There is a remarkable theme that runs through the story of prophecy. It cuts through the epochs of biblical history, tying them together in a way that, once again, demonstrates the divine nature of the Bible. More than a theme, it is a person ... a man called Elijah. He is one of the Old Testament's greatest prophets. He is so important to God's future plan that he has been commissioned to return during the seven years of global judgment that will soon strike the earth in what is known as the Tribulation period. He will be one of the two witnesses.
Often, many read the Bible piecemeal, a little here and a little there, dipping into favorite scriptures and skipping others that present an interpretational challenge. Relying upon scripture for help and guidance is central to the Christian faith, since it offers uplifting help, wisdom and inspiration. But reading in this way often overlooks the big picture. The Bible has large-scale structure, expounding historic and prophetic themes that cut across many of it's books and historical periods. Properly linked, they give perspective and meaning to the long view of history, linking past, present and future. Elijah perfectly plays out this role. The person, character and spiritual work of Elijah presents just such an epic vista. During three key historical periods, he appears as God's representative, bearing a specific message. It is noteworthy that each of these periods is marked by Israel's departure from true faith in the Lord. He arrives on the scene in ninth century B.C. during the reign of King Ahab, performs his appointed mission, then is taken directly to Heaven. At the end of the Old Testament, in one of the key Old Testament prophecies, his return is promised. He is seen again in the New Testament as a spiritual presence represented by John the Baptist, who announces the Messiah. Peter, James and John witnessed him at the Transfiguration as a prophetic figure. James invokes his name in connection with a prophecy that foreshadows the Tribulation period. Finally, he returns during the Tribulation. As in the days of King Ahab, he confronts an evil apostasy that threatens to overwhelm not only his own people, but the whole world. His presence is an essential part of scripture. He is the Lord's highly favored messenger. The prophecy of Malachi, whose name literally means "my messenger," contains a key prophecy about him.
Of importance to the understanding of a certain theme of Bible prophecy is that the prophet Elijah will return to Israel before the Tribulation. This pretribulational return of the prophet will be the signal that another era of miracles is underway. A natural question arises: Just how long before the Tribulation will Elijah appear? Malachi's words do indeed make it clear that he does come before the Tribulation. In the preceding scripture, two witnesses, almost certainly Moses and Elijah, administer the will of the Lord in the days when the Tribulation Temple is built. The "forty and two months" are the dark days at the beginning of the Tribulation, when Gentiles dominate Jerusalem, and the Antichrist rises to power. Rain is withheld during this period. The church has long since been taken to Heaven in the event of the rapture. Remember, Malachi clearly states that Elijah comes to Israel before the unfolding of this period. And as the apostle Paul clearly states:
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4).
According to these words, the church departs the earth in the event of the rapture before the "Day of the Lord." In that case, it is possible that there could be a slight overlapping transition between the dispensation of the church and the dispensation of the Kingdom period. If we are as close to the Tribulation as many think, Elijah could be here today. But he will certainly not reveal himself to the church. As Malachi wrote, he comes to the Jews to bring spiritual revival. The rapture must come first, then he will reveal himself. Whether he is already here or not is really a moot question. As mentioned earlier above, Elijah is such an important picture and piece of God's future prophetic plan that there is a stunning pattern of Elijah's past as revealed in the Old Testament that hints at the timing of the event of the rapture when all "born again" believers will disappear off the face of the earth in our fast approaching future. The scenario is now playing out on the world stage and it involves our globalist created adversary, Russia. Click link below for the details.
THE BEAR RAPTURE