Some Christian groups in the Endtime Message Movement teach that there is an Elijah-type forerunner ministry, like that of John the Baptist, promised to the Gentile Church, just before the Rapture. Like the ministry of John the Baptist, this Endtime Elijah is to prepare the way of the Lord, by restoring the Church back to the original Apostolic faith. This Prophetic ministry is to receive and reveal to the Church all the hidden mysteries of God, as well as recover all the lost Apostolic truths. Is there an Ejilah-type pre-rapture forerunner ministry promised to the Gentile Church? Is the Church to expect a man with the spirit and power of Elijah who will prepare her for the Rapture? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.
Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, said the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
Malachi 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Malachi 4:3 And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, said the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 4:4 Remember you the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Malachi 4:6 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 (AKJV).
The passage from the Scriptures quoted above is the one often cited to back up the promise of an Elijah-type ministry for the Endtime Church. We will carefully examine this portion of the Scriptures to understand what this promise entails, the group to which the promise was made and when this Elijah is to appear. In the fifth verse of the Chapter quoted above, God promised to send back Elijah the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Every Bible scholar understands the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” to mean the day of God’s tribulation judgement upon the world, which most scholars believe will occur after the Rapture of the Church. It is after the great tribulation that the Second Coming of Christ is expected to take place. Let’s look at Scripture to corroborate the fact that the great and dreadful day of the Lord refers to the day of God’s wrath to be poured out without admixture upon the world.
Isaiah 34:1 Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, you people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.
Isaiah 34:2 For the indignation of the LORD is on all nations, and his fury on all their armies: he has utterly destroyed them, he has delivered them to the slaughter.
Isaiah 34:3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
Isaiah 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
Isaiah 34:5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down on Idumea, and on the people of my curse, to judgment.
Isaiah 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.
Isaiah 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
Isaiah 34:8 For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.
Isaiah 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.
Isaiah 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever (AKJV).
Jeremiah 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates (AJKV).
Joel 2:1 Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near,
Joel 2:2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations (ESV).
Luke 21:20 And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near.
Luke 21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the middle of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Luke 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
Luke 21:23 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath on this people.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Luke 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near (AKJV).
2 Peter 3:10 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 (AKJV).
So, we see from the Scriptures that the great and dreadful day of the Lord, or the day of vengeance of our God, refers to the great tribulation judgement of the Lord upon the nations. It will herald the Second Coming of Christ to the earth, to establish his millennial kingdom, when he will reign for a thousand years upon the earth. It is this Second Coming that will be heralded by the ministry of Elijah the Prophet. Just as the first coming of Christ was foreran by an Elijah-type ministry of John the Baptist, the Second Coming of Christ too will have such a forerunner. The purpose of John the Baptist’s ministry was to prepare Israel to receive their Messiah. It was simply a ministry of reconciliation, to reconcile the people to God and to one another, and to bring knowledge of salvation to God’s people.
Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luke 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
Luke 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
Luke 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
Luke 1:17 and he will go before him 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 for the Lord a people prepared (ESV).
Luke 1:76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
Luke 1:77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
Luke 1:78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
Luke 1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (ESV).
Although John the Baptist was not the Elijah of old who was taken up to heaven by a chariot of fire, he had a lot of similarities with Elijah. Both were men who lived secluded and ascetic lives; both were ruthless and fearless in combating evil and unrighteousness; and both confronted ungodly kings head-on. But, it was their zeal for God and his righteousness that stood them apart. Because of these similarities of ministry and personality types, they are said to have the same spirit. So, we see John the Baptist being described as having the spirit and power of Elijah. The Lord Jesus referred to him as Elijah, figuratively speaking, because he exhibited the same spirit and power as Elijah.
Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
Matthew 17:2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
Matthew 17:3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
Matthew 17:4 And Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.
Matthew 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
Matthew 17:6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.
Matthew 17:7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, Rise, and have no fear.
Matthew 17:8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
Matthew 17:9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.
Matthew 17:10 And the disciples asked him, Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?
Matthew 17:11 He answered, Elijah does come, and he will restore all things.
Matthew 17:12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.
Matthew 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist (ESV).
In answering the Apostles’ question about the coming of Elijah to restore all things before the coming of Christ, Jesus made it known that although Elijah had come in the form of John the Baptist, another Elijah was still being expected in the future: “..Elijah does come and he will restore all things”. By admitting an Elijah will come who will restore all things when John the Baptist had already come and had finished his ministry, Jesus made us realise that the Elijah ministry in relation to Christ’s coming was two-fold: Elijah coming to forerun the first advent and another Elijah coming to forerun the second advent. So, the first Elijah ministry (John the Baptist) and the first advent have come and gone. Now, we’re waiting for the second advent and the second Elijah ministry to herald it.
