|PROPHESIED IN MALACHI 4:5
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In MalachI 4:5, God says,
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." The religious
leaders wondered at these words, but the world was to wait 400 years before it came about in Matthew 17:11, when Jesus said
"Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. Then in verse 12, Jesus says, "But I say unto you, that
Elias (Elijah) is come already, and they knew him not." Then in 17:13, "the disciples understood that He spake
unto them of John the Baptist." In Mark 11:13, Jesus further explains "That Elias is indeed come."
John the Baptist is a story of miracles, although
there’s no record that he performed any. My thinking is that even such wonderful things as that would have detracted
from Elijah’s mission as John the Baptist to introduce the world to Jesus as the Christ. And my thinking continues
that John’s death was God’s way of taking him back to Heaven when his mission here was over. "He must increase
but I must decrease" (John 1:30).
But continuing with the miracles: John was baptized with the Holy Spirit before his birth (Luke 1:15), and "the babe
leaped in her womb, and Elisabeth (John’s mother) was filled with the Holy Ghost." And Luke 1:15, "he shall
be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb."
And speaking of Elisabeth, she "was barren," and with her husband Zacharias, "both
were well stricken in years." Miracles to young Mary and elderly Elisabeth!
The question arises; how could John send men to ask Jesus whether
He was the Christ, when he had preached Him, introduced Him and baptized Him, with the Holy Spirit settling on Jesus at that
time. Again, my thinking is that he sent doubters to Jesus, to ask and hear Him for themselves.
But let it rest. Be satisfied that we know today,
and our future lies in knowing in our hearts. We believe the Bible; that’s enough.
I’ve noticed that some of my Conquest articles have taken on a new complexion since my wife
went to her new home. I don’t feel the same about passing from this life to the next. I like to use the
term “The Promise” that the Lord gives to everyone…that Christians will immediately be with loved
ones who’ve gone on, when our turn comes.
King David used that consolation we see in 2nd Samuel 12:23,
after his son by Bathsheba died; “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” And of course Jesus
showed the same comfort to us, as He hung on the Cross, when he told the thief hanging beside Him, who had become a believer
there, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
I’ve written about that in an earlier article, but for those of you who didn’t see it, I’ll give
my interpretation of those words by Christ. “Today” means now…assuring us that we won’t be
put in a waiting area until some time in the future. And “shalt thou be with me” means that He will go to
the same place with this person who’s dying at His side.
And the Bible clearly shows that the word “Paradise” and
“Heaven” are the same place. Revelation 2:7 is enough to convince us: “He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which
is in the paradise of God.” And the tree of life serves double duty, also indicating that we’ll eat the
best of foods in Heaven.
The only ones who
should fear death, are those of you who haven’t given your heart to the Lord. I beg you to take care of that,
at this very moment. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.