"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the Lord." Mal. 4:5.
2. What will this prophet do when he comes?
"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."
3. Whom did Christ indicate as fulfilling this prophecy?
"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. Like wise shall also the Son of
man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that He spoke unto them of John the
Baptist." Matt. 17:10-13.
4. When John the Baptist was asked if he were Elijah, what did he say?
"And he said, I am not." John 1:21.
5. Who did he say he was?
"He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the
way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias." Verse 23.
6. In what sense does the angel Gabriel explain John the Baptist to be the Elijah of
"Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall
go before Him [Christ] 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 1:16,17.
NOTE.-John went forth "in the spirit and power of Elias," and, in
preparing a people for Christ's first advent, did a work similar to that done by Elijah
the prophet in Israel centuries before. See I Kings 17 and 18. In this sense, and in this
sense only, he was the Elijah of Mal. 4:5.
7. Near the close of the three and one-half years drought in Israel, brought about
as a judgment through the intercessions of Elijah (James 5:17) in consequence of Israel's
apostasy, what accusation did King Ahab bring against Elijah?
"And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou
he that troubles Israel?" 1 Kings 18: 17.
8. What answer did Elijah make?
"And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house,
in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou has followed
Baalim." Verse 18.
NOTE.-Israel had departed from God, forsaken His commandments, and gone off into
idolatry. Jezebel, Ahab's wicked and idolatrous wife, had "cut off the prophets of
the Lord" (Verse 4), was supporting hundreds of the prophets of Baal, and was seeking
Elijah to slay him. Elijah called for a famine on the land, and said to Ahab, "As the
Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these
years, but according to my word." 1 Kings 17:1. Elijah's message was a call to
repentance and obedience to God's commandments.
9. What plain proposition did he submit to all Israel?
"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt you between two
opinions? if the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him." 1 Kings
NOTE.-The result of the test by fire which followed on Mt. Carmel, can be read in the
remainder of this wonderful chapter. There was a great turning to God, the people saying,
"The Lord, He is the God; the Lord, He is the God." Verse 39.
10. What was the burden of the message of John the Baptist?
"Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." "Bring forth
therefore fruits meet for repentance." Matt. 3:2,8.
11. What was the result of this message?
"Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about
Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." Verses
NOTE.-There was a genuine work of repentance and reform. John was not satisfied with a
mere profession of religion. He told the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his baptism,
to "bring forth fruits" answerable to an "amendment of life." He
wished to see religion in the life, the heart, the home. Thus he prepared a people for
Christ's first advent.
12. But when, according to the prophecy, was Elijah to be sent?
"Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Mal. 4:5.
13. How is this great and dreadful day described in this same prophecy?
"For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea,
and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up,
says the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." Verse 1.
NOTE.-This day is yet future. It cannot be, therefore, that the work done by John the
Baptist at Christ's first advent is all that was contemplated in the prophecy concerning
the sending of Elijah the prophet. It must be that there is to be another and greater
fulfillment of it, to precede Christ's second advent, and to prepare, or "make
ready," a people for that great event.
14. What is the burden of the threefold message of Rev. 14:6-10?
"Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and
worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. . . .
Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the
wine of the wrath of her fornication. . . . If any man worship the beast and his image,
and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of
the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His
indignation." Rev. 14:6-10.
NOTE.-Like the messages of Elijah and John, this is a call to repentance and reform,-a
call to forsake false, idolatrous worship, and to turn to God, and worship Him, and Him
alone. The first part of this threefold message points out the true God, the Creator, in
language very similar to that found in the fourth, or Sabbath, commandment. This is the
message now due the world, and that is now being proclaimed to the world. Those who are
proclaiming these messages constitute the Elijah for this time, as John and his
co-laborers did at the time of Christ's first advent.
15. How are the people described who are developed by the threefold message here
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of
God, and the faith of Jesus." Verse 12.
NOTE.-These will be the ones who will be ready to meet Jesus when He comes. They have
heeded the Elijah-call to repentance and reform. They have become concerned, not only for
their own individual salvation, but for the salvation of their friends and relatives. By
this message the hearts of the fathers are turned to the children, and the hearts of the
children to their fathers. Each becomes burdened for the conversion and salvation of the
other. There can be little religion in the heart of one who cares not for the eternal
interests of his loved ones. When this message has done its work, God will smite the earth
with a curse; the seven last plagues will fall, and usher in the great day of the Lord
described in the preceding chapter.