As we prepare for the coming of the Lord, there is an event that will happen first – the coming of Elijah –
“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.” – Mal. 4:5,6
Here is a mystery! The disciples wondered about this prophesy and asked Jesus why Elijah (Elias) hadn’t come before Him? Jesus answered –
“And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, 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.” – Matt. 17:10-13
Indeed when John the Baptist was conceived the angel told his father, Zacharias –
“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 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.” Luke 1:15-17
However, when the Priests and Levites asked him if he was Elijah, John answered “No.”
“He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.” – John 1:23
How do we reconcile these accounts? The angel told Zacharias, John would go “in the spirit and power of Elias” so, Jesus was not mistaken and John did not lie to the pharisees.
John the Baptist did go before Jesus at His first coming but, Malachi’s prophesy is yet to be fulfilled in its entirety. That means before the second coming of Jesus, we should expect another manifestation of Elijah. At this point, I want to draw your memory to Luke 9 vs. 30.
“And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elijah: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” – Luke 9:28-31
The Book of Revelation reveals to us that before the Lord’s 2nd return two witnesses will appear in Jerusalem to preach for 3½ years. Is it possible that these two will be Moses and Elijah?
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” – Rev. 11:3
These witnesses have the power to stop the rain, turn water to blood, and strike the earth with plagues, all miracles that Elijah and Moses did. And they preach for 3½ years, their message going out to the world. When they are killed by the beast, the Antichrist, he leaves their dead bodies to lie in the streets of Jerusalem for the entire world to see. At the end of 3½ days they come to life and are caught up into heaven.
What is the message these two witnesses preach? I believe it will be “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” – the message of Elijah. And the message of Moses will be his song –
“Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.” – Deut. 31:19-21
Those who really hear this song will turn to God and bless His Name, as it says in the Book of Revelation –
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” – Rev. 15:3,4
May we all hear the message of Elijah and Moses, even today.