Seven years ago I wrote an article on Elijah saying we should not be looking for the coming of Elijah, but rather for the coming of Jesus Christ. I also said that the Elijah may have come already and perhaps we did not recognize him. After all, when John the Baptist came as Elijah the people did not recognize that connection. Jesus had to tell his disciples that John the Baptist was the Elijah. However, I believe Jesus also said that a third Elijah would come. “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” Matthew 17:10-13.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
If there is another Elijah to come, how will we recognize him? The modern evangelical churches do not concern themselves with this question because they believe he will come after the rapture when they are all gone to heaven. Why should we be concerned with recognizing him? I believe it is important because he will need prayer support. We should pray for him when he starts preaching. Of course, if he has already come then the question is moot. If he appears as the resurrected prophet from the Old Testament then it will be obvious who he is, but this article is about identifying him if he is just another man of our generation.
The first Elijah’s ministry included God revealing Himself as God the Father. God is a consuming fire. The fire came down from heaven on the altar that Elijah had made and consumed the sacrifice. The second Elijah’s ministry included God revealing Himself as God the Son. “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” John 1:32-34. If there is a third Elijah to come, I believe his ministry will involve God revealing Himself as God the Holy Spirit. That is, when the third Elijah preaches, the Holy Spirit will fall on multitudes and there will be revival for those who come to hear him. This is nothing new, but I believe it is needed on a larger scale not yet seen in our generation. We are a morally corrupt people, as bad as the people before the flood and as bad as the people in Sodom and Gomorrah before they were destroyed by fire. “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 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 come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:4-6.
The first Elijah told the people to choose between God and Baal. He was referring to the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The second Elijah rebuked Herod for taking his brother’s wife. He was referring to the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” He also told everyone that had two coats to give a coat to a person that had none. He was referring to the tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” To the tax collectors and soldiers, he said that they should not take more than their rightful wages. He was referring to the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” Surely we could expect a third Elijah to preach the Ten Commandments just like the first two did.
We need some sort of revival in our generation. Revivals never touch everyone in the nation, but we need enough of a revival to prepare the body of Christ, the Church, to meet Jesus Christ when He comes. Perhaps the ministry of a third Elijah can bring about that revival.