DIG: Was John the Baptist really Elijah? What would have happened if Isra'el had accepted John’s message? What will Elijah’s ministry be when he returns?
Another event that is clearly predicted to happen before the Great Tribulation is the return of Elijah. This is the second of five such events that will occur throughout the first half of the Great Tribulation. So the ministry of Elijah will start before the Tribulation and continue on through the first half. The prophet Malachi said: Remember the Torah of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Isra'el. See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of ADONAI comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Or else I will come and strike the Land with a curse. The Jewish family unit, strong for so many centuries, had begun to break down, and, according to Malachi’s prophecy, would continue to break down. However, Elijah’s coming ministry will restore that unity in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.
Therefore, sometime before the Great Tribulation, the prophet Elijah will return to do his ministry of restoration. Thus, Elijah will serve as a forerunner of Messiah’s Second Coming. John the Baptist was a type of Elijah in that he came in the spirit and power of Elijah. If Isra'el had accepted Jesus’ message of His First Coming, then John would have accomplished the function of Elijah, which was the ministry of restoration. But, John the Baptist and the Messiah were both rejected. So Elijah himself is yet to come to perform his ministry of restoration before the Great Tribulation. As with the first blackout, it is not possible to pinpoint the exact time when Elijah himself will return in the sequence of pre-tribulational events, but when he does return, it will be considered the seventh birth pain.
The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack 2006-2017