We are now beginning our third step to eternal life-finding and joining God’s true church, the body of Christ (Col. 1:24). Let us begin by studying a fascinating prophecy about how Elijah is going to return to earth!
- By what name did Jesus refer to John the Baptist?
Matt. 11:13-15 [The Further-study verses are Mal. 3:1; Matt. 17:11-13]
- Was John the Baptist really Elijah?
John 1:19-21 [1 Cor. 15:45]
- If John the Baptist was not really Elijah, why was he given that title?
Luke 1:17 [Matt. 3:1-3]
- Does the work of some messengers from the Lord include more than the word “prophet” signifies?
Luke 7:26-28 [1 Cor. 12:28]
- Elijah, like John the Baptist, did not write a book of the Bible. He was a “reformation” prophet, sent to bring the people back to the true worship of God. What was Elijah’s message?
1 Kings 18:21 [Isa. 58:1]
- What had Israel forsaken that demanded a reformation?
1 Kings 18:18 [Neh. 9:13-16; 13:17, 18; Dan. 9:10, 11]
- With the Christian world trampling on God’s Sabbath and forsaking His commandments, as Israel was doing in Elijah’s day, will God again send another trumpetlike message calling upon people to choose between God and the Beast, as Elijah called Israel to choose between God and Baal?
Rev. 14:6-12 [Rev. 18:1-5]
- Will God send another “Elijah-prophet” to go along with this “Elijah” message of Revelation 14?
Mal. 4:5 [Note: Though John the Baptist partially fulfilled this prophecy, the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” is specifically Jesus’ second coming, and finds its major fulfillment then. Another messenger of the Lord will come to do two things: (1) To prepare God’s people to give His final message to the world, and (2) to help them be ready for His second coming, as John the Baptist prepared a people for Jesus’ first coming. Rev. 6:17]
- How long has God promised to continue sending prophets to His people?
Eph. 4:11-13 [Note: We have not yet come to “the fullness of Christ.” That is yet in the future (1 John 3:2; Rev. 3:21; 14:1, 12; 19:7, 8; 22:11, 12; 2 Peter 3:14). John 16:12, 13]
- Jesus warned against false prophets, but did He say there would be no more prophets of any kind?
Matt. 7:15-17, 20 [Note: Why would Jesus tell us to test the prophets, instead of reject them, if there were not to be any more true prophets? 1 John 4:1]
- What test does the Bible give to help us differentiate between true and false prophets?
Isa. 8:20 [Heb. 13:8; James 1:17; Mal. 3:6]
- While the Bible warns against accepting false prophets, it also warns against rejecting true prophets. What warning does Paul give about quenching the Spirit?
1 Thess. 5:19-21 [Note: After testing a prophet we are to hold fast to the good (for Satan always tries to discredit God’s messengers and cause us to lose faith in them). Let us not sin against, and quench, the Holy Spirit by despising prophecies. 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Chron. 20:20; Matt. 10:40, 41]
- Though but few accepted them, God sent reformation prophets to prepare a people for the flood, to save the northern kingdom of Israel, and to prepare for Jesus’ first coming. He has promised to do so again before Jesus’ second coming. God’s unchanging truth is revealed in the Bible, but He loves us too much to leave anything undone to save us, and so He has promised to again communicate with us directly. What has God promised not to do?
Amos 3:7 [Hosea 12:13]
- How does God reveal His secrets to His prophets?
Num. 12:6 [2 Peter 1:21; Gen. 46:2; Num. 24:15, 16; Isa. 1:1; Eze. 1:1; Dan. 10:7-9; Hosea 12:10; Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 16:9, 10; 18:9; Rev. 9:17]
- Who only will recognize Jesus’ voice when He speaks through someone He has called to be His messenger?
John 10:27 [John 7:17; 8:31, 32; 14:16-18]
Will you determine, by God’s help, to walk so close to Jesus that you will be able to recognize, and be willing to accept, the voice of a messenger from Him-even a prophetic messenger?