ELIJAH THE PROPHET in THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION

 

     In God’s Plan and Purpose for Mankind, one of His great mysteries is Redemption. The Fall of Man is for there to be Redemption. Connected to the Work of Redemption is that of Restoration. There must first be a restoration of the true worshippers to the Word of God. The true worshippers must receive the Word before the Work of Redemption can begin in their lives. Without a restoration, REDEMPTION cannot be realized. In Israel’s history, they were often rebellious, breaking away from the Faith of their forefather Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel), the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham; turning themselves over to the idolatrous worship of their surrounding Gentile nations. Yahweh would send one messenger after another to turn them back to Him, His Law and His Word. One of the great prophets God used was Elijah the Tishbite. The name “Elijah” means “Yahweh is Elohim”, “My God is Yahweh” or “God the Lord”. Throughout the Scripture, “Elijah the prophet” is manifestly connected to the RESTORATION and REDEMPTION Plan of Yahweh. He is connected to Yeshua Ha’mashiach.

     The last book of the Old Testament is the Book of Malachi. Malachi was the last prophet to Israel, about 400 years before the First Advent of Christ. His final words to Israel was a prophecy concerning the coming Day of the Lord:

Mal 4:5:  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.

     Several prophets before Malachi had prophesied and warned Israel of “the great and the terrible day of the Lord” to come.

Amo 5:18:  Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

Joe 2:11:  And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
31:  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Zep 1:14:  The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
15:  That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

     The apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ spoke about it.

Act 2:20:  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

1Th 5:1:  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2:  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3:  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10:  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11:  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12:  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

 

THE DAY OF THE LORD

     The “day of the Lord” is the day when our Lord God will come to reveal Himself, not only to Israel, but also to the world. It will take place at the end of the last week of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy, when the Great Tribulation (Jacob’s Trouble) comes to a close. For those who desire the “day of the Lord”, it will be a great day when the Lord comes. However, it will also be a dreadful day because the Lord will smite the nations of the Earth and take vengeance on those who know not God. The “day of the Lord” is both a “great and dreadful day”.

     Since Malachi’s last prophecy, the children of Jacob (Israel) have been looking for the coming of that Elijah of the Lord. They desire for the “day of the Lord” to manifest. They expect to see their Messiah and their kingdom restored (Acts 1:6).

     Malachi’s last prophecy was not properly and fully understood by many. If not for the words of the angel Gabriel (Luk.1:17) and the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat.11:14; 17:10-12; Mar.9:11-13), we will not understand that it is a compound prophecy, and that it also contains a mystery regarding “Elijah the prophet”, and the “hearts” of the “fathers” and the “children” to whom “Elijah the prophet” was to be sent. Observe closely the two verses

Mal 4:5:  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.

     Malachi’s prophecy pointed to a new order that was coming, which crossed from the covenant of the Law of Moses to the covenant of the Law of Christ; from Law to Grace; from dealing with a physical nation of chosen people to dealing with a spiritual nation of chosen people; from God writing His Words on tablets of stone to God writing His Words on to the hearts of men (2Cor.3:3).

     The word “heart” is the keyword within the prophetic words of the Prophet Malachi even as the Prophet Jeremiah spoke of it: “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer.31:33 cf. Heb.8:10; 10:16).

     For a long time Israel had the Law (Word) of God on tablets of stone, of which they had trodden from time to time in their rebellion against the Lord. Religious elders would opine their religious views concerning the Law and the Writings of Moses. Soon the Word of God became mixed with the opinions of these religious elders, who were the religious fathers and guides of the children of Israel. By the time John the Baptist and Jesus the Christ appeared on the scene, Israel had almost nothing of the Truth but the “tradition of the elders” that “put darkness for light” (Isa.4:20 cf. Mat.15:2-3).

