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复兴的十二要素

作者:道格巴契勒 牧师日期:2018-09-08 11:46:17浏览数:406
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中文:

两位佼佼者

奇妙真相:科学家告诉我们,人一发声,声波就会在太空中开始无尽的旅程。多年后,若我们能站在某个星球上,用足够精密的仪器,或许能找回并重塑当年在地球上说过的话。

如今,教会不冷不热,上帝的子民偏行己路。我们需要英雄和伟人,作为仰望的榜样和导师,使我们与主重归于好。圣经中有许多宣扬特别信息并表现出极大信心的先知,他们是值得效学的杰出的勇士。在众先知当中,浮现在我脑海中的两位佼佼者,就是以利亚和施洗约翰。

上帝使用这二人掀起了时代的复兴。如今,上帝也要在教会并在你的生活中掀起奋兴。“看哪!耶和华大而可畏之日未到以前,我必差遣先知以利亚到你们那里去。他必使父亲的心转向儿女,儿女的心转向父亲,免得我来咒诅遍地。”(玛4:5,6)

首先,我们要搞明白这段经文讲了什么,没讲什么。在耶稣时代,许多人相信以利亚会从天降下,再次在地上生活,或者重生成为一个新人。耶稣曾问门徒:“‘众人说我是谁?’他们说:‘有人说是施洗的约翰;有人说是以利亚;还有人说是古时的一个先知又活了。’”(路9:18,19)

犹太人期盼以利亚速速归来,向他们宣布弥赛亚降临的消息。然而,玛拉基的预言并不是指以利亚要重新回到地球。

相反,这段预言是指以利亚复兴与改革的精神会重现。论到施洗约翰的出生,天使加百列对撒迦利亚说:“他必有以利亚的心志能力,行在主的前面,叫为父的心转向儿女,叫悖逆的人转从义人的智慧,又为主预备合用的百姓。”(路1:17)

加百列最先指出施洗约翰要应验玛拉基的预言。约翰要行在主的前面,开展复兴与改革的特殊工作。耶稣后来也证实了这一事实:“因为众先知和律法说预言,到约翰为止。你们若肯领受,这人就是那应当来的以利亚。”(太11:13,14)

然而,这预言的成就并非到施洗约翰为止,还要应验在现代。请注意,先知说“耶和华大而可畏之日未到以前,我必差遣先知以利亚到你们那里去。”“耶和华大而可畏之日”(玛4:5)也被称为“祂忿怒的大日”(启6:17 NKJV直译),这与基督第二次降临同义。因此,这预言的另一个应验指向耶稣复临前夕的一个时期!

从字面上看,真正的复兴先是从让爱回归家庭开始的。然后,从家庭传播到社区。家庭是任何社会、政府或教会的最基本单位。圣灵浇灌的结果始终是将爱带给人,并引人顺服上帝的诫命。耶稣说:“你们若爱我,就必遵守我的命令。”(约14:15)从属灵的角度来讲,以利亚和施洗约翰的信息要使悖逆的儿女与天父重归于好。

十二要素

这两位伟大的先知不仅宣扬充满希望的、劝人顺从的信息,也呼吁人献上自己为上帝服务。他们掀起了真正的复兴。在基督复临前夕,以利亚的心志和能力中的12个主要特征也必再现。

1、大无畏地宣讲上帝的信息,哪怕是在掌权者面前

以利亚对亚哈说:“使以色列遭灾的不是我,乃是你和你父家,因为你们离弃耶和华的诫命,去随从巴力。”(王上18:18)

施洗约翰——“约翰曾对希律说,‘你娶你兄弟的妻子是不合理的。’”(可6:18)

施洗约翰和以利亚都曾勇敢无畏地站在君王和统治者面前,传讲上帝的信息。末后,同样的事情还会上演。耶稣说:“又为我的缘故,站在诸侯与君王面前,对他们作见证。”(可13:9)我们不求得人的称赞,只求上帝的认可。若要掀起一番伟大的复兴,就必须宣扬以利亚的信息——无畏、清晰、不妥协,甚至是不受欢迎的真理。

“因为时候要到,人必厌烦纯正的道理,耳朵发痒,就随从自己的情欲,增添好些师傅,并且掩耳不听真道,偏向荒渺的言语。”(提后4:3,4)

