The Coming of Elijah - Malachi 4

The Coming of Elijah

Malachi 4:1-6

        The Jews not only looked forward to the coming of their Messiah, the Christ.  They also looked for the coming of Elijah.  That's because the prophet Malachi had written that he would come.  "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet."  Malachi 4:5.

        Elijah never died.  In 2 Kings 2:11 we read, "Then it happened, as they (Elijah and Elisha) continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."

        When John's birth was announced to Zacharias, he was told, "He (John) will also go before Him (the Lord) 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, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."  Luke 1:17.  The reference to the fathers and the children is a quotation from Malachi 4.  John the Baptist was to serve in the spirit and power of Elijah.

        When John appeared on the scene, he acknowledged that he was not the Christ.  They asked, "Are you Elijah?"  He answered, "I am not."  John 1:21. 

        But Jesus had something else to say.  He spoke of John, saying, "And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come."  Matthew 11:14. 

        In Matthew 17 we find Jesus with Peter, James, and John on a high mountain, where He was transfigured before them.  Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared, and spoke with Jesus.  After this experience His disciples asked, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"  They had just seen Elijah.  "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.  But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished.  Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.'  Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist." 

        Malachi wrote that Elijah would come "before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."  That day is related to His second coming.  We find Elijah again in Revelation 11, where once again he is together with Moses.  They are the two witnesses, who are killed, raised from the dead, and taken to heaven.  At that time 7,000 people are killed by an earthquake, and shortly thereafter the seven bowls of the wrath of God are poured out.  That's part of the day of the Lord, "the great and dreadful day of the Lord."

 

        Lord, like the disciples of old, there's a lot that we don't know.  We do know that the second coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed.  Help us to get out the Word of His coming.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 
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