Elijah Is Coming Soon (Revised)

Image result for pictures of Elijah the prophet“SET A PLACE AT THE END OF THE TABLE FOR ELIJAH; LISTEN WELL TO HIM, FOR HE’S COMING SOON” ~ Feb. 26, 2003

This prophetic word was dropped into my spirit by the Lord, as I was waking up on my birthday, when He often gives me a prophetic word, scripture, or personal exhortation.

“Set a place at the table” –

The Jews always set a chair, a knife and fork for this prophet at their marriage-feast, whom they suppose to be invisibly present. For the Church to ”set a place at the table,” means to be in a state of expectation and readiness, watching for his return.

To ‘set a place for Elijah’ also means to ‘welcome’ him and treat him as an honored guest. When we sit at table we’re usually ready to eat. So should we be eager to partake of spiritual food from God’s Word and through his spokesmen, always ready to listen. The Jewish people venerate Elijah at their meals, marriage feasts, the end of Shabbat, circumcisions, and Passover seders. According to Jewish folklore, “Tishbi yetaretz kushiot v-abayot-the Tishbite [i.e., Elijah] will answer all unresolved questions.” In other words, after Elijah returns to the Jewish people to proclaim the advent of the messianic age, he will resolve questions of Jewish law that confounded the rabbis for centuries. [1]

Elijah’s Mission —

1) To announce the immanent return of Jesus Christ, or Messiah to the Jews (though many still don’t recognize Him as their messiah).

Jewish Talmudic belief is that Elijah will announce the advent of the Messiah at the conclusion of Shabbat which is supposed to be a foretaste of the messianic age. [2] The deeper, spiritual truth of the Lord’s Sabbath has been lost over time but is starting to be restored to the Body of Christ by those operating in the “spirit of Elijah.” Such will convince many Jews of the truth that Jesus, whom their forefathers rejected, is their true Messiah as they see Christians return to the “ancient paths” – Jer 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 

2) To prepare a people to receive their God.

Like Elijah, John the Baptist preached ‘repentance,’ the first step in preparing people to receive God. Isaiah prophesied that John the Baptist would “prepare the way of the Lord” – 

Mat 3:1  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, Mat 3:3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 

People’s hearts have to be “prepared” – made ready, the hardness of them softened, which is done primarily through preaching. As we know, the Jewish leaders didn’t listen to John the Baptist and didn’t receive Jesus as their prophesied Messiah, but rejected and murdered them both! Obviously, their hearts remained hardened and unchanged. However, many of the Jewish people did believe the words of Christ, and did “receive” Him. Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…

3) To preach a message of REPENTANCE. 

Mat 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Elijah will preach to all men to “turn back” (Heb. ‘shoob’) to their Maker, Yahweh. To turn back means the same as to “return to” and “come back” to Him. Who needs to return, come back, or turn back to God? ALL who have backslidden or drifted away from Him, those in the Body of Christ who have become “lukewarm” and “carnal” who have neglected their spiritual walk, leading “worldly” lives nearly devoid of spiritual works and faith. Such give little acknowledgment or thought to God, whose lives are filled with worldly cares and pursuits. These need to “turn back” to God, like the ancient Israelites did, after backsliding and returning to Yahweh after He chastised them. God exhorts people to ‘turn back’ to Him that they might escape utter destruction. In turning back to God, one repents of his sinning and starts living a life pleasing to God, in accordance with His Word, the Bible. 

4) To bring a message of RECONCILIATION.

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 
Mal 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. 

To “turn the heart of the fathers to the children” and “the heart of the children to their fathers” – is that not a picture of reconciliation? This speaks primarily of men reconciling to God their Maker, but also may apply to brothers reconciling to each other, such as Christian and Jewish believers in Jesus Christ. This reconciling will be the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to “make of twain one new man.” Dogma will no longer cause separation and division among them, as both will come to realize they’re “one in Christ.” Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children. By a very expressive figure of speech, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the rest of the patriarchs, are represented here as having their hearts alienated from the Jews, their children, because of their unbelief and disobedience; but that the Baptist should so far succeed in converting them to the Lord their God, that these holy men should again look upon them with delight, and acknowledge them for their children. Some think that by the children, the Gentiles are meant, and by the fathers, the Jews. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary] 

This “turning back” also includes Christians returning to the roots of their faith, to their spiritual “fathers” who are the Israelite patriarchs from Abraham to Yeshua. In recent times many Christians have begun returning to observing the Feasts of Yahweh such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets, Feast of Tabernacles, Shabbat (Sabbath) and more which the bible states are for ALL followers of Yahweh. These feasts aren’t just for the Jews, the Bible clearly states that the Sabbath was the LORD’S sabbath which was to be “perpetually” observed [3] by ALL who follow Him, in every age. Contrary to popular teaching and opinion, the seventh day sabbath isn’t and never was Sunday, according to God and to His Word the Bible. Not one verse in the Bible affirms Sunday as the Sabbath day, for Sabbath had always been kept on the seventh day from the New Moon which set the seven day cycle for the entire month. The cycle restarts after each New Moon siting. A council of men in 321 A.D. [4] changed the biblical sabbath (and other things) in order to conceal God’s truth and promote worship of the false Sun god. The Elijah company of prophets are now restoring God’s feasts which have been lost, ignored, neglected, and rejected by most of the Church ever since Emperor Constantine “changed the times and the laws” of God by instituting a pagan (non-biblical) time keeping calendar. Our current Gregorian solar calendar isn’t in sync with God’s Creation calendar which was Lunar-solar, the only calendar that accurately keeps time the way Yahweh intended, by both the sun and the moon [5] whereby one can easily find God’s feasts. These proven historical facts can be found in the text of the Bible and are also available on the web. 

