Watchman's Teaching Letter #216 April 2016
This is my two hundred and sixteenth monthly teaching letter and ends my eighteenth year of publication. In the last letter, WTL #215, I brought up the subject of THE ELIJAH MINISTRY at Malachi 4:5-6, which I will quote again because of its GREAT IMPORTANCE:
“5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh: 6 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.”
I should point out from the very beginning, there are only a Minor Few who have any idea of the SIGNIFICANCE of what this passage is all about and how its context accords with the rest of the Bible. Hopefully, before we finish this exposé, there will be absolutely no doubt in the reader’s mind how it fits into the design of Almighty Yahweh.
To show the popular misconception on this passage, I am deliberately going to cite two well known Biblical commentaries, one which confuses the context beyond all reasonable logic and thus arrives at a very flawed conclusion, and another well known commentary (from three authors), where one of the authors did much better on this passage, yet I am withholding my approval for his other observations. The first one will be from Adam Clarke’s 6-volume Commentary. The second one will be from the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown 6-volume Commentary.
First from Adam Clarke’s 6-volume Commentary, vol. 4, p. 806:
“Verse 5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet] This is meant alone of John the Baptist, as we learn from Luke i. 17, (where see the note) in whose spirit and power he came.
“Verse 6. And he shall turn (convert) the heart of the fathers (... ‘al, WITH) the children] Or, together with the children; both old and young. Lest I come, and, finding them unconverted, smite the land with a curse, ... cherem, utter extinction. So we find that, had the Jews turned to God, and received the Messiah at the preaching of John the Baptist and that of Christ and his apostles, the awful ... cherem of final excision and execration would not have been executed upon them. However, they filled up the cup of their iniquity, and were reprobated, and the Gentiles elected in their stead. Thus, the last was first, and the first was last. Glory to God for his unspeakable gift!
“There are three remarkable predictions in this chapter:– 1. The advent of John Baptist, in the spirit and authority of Elijah. 2. The manifestation of Christ in the flesh, under the emblem of the Sun of righteousness. 3. The final destruction of Jerusalem, represented under the emblem of a burning oven, consuming every thing cast into it. These three prophecies, relating to the most important facts that have ever taken place in the history of the world, announced here nearly four hundred years before their occurrence, have been most circumstantially fulfilled ....” [Clarke is highly inaccurate! CAE]
On this same page, Clarke has a couple of non-related items of interest which the reader might find interesting:
“In most of the Masoretic Bibles the fifth verse is repeated after the sixth– ‘Behold, I send unto you Elijah the prophet, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come;’ for the Jews do not like to let their sacred book end with a curse; and hence, in reading, they immediately subjoin the above verse, or else the fourth– ‘Remembering ye the law of Moses my servant.’
“In one of my [Clarke’s] oldest MSS. the fifth verse is repeated, and written at full length: ‘Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.’ In another, only these words are added: ‘Behold, I will send you Elijah.’ It is on this ground that the Jews expect the reappearance of Elijah the prophet; and at their marriage-feast always set a chair and knife and fork for this prophet, whom they suppose to be invisibly present ....
“In most MSS. and printed Masoretic Bibles there are only three chapters in this [Malachi] prophet, the fourth being joined to the third, making it twenty-four verses.”
While Adam Clarke is correct that John the Baptist would come in the spirit of Elijah, as his ministry indicated at Luke 1:17. This and Malachi 4:5-6 represent two separate manifestations that would take place at two different periods of times.
Since Clarke cited Luke 1:17, I will quote it here:
“And he [John the Baptist] 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 Yahweh.” Be this as it may, we have much more Scripture concerning this matter!
