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Author Topic: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!  (Read 178 times)

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Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« on: December 20, 2017, 11:46:26 AM »

Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!


One of the most commonly misconstrued passages in the scripture is Malachi 4:5-6,

"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." -- Mal 4:5-6 KJV

Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, foretold the fulfillment:

"And many of the children of Israel shall he [John] turn to the Lord their God. 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." -- Luk 1:16-17 KJV


We know that John was the Elias foretold in Malachi, because Jesus said he was:

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." -- Mat 11:12-15 KJV

"And [the disciples] asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him." -- Mar 9:11-13 KJV

"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 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. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." -- Mat 17:10-13 KJV

Make note that Jesus said Elias had already come, and that Elias was John the Baptist. The disciples also understood that Jesus was speaking of John the Baptist as the foretold Elias. I don't see how it can be written any clearer than that.


These are other prophecies foretelling the arrival of John:

"The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God." -- Isa 40:3 LXX

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." -- Mal 3:1 KJV


And these are the fulfillments:

"For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." -- Mat 3:3 KJV

"And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind . . . For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee." -- Mat 11:7,10 KJV

"As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee . . . The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." -- Mar 1:2,3 KJV

"And [John] came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." -- Luk 3:3-4 KJV

"This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall *prepare thy way before thee." -- Luk 7:27 KJV


One of the arguments against John being Elijah was that John came "in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luk 1:17), whatever that means. That issue was addressed in the 2nd century by one of the earliest church fathers, Justin Martyr.

In Justin's "Dialogue with Trypho the Jew", Trypho understood that the Messiah could not come until Elijah came first:

"And Trypho said, 'Those who affirm him to have been a man, and to have been anointed by election, and then to have become Christ, appear to me to speak more plausibly than you who hold those opinions which you express. For we all expect that Christ will be a man [born] of men, and that Elijah when he comes will anoint him. But if this man appear to be Christ, he must certainly be known as man [born] of men; but from the circumstance that Elijah has not yet come, I infer that this man is not He [the Christ].'" [1]

Justin explained that John the Baptist was indeed the Elijah that was foretold, and that he had received Elijah's spirit in the same manner in which Joshua had received Moses' spirit:

"Wherefore also our Christ said, [when He was] on earth, to those who were affirming that Elijah must come before Christ: 'Elijah shall come, and restore all things; but I say unto you, that Elijah has already come, and they knew him not, but have done to him whatsoever they chose' (Matt 17:12.) And it is written, 'Then the disciples understood that He spake to them about John the Baptist.' And Trypho said, 'This statement also seems to me paradoxical; namely, that the prophetic Spirit of God, who was in Elijah, was also in John.' (Num 11:17) To this I replied, ' Do you not think that the same thing happened in the case of Joshua the son of Nave (Nun), who succeeded to the command of the people after Moses, when Moses was commanded to lay his hands on Joshua (Num 27:18-20,) and God said to him, ' I will take of the spirit which is in thee, and put it on him?'" [2]


One might think that would be a non-issue since Christ was unambiguous about John being Elijah. Perhaps the problem many Christians have in accepting John as Elijah is based on their interpretation of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5) as some future event. But even with that interpretation, John is still a viable candidate since the scripture does not say whether Elijah came immediately before that "day", or long before.

However, if you believe that great and dreadful day was the time of the horrors of Jerusalem's internal civil war and the city's subsequent destruction by the Roman armies, combined with the slaughter of Jews throughout Judaea and the Roman Empire, not to mention the destruction of the temple and the elimination of the bonds of the old covenant, then believing John to be Elijah is a simple task.

Of course, if you believe the plain words of Christ when he said of John, "this is Elias, which was for to come", then there is no doubt in your mind that John was the Elijah foretold by Malachi.


Dan


1.  Roberts & Donaldson,, Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, "Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol 01: Apostolic Fathers." Charles Scribner's Sons, Amer Ed, 1913, Ch.XLIV, p.219

2. Roberts& Donaldson, Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, "Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol 01: Apostolic Fathers." Charles Scribner's Sons, Amer Ed, 1913, Ch.XLIX, p.220



« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 07:33:30 PM by Administrator »
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Brenda

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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 07:43:03 PM »


Of course, if you believe the plain words of Christ when he said of John, "this is Elias, which was for to come", then there is no doubt in your mind that John was the Elijah foretold by Malachi.


