astray (from the truth) shall grow worse and worse,
deceiving others, and being deceived themselves by their sophistries.
"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.e., or else] I come
and smite the earth with a curse."
In considering the evidences of the time being at hand for the
establishment of Messiah's Kingdom in the earth, this prophecy, showing the priority of
Elijah's coming, must not be overlooked.
The expression of our text is peculiar. The thought seems to be that Elijah's work will
be to turn (i.e., convert) parents to a humble, childlike condition, and, after
making them teachable as little children, to turn their hearts from error, sin and
unfaithfulness, and lead them back into harmony with their "fathers"—a name
given by Hebrews to their faithful patriarchs and prophets.
How This Important Prophecy
Stands Related to the Second Advent
Malachi's prophecy, the last message sent by Jehovah to
Israel, seems to have deeply impressed them—especially the last two chapters, which
particularly refer to Messiah's coming, and to the special trials which the day of the
Lord's presence would bring with it. (See Malachi 3:1-3,13-18; 4:1-6.)
Gathering from this that the testing would be peculiar, they took comfort from the last
verses quoted above, which promised that Elijah the prophet, who had once converted the
entire nation from the worship of Baal back to the worship of God, would come again to
prepare them, before this severe testing time which Messiah's coming would bring.
This prophecy was not fulfilled at the first advent of our
Lord—neither the portion which relates to Messiah nor that which refers to Elijah. The
reference of the prophecy is evidently to the second advent; to the coming of the
"Messenger of the Covenant" in glory and power; and to the testing and great
trouble of the Day of the Lord at that time. However, Christ's presentation to typical
Israel, and the great trouble which came upon them as a nation when they rejected him,
was, as God had foreseen and intended, another shadow which further illustrated in many
particulars the things presented in this prophecy.
John the Immerser, in the spirit of Elijah, did a work for Israel similar to that of
the Elijah promised, but failed of success; and, as a result, trouble (a curse) upon that
nation followed. The real Elijah referred to by the prophet
was to do a great work for the whole "earth," to prepare all mankind for the
second advent; and he will for a time also fail of success, and as a result the great time
of trouble (the curse) will smite the whole earth.
The coming of Elijah mentioned by the prophet is "before"
this "great and dreadful Day of Jehovah." And since, as we have just shown, the
great Day of Jehovah began in A.D. 1874, will continue forty years, and will end with the
expiration of Gentile Times in the complete overthrow of worldly and Satanic dominion in
the earth, and the full investiture of Immanuel—Christ Jesus and his saints—with all
power and dominion, it is important for us to show here that Elijah has come.
He has failed to turn the hearts of the world to childlikeness and to the [true] wisdom
of the just; and therefore the great time of trouble comes, as God foresaw and foretold.
In it, God will teach mankind by severe and bitter experiences lessons they need to learn
thoroughly, to prepare them to gratefully accept the Christ—Jehovah's Messenger of the
New Covenant—with all the just arrangements, laws, etc., of that covenant.
At the first advent, as we have just seen, many of God's promises and plans were
carried out on a small scale with one nation, Israel, as an illustration of the greater,
grander realities to be accomplished at Christ's second coming. And as the miracles,
cures, etc., represented the greater works of the Millennial age, and our Lord's riding on
the ass as King represented his assuming the greater power, majesty and honor at the
second advent as King of kings and Lord of lords, so "the man Christ
Jesus" and his little band of disciples represented the Lord of Glory highly exalted,
associated with the saints, his bride and coheirs, at the second advent.
And thus John the Baptist and his disciples
engaged in the same work with and under him, in attempting to convert Israel and to
prepare them to receive Messiah, represented the real Elijah (the true
Christian church), whose work has been to attempt the conversion of the
world before the coming of Messiah to the world—the spiritual Lord of glory and King of
kings. John the Immerser, in the spirit and power of Elijah, failed to reform Israel, and,
as a consequence (Matthew 17:12), Israel rejected Jesus in the flesh, and brought upon
themselves a great "day of vengeance," trouble and wrath. (Luke
So, likewise, only on the larger scale, the real and greater Elijah
has failed to convert and prepare the world to receive the King of Glory,
and now, consequently, the great day of wrath must come upon the world,
to melt and mellow and humble and prepare all to cry out from the heart—Hosannah! Blessed is he that cometh in
the name of Jehovah!
