Will Elijah Come Again? No, Elijah has already come.

This is written to counter a recent article circulating the net claiming the people of God should expect Elijah to come back to earth before the Return of Christ. It is not the first time I have heard this teaching, and it is false! Realize, it is important to challenge such teaching, for if we are not grounded in truth, we make ourselves vulnerable to deception in the end times.

Here is the background. At the beginning of Matthew 17, Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. They witnessed Him transform into His true, glorious form, where Scripture tells us ‘His face shone like the sun and His clothing became white as light’.

Appearing alongside Jesus were the spirits of Moses and Elijah. Peter in his enthusiasm offered to make booths for each of them, momentarily failing to realize Who should have been his only priority. God’s voice came from heaven in response, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

So often, just like Peter, we slide off point in attempting to interpret the will of God and His Word. The focal point, the bullseye if you will, is always Messiah. Any movement, however slight, off center of Him misses the mark.

You see, Moses and Elijah appeared along with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration to make a point. The most revered prophets of Judaism were with Jesus! Then God made sure everyone present understood which of them was solely Lord and Master: His Son!

The circulating article I mentioned at the start, conjectured that when Elijah returns in the end times, He will likely ‘restore’ traditions of Judaism before the return of Christ. Oops, he missed the mark and the priority, that being Christ, not Judaism!

Now, I love teaching that helps us understand our Hebraic roots and connects Old and New Testaments. It helps us put all the pieces of the Scriptural puzzle together, and when it is done right, it points us to our Savior again and again. This is already happening through great scholars today like Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, for one.

But, any teaching that the people of God must return to traditions or especially laws of Judaism is strictly false and mis-leading. The New Testament declared the law obsolete. Paul explained it once served as a ‘nanny’ to the ancient people of God, and was retired at the cross. We now have our Bridegroom and His Spirit to guide us. To crawl back to the nanny is absurd and offensive to Him!

Back to Elijah. Should we expect him to come again, to restore Judaism and usher in the end times before Christ returns? No. Jesus, in Matthew 17, makes it very plain that Elijah already came a second time, and His mission was none other than to point the way to Christ.

Listen in to His conversation with the disciples:

MATTHEW 17:10-13

His disciples asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say Elijah must come first?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Elijah certainly comes first, and restores all things. But I say to you, Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, and have done to him what they wished. Likewise also the Son of man shall suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.

Friends, I do not pretend to fully understand how John the Baptist was Elijah. Was he a literal reincarnation of the ancient prophet? Or, did he possess a symbolic spirit of Elijah, bring back the same message as Elijah? I cannot say, and have heard it taught different ways.

But, the core message is clear. Jesus informed us no matter how you look at it, Elijah’s message did echo on earth a second time through John the Baptist before the ministry of Christ began.

This leaves us with a solid conclusion: Elijah is not coming yet another time. For, the focal point in time for which the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist were prepping us was Jesus’ ministry/death/resurrection, not His end-time return.

The time of the cross was the most important moment in human history! Within that pivotal event lies the identity of our Savior, that He gave everything for us, and that He became the only way through Whom we can be restored to the Father.

Once more, hear the words of God the Father, and then listen to those of His Son, as He instructed!

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him! (God, the Father; Matt 17:5)

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jesus; John 14:6)

Before closing, let’s reflect once more on the message of John the Baptist, for it is most certainly needed today!

MATTHEW 3:1-3

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him’.”

John did what was prophesied and prepared the way for Jesus to be received by His people. And Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven to earth, as John declared.

Will you recognize the focal point of the entire Bible, and of history: Jesus our Redeemer and Messiah, and know and trust Him today?

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A Study on Healing in the New Testament

Healing… before the Cross/Resurrection:

In the Gospels, before the Cross, healing was apparently used mainly as a tool of evangelism, to draw the people and convince them of the power in Christ, His divinity. Christ, Himself, healed ALL who came to Him. In addition, He gave each of the twelve disciples the gift of healing as part of their evangelical mission.

Christ healed everyone (Matt 4):

And Jesus was going about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the reign, and healing every disease, and every malady among the people,

and his fame went forth to all Syria, and they brought to him all having ailments, pressed with manifold sicknesses and pains, and demoniacs, and lunatics, and paralytics, and he healed themMatthew 4:23-24 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

Disciples were all given healing gift (Matt 10):

And having called to him his twelve disciples, he gave to them power over unclean spirits, so as to be casting them out, and to be healing every sickness, and every malady.

`And, going on, proclaim saying that, the reign of the heavens hath come nigh;

infirm ones be healing, lepers be cleansing, dead be raising, demons be casting out — freely ye did receive, freely give. Matthew 10:1,8 (YLT)

Healing… after the Cross/Resurrection:

After the Resurrection, in the new, growing church, it is apparent the gift of healing was given to select, but not all believers, as demonstrated below in 1 Corinthians 12.

for to one through the Spirit hath been given a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;

and to another faith in the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healings in the same Spirit;

and to another in-workings of mighty deeds; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; and to another [divers] kinds of tongues; and to another interpretation of tongues:

[are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all powers?

have all gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

and desire earnestly the better gifts; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 29-31 (YLT)

In modern day, whether in person or through the testimony of documentaries such as those made by filmmaker, Darren Wilson [Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, etc], we can see evangelical teams witnessing on the streets around the world and healing the sick and lame. There are times not everyone is healed, however. It seems to be determined by the will of the Spirit for His purposes.