Dan,

I agree with what you wrote, but my pastor teaches that Elijah and Enoch will be the two witnesses in Revelations. What do you think about that?

Brenda


 
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Administrator

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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 09:14:46 PM »


I agree with what you wrote, but my pastor teaches that Elijah and Enoch will be the two witnesses in Revelations. What do you think about that?


Hi, Brenda,

The position your pastor takes is a popular one; but I have studied the matter a great deal and cannot find anything in the scripture to support that interpretation. About the only thing we know from prophecy is they appear to have been foretold in Zechariah:

"And I answered, and said to him, What are these two olive-trees, which are on the right and left hand of the candlestick? And I asked the second time, and said to him, What are the two branches of the olive-trees that are by the side of the two golden pipes that pour into and communicate with the golden oil funnels? And he said to me, Knowest thou not what these are? and I said, No, my lord. And he said, These are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." -- Zec 4:11-14 LXX

But there is a discrepancy. Zechariah mentions only one candlestick, while the Revelation mentions two:

"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." -- Rev 11:3-4 KJV

In any case, unless you are willing to accept two animated creatures, part olive tree and part candlestick, running around breathing fire out of their mouths, then may I propose they are simply two fellows preaching the word of God:

"Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" -- Jer 23:29 KJV

There are two things I am certain of.
  • They were killed in Jerusalem:

    "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." -- Rev 11:8 KJV

  • Jesus didn't tell us their names.

Dan
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Brenda

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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 09:37:08 PM »



The position your pastor takes is a popular one; but I have studied the matter a great deal and cannot find anything in the scripture to support that interpretation.


Thank you. My pastor also teaches that John the baptist was not Elijah because it would be reincarnation and John said he was not Elijah.

Brenda



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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2017, 09:55:34 PM »


My pastor also teaches that John the baptist was not Elijah because it would be reincarnation and John said he was not Elijah.


That is an easy one, Brenda:
  • John was the son of Zacharias the Levite, so there was no reincarnation.

  • God didn't tell John that he was the Elijah foretold in Malachi, at least not prior to the time John was asked that question.

  • God can call his servants by any name he pleases. For example he can name Saul as Paul, John as Elijah, and Jesus as David, if he pleases:

    "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd." -- Eze 34:23 KJV

    "And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them." -- Eze 37:24 KJV

  • Jesus said John was the Elijah that was foretold, and, as aforementioned, Jesus can call his servants by any name he chooses.

Dan


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Brenda

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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 10:08:44 PM »



That is an easy one, Brenda:


Thank you so much, Dan.

Brenda

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LXXResearcher

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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 09:17:24 AM »


My pastor also teaches that John the baptist was not Elijah because it would be reincarnation and John said he was not Elijah.


Hi Brenda,

In the following sermon, in a manner similar to your pastor's, John MacArthur also promotes the popular notion that John was a "preview" of Elijah:


MacArthur based his interpretation on the common view that since John came in the "spirit and power of Elijah", then he wasn't the "literal" Elijah, implying there will be another future Elijah:



In this next segment, MacArthur makes a Scofield-like interpretation that, because the Jews rejected John and Jesus, then John was not the real Elijah, or something like that. First, this is Scofield's note on Matt 17:10:

Cf Mt 11:14, Mk 9:11,12,13, Lk 1:17, Mal 3:1 4:5,6 All the passages must be construed together.

(1) Christ confirms the specific and still unfulfilled prophecy of Mal 4:5,6: "Elias shall truly first come and restore all things." Here, as in Malachi, the prediction fulfilled in John the Baptist, and that yet to be fulfilled in Elijah, are kept distinct.

(2) But John the Baptist had come already, and with a ministry so completely in the spirit and power of Elijah's future ministry Lk 1:17 that in an adumbrative and typical sense it could be said: "Elias is come already." Cf Mt 10:40 Phile 1:12,17 where the same thought of identification, while yet preserving personal distinction, occurs. Jn 1:27

If you open that Scofield Note in a Field Viewer and examine each reference with Bible Verse Recognition, you find none that support Scofield's claim that Jesus was speaking in an "adumbrative" sense.

