The question of Elijah

This presented a great dilemma for the people of Israel. They immediately asked, “If this Jesus is the Messiah, then were is Elijah?” They earnestly expected the Messiah at that time, so they were also waiting for Elijah. They believed he would come straight down from heaven, right out of the sky, and the Messiah would come soon after, in a similar manner.

So when Jesus proclaimed himself as the Son of God, the Jewish people became puzzled. If there had come no Elijah, then there could be no Messiah. And no one had told them that Elijah had come. The disciples of Jesus were also confused. When they went out to preach the gospel, people persistently denied that Jesus could be the Son of God because the disciples were unable to prove that Elijah had come. They confronted this problem everywhere they went.

The disciples of Jesus were not educated in the Old Testament. Many learned people rebuked them when they went out to preach, asking, “Do you not know the Old Testament? Do you not know the Mosaic Law?” The disciples were embarrassed when they were attacked through the verses of the Law and the prophets. One day they came back to Jesus and put the question to him:

‘. . . why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?’ He replied, ‘Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands’ Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.’ (Matt. 17:10-13)

According to Jesus, John the Baptist was Elijah.

This was the truth. We have determined the truth according to the words of Jesus Christ. But the disciples of Jesus could not convince the elders and chief priests and scribes of this fact. To those men, the idea was simply ridiculous. The only authority that supported such a notion was the word of Jesus of Nazareth. That is why the testimony of John the Baptist was so crucial. But alas, John himself denied that he was Elijah when he was asked! His denial made Jesus seem to be a liar.

Read the Bible: ‘And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ . . . And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’

He said, ‘I am not.’ Are you the prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No’. (John 1:19-21)

John himself said, “I am not Elijah.” But Jesus had said, “He is Elijah.”

John made it almost impossible for the people to know that Elijah had come. But Jesus declared the truth anyway. He said,

‘ . . . if you are willing to accept it, he [John the Baptist] is Elijah who is to come’ (Matt. 11:14)

Jesus knew that most people could not accept the truth. Instead they questioned the motivation of Jesus. In order for Jesus to seem like the Messiah, Elijah had to come first, so the people thought he was lying for the purpose of his own self-aggrandizement. The Son of God became more and more misunderstood by the people.

This was such a grave situation. In those days, the influence of John the Baptist was felt in every corner of Israel. But Jesus Christ was an obscure and ambiguous figure in his society. Nobody was in a position to take Jesus’ words as the truth. This failure of John was the major cause of the crucifixion of Jesus.

John the Baptist had already seen the Spirit of God descending upon the head of Jesus Christ at the Jordan. At that time he testified:

‘I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.’ (John 1:32-34)

(from the book: God’s Will and the World by Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon)


3 thoughts on “The question of Elijah

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  1. Let me say at this moment in time, “The Lord Jesus is coming, but the Lord Jesus was here.”

    Now many will quickly discern that the sentence has two tenses. One is future, and one is past. The first part if the sentence (“The Lord Jesus is coming”) is future tense, “but” the last part of the sentence (“the Lord Jesus was here”) is past tense.

    This is no different than the statement made by the Lord almost 2000 years ago when He said, “Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17:11-13).

    Some may discern that this passage has two tenses but some will reject it for it is not what they have been taught by their shepherds. One is future, and one is past. The first sentence in verse 11 (“Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.”) is future tense, “but” the sentence in verse 12 (“But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished…”) is past tense.

    Now the disciples discerned that “John” was the first Elijah (in the spirit and power thereof).

    John was rejected. Then Jesus was rejected. Now restoration is needed. This is why the following was said:

    Acts 3:17-21 (NKJV) – “17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

    So the Lord Jesus “must” sit at the right hand of the Father “until the times of restoration of all things” For this, a prophet is sent to “restore all things”. A prophet that the Lord Jesus and Moses spoke of.

    ““Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.”

    Following verse Acts 3:21 comes verse Acts 3:22 which corroborates this by stating that a prophet like Moses will be sent. The Lord Jesus did not say He was that prophet though He could have fulfilled it if they had listened to Him. But prophecy made it clear that He was going to be rejected. His rejection had to happen in order to fulfill other prophecies.

    Acts 3:22-23 (NKJV) – “For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ ”

    This prophet will be the last prophet who will be making the last repentance call. That is why it will be important to recognize him and his message for it is the last before our Lord’s return.

    A messenger/prophet named John came in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way of the Lord Jesus but was rejected. Then the Lord Jesus was rejected. Restoration is now needed. Another messenger/prophet named “John” will come in the spirit and power of Elijah to restore all things. Then the Lord Jesus will return.

    So a man named “John” must come on the scene near His coming and prophesy to the world from the temple as one of the two witnesses.

    This is why the Lord Jesus said of “John”:

    John 21:22 (NKJV) – “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (NOTE: “He” is John the Disciple.)

    Matthew 11:13 (NKJV) – “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” (NOTE: “John” is John the Baptist.)

    Revelation 10:11, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” (NOTE: “You” is John the Disciple/Revelator.)


    Not the same “John the Baptist” or “John the Disciple” in body and flesh but a different “John” with the same Spirit.

    The Spirit!

    Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV) – “6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”

    Revelation 1:9-10 (NKJV) – “9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,”

    Now you know why the following statement is made to each of the churches:

    ” “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      God, our Heavenly Parent has no concept of time and space (nor any man-made boundaries).

      On eday can be one thousand years and one thousand years can be one day, in the Last Days we live in.

      Be Blessed and Be Blessings to Others!

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