The Elijah Prophecy
The Elijah prophecy is a well known Bible prophecy concerning the coming of an 'Elijah' before the second coming of Christ Jesus. But there is a great misunderstanding within the mainstream churches today as to who exactly this 'Elijah' is going to be. Many believe that it will be literal Elijah who will come back to earth from heaven.
Malachi 4:5-6 ...'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.'
Now if you take this verse on it's own without using the Bible to interpret itself, then sure, it would 'seem' like God would be sending Elijah before the second coming. But notice something very carefully that Jesus said about 'Elijah':
Matthew 11:13-14 ...'For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.'
Matthew 17:11-13 ...'Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 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. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.'
Do you see what is being said here? Jesus is saying that John the Baptist was 'Elijah' who was prophesied to come. How can that be? Very simple! It's down to the way we interpret the Bible in these last days. The majority of people take everything literally and they miss the all important spiritual fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
The disciples clear understanding of Jesus' words means that the prophecy concerning the coming of Elijah was not to be taken literally. Rather it would be fulfilled 'spiritually' ... But what does that mean?
The prophecy in Malachi isn't telling us that literal Elijah would return to earth. It is telling us (confirmed by Jesus) that someone would come in the 'spirit of Elijah'. In other words, they would come with the same mind and character of Elijah to warn the people of their sins. To turn the people to God and PREPARE them for the soon coming of the Lord Jesus. So the prophecy would be fulfilled in a spiritual way, rather than in a literal sense.
Luke 1:17 ...'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.'
Please Remember! The prophecy of the coming 'Elijah' cannot be literal Elijah, because Jesus taught us clearly that John the Baptist was 'Elijah'. John the Baptist came in the 'spirit of Elijah' to turn the people to God and prepare them for the FIRST coming of Jesus Christ. And so likewise another 'Elijah' (person or people) was to come after to prepare the people for the SECOND coming of Christ.
Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, just as John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ's first advent. The work of John the Baptist, and the work of those who in the last days go forth in the spirit and power of Elijah to arouse the people from their apathy and turn the people to worship the TRUE GOD OF HEAVEN, are in many respects the same. His [Elijah's] work is a type of the work that must be done in this age, as Christ is to come the second time to judge the world in righteousness. (Taken from 'The Elijah Prophecy', Maranatha, by E.White)
Revelation 14:6-7 ...'And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.'
John separated himself from friends and from the luxuries of life. The simplicity of his dress, a garment woven of camel's hair, was a standing rebuke to the extravagance and display of the Jewish priests, and of the people generally. His diet, purely vegetable, of the locust plant and wild honey, was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that prevailed everywhere.
The great subject of Godly reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things.
Please see our HEALTH REFORM MESSAGE page on our End Times Prophecy website.
The self-denial, humility, and temperance required of the righteous, whom God especially leads and blesses, is to be presented to the people in contrast to the extravagant, health-destroying habits of those who live in this degenerate age. God has shown that health reform is closely connected with the third angel's message.
As John the Baptist called the people's attention to the Ten Commandments, so we are to give, with no uncertain sound, the message: 'Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.' With the earnestness that characterized Elijah the prophet and John the Baptist, we are to strive to prepare the way for Christ's second advent. (Taken from 'The Elijah Prophecy', Maranatha, by E.White)
Who is giving the Elijah Message now?
In the mid 1800's, God raised up a humble woman who was instrumental in starting a Christian advent movement, focusing on taking the 'everlasting gospel' (Rev. 14) to the whole world and warning the world of the soon return of Christ Jesus, and God's coming judgment upon those who refuse to keep His Word. God revealed many things to this woman, and she in turn revealed these amazing things to the world. Things which took 'science' 100 years to catch up with, even though she had no formal education!
That woman is Ellen G White and you can read some amazing information about her HERE
Now Ellen White passed away in 1915. So is there anyone today giving the Elijah message? Yes, through Ellen White and others, God raised up a church in the 'spirit of Elijah'. A church that preaches present truth to the world. A church that keeps the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:12). A church that is based upon the Word of God, rather than the traditions of man. A church that has been given great truths regarding end time Bible prophecy. The Seventh-day Adventist Church. And the 'Elijah message' is being given today by the faithful FEW within the Seventh-day Adventist church.
Important Note: God's true church is comprised of all INDIVIDUALS who are faithfully following the Lord Jesus and reaching out to the world with God's truth.
Now there are some churches and leaders within the Adventist denomination which have fallen into apostasy. Nonetheless, the Seventh-day Adventist church is a prophetic church which was started by God at the end of the Protestant reformation to take the FULL Bible truth to the world - to 'restore all things'. And those faithful few within the church who are diligently proclaiming the Bible truth and preparing the way for the second coming of Christ, are represented as the end time 'Elijah'.