THE SPIRIT OF ELIJAH
There is much excitement found in declaring that something amazing is about to come. Also in telling people that they are lacking something which if they hungrily pursue they might find.
I have had an increasing frustration with such nonsense.
Yet it is not as popular or profitable to tell people that they already have what they need or that certain Scriptures have been fulfilled. If people have already been given what they need by the finished work of the Cross and if certain passages have been fulfilled, then the weight of responsibility is upon the shoulder of the hearer. They must rise up and do something with what they have already been given.
It is with this thought in mind that my next blogs will address a few silly teachings.
In this blog, I will address the idea of a future coming of the “Spirit of Elijah.” I have been hearing a lot about a coming movement of the Holy Spirit sometimes called the “Spirit of Elijah.” (For examples, simply type "the Spirit of Elijah" into Youtube.com)
This comes from a few passages, which have been plucked out of context and thrown a few thousand years resulting in a future prophecy for us. When preachers cherry-pick passages and don’t follow sound rules of Biblical interpretation, they can make exciting sermons but not healthy disciples. Healthy teaching produces healthy disciples.
This whole topic revolves mainly around a passage in Malachi, which says: “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” - Malachi 4:5-6
The great and dreadful day, which this passage speaks of, is in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. At that time the Temple was utterly destroyed, the priesthood was annihilated, and 1.1 million apostate Jews were slaughtered.
John the Baptist was the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy. Even before he was born, an angel prophesied to Zechariah that his son, John the Baptist, would fulfill the prophecy from Malachi:
“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:17
When the disciples asked Jesus about the prophecy from Malachi regarding the Spirit of Elijah; Jesus said it had been fulfilled through John the Baptist:
Jesus said it even more clearly in Matthew 11.
“For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” -Matthew 11:13-15
It is amazing to see how Jesus clarified this fulfilled prophecy. First He says, “if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” Clearly Jesus knew that His first century listeners were going to have a hard time with His declaration that Malachi 4 was fulfilled. Even today there are many preachers that are not “willing to accept it.” Then He says that those that have “ears, let them hear.” Again there are many even today that do not have “ears to hear.”
Malachi 4 has been fulfilled and completed; there is no further fulfillment. The spirit of Elijah is not something we are looking for or waiting for. We have the privilege of living inside Christ, which is greater than Elijah. Or as Jesus put it, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” –Matthew 11:11
Now that is truly exciting!
Also that puts responsibility upon the hearer!!
It is time to show up the Old Testament Saints!!!