It is thus seen that the Church in the flesh
(the Christ in the flesh, Head and body) is the Elijah or forerunner of the Church
in glory, Jehovah's Anointed. Not the nominal church, but the really consecrated
Church, which on the other side of the tomb will be the great Anointed Deliverer—these
constitute the Elijah. Their mission is to reprove error and sin, and to point to
the coming Kingdom of glory.
Our Lord Jesus and the apostles, and all the faithful in Christ Jesus since, are of
this great antitypical Elijah, prophet or teacher—the same class (Head and body) which
shall shortly compose the King of Glory. The work in which the Church is now engaged is
merely preliminary to its future work, so far as the reforming of the world is concerned.
In its kingly office the Church shall accomplish for the world what it fails to do as the
Let us not be misunderstood: We have heretofore shown that God's plan does not extend
to the converting of the world during the Gospel age. He did not intend it to do so, but
merely designed the selection and trial of the Church now, and the blessing of the world
through the Church, the Christ, in an age to follow this. We do not contradict this when
we say that the Elijah (Christ in the flesh) has tried to convert the
world and failed, except in bringing about partial reforms; for though God knew and
foretold that our mission to the world would be largely a failure, except in selecting a
choice little flock, yet, knowing that the effort would react favorably upon ourselves,
his commission to us through our Lord was to try to convert the world,
when he said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the good tidings to every
Seeing that he foretold our present failure, but our future
success, when he shall glorify and endue us with divine power, we are enabled to rejoice
even while viewing the comparative failure of the past eighteen centuries, realizing
that the labor of the true Elijah class has not been in vain, but has served the divine
purpose in developing the true Church while bearing witness before the world—which will
profit it in due time.
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Partial and Typical Fulfilment
in John the Baptist
John the Baptist was not actually Elijah
returned to earth, neither is the Church; but as it was true of John, that he did an
Elijah work to Israel (Luke 1:17) to prepare them, and introduced the Lord in the flesh, so
it is true of the Church—it does the predicted Elijah work "in the spirit and power
of Elijah" to the world, and announces our Lord's second advent in almost the same
words which John used at the first advent: "There standeth one among you whom ye know
not; He it is who, coming after me, is superior to me." John 1:26,27
All could not receive John's testimony nor realize that he was
forerunner to the King in the flesh. Had they done so, they would have been prepared
thereby to receive Jesus as their Messiah. To as many of them as could and did accept
John's message and receive Christ, to these John did do the Elijah work.
As our Lord said to them of John (Matthew 11:14), "If ye
will receive it, this is the Elias which was to come"; though John
and his work did not complete the prediction concerning Elijah, even as our Lord in the flesh
did not fulfil all that was predicted of Messiah. He was, to all who could receive it,
Jehovah's Anointed, even before he had finished his work of sacrifice, or had been
glorified, or had come again in the exercise of the great office of Messiah or Deliverer.
John, at the first advent, was really a finishing out, in a
measure, of the type begun in the person and work of Elijah; and John's work at the first
advent foreshadowed the closing work of the Church at the second advent. These,
the feet of Christ in the flesh—the feet of Elijah—announce the Kingdom. (Isaiah 52:7)
To those who "can receive it" we
announce, as at hand, the reign of the Christ glorified; and likewise to those who
"can receive it" we have pointed out the foretold antitypical Elijah.
Some, probably, will not "receive it," but will still look for some one man to
fulfil Malachi's predictions, and will "know not the time of their visitation"
until the great day of trouble is burning as an oven.
