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Author Topic: "Elijah the Prophet" is Jesus!  (Read 994 times)

burrisd

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"Elijah the Prophet" is Jesus!
« on: October 08, 2010, 11:51:08 AM »
After the event on the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples asked Jesus why the scribes say Elijah must come first:

Matt 17:10-13
10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 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.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.


Mark 9:11-13
11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
12 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.
13 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.


The prophecy in question is found right at the end of the Old Testament:

Mal 4:5-6
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 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 know from the passage in Matthew 17:10-13 that the disciples understood that Jesus was speaking about John the Baptist when he said that they “have done unto him whatsoever they listed.” Traditional teaching is that this prophecy is specifically about John the Baptist. We also know that the scribes asked John if he was “Elijah” in reference to the prophecy, but he denied it:

John 1:19-27
19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.


This seeming disparity in scripture has always caused some arguments, because we know that all scripture is the Word of God so it cannot be contradictory.  So there have been arguments that John was only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy while others say that it is not contradictory because John was only denying being the same Elijah from the Old Testament but he was actually the spiritual fulfillment of the prophecy. God has recently given some understanding on the Truth of this prophecy and the fulfillment.

First, consider what the prophecy in Malachi says:

Mal 4:5-6
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 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.


Who will send Elijah? God is the one speaking here and it is His Word that He will send Elijah the prophet. When will He send Elijah the prophet? He will send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. What is the coming great and dreadful day of the Lord? Consider another prophecy in scripture that speak of this great and dreadful day of the Lord:

Joel 2:28-32
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.


This prophecy speaks of the great and terrible day of the Lord and terrible is synonymous with dreadful. This prophecy is quoted in the New Testament in Acts at Pentecost:

Acts 2:14-39
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.


This passage is explaining that Pentecost was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel and that the great and dreadful day of the lord had already taken place. The Word of God here being delivered by Peter also is explaining that Christ performed the signs and wonders and then was crucified and slain by wicked hands. It also says that Jesus suffered Hell by bringing up the prophecy in the Psalms that God would not leave His soul in Hell was speaking of Jesus, not David. This passage reveals that the Great and dreadful (or terrible) day of the Lord is when Christ bore the Judgment of the sins of His people on the cross. It was great because He overcame death that we might be saved and it was terrible because He Himself bore the wrath of God on our behalf. He, who defines Righteousness and Holiness and everything that is Good and True, had to be separated from all that He is under His own wrath, as we all deserve. There is much more that could be discussed and presented here to speak of this great and dreadful day of the Lord, but the discussion will be limited to present the main idea of this topic on who the promised “Elijah the prophet” is.  Thus, the prophecy in Malachi concerning the timing of when God would send Elijah the prophet is before the crucifixion of Jesus.

Next, consider the scriptures regarding John the Baptist in light of this prophecy:

Luke 1:13-17
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.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
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.


This reference in Luke is when John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias was doing his priestly duty and burning incense in the Temple and an angel suddenly appeared to him in the temple standing on the right side of the table of incense and spoke to him concerning the birth of John the Baptist. Notice carefully the words at the end of verse 15, verses16 and 17:

and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
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.


Ok, the first “he” listed at the end of verse 15 refers to the coming John who is filled with the Holy Ghost. Verse 16 isn’t really clear who the “he” is referring to either John or the Holy Ghost, but we know from many Old Testament prophesies that turning the heart is the work of God Himself who would be filling John. So it doesn’t need to be clear who the “he” in verse 16 is referring to because even if it is referring to John, we know that it is the work of the Holy Spirit in John who is turning the children of Israel to the Lord their God and turning the hearts of the fathers and the disobedient. Now comes verse 17 which says “he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias,” which brings up the question who shall go before who? Does the first “he” refer to the Holy Spirit who will go before John, or does it refer to John (filled with the Holy Spirit) who goes before Jesus (the fullness of the Godhead)? If it refers to the Holy Spirit going before John, then the Holy Spirit would go in the spirit and power of Elias. If it refers to John, then John would go in the spirit and power of Elias. The latter option makes the most sense. Either way, the Spirit and Power of Elias is what turns the hearts of the fathers to the children. Who is the Spirit and Power of Elias? God is the Spirit and Power of Elias. Now, look again at the prophecy in Malachi:

Mal 4:5-6
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 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.


The first “he” in verse 6 refers to “Elijah the prophet” but we know that it is the spirit and power of Elias that truly turns the hearts of the fathers to the children… this indicates that Elijah the prophet is the spirit and power of Elias which John was filled with.

