Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

November 14, 2006

Volume 5 Number 22

The Spirit and Power of Elijah

As the world moves through its course, the footprints it leaves behind are called history. It is difficult to realize that when we think anything to be new, it is really a repeat of something that has already been. King Solomon of Israel explains:

9 The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it has been already of old time, which was before us. -Ecclesiastes 1

In other words, history repeats itself. Just as each child thinks it is the first to discover whatever it learns, each generation thinks it has created something new. Even though we make great advances in technology, which we call "new," they still represent improvements on the age-old methods to travel, communicate, manufacture, amuse, or make war. Our "new discoveries" are new ways to do old things faster or more efficiently.

As much as we want to make a "new thing," all we can do is offer an improvement on something that already was. New things do not come from under the sun because, as we have learned, there is "nothing new under the sun." They come from Him who created the sun:

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. -Genesis 1

16 The day is yours, the night also is yours: you have prepared the light and the sun. -Psalms 74

Only Yahweh makes something that is truly new. Only He can create, because He alone is the Creator.

28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, Yahweh, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. -Isaiah 40

In spite of what many want to believe, the thoughts of Yahweh are so much higher than our thoughts that we cannot even "search His understanding:"

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55

We are only able to understand that which He reveals to us. He declares new things to us before He does them:

9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. -Isaiah 42

He reveals them through His prophets:

7 Surely the Lord Yahweh will do nothing, but he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets. -Amos 3

Because true prophets cannot speak that which is contrary to the Word of God, those who speak otherwise are false prophets. People are deceived when they believe prophets that claim a new revelation, which does not confirm that which Yahweh has already spoken through His word. Even if a latter prophet claims to have heard from Yahweh and provides proof through a sign or wonder (which could be a miracle, an apparition, a dream, a vision, or some other supernatural manifestation), Yahweh is clear:

1 If there arises among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder,

2 And the sign or the wonder comes to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; -Deuteronomy 13

Any prophet that tells us to share our love for Yahweh with anyone or anything else must be rejected as false:

3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for Yahweh your God proves you, to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

4 You shall walk after Yahweh your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave to him. -Deuteronomy 13

When the prophet Elijah, whose name means "God is Yah," addressed the people of Israel, he told them that they could only serve one god. Regardless of what they had been taught by their leaders, Israel could not serve both Yahweh and Baal. They had to choose which god to follow:

21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if Yahweh is God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. -1 Kings 18

If we think we are serving both Yahweh and Baal, by whatever name, we are really only serving the false god. No matter how wonderful we proclaim another god or goddess to be, there is only one Savior and one Redeemer. He is Yahweh:

26 And I will feed them that oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I Yahweh am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. -Isaiah 49

Yahweh says through the prophet Hosea that we shall know no other god but Him. There is no other savior but Him:

4 Yet I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt, and you shall know no god but me: for there is no savior besides me. -Hosea 13

The true prophets of Yahweh continually called upon His people to know that He is the only Savior, the only Redeemer, and the only God. However, before we can accept Yahweh as God, we must first put away all other gods and repent from false worship.

Yahweh told His prophets that He would send a voice in the wilderness to prepare the way for His highway.

3 The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of Yahweh, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. -Isaiah 40

His highway is the way for the remnant of His people to come back to Him:

16 And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. -Isaiah 11

Who was that voice and what did he do to prepare the way? John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy. He prepared the way for the highway by preaching repentance:

1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. -Matthew 3

Yahweh promised to send Elijah before the "coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh:"

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh:

6 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. -Malachi 4

According to the angel, John the Baptist was the fulfillment of that prophecy. He came before Yahshua (Jesus) in the "spirit and power of Elijah:"

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 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

After John the Baptist preached the need for repentance before the coming of the Messiah, Yahshua preached that it is also the key to entering into the kingdom of heaven:

17 From that time Yahshua began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. -Matthew 4

Yahshua confirmed that John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning Elijah:

10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come?

11 And Yahshua answered and said to them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.

12 But I say to you, That Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done to him whatever they desired. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

13 Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.-Matthew 17

John the Baptist declared that he was neither the Messiah nor the literal Elijah (see John 1:20-21). However, he came "in the spirit and power of Elijah," preaching repentance.

Godís Word tells us that there will be two witnesses who will prophesy before the return of the Messiah:

3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. -Revelation 11

Will we ignore their call for repentance? Or will we recognize the further fulfillment of prophesy as one of Godís prophets again comes "in the spirit and power of Elijah," to "make ready a people prepared for the Lord?"

 

 

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