Now that we know the two advents are to be heralded by an Elijah ministry, let’s go back to the Scriptures to find out the group of people who were promised both advents, as well as the ministries to forerun them. We should pay attention to the fact that the Old Testament, especially the Law and the Prophets, were written particularly for Israel as a nation, the covenant people of God. All the promises made in those Scriptures were primarily to the Jews as a nation. The Old Testament was simply Jehovah’s Covenant with Israel, Jehovah’s chosen people and nation. It was to them that the promise of Messiah was made. It was for them primarily that both advents were intended, although the rest of humanity was to benefit through them. We’re told that Jesus came to his own- the Jews. It was only when they rejected him and his gospel that the Apostles turned to the Gentiles. Though even in the Old Testament Scriptures it was hinted that God would bring in the Gentiles into saving knowledge through the Messiah, Israel was the main focus. The Gentiles are unnatural branches grafted into God’s tree of righteousness, while Israel is the natural branch of that tree. It was to/ with their fathers that the promises and the Covenant were made. Even Jesus mentioned the fact that salvation is of the Jews. He made it clear to the Canaanite woman (a Gentile) that he was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And his ministry was specifically to the Jews, as a minister of the circumcisions (the Jews), for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to their fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). So, the promise of the first advent and the first forerunner was for the Jews, not the Gentiles. Israel was the one promised a Messiah and a forerunner, not the Gentiles!
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this (ESV).
Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Isaiah 40:2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
Isaiah 40:3 A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken (ESV).
Malachi 1:1 The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
Malachi 4:4 Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
Malachi 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction (ESV).
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
John 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (ESV).
Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans,
Matthew 10:6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Matthew 10:7 And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay (ESV).
Matthew 15:21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
Matthew 15:22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.
Matthew 15:23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us.
Matthew 15:24 He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (ESV).
Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers: (AKJV).
Romans 9:1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—
Romans 9:2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Romans 9:4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.
Romans 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen (ESV).
Romans 11:16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Romans 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,
Romans 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.
Romans 11:19 Then you will say, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.
Romans 11:20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.
Romans 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Romans 11:22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
Romans 11:23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
Romans 11:24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
Romans 11:25 Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Romans 11:26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob;
Romans 11:27 and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.
Romans 11:28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (ESV).
The Acts 13:32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers,
The Acts 13:33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, You are my Son, today I have begotten you (ESV).
Having shown exhaustively from the Scriptures that the promises made in the Old Testament Scriptures were specifically to Israel as a nation, let’s go a step further by saying that the Church, though conceived in the mind of God before the foundation of the world, was never mentioned in the Old Testament and no promises were therefore made to it in the Old Testament. The Church came into being only after the death of Christ. The Church is a New Testament creation and has no legal status in the Old Testament. All the promises of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah, his advents and his forerunners were therefore made to Israel as a nation, and not to the Church! The promises to the Church are found in the New Testament, the Covenant it operates under, and not in the Covenant it was not a party to! Christ made the promise of the Second Advent to the Jews he ministered to, not to Gentiles! By the time the Second Advent takes place, the Rapture of the Gentile Church would have taken place! Infact, Christ will be coming back in the Second Advent with the raptured Church, to be Israel’s King, having come in the First Advent as their suffering Messiah. He will be coming back to sit upon the throne of his father David, and rule from Jerusalem as the King of the Jews. But because Israel would have been restored as head over all nations, Christ will also reign over all nations, with his headquarters at Jerusalem. He will be Israel’s King ruling over the whole world!
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (ESV).
The Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
The Acts 3:14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
The Acts 3:15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
The Acts 3:16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
The Acts 3:17 And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
The Acts 3:18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.
The Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,
The Acts 3:20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
The Acts 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
The Acts 3:22 Moses said, The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
The Acts 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.
The Acts 3:24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
The Acts 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
The Acts 3:26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness (ESV).
The Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
The Acts 1:7 He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
The Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
The Acts 1:9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
The Acts 1:10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
The Acts 1:11 and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven (ESV).
Now, what’s the purpose of the Elijah ministry in relation to both advents of Christ? The Elijah ministry in relation to the advents is to prepare Israel to receive her Messiah and King. It is to prepare the way of the Lord. In the East, it was customary for a king to have a forerunner go ahead of him to the place he was expected to visit, to herald his coming and to prepare the people to receive him. John the Baptist did that concerning the first advent, sensitising the people to the presence of the Messiah on earth, as well as preparing them spiritually to receive him, through his baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Those who accepted John’s baptism and mended their ways, went ahead to receive the Messiah. Those who rejected John’s baptism rejected the Messiah. To accept a forerunner and his message is to accept he that sent him; to reject a forerunner and his message is to reject he that sent him.
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.
Malachi 3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years (ESV).
Matthew 11:7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Matthew 11:8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
Matthew 11:9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
Matthew 11:10 This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.
Matthew 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.
Matthew 11:13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John,
Matthew 11:14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear (ESV).
Matthew 21:23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?
Matthew 21:24 Jesus answered them, I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Matthew 21:25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man? And they discussed it among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven, he will say to us, Why then did you not believe him?
Matthew 21:26 But if we say, From man, we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.
Matthew 21:27 So they answered Jesus, We do not know. And he said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Matthew 21:28 What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, Son, go and work in the vineyard today.
Matthew 21:29 And he answered, I will not, but afterward he changed his mind and went.
