In the Spirit of Elijah

In the Spirit of Elijah, Part II

The question is: when would Jesus thoroughly purge his floor by fire? Would it be at his return to this Earth, just before he was ready to gather his wheat into the garner?

Are we living in that period of time even today? Are we being subjected to the purging process of Christ, to help us to repent? The prophet Malachi had prophesied:

  1. Malachi 4:5-6
  2. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
  3. 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 question is, did this prophecy refer just to the work of John the baptist? Or would there be another period of time just before the final great and dreadful day of the Lord?

Will there be another time when the spirit of Elijah will "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 that John the baptist ("in the spirit and power of Elijah") fulfilled at least a part of the prophesy. Jesus verified John's role:

  1. Matthew 17:11-13
  2. Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
  3. 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.
  4. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

In the first century, Elijah did not literally come. John fulfilled that mission "in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17).

If there is another part of the prophesy, a future fulfillment, it is reasonable to conclude that it will be just before the Lord's return.

Whether Elijah personally handles the mission or whether there is another way in which the spirit and power of Elijah is to be applied may not matter. The principles have been demonstrated, and we can be confident that there will be a period of time allowing us space to repent. We can also be sure that we will have ample warning and instruction to help us to bring forth fruit meet for repentance.

We recall that Elijah was a man of God who felt he very much alone in his efforts to preserve the faith. He was so fearful of his life that he escaped to Mt. Sinai where he was reminded that there are others who have not bowed down to Baal. The apostle Paul uses the example of Elijah in his preaching to the Romans:

  1. Romans 11:1-5
  2. I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
  3. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
  4. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
  5. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
  6. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

If such were true in Paul's day it is likely true today. And whenever we in our own conceit are convinced that we are the only one left who is really serving God (and holding fast to God's truth), we should be careful in our pride. There are likely many others who are trying with their whole heart to serve God.

Pride is certainly one of those typical human traits that must be brought into subjection by all who hope to be prepared for the Master's coming. "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (I Peter 5:5).

God "is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).

Let us be sure that we take full advantage of this final opportunity that has been given to us. Let us all listen to the spirit of Elijah and turn our hearts while we still have the time.

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