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The Real Fulfilment
It will be seen, then, that the failure of the Elijah (the
Christ in the flesh) to convert and restore the world was as much a foreseen result as was
John's failure to convert Israel. Nevertheless it will be the same Elijah class, only
glorified and empowered, which will during the Millennial age bless
and teach the world and restore all things, as promised by the mouth of all the holy
prophets (Acts 3:19-21); only in the name and likeness the Elijah type ceases with
our earthly career.
In harmony with this were our Lord's words in reply to his
disciples who asked, "Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come?" Our
Lord's answer does not attempt a full explanation of Elijah's being a type and John a
continuation of the same while at the same time a shadowy fulfilment of it, etc.—things
which the disciples were not then prepared to understand, and which moreover were not then
due to be understood; and hence, while pointing out John's failure as a
partial fulfilment of the prophecy, our Lord adds, "Elijah truly shall* come, and restore
all things." (Matthew 17:11)
[*Oldest Manuscripts omit first.]
Evidently he had in mind his own glorious work of the coming age, associated with his
glorified "body" which the Gospel age would select and test. He was looking
beyond the veil to the Millennial age, and seeing the Elijah class caught up in the
chariots of fire in power and great glory—spiritual exaltation.
A woman is the figure used when the Church alone is referred to,
separate from her Lord and Head. Separate and distinct from her Lord, the Bridegroom, she
is an espoused virgin. But in this instance a man, Elijah, is the figure used, because the
work prefigured is not the work of the Church separate from her Lord, but the one work of
Our Lord was the Head and Forerunner of the Church in the flesh (the Elijah), as truly
as he is Head of the Church triumphant—the Christ. Other instances in which a man is the
figure used, when a joint work of Christ Jesus and his body, the Church,
is typified, are numerous: for instance, Aaron and all his successors in the office of
Chief Priest represented the Lord and the under-priests, members of his body; Melchisedec
similarly represented the whole body in glory; so did Moses, David and
Solomon. Hence the use of Elijah as a figure, in representing a united
work of Christ and the Church, is in harmony with the Scripture usage.
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The Vision on the Holy Mount
In view of the class which Elijah represented, how forcibly
eloquent was that "vision" which the Lord showed to the three
disciples on the mount of transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-9) It was a vision of the coming
Kingdom, Peter tells us. (2 Peter 1:16-18) Our Lord, transfigured, appeared radiant before
their eyes, while a figure of Moses represented the Mosaic or Law Dispensation and a
figure of Elijah represented the Gospel or Christian Dispensation. Both dispensations look
toward and point out and speak of the sacrifice and sufferings of Christ and the glory to
Before leaving this subject we will point out some features and incidents in the life
of the Prophet Elijah, the type, comparing them with the history of the Church, the
antitypical Elijah, which will certainly astonish all who have not noticed them
heretofore. That the comparison may be readily seen, we will place these in parallel
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Remarkable Correspondencies between Elijah,
and the Antitypical Elijah
was persecuted for fidelity to truth and righteousness.
Church was persecuted for fidelity to truth and righteousness.
principal persecutor was Jezebel, the wicked queen of Israel, who is mentioned by name as
the type of the enemy of the saints. Rev. 2:20
principal persecutor was the apostate Church of Rome, which claims to be a
"queen" and ruler over spiritual Israel. Rev. 18:7
persecuting power was exercised through her husband, Ahab, the king.
persecuting power was exercised through the Roman Empire, to which she was joined.
fled from Jezebel and Ahab, into the wilderness, to a place prepared of God, where he was
miraculously nourished. 1 Kings 17:5-9
true Church fled into the symbolic wilderness—or condition of isolation—to her place,
prepared of God, where she was sustained. Revelation 12:6,16
was "three years and six months" in the wilderness, and during that time there
was no rain, and a great famine was in the land. James 5:17; 1 Kings 17:7; 18:2
Church was three and a half symbolic years (a day for a year—1260 literal years) in the
wilderness condition, during which there was a spiritual famine because of the lack of
truth—the living water.
