Friday Morning MannaJanuary 4, 2019
Nathaniel Fajardo email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Elijah-John the Baptist Message of the Advent Movement
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”Malachi 4: 5, K.J.V. (The last prophecy of the Old Testament)
To start this New Year 2019, let’s take a necessary stop as it were, as we travel the Advent Movement highway to take a much closer look at vital aspects of the appointed work and central message entrusted to the last-day Advent Movement.
First, in Christ’s time the disciples and the religious leaders and people alike were familiar with Malachi’s stirring prophecy. So the disciples inquired, ‘Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?” Christ replied, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already.” After more explanations from Christ, “Then the disciples understood that He spake of unto them of John the Baptist.” Matt. 17: 10-18.
While this prophecy, in its antitypical sense, is to meet its fullest fulfillment just before “the great and terrible day of the Lord,” it had its partial or typical fulfillment before the first revelationand appearance of Jesus as Christ the Messiah. Thefullness of this prophecy is to be fulfilled as the forerunner of Christ’s Second Advent. As it was met in John the Baptist, we may properly look for it, following the apotelesmatic principle of prophetic interpretation, on a much grander and global scale before the “great and terrible day of the Lord.”
How was it first met in John the Baptist’s mission as Christ’s forerunner? The angel Gabriel said to Zacharias the priest concerning his son: “Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God, and he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias . . . to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1: 16, 17.
John was certainly not Elias (Greek for Elijah], instead, he went before Christ in the spirit and power of Elijah. His specified work was “to prepare a people to meet the Lord.” Being the type, thus a literal person and a local geographical area—the antitype would not be the literal person of Elijah but a global movement with a special message that is to go forth “in the spirit and power of Elijah—as John the Baptist did. The specific work to be accomplished was “to make ready a people prepared to meet the Lord in the great and terrible of His Second Advent.
When John the Baptist was asked whether he was Christ or Elias, he said he was neither of the two, which was true for he was not Christ nor the person of Elijah. But he declared, “I am the voice crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. John’s mission was to make straight the way of the Lord, and declared he was carrying out the same message foretold by Isaiah. And Jesus said that John was Elijah.
The only place this specific message is given in all of Isaiah’s gospel-prophecies is found in chapter 40, summarized as follows: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for out God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry: and he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it surely the people is grass.” Isa. 40: 1-7.
This prophecy clearly applies at the time the Lord is to “revealed,” and “all flesh shall see it,” meaning, a message that “makes ready a people,” makes straight the crooked things. As John clarifies, “To make straight the way of the Lord.” This was what angel Gabriel told Zacharias his son would do. And John did later ascertain, ‘I am that voice. . . . as saith the prophet Esaias.”
What means “all flesh is grass”? A careful study of the key elements of the Third Angel’s message that prepares a people, while it is earth’s final merciful warning, includes the vital Biblical teachings on the nature of man, the nature of death, the non-immortality of the soul. Notice that included in Isaiah’s ‘cry’ was: “All flesh is grass. . . the grass withereth. . . surely the people is grass.” This clearly refers to the nature of mortal man!
Franklin D. Wagner, in his book The Drama of the Universe, Caldwell, Idaho, The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1918, says:
“In these few words [‘all flesh is grass’] is couched a message that strikes a blow at, and gives the lie to, the world-wide and universal notion that man is something more than dust. It tears the very foundation from under the Christian Science, Spiritualistic, Pantheistic, Hindoo, Babylonian, Roman Catholic, heathen abominations built on Satan’s first, and biggest lie, ‘Ye shall not surely die,’ and reiterates God’s statement, ‘dust thou art, to dust shall thou return.’ .
“The message, ‘All flesh is grass,’ and ‘surely the people is grass’ strikes at the crookedest thing in all the religious world. It is one of the predominating features of the system that originated in Babylon, and forms a basis for every heathen superstition.
Isaiah’s voice, Elijah’s message, John the Baptist’s mission, and the Third Angel’s Work
“It is seen that in some way, Elijah’s message and that ‘voice’ of Isaiah are vitally connected. John was to go forth in ‘the spirit and power’ of Elijah,’ and he was ‘that voice’ as spoken by Isaiah. Likewise when the greater manifestation of both the voice, and the spirit of Elijah, is seen before the great and terrible day of the Lord, and ‘before the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it,’ we would expect to hear proclaimed the message ‘All flesh is grass,’ and see [and hear] a message that resembles the message Elijah proclaimed, being a message that strikes at the religious errors that prevail. . . .
“Elijah was called to bear a message to Israel, when she was in her deepest apostasy and religious corruption, when sun worshipwas at its height in Israel. Ahab the king went off into the most pronounced idolatry. The worship of the sun was so universal that Elijah thought he alone was from the guilt of it. (See 1 Kings 19: 10.) Ahab’s heathen wife Jezebel had brought with her 450 prophets of Baal, and 400 prophets of the grove. In all, 850. Jezebel and her idolatrous priests seemed determined to swamp Israel with sun worship. Ahab was declared to be the wickedest king Israel ever had, until he was held up as a veritable paragon of evil. 1 Kings 16: 30. In 1 Kings, chapter 18-21 is revealed the most wicked deeds recorded in the Bible when their true significance is understood. Such was Israel when Elijah went to them filled with the Spirit of God. [Study these chapters to understand the condition of the religious world today]
“God purposed to punish Israel by withholding rain, one of the greatest temporal blessings to man, until they would see and acknowledge that they were dependent upon Him for sustenance.
