Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more
An unknown man, entered the scene of the religious leaders in the land of Israel and changed the tide of things, bringing many people back to the God of their fathers. When God saw that this man performed brilliantly and exceptionally, like God testified of King Jehu when he was executing the commandments of the Lord that he performed exceptionally fulfilling the blueprints in the hearts of God.
“And the LORD said unto Jehu, because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” (2 Ki 10:30)
The Lord thence made a commandment with his house that his heir till fourth generation shall rule in the land.
What this man did may have impressed the Lord greatly such that he decides to be sending a similitude of his Spirit into the hearts of his beloveds and servants to work with, that they should go in the same power to call people back unto him.
All those mentioned people who operated in the spirit of Prophet Elijah in the bible was well referenced during their days and up till now. All of them promote monotheism when they surfaced in the history of Israel, they surfaced when the people of Yahweh had gone astray, following the gods of other lands which their fore-parents by the spirit of God warned them not to follow for by following such gods he would be mad at them because he is a jealous God.
“(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.” (Deu 6:15)
I will want us to see those three mentioned in the bible who operated in the spirit of Elijah in accordance with the words of the scriptures.
We shall see the first Elijah whom we can say come originally in that spirit and then the other two people who people referred to that they came in the spirit of Elijah.
The First Elijah
Bible scholars would recall that during the time of the heir of King Solomon over Israel, the Kingdom (nation) became divided into two, north and south. The north (Ephraim/Israel) has Samaria as its capital while the south is Judah with capital in Jerusalem. Let us have a taste of the history of the division.
“And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, what portion have we in David? And we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents.
“But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
“Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram that was over the tribute; and the children of Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
“And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.” (2 Ch 16-19)
This is one of the problems of having many wives, and this by extension this would apply to those who have divorced a partner and be married to another person. Those children given birth to may not love themselves as the children of Jacob were and they would be waging war against themselves spiritually and at times physically. It is therefore, in the best interest of believers to pause, pray and think very well, do the needful findings about the person they want to marry before marrying the person.
After the nation of Israel splits into two, each section continues her independent rulership without recourse to the second except in rare and emergency instances.
However, the Northern Kingdom, started on a shaky note because the new King took them back to the idols that the Lord said they should distance themselves from in a bid to entrench his rulership over the nascent nation.
“And Jeroboam said in his heart, now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
“If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
“Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, it is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
“And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
“And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
“And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
“And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
“So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.” (1 Ki 12: 26-33)
This continues with the subsequent rulers who took over the mantle of leadership from the first ruler, Jeroboam, they also continued to offer things to idols and encouraged their followers to be doing the same.
When God sees that they have continued in this terrain he began to send powerful and strong Prophets to the Northern Kingdom to warn them of their deeds. Only very few of their kings listened to those prophets and changed but majority of them never yielded to those prophets because they were afraid of losing their grips on the nation.
This was the position of the Northern Kingdom when Elijah was given birth to by his parents. His parents were unknown (unpopular) in the nation, but God decided to send the child to them through whom the nation would be brought back to himself.
Elijah was a respected prophet in the land of Israel who came out of the blues to become popular in the country during the reign of King Ahab over Israel, specifically in the land of Samaria.
Prophet Elijah was a 9th century prophet, although his parents name was not written in the bible, but it was gotten from the historical documentations of the Jews and his father’s name was said to be Sobach, however, his mother’s name remains hidden, as it used to be for women during his days. (www.oca.org)
Elijah is written in Hebrew as “אליּהוּ אליּה”, Romanized form is 'êlı̂yâh 'êlı̂yâhû, (pronounced as ay-lee-yaw', ay-lee-yaw'-hoo) and in Greek it is written as “Ἡλίας”, Romanized form is Hēlias (phonetic spelling is hay-lee'-as) which means God of Jehovah. The name could also be found written as Elias.
History has it that this man was not known earlier unlike some other prophets because during his youthful days, he left the city and got himself settled in the wilderness where he lived his life in strict fasting, meditation and prayer.
After he was given birth to, the spiritual eyes of his father were opened, and he saw his son being fed with flame and surrounded by fire by the angels. His father was surprised with what he saw, and he knows that his son would be a special one in the land.
