are so many lessons to be learned by the study of Elijah’s victory over the
prophets of Baal that we must devote a chapter to that subject.
The first thought we wish to notice is that this subject is a prophecy
of that which shall occur in the future.
Already we have sought to make it clear that Baal will arise in the
last days as the final Antichrist. Prophecy
has it that Elijah is to appear on earth again.
During The Great Tribulation there will be a conflict between
Antichrist and Elijah, such a conflict as will repeat, with certain
modifications, the scene recorded in the eighteenth chapter of First Kings.
That many will repudiate the thought of Elijah’s return I am aware, but I do not understand how such clear prophecy can be set aside. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” —Mal. 4: 5. Many think this was fulfilled in John the Baptist, but I am sure that a close study of the subject will reveal otherwise. If John was Elijah, he told a falsehood concerning himself. “Then the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he said, I AM NOT.” —John 1: 19‑21. Here the Word is that he denied not, but confessed, “I AM NOT” Elijah. Jesus said, “Elias truly SHALL first come, and restore all things.”—Matt. 17: 11. Jesus said this after the death of John the Baptist. Concerning John, Jesus said, “If ye will receive it (not him, but what I say, that is, if you will not take my words too literally), this is Elias, which was for to come.” Matt. 11: 14. Then He is careful to add: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
sentence indicates that He knew His statement would likely be misunderstood.
There is a sense in which John the Baptist filled the mission of
Elijah; but that John was Elijah the Tishbite can not be true.
Therefore, according to prophecy, we look for the personal return of
Elijah the prophet “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the
In previous chapters we have explained that the “great and dreadful
day of the Lord” refers, not to the coming of Jesus for His Bride, but to
the Battle of Armageddon at the end of The Great Tribulation.
Elijah will not necessarily appear before The Great Tribulation begins.
Just when Elijah shall appear we can not say with certainty; however,
there are certain statements that seem to fix the date very closely.
In fact, it would not surprise me to learn that one of the two
witnesses mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Revelation is Elijah.
Whoever they are, it is very evident that they come from heaven to the
earth. Since these witnesses are
to be killed while they are here, in identifying them we are driven to search
heaven for two beings who are capable of corporeal death.
Are there such beings in heaven? Angels
are not subject to death, and so far as I know there are only two saints in
heaven who have never died. “It
is appointed unto men ONCE to die,” and those who have once died and have
reached heaven do not have to die again.
Therefore, we believe these two witnesses to be saints who have never
died, but are now in heaven. No
Bible student has a doubt as to the identity of the saints to whom I refer.
The one is Enoch; the other, Elijah.
Revelation 17: 7 indicates that these two witnesses will make their
appearance about the time that Antichrist and the False Prophet arise.
We have shown in a previous chapter that Antichrist appears seven years
before the end. (See Dan. 9: 27.) From
the fact that Antichrist shall make war against the two witnesses, and shall
overcome them, and kill them, we see that there will be a conflict between
Antichrist and Elijah. If we
would look at the contest between
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
and Elijah and at the one between Antichrist and Elijah, we shall see how the
one contest is a prophecy of the other. The
points of similarity and contrast to which we call your attention in this will
be an argument in favor of Elijah’s return.
While we pursue these points of similarity and contrast, we would have
you bear in mind that the first contest was between, as touching visible
agents, Elijah and the representatives of Baal.
Nimrod, or Baal, the Antichrist of the Old Testament, being invisible
in the days of Elijah, entered the contest with Elijah through his
representatives. In the first
contest Ahab is typical of Antichrist in the second, while the prophets of
Baal stand in the place of the False Prophet.
Let us notice that Elijah’s first appearance in public was sudden.
We know nothing of him till the day he sprang from the wilderness, and
like a thunder clap, made a dreadful annunciation to Ahab.
Likewise, his second appearance will be sudden.
No one will know of his coming till he appears before men.
His prophesying will begin like a thunderbolt (Rev. 11: 3).
The next point we notice is Elijah’s authority over rain.
His first message was: “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before
whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my
word.”—1 Ki. 17: 1. In Rev.
11: 6 it is stated that the two witnesses have “power to shut heaven, that
it rain not in the days of their prophecy.”