Older commentaries, such as those by Adam Clarke, John Gill, and Matthew Henry, all point to John as Elijah; and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation as that "great and dreadful day of the Lord".

"There are three remarkable predictions in this chapter: -

1. The advent of John Baptist, in the spirit and authority of Elijah.
2. The manifestation of Christ in the flesh, under the emblem of the Sun of righteousness. 
3. The final destruction of Jerusalem, represented under the emblem of a burning oven, consuming every thing cast into it.

These three prophecies, relating to the most important facts that have ever taken place in the history of the world, announced here nearly four hundred years before their occurrence, have been most circumstantially fulfilled." [Adam Clarke, "Commentary and Critical Notes Vol IV - Isaiah to Malachi." G. Lane & C. B. Tippett, New Ed, 1846, Mal 4:5, p.808]

"Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse; the land of Judea; which, because the greater part of the inhabitants of it were not converted to the Lord, did not believe in the Messiah, but rejected him, notwithstanding the preaching and testimony of John the Baptist, and the ministry and miracles of Christ, it was smitten with a curse, was made desolate, and destroyed by the Roman emperors, Vespasian and Adrian, as instruments doing what God here threatened he would do; for not the whole earth is intended, as the Targum and Abarbinel suggest; but only that land, and the people of it, are intended, to whom the law of Moses was given; and to whom Elias, or John the Baptist, was to be sent; and to whom he was sent, and did come; and by whom he was rejected, and also the Messiah he pointed at; for which that country was smitten with a curse, and remains under it to this day." [John Gill, Malachi, "John Gill's Old Testament Commentary." Grace E-Books, Mal 4:5, p.66]

"With what view he shall be sent on this errand: Lest I come and smite the earth, that is, the land of Israel, the body of the Jewish nation (that were of the earth earthy), with a curse. They by their impiety and impenitence in it had laid themselves open to the curse of God, which is a separation to all evil. God was ready to smite them with that curse, to bring utter ruin upon them, to strike home, to strike dead, with the curse; but he will yet once more try them, whether they will repent and return, and so prevent it; and therefore he sends John Baptist to preach repentance to them, that their conversion might prevent their confusion; so unwilling is God that any should perish, so willing to have his anger turned away. Had they universally repented and reformed, their repentance would have had this desired effect; but, they generally rejecting the counsel of God in John's baptism, it proved against themselves (Lu. 7:30) and their land was smitten with the curse which both it and they lie under to this day. Note, Those must expect to be smitten with a sword, with a curse, who turn not to him that smites them with a rod, with a cross, Isa. ix. 13. Now the axe is laid to the root of the tree, says John Baptist, and it is ready to be smitten, to be cut down, with a curse; therefore bring forth fruit meet for repentance." [Matthew Henry, "Henry Commentary Vol IV (Isa to Mal)." Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2000, Mal 4:5-6, p.2166]


Now, MacArthur:


At the 39:57 mark, MacArthur put his own words into Jesus's mouth when he said:

"What our Lord is saying there is, 'He is not the final coming of Elijah. He only could have been if you had accepted. That's not the plan.'"

Notice what happened there. MacArthur rejected John as the promised Elijah because John was not the "literal" Elijah (even though our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, said he was the promised Elijah). Then MacArthur turns right around and makes up new scripture out of thin air (based on "rejection") to "justify" a "literal" interpretation.
 
You can't make this stuff up; but apparently they can. LOL!

LXX


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Brenda

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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2017, 12:37:45 AM »



In the following sermon, in a manner similar to your pastor's, John MacArthur also promotes the popular notion that John was a "preview" of Elijah:


Thank you, LXX.  That was most helpful.

Brenda


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FaithIsKey

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Re: Behold, I send you Elijah the Prophet!
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2017, 11:47:23 AM »


In the following sermon, in a manner similar to your pastor's, John MacArthur also promotes the popular notion that John was a "preview" of Elijah:


Hi, guys. I posted a related topic in the Babylon to the Maccabees forum at:


Any feedback will be appreciated.

Faith

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