It was not surprising therefore that this son, left for the wilderness during his youthful days to get more acquainted with God and the laws of Yahweh.
He came to limelight at the apex of people’s worship of Baal in the land, told them what the Lord planned to do unto the nation as a means of punishment unto them because they have ignored the law of God and followed idols.
“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” (1 Ki 17:1)
The nation witnessed drought for three and half years according to the word of Prophet Elijah before God had mercy on them.
“But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;” (Luk 4:25)
Before God’s mercy would manifest, the prophet assembled everyone to mount Carmel where he proved to all and sundry that Yahweh is the true God and the god of Baal which they were serving, which they thought was the one sending rain to them, bringing about their fertilities and productivities should not be served.
With the aid of other Jews who were gathered at Mount Carmel, he arrested and killed all the prophets of Baal whose total was 450 priests in the land.
“Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
“And Elijah said unto them, take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” (1 Ki 18:22 & 40)
After doing this, he prayed unto God to send rain to the land and it rained that day what has not happened for 42 months happened that day. The surface of the earth becomes refreshed, renewed and satisfied.
“He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.” (Psa 104:13)
An author said, he was born in fire and transported to heaven in chariot of fire, horses of fire and of flame.
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (2 Ki 2:11)
All the prominent religions of the world are said to be referring to this wonderful man, Prophet Elijah, who promoted monotheism during his days, when things were so dicey, and everyone was running for his or her life that was when the Lord published his name and made him prominent.
The Second Elijah
The second Elijah was the first Elijah’s direct successor. Before the first Elijah transported to heaven in chariot of fire and horses of fire, God has instructed him to anoint his successor, the person who shall carry on after him because he was yet to finish some of the tasks for which he has been assigned, and because he wants to be with the Lord, God approves his leaving the world, albeit, with agreement that he would anoint his successors, those who will finish the task of clearing Baal worshippers, priests and lord in the land.
“And the LORD said unto him, go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
“And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.” (1 Ki 19:15-16)
However, out of trio that the Lord asks prophet Elijah to anoint to replace him he reached out unto only one among them, and the person he reached out unto was Elisha.
After contacting this man, the man began to follow him and at the time of his departure he was told to ask for what he wants the young man asks of the double portion of his anointing. He eventually got this because the criteria for getting it was fulfilled. After his master’s departure, the people now said the spirit of his master has fell on him.
“And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.” (2 Ki 2:15)
It is believed that prophet Elisha was the second Elijah because his spirit fell on him, he ministered in the power of his spirit when he was on earth.
Elisha is written in Hebrew as “אלישׁע”, Romanized form is 'ĕlı̂yshâ‛, (phonetic spelling is el-ee-shaw'). Online Wikipedia says, the modern form of writing this name is ʼElišaʻ; written in Tiberian as ʼĔlîšāʻ; written in Arabic as Alyasa; in Turkish as Elyesa and in Greek it is “Ἐλισσαῖος”, Romanized as Elissaios (pronounced as el-is-sah'-yos). In Latin and Greek, we can find the name written as Eliseus which means “my God is salvation”.
When his master was about to be carried away, he asked for double portion of his spirit to come upon him.
“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” (2 Ki 2:9)
On what he asked, some scholars believed that what he did, asking for “double portion” was in synchronicity with culture and custom of the land of what the oldest son receives from his father’s properties and inheritance after the father is gone, the oldest son would receive double portion of his father’s properties.
This we shall know that, that was what Jacob was implying when he was blessing his children at the tail end of his life, and Reuben couldn’t possess this double portion because of what he did, defiling his father’s bed. And the promise was given unto Joseph.
“Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
“Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.” (Gen 49:3-4)
However, some opined that it has nothing to do with the possession of his earthly materials because he has already been chosen for the position as well as that he came from a wealthy family. They added however that what this means was that the man wants double of his prophetic anointing as he performed twice miracle as Elijah his mentor. He was a prophet and wonderworker in the northern Kingdom of Israel and was active during the reign of these kings: Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Jehoash (Joash) whose ministry would have spanned through 60 years.