On to the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown 6-volume Commentary, (Fausset in particular, where I will do some editing and deleting as needed), vol. 4, pp. 726-727:
“5. I send you Elijah – as a means towards your ‘remembering the law’ (Malachi 4:4). the prophet – emphatical; not ‘the Tishbite’; for it is in his official, not his personal capacity, that his coming is here predicted. In this sense, John the Baptist was an Elijah in spirit (Luke 1:16, 17), but not the literal Elijah; whence when asked, ‘Art thou Elias?’ (John 1:21), He answered, ‘I am not.’ ‘Art thou that prophet?’ ‘No.’ This implies that John, though knowing from the angel’s announcement to his father that he was referred to by Malachi 4:5 (Luke 1:17), whence he wore the costume of Elijah, yet knew by inspiration that he did not exhaustively fulfil all that is included in this prophecy: that there is a further fulfilment (compare Note, see on Malachi 3:1). As Moses in Malachi 4:4 represents the law, so Elijah represents the prophets. The [Edomite-] jews; always understood it of the literal Elijah. Their saying is, ‘Messiah must be anointed by Elijah.’ As there is another consummating advent of Messiah Himself, so also of His forerunner Elijah; perhaps in person, as at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3; compare Matthew 17:11). He in his appearance at the transfiguration in that body on which death had never passed is the forerunner of the saints who shall be found alive at the Lord’s [sic Yahshua’s] second coming. Rev 11:3 may refer to the same witnesses as at the transfiguration, Moses and Elijah; Revelation 11:6 identifies the latter (compare 1 Kings 17:1; James 5:17). Even after the transfiguration Jesus (Matthew 17:11) speaks of Elijah’s coming ‘to restore all things’ as still future, though He adds that Elijah (in the person of John the Baptist) is come already in a sense (compare Acts 3:21). However, the future forerunner of Messiah at His second coming may be a prophet or number of prophets clothed with Elijah’s power, who, with zealous upholders of ‘the law’ clothed in the spirit of ‘Moses,’ may be the forerunning witnesses alluded to here and in Revelation 11:2-12. The words ‘before the … dreadful day of the Lord,’ show that John cannot be exclusively meant; for he came before the day of Christ’s coming in grace, not before His coming in terror, of which last the destruction of Jerusalem was the earnest [i.e., down-payment, or a pledge] (Malachi 4:1; Joel 2:31).
“6. turn … heart of … fathers to … children, &c. – Explained by some, that John’s preaching should restore harmony in families. But Luke 1:16, 17 substitutes for ‘the heart of the children to the fathers,’ ‘the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,’ implying that the reconciliation to be effected was that between the unbelieving disobedient children and the believing ancestors, Jacob, Levi, ‘Moses,’ and ‘Elijah’ (just mentioned) (compare Malachi 1:2; 2:4, 6; 3:3, 4). The threat here is that, if this restoration were not effected, Messiah’s coming would prove ‘a curse’ to the ‘earth,’ not a blessing. It proved so to guilty Jerusalem and the ‘earth,’ that is, the land of Judea when it rejected Messiah at His first advent, though He brought blessings (Genesis 12:3) to those who accepted Him (John 1:11-13). Many were delivered from the common destruction of the nation through John’s preaching (Romans 9:29; 11:5). It will prove so to the disobedient at His second advent, though He comes to be glorified in His saints (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). curse – Hebrew, Cherem, ‘a ban’; the fearful term applied by the Jews [sic Judahites] to the extermination of the guilty Canaanites. Under this ban Judea has long lain. Similar is the awful curse on all of Gentile churches [sic ekklesia] who love not the Lord Jesus now (1 Corinthians 16:22) ... It is deeply suggestive that the last utterance from heaven for four hundred years before Messiah was the awful word ‘curse.’ Messiah’s first word on the mount was ‘Blessed’ (Matthew 5:3) ....” [As I noted before, I have done some editing and deleting where necessary.] I had to delete about eight lines toward the end of this citation, as Fausset was drifting off course and confusing true Judah with the Edomite-jews!
To get the correct context on Malachi 4:5-6, we must take into consideration Malachi 4:4 which states:
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for allH3605 Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”
Here the all-important word is “all”, Strong’s Hebrew #3605:
“H3605. ... kôl, kole; or (Jer. 33:8)°
... kôwl, kole; from H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense):– KJV rendering: (in) all (manner, [ye]), altogether, any (manner), enough, every (one, place, thing), howsoever, as many as, [no-] thing, ought, whatsoever, (the) whole, whoso (-ever).”
