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To Alive-to-God

What does the Bible mean when it speaks of Elijah coming again? Was this a literal prophecy, or did John the Baptist fulfill the prophecy in the spirit? Or is it that the prophecy has a double-fulfillment: one of John the Baptist, and one of Elijah. This short paper will examine the issues at hand.

The two prophecies to which all New Testament references are based off of are found in Malachi 3:1 and 4:5-6 which read:

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 (3:1).1

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 (4:5-6).

[b]It is obvious that the Jews of first century Palestine were expecting Elijah to be raised from the dead and return to the nation of Israel to prepare the hearts of the people to receive their Messiah.2 Some of the Pharisees asked John the Baptist if he was Elijah that was to come (John 1:21-25). John denied that he was Elijah, rather testifying that he was "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord" (John 1:21, 23), as prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3). Others believed that Jesus was Elijah (Mark 6:15; Luke 9:19). Even Jesus' disciples testified that many in Israel believed He was Elijah come again (Matthew 16:14; Mark 8:28; Luke 9:19).

If neither John the Baptist, nor Jesus was Elijah come again, then who was Elijah? Jesus told the multitudes concerning John the Baptist that he was the messenger of Malachi 3:1 and the Elijah of Malachi 4:5 (Matthew 11:7-14, focusing on vs. 10, 14). On another occasion, after Jesus was transfigured and appeared with Moses and Elijah on the mountain, Peter, James, and John asked Jesus why the scribes said that Elijah must come back before all things could be restored (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13). Jesus explained to them, "Elijah truly shall first come and restore all things, but I say unto you, That Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed" (Matthew 17:11-12). Jesus thought of John as the Elijah of Malachi 4:5 (Matthew 17:13). How could this be?[/b]

[color=990000][b]This can be understood when we look at what the angel of the Lord spoke to Zechariah concerning John before he was ever born. The angel said concerning John's ministry, "And many of the children of Israel shall he 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" (Luke 1:16-17, emphasis mine). John was not the person of Elijah that was promised to come again, but John was ordained by God to prepare the way for Jesus at His first coming in the spirit and power that Elijah possessed. This does not deny that Elijah Himself will actually come again in his physical presence before Jesus returns to the earth to set up His millennial kingdom. It can be said, then, that John the Baptist partially fulfilled the prophecies of Malachi.

It may seem strange or even incorrect to say that a prophecy could be only partially fulfilled; however, we find that the Scriptures declare many prophecies to have dual references or partial fulfillment. In hermeneutics, this is called the double reference principle. Many of the prophecies concerning Jesus were double reference prophecies, meaning that they had an immediate fulfillment, and a future fulfillment. Here are a few examples.

Stephen claimed that the prophet which Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19 was Jesus Christ. When you read the context of Deuteronomy 18, however, you will see that Moses was speaking of Joshua who was to be the next leader of Israel.

Matthew claimed the statement in Hosea 11:1 which says, "Out of Egypt have I called my son," was fulfilled when Jesus lived in Egypt until the death of Herod (Matthew 2:14-15). When you look at this verse in the context of Hosea, however, you will see that God was speaking of the Israelite's exodus from Egypt.

Matthew also attributed the prophecy of Jeremiah that says, "thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel [Rachel] weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not," (Jeremiah 31:15) to the slaughter of the male children in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18). From the context of Jeremiah 31, however, we know that this prophecy was given by Jeremiah to the Jewish captives in Babylon promising them that their children would once again inhabit the land of Canaan (Jeremiah 31:16-17).

God foresaw John when He inspired Malachi, recognizing that He would fulfill the prophecies in spirit at Jesus' first coming; but He was focusing upon Elijah Himself, knowing that he would fulfill the prophecies at Jesus' second coming.

Elijah will come back again in his physical body to prepare the way for Jesus' return. The context of the two prophecies in Malachi indicate that Elijah was going to come back to turn the hearts of Israel to the Lord before the Messiah came to set up His earthly kingdom, so that the Lord's fury would not rest upon them when He came Himself (Malachi 3:1-3; 4:1-6).

This will be fulfilled when Elijah comes back as one of the two witnesses during the tribulation period right before Jesus returns during the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 11:2-12). We know that their ministry is to bring judgment upon the wicked, and give some sort of a testimony to the people (11:5-6).

Although the passage in Revelation does not specifically declare Elijah to be one of the two witnesses, many Bible scholars believe he is because the prophecies in Malachi need to be completely fulfilled, and the only place we find in the Bible where it could be describing Elijah coming again is this passage.