The next reference of John the Baptist is a little further down in Luke 1 where John was born and Zacharias got his speech back being filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of the Lord concerning his son John:

Luke 1:76-80
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.


John is called the prophet of the Highest because he went before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways…, which also fulfills prophecy from two places in the Old Testament:

Isa 40:3-4
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:


Mal 3:1 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.

John is definitely the fulfillment of both of these prophecies he even identified himself with the Isaiah prophecy when questioned by the priests and Levites:

John 1:21-23
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias


Also the beginning of the Gospel of Mark tells that John is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Malachi 3:1:

Mark 1:2-5
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.


Also Jesus spoke of John being the fulfillment of the prophecy in Malachi 3:1:

Matt 11:7-10
7 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?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.


Luke 7:24-27
24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.


Thus, John is the fulfillment of the prophecies in Isaiah 40:3-4 and Malachi 3:1, but what about the prophecy in Malachi 4:5-6? One verse has already been introduced where John denied being Elias:

John 1:21-23
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias


Of note here also is that he denied being “Elias” or “that prophet.” This denial is directly aimed at the prophecy in Malachi. Some scholars have dismissed this as John just saying he wasn’t the same Elijah as the one in the Old Testament, but what must be considered here is that this is not just a conversation between the priests and Levites and John; it is the inspired Word of God specifically denying that John was “Elijah the prophet” from the prophecy in Malachi. This seems very contradictory to where Jesus spoke of John after the transfiguration:

Matt 17:10-13
10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 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.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.


Mark 9:11-13
11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
12 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.
13 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.


These two references definitely concern John the Baptist and by the wisdom and understanding of many scholars, these seem to contradict to the passage in John 1:21-23 because it says in verse 13 of Matthew 17 that the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. But remember that John the Baptist went in the Spirit and Power of Elias as he was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb. Also Jesus says that whatever is done to the least of these His brethren, is done unto Him.

Matt 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Notice also in Matthew 17:12 it says 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. “ When they beheaded John the Baptist who was filled with the Spirit and Power of Elijah (filled with Jesus) they did it to Jesus, that is why Jesus says immediately that Likewise the Son of Man must suffer of them. The “Likewise” means “even so” or “also” which is a continuation of the fulfillment of the prophecy because Jesus is “Elijah the Prophet” prophesied in Malachi 4:5-6. They beheaded John which was the part of what they would do to Jesus as prophesied in scripture. Notice also that Mark 9:13 ends with “as it is written of him.” It is not prophesied in scripture about the beheading of John the Baptist, but many scriptures prophesy about what the people would do to Jesus. Because it says "as it is written of him" in reference to what they did to him, this also helps us understand that the prophecy was not about John only but about Jesus, the true "Elijah the prophet." There is another scripture that has not yet been addressed:

Matt 11:7-15
7 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?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

This reference says in verse 14 that “this is Elias, which was for to come.” This can easily be misinterpreted that it is referring to John because John is the last name mentioned in verse 13. The Truth is that verse 12 speaks of the kingdom of heaven suffering violence and the violent taking it by force, then verse 13 indicates that all the prophets and the law up to John prophesied about the kingdom of heaven: Jesus is the fullness of the kingdom of heaven. All who are in Christ are in the Kingdom. What all the prophets and the law prophesied about was Jesus who is the kingdom and verse 14 reiterates that “this is Elias, which was for to come.” The “kingdom” or Jesus is Elias which was for to come.

In addition, take a look at the meaning of the name Elijah:

OT:452 'Eliyah (ay-lee-yaw'); or prolonged 'Eliyahuw (ay-lee-yaw'-hoo); from OT:410 and OT:3050; God of Jehovah; Elijah
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

The name Elijah comes from “El” in reference to God and “Jah” in reference to the name of God often translated Jehovah. With this understanding we see that God saying that He would send Elijah the prophet, He was saying that He would send Himself, God Jehovah, which Jesus Is.

So, the prophecy in Malachi 4:5-6 about Elijah the prophet who must come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Elijah the prophet is Jesus whose Holy Spirit was filling John the Baptist. John went before Jesus in the Spirit and Power of Elijah which is the Holy Spirit, God, Jesus. When they put John in Prison and beheaded him, they were doing it Jesus. This explanation makes all the scriptures agree so that there is no contradiction. Praise God who reveals His Word to His Children.
Amen.

 


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