In short, the “all” at Malachi 4:4 means ALL of Israel! Therefore, it is paramount to compare Malachi 4:4 with Luke 1:16-17 which states:
“16 And manyG4183 of the children of Israel shall he turn to Yahweh their Almighty. 17 And he [John the Baptist] 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 Yahweh.”
Here the all important word is “many”, Strong’s Greek #4183:
“G4183. ... polus, pol-oos´; including the forms from the alternate ‘pollos’; (singular) much (in any respect) or (plural) many; neuter (singular) as adverb largely; neuter (plural) as adverb or noun often, mostly, largely:– KJV renderings: abundant, + altogether, common, + far (passed, spent), (+ be of a) great (age, deal, -ly, while), long, many, much, oft (-en [-times]), plenteous, sore, straitly. Compare G4118, G4119.”
I counted through the E-sword electronic program, and G4183 is translated as “many” in English 182 times, including Luke 1:16. Well did Fausset state: “The words ‘before the … dreadful day of the Lord,’ show that John cannot be exclusively meant; for he came before the day of Christ’s coming in grace, not before His coming in terror, of which last the destruction of Jerusalem was the earnest (Malachi 4:1; Joel 2:31).” The word “earnest” is found at 2 Corinthians 1:22 in relation to “the earnest of the Spirit”, and “earnest” is G728 in Strong’s Greek dictionary, and means a “pledge”! In other words, Fausset was indicating that John the Baptist’s ministry was only a pledge, or down payment, on a future event yet to come.
Malachi 4:1 reads: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith Yahweh of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
Joel 2:31reads: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Yahweh come.”
Therefore, it should be coming quite clear that Malachi 4:5-6 and Luke 1:16-17 are speaking of two separate events happening at isolated times! Malachi 4:5-6 speaks of the Elijah ministry, and it is happening as this is being written. As a matter of fact it started with John Wilson, who was born June 8, 1788 at Kilmarnock, Scotland, when he gave his first course of lectures upon ‘Ancient Israel’, in one of the Dublin theaters in 1837. It is astonishingly ridiculous to assign John the Baptist to the prophecy at Malachi 4:5-6, as Adam Clarke implied! We might have to forgive Adam Clarke, as he was born about 1762 at Moybeg in County Londonderry, Ireland. He had an off and on again conversion, helped along by some Methodist preachers. He preached his first sermon in 1782, and John Wesley became quite impressed with him. Clarke began his commentary May 1, 1798 and finished it August 26, 1832. Inasmuch as John Wilson didn’t start his Israel Identity ministry until 1837, Adam Clarke had already finished his Commentary in 1832, so Clarke had no opportunity to accept or reject Israel Identity! So the only thing we can do with Adam Clarke’s comments is to give him credit where credit is due, and give him constructive criticism, after his death, where constructive criticism is due. This is, “precept upon precept, and line upon line, here a little and there a little”, Isaiah 28:10. If I overlook being very careful, it might come back to bite me, “Ouch”!
We do, though, have to wonder how much influence the famous John Wesley had on Adam Clarke’s Commentary, as the 6-volume set that I have was printed by The Methodist Book Concern – New York – Cincinnati – Chicago. For due diligence’s sake, let’s do a little investigation into this matter. From The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 1034, we read in part:
“WESLEY, JOHN (1703-1791). Founder of Methodism. He was the fifteenth child of Epworth rector Samuel Wesley and his wife Susanna. Although John’s father was a staunch High Churchman of the old school, both his grandparents were Puritan Nonconformists. Educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, John Wesley was elected in 1726 to a fellowship at Lincoln College in the same university. He had been ordained deacon the previous year and had preached his first sermon in South Leigh. On two separate occasions he served as his father’s curate. In 1728 he was ordained priest by John Potter ....
“In 1735 the Wesleys accepted an invitation from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to undertake a mission to the Indians and colonists in Georgia. The project proved a fiasco, and when he got back to England in 1738 Wesley wrote: ‘I went to America to convert the Indians; but, oh, who shall convert me?’