2、简单的饮食与生活方式

以利亚——“也求你拿点饼来给我。”(王上17:11)

施洗约翰——“吃的是蝗虫、野蜜。”(可1:6)

以利亚和施洗约翰都以生活在旷野、饮食简单而闻名。这使得他们心智敏锐,体格健硕,随时准备听从上帝的差遣。“所以你们或吃或喝,无论作什么,都要为荣耀上帝而行。”(林前10:31)

同样,末后教会必须重视这一真理,晓得身体与灵性密不可分的关系。饮食与生活习惯会直接影响我们辨别真理的心志能力。简单的饮食与节制的生活方式有助于抵挡试探。别忘了,人是因为吃了不该吃的果子,才开启了罪恶的闸门。

“邦国啊,你的王若是贵胄之子,你的群臣按时吃喝,为要补力,不为酒醉,你就有福了!”(传10:17)

3、朴素简单的衣着

以利亚——“他身穿毛衣,腰束皮带。”(王下1:8)

施洗约翰——“约翰穿骆驼毛的衣服,腰束皮带。”(可1:6)

在以利亚和施洗约翰的时代,君王与祭司喜欢穿长袍并佩戴饰物,而这二位先知的谦逊与纯朴恰恰是对这一风气的谴责。现如今,人们前所未有地关注时尚与炫耀。现代服装设计师的主要目标是要通过衣着来凸显人的性征。可悲的是,连一些基督徒也沉迷于这些装饰,甚至在身上刺青、纹身。现在的教会急需一班末后的以利亚,通过朴素的衣着和外表,作谦卑简朴的榜样,为基督作见证。

“并且穿上新人;这新人是照着上帝的形像造的,有真理的仁义和圣洁。”(弗4:24)“又愿女人廉耻、自守,以正派衣裳为妆饰,不以编发、黄金、珍珠和贵价的衣裳为妆饰。”(提前2:9)

4、训练门徒

以利亚——“于是以利亚离开那里走了,遇见沙法的儿子以利沙…以利亚到他那里去,将自己的外衣搭在他身上。”(王上19:19)

施洗约翰——“约翰的门徒把这些事都告诉约翰。”(路7:18)

圣经记载,除了训练门徒以利沙之外,以利亚还走访了先知学校(或叫“门徒学校”),这些学校分散在以色列地(参 王下2章)。这些培训中心将属灵的教训与实用技能相结合,受训的青年走遍以色列地,将上帝的旨意教导人。

施洗约翰也训练跟随他的门徒,使他的信仰传承下去。约翰和以利亚把大部分时间用在训练平民百姓,而非祭司和利未人。同样,末后大运动的领袖不单是神职人员,也有圣灵充满的平信徒。所以,以利亚的信息必须要注重训练、培养、动员教会中的每一成员。

5、宣讲悔改的洗与舍己

以利亚——“以利亚对以利沙说:‘耶和华差遣我往约但河去,你可以在这里等候。’”(王下2:6)

施洗约翰——“那时,耶路撒冷和犹太全地,并约但河一带地方的人,都出去到约翰那里,承认他们的罪,在约但河里受他的洗。”(太3:5,6)

以利亚信息的标志之一便是呼召人到约旦河——悔改与洗礼的象征。以色列人必须过约旦河,才能进入应许之地;正如基督徒要经历水的洗礼,重获新生。有朝一日,耶稣托付教会的大使命将迎来其巅峰时刻,末后的“以利亚”要为人施洗,归入基督的人就像五旬节时一样多。“于是乃缦下去,照着神人的话,在约但河里沐浴七回;他的肉复原,好像小孩子的肉,他就洁净了。”(王下5:14)

“所以,你们要去使万民作我的门徒,奉父子圣灵的名,给他们施洗。”(太28:19)

6、谦卑

以利亚——“以利亚上了迦密山顶,屈身在地,将脸伏在两膝之中。”(王上18:42)

施洗约翰——“但那在我以后来的,能力比我更大,我就是给祂提鞋也不配。”(太3:11)

耶稣再来之前,上帝的子民要学会如何在骄傲、狂妄的世代中,彰显耶稣谦卑柔和的样式。“世人哪!耶和华已指示你何为善,祂向你所要的是什么呢?只要你行公义,好怜悯,存谦卑的心,与你的上帝同行。”(弥6:8)