Comp. Revelation 12:6; 11:3; Amos 8:11.
the three and a half years, 1260 days, when Elijah returned from the wilderness, the
errors of Jezebel's priests were manifested, the true God was honored, and copious rains
followed. 1 Kings 18:41-45
the end of 1260 years the power of the truth and its witnesses was manifested (A.D. 1799);
and since then the truth has flowed at the rate of millions of Bibles every year,
refreshing the world and bringing forth fruit.
king and the people at first rejoiced, and Elijah and his God were honored; but the spirit
of Jezebel was unchanged. She still sought Elijah's life, and he was again compelled to
flee into the wilderness. 1 Kings 18:40, 45,46; 19:1-4
Bible has brought such blessings that the empires of earth recognize the Lord's hand; yet
the principles of Papacy—Jezebel—in so-called Protestant sects compel the saints again
to flee into the wilderness condition.
career ended by his being taken from the earth.
saints will be changed from earthly to heavenly conditions.
These are striking coincidences, and are not accidental. And
the fact that Elijah was to come before the great day, and that now we
have found in the Church the antitypical Elijah to whom Malachi the prophet referred and
whom John the Baptist further typified, should be esteemed another
evidence that the time is at hand—that the great Day of the Lord has come. But, beyond
this, there are in this type suggestions, supported by other scriptures, designed to guide
and to prepare the saints to act well their part, and to strengthen and sustain them in
the stormy day just upon us.
We have no desire to draw before the mind a dark picture: we would prefer to think of
and point out the glory to follow the great day of wrath, and the joys of the incoming
Millennial Day, rather than the afflictions and discouragements of the nearer future which
precedes full sunrise. But it is necessary that the saints should be at least in some
measure forewarned of impending events, that when such come to pass they may not be
alarmed or disheartened, but being forearmed may know how to meet them; and also that they may more fully appreciate the blessings of the present, so as
diligently to "work while it is called day; for the night [a much
darker time in comparison with the present, called day] cometh, wherein
no man CAN WORK."
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The Time Is At Hand
The present little season,
before the storm-cloud bursts upon the world, is a most favorable time for the work of the
Elijah class, and corresponds to the successful days of both Elijah and John. It is
favorable for personal growth in grace and knowledge, and also for the spread of the
truth—the most favorable time that has ever been known.
How the early truth-seekers, the Bereans, for instance,
would have rejoiced at such students' helps as we now possess, in the way of complete and
printed Reference Bibles, Concordances, Histories, Cyclopedias, Dictionaries and other
valuable works of reference, at prices within the reach of all, and accessible to all
without price in the public libraries of even moderate-sized towns; and in addition to all
these, the increasing light of the dawning Millennial day, and the ability of all classes
to read and think intelligently for themselves.
With such helps more can be learned of God's Word and plan in a
day than it was possible to learn in a year in less favored times.
Nor has there
ever been a time so favorable for Christian effort, or so spurring to Christian zeal and
activity, as this time of the glorious harvest message of the Lord's presence and the glad
tidings of the approaching kingdom.
If we would travel from place to place, to meet with believers,
we can do as much traveling in a week as Paul could do in a month or more, and with much
more comfort. If we would preach by voice, we can do so with none to molest or
make us afraid; and we live at a time when the masses of the people can read and write,
which only the very few could do in times past, and when the printed gospel is cheap,
convenient, and often more effective than oral sermons.
The willing heart can do far more thus than Aquila and Priscilla
could do in their way and time with the same amount of effort. We can preach with
both the printed and the written page through the agency of the wonderful mail systems of
our day, to friends and strangers the world over, and at almost no cost.
But the Apostle, referring to the nominal Church in the
last days, asserts that "the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:3) While this is true now, in the same sense that it
has been true for centuries, it is to have a more forcible and clear
It is true now that the Church nominal will not endure preachers
who ignore their creeds and "preach the Word," the "whole counsel [plan] of
God"; but having "itching ears" they love human speculations on evolution,
and philosophies falsely so-called, rather than the Word of God. And yet, because they
cannot hinder it, they endure the sound doctrine to some extent—to an extent far beyond
what Rome in her palmy days would have endured.