“On the journey to America the Wesleys had met a company of twenty-one German Moravians whose simple faith had made a considerable impression on them. When, therefore, John Wesley was introduced in London to another Moravian, Peter Boehler, he was predisposed to lean toward him. In the event, Boehler was to be the pedagogue to bring Wesley to Christ. As a result of conversations with Boehler, Wesley was ‘clearly convinced of unbelief, of the want of that faith whereby alone we are saved.’ On 24 May 1738, his heart was ‘strangely warmed’ as he listened to a reading from Luther’s preface to Romans at a meeting in Aldersgate Street. This experience made him an evangelist. ‘Then it pleased God,’ he declared, ‘to kindle a fire which I trust shall never be extinguished’ ....”
It will help us in our quest to know something about the teachings of John Wesley, from the same book. p. 474 in part:
“HOLINESS MOVEMENT, AMERICAN. A religious movement dating from the mid-nineteenth century that tried to preserve the original thrust of the Methodist teachings on entire sanctification and Christian perfection as taught by John Wesley in such writings as the Plain Account of Christian Perfection. This teaching expects that entire sanctification normally takes place instantaneously in an emotional experience similar to conversion. At this point one is cleansed from inbred sin and enabled to live without conscious or deliberate sin. In the American revivalistic context and under the influence of the camp meeting there was a subtle mutation of these concepts in the direction of individualism, emotionalism, and emphasis on the crisis experience ....” [emphasis mine]
I am very familiar with this kind of church dogma, as I attended several churches that taught this same propaganda! I remember well one lady, during a service got up and testified something like this: “I once knew a woman who was 99% perfect, and almost made it into heaven”, and she believed that BS strongly! What this lady that testified should have said would go something like, “I once knew a woman who was racially 99% White Adamite, and almost made it into the Kingdom”! I’ve witnessed some of those “emotional experiences”, and all it amounts to is, making one’s self a fool!
There is, though, a way to be totally without sin, found at 1 John 3:9: “Whosoever is born of Yahweh doth not commit sin; for his seed (i.e., sperm) remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of Yahweh.” So, it is very important that one marry a spouse of one’s own race. All of this “sanctification” depends on the racial purity of one’s father and mother, not some kind of “emotional experience”! When we consider all of these things, it makes us question how all of these trends developed.
In addition our questions thus far, did Adam Clarke and the Methodist churches also believe in a so-called trinity? For an answer we will go to the United Methodos website:
“The official United Methodist doctrine is that God is one God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Apostles Creed: ‘(1) I believe in God the Father Almighty – (2) And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord – (3) I believe in the Holy Spirit ...”
In Adam Clarke’s 6-volume Commentary we find the following at volume 5, p. 172:
Here is an excerpt from column 1: “... they now received a commission to teach and proselyte all the nations, and baptize them in the name of the holy Trinity ...”
Here is a paragraph a few lines below the above excerpt:
“In the name of the Father, etc. – Baptism, properly speaking, signifies a full and eternal consecration of the person to the service and honour of that Being in whose name it is administered; but this consecration can never be made to a creature; therefore the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are not creatures. Again, baptism is not made in the name of a quality or attribute of the divine nature; therefore the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not qualities or attributes of the divine nature. Is it possible for words to convey a plainer sense than these do? And do they not direct every reader to consider the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as three distinct persons?”
From The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 139, we read in part:
“BOEHME, JAKOB (1575-1624). German Lutheran mystic and theosophist. He was born at Altseidenberg near Goerlitz, where he lived nearly all his life, working as a shoemaker. Among his mystical experiences, the most important occurred in 1600, when he looked at a dish reflecting the sunlight and in an ecstatic state saw ‘the Being of Beings, the byss and the abyss, the eternal generation of the trinity, the origin and descent of this world, and of all creatures through the divine wisdom.’ In 1612 he published some of his insights in a work, The Beginning of Dawn, followed by a devotional, treatise, The Way to Christ (1623). His other writings were published posthumously ....”
By the way, Matthew 28:19 reads thusly:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ...”
These are not three separate entities, but one entity in three different manifestations! (See John 14:-7-9):
“7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Master, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Yahshua saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
So much for the present concerning Adam Clarke’s 6-volume Commentary. Should one have an occasion to refer to it, please use caution in doing so, as one should also do with any Bible commentary! We will now return to the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown 6-volume Commentary, especially for Fausset’s comments on this subject of the Elijah Message at Malachi 4:5-6.