7、遭逼迫

以利亚——“耶洗别就差遣人去见以利亚,告诉他说:‘明白约在这时候,我若不使你的性命像那些人的性命一样,愿神明重重地降罚与我。’”(王上19:2)

施洗约翰——“她就出去对她母亲说:‘我可以求什么呢?’她母亲说:‘施洗约翰的头’。”(可6:24)

在旧约圣经中,异教徒耶洗别嫁给了以色列王亚哈。耶洗别和她的女儿亚他利雅迫害上帝的百姓,引诱亚哈杀害以利亚和其他先知。在新约圣经中,希律王的异教妻子希罗底和她的女儿撒罗米,引诱希律杀了施洗约翰。

再过不久,以利亚和施洗约翰所经历的迫害会重新上演。根据启示录的记载,在末后“淫妇之母”和她的女儿们要逼迫上帝的余民——末后的以利亚。“龙向妇人发怒,去与她其余的儿女争战;这儿女就是那守上帝诫命,为耶稣作见证的。那时龙就站在海边的沙上。”(启12:17

“在她额上有名写着说:‘奥秘哉!大巴比伦,作世上的淫妇和一切可憎之物的母。’我又看见那女人喝醉了圣徒的血,和为耶稣作见证之人的血。”(启17:5,6)

8、在王面前奔跑

以利亚——“耶和华的灵降在以利亚身上,他就束上腰,奔在亚哈前头,直到耶斯列的城门。”(王上18:46)

施洗约翰——“正如先知以赛亚书上所记的话,说:‘在旷野有人声喊着说:‘预备主的道,修直祂的路!’’”(路3:4)

在圣经时代,君王出行时仆人要跑在前头,为王预备道路。他们要清除路上的石块和障碍,“弯弯曲曲的地方要改为正直,高高低低到道路要改为平坦。”(路3:5)末后,传扬以利亚信息的人照样要预备百姓迎见耶稣——我们的王。他们要宣告特别的信息,使救赎之路变得清晰、明了、简单易懂。

“我又看见另有一位天使飞在空中,有永远的福音要传给住在地上的人,就是各国、各族、各方、各民。”(启14:6)

9、以荣耀上帝为人生宗旨

以利亚——“耶和华啊!求祢应允我,应允我!使这民知道祢耶和华是上帝!又知道是祢叫这民的心回转。”(王上18:37)

施洗约翰——“祂必兴旺,我必衰微。”(约3:30)

传扬以利亚信息的人,必以上帝的荣耀为至上。他们必像施洗约翰和以利亚一样,全然献身于圣工。为拯救他人,他们甘愿付上任何牺牲,乐意为上帝的圣工奉献一切。

“所以弟兄们,我以上帝的慈悲劝你们,将身体献上,当作活祭,是圣洁的,是上帝所喜悦的;你们如此事奉乃是理所当然的。”(罗12:1)

10、重修上帝的祭坛

以利亚——“以利亚对众民说:‘你们到我这里来!’众民就到他那里;他便重修已经毁坏耶和华的坛。”(王上18:30)

施洗约翰——“那时,有施洗的约翰出来,在犹太的旷野传道,说:‘天国近了!你们应当悔改。’”(太3:1,2)

以利亚的信息要像号角一般,呼吁人回归“从前一次交付圣徒的真道。”(犹3 )如今,许多人称圣经的教导已经过时了,需要进行修正,从而更好地适应时代。听到这些,我们更当以上帝的话警戒自己和他人:“我耶和华是不改变的。”(玛3:6)

“那些出于祢的人,必修造久已荒废之处。祢要建立拆毁累代的根基,祢必称为补破口的和重修路径与人居住的。”(赛58:12)

11、信息点燃改革

以利亚——“现在你当差遣人…使他们都上迦密山去见我…以利亚前来,对众民说:‘你们心持两意要到几时呢?若耶和华是上帝,就当顺从耶和华。’”(王上18:19-21)

施洗约翰——“约翰来了,在旷野施洗,传悔改的洗礼,使罪得赦。犹太全地和耶路撒冷的人都出去到约翰那里,承认他们的罪 ,在约但河受他的洗。”(可1:4,5)

在以利亚和施洗约翰的时代,上帝的子民已被周围的异教势力所腐蚀,丢弃了真理。(参 王上19:14,太3:1,2)而这两位勇敢的先知所传达的信息,在上帝的子民中点燃了复兴与改革之火。今日,基督教普遍不冷不热、随从世俗。既然审判要从上帝的家开始(参 结9:6,彼前4:17),复兴也必须从上帝的家起首!

