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Goodness (16) Elijah’s Goodness (2)

Manmin News   No. 740
April 02, 2023

“It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)

Elijah was very humble in his nature and because he did not have self-righteousness Elijah never quarreled with anyone. He may have seemed fragile outwardly and incapable of making sound decisions, but God, who looks at man’s heart, recognized goodness in his heart and chose him as a great prophet in his time.
Elijah became strengthened and confident by trials. By manifesting wondrous signs and wonders in the name of God, he brought the people of Israel back from idolatry to God. When Elijah had wholly carried out his God-given duties, God lifted him up to Heaven alive.
What happened to Elijah after he ascended into Heaven by a whirlwind? Many parts of the Bible support the fact that Elijah came to the earth as John the Baptist in the New Testament time. Let’s delve into the goodness of Elijah ‘who made ready the way of the Lord’.

1. Through his deeds and in truth Elijah demonstrated his utmost love for God

Elijah always communicated with God while he carried out God-given duties in this world. He also struggled to clearly understand God’s will through deep communication in prayer. He had to cling to God all the more in order to achieve God’s great work with his weak and fragile temperament. God strengthened Elijah’s spirit with the power from above.
Through such experiences, Elijah yearned for God’s power even more and also came to ardently love God who strengthened him by His great power. With his love for God, Elijah fulfilled God’s commands with obedience even when he felt he couldn’t accomplish them on his own.
Even the worldly people try to give the ones they love everything they can give. Even if things seem beyond their reach, they will try nevertheless. Yet, the fleshly love changes with the passing of time as well as with changes in the surroundings and it is the same with the heart and deeds of the one who has fleshly love. Most people also like to receive as much as they have given.
But Elijah’s love for God remained steadfast and he perfectly demonstrated the love with his deeds and in truth. While many people profess their belief in and love for God, when rather difficult task is entrusted to them, they make excuses of their temperament and back away. They say, “I want to do God’s work but since it doesn’t suit my personality, I’ll just quietly work on what I have now.” But they must examine how much they actually believe in God from their hearts and how truthfully they love Him.
God has told us in Mark 9:23, “All things are possible to him who believes.” As long as their love for God remains fervent, temperaments are not an issue. Let’s think about this extremely weak-natured Elijah who single-handedly challenged 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah to bring down God’s answer by fire.
In his fervent love for God, Elijah became desperate to save the Israelites who had abandoned God and embraced idolatry. That is why he could be so confident and courageous. Through this process, he was able to come to clearly know God all the better and lay the firm foundation in his understanding of God. When we reach the faith of fathers?the mature measure of faith?we will come to know in greater detail God who is from the beginning. Even during his life in this world, Elijah earnestly longed for God because he comprehended God to the depths of his heart.
We can imagine how full of love for God Elijah’s heart must have been when he was lifted up to Heaven alive and saw God with his own eyes. Elijah attained clearly definitive realization of God the Trinity and acquired the knowledge of the duties assigned to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In particular, he was informed of the fact that God the Son would have to come to the earth, put on lowly and humble form of flesh, and eventually become an atoning sacrifice through crucifixion to be the Savior.
When all these had become knowledge to Elijah, his longing for the Lord became even more fervent and he confessed, “I will do anything for You, my Lord.” Father God accepted his confession, sent him to the earth again, and gave him the enormous responsibility of making the way ready for the Lord as the John the Baptist.

2. His goodness as John the Baptist who made ready for the way of the Lord

God prophesied through prophets that He would send Elijah to this world again, as well as the duties Elijah would assume. Isaiah 40:3 reads, “A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.’” Malachi 4:5-6 states, “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
Keep in mind that this is totally different from the concept of “reincarnation” that Buddhism teaches. There has been only Elijah who was lifted up to Heaven and born again in mankind’s history. Then, how could it happen to Elijah?
God sends a spirit into the combination of the parents’ sperm and egg at the sixth month of pregnancy. At the conception of the person who was to make ready the way of the Lord, God included Elijah’s heart in the spirit He sent. God did not send Elijah’s spirit; He sent a spirit that contained Elijah’s heart. Also, the person was to inherit his parents’ nature and receive their influence. So God sent the spirit that contained Elijah’s heart to the fetus of the pregnant mother whom God had considered to be “the best.”
It was John the Baptist who was born in this way (John 1:6). Several Scriptures tell us that John the Baptist had the heart of Elijah. Luke 1:17 says, “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah…and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 3:4 also confirms that John the Baptist was the man whom the prophet Isaiah had prophesied about, whose voice would to make ready the way of the Lord.
And above all other things, Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah. When Jesus’ disciples asked, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus said to them, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands” (Matthew 17:10-12). Then, they finally gained the realization.
Jesus is God Himself in essence, He is spotless and blameless, and He is the true Light. That is why Father God sent Elijah who had been lifted up to Heaven alive. Another reason for God’s selection of Elijah was because in his fervent love for the Lord, Elijah had confessed, “I will do anything for You, my Lord.” This was deemed goodness to God.
Elijah could not just bear with it as he thought about everything the Lord was to experience on the earth. Thus, Elijah was not hesitant to return to this world of sin and evil but instead received the command with joy and gratitude. God considered it the most sincere goodness to show his love with deeds and in truth, not just with his words and tongue.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, thinking of Elijah’s love for God, we can learn that there is no need to make any excuses before true love. Besides, the Holy Spirit dwells in us and helps us with our weaknesses. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will rely on the Spirit who helps our weakness and encourages us in us and cast away every form of evil and reach the perfect level of goodness that pleases God.




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