RE: “... In this sense, John the Baptist was an Elijah in spirit (Luke 1:16, 17), but not the literal Elijah; whence when asked, ‘Art thou Elias?’ (John 1:21), He answered, ‘I am not.’ ‘Art thou that prophet?’ ‘No.’ This implies that John, though knowing from the angel’s announcement to his father that he was referred to by Malachi 4:5 (Luke 1:17), whence he wore the costume of Elijah, yet knew by inspiration that he did not exhaustively fulfil all that is included in this prophecy: that there is a further fulfilment ....”
Fausset’s comment from this excerpt is very excellent considering that he lived from October 13, 1821 to February 8, 1910. To my knowledge, I am not aware that Fausset knew anything about Israel Identity, or saw Malachi 4:5-6 in the light that we understand it today.
RE: “... As there is another consummating advent of Messiah Himself, so also of His forerunner Elijah; perhaps in person, as at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3; compare Matthew 17:11). He in his appearance at the transfiguration in that body on which death had never passed is the forerunner of the saints who shall be found alive at the Lord’s [sic Yahshua’s] second coming.
Here Fausset is correct in the part I underlined, but we don’t see any evidence that it will be Elijah as he appeared at the transfiguration.
RE: “... Even after the transfiguration Jesus (Matthew 17:11) speaks of Elijah’s coming ‘to restore all things’ as still future, though He adds that Elijah (in the person of John the Baptist) is come already in a sense ....”
Here Fausset is reinforcing the premise that the spirit of Elijah will be manifested just prior to Yahshua’s Second Advent!
RE: “... However, the future forerunner of Messiah at His second coming may be a prophet or number of prophets clothed with Elijah’s power, who, with zealous upholders of ‘the law’ clothed in the spirit of ‘Moses,’ may be the forerunning witnesses ...”
Here Fausset is speculating on how the prophecy at Malachi 4: 5-6 might be fulfilled, by stating “... may be a prophet or number of prophets ...” Well there are other Biblical teachers besides myself who are presently teaching the Elijah Message, but we hardly consider ourselves as prophets.
RE: “The words ‘before the … dreadful day of the Lord,’ show that John cannot be exclusively meant; for he came before the day of Christ’s coming in grace, not before His coming in terror, of which last the destruction of Jerusalem was the earnest ....”
Again, Fausset is reinforcing the premise that Malachi 4:5-6 and Luke 1:16-17 are two separate events to happen at different time periods where the Elijah Message would be in effect. That is why Fausset used the Biblical term “earnest” meaning: down-payment, or pledge. In other words, the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. was a foretaste of a much greater destruction of the enemies of Yahshua just prior to His Second Coming, and all signs are indicating that that destruction may be coming sooner than some might think!
RE: “... The threat here is that, if this restoration were not effected, Messiah’s coming would prove ‘a curse’ to the ‘earth,’ not a blessing. It proved so to guilty Jerusalem and the ‘earth,’ that is, the land of Judea when it rejected Messiah at His first advent, though He brought blessings (Genesis 12:3) to those who accepted Him (John 1:11-13).”
Here Fausset is comparing the “curse” found at Malachi 4:6 to the “blessing” of Christ’s first coming at John 1:11-13, which was a “blessing” for all who believed on Him. Fausset then refers to the Elijah Message that effected Jerusalem and Judea as a “curse”, shortly after Christ’s crucifixion.
RE: “... It will prove so to the disobedient at His second advent, though He comes to be glorified in His saints (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).”
To understand what Fausset is speaking about, I will quote 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10:
“6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with Yahweh to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when Yahshua Christ shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not Yahweh, and that obey not the gospel of our Yahshua Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of Yahshua Christ, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”
RE: “... It is deeply suggestive that the last utterance from heaven for four hundred years before Messiah was the awful word ‘curse.’ Messiah’s first word on the mount was ‘Blessed’ (Matthew 5:3) ....”
Fausset is simply demonstrating how the last word at Malachi 4:6, at the end of the Old Testament is a “curse”, while at Matthew 5:3, Yahshua Christ, at the beginning of His ministry, issued a blessing thusly: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
This concludes my analysis of the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown 6-volume Commentary, (Fausset in particular), at vol. 4, pp. 726-727.