     The religious leaders may claim Abraham as their father (Joh.8:39, Mat.3:9) but they certainly did not have the faith of Abraham; else they would have received the Christ just like Paul (Rom.4). These religious fathers of Israel walked in the law of their tradition; they had no faith in the Christ, and thus they were not Abraham’s children (Gal.3:7-9).  All they had were the religious “tradition” set down by the elders before them.

     The Jews highly esteem two great prophets – Moses and Elijah. No Old Testament prophet was more frequently spoken of in the New Testament than Elijah; Moses was often mentioned but only in relation to the Law. These two prophets were seen standing with Jesus Christ when He was transfigured before His close disciples on a high mountain (Mat.17:1-9). They represented the Law and the Prophets respectively. Elijah represents the Prophets whose words prophesied of the promises of God concerning the Messiah who was to come and redeem the people. Moses represents the Law of God, and Elijah the Grace of God. Through Moses and the Prophets, the Oracles of God were given to the people of Israel. The Oracles were the Light of Yahweh. They spoke of Christ Jesus, Who came after the Forerunner, John the Baptist. Thus, “the law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luk.16:16).

     There is only One Gospel. It was first preached to the Jews, who rejected It. Then Yahweh gave It to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46 cf. Isa.60:1-3; 42:6; 49:6; Eph.2:10-22). Therefore, the closing prophecy (Mal.4:5-6) of the Prophet Malachi deals with the HEARTS of the worshippers; with the ONE GOSPEL of Grace in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is Yahweh’s use of the spirit of Elijah, in His Plan of RESTORATION and REDEMPTION of His chosen people, both Jews and Gentiles (Rom.3).

 

ELIJAH

     Elijah the Tishbite lived in a time of spiritual declension. The nation of Israel was in apostasy. They had ceased in the worship of the one true God because of false leaders. They had lost the Truth of God. All but 7000 Israelites (1Kgs.19:18) had bowed themselves to the ground in idol worship. Baal-worship had become their religion. Superstition and wickedness had overwhelmed the nation. The nation was spiritually and politically corrupt.

     Elijah was called to the prophetic ministry, with a task to restore the things that Israel had lost – all the forms of spiritual decay. Elijah had to turn the Jews back to the Word of God, to true worship of Yahweh. He boldly spoke out against the whole priesthood of the religious system. He even judged and challenged the horde.

     Later, Elisha was called to take Elijah’s place. A double portion of the spirit of Elijah was bestowed on him.

     About 450 years later, the Old Testament closed with God’s last prophet and scribe, Malachi. “The sons of Jacob” (Mal.3:6), that is, the Jews, had returned from their captivity in Babylon to resettle in Judea and the land of Israel. They had built their temple, under the leadership of Governor Zerubbabel, the High Priest Joshua, and the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah. With the temple set up and the Word of God in place, the people returned to true worship. Things were going well with them for a while. They were faithful and guarded the Truth. But in less than a generation, they gradually gave in to sin and soon lost sight of God’s purpose for them. Both the priests and the people had spiritual and moral shortcomings. They neglected the tithes. They offered lame sacrifices. Divorces and mixed marriages with heathen were commonplace. True faith gave way to tradition. By the time the Gospel was proclaimed, even the Feasts of Yahweh were no longer known as His feasts, but the feasts of the Jews. (Read John 2:13 and Leviticus 23:5; John 5:1 and Judges 21:19.) However, in all their failings, the Spirit of God in Malachi made this proclamation:

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.

     The “my messenger” was a prophet (cf. Isa.40:3; Mat.3:3) to be sent to prepare the way of “the messenger of the covenant” (the Messiah, Jesus the Christ).

     After announcing the coming of “my messenger”, who was none other than John the Baptist, Malachi next spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ, saying:

Mal 3:2:  But who can abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers’ soap: (cf. Joel 2:11; Jer.10:10).

     The prophecy of Malachi chapter 3 reaches beyond the First Coming of Christ to the day of His Coming to sit in judgment. Concerning “the day of his coming”, Malachi gave us an idea of what the people were to expect.

