I had been posting my daily Bible study on Facebook and my Subscribestar page. In an effort to make my Subscribestar more about my ministry on street corners, I am moving them to this site, where the used to be a couple years ago. I will continue to post them on Facebook as long as they will have me. But now these studies will be available to people who come for the sign messages, and then do a deep dive on the site.
Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
Miraculous births in old age are a recurring theme in the Bible. Isaac was born to Abraham and Sara. Samuel was born to Hannah. Now John the Baptist would be born to Zechariah and Elizabeth. Each of these births was foretold. But John’s birth was foretold long ago. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4:5-6).
The angel seems to reference this scripture in his message to Zechariah. But it sounds like an end times prophesy. And there is a difference. Malachi says it is Elijah who will return. The angel says John will come in the spirit and power of Elijah. He is not Elijah, but comes in his likeness.
So, what is so special about Elijah? For one, Elijah is one of only two people mentioned who did not die a natural death. In Genesis 5 we learn of Enoch, who walked with God and was taken up to heaven alive. Then Elijah is taken away in a chariot of fire in 2 Kings 2:11. It is as if Elijah has been kept in heaven for a time when he would be a sign that Christ was returning. This makes John similar in that he would foretell Christ’s revelation on the earth the first time.
What does this mean to us? It means that the work of the ministry is not over when a major figure is taken up to heaven. Elijah passed the torch to Elisha, as he was taken to heaven. Likewise, when Jesus was taken to heaven, He sent His holy spirit so we could carry on and be His witnesses. We are not spectators to history. We are the players.