上帝的计划是让祂的子民遍及全世界,但祂首先要将以利亚的信息传给教会。在旧约圣经中,以利亚带领百姓悔改,在迦密山归向上帝。此后他祷告,上帝就降下倾盆大雨结束多年的干旱。同样,施洗约翰也呼吁当时代的人悔改信耶稣。此后不久,众门徒在五旬节领受了早雨圣灵。现代的“以利亚”也要传悔改的道。而后,教会若能降卑,晚雨圣灵就必沛降。

12、将人引向基督

以利亚——“先知以利亚近前来,说:‘亚伯拉罕、以撒、以色列的上帝,耶和华啊!求祢今日使人知道祢是以色列的上帝。’”(王上18:36)

施洗约翰——“次日,约翰看见耶稣来到他那里,就说:‘看哪!上帝的羔羊,除去世人罪孽的。’”(约1:29)

现代以利亚的强烈愿望乃是引人归向耶稣,使人因着认识祂而得永生。

上帝的军队

倘若上帝认为差遣一位特别的信使,预备以色列民迎接耶稣第一次降临至关重要;那么,对于祂来讲,差派使者传递特殊的信息,以唤醒教会迎见耶稣复临就更重要了,因为基督复临是救赎计划的顶点。

当年,上帝赋予以利亚和施洗约翰能力从事复兴与准备的工作;今天,上帝也在预备末后的以利亚大军,掀起一场空前的复兴!奇妙真相邀请你成为这大军中的一员,共同宣扬末后的信息——“为主预备合用的百姓。”(路1:17)

“当将你的事交托耶和华,并倚靠祂,祂就必成全。”(诗37:5)

新郎和新娘站在牧师面前,海誓山盟,地久天长。是什么让他们坚信自己能实现这些誓言?是坚定的爱情和彼此的委身。同样,当我们说出洗礼誓言时,也该明白这意味着“无论疾病或健康,顺境或逆境”,始终不变心。教会是上帝的大家庭,也会像地上的家庭一样起起落落。然而,只要我们心中充满对耶稣和同胞的爱,必能经受得住任何考验。

有时,我们低估了上帝借着一个彻底悔改、委身的基督徒所能做之事!藉着一个普通人——以利亚的祷告和信心,以色列国回转归回了上帝。圣经应许:

“义人祈祷所发的力量是大有功效的。以利亚与我们是一样性情的人,他恳切祷告,求不要下雨,雨就三年零六个月不下在地上。他又祷告,天就将下雨来,地也生出土产。”(雅5:16-18)

大卫王也提醒我们,“当将你的事交托耶和华,并倚靠祂,祂就必成全。”(诗37:5)

保罗补充道,“因为知道我所信的是谁,也深信祂能保全我所交付祂的,直到那日。”(提后1:12)

当然,耶稣乃是全然献身的榜样。“祂被骂不还口;受害不说威吓的话,只将自己交托那按公义审判人的主。”(彼前2:23)

论及委身,下面是我最喜爱的一段论述。作者是怀爱伦——最伟大的基督教作者之一:

“世界最大的需要是需要人——就是不能被贿买也不能被出卖的人;忠心正直而又诚实的人;直指罪名而无所忌惮的人;良心忠于职责犹如磁针之指向磁极的人;虽然诸天倾覆而仍能坚持正义的人。”(《教育论》第7章)

亲爱的朋友,人若有真切的渴望并靠赖上帝的帮助,几乎没有做不成的事情。我也知道,只要有信心和盼望,在信的人凡事都能。你若真心渴望并相信,必能成为教会中满有活力、被圣灵充满的基督徒。

但不要忘了,若没有耶稣,我们终会被前方的暴风雨击沉。朋友,在暴风雨中存活下来的唯一方法乃是:邀请耶稣登上你的船,带上绳索和船舵,祂将领你驶过一场又一场的风暴,平安抵达天国。因此,我恳请你今天就决志,邀请祂作你的船长、救主和上帝,让祂的灵充满你,无论祂带领你去哪里都忠心地跟随。

你已经看到上帝如何使用以利亚来宣扬祂奇妙的恩典,及其惊人的果效。试想在末后,数以百万计的以利亚要兴起,呼吁全地的人来跟从耶稣,那将掀起何等的复兴啊!愿你我能成为其中的一员。何不现在就宣誓委身于耶稣,用手紧紧地扶着犁,永不回头?

