Who is Elijah?  Part 2


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First, let me explain why I believe Elijah is still coming in the future and Malachi was not fulfilled only by John the Baptist since I know this is a common theory.

First, Malachi says that Elijah will be coming “before the great and terrible day of the Lord” which seems to be the end of time since we see in Acts 2:20, Peter uses the same description when pointing to the Second Coming of Christ. “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.  It is also used in Joel 2:31, Zephaniah 1:14-17, Isaiah 13:1-13 to describe the days of judgment.

Elijah had also been foretold to “restore all things” from Matthew 7:10-12 which we know John the Baptist did not do.  He pointed to Christ and was the greatest of men, but the restoration of “all things” we know won’t happen until Christ’s comes as we see in Acts 3:21.  This causes me to believe that Jesus was telling his Disciples that Elijah will come (before the Second Coming), and has come already (before the First coming) in the same spirit that was present in John the Baptist.

This could be looked at in greater detail and it’s one of those things everyone has an opinion about, but I’m just giving my opinion since, well, this is my blog.

 In Hebrew Scriptures, we first see the Prophet Elijah in the book of Kings.

On Mount Carmel, Elijah challenges 450 prophets worshipping Baal (a false god) to call on their god to bring down fire from heaven upon offering him a sacrifice in order to prove their deity was genuinely in control of Israel.  When there is no response to the sacrifice on the alter, Elijah prays to God, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” then he placed his sacrifice on the alter, and poof, the bull disappears by a consuming fire and he proves to the people worshipping the false god of Baal that Elijah’s God is the one truly worthy of worship, therefore “returning their hearts back to their fathers” which he is said to do again at the end of time as prophesized in Malachi 4:6

But his ministry, (I think) goes even a bit deeper than that.  Let’s look a bit closer.

Why are God’s chosen people worshipping this Baal character anyway?  And if we expect to see Elijah again at the end of times paving the way for God, should we expect that God’s chosen people will again be worshipping a false god like Baal?

Well, in the OT Ahab’s wife Jezebel, a Phoenician princess, is portrayed in the Hebrew text as an evil power behind King Ahab’s throne who helps to convert her husband from worship of the Jewish God to worshipping the Phoenician god, Baal. 

Jezebel’s influence is possible because of the political power she holds, integrating religion into politics while her husband Ahab was in power.  It was she who supported the priests of Ba’al and Asherah from the royal treasury (1 Kings 18:19); it is she who arranged the murder of the Lord’s prophets (18:4, 13) and of Naboth (21:1-15) After the challenge on Mount Carmel, Jezebel is furious with Elijah because many Baal prophets are killed when they are exposed for worshipping a false god.  She and Ahab even go as far as to telling Elijah that he was the person responsible for “troubling Israel”.

What I find so interesting about this is that Elijah is prophesized to be a major contributor, urging people to obey the Law of God and repent at the time of the end, and at this very same time, Jezebel (who disappeared after her death in Kings) comes back on the scene.  Is there something about the story of Kings that can help us understand the Book of Revelation?

Well, ha, I have no idea, but it’s something I have to at least play with. 

Since we expect an Elijah “type” before the Second Coming based on Malachi, I think (Jess theology 101) that we can expect a Jezebel “type” as well and she shows up in Revelation.  I think we can recognize the NT Jezebel by understanding the character in the OT.  She was a great political power.  She worshipped false gods and demanded that others do so as well.  She killed God’s Prophets.  She was furious with Elijah (people with the Holy Spirit) she accuses Elijah as being the one troubling God’s people when that responsibility actually lies with her!

Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel

Her role as an evil prophetess is the same in Revelations as it is in Kings.  Starting in Rev 2 when the Lord is speaking to the church’s and asking them to repent he says to the church of Thyatira-

“I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols ….Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—“

Who is Elijah then?  He is the Spirit and the power of God himself saying, RETURN TO ME, be obedient to ME.  Worship ME. So we shouldn’t really be searching high and low for Elijah.  Because we will know who the Elijah type is when this person or group is spreading the message of Elijah, John the Baptist, and Moses.  Obey the Commandments of the Father (Moses) Choose who you will serve, the One True God by upholding the moral law (Elijah) and Repent of your sin and be cleansed with Jesus. (John the Baptist).   "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:12

As Christians, we know from Revelation 2 that Thyatira is a church with good deeds, love, faith, charity and perseverance, but is that enough?  This seemingly awesome church has this against them:  They tolerate that Jezebel. 

Since we know that in the end times the Jezebel will be immersed within the church, even the ones that have good deeds love, and charity, a more crucial question than “who is Elijah?” might  just be, “Who is Jezebel?  And is her lousy butt anywhere near my church?"

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  • Tony York

    Tony York July 23, 2010

    I have enjoyed visiting your blog and I am currently putting together a ‘guest blogger’ series that I would love to have your perspective for.

    If you are interested, let me know and I will send you the questions that I am asking each guest blogger.

  • Jessica

    Jessica July 23, 2010

    Hey Tony,

    I’d love to.  Send me a message through the “suggest a church” button with your email and I’ll shoot you one back so you can contact me off the comments section.  Thanks!

  • Tony York

    Tony York July 23, 2010

    Thanks, Jess!

    Since you stopped by and left a comment at my blog, I was able to send you the information. Do you still need me to do the ‘suggest a church’ button?

  • Jessica

    Jessica July 23, 2010

    Nah, you’re good.  Thanks!

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