the first deportation. But when local oppression and foreign dominance continued over the next century, disillusionment and cynicism set in, and with it, renewed spiritual rebellion.
The message of Malachi announced that the day of the Lord was coming and promised that it would be heralded by a messenger that He would send before His face to prepare the way. This message promised that the spirit of Elijah would come and once again turn the heart back to God. How long will it be before the Messiah comes? How long must the Jews, indeed the whole world, wait for this glorious day of promise? Daniel was given a clue in his vision of the seventy “sevens.” The Messiah’s coming will not be for more than 400 years from the time of Malachi’s prophecy! From Malachi until John the Baptist, the Scripture will be silent and God will not speak through a prophet again until John the Baptist. For over 400 years the nation of Israel would languish without a prophet to guide them.
The third appearance of the anointing of Elijah transpired as an angel suddenly appeared to Zachariah and told him that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a son. The angel announced that the Elijah anointing would be upon his child. “And he [John] shall go before him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just…” Luke 1:17.
This anointing of Elijah had previously been prophesied in the book of Malachi, but when we compare this passage in Luke 1:17 to the text in Malachi 4:5-6, we can see that the Angel in his announcement to Zachariah applied only a portion of that prophecy to John. Look closely at the actual prophecy in Malachi 4:5-6, “Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And He will turn the heart of the fathers to the children,” (But notice that he left out the remaining portion of Malachi’s prophecy referring to a future anointing of Elijah.) “and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
In order to understand this we must let Scripture interpret Scripture. What do these two phrases mean, “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers”?
John the Baptist did indeed turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, that is, he pointed the Jews beyond the faith of their fathers, as it relates to the Old Testament Law, toward a new liberating faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ!
But in Luke 1:17, when the angel quoted Malachi 4:6, the angel stopped in mid-verse. He didn’t finish the verse, because the remainder of Malachi 4:6 didn’t apply to John’s ministry. It was reserved for the future Elijah who will turn the hearts of the children back to their fathers, that is, this latter-day Elijah will turn the attention and focus of the true last-day believers back to the faith of the early Apostolic fathers established in the New Testament church.
Note this act of stopping in mid-verse was also done during the ministry of Jesus when He read Isaiah’s prophecy and only applied part of the verse as being fulfilled by His first coming. “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’” Luke 4:17-21.
Let us review the original Old Testament prophecy.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;…” Isaiah 61:1-2.
You will notice by comparing Luke 4:17-21 with Isaiah 61:1-2 that Jesus stopped in mid-verse, because the portion of that prophecy in verse 2, ‘and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn,’ did not apply to His first coming but rather to His second coming. As in this case, even so is only a portion of Malachi’s prophecy in chapter 4:5-6 applied to John the Baptist.
This helps us understand John’s denial in John 1:19-23 when he was asked by the Pharisees if he were Elijah. John could only mean that he was not the Elijah of Malachi 4:6, because he was not the Elijah who would forerun the second coming of Christ. That Elijah would come just before that great and dreadful day of the Lord, when the earth will burn as an oven at the end time. This is the only way to understand the words of Jesus when he clearly identified John as Elijah, in Matthew 17:12-13. Without this understanding, the words of Christ and His prophet John would contradict.
Just as the falling away of Israel in the Old Testament showed the necessity of an Elijah anointing to come and turn the hearts in order to prepare them for Christ’s first coming, so will it be necessary to follow the history of the Christian church and see how it fell from the original apostolic truth. This fall from the original Word would make it necessary for God to use the Elijah anointing once more to turn the hearts of the last day children back to the faith of the apostolic fathers.
Apostle Paul spoke of himself as having espoused the church to be married to Christ, even as a natural father would espouse his daughter in marriage to a husband. However, he feared that the church would be seduced and fall from the truth even as a chaste virgin would fall by taking in the seeds of another, rather than the husband she was espoused to. This deception would be so strong that the church would receive “another Jesus” or “another spirit” rather than the One he preached. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-4.