“路得说:‘不要催我回去不跟随你。你往哪里去,我也往哪里去;你在哪里住宿,我也在哪里住宿;你的国就是我的国,你的上帝就是我的上帝;你在哪里死,我也在哪里死,也葬在那里。除非死能使你我相离,不然,愿耶和华重重地降罚与我!’”(得1:16-17)

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Twelve Steps to Revival

By Doug Batchelor

Two Great Champions


An Amazing Fact: Scientists tell us that the sound waves set in motion by our voices go on an endless journey through space, and that, if we had the power to stand on some planet long years afterward with instruments delicate enough, we might be able to find them again and recreate the words we spoke here on earth.

In the age of a lukewarm church and wayward children of God, people need heroes, great men and women we can look up to as role models and mentors to bring real passion back into our relationship with the Lord. The Bible prophets who proclaimed special messages and exuded faith are excellent heroes whom we can emulate, and two of the greatest champions of the Holy Writ who come to mind especially are Elijah and John the Baptist.

God used both these men to affect powerful revivals in their times, and He wants to do the same today in your life and in the church today. Malachi 4:5, 6 says, “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” (emphasis added).

Perhaps we should first spend a moment understanding what this verse does not mean. In the time of Jesus, many believed that Elijah would literally come back down from heaven to live again on earth, or possibly be reborn into a new man. Jesus once asked the disciples, “Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias [the Greek form of Elijah]; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again” (Luke 9:18, 19).

The Jews lived with a sense of expectancy that Elijah would soon come to announce the advent of the Messiah. But this prophecy in Malachi was never intended to imply that the Old Testament prophet would return to the earth.
Instead, it was Elijah’s spirit of revival and reform that was predicted to return. Speaking of the birth of John the Baptist, the angel Gabriel said to Zacharias, “And he shall go before him 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).

Gabriel was the first to point out that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy in Malachi. John was to precede the Lord to do a special work of revival and reform. Jesus later confirmed this fact when He said, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come” (Matthew 11:13, 14).

However, the completion of Malachi’s prophecy does not end with John the Baptist. There is also a modern-day fulfillment. Notice the prophecy says: “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” The “great and dreadful day of the Lord,” which is also called “the great day of His wrath” in Revelation 6:17, is synonymous with the second coming. So this other fulfillment points us to a period just prior to the return of Jesus!

In a literal sense, real revival brings a new expression of love to the family and then from there, it spreads into the community. The most basic unit of any society, government, or church is the family. The outpouring of God’s Spirit will always result in love that leads to obedience of His commandments. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). So in a spiritual sense, the spirit of Elijah’s and John’s message will also work to unite disobedient earthly children with their heavenly Father today.

Twelve Steps


So let’s take just a brief moment to see how these two great prophets helped bring a new hope-filled message of obedience and action on the Lord’s behalf—in other words, true revival. The 12 characteristics that are so much a part of the spirit and power of Elijah will also be in the last days before Christ returns.

1. Bold and Fearless Preaching—Even Before Leaders

• Elijah—Elijah told Ahab, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim” (1 Kings 18:18).
• John—“John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife” (Mark 6:18).

Both John the Baptist and Elijah were fearless in preaching a straight message before rulers and governments. Jesus said this would happen again in the last days. “Ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them” (Mark 13:9). We must not seek to find our approval among men, but rather with God. To establish a great revival, the Elijah message must be a bold proclamation of clear, uncompromising, and sometimes unpopular truth.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4).

2. Simple Diet and Lifestyle

• Elijah—“Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand” (1 Kings 17:11).
• John—“He did eat locusts and wild honey” (Mark 1:6).