Yet, it also seems there are some unique individuals who are able to heal every person they lay hands on. This would indicate they have the gift of healing, specifically.

Perfectly in line with Scripture, we might conclude God can use anyone to heal when He wishes to reach the lost. However, some in the body of Christ possess the gift of healing to benefit both the body of Christ and non-believers.

Revelation 12 Study

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[Readers, this post is very informal, and may not be final. It is my personal notes from studies I did on September 23, October 5, and October 21, on Revelation 12.]

9/23/2017

September 23, 2017, was a day the constellations demonstrated the Revelation 12 passage:

REV 12.1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: REV 12.2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

On September 23, I saved a screenshot (above) from my cell phone app, StarTrackerLite, which shows in real time the positions and movement of the stars and planets. The constellations show Virgo (i.e., the ‘woman’) with the sun at her neck, the moon at her feet, etc, just as Rev. 12 described.

Studying that photo, I noticed two things.

  1. The position of Jupiter does make her look pregnant, or as if she is giving birth! Jupiter is the ‘King’ planet, so Virgo is pregnant with the King! That makes the identity of Virgo, Mary, and in greater, symbolic terms, ancient Israel! She was the one who brought Christ forth into the world. However, she is also the one who KNOWS He is the King. Therefore, through the birth, the woman transforms to become Israel of God, the family of God, now followers of Messiah.
  2. Note the position of constellation Virgo – under the constellation Leo. Virgo is literally ‘following’ Leo in her trajectory. Again, the symbolism of Virgo as Israel of God, following Leo, the Lion. The Bible tells us Christ is the Lion of Judah! The constellations, in sync with Scripture, identity Virgo as those following Christ.

The significance of the above in relation to Rev. 12, I believe, is that ultimately, the woman who will be under attack by the ‘dragon’ is going to be Israel of God, in modern times the body of Christ, His church.

10/5/2017

Studying Rev 12:6, trying to make sense of the ‘wilderness’ to which the ‘woman’ flees for protection from the dragon for ‘1260 days’.

Researching definitions of ‘wilderness’ in Greek, in Strong’s Bible dictionary. All shown below.* Note, most interesting is the comparative word in Strongs, #5561. See below in blue.

Oddly, upon studying these word meanings, a song started ‘playing’ in my head: ‘This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York islands… from the Redwood forest to the gulf stream waters… this land was made for you and me.’ 

Hmmm. I haven’t thought of that song in perhaps years. A message from the Spirit? He often speaks to me by putting songs in my mind.

America certainly did fit the descriptions (from Strong’s for ‘wilderness’, see below) at the time the colonists came… She was ‘an expansive land, largely unpopulated (at the time), between two limits…’ (either way you look at it we are still between two limits: 2 oceans on east/west coasts… 2 neighbors on north/south coasts).

America happens to contain the densest population of the followers of Messiah… so far, still a land of religious freedom. If America is potentially the land made to protect the ‘woman’, then what does the ‘1260 days’ really mean?

And when is that time ‘up’?

10/21/2017

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast forth to the earth, he pursued the woman who did bring forth the male, rev.12.14 and there were given to the woman two wings of the great eagle, that she may fly to the wilderness*, to her place, where she is nourished a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent; rev.12.15 and the serpent did cast forth after the woman, out of his mouth, water as a river, that he may cause her to be carried away by the river, rev.12.16 and the land did help the woman, and the land did open its mouth and did swallow up the river, that the dragon did cast forth out of his mouth; rev.12.17 and the dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, those keeping the commands of God, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ. (YLT)

Revelation 12:13-17 again mentions the wilderness, a land which protects the ‘woman who brought forth the male’ for a period of time. Having established I believe the woman to represent both Mary and Israel of God… or, all who follow Christ, then it may be logical to presume the land which houses the largest numbers of His followers might, in fact, be just that land.

In these last centuries, the primary land protecting Christians has been America. Is it a coincidence Rev. 12 mentions the eagle helping the woman get to the wilderness land that protects her, and America’s national symbol is the American Bald Eagle?

Indeed, if you consider the words above from Revelation 12, America fits the description. She was an expansive, largely uninhabited land at the time of her founding, she has taken in the largest number of Christian refugees, prevented persecution of Christians within her borders and provided a safe and prosperous place for them to live and thrive. Certainly, there are other countries that also continue to protect Christians, but none more pronounced than the U.S. in the last nearly two and a half centuries.

As to the very specific, albeit cryptic, reference to ‘a time, and times, and half a time’, during which the land is able to protect the woman, we need to consider the meaning. There are many who have taught in solidarity this is a reference to the 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. But, could it also (or instead) be referring to the few hundred years one nation has offered refuge and protection to the people of God in the last centuries?