Just before the words we have here cited, the Apostle refers
directly to the perilous times of the last days of this age (2 Timothy 3:1-13), pointing
out its high-minded, pleasure-loving and good-despising characteristics, with its
formalism, covetousness, pride and unthankfulness; and he declares that (in the
Church) evil men and leaders
And since the Apostle was thinking and writing specially about
the last days, and not about the middle ages, we are surely justified in querying whether
a time may not be but a short distance before us, in these "last days," when
sound doctrine will not be endured or permitted to any degree.
While it is true now, to a large extent, that none are
permitted to buy or sell [trade in the truth] in the common marts or synagogues, except
those who have the mark of the beast or the number of his name (Revelation 13:17), yet the
fully consecrated have learned that magnificent temples of fashion, called churches, are
no more necessary to the preaching of the gospel now than they were in the days of the
apostles, and that grand organs and trained choirs are not necessary
accompaniments to attract the attention of the people; for now, as in the early days, the
common people hear the gospel gladly on the street corners, in the market places, through
the mails and from the printed page.
The question is, May not this statement of the Revelator
mean still more than is at present experienced? and, like the Apostle Paul's statement,
may it not imply that a time will come, in the last days, when sound doctrine will not be
endured at all? May not ours in this respect correspond somewhat to the experience of John
the Baptist (the type), who was shut up in prison?
In other words, What may we expect between the present
comparatively favorable time—though it is not without its difficulties—and the coming
blessed time of unhindered righteousness? Will it continue to be as favorable as the
present for labor in the vineyard—or more so, or less so?
Let us notice what these types indicate; for since our
Lord has directed our attention to them, whatever we find in the life and experience of
either Elijah or John which seems to fit well to the experience of the Church, and to the
testimony regarding her future earthly course, we are justified in recognizing as typical.
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Elijah was separated from
earthly scenes by a chariot of fire, representative of the spiritual glory and exaltation
awaiting, at the end of the earthly racecourse, those of the Church alive and remaining to
the last days. But we should also remember that it was by a whirlwind or storm that he was
taken away; and a storm is the symbol of trouble, as much as the fiery chariot is a figure
of victory and glorious escape from that trouble.
John the Baptist's closing experiences are still more clearly
marked by the trouble feature. Though he was not obeyed by the people (Matthew 17:12),
they for a short time recognized him as a servant and prophet of God (John 5:35); yet
when he had announced the presence of Messiah his influence soon began to wane, as he had
testified it would do, saying of Christ, "He must increase, but I must
So it must be in the end of this age: the work of the
John class (the Elijah class) closes with the announcement that the Kingdom of Heaven is
at hand, and that the King is present. This is now being done; and the
exact words of John's testimony apply with equal force at this time of the Lord's second
"There standeth one among you [present] whom ye know
not," "whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge [cleanse] his
[threshing] floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff
with unquenchable fire"—the great time of trouble. John 1:26; Matthew 3:12
As John decreased--his special work being accomplished
when his message was delivered—so the Church in the flesh must decrease when its last
message is given, until the last member has laid down his consecrated life, and passed
beyond the veil into "glory," thenceforth to be a member of the glorious,
As John said that Jesus must increase, so now that the real
kingdom is about to be established we can confidently say that the King is present, and
that his kingdom must increase until it fills the earth. And John's announcement
of the "harvest" work—the gathering of the wheat, and the trouble coming upon
the chaff—also finds its parallel in the present time.
John's liberty was restrained soon after the delivery of
his message, announcing the present One and the work before him; and he was cast into
prison because he had reproved the king of improper union with a woman (Matthew 14:4).
And though the faithful children of God have often pointed out
that union between the Church and the civil power is out of order, being in the Scriptures
termed harlotry (Revelation 17:5), and though in a great measure the world has withdrawn
from the churches, the union still exists, and the Scriptures seem to point out that, in
the time of trouble approaching, the nominal churches, professedly virgins of Christ, will
be on the side of the kings of the earth, and united to them; and the true Church,
like its type, John the Baptist, will be unpopular and restrained of liberty, because of
faithfulness in opposing and condemning error.
