In the Spirit of
In the Spirit of Elijah, Part I
In every period of history that precedes a major
judgment by God there has been an opportunity for
individuals to repent. Men are exhorted, and they are
allowed the time to repent – to turn again from
the ways of the world to serve the living God.
The apostle Peter tells us prophetically, that the
same principle would be true in these last days. He
was speaking about today!
- II Peter
- But the heavens and the earth, which are now,
by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto
fire against the day of judgment and perdition of
- But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one
thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand
years, and a thousand years as one day.
- The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering
to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but
that all should come to repentance.
- But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in
the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away
with a great noise, and the elements shall melt
with fervent heat, the earth also and the works
that are therein shall be burned up.
- Seeing then that all these things shall be
dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in
all holy conversation and godliness,
- Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the
day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall
be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with
- Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look
for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
Before we look further at conditions in our own
day, let us first consider some of the lessons from
the Word of God. We would like to begin our study of
the "spirit of Elijah" by a review of the first
century AD. It was during this period of time that
John the baptist appeared with his call for
The iniquity of the Jewish nation (God's chosen
people) had been filled up – they were now on
the verge of committing their greatest offense;
rejecting and crucifying their Messiah.
The judgment that they would bring upon them for
these offenses was the subject of many of the
parables of the Messiah during his own ministry. For
- And he began to speak unto them by parables. A
certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge
about it, and digged a place for the winevat, and
built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and
went into a far country.
- And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a
servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen
of the fruit of the vineyard.
- And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him
- And again he sent unto them another servant;
and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the
head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
- And again he sent another; and him they killed,
and many others; beating some, and killing
- Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved,
he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will
reverence my son.
- But those husbandmen said among themselves,
This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the
inheritance shall be ours.
- And they took him, and killed him, and cast him
out of the vineyard.
- What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard
do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and
will give the vineyard unto others.
They were destined to be judged and scattered for
their sins. History tells us that those judgments
would climax in AD 70, but before the judgment on the
fig tree nation the goodness of God would allow his
people ample space to repent. To assist them in
turning from their sins, he sent his messenger John
the baptist, in the spirit and power of
- And he shall go before him in the spirit and
power of Elias, 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
- In those days came John the Baptist, preaching
in the wilderness of Judaea,
- And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand.
- For this is he that was spoken of by the
prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in
the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
John was the forerunner for Christ. It was his
mission to introduce Christ (God's royal majesty).
John dedicated his life to this task, spending his
days in poverty while he was calling the Jewish
people to repentance.
- Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea,
and all the region round about Jordan,
- And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing
- But when he saw many of the Pharisees and
Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O
generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee
from the wrath to come?
- Bring forth therefore fruits meet for
- And think 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
It is significant that even the Pharisees were
given the opportunity to bring forth fruits meet for
repentance. God is not willing that any should
Note: John's ministry began in 29 or 30 AD, 40
years before the judgment in AD 70. They had plenty
of warning about the coming affliction when they
would "fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be
led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the
times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24).
John ("in the spirit and power of Elijah")
continued his exhortation in Matthew 3:
- And now also the axe is laid unto the root of
the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not
forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the
- 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
- Whose fan is in his hand, and he will
thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his
wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the
chaff with unquenchable fire.