Another reason for this persuasion is the type of power the witnesses are described as possessing. The Apostle John said that if any man would hurt them "fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies" (Revelation 11:5). In Elijah's ministry, he was shown to have the power to call fire down from heaven and devour the enemies of the Lord (2 Kings 1:9-14). Another description said they "have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy" (Revelation 1:6). Of course it was Elijah that prayed it would not rain for three and a half years. As a result the heavens were shut up and it did not rain (James 5:17-18).

Yet another reason for this theory is that when Elijah comes back, it is believed that he must die so that he can be judged by God (Hebrews 9:27). It is argued that since Elijah never died, he will have to return to the natural realm and suffer death to fulfill Hebrews 9:27 which says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Since Elijah's physical body was taken up into heaven, having never seen death (2 Kings 2:9-12), he must come back to earth and die. Since the two witnesses are shown to have been killed and then resurrected (Revelation 11:7-12), it seems like this would be the perfect place for the fulfillment of Scripture: Elijah would have come again, and he would finally see death so that he might be judged.3

We see, then, that Elijah, and not John the Baptist is the one to come again. Elijah's coming has not yet occurred, but is yet to take place during the tribulation period.[/color][/b]



 2009/12/28 11:14

 Re: End-Time View

Walter asked me

Has it ever occured to you to use Scripture to support your endless words?

Usually, I do, when I'm sure of my spiritual ground. And that's exactly why, when I entered this thread, I chose to describe the questions in my post as 'debris'.

You see, when Jesus Christ came (was born), He fulfilled every jot and tittle of prophecy about Himself. Nothing fell to the ground. Nothing ever does with God.

So, when I read prophecy, I'm looking at it from all angles, and I am certain that there is a limit to the number of times a prophecy can be fulfilled. In fact, I'd never heard of multiple fulfilments of the same word, until I came to SI. And I don't find it difficult to hold on to my scepticism, because I don't find multiple fulfilments (to the last jot and tittle) in history. They are all (multiple fulfilments), every one of them, futuristically supposed.
Without Scripute to support your "views" they mean absolutely nothing.

Thank you. Well, I would like you to know that it's because of what the Spirit says to me from scripture, that I have these questions. And, it bothers me that others don't see them as a problem, especially since certain apostles (eg John and Peter), gave precise observations from their own revelation from God, which the modern Christian seems to find disposable.

In particular, I asked you indirectly, to justify your suggestion (which I know is not your own orgininal suggestion, but has been dreamed up by some other writer, and then widely accepted by today's church), that Enoch might be an 'olive tree' (In scripture, the olive tree is always a reference to Israel or something to do with her as the remnant of believers in God (and therefore, in Christ), the function of her priests, or, the High Priest (now Jesus), or, the Holy Spirit.)

Please do tell me how Enoch got in there?

 2009/12/28 11:29

Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada


Alive-to-God wrote:

The concept of 'a corporate people' (a priesthood) was, historically, the Christian understanding of 'antiChrist'.

Yes, I have a book called The Ruin of Antichrist by John Bunyan that confirms what you have said here. That's how he saw antichrist.

As to your question about the Greek plural form for "their dead bodies," it's interesting to note that many manuscripts have the word "bodies" in verse 8 and verse 9 in the singular.

"And their dead body shall lie on the street of the city..." (Rev. 11.8).

"And they... shall see their dead body three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves" (Rev. 11.9).

Two witnesses with one body? What kind of body is that?

Allan Halton

 2009/12/28 11:29Profile


Obviously the two witnesses play a prime role in the last day scenario, and I personally think they ARE individuals. The reason is, that the Word is too graphic about their power, and especially their deaths...when their bodies are resurrected in front of all. "COME UP HERE!"; says the many watched.

Then we have to take it literal that a Dragon was waiting for a child to come out of the woman's womb ready to devour it. That would be a scary site having a dragon standing over you while giving birth.

Revelation 12:4 and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

I wonder if the dragon was a Midwife?


The book of Revelation is a book of symbols, not actualities. And the interpretations are right in the Old Testament. A lot of digging and spirit leading will guide us into all truth. They do mean something but not the way the writer has written them, unless the interpretation is given along the way.

John was instructed to write down what was PAST, PRESENT and Future (from his writing, not our future, remember that audience was just as much a church as we are today, we tend to forget that).

Revelation 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Good post Adisciple about the two witness and olive trees.

Good post AlivetoGod about Elijah and Enoch.

Waltern, I used to believe that way but man there is a lot of stretching to come to that conclusion. Sorry man.

 2009/12/28 11:35

Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada


And as to the meaning of the two olive trees, I think the simplest interpretation as to their meaning is to go back to Zechariah. When he asked the angel what this lampstand and the two olive trees meant, he was told, "This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zech. 4.6).

And then later on he is told, "These are the two anointed ones (the two sons of oil) that stand by the Lord of the whole earth" (Zech.4.14).

