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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

THE RETURN OF ELIJAH – (4)

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WHEN? and  WHY?

There are then two questions to be resolved.  Firstly, WHEN will he return, and secondly, WHAT WILL HE DO when he returns?

In regards to the timing of this event, we have only one statement in the entire Bible. This is found in Malachi 4:5 which reads;

“Behold, I will  send   you  the   prophet Elijah, BEFORE THE COMING  OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD.”

Obviously then we must know what this ‘great and dreadful day of the Lord’ is, and when it occurs, because whatever it is, and whenever it does occur, THE RETURN OF ELIJAH PRECEDES IT.

It is my personal  belief that ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord’ here referred to is what we otherwise refer to as the ‘millenium,’ or the 1 ,000 year reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, known as The Kingdom Age.’ When we turn to II Peter 3:8 and  10, we find that  disciple referring to the fact that;

“One day is with  the  Lord as a thousand years, and one thousand years as a day.”

He then goes on to say, the tenth verse, that;

“The  day of the  Lord will come  as a thief in the night.”

We are  reminded of the statement of our Lord in Revelations 16:15 where He says;

“Behold, I come  as  a thief. Blessed  is  he  that watcheth and  keepeth his  garments, lest  he  walk naked  and they see his shame.”

Thus our Lord associated Himself, and  His return, with the 1,000 year ‘Day of the Lord’ spoken  of by His disciple Peter. The only other reference to this 1 ,000 years that I can recall is that in Rev. 20:4-7;

”And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. And I saw the souls of  them that were  beheaded  for the  witness of Jesus, and  for the Word of God, and  which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received  his mark  upon their  foreheads, or in their hands. And  they  lived  and  reigned   with  Christ  A THOUSAND YEARS. But  the  rest  of the  dead  lived not again until THE THOUSAND YEARS were  finished. This is the  first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the  first resurrection.On such, the second death hath no power,but they shall be priests of God  and  of Christ, and  shall  reign  with  Him  A THOUSAND YEARS. And when THE THOUSAND YEARS are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.”

As previously stated,  I  believe  that this 1 ,000 year millennium,  or DAY, is the same  period of time as the Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord spoken of by Malachi. Obviously, this coming period, or age, will be preceded by, a certain amount  of judgment  and  tribulation and punishment, just as God’s Word clearly foretells. In fact, the Anglo-Israel nations are going through this period right now. It is the period designated in Jeremiah 30:7 as “even the time  of Jacob’s Trouble.” But it is equally obvious from God’s Word that there will also be a period of world-wide judgment  which will not end  before Christ’s return, or even WITH His return. The Kingdom Age is not just a period of peace and righteousness for everybody, as so many Christians seem to wishfully think. It is also  going  to  be  a  period of  judgment and punishment. This is clearly set out in God’s Word. For those who will rule and reign with our Lord Jesus Christ during this age, it will be “Great” in every sense  of the word, but for those who will be the recipients of Christ’s judgment,  and over whom  He will rule with a rod of iron, it will be ‘dreadful.’ Remember,  that it is during this time, after our Lord resumes His rightful place on the Throne of David as promised  in Luke 1 :32, that He separates the SHEEP NATIONS from the GOAT NATIONS. This separation and judgment applies to NATIONS, not just to individuals. We read in Matt.25:31-34, and 41;

“When the Son  of Man shall  come  in His glory, and  all the holy  angels  with  Him, then  shall  He sit on the Throne of His Glory.And before Him shall be gathered ALL NATIONS.And He shall separate them one  from the other, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from his goats.And He shall set the SHEEP (nations) on His RIGHT hand, but the GOATS (nations) on the LEFT. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of  My Father,  inherit the Kingdom prepared   for you  from the  foundation of the world.” “Then shall He say unto them on the left hand, Depart  from Me,ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared  for the devil and his angels.”

It is also during this time, which we refer to as ‘The Kingdom Age’, that He separates the ‘tares’  from the wheat’, or as explained in Matt. 13:36-43, the ‘children of the wicked  one’ – the ‘seed  of the serpent’ from the ‘children of the Kingdom’- the ‘seed of the woman.’

“Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house. And His disciples came unto Him; saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the  field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man. The  field is the world. The good seed are the children of the Kingdom. But the tares are the children of the wicked  one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil.The harvest is the end of the age. The reapers  are the angels. As therefore the  tares  are gathered  and  burned  in the  fire, so shall it be in the end of this  age. The Son of Man shall send  forth His angels, and they shall  gather out  of  His  Kingdom all  things that offend, and them which  do iniquity, and  shall cast them into the  furnace of  fire.There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then  shall  the  righteous shine  as  the  sun  in  the Kingdom of their  Father. WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.”

Then shall be final!y fulfilled the first prophecy in the Bible, as recorded in Genesis 3:15;

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Now the reason why I included all the foregoing detail regarding  the  conditions and  events  relative  to the Kingdom Age is to highlight the fact that all these things are going to be achieved by Christ, NOT ELIJAH! Elijah’s ministry is to occur prior to this ‘Day of the Lord’, and we know from our understanding of the Scriptures that this Day is very close at hand. As Elijah is scheduled to return BEFORE that Day, then I can only suggest one of a couple of alternatives.

The first alternative is that he returns after the physical return of our Lord Jesus  Christ. That is, after His feet stand  on the Mount of Olives,  together with the associated events as recorded by the prophet Zechariah. However, I suggest that if this is the case, he will be too late, because our Lord, having already returned, would not then need Elijah to change the hearts of the people. He would  do that  Himself. Elijah’s ministry is quite separate and distinct from that of our Lord at His coming. So it is quite apparent that we cannot  consider  this alternative. Elijah has to come before this.

The second alternative is that Elijah would return prior to any of the events associated with the Second Return of our Lord. That is, prior to the First Resurrection and to the literal appearing  of Christ. But if  this happened, Elijah’s return would  pre-empt  Christ’s return.  Try to imagine  the situation  if  Elijah were  to return  before anything related to Christ’s return was to occur. It would cause such consternation that  the subsequent resurrection  and return of Christ would almost  seem like an anti-climax. The ‘thief in the night’ aspect  of surprise would certainly be lost to a very great extent.

When  then can he make his appearance, firstly without being too late to carry out his appointed ministry, and secondly, without pre-empting the return of our Lord Jesus  Christ? We must  keep  in mind, as  previously discussed, that Elijah is to be the Messenger  of the Second Advent of our Lord, just as John the Baptist was the Messenger of His First Advent.

The Bible does not give us any more accurate detail of the timing of Elijah’s return than that which we have already considered. But we have been given minds with which to reason. We have been given access to the Spirit of God for instruction into truth. I  can only suggest that if  the  foregoing  is correct ,  then  the  only  possible alternative as to the time of Elijah’s return is at the same time as the  First Resurrection takes  place. Can we imagine  for an  instant  the shock  waves  that will go through  our nation,  and  for that matter  through  the whole world, when  this event takes place? When the ‘dead in Christ’ shall rise, and when some of those still alive suddenly ascend with them in a blaze of g1 ory and splendour. There will be nothing secret  about  this glorious event. There is no such teaching in the Bible as a “secret rapture.” That teaching is only another of the many  prevalent ‘traditions of men ‘ which  Satan introduced  to disguise the Truth and which have kept so many Christians in confusion and ignorance  of the real truth of God’s plans and purposes.

I believe that this is the time that Elijah will return. He will come to a stunned nation, and tragically, to a stunned church. But I do not consider for a moment  that he will sneak back in some secretive manner. We already have a good intimation of what will happen, based on his first ministry. We read  how  he came  suddenly  upon  the scene, and immediately  demanded an audience with the king, or government. In fact, he did  more than this. He commanded that the king was to come to him! He was there to COMMAND the king and the government, and I  believe that in like manner, when he returns, he will do exactly the same thing. He will stand in the midst, and order the government  of the Anglo-Israel people into his presence, and you’d better believe me, they will know that he is here. And just as it happened when he first appeared to Israel, they will fear him. This will not be some young upstart from some obscure political party or sect. Here will be a man who has escaped  death and entered into immortality. Here will be a glorified person returning directly from the presence of God. Here will be,  standing before them, THE MESSENGER OF ALMIGHTY GOD  HIMSELF.

And you had better believe me friends, THEY WILL LISTEN.

