When does the restoration of all things by Elias take place?

THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS

When does the restoration of all things by Elias take place?

The answer is given in Malachi 4:5: “Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” The Lord seems clearly to refer to this promise, see Matthew 17:11 “Elias truly shall first come and restore all things.” As to what this coming represents we must refer to other Scriptures. The first time historically that Elias is mentioned in the N.T. is in Luke 1: , in the angel’s message to Zacharias that his promised son “shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, etc.” John’s mission was to resemble in spirit and power and result, the mission of Elias as described in Malachi 4:6. Now, we remember that when later the apostles James and John proposed to call down fire from heaven, even as Elias did, and consume the Samaritans, the Lord rebuked them on the ground that they knew not what spirit they were of. It was the spirit of Elias, which was perfectly right in his dispensation, but not that of the Son of man (see Luke 9. 54).

Does not this supply one more Scriptural reason against the new theory that John, had he only been faithful, would have become one of the twelve apostles? Had he been so, there would have been two incompatible “spirits” in the twelve, one, that of Elias in the person of John the Baptist, and another foreign to it, the spirit of Christ. In Matthew 11:14, the Lord said, “If ye will receive it, this (i.e., John the Baptist) is Elias which was for to come.” The words, “if ye will receive it,” are important, as they also throw light on our Lord’s words in Matthew  17:12 “I say unto you that Elias is come already, and they knew him not.” This cannot, I submit, mean that John was a reincarnation of Elias. They are separate entities to-day. Elias will surely come again, but he will not be born, as John was, of a mother. He will come again as he went and probably as secretly, as far as the general world will be concerned.

John did up to a certain point fulfil the role of Elias. To use a modern phrase, he was his “double,” but none the less it remains true that “Elias will come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” and most evangelical interpreters of the Revelation are agreed that he will be one of the two witnesses of Rev. ii. Their ministry will last 1260 days or 3- years, that is, during the first half of Daniel’s last week of years, beginning with the Covenant between the Head of the Roman people and the Jews. The ministry of the two witnesses will be a ministry enforced by judgment and plague, and bearing down all opposition and. crushing their enemies by miraculous power. It will also be wonderful in its success. There will be a revival in Israel, such as has never yet been known, and a world-wide testimony through, I might suggest, the I,ooo equipped for this service by that Pentecost (see Joel 2: ), of which that of Jerusalem was the foretaste, and vast numbers will be brought to repentance. It will only be when their ministry is finished that the “Beast,” then manifested as such, will slay them. This will inaugurate the day of Jacob’s trouble and the great tribulation, running concurrently, only to end in the appearing in power and great glory of the Son of man—”the great and terrible day of the Lord.”

W.H.