In John's case as well as in Elijah's it was a woman that
persecuted—a king acting as her agent and tool: with the true Church it has been in the
past that which these symbolize, and doubtless will be so in the future—the nominal
church represented by a woman and civil government by a king.
Not only does prophecy point out a closer union between these
than at present exists, but any close observer can see that the principal lever
by which the royal aristocracy rules the masses is the superstition that God appointed
these "great men," though often both weak and vicious, to rule over them; and
that to rebel against tyranny and injustice, and to claim justice, liberty and equal
rights, is to oppose God's will. Hence the tendency of governments and churches is toward
open or secret union for their mutual welfare in the coming storm.
Not only so, but the coming struggle between the aristocracy and
the masses of every civilized land will be so peculiar, so unlike any former experience,
that moderate, conservative, religiously-inclined people, fearing the utter wreck of
society in chaos and anarchy, will naturally prefer monarchy, oppression and bondage to
anything certain to be worse. Hence such will affiliate with church and empire, with
wealth and aristocracy, in the general effort to repress and prevent that irrepressible
conflict—"The battle of the great day of God Almighty."
Eventually, probably the only exceptions to this course, among
the lovers of peace and true religion, will be those to whom the King of kings is pleased,
through his Word, to reveal his plans (John 16:13), and who have full confidence in his
wisdom and love, as well as in his power to make all things work out according to his
Only such, among the conservative, order-loving people, as see
the part which the coming social revolution must play in God's plan, in
removing effete systems whose day is past, and in preparing the world, by a great leveling
process, for the Millennial reign of righteousness, will be able to comprehend the
situation and to act accordingly. But these will be misunderstood, and their endeavors to
point out the true state of the case, and the real and only remedy, will probably be
interfered with by those who do not see the grand outcome, and who, because unwilling to
submit their own wills, ideas and plans, are unable to see God's plans.
When repressive, restrictive and coercive measures are thought to
be necessary, such measures will probably include not only labor organizations and the
publications which advocate their rights and wrongs, but also such others as point out the
plan of God, and the real cause and only remedy for the great distress of the nations.
Yes, the time is probably not many years distant, when
repressive measures may be brought to bear against every effort of the saints to spread
the good news of the coming kingdom, all on the plea that the general interests and the
public welfare demand such a course.
Thus would be fulfilled the predictions of the Second Psalm, and
probably in the end with more bitterness than can now well be imagined, though it has been
partially fulfilled already upon the Head of the body. Acts 4:25-29
The same necessity for restricting liberty on political and
social questions will probably be supposed to apply equally to freedom of expression on
religious questions, which really lie at the foundation of all liberty. It would not be
surprising if a "strong government," a monarchy, would some day replace this
present Great Republic; and it is entirely probable that one common standard of
religious belief will be deemed expedient and will be promulgated, to teach outside of
which will be treated and punished as a political offense.
Such a persecution would not only furnish, in the end or harvest
of this age, another parallel to the harvest of the Jewish age (Acts 4:10-13,23-30;
5:29-41; 11:19), but would also give a wider and deeper significance to the words of the
Apostles Paul and John (2 Timothy 4:3; Revelation 13:17), and to the typical illustrations
of the close of the earthly career of the true Church, as represented in Elijah's
whirlwind departure and John the Baptist's imprisonment and beheading.
we may draw from this to advantage, whether future developments shall prove that we have
read the prophetic testimony correctly or incorrectly; and they are these:
First, we should be so prepared, so armed and so
thoroughly furnished with the invincible truth, that persecution would move us only to
greater zeal, and not lead us through surprise or fear to lower our standard, nor to
surrender when the kings of the earth stand up, and, with the religious rulers of the
people, are gathered against us, and against the truths to which God has granted us the
privilege of witnessing, as his servants and ambassadors. (1 John 3:1)
Second, such reflections relative to the future,
contrasted with the privileges of the present, should serve to stimulate every consecrated
child of God to make diligent use of the present grand harvest opportunities and
privileges, remembering that "he that reapeth receiveth wages," as truly as he
that planted and watered, and that now is pre-eminently a time for gathering fruit unto
eternal life. The little quiet of the present favorable time, with its greater liberties
and advantages in every way, is divinely arranged in order to the sealing of the true
servants of God in their foreheads (intellectually, with the truth). Revelation
"Let the 'little
In its golden light be seen."
