Prophecy Now Being Fulfilled
The Lord has spoken and His word is sure.
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 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."--Malachi 4:5, 6.
That we are living in the time of the end no one will deny. All of the signs tell us that this is the hastening time. When Christ left his disciples to go to the Father, he promised them that he would come again. Ever since that time his followers have looked and longed for the time to come when he would fulfill his promise and return to the earth.
In Malachi 3:1-4 we find this statement, the Lord speaking, "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years."
This prophecy was partly fulfilled when John the Baptist prepared the way before Christ at the time of his first coming. In Mark 1:2-4 we read, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."
It will be necessary, however, for John to come again before he will be able to complete the mission prophesied of him in Malachi. He must be the messenger to prepare the way before the last coming of Christ as well as the first. In fact, this prophecy of Malachi refers more to the last: coming of Christ than it does the first, as is shown by the following: Mal. 3:4, "Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years." This must mean the second coming of Christ because the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem were anything but pleasant unto the Lord at the time of his first advent.
Once more, in order for us to show that John must come again, let us go to the Scriptures. At the time of the birth of John, his father, Zacharias, speaking under the influence of the Holy Ghost, said, "And thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his WAYS." Luke 1:76.
Again, Matt. 17:10-13: "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist."
This brings out two points. First, that John was Elias which was to come, and that he would come again. Note the words from the prophecy in Luke, "... for thou shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways." Ways is in the plural. Then the statement of Christ in Matthew: Elias truly shall first come and restore all things .... Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. Everyone that is acquainted with Bible history knows that John did not restore all things at the time of his first appearance, nineteen hundred years ago. Then it must be necessary that he come again.
If you will go once more to the Prophet Malachi you will find the following, Mal. 4:5, 6, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 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."
In the New Testament the form of the name Elijah is Elias and we have already shown you where Christ said that Elias must come and restore all things and that John the Baptist was the Elias which was to come. Don't forget this was to happen before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord according to that revealed by Malachi.
The angel, while telling Zacharias about the birth of John, said of him, "And he shall go before him (the Lord) 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 the Lord." Luke 1:17. The very thing, mark you, that the Prophet Malachi foretold. (Malachi 4:5).
From both Malachi and Luke we have the mission of John described. It was the preparing of a people for the coming of the Lord. He was to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers; yes, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, lest Christ should come and smite the earth with a curse.
How else could he do this, but by bringing the old Jerusalem gospel in its fullness and in pointing the way back to the ancient order of things? Ah! yes, and in pointing the way away from the traditions of men through the waters of baptism and back to the church as it was established by Christ and the apostles. John was to restore all things. Are we not living in the time of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began? (Acts 3:21). Yes, and Jesus said, "Elias (John) shall first come and restore all things."
Why then should we be surprised when we learn that John the Baptist has indeed come again? That he has appeared in person to a man named Otto Fetting of Port Huron, Michigan, (1927-1933) then to W. A. Draves of Independence, Mo., (1937--), giving instruction relative to the setting up of The Church of Christ according to the primitive plan, the preparing of a people and the building of a temple to which Christ shall come (MaI. 3:1); also a warning to the people of the world of the near coming of Christ and of the destructions that are coming upon them except they repent and turn to the Lord their God? Surely this is the mission of John the Baptist and he is fulfilling his mission just as Christ said that he would.
Whether you are Jew or Gentile, Catholic or Protestant, we want you to understand that the Lord God of Israel is now sending the long awaited Elijah Messenger as it was foretold by the holy prophets and promised by Jesus Christ.
This heavenly Messenger is coming from the presence of God and his message is for all. You too need to give his word prayerful consideration. Jesus said, "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4.) Is it true? Has God again spoken7 You need to know for yourself.