5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
6 And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
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.
To understand Yeshua as prophet, prophet of all prophets, as we are examining people who flowed in the prophetic, priestly and kingly streams of ministry we must examine the preparation for His Coming. This is very pertinent as you will find out.
The prophet Malachi prophesied before 400 years of prophetic silence. There was no official prophetic revelation in Israel. In that time we see Persian empires, weaken, then be overun by the Greeks, and then the Romans. This is a time of real instability, and in that time Herod tore down Zerrubabel’s temple and built a new more majestic one. The Bible is silent, and there is no record of the dedication of this temple. We can conclude that being that God did not order its replacement we can safely surmise that this house had no glory.
Against this backdrop we see that the last words of Malachi speak of the coming of Elijah again. To the ears, this could be confusing, but for those who are recognising the prophetic dimension, this language is figurative. It is symbolic of an anointing, a setting apart with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
The angel Gabriel who speaks to Zacharias speaks of this spirit and power of Elijah. He is speaking of John the Baptist who would prepare the people of Israel for her Messiah. It is the unbelief of Zacharias that is chastised and dumbness is invoked.
The chastisement from the angel is swift because Zacharias is a priest who was accustomed to the service of God, yet unbelieving this same God whom he served. Much that is given much is required.
It is Elizabeth that falls pregnant shortly after this angelic visitation. And Mary who had her own visitation goes to see her.
5 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The angel tells Mary (Miriam) of the process of bringing to birth the Son of God. The Holy Spirit would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her. And that which she would birth would be God Himself in the Person of His Son. Immediately after learning from the angel that her cousin is pregnant she rushes to see her.
And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
What we see once again is the visitation of the Holy Spirit very poignantly inspiring and revealing to those who would birth the children who would revolutionise the nation of Israel. This is all preparation because we see that Elizabeth even in her old age conceives. We see her go to full term.
There was a reaction also in the womb…the baby leaps…there is an inner reverberation in which the Holy Spirit is well present in the preparation for the Messiah.
We see that Elizabeth reveals to Mary that she knows what the Lord had said to her by the angel…revealed to her in the visitation of the Spirit to her, filling her up…and we wonder what was that experience! In Revelation the original text speaks of being “pushed”, “blasted” into that “spirit” realm. So it is possible that Elizabeth began to see and hear in a different dimension to what was accustomed.
Zacarias is asked what the name of the baby would be, and naming him according to the command of the angel, his tongue is loosed and he too is filled with the Holy Spirit.
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
We know that this period was prophetic because every time the Holy Spirit filled those being prepared for the new things, were prophesying way beyond their time and the current religious thinking of the day. Look at the phrase that is proclaimed in the prophetic word of Zacarias , that God was raising up a horn in the house of David, indicative of the Messiah that was coming. The tense used is past tense, meaning that the plans God had were already established.
What we also see in the spirit and power of Elijah is the aspect of winning the sonship to love the fatherhood. Ultimately this means we are won over to the Father as sons in Christ! How wonderful a preparation that John afforded in baptising the whole nation from the desert…to preach repentance. How did the cities empty? What sound did they hear? Surely the Spirit reverberated from the desert from where John was, and drew the people out, to hear a new sound, and receive a new heart!
We now see Jesus presented in Luke 2. We meet Simeon, who has an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Look at Simeon who walked by the Spirit, is led into the Temple based on a revelation that he that waited the Consolation of Israel would touch the very answer to the situation there. He is of old age, because God caused him to wait to touch His Son. The prophetic word which he proclaims, is way beyond the dispensation he lived. Even speaks of the light which the Gentiles would see. And speaks of a future Glory of Israel, which we know did not occur, as within a century Jerusalem is left in ruins, the temple is demolished and the peoples dispersed.
So if the birth of the Prophet of all prophets is prepared in God’s people prophetically, is because where the Prophet is, there is a dimension that opens. For Miriam to bear the baby the greatest power of God overshadows her. She is endued from on high from a Power that the Greek says is SUPREME. This is the highest authority of heaven caring and nurturing the pregnancy and Mary.
And so if the first coming is surrounded by the prophetic, so the next coming of Yeshua to His Church, for His Church, and with His Church will also be surrounded by a people ready to birth with the power of the Highest those things God will bring into existence for the end days.
We see very often in the Gospels that it is cited that “Elijah must come first”. This significance is lost in our own limited theology. We have seen 2 visitations of Elijah. And we shall see a third visitation . In fact it is no surprise to see Elijah appear in glory with Moses to talk to Yeshua on the mount of Transfiguration. Elijah is a prophetic constant in the programme of God. We see Elijah in 1 Kings bring change in Israel and Judah in a time of widespread godlessness. We then see Malachi prophesy the return of Elijah, yet we see clearly that he comes in the person of John the Baptist.
We know that the Elijah that shall come again shall not just be one person but a generation of prophets who shall move in signs and wonders. We see Revelation 11 speak of the two witnesses. We see this mirrored in the Book of Zechariah. This is a prophetic company who shall prepare the Church for the coming of the Lord.
What we see little of today is preaching and teaching on the Coming of Christ/Messiah. We traditionally speak of it as the 2nd Coming. It is wrong to see it this way when the Bible talks of at least 7 comings of Christ through the ages. And the different aspects of His Visitation. We are very much focussed on temporal needs and our spiritual prosperity. We are asleep to the fact that the Coming of Yeshua physically to the Earth is very close. We need to wake up. We need to be woken up by a clear prophetic voice accompanied by the signs and wonders necessary to make people sit up!!
These prophets are not sent to the lost but to the Church! This means that the heart of the Church is cold. Yeshua rebuked the Ephesian Church because of their lukewarmness. How today we have become lukewarm!
How did we get here?
We got here because in trying to appeal to the masses we left behind truths which are unpleasant with the effort to become respectable.
The waking up of the Church is clear in Matthew 25 with the 10 virgins. 5 were wise, 5 were foolish. The Bridegroom seems to be taking a long time to fetch His Bride. They wait, and wait and fall asleep! Then once the trumpet announces His arrival we see that the 5 foolish have no oil. They depart in search of oil to be shut out of the marriage supper. How much more today do we lack the oil of the Holy Spirit who alerts us to the way we live, the way we see things!
In concluding, we need to see where Yeshua is birthed in our midst, in Scripture and in His Church we must see that the prophetic dimension opens up exposing the motivations of the heart and exhorting to holiness. The prophetic dimension opens up as in Luke 24 when the two disciples saw death as the end to their hope. When they saw Yeshua crucified, they thought it was the end, reducing Him to a mere prophet. Of course their eyes were closed as death and its finality clouded their understanding! Yet when they saw Him, they recognized Him as Lord. So today we need our understanding opened up by a commitment to the Word so that when we see Him manifest in our midst we see Him as Lord and gain a love for Him.
In Revelation 22 we see both the Spirit and the Bride cry out together. It is a prophetic cry of preparation because we desire Him to come and bring subjection and perfection. It is because the Church has regained her recognition of Yeshua as her lover and her Bridegroom. This prophetic cry must prepare us to meet Him, because He being a Prophet of all prophets will expose us all to His Holiness so that in prophetic preparation we shall be included in the end time purposes and included in the Holy Union with Him in that final day.
May we recognise Him as Prophet, that He opens our understanding so that in comprehending Him, we in turn comprehend the work He has done to win over our hearts!!!