"By My Spirit..." "The two sons of oil..."

So this golden lampstand being fed golden oil by the two golden olive branches is a church continually supplied by the Spirit, a corporate people who are abiding in the Anointing, and in the Anointed One.

Allan Halton

 2009/12/28 11:50Profile

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1530
Scotland, UK


[Quote]by jimp on 2009/12/28 7:25:04

hi, my end time view is there will millions of people and all the angels and every beast from above and below the earth and from the sea singing worthy is the Lamb.

Well Jimp you have struck the nail on the head that is exactly what God wants to do. Rev 15:2

Rev 15:2-3 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Here we see a people, a people of victory that have gotten the victory over the beast.

[Quote] Alive to God said

There is only so much one individual can do. That's why God called the church 'the body of Christ', and gave gifts of men and enabling to its members, to obey His callings.

Very true and I agree 100% with you, that what God is going to do in the Move of God that is coming he is going to raise up a people who will get the victory over the beast. They will face the antichrist and get the victory.

Now how will God get that people ready how he has done it in the past well he finds a man. The way God has done it in the past and that’s the way he will do it now, is he will find a man that man he will be his prophet and God will work through him to accomplish his will. When God wanted to go to the Gentiles what did he find a man Paul? When he wanted to take Israel out of Egypt what did do find a man.

So God will raise up a people of victory that will face the anti christ and he will do it through a man.

1 King 18:37Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

Elijah speaks to the people of God…..

1 King 18:37 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

When the people saw it the fell on there faces and said The Lord he is God

Elijah’s ministry was to the people to turn them back to God, like wise in this generation he will come again as “a type” to turn the people’s heart to God and for them to be a people of victory. So they walk in the spirit that he carries the Elijah spirit and they God’s people will be victorious.

Colin Murray

 2009/12/28 12:11Profile

 Re: End-Time View

Hi Walter,

I hadn't realised when I posted, that you'd posted again to me, so I'm reading it now, and will reply. Your patience is appreciated.


 2009/12/28 12:20


Golden meaning that it had gone through the fire and purified.

 2009/12/28 12:51


Waltern said:

Stephen claimed that the prophet which Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19 was Jesus Christ. When you read the context of Deuteronomy 18, however, you will see that Moses was speaking of Joshua who was to be the next leader of Israel.

Moses wasn't speaking of Joshua, brother, he was speaking about Jesus Christ as it's VERY CLEAR in that fulfillment of what Peter said:

Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.

(Context Acts 3:20-22)

 2009/12/28 18:35

 Re: The Incomparable Prophet

To Deepthinker:

[b]Sometimes I think that perhaps others are just trying to push an agenda, and then at other times I see those same people as totally blind to what is presented in the Word of God. Can Spiritual/Scriptural blindness exist within the born again Christian believer? Is it just a waste of time to even respond to this type of blindness, if that is what it is?[/b]

Lets look in the Scriptures again, and see exactly what they say. Are they referring to Jesus, or Joshua?

As the Hebrews are preparing to move into Canaan to possess it according to God's promise to Abraham, Moses issues a series of warnings, one of which contains a prophecy concerning the Messiah in Deuteronomy 18:15-22.

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

[color=990000][b]On first read, these references to a prophet seem a little vague; one might even think that Moses is referring to Joshua who is to follow him. However, Jesus points out in Luke 24:27 that Moses prophesied concerning the Messiah when he says, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." Earlier in his ministry Jesus had said in John 5:46, "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." This is another reference to Deuteronomy 18:15-22.

Here's the question: Did the Jews of Jesus' day regard Deuteronomy 18:15-22 to be a Messianic reference? To answer this question, let's look at John 1:45, "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." From this reference, it is logical to deduct that Jews were looking for a fulfillment of Moses' prophecy and had equated the prophet of Deuteronomy 18 to be the same as the Messiah.

Peter himself refers to this passage in Acts 3:22-23, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." Take notice regarding Peter's understanding of Moses' words in Deuteronomy 18:19 when he says, "...whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." In Peter's message, he understands that phrase to mean, "shall be destroyed from among the people." Without question, Peter regarded Moses words to be Messianic prophecy.

Stephen further confirms this understanding when he mentions it in passing to his all-Jewish audience in Acts 7:37, "This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear."[/color][/b]



[b]Waltern said: Quote:

Stephen claimed that the prophet which Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19 was Jesus Christ. When you read the context of Deuteronomy 18, however, you will see that Moses was speaking of Joshua who was to be the next leader of Israel.

Moses wasn't speaking of Joshua, brother, he was speaking about Jesus Christ as it's VERY CLEAR in that fulfillment of what Peter said:

Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.

(Context Acts 3:20-22)


 2009/12/28 20:23

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