As I begin this article, I would like to give a tip of the hat to Pastor Charles Jennings who pointed out that the stones John the Baptist talked about were the people of Israel. I listen to Pastor Jennings’ messages on Spotify and YouTube on the internet. They are under the heading, “Truth In History”
John the Baptist said to the Pharisees and the multitude, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Luke 3:8. The stones represented the twelve tribes of Israel. John was baptizing people in the Jordan River. In that river there were twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. “And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.” Joshua 4:9. The prophecy John the Baptist was making was that if the Jews would not receive Christ and turn from their sins the lost tribes of Israel would receive the Lord and be proclaimed as children of Abraham. This prophecy was fulfilled in the Anglo Saxon and kindred people (the lost tribes of Israel).
John the Baptist also made a terrifying prophecy regarding rebellious Israelites. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12. I believe this speaks of Israelites who reject Jesus Christ. They will be burned up with fire. John the Baptist was presenting two options to Israelites. Receive Jesus and be baptized with the Holy Ghost or reject Jesus and be burned up.
There was another prophet that presented two options to Israelites, and he brought forth stones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21. After that, Elijah went to work. “And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.” 1 Kings 18:31-32. Most of us know what happened next. He had the dead bullock and the altar doused with twelve barrels of water, and he prayed. “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.” 1 Kings 18:38-39. This could symbolically be the same message John the Baptist preached. The dousing with the twelve barrels of water could represent the baptism of the Holy Spirit available to the twelve tribes of Israel and the fire from heaven could represent God’s wrath on unrepentant Israelites. We are always given a choice. Follow God or follow Satan. Believe in Jesus or reject the Gospel. The messages of Elijah and John the Baptist still speak to us.
Jesus also spoke of the stones. “And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:37-40. The stones are Israelites. The Lord always has Israelites who will worship him. The apostle Peter also spoke of the stones. Peter was a stone, indicated by his name. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5. We Israelites who worship the Lord are lively stones. We are not dead stones.
The events that followed the fire from heaven with Elijah are pertinent to our day. Elijah had all of the prophets of Baal put to death. This represented the cleansing of Israel from lies. We need truth in our day. There are many lies being promoted in the media, in educational institutions, in the entertainment industry, and even in the scientific community. People are swayed by the love of money to ignore truth and promote lies. The Bible is cast aside and labelled as myth. I believe the Lord is coming soon with fire to judge the liars. After Elijah cleansed Israel there was rain for the parched ground. This is symbolic of the coming of the Lord. “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.” Psalms 72:6-7. The rain came in the seventh watch of Elijah’s servant. I believe this is symbolic of the millennial rule of Jesus Christ, which will take place in the seventh millennium since the rebellion of Adam and Eve. Next in the Elijah story, Elijah ran to Jezreel. Jezreel is symbolic of the kingdom of God. “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” Hosea 1:11. The story of Elijah at Mount Carmel illustrates symbolically God’s plan for our day. The Lord will come with consuming fire and cleanse Israel of all lies and liars. Then the truth of his word will be spread throughout the world and the stone kingdom will expand and fill the earth. We hope that day comes soon.