IF the land is America, if we agree she has protected the largest number of Christ-followers as indicated in Revelation 12… we can look at the dates the first Christians fled to her in search of religious freedom and see if the years since then might come anywhere close to fitting into the ‘time, times and half a time’ pattern.

First, there was a lost Colony that first arrived around 1585 (Approx. 432 years from present.) The enduring Colonies were established beginning 1607, with Jamestown, a business venture. (Approx. 410 years from present.)

Puritans arrived Plymouth in 1620, desiring to start a new, pure church, fleeing the corrupt church of England. (Approx. 397 years from present.)

Based on the numbers above, 450 years fits the pattern of a ‘time, times, and half a time’. With that in mind, the above 3 scenarios would yield 18 years, 40 years, or 53 years remaining, respectively.

This is just something to think about, by no means a conclusive study. It is merely one possibility to ponder. I’ve learned over the years, prophetic passages can apply to multiple events or time periods, so one meaning does not necessarily cancel out another.

Research, from Strong’s Bible dictionaries:

*Wilderness: (g2048) ερημος, — er’-ay-mos; of uncertain affinity; lonesome, i.e. (by implication) waste (usually as a noun, (5561)* (χωρα) being implied): — desert, desolate, solitary, wilderness.

Transliterated: eremos;  Pronounced: er’-ay-mos of uncertain affinity; TDNT 2:657; adjective Trans & freq in the AV- wilderness 32 times, desert 13 times, desolate 4 times, solitary 1 time; 50 occurrences of Greek word in AV

1. solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited a. used of places 1. a desert, wilderness 2. deserted places, lonely regions 3. an uncultivated region fit for pasturage b. used of persons [Also, ominously:] 1. deserted by others 2. deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred 3. bereft a. of a flock deserted by the shepherd b. of a woman neglected by her husband, from whom the husband withholds himself.

*(5561) χωρα, — kho’-rah; feminine of a derivative of the base of (5490) (χασμα) through the idea of empty expanse; room, i.e. a space of territory (more or less extensive; often including its inhabitant): — coast, county, fields, ground, land, region.

Transliterated: chora;  Pronounced: kho’-rah from a derivative of the base of 5490 through the idea of empty expanse; n f Trans. & freq. in the AV- country 15 times, region 5 times, land 3 times, field 2 times, ground 1 time, coast 1 time; 27 occurrences of Greek word in AV,

1. the space lying between two places or limits. [Blogger’s note: could that be between 2 major oceans, OR with 2 border neighbors?? Does any other country in the world fit this description?]

2. a region or country i.e. a tract of land a. the (rural) region surrounding a city or village, the country b. the region with towns and villages which surround a metropolis 3. land which is ploughed or cultivated, ground.

All quoted verses and research from:

God; Strong, James. A Complete Bible Reference Study Library (4 in 1): [Illustrated]: KJV Bible with Strongs markup, Strongs Concordance & Dictionaries, Lexicon Definitions, and Bible word index (Kindle Locations 122365-285296). Bestbooks. Kindle Edition.

Ninevah Fasted and God Spared Disaster

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jonah and the whale. You remember, how Jonah didn’t want to do what God asked of him, so God sent along a large fish to swallow Jonah and carry him to the very place he didn’t want to go. Of course, he spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish where he got his heart right first.

That’s the story most of us were taught as children in Sunday School. But there is another miracle in the story we probably don’t remember as easily, maybe an even bigger one than a large fish swallowing a human who lived to tell the tale!

It is the miracle of fasting, accompanied by prayer and repentance. And how this powerful combination of sincere spiritual submission changed God’s mind!

Recall, the reason God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah in the first place was to warn them His judgment was coming. He had gotten sick of their rebellious ways and was giving them, well, 40 days by the time Jonah finally got there. Only 40 days till disaster.

When Ninevah got this warning from Jonah, the second miracle happened. They believed him. And they repented, began fasting and praying! All the way up to the King, all the way down to the least of the kingdom believed and repented, fasted and prayed!

Then there was a third miracle: God changed His mind! He spared them and did not bring the disaster to their shores.

Friends, the power of getting right with God is huge. There is nothing like total submission and letting God know you are serious, that you will even deny yourself pleasure and risk a little discomfort to seek Him, to be right with Him.

Let’s learn from the story, the whole story of Jonah and Ninevah. American children of God, we’ve been warned by precious saints like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn in his profound book, The Harbinger. A time of judgment is headed our way. Surely it is already touching our shores as the edge of a hurricane.

It is not too late. But, the time is now to repent, fast and pray for our nation.

Please join us on May 5th, 2016, fasting 24 hours and praying for our nation, in conjunction with National Day of Prayer. Check previous posts (and future ones) for details.

God bless you!

Jonah Warns Nineveh of God’s Judgment

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The People of Nineveh Repent and FAST

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

God Changes His Mind

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Jonah 3  English Standard Version (ESV)