“Elijah was looked upon as responsible for the disaster, and had to flee as king Ahab offered a ransom for his arrest no matter where found. At the end of the 3 ½ year’s drought, Elijah reappears from his seclusion and meets Ahab. At once Ahab says to Elijah says, ‘Art thou he that troubleth Israel?’ Elijah promptly informs him that the wickedness of the people and Ahab himself was responsible for all the trouble. He said, ‘I have not troubled Israel; but thou and thy father’s house in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou has followed Baalim.’ 1 Kings 18: 17-18.
“Then Elijah and Ahab arranged that all the prophets of Baal and the people of Israel be gathered at Mount Carmel. After they had assembled, ‘Elijah came unto all the people and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.’
“In the whole experience of Elijah, and the religious status of the world in his time, the nature of his message, and the nature of the voice crying in the wilderness, and John the Baptist’s work has a close, if not an exact parallel, in the message proclaimed at the present time by the Adventist people.
“The world has wandered so far into human philosophy and departed so far from the commandments of God, that our time exactly parallels that of Elijah. The people that really care for what God has commanded is a curiosity [even a cult or offshoot of mainstream Christianity].
Brief vital history. “In the 1916 annual convention of the Lord’s Day Alliance of America, the chairman laid all the failure to secure Sunday legislation to the efforts of Seventh-day Adventists, and he recommended more drastic fines and penalties to ‘bring them to time.’ They are reckoned the troublers of Israel, and before the decree [of Sunday Law] goes forth they will be considered the ones responsible for divine judgments that are poured out. [More on earlier attempts to legislate Sunday observance in the U.S. will be covered in coming issues—a refresher to some, a jolting eye-opener for others.]
“The Advent Message is certainly exalting the commandments of the Lord as did Elijah and denouncing the Sun (Baal) worship also. They are presenting the situation clearly and forcibly that there are only two systems to choose between. One is the worship of Jehovah, the other the old Babylon sun worship. It is the exact parallel to the proclamation of Elijah, if the Lord be God, serve Him, but if Baal be God then serve him. We make it clear that Sunday sacredness has its foundation in the Babylonian Pagan system of Sun worship, and there only, and that in order to adopt it, one must turn completely from the commandments of the Lord. We aim to make the whole matter so clear that it becomes a question of definite and decided choice, either for God and His commandments, or Satan and his mandate. The choice is to be definite, as it was when Elijah proclaimed, If the Lord be God, serve Him, but if the sun be God serve him.
“No message could possibly more perfectly meet the characteristics of what Isaiah was commissioned to ‘cry’ [out] than does the Advent Message. ‘Surely’ they are preaching ‘the people is grass.’ They are fulfilling this ‘voice’ in just the way John did, they are rebuking the religious errors (crooked places) of the time, and thereby making straight the way of the Lord. As John went before the Lord ‘to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,’ he had to preach the message of the soon appearance of the Messiah [in Christ’s first advent].
“Just so the Adventists are proclaiming the second coming of Christ and thereby making ready a people prepared for His coming. (See 1 John 3: 3.) In it all they are doing the work of the remnant. Rev. 12: 17; Joel 2: 1, 32. In making straight the way of the Lord they must necessarily ‘build the old waste places,‘ ‘repair the breach,’ and ‘restore the paths to dwell in.’ Isa. 58: 2. As Elijah bore a message against ancient apostate Israel, so the remnant bears a message against the modern apostate ‘house of Israel and house of Jacob.’ Isa. 58: 1.
“As Sunday observance is purely a relic of the old Pagan sun worship, the truth of the Sabbath strikes it a fatal blow, and is ransoming many from the thralldom of Satan’s own system of religion which he originated in Babylon.
“The truth concerning the nature of man [non-immortality of the soul] as taught by Adventists exposes the falsehood with which man was deceived, i. e, ‘Ye shall not die,’ truly they are making straight the crooked places and doing God’s work of calling the honest ones out of Babylon.”- Drama of the Universe, pp. 476-481.
Who then is the modern-day ‘house of Jacob” of Isaiah 58: 1?
“The Protestant denominations . . . were His people, the house of Jacob. But when the Third Angel’s message came [after 1844] and God raised up a people to do that work that He was all the time desirous that the earlier Protestants would prepare themselves to do, and by that people exposed the nature of the Babylonian system, and demonstrated clearly that they were still clinging to the rites that did not originate with God, but in Babylon, then the so-called Protestants stood guilty before God because they identified themselves with Babylon, and therefore could do nothing but ‘forsake them.’- Ibid, p. 481.