Mal 4:1:  For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
2:  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
3:  And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

     And finally Malachi closed with this promise of Yahweh:

Mal. 4:5:  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 prophecy points to the coming “day of the Lord”, which we are told would be a great and terrible day. Before that great day comes, Yahweh will send “Elijah the prophet” to do two things –  turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers peradventure He comes and smites the earth with a curse. Therefore, with the ending of the Old Testament era, another “Elijah” was to come.

 

“ELIJAH THE PROPHET”

     But who is this “Elijah the prophet” ?  Some Christians believe that he would be none other than Elijah the Tishbite himself because he did not die but was translated heavenward by a chariot of fire; thus, a return ministry is required, after which he will be killed by the Antichrist. To believe this, one has to explain with what body Elijah the Tishbite will take when he comes to prophesy before the “day of the Lord”, since he had an heavenly translation that gave him an heavenly body.

     The term “Elijah the prophet” in Malachi’s prophecy does not point to the Prophet Elijah the Tishbite. Rather it bespeaks a messenger in the spirit and power of Elijah. This is clearly and firmly established by how the  Archangel Gabriel and the Lord Jesus spoke of “Elijah”:

Luk 1:13:  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.

Mat 17:10:  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.

     The Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven was heralded by John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea. Since the New Covenant of God was to deal with the HEART of His people, the “heart” of each individual believer will need to have the Word of God etched on it. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Yahweh will VAV ו (“hook”) His Word on to the hearts of those whom He loved, to reconcile them back to Himself. The “heart” of each of all His saints is where Yahweh will reside because He is in His Word. Therefore the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6 will culminate in totality just “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD”.

     When John the Baptist came proclaiming “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel”, many of the Jews thought he was the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6. Even Christians are taught to believe so by pointing to the answer that Jesus gave to His disciples:

Mat.17:10:  And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?
11:  And answering, Jesus said to them, Elijah indeed comes first and shall restore all things.
12:  But I say to you, Elijah already came, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they desired. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer by them.
13:  Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them about John the Baptist. [LITV]

     However, in his testimony to the Jews, the words of John the Baptist appeared contradictory to the answer given by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Joh 1:19:  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.

     So, was John the Baptist Elijah or was he not? Yeshua clearly and emphatically stated that he was – “Elijah indeed comes first and shall restore all things”. But John the Baptist was certainly not the “Elijah”, whom the Jews were looking for, to “restore all things” that constitutes the nation Israel as a kingdom for their coming Messiah and King. (The Apostle Peter revealed to his fellow Jews that the resurrected Christ must remain in Heaven until the appointed time comes for the “restoration of all things” which will take place after the Church Age is over – Acts 3:17-21.) Moreover, John the Baptist did indeed tell the truth that he was not “Elijah”not that particular “Elijah” the Jews had in mind. He knew he was the “messenger” of Malachi 3:1 and that he was sent to prepare the way of His Master and Lord (Isa.40:3).

     John the Baptist did indeed fulfill the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6, but in part. It can be seen from the words of the angel to his father, Zacharias. Notice carefully the words of the angel:

Luk 1:16:  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.

     Preaching the Gospel, John the Baptist, an “Elijah” in his day, caused many of the children of Israel to turn back to Yahweh. These converts of “Elijah” the Baptist were the beginning of Yahweh writing His Words onto the hearts of Man. They were “children” in the Faith that went against the grain of the tradition of the elders, the religious leaders and fathers of Judaism. These religious fathers held strongly to their tradition and were against the teachings of “Elijah” the Baptist. They had, what we would call − ‘mainstream religion’. However, “Elijah” the Baptist loudly proclaimed the more, the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to turn their hearts to the Faith, which “many of the children of Israel” had accepted. [Note: The New Testament record shows at least two of the religious fathers by name, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, being converts to the Gospel that was first proclaimed by John the Baptist.]