Paul further warned the church that before the return of Jesus Christ, or the “day of Christ,” that there would be a great falling away. The church would fall to such a low degree that they would reject the true Christ and His Word, and would worship the false christ within the church. “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:2-4.
These verses in 2 Corinthians 11, and 2 Thessalonians 2, corroborate Revelation 17 wherein John saw this fallen woman as the last-day church and described her as a whore, an adulterous woman who had received seed from other lovers. This is the same way that the Old Testament prophets described the nation of Israel who forsook Jehovah and prostituted herself with idols. The prostitution of the New Testament church would finally give birth to daughters who were harlots like their mother.
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:1-6.
This form of false worship would cause a departure from the original Truth given by the apostles and would turn the hearts of the people away from the original faith of the fathers, even as Jezebel turned the hearts of Israel from Jehovah making it necessary for God to send Elijah. “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”Revelation 2:20.
A careful study of Revelation chapters 1-3, one can see that Jesus Christ identifies His future work through seven ages. Jesus Himself is the author of the book of Revelation, and John was merely the scribe who wrote down what he saw in a series of visions that came to him in the years 95-96 AD. During this time of these visions, John was imprisoned on Patmos, a small island in the Aegean Sea near the border between modern-day Greece and Turkey, and by the
In this vision, John saw Jesus in a form like he had never seen Him before as He walked amid seven lamps, and in His right
After Jesus revealed His supreme deity, He told John that the seven lamps were seven churches, and the seven stars in His hand were angels or messengers to those churches. He then dictates a letter to each church. These were Gentile churches in Asia Minor. The conditions in these particular churches would match the seven distinct periods Christianity would go through before the
Jesus began his dictation by saying, “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus, write…” That meant each church age had an angel. The word angel means messenger. These were not heavenly messengers, as John would not need to write a letter to a heavenly angel. These seven messengers are seven men who would in their time be the messenger to one of the seven ages.
1. Rev. 2:1-7 Ephesus 53 – 170 AD Paul
2. Rev. 2:8-11 Smyrna 170- 312 AD Irenaeus
3. Rev. 2:12-17 Pergamos 312 – 606 AD Martin
4. Rev. 2:18-29 Thyatira 606 – 1520 AD Columba
5. Rev. 3:1-6 Sardis 1520 – 1750 AD Luther
6. Rev. 3:7-13 Philadelphia 1750 – 1906 AD Wesley
7. Rev. 3:14-22 Laodicea 1906 – ? AD “Elijah”
The messenger to the first church age was Paul. Right after his conversion to Christianity, the Lord said about Paul, “He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles.” Acts 9:15. Initially, Paul preached only to the Jews. When the Jews rejected his message, he said, “It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” Acts 14:46-47. Paul established Gentile churches all over Asia Minor. He also defined the Christian faith through his letters. In his letter to the Romans he said, “I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.”Romans 11:13.
The first age began about 53 AD when Paul established the church at Ephesus, teaching basic Christian doctrine to twelve converts, beginning with water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and spiritual baptism with the Holy Ghost. Acts 19:1-12. The name Ephesus means “relax and let go.” At first, the Ephesian church age followed the Gospel that Paul received by revelation from Jesus Christ; but later Christians strayed from the truth listening to other teachers who preached a different Gospel. This departure from the Word caused Jesus to say to the first church age, “I have somewhat against
The word Nicolaitane is a composite of two Greek words: Nikao, which means to conquer or overthrow; and Laos, which means the laity (that is, the regular Christians, those who are not official ministers). These Nicolaitanes were gradually gaining control over the laity by replacing the leadership of the Holy Spirit with the leadership of men. How could such a change take place in a church that was started by God Himself? The book of Genesis reveals that in the
The last New Testament church age of Laodicea began in 1906 when God restored the gifts of the Holy Spirit to a group of people at the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles, California. Beginning with that little group of Christians, the gifts of the Spirit spread rapidly from church to church, causing a worldwide revival that became the modern-day Pentecostal movement. Alas, what began with such promise eventually followed in the footsteps of the preceding ages by denominating. These Pentecostal people organized their movement, erected their doctrinal fences,
Exactly as the Old Testament closed with the religious sects entrenched in the traditions of men, that are esteemed greater than the Word itself, the New Testament closes with the religious world once again entrenched in the dogmas of the numerous denominations.
