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Monday, November 5, 2012

Matthew 11:14

And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
For further study - Matthew 11:1-14

As we now move into the New Testament for our devotional readings we come to the book of Matthew and will realize that this is a very "prophetic" book of the Bible. You will also notice that I start with Matthew 11 for our first devotional because of the last couple verses of Malachi.

This text for our devotions today has a connection back to the last book of the Old Testament, the prophetic book of Malachi. In Malachi 4:5, the Old Testament prophet revealed that "Elijah" must come as the forerunner to "the great and dreadful day of the Lord". This will be the day when Jesus Christ comes back to earth.

Now, here in Matthew, we read what Jesus had to say to the Jewish people about John the Baptist. The Lord says that no greater man had been born of woman than John the Baptist. Then Jesus told the Jews that if they had accepted him, John the Baptist could have fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi.

John the Baptist could have been the fulfillment of Elijah who is to come. The Jewish people rejected the forerunner, John the Baptist, and they rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ, as well.

This passage of scripture is the link between the Old and the New Testament. But it also reveals to us that Elijah is yet to come, to be the forerunner for Jesus, the Messiah. Revelation 11:3-12 predicts that there will be "two witnesses" that will have a powerful ministry during the first half of the 7-year Tribulation Period.

144,000 Jewish men will turn to Christ under the ministry of these "two witness", Revelation 7:4-8. Ultimately, the two witnesses will be killed and lay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days, Revelation 11:8-12, before they are resurrected and taken to heaven.

One of those two witnesses must be Elijah who has never died. He was taken to heaven by a "chariot of fire" while he was still living, II Kings 2:11. Elijah will come back to do his ministry, be killed as called for by scripture, Hebrews 9:27, and then go back to heaven.

I can tell you, as the song says, we are living in the "days of Elijah". He has not arrived, but is on his way, to appear any day. But before Elijah’s arrival we depart for the heavens at the Rapture, and that event could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to live today as if it would be today that Jesus shouts for us to join Him in heaven.