The Master saith: "Work while it is
called day; for the night cometh, when no man can work." "Labor
not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life."
So, then, in the present due time, we see that Elijah the prophet
came, as foretold, before the great and notable day of the Lord. And we hear his closing
testimony, like that of John, saying, "There standeth one among you whom ye
know not"—whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his
threshing-floor: he will gather his wheat into the garner, and burn up the tares [as
tares—not as men] with unquenchable fire in the great time of trouble—the curse, which
must needs come to prepare the way of the Great King of kings.
He must increase, but the Elijah must decrease and finally be
entirely restrained. Not only do we hear this testimony from a few of the Elijah
class now, but every one who is of the Elijah class will ere long be found proclaiming
this message and engaging in the Elijah work. Such only as are thus faithful will
be of the glorified Elijah, and permitted to share in the work of restitution of all
things which, during the Millennium, will be a grand success.
A depth of significance is found in the meaning of the name Elijah.
It signifies God [mighty-one] of Jehovah. It is thus a
fitting name for the Lord's Anointed, whose grand work will be to restore all things which
God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
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Elijah's Successor, Elisha
Concluding this subject, we notice
briefly the fact that in the close of the Prophet Elijah's career he called Elisha, who,
after sacrificing, left all and followed with Elijah, and became his successor as prophet
when Elijah was taken away in the whirlwind—receiving his mantle of authority and a large
degree of his spirit and power. (2 Kings 2:9-16)
And since Elijah represented the Body of Christ in the flesh—the
overcoming Church, a company, a number—it is but reasonable that we should conclude that
Elisha represented a class also; a class which will come into deep sympathy with the
Elijah class, and follow the Lord's leading with it; and yet a class which will not be
expecting to be glorified. These will be separated, by the "whirlwind" of
trouble, from the Elijah class, yet nevertheless will retain an interest and will receive
a blessing. After Elijah was gone, Elisha became bold and powerful, so that the
theologians of that day ("sons of the prophets") said, The spirit of Elijah
rests upon Elisha now!
The meaning of the name Elisha is mighty
deliverer, and the career of Elisha was one of restitution work. This doubtless
foreshadows a work by a class which in the future will be the active agents among men in
carrying on the restitution work in the power of the then glorified Church.
Among other wonderful works, Elisha healed the waters, so that
there should not be thence any more death or barren land; he increased the poor widow's
oil to cancel her debt; he raised the Shunamite's son to life; and when there was famine
in the land, and the mess of pottage for the theologians ("sons of the
prophets") was found to be poisoned, so that none could eat of it, Elisha healed it
and made it wholesome for food.
He caused bread sufficient for only a few to more than supply a
large number. He healed the leprosy of Naaman. He was also God's agent in the anointing of
Jehu, at whose hands, according to the word of the Lord by Elijah, the royal family of
Ahab, including Jezebel, was entirely cut off, and all her priests as well. 2 Kings
2:19-22; 4:1-7,18-44; 5:1-14; 9:1-37; 10:28
It is not difficult to trace in these works of Elisha what bears
a close resemblance to the very restitution work which may be expected ere long, when the
waters of truth shall no longer be brackish with error, being healed at the very spring by
a clearer understanding of the Word of God; when the poor shall be helped to secure the
oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness; when the dead shall be restored; when in the
famine the food (truth) shall be made wholesome and plentiful; and when the powers and
systems represented by Ahab and Jezebel, and all who unite with them against the Lord,
shall be fully and finally overthrown.
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