This great Elijah comes to the Laodicean age, and he will take the original message of the Apostles to turn the children to the faith of the fathers. He will rebuke Christians in Laodicea because they didn’t keep the same faith that was given originally, even as Elijah had rebuked Israel. When the spirit of Elijah was upon John, It did all preaching and no miracles. That was because Jesus would follow shortly after him and it would be needful for Him to have miracles and signs to identify Him as the Messiah, as Malachi 4:2 said, “For unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.” It was not necessary for John to do great miracles, for his ministry was to announce the coming of the Christ.
This end-time Elijah will be misunderstood and rejected by the various denominations just as John the Baptist was rejected by the sects of the Pharisees and Sadducees. He’ll be such a great and powerful man before the Lord that some people will mistake him for the Messiah, just like John was mistaken to be Christ; Luke 3:15, John 1:19-20, 3:28. How will we properly identify the messenger of this last day with the anointing of Elijah upon him?
First, he’ll be a mighty prophet who will stay true to the Word of God, even as Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist were true. The Spirit of Christ will clearly vindicate him with many infallible signs, gifts and supernatural wonders, and he will bear the Message of restoration that will call the hearts of the children back to the Faith of the apostolic fathers of the early church in the first age. He will withstand the false churches and their dogmas even as Elijah withstood Jezebel and her idolatrous worship. John the Baptist anointed with the same Spirit did the same, by calling the religious sects of the Jews to repent of their man-made traditions. They had elevated themselves above God’s Word and needed to repent in order to prepare their hearts to receive the Messiah. Every time the Spirit of God used the Spirit of Elijah to anoint an earthly messenger, he was rejected by organized religion. So also must the true Spirit of God, through His anointed Elijah, reject the modern Christian denominations of today and ever cry out against it.
Like Elijah, Elisha and John the Baptist, this end-time prophet will be a lover of the wilderness. He will not be a learned person. Elijah the Tishbite was not a learned person and neither was John the Baptist who went to the wilderness at an early age. Elisha was just a simple plowman. Similarly, this end-time prophet will not be chosen by the will of man nor trained by schools of theology. Instead, this prophet today will be chosen of God and receive knowledge and revelation by the Spirit.
The first Elijah came when Israel was ready to be delivered from the hands of paganism. John also came at a time of deliverance. John said, “I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He who has the bride is the Bridegroom; but the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:22-30. John preached and made himself known just before the coming of the Lord, right in time to introduce Jesus as the Messiah, the Lamb of God. The Elijah that comes before the Rapture of the Church will turn the hearts of God’s children back to Christ the Word.
The hearts of God’s elect church must be turned away from the universal church traditions and denominational sectarianism and back to the living God of the Bible. The rule and leadership of the edicts of men and church traditions must be rejected and return to the Word, the gospel that Paul taught. This must be done in order to welcome back the Lord Jesus and meet Him in the air!
The Scriptural order of the Bible mandates the coming of a prophet anointed with the spirit of Elijah to facilitate Christ’s return! You simply cannot have the coming of Jesus Christ without a prophet with the Elijah anointing to turn the heart of the believers to welcome Him. In order to do this, the traditions of men must be rejected and put aside. It is of absolute necessity that the Word of Truth that the apostolic fathers preached must once again be restored to the church in its purity. Denominations and their trained theologians cannot do this, any more than the sects of the Pharisees and Sadducees could do it when John the Baptist came. It will take a prophet, for that is the only way God speaks. God has never used denominations or religious sects to reveal His Word. “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.’” Matthew 17:1.