All those who want to study the Elijah Message further might consult the following passages of Scripture, plus any cross-references to them: Genesis 12:3; 1 Kings 17:1; Joel 2:31; Malachi 1:2; 2:4, 6; 3:3; 4:1, 5; Matthew 5:3; 17:3, 11; Luke 1:16-17; John 1:11-13, 21; Acts 3:21; Romans 9:29; 11:5; Thessalonians 1:6-10; 1 Corinthians 16:22; James 5:17.
However, we have a second witness that interprets the two comings of Elijah in spirit from Barne’s Notes: The Minor Prophets A Commentary, by E.B. Pusey, vol. 1, p. 499, starting with Malachi 4:5-6 in part justly:
“5. Behold I will send [I send, as a future, proximate in the prophet’s mind] you Elijah the prophet. The Archangel Gabriel interprets this for us, to include the sending of St. John the Baptist. For he not only says that he, shall go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elias, but describes his mission in the characteristic words of Malachi, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children: and those other words also, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, perhaps represent the sequel in Malachi, and the hearts of the children to the fathers; for their hearts could only be so turned by conversion to God, Whom the fathers, patriarchs and prophets, knew, loved and served; and whom they served in name only. St. John the Baptist, in denying that he was Elias, denied only, that he was that great prophet himself. Our Lord, in saying, This is Elias, which was for to come, that Elias is come already and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed, met the error of the Scribes, that He could not be the Christ, because Elias was not yet come. When He says, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things,He implies a coming of Elias, other than that of St. John the Baptist, since he was already martyred, and all things were not yet restored. This must also be the fullest fulfillment. For the great and terrible Day of the Lord is the Day of judgment, of which all earthly judgments, however desolating, (as the destruction of Jerusalem) are but shadows and earnests. Before our Lord’s coming all things looked on to His first Coming, and, since that Coming, all looks on to the Second, which is the completion of the first and of all things in time.
“Our Lord’s words, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things, seem to me to leave no question, that, as St. John the Baptist came, in the spirit and power of Elias, before His First Corning, so, before the Second Coming, Elias should come in person, as Jews [sic Judaeans] and Christians have alike expected. This has been the Christian expectation from the first. St. Justin Martyr asked his opponent, ‘Shall we not conceive that the Word of God has proclaimed Elias to be the forerunner of the great and terrible day of His second Coming?’ ‘Certainly,’ was Trypho’s reply, St. Justin continues, ‘Our Lord Himself taught us in His own teaching that this very thing shall be, when He said that Elias also shall come;and we know that this shall be fulfilled, when He is about to come from Heaven in glory’.”
The main passage that proves beyond all doubt that there were to be two separate periods, about 1900 years apart, is shown at Matthew 17:12 thusly: “But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listedG2309 [past tense]. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.”
Importantly, one should have a complete understanding of the Greek word #2309 thel´-o,eth-el´-o, translated into the English as “listed”. Some KJV renderings are: “will”, “wilt”, “willing”, “willeth”, “would”, “would have”, “listed”, “listeth”, “desire”, “desireth”, “desiring”, “desirous”, “love to”, “intending”, “have this”, “disposed to”, “pleased”, “had rather”, “be forward”.
The Nestle-Aland #27 rendering from the Greek in part on Matthew 17:12: “... but they did with him [John the Baptist] as much as they wanted thusly also the son of the man is about to suffer by them ...”
This is substantial evidence that Christ was indicating that John the Baptist had already been put to death, and that his ministry was an “earnest” (i.e., down payment or pledge) of a greater coming of the Elijah spirit, just before the great and terrible day of Yahweh!
The record of John the Baptist’s murder found at Matt. 14:6-8:
“6 But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. 7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. 8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger. 9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.”
It is Biblical, then, that we criticize Adam Clarke for his errors at Malachi 4:5-6, along with the whole Wesleyan movement, who base “salvation” on “unbridled emotionalism” rather than humble belief! As a people, we have strayed so far away from the original tenets of “Covenant Theology” that we no longer comprehend the foremost principles concerning the history of our race!