A strong point n confirming the identity of Elijah as one of these two
witnesses appears just here. Elijah
said to Ahab, “I stand before the Lord God of Israel;” and we read that
the two witnesses are “standing before the God of the earth” (Rev.
11: 4). Thus Elijah’s authority
over rain in the days of Ahab was prophetical of his authority over it in the
days of the Antichrist.
Next, we notice that the duration of the drought was the same in the
first case as it will be in the second. In
Luke 4: 25, and in James 5: 17, we read that in Elijah’s day there was no
for three years and six months. Even
so, the two witnesses prophesy twelve hundred and sixty days, or three and
one‑half years, and “have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in
the days of their prophecy.”
The next point is that the cause of the drought seems to be the same in
each case. Elijah said to Ahab:
“I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye
have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.”—1
Ki. 18: 18. Evidently, the
reason for the shutting of heaven in The Great Tribulation is that then men
shall have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and shall have followed
Antichrist. Ahab thought that
Elijah was the sole cause of the famine, and hence he said to him: “Art thou
he that troubleth Israel?” Likewise
it is written: “These two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the
earth.”— Rev. 11: 10. One
feature of the torture of the people in that day will be the drought.
The cause of the drought will be the people’s departure from God.
Next, let us note the hatred manifested toward Elijah in each case.
Obadiah said unto Elijah: “As the Lord thy God liveth, there is no
nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they
said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they
found thee not.” No such
statement is found in Revelation concerning the two witnesses, yet the same
thought is clearly implied in these words: “When they shall have finished
their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make
war against them, and kill them.” In
each case we see the hatred of the anti‑christian spirit toward Elijah.
Next, we shall take note of the contest in each case.
Elijah proposed to Ahab that the people be gathered together, that an
altar be erected to each, Baal and the Lord, and that a fair test be made to
prove which of the two is the true God. Ahab
gladly accepts his proposition, and gathers the people to Mount Carmel.
An altar is erected to each, Baal and the Lord, a bul-
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
lock is prepared and laid upon each altar, and then the contest begins. The prophets of Baal call upon their god, but they receive no answer. Elijah calls the people to come near. He then prays to the Lord to send the fire. The fire falls and consumes Elijah’s sacrifice. “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 Ki. 18: 39. After this, Elijah said: “Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” There is no such definite statement in Revelation telling of a similiar contest, yet I think that it is clearly implied. We do know that in the days of Antichrist there will be a great commotion as to the identity of the true God. Antichrist himself will claim to be the only God, while the two witnesses will firmly maintain that the Lord is the only God. It is probable that a contest will occur between Elijah and Antichrist similar to the contest between Elijah and Baal. In fact, Rev. 13: 13 seems to infer that altars will be erected, and the same test of God's identity tried again. If this be true, of course, the fire will come at Elijah's call. Strange to say, however, when the False Prophet calls, the fire falls for him. The False Prophet “maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” —Rev. 13: 13. In the first case, Baal was in hell while his prophets were calling upon him for the fire; so it seems that he was unable to answer their cry; but in the second case, Baal is resurrected in the person of Antichrist, the False Prophet himself being one raised from the pit, their power on earth being so much greater, they, with the assistance of Satan, send the fire down from heaven in the sight of men. The result is: “He deceiveth them that dwell on the earth.”—Rev. 13: 14. Perhaps, the people will all cry out and say, Baal, he is the god; Baal, he is the God. In the first case, Elijah slew all the prophets of Baal; in the second case, Antichrist slays Elijah (Rev. 11: 7).
Next, let me say that it is a strong argument in favor of Elijah as one
of the two witnesses that Elijah called fire from heaven upon his enemies (2
Ki. 1: 10), and of the two witnesses it is written: “If any man will hurt
them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and
if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.”
Another mark of identity lies in the manner in which Elijah and the
witnesses go to heaven. (See 2 Ki. 2: 11, and Rev. 11: 12.)
The last thought to which I call your attention is the identity of Baal
and Nimrod. Of Nimrod it is said,
“He was a mighty hunter.”—Gen. 10: 9.
While the prophets of Baal were calling upon their god, Elijah said,
“He is pursuing.”— 1 Ki. 18: 27. It
is easy to see that these two statements can refer to the same person.
This study of similarity and contrast between Elijah’s victory over
the prophets of Baal and the contest between Elijah and Antichrist can be
carried farther, but I deem it unnecessary.