     As can be seen, John the Baptist clearly fulfilled only a part, not all, of Malachi 4:5-6 – “he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children”.  Yet, there are those would force the words of the angel into the words of Malachi, making the phrase the disobedient to the wisdom of the just” to mean the same as “the heart of the children to their fathers”. This is foolish insinuation; one might as well advocate that the rest of the verse of Luke 1:17 is also similar to the rest of the verse of Malachi 4:6. [Can anyone say that our Lord meant all the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-3 when he took the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luk.4:18-19)?]

     Indeed, John the Baptist was “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Isa.40:3; Mar.1:2-3). Yahweh was closing up the Old Testament era. He sent John the Baptist. who was the messenger, the “Elijah”, to introduce the Christ: “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). Yes, John the Baptist was the “Elijah” who even witnessed “the messenger of the covenant” “suddenly come to his temple” right after he baptized the Son of God (Mat.3:16-17). The WORD of God came to tabernacle in Jesus Christ, His Temple of Flesh.

 

JACOB – CHURCH

     Now, is not the Church just like Jacob? Are not the Christians like the people of Israel? They too have been playing the harlot ever so often throughout the Seven Church Ages. They have been in and out of falsehood and finally in this last age, the age of Laodicea, they have grown to be lukewarm (Rev.3:14-22). They have been grasping at things that do not edify the Body of Christ. They have been grasping at things that do not belong to the Lord nor His Word and His Kingdom. They have been warned of the consequence that would follow if they did not take heed to God’s rebuke and admonition.  Even so, as it was with Jacob and his descendents, God loved His own – the true believers caught in the deception in the midst of all who claimed to be ‘spiritual Israel’. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev.3:19). And so, our Lord would heal their backsliding. He would VAV ו (“hook”) those whom He loves back to His Original Word, the Apostolic Faith.

     “But what do the prophecies of a Jewish prophet, Malachi, to do with the Gentiles?”  This question is often retorted by Pharisaical Christians who steadfastly hold and defend only the traditions of their churches. Well, let us again consider: there is but only One True Church which came by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Lord first dealt with the Jews for they were His chosen nation of people. However, after about two decades, the Jews felt that they should just hold to the “traditions of their elders”. Apparently they were pressured by the ‘mainstream religious fathers’ who disallowed the Gospel of the Messiah into their life. Consequently, God blinded their eyes and turned to the Gentiles, offering them the very same Gospel the Jews rejected. To the Gentiles who saw the light of it and received it into their hearts, they were grafted into the “commonwealth of Israel” (Rom.11:13-27; Eph.2:10-20). Therefore the prophetic words of Malachi 4:5-6 has everything to do with the Gentiles. The prophetic words are tied to the revelation of the Prophet Isaiah: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isa.49:6 cf. 60:3).

     The Church, which began on the Day of Pentecost, started to decline after two decades. The spirit of antichrist crept into the assembly, and men who sought preeminence among the believers gradually gave in to their own carnalities –“the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”. Such men conquered the people and brought them into subjection under the clergy. That was the doctrine and deed of the Nicolaitans. The Church then became an organized religion, and soon lost sight of the Truth and God’s True Worship; in its place, false doctrines were propagated and worship was just a form, a ritual. The Apostle Paul spoke of it:

2Ti 3:1:  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2:  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3:  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4:  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5:  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6:  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7:  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

     The Church today has reached the same sorry state of affairs like Israel of old. She has been misguided by corrupt religious leadership just like Israel was. She has almost nothing of the Truth, save the Gospel, and the “tradition of the elders” that “put darkness for light” (Isa.4:20 cf. Mat.15:2-3). She is gone away from the Apostolic Fathers’ Faith into traditions (creeds and dogmas) and a form of worship so lukewarm that God will spew her out of His mouth. Nevertheless, God is rich in mercy; He warns before He sends judgment. And so, there is again another “Elijah” to come to restore (reconstitute) the things that befit the true worshippers of Yahweh (Joh.4:23-24), before Yahweh closes up the Gospel (Church) Age and returns to deal with the nation of Israel one last time.