He was a son of Shaphat, a wealthy landowner and a successful farmer of Abel-meholah; he became follower and attendant of prophet Elijah before he was carried off by chariots of fire.
During his days, systematized Baal worship was eradicated in the land (2 Kings 10:28).
Poll: Ministers of God
To make positive and long lasting impact in the world as believers we need to check our characters, check how we interact with people we shouldn’t allow our attitudes to chase people away from the Jesus and God, but we should let our characters draw people to Jesus, so that when they behold us they will be calling us real child of God.
Who The Third Elijah Was
The bible scholars know that God through prophet Malachi has said that he would send someone who will be ministering in the power of Prophet Elijah to his people and this happened before Jesus was given birth to.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:” (Mal 4:5)
Prophet Elijah when he was alive was known for instituting monotheism, showing the people who the real God was and bringing the hearts of the people back unto Yahweh. The people have been noticed to be continuing in the worship of another gods, because of what they are experiencing and being under the rulership of another country, the Romans. It was God’s desire to draw them back to himself, preparing a leveled ground for his arrival and via that to reach unto the uttermost part of the world. To achieve this, he decides to send someone who will prepare the way for him and the person who shall be sent shall minister in the spirit of prophet Elijah to do the needful, bringing the hearts of people back to the real God.
(a) What They Expected Was different
The people perhaps thought the person who will come in the spirit of prophet Elijah would be acting like him, calling together the priests of Baal and killing them like Prophet Elijah did and or as it happened during Prophet Elisha when the worship of Baal was put to an end in conjunction with the King on seat, but they were sore mistaken as this did not happen during this third prophet’s days’.
What he did was preaching the gospel and baptizing people, and unlike prophets of old who will say, they are prophets, he did not call himself prophet but says he was the voice of one in the wilderness crying that the way of the Lord be straightened.
“And they asked him, what then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
“Then said they unto him, who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
“He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” (Joh 1:21-23)
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isa 40:3)
(b) Who Was It?
The third person who worked in the spirit of prophet Elijah was John the Baptist. Jesus Christ says John the Baptist was the person who came in the spirit of prophet Elijah albeit the people did not know he was and if they knew at all only limited number of them knew.
“But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
“For this is he, of whom it is written, behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
“Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
“For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
“And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” (Mat 11:9-14)
They knew him to be a good person who says the truth and points people to God, but they did not know that he was the promised Elias (Elijah) for if they had known they wouldn’t have asked him of whom he was again.
“And they asked him, what then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.” (Joh 1:21)
(c) The Third Elijah
John is written in Greek as “Ἰωάννης” Romanized form is Iōannēs, pronounced as ee-o-an'-nace) the Hebrew form of the name is Jochanan meaning gracious gift of God.
John the Baptist was born in the late first century AD and lived till AD 28 or AD 36. Encyclopedia Britannica says, He was born in the late first century AD somewhere in Judea to Zechariah, a priest of the order of Abijah and his wife was Elizabeth a relative of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ.
“And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
“And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.” (Luk 1:40-41 & 56)
He was sentenced to death and eventually beheaded by Herod Antipas sometimes between 28 and 36 AD after he has been rebuked by John for divorcing his wife, Phasaelis, and unlawfully wedding Herodias the wife of his brother from another mother but the same father, Herod Philip I.
He spent major part of his youthful days in Judaean desert where austere communities such as Essenes existed. This community was a Jewish sect that existed from around 2nd century BCE to the end of first century CE. Each solitary educates its students on their ideologies and beliefs.
After graduating from the desert solitude, he emerged as prophet in the lower Jordan River where he raised disciples.
John was believed to be expecting messiah as other Hebrews were then. He was using his baptism as a central symbol of his pre-messianic movement, he also baptized Jesus Christ.
His baptism was a sign showing that the person has thought deeply about the message of righteousness and has been living a righteous life, but now wishes to be counted worthy of the grace and show further commitment to the way.
Other titles include John the Forerunner, John the Immerser, John the Baptizer, Prophet John known as Yahyā in Islam. He is known as a prophet and a saint by many religions. Jesus Christ and John were relatives according to Luke.
These people promote monotheism during their days, showing the people of their times what they need to do to please the Lord, what they need to do to return to the Lord.