5) To bring a message of HOPE and RESTORATION.

Mat 17:1  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 
Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 
Mat 17:3  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 
Mat 17:4  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 
Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 
Mat 17:6  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 
Mat 17:7  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 
Mat 17:8  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 
Mat 17:9  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 
Mat 17:10  And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 
Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 
Mat 17:12  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. 
Mat 17:13  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. (*Elias was the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name “Elijah.”)

Jesus told his three disciples who were with Him, that Elijah had already come in SPIRIT in the person of John the Baptist, Luk 1:17  And he (John the Baptist) 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. 

What if the coming of Elijah isn’t a literal re-appearing of the Old Testament prophet, but a vast group of people sent to deliver a message throughout the world in a display of power and anointing like the prophet of old? 

God must have had a reason for allowing several of Jesus’s disciples to see this vision. Perhaps it was so they wouldn’t give in to despair after Jesus’s death and to show them that those who put their trust in Him will be likewise glorified, a “blessed hope” for all who believe – Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…. Php 3:21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. 

Image result for pictures of a lamb lying down with a lionWhat message brings more hope for the believer than the soon return of Jesus the Messiah, and His thousand year reign on earth called the Millennium? The Millennium will be a time of great peace, rejoicing, and rest for the entire world – when all things will be ‘restored’ to their original order and perfection. Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. “restore” 1) restore to its former state, 2) to be in its former state. [Thayer’s Greek Definitions] Also read Isaiah 65:17-25. Obviously, Elijah of old didn’t restore all of Creation back to its original state. The ‘all things’ which the end time Elijah company is to restore, are the teachings and doctrines of Yahweh which have been discarded, distorted, altered, or ignored over the centuries! 

There’s a strong exhortation in this prophecy to ”listen well to” Elijah. By this we know that what he says has great import for all of Abraham’s seed, both Jew and Gentile. It’s a call to hear and to receive the message of Repentance, Restoration and Reconciliation spoken through the Elijah company in the world today. 

Debra R. Stout © March 14, 2017

FOOTNOTES:
[1] http://www.reformjudaism.org/passover-mystery-fifth-cup  (Section: Passover Seder)

[2] http://www.reformjudaism.org/passover-mystery-fifth-cup (Section: Havdalah)

[3] Exo 31:16  Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. Exo 31:17  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. 

[4] Constantine created the earliest Sunday law known to history in AD 321. Chamber’s Encyclopedia says this: Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that Day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D.iii

[5] Gen 1:14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 

*All underlining, bold, and italics, are mine. 

THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD

God began to speak to my heart the evening of March 10, 2017, as I sat still and quiet in my recliner. He began to tell me why the ‘fiery trial’ had come to me (earlier in the day I had asked Him WHY so many things were going wrong in my life).

He began by telling me that this trial was sent to refine or purify my soul; as silver or gold is smelted, the junk rises to the surface where the Refiner can then skim it off, leaving pure metal in the pot. He told me that I have two choices, to embrace it and advance, or fight it and stay the same. If I embrace it, the process will be easier to go through, but if I fight it, the process will be harder, and need to be repeated in the future. He said He won’t allow junk (impurities) into His Kingdom. Then He mentioned my impurities and said that they must go! 

He then directed me to Hebrews 12:5, and after meditating on it, He showed me that my walk was uneven; one day walking in the Spirit, another day, in the flesh! He wants our walk to be even and level, living in the Spirit day by day. 

Fiery trials are sent to cleanse the heart and soul of impurities, like wrong thoughts, words, and actions. As metal is purified by fire, so is the heart and soul of a man. When gold or silver was refined in ancient times, it was heated to a very high temperature which caused the impurities (called dross) to rise to the surface. It then could be skimmed off the top of the liquid metal, leaving an unmarred surface that reflected the image of the refiner, a picture of Jesus as the Refiner’s Fire. This trial came to me so that my impurities (which lay hidden most of the time) would surface, so that I would see them, repent, and ask God to remove them. Sometimes these types of trials commence a ‘crisis of faith’ – something else the Lord pointed out to me twice on the same day several days before this trial arrived at my door. Not by accident, I found the phrase, ‘crisis of faith’ in a book title I wasn’t even searching for, and in a book [1] I had in my personal library at home about Moses when God commanded him to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Moses’ encounter with Yahweh brought him to a ‘crisis of faith’ in which he had to choose between believing God and moving forward, or letting his doubts rule and refusing God’s call. If Moses had done the latter, he would have forfeited God’s plan for his life, and God would have found someone else to free the Israelites. Moses would have lost out on his divine destiny. Fortunately, Moses chose to believe and obey God. In like manner, God told me that I could either stay where I was (stagnate), or embrace the purifying process and advance! He said that if I receive and embrace it, the process will be easier to endure, but if I fight against it, it will be harder. The purifying process, like the refiner’s smelting, will be repeated UNTIL all the impurities have surfaced and been removed! In other words, if I fight against the loving, fiery trials the Lord sends for my ultimate good, it will delay my reaching perfection and cause me more pain in the long run. It’s like when a child stubbornly refuses his parents discipline and suffers severer punishments, and or worse consequences further down the road as a result. It’s easier to just submit to God’s discipline when he sends it.