     Therefore, the children of God need to hear what the Spirit of God says through “Elijah” whom God will send to the Church. This “Elijah” has a message that will turn their heart to “their fathers”, the Apostles, whose Faith was founded on the revelation of Jesus Christ. This “Elijah” has already come and is gone. His name is William Branham.

 

THE FATHERS, THE CHILDREN; THE CHILDREN, THEIR FATHERS

     Observe carefully these words of Malachi’s prophecy: “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,...”  Notice the difference between the relation of the fathers-children and the children-fathers. In the former, there is no relationship between the fathers and the children; the religious fathers in the days of John the Baptist had a faith that was not related to those children of Israel who were affected by the Gospel they received from John the Baptist. In the latter, there is a relationship between fathers and children because both are related by the Gospel of Christ; the hearts of the children of God (cf. Gal.3:26) are to turn away from churchism and religious traditions, to turn back to the original Faith which was founded by the Apostolic Fathers after the Holy Spirit of Christ was given. The children of God are to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jud.1:3).

 

     They are those who take the word “fathers” to be Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, from Scripture verses such as Luke 3:8, Romans 9:10, and John 4:12. However these verses show us the claim of the people, who put much confidence in the flesh, that they were the natural offsprings (descendants, seeds) of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not that they were related by the faith to, or of, the Patriarchs. Paul said: “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (Rom.9:8). [Note: Religious leaders are looked upon as “fathers”. See 2Kg.2:12; 6:21; 13:14.]

     Once Yahweh closes out the Gospel Age He will turn to deal with the nation of Israel. It will be the final week of Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy. Yahweh will send His Two Anointed Ones to Israel (Rev.11:3-4; Zec.4:3). One of them will be anointed with the spirit and power of Elijah; the other of Moses. This “Elijah the prophet” would fulfill the compounded prophecy of Malachi 4 in its totality. He is sent to VAV ו (“hook”) Jacob’s children back to Yahweh before the coming of the Great and Dreadful Day (Amos 5:18-20; Zec.14:1-9). He is the “Elijah” of whom the Jews were greatly expecting to come and “restore all things” before the Messianic Kingdom is realized as the Apostle Peter had made known to them:

Acts 3:18:  But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
19:  Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
20:  and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,
21:  whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. [NKJV]

     As the GRACE of God would have it, five times was “Elijah the Prophet” ordained to carry the message of restoration to God’s Chosen people. Each “Elijah” was to deliver the message to VAV ו (“hook”) the elect to the WORD of God and restore them back to Him. Firstly, there was Elijah the Tishbite. Secondly, there was Elisha, the son of Shaphat from Abel-Meholah, who was anointed with a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. Thirdly, there was John the Baptist, the Forerunner of the First Advent of Christ, whose message, in particular, was to affect a change in the hearts of the very traditional religious fathers that it might turn their hearts to that of the children, the converts to his gospel (Mal.4:6a). Fourthly, there was the 7th Church Age messenger, William Branham, the Forerunner of the Second Advent of Christ, whose message, in particular, was to affect a change in the hearts of the Christians, that it might turn their hearts to that of their Apostolic Fathers (Mal.4:6b) – the true Faith which was once delivered to the saints (cf. Jude 1:3). Finally, the fifth is to be the “Elijah” of whom the Jews are greatly expecting and whose message will bring about a reconstitution of the kingdom of Israel.

     All in, the ministry of “Elijah the prophet” would have accomplished the “restoration of all things” connected with the redemption plan of Yahweh; for a chosen people, both Jews and Gentiles, a family of true worshippers ready for the coming of the Day of the Lord.

! ! ! ! ! ! !

Postscript:  Some Christians have split the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (of Malachi 4:5) into two separate days (or periods) the great day” and the dreadful day”, which are taken to be the First and Second Advents of Christ respectively. This is incorrect. One may teach that it was a great day when Christ first came, but to teach that the great and dreadful day of the LORD is two periods of time is incorrect.