In the tumult that will follow the First Resurrection, it will be Elijah who just as he did to King Ahab in Israel’s earlier history, will stand before the present governments of the Anglo-Israel nations, and will say, just as he said to King Ahab, “IT IS YOU THAT HAS TROUBLED ISRAEL:’

It will, I believe, be this same great prophet of Israel who will open  the eyes of God’s  people  both to their identity and to their responsibilities.

In Revelations 19:7 we read  a most important statement relative to this awakening. We are told;

“Let  us be glad and  rejoice,  and  give honour to Him. For the  marriage of the  Lamb  is come, AND HIS WIFE HATH MADE HERSELF READY.” (Emphasis added)

That the ‘wife’ here referred to is Israel cannot surely be in question, despite modern theology to the contrary. The ‘church’ is the BODY of Christ. The Bible says so. Read Ephesians 1:22-23, and Colossians 1:18. Christ is quite clearly identified in the Bible as ‘The bridegroom.’ Read Matthew 25:6-10; Mark 2: 19-20; and  John 3:29. Now if the ‘church’ is’ the ‘body’, and the ‘body’ is Christ, and Christ is the ‘bridegroom’, then  it automatically follows  that  THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDEGROOM. Now we all realise the truth of the Bible teaching that in marriage a man and his wife become one. But this does not turn the man into the woman, or the woman  into the man. They both retain their individual and respective bodies and lives. Certainly they are one,  just as Christ said that He and the Father are one. But that fact didn’t turn the Father into the Son nor did it turn the Son into the Father. In the same  way, the church,  because of its ‘oneness’ with the  Bridegroom,  doesn’t become the Bride. If the ‘church’ has been  resurrected to the Marriage Supper, then how can she be the Bride making herself ready? I believe that it is the express duty of Elijah to prepare the Bride for the Bridegroom at His Second Advent, just as it was John the Baptist’s duty to prepare the way of the Lord at His first advent.

And this is exactly what the ministry of Elijah is stated to be.

“He  shall  turn  the  heart of the   fathers  to  the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.”

It is to be noted that it is not Elijah’s ministry to make the nation perfect. That is the stated ministry of our Lord when He resumes His Kingship over His people Israel, His Kingdom here on this earth, over whom He will be reigning. Elijah’s job is to make the nation ready. He is to take charge of all those, particularly in Israel, who did not take part in the First Resurrection, turn them around, and prepare  them to face their coming King, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He returns from the MARRIAGE SUPPER together with those who have been previously resurrected and translated, and with whom He will reign over His Kingdom, the House of Jacob,  the Kingdom that shall have no end. (Luke 1 :33).

The Bible is quite explicit. If he doesn’t do this, then God will have no option but to strike the earth with a curse. The Bible is equally explicit in the fact that this is NOT the way things are going to end up.

In conclusion,  I  acknowledge that there are bound to be those who  will not agree  with some  at least of what has been written above. I can only trust and pray that any differences  will be held in Christian love, and not be the cause of any animosity. I  can only write, in sincerity and humility, what I feel the Lord has revealed to me.

I make this final exhortation. The hope of our calling is the Return of our Lord Jesus Christ, NOT the return of Elijah. As we have seen,  Elijah’s return is just a part of that Glorious Event for which we, as Christians, should be constantly praying and yearning. So let us pray that we may be accounted worthy to escape these  things coming upon the earth, and to stand before Him on that Great Day. May we be counted worthy, through our faith in Him, to rec-eive the  invitation  to THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB, and to return with Him to rule and reign over His Kingdom, the Kingdom which will know no end.

“Blessed and  holy  is he that hath part in the  First Resurrection. On such  the second  death hath no power. But they  shall be priests  of God, and of Christ. AND THEY SHALL REIGN WITH  HIM A THOUSAND YEARS!!”

HEAR, O ISRAEL! The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt  love the Lord thy God with  all thine heart, and with  all thy soul, and  with  all thy might. And these  words, which I command thee  this  day, shall be in thy heart. And  thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to  fear the Lord our God,  for our good always, that He might preserve  us, as it is at this  day. And it shall  be our  righteousness, if we observe to do  all  these commandments before the  Lord  our God, as He hath commanded us. (Deut.6:4-7, 24-25).

End

 

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