God disciplines those He loves –

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 
Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 
Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 
Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 
Heb 12:12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 
Heb 12:13  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 

And make straight paths for your feet,…. By “feet” are meant the walk and conversation of the saints, both in the church, and in the world, Son_7:1 and there are paths made ready for these feet to walk in; as the good old paths of truth, of the word and worship of God, of faith and holiness: and to make these paths “straight”, is to make the word of God the rule of walking; to avoid carefully joining anything with it as a rule; to attend constantly on the ordinances of Christ; to go on evenly in a way of believing on him; to walk in some measure worthy of the calling wherewith we are called, and by way of example to others.

Lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; a lame member, as the Syriac version, a lame member of the body of Christ, the church; or a lame person, as the Arabic version, a weak believer; one that is ready to halt, either through the corruption of nature, or through the weakness of grace, or through want of light and judgment, and through instability and inconstancy; lest such an one should, through the irregular walk and conversation of others, be stumbled and offended, and go out of the way, and leave the paths of righteousness and truth. God takes care of, and has a regard to such, and he would have others also, Mic_4:6. The Ethiopic version reads, “that your halting may be healed, and not offended”: that you yourselves may not halt and stumble.

But let it rather be healed; the fallen believer be restored, the weak brother be confirmed, the halting professor be strengthened, and everyone be built up and established upon the most holy faith, and in the pure ways of the Gospel. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” – Prov 3:6

The word ‘acknowledge’ is ‘yada’ – to ‘know, regard, recognize, perceive, experience, observe, be aware, comprehend, understand, learn, be instructed, and more. See Strong’s H2045

In all thy ways acknowledge him,…. Or “know him” (l); the Lord: set him before thee; have him always in view; consider him as ever present with thee, observing every step thou takest; and take not one step without his leave, and without his advice; ask wisdom of him who gives liberally; consult his word, and make the Scriptures thy counsellors, or the men of thy counsel, as in Psa_119:24; take him as your guide; observe the footsteps of his providence; follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes; walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; when things go cross and adverse, and not to your mind, submit to his sovereignty; and be still and know that he is God, that does all things right, for his own glory and his people’s good, Psa_46:10; and when things succeed, give him the glory of all; own his hand in it, and the bounty of it; acknowledge that all you have, in providence and grace, come from him;

and he shall direct thy paths; man cannot direct his own; no, not a man: this is a blessing from the Lord; who steps of his people, keeps the feet of his saints, and directs them aright in things temporal and spiritual, Jer_10:23. (l) דעהו “scito eum”, Pagninus, Montanus. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105
Pro 4:24  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 
Pro 4:25  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 
Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 
Pro 4:27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. 

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left – Avoid all crooked ways. Be an upright, downright, and straight-forward man. Avoid tricks, wiles, and deceptions of this kind. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible]

Ponder the path of thy feet,…. Consider well what path it is, whether right or wrong; or weigh it in the balances of thought, as Aben Ezra; or rather in the balances of the word, and see whether it agrees with that or not. The Septuagint version is, “make straight paths for thy feet”; to which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews seems to have respect, Heb_12:13;

and let all thy walls be established; so as to walk on steadily, constantly, uniformly, and not be easily moved out of the ways of religion and truth. Or, “let all thy ways be prepared”, or “directed”, or “disposed” (c); according to the rule of the divine word. Some render it as a promise, “and all thy ways shall be established” (d); when care is taken to look well into them; see 2Ch_20:20. (c) יכנו “dirigantur”, Tigurine version, Mercerus; “recte apparentur aut disponantur”, Vatablus. (d) “Stabilientur”, V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; “constabilientur”, Schultens. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

Ponder the path, etc., Pro_4:26. “Weigh carefully.” Act in haste and repent at leisure! Ask God to keep you back from presumptuous sins; and bear in mind the wise exhortation of Ecc_5:2. [Through the Bible Day by Day, F.B. Meyer]

In other words, consider well the course of your life, or the course of action you’re about to take (ponder the path of your feet). Let all your thoughts, words, and actions (ways) be prepared, directed, and ordered (established), by the Word of God. Ignoring it will yield negative consequences, and could result in ruin. May God’s sons escape such a fate.

May they all make their paths straight, and not despise the chastening of the Lord!

Debra R. Stout © March 11, 2017

Footnotes:

[1] “Experiencing God” by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude B. King, Chapter 3