Both Elijah and John were known for their simple diets and wilderness living. These basic rigors kept their mental faculties clear and their bodies strong, that they might be prepared for the special work God called them to do. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Likewise, the church in the last days must be revived to the truth that there is a strong connection between the body and the spirit. What we eat and drink, as well as our personal living habits, has a direct effect on our mental clarity and ability to discern truth. The power to resist temptation can be traced in part to a simple diet and moderate lifestyle. Remember, sin came on the human race as a result of eating the wrong thing.

“Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” (Ecclesiastes 10:17).

3. Modest Dress, Simple Clothing

• Elijah—“He was an hairy man [with a garment of hair], and girt with a girdle [belt] of leather about his loins [waist]” (2 Kings 1:8).
• John—“And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin [leather belt] about his loins [waist]” (Mark 1:6).

In a time when kings and priests loved to wear ornaments and long, flowing robes, Elijah and John’s modesty and simplicity were a stinging rebuke. We live in an age where there has never been more arrogant attention given to flamboyance and fashion. The main goal of modern clothing designers is to highlight a person’s sexuality. Sadly, everything from body piercing to tattoos is being indulged even among professed Christians. Once again, the church desperately needs last-day Elijahs to witness for Christ by their example of humility and simplicity through modest clothing and appearance.

“Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness [propriety] and sobriety [moderation]; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array [clothing]” (1 Timothy 2:9).

4. Discipling Others

• Elijah—“So he departed thence, and found Elisha … and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him” (1 Kings 19:19).
• John—“And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things” (Luke 7:18).

The Scriptures record that Elijah not only discipled Elisha, but he also visited the schools of the prophets (also translated “the disciples of the prophets”), which were scattered all through the land of Israel (2 Kings 2). These training centers combined spiritual instruction with practical work skills, and the young men trained there went throughout Israel to teach others the ways of God. John, likewise, reproduced his faith by teaching the disciples who followed him. Both John and Elijah spent most of their time training not the priests and Levites, but rather the common people. Similarly, the last great movement of God will not be led by clergy alone, but also by Spirit-filled laypersons. This is why the Elijah message must give attention to training, discipling, and mobilizing every member of God’s church.

5. Preaching Baptism of Repentance and Death to Self

• Elijah—“And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan” (2 Kings 2:6).
• John—“Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:5, 6).

One identifying mark of the Elijah message is that it calls people to the Jordan River—a symbol of repentance and baptism. The children of Israel had to cross the Jordan to enter the Promised Land, just as we enter the waters of baptism and cross over to a new life. The great commission of Jesus to the church will have its finest hour in the future, when once again modern Elijahs will baptize converts to Christ in explosive, Pentecostal-like numbers. “Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:14).

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

6. Manifested Humility

• Elijah—“And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees” (1 Kings 18:42).
• John—“He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear” (Matthew 3:11).

Before Jesus comes again, the people of God will have learned to reflect the meek and humble character of Jesus in an age of arrogance and pride. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).

7. Endure Religious Persecution

• Elijah—“Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them [who had been killed] by to morrow about this time” (1 Kings 19:2).
• John—“And she went forth, and said unto her mother [Herodias], What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist” (Mark 6:24).

In the Old Testament, a pagan queen named Jezebel married Ahab, the king of Israel. Jezebel and her daughter, Athaliah, persecuted God’s people and tried to entice Ahab to kill Elijah and the other prophets. In the New Testament, Herodias, the pagan wife of king Herod, and her daughter Salome succeeded in enticing Herod to kill John the Baptist. The persecution experienced by Elijah and John will soon be repeated. In the last days, Revelation tells us the “Mother of harlots” and her daughters will persecute God’s remnant people, the last-day Elijahs. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 17:5, 6).

8. Running Before the King

• Elijah—“And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel” (1 Kings 18:46).
• John—“As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Luke 3:4).

When a monarch traveled in Bible times, servants often ran ahead to prepare the path for the approaching king. They cleared the road of rocks and obstacles, filled in potholes, cut down high spots, and straightened the crooked turns. In the same way, those preaching the Elijah message in the last days will help prepare people for the coming of our King Jesus. They will proclaim a message that makes the way of salvation clear, plain, and easy to understand.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6).

