Question: Didn’t Jesus Christ Say John The Baptist Was The Elijah? Matthew 17:12-13.
Donald Bohanon: Absolutely. But it’s important to point out there was only one original Elijah mentioned in the old testament. Anyone else referenced in scripture in relation to being “Elijah” are just “types of Elijah’s”, in that they come in the same spirit and or power (or both) of the old testament Elijah. John the Baptist was one.
But John the Baptist was not the end-time Elijah mentioned in Malachi 4:5-6. We know this because of the key points of the verses. The first profound point being this Elijah is to come immediately before the Great and Terrible Day Of The Lord.
An event that happens right before the return of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist didn’t fulfill that role in scripture. John the Baptist came centuries before the Great and Terrible Day of The Lord so he couldn’t be the Elijah mentioned in Malachi 4:5-6.
Another key point that is crucial to understanding the verse is this man, as God outlines, will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers or God promises to destroy the whole earth with a curse.
That curse probably being in the form of some kind of widespread plagues, and or contagions, or other cataclysmic events that God will use to decimate the human race if they don’t repent of the “abominable sins”.
John the Baptist didn’t fulfill that role either. Obviously these verses are referencing events at the very end. And the threat of widespread destruction has to be in relation to some form of abominable sin that is being practiced in the end time that is greatly offensive to God, and if not departed from will result in the destruction or the widespread destruction of the human race.
Because abominable sin has and will always provoke God to that level of anger and to act so terribly. Only abominable sin and the harming of God’s servants triggers God to act in such a way.
And whether people choose to believe it or not homosexuality and the widespread practicing of it in many countries is one of those very offensive, abominable, sins that will bring this destruction upon the human race.
This destruction includes all nations and peoples. And it’s not surprising when you consider God has destroyed whole civilizations ( some recorded in the pages of the Bible and some not) for practicing the same filthy sin.
Although all nations may not be embracing, promoting, or practicing, the abominable behavior, the destruction will affect them as well because God will be completely fed up and they will be guilty of their own share of sins also. But the catalyst, for the cataclysm, if you will, will be the promotion and practicing of this abominable sin and other abominations. The only solution will be to outlaw it in every nation or God won’t relent.
Those key points of the verses couldn’t be describing John the Baptist because the human race was not under the threat of widespread destruction and or extinction at the time of John the Baptist. Neither was abominable sin and evil present to the degree it is today in John the Baptist day. So this is obviously referencing “a type of Elijah” at the very end of the age.
An age where all forms of abominable, destructive, corrupting, very offensive sins to God are being practiced. As well as the threat of weapons of mass destruction and contagions, etc, that could decimate the human race. John the Baptist didn’t fulfill that role.
Because he couldn’t and didn’t fulfill the key points of the verses in Malachi 4:5-6. Primarily because they didn’t apply to his time. So what Christ is obviously emphasizing is John the Baptist was “a type of Elijah” who had already come but they didn’t even welcome or respect him, but instead rejected him and did to him whatever they chose.
So why would they be interested in the arrival of the end-time Elijah when they already hated and rejected “a type of Elijah” in John the Baptist? John the Baptist certainly came in the spirit of the old testament Elijah but he didn’t necessarily display the power of the old testament Elijah. The end-time Elijah of Malachi 4:5-6 will have both the spirit and the power of the old testament Elijah.