Was John The Baptist Really Elijah Re-Incarnated

Saturday 20th July 2019 Prayer Devotion

Scripture Reading:- Matthew 11:1-14

Topic:- Was John The Baptist Really Elijah Re-Incarnated

Text:- Malachi 4:5

In Matthew 11:7–14, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John. Jesus also quotes from Malachi 3:1, where the messenger appears to be a prophetic figure who is going to appear. And according to Malachi 4:5, this messenger is “the prophet Elijah,” whom Jesus identifies as John the Baptist. Does this mean that John the Baptist was Elijah reincarnated? Not at all, because of the followings:

1. Jesus’ original hearers and Matthew’s original readers, would never have assumed Jesus’ words to refer to reincarnation. Besides, Elijah did not die; he was taken to heaven in a whirlwind as he rode in a chariot of fire. See 2 Kings 2:11.

2. Arguing for a reincarnation (or a resurrection) of Elijah misses that point. If anything, the prophecy of the Elijah “to come” would have been viewed as Elijah’s physical return to earth from heaven. See Matthew 11:14.

3. The Bible is quite clear that John the Baptist is called “Elijah” because he came in the “spirit and power of Elijah” not because he was Elijah in a literal sense. See Luke 1:17.

4. John the Baptist is the New Testament forerunner who points the way to the arrival of the Lord, just as Elijah filled that role in the Old Testament, and might again in the future. See Revelation 11.

5. Elijah himself appears with Moses at Jesus’ transfiguration after John the Baptist’s death. This would not have happened if Elijah had changed his identity into that of John. See Matthew 17:11–12.

6. Mark 6:14–16 and 8:28 show that both the people and Herod distinguished between John the Baptist and Elijah.

7. Proof that this John the Baptist was not Elijah reincarnated comes from John himself. John the Baptist identifies himself as the messenger of Isaiah 40:3, not as the Elijah of Malachi 3:1. John the Baptist even goes so far as to specifically deny that he was Elijah. See John 1:19–23.

8. John did for Jesus what Elijah was to have done for the coming of the Lord, but he was not Elijah reincarnated. Jesus identified John the Baptist as Elijah, while John the Baptist rejected that identification. How do we reconcile these two teachings? There is a key phrase in Jesus’ identification of John the Baptist that must not be overlooked. He says, “If you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah.” In other words, John the Baptist’s identification as Elijah was not predicated upon his being the actual Elijah, but upon people’s response to his role. See Matthew 16:13-14.

9. Elijah can’t be John the Baptist. Elijah was Elijah while John the Baptist was John the Baptist. It was only said concerning John the Baptist that, “He will come in the spirit and power of Elijah,” not he will come as Elijah. When we get to heaven, definitely we will see Elijah as Elijah while we will also see John the Baptist as John the Baptist. See Matthew 17:1-13; Luke 1:5-17.
10. If we want to argue it well, then, what are we to say about Enoch, who was translated to heaven by God Himself? To those who were willing to believe in Jesus, John the Baptist functioned as Elijah, for they believed in Jesus as Lord. To the religious leaders who rejected Jesus, John the Baptist did not perform this function. See Hebrews 9:27, 11:5.

Prayer Points:-
1. Oh Lord God, help me to resemble You and be like You henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. Oh Lord God, help me to do the greater works You promised me that i can do, by Your grace and fire henceforth, in the name of Jesus Christ.
3. Oh Lord God, let Your holiness rub upon me henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Have A Wonderful Saturday! www.timogundelejesu.com

Pastor Timothy Ogundele-Jesu

Pastor Timothy Ogundele-Jesu

Pastor Tim Ogundele_Jesu is a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an apostle by the grace of God. He has been used by God prominently in the area of salvation, healing, blessing, and especially deliverance.

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