9. Supreme Interest in Glorifying God

• Elijah—“Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again” (1 Kings 18:37).
• John—“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Those preaching the Elijah message will make glorifying God their top priority. They will be wholly consecrated to God’s cause, just as were John and Elijah. They will be willing to make any sacrifice that others might be saved—in other words, to spend and be spent in the work of God.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

10. Repairing God’s Altar

• Elijah—“And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down” (1 Kings 18:30).
• John—“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1, 2).

The Elijah message will be a trumpet call to return to “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). Today, when so many are telling us that the teachings of the Bible are old-fashioned and need to be revised to better fit the times, we desperately need to be reminded that God said, “For I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:12).

11. Messages Spark Reformation

• Elijah—“Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel. … And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him” (1 Kings 18:19–21).
• John—“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:4, 5).

In the days of Elijah and John the Baptist, God’s people had been corrupted by the pagan influences around them and had compromised God’s truth (1 Kings 19:14; Matthew 3:1, 2). These two brave prophets delivered a message that sparked revival and reform among God’s people. Today, once again, it seems that much of Christianity is lukewarm and worldly. If judgment is going to begin at God’s house (Ezekiel 9:6; 1 Peter 4:17), then certainly the revival must start there too! Since God’s plan is for His people to reach the entire world, He must first send the Elijah message to reach the church. In the Old Testament, Elijah led the people to repent and turn back to God on mount Carmel. Then he prayed, and God sent abundant rain to end the drought. Likewise, John the Baptist called on the people of his day to repent and accept Jesus. Then shortly thereafter, they received the former rain of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Modern Elijahs will also preach a message of repentance. Then, when the church humbles itself, the latter rain of God’s Spirit will fall.

12. Point People to Christ

• Elijah—“Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God” (1 Kings 18:36).
• John—“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The burning desire of modern Elijahs will be to turn people to Jesus, that they might know Him and have everlasting life.

God s Army


If the Lord felt it was important to send a special messenger to prepare Israel for Jesus’ first coming, how much more important is it for Him to send a special message and messengers to

awaken the church for Jesus’ second coming—the very climax of redemption?

In the same way that the Lord empowered Elijah and John the Baptist to do a work of revival and preparation, God is today preparing an army of last-day Elijahs to do a great work of revival! Amazing Facts invites you to be a part of delivering this great, end-time Elijah message—“to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).

“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

When a bride and groom stand before the minister, they make some very broad and permanent vows … promises that are meant to last forever. What gives them the confidence that they can fulfill these vows? They have a strong love and a deep sense of commitment. In the same way, when we make our baptismal vows we should understand that this means “In sickness and health, in prosperity and adversity, in the sunshine and the rain.” God’s church family will have many of the same highs and lows of any earthly family, but if we love Jesus and commit to love His people, it becomes a precious experience that will survive any trial.

I think we sometimes underestimate how much God can do through one completely converted, committed Christian! Through the prayers and faith of one ordinary man, Elijah, the nation of Israel was turned back to God. The Bible promise is:

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:16–18).

King David also reminds us, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalms 37:5, emphasis added).

Paul adds, “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12, emphasis added).

And of course, the example of complete commitment is Jesus. “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21–23, emphasis added).

Here is one of my favorite statements on commitment. It’s from Ellen G. White, one of our greatest Christian writers:

“The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” —Education, p. 57

Dear friend, I’ve learned that with God’s help, a person can do almost anything he or she wants, if the desire is really there. I have also learned that where there is faith and hope, all things are possible to him that believes. If you truly desire and believe, you can survive and succeed in church as a vibrant, Spirit-filled Christian. However, without Jesus we will surly sink in the stormy times ahead. Friend, this is the only way to survive the tempest ahead: Have Jesus in your boat. Let Him take the ropes and rudder and He will lead you through the storms of life and safely bring you to heaven’s harbor. So, I implore you to make a firm commitment today … to ask Him to be your Captain, Lord and Savior and to fill you with His Spirit … and then faithfully follow Him wherever He leads.

You’ve read how God used Elijah to share His amazing grace—and the amazing results that followed. Now just imagine what millions of last-day Elijahs calling people to Jesus throughout the entire world will do. I hope and pray that you will be one of these. Why not join me now in making this pledge of commitment to Jesus by choosing to put your hand to the plow, holding tight, and never looking back?

“But Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth 1:15–17).