Matthew 21:30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, I go, sir, but did not go.
Matthew 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.
Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him (ESV).
John 13:20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me (ESV).
What will be the work of the second Elijah ministry with respect to the second advent? Well, it will be like that of the first forerunner- to announce to Israel that her King is coming! Israel rejected her Messiah and crucified him. They are still waiting for the Messiah to come. The second Elijah’s ministry will be to point Israel to Jesus Christ as her rejected Messiah whom she crucified, and call for national repentance and mourning, for killing their long-awaited Messiah! Just as John the Baptist pointed Jesus out and shouted, ” behold the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world”, the second Elijah will scream out to the Jews, “behold your Messiah whom you crucifed coming now as your King”! That message, vindicated by a ministry accompanied by signs and wonders, will throw the entire nation into mourning, repentance and conversion. Then ungodliness will be removed from Jacob, and a nation will be born again in one day! That ministry will be after the Church has gone in the rapture, when God will begin to deal with Israel directly again as a nation, after the parenthetical times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled.
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
Zechariah 12:11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
Zechariah 12:12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;
Zechariah 12:13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves;
Zechariah 12:14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves (ESV).
Zechariah 13:1 On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness (ESV).
Let’s summarise all we’ve been saying thus far: the promise of the ministry of Elijah with regards to Christ’s advents are two-fold, with one Elijah ministry to herald each advent. We also found that the promise of both advents and both forerunner ministries was made specifically to the Jews, and not to the Gentile Church. The spirit of Elijah has nothing to do with the Gentiles, as it’s a spirit of reformation and national restoration of Israel back to her God. Elijah was a prophet to Israel and not to the Gentiles! He doesn’t know the Gentiles and the Gentiles don’t know him either! However, Israel recognises and reveres him as a national icon, like Moses, and they are expecting the ministry of Elijah as a nation, to introduce the Messiah to them. No such promise is given to the Church and no such ministry should be expected by the Church!
John 1:19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?
John 1:20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ.
John 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered, No.
John 1:22 So they said to him, Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?
John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said.
John 1:24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)
John 1:25 They asked him, Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?
John 1:26 John answered them, I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know,
John 1:27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie (ESV).
By the way, what’s an Elijah ministry supposed to do in the Church? The Church already knows and accepts Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. The Church has the entire Apostolic message of salvation written down in the Gospels and Epistles of the Apostles. The fullness of the Gospel is completely revealed in the written Word. There are no mysteries of God again to be finished that the Apostles didn’t finish, with regards to salvation. All the Church is required to do is conform to the original Apostolic faith as revealed in the Gospels, Acts and Apostolic Epistles. We do not need any other revelation apart from what the Apostles have plainly revealed to us in the written Word. Infact, to add to what they have written or taught is to attract curses upon ourselves. The Church doesn’t need any special preparation to go in the Rapture, other than to believe the Gospel and be saved and live for Christ. Once you’re born again and you maintain your faith in Christ to the very end, you’ll be saved and you’ll go in the rapture, because you’re part of the body of Christ. No part of his body will be left here on earth when he comes for his own. He will not lose anyone in him!
The Elijah ministry for the second advent will become operational after the rapture, when God’s mercy turns again to Israel and God begins to deal with her again as his chosen nation. Then Elijah will appear with another prophet, as described in the book of Revelation, to turn the heart of Israel back to God and reveal her Messiah to her. Israel will accept Christ then as a nation and will be restored back to her glory and enter the millennial reign as the headquarters of the Messiah’s Kingdom on earth. We see Elijah’s ministry vividly depicted in the characteristics of the the ministry of one of the two witnesses to bring the Gospel to the Jews after the Rapture–calling down fire from heaven upon those who try to harm him, and shutting down heaven for three and a half years so that there won’t be any rain on earth during his ministry. This is vintage Elijah, the prophet of fire and of closing and opening heaven!
Revelation 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.
Revelation 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
Revelation 11:5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.
Revelation 11:6 They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.
Revelation 11:7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,
Revelation 11:8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.
Revelation 11:9 For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb,
Revelation 11:10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 11:11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
Revelation 11:12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here! And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them (ESV).
In conclusion, from the Apostolic era to date, God has been raising his servants to contend for the original Apostolic faith. The Holy Spirit, working through the ministries of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, has been setting the Church back on track each time men deviate from the Apostolic truths. No singular man embodies the spirit of restoration in the Church of Christ. No singular person is an Elijah to look up to, to bring the entire Church back to the original Apostolic level. God may emphasise one truth with this servant and another with that servant, but no singular person is called to reveal all the mysteries of God to the Church, beyond what the Apostles revealed and emphasised, for they are the foundation of the Church. The only way to prepare people for the coming of the Lord is to preach the gospel and get people saved, justified and sanctified. No special Elijah ministry is promised to the Church at any time, and no such ministry is needed. There is no Elijah ministry for the Endtime Gentile Church! Therefore, any speculation about any Gentile manifesting the Elijah ministry to the Church, either in the past, present or future, is groundless and unscriptural.