I find it interesting when there is a change of theme, when one plans to concentrate on one thing and then God changes the direction all of a sudden. We have been in this theme since after Pentecost in June, which we saw a definite pattern between Passover, preparation for Pentecost. This pattern makes these themes, whilst situated definitely on dates within the year, yet the spiritual message of them are always relevant, always actual, and ready to be experienced at any time. I personally journeyed in spirit with those things.
It seems we are also travelling in the Theme, the Consolation of the Saints. How does it contrast with what appears in Luke’s Gospel as the Consolation of Israel? It contrasts because the Consolation of Israel deals with the Messiah’s first bodily appearance on the earth, in Israel, and the Consolation of the Saints is the next appearance of our Messiah first in the Church in great awakenings, then a great appearance of our Lord. There is established similarities between these two preparations. And it is with this in mind this series is presented.
The second Elijah
2 Kings tells us the life of Elijah the prophet, tells us concerning the Word God gave him for the nation, that was taken up with the worship of Baal and Ashterah, instead of Yahweh. God shut the heavens, and feeds His prophet at the Brook Cherith, and then feeds him at the house of the widow of Zarephath, culminating in both the fire falling on Carmel and the rain falling on a dry nation. God then highlights in Malachi that Elijah would return before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. However whilst some may take that Word literally from the prophet, which meant from that time they were looking for 2 apparitions, one from Elijah and one from their Messiah. That is why they used to say that Elijah must come first. Indeed he must and will again. However what God did to bring a Elijah again would be to bring the spirit and power of Elijah in a different person, from a different stock. I say this because God opens once again the sterile womb of Elizabeth, wife of one of the priests Zacarias, in a great age. And what is expected is the son, miraculous son of this priest would continue this priestly line. However in preparation for Jesus’ appearance, God changes things, John has no divine vocation to the priesthood, instead the Lord anoints him to be the greatest Old Covenant prophet.
He is classed as the last and greatest Old Covenant prophet because his task is to finish the season of the Old Covenant and prepare for a New and better Covenant in Jesus. This transitionary work could not be undertaken by a priest, because priests do not discern the change of season, nor the change of God’s ways with Israel. God raised up a prophet to be prepared for this great new shift. This sort of sets up a similar shift in our time too, and we shall see this further. The radical separation from the city, the temple and the people was John’s physical choice reflecting on what changes he perceived that were coming. We know this is true from John’s Gospel as John himself is asked by the scribes and pharisees if he is the Messiah, he replies with the word from Isaiah 40. This shows he already perceived the changes that were coming. What we do know that the Word he proclaimed, the baptism he performed, and the prophetic proclamations concerning One who was coming means that everyone that received him, his words and his baptism would go on to receive Jesus also. That is how the spirit of Elijah operated, to secure the spiritual life in reconciliation and restoration to God. It also reconciled the generations to receive a Saviour together. It also transported the Baptism in water as part of the trajectory for full salvation for Gentiles also who would come into the Church. The spiritual life of the nation had just come through 400 years of silence from God, where no official prophetic voice was raised up. In that time we see political turmoil, we see Temple demolished, and Judea and Jerusalem occupied by the Romans. In between all that we see false prophets arise and then false Messiahs. So in between all that an expectation is in the people that God was about to restore Israel. So in one sense we must recognise that sometimes when we see false prophets operating in the Church we know that it should prepare us to cry out for the true. It creates in us an expectation. We also know that Jesus’ appearance at Jordan is timed when John begins his ministry. Again as Jordan marked in Joshua 3 the moving of Israel from promise to possession so John is also at Jordan for that same process through baptism. As Joshua, the Levites, and all of Israel passed through the waters to their promised possession so as believers in Christ we pass through the waters of Baptism to our Possession in Christ. This work is John’s first, who for a supernatural work the majority of the nation went out him, and he knows what the sign is for knowing the Messiah, the Voice of the Father and the Descending Spirit.
The third Elijah
Malachi’s prophecy has a part fulfilment in John, however the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord is not yet come to pass. There must be a third Elijah to prepare the way for Jesus’ final appearance. This time what seems to be indicated that some time before Jesus’ final appearance, to judge and to reign over everything is that something preparatory and prophetic will take place. Elijah, will come again, and many have said it would be a generation of the prophetic. I cannot say for certain, but everything I have studied concerning this, could indicate this, looking at Joel 2, being the Holy Spirit poured out and what happens is the generations come together in a move of God. Here in Joel is the emphasis on generations together. And as much as John the Baptist was part of the Consolation of Israel, surely this third Elijah must bring in the eternal Consolation of the Saints. The Church being spiritual Israel has somewhat been captured, occupied by other waves of ideologies, political ideas, human wisdom. For this Jesus is coming to bring us into perfection and eternal consolation where joy and love will never fail.
We also get the sense that this prophetic and third Elijah is somewhat a corporate move from what Revelation 22 tells us, that both the Spirit and the Bride cry out for Jesus to come. It seems this cry is a process which the cry of the Spirit for Jesus to come, denotes a completion of the sanctifying and perfecting work that He does in the saints, and for the saints in turn cry the same way is that the love for God has become perfected in the saints. This new Elijah is preparing us for the eternal Consolation, where it becomes a permanent existence. Its an amazing thought. And amazing existence to come.
Beyond what I have written here, being both prophetic and theological there are some practical considerations to make. Is the Church perceiving the hour we are living? I am not sure, and without going into politics, there is a struggle going on in the West and China for dominance, for changing the atmosphere of nations, controlling populations, culling populations, and bringing in a deceptive utopia. The spirit of antichrist is entering into every sector of society, and provoking family breakdown. We need to invoke the spirit and power of Elijah so that reconciliation and harmony may come. That the nations convert from their heart to the true Saviour who will take us to the true peace and joy. The messages God gives me are positive, but whilst I receive these, am aware of the shifts that are occurring. However they come in reaction to what God is doing. We cannot ignore that political systems around the globe have become empty, and ineffective, in tackling world debt that malignant solutions are being sought. I verify more and more mankind is getting further away from the true essence of the Word of God. That is why it is urgent that God does a stirring as He did as we read in Ezra 1:1. We need to be stirred from deep slumber.
Matthew tells us about this slumber in chapter 25. He also tells us about 5 wise virgins, representing the awake and prophetic Church which knows the hour, hears the cry that the Bridegroom has arrived. We need that cry to sound, and it is the third Elijah that comes to prepare us for Him, to be with Him, and united with Him.