Part 1: The Third Elijah

The Church of Christ, based on the teaching of beloved Bro. Eraño Manalo during the inauguration of the Locale of Jerusalem, believe the the THIRD ELIAS is no other than Bro. Felix Manalo. This is something I only learned from this video never heard it from any other worship services or bible studies. This makes it an official doctrine of the Church that the third Elias has come.
On the other hand, there are those who are teaching that Elias is coming…and there are those who claimed that Elias has come to RESTORE THE CHURCH OF CHRIST that has gone astray under the leadership of Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo.

I am sorry, with all my respect to the Church leaders and those who believe on restoring the Church of Christ (again), those teachings and claims are not pristine biblical teachings. I came to conclusion there is no third Elias. The second Elias has given the way to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Like what I normally remind you, you do not need to believe me for I am also a learner. I encourage you to verify and re-read the verses that I am going to use here.

The Third Elias By Bro. EGM

Please watch this video and pay attention to the following time stamps.



Time 9:20-10:24

“Basahin mo pa iyang referensyang iyan…Insight on the Scriptures…pahina 713..sa volume I…pagkamatay ni Juan…ano ang nangyari ka Juan? pagkamatay ni Juan…di tapos na si Juan. Hindi si Juan Bautista iyan. Pagkamatay ni Juan nakita sa isang pangitain si Elias kasama si Moises sa panahon ng pagkakabagong anyo ni Jesus…ano raw ang kahulugan nito?… Ipinakikilalang mayroon pang nangyayari na tulad ng isinasagisag na gawaing ginawa ni Elias.”

Time 16:23-17:00
” Nang si JesusCristo ay namatay ito lang anginaantay na atin Panginoon JesusCristo kaya ayaw pa niyang bumaba mula sa langit… sapagkat mayroon pang gawain dapat tapusin ang gawain sa huling araw..ang pagsusugo niya sa kaniyang sugo sa katauhan ng kapatid na Felix Manalo na nasa kaniyang espiritu at kapangyarihan ni Elias..at siya nga ang nagsagawa para ibalik ang tao sa tunay na Iglesia at hindi lamang sa tunay na Iglesia…Ngayon naman ibinabalik sa original na lokal ng Jerusalem.”

Clearly, the Church stand is that there is a third Elias and that he has come in the spirit in the person of Bro. Felix Y. Manalo.

Notice, how Bro. Erdy proved there is a third Elias. He used another book, Insight on the Scriptures page 713. That book is not a bible and it is based on interpretation by other Christian denomination. Why did Bro. Erdy used that book? Is it because the author is an authoritative and trusted interpreter? I am sure that is not the reason. I think the reason is because the page of that book align to the Church doctrines.

The Second Elias in the Bible

In the “Baptism By Water Or By Holy Spirit?” article I explained that John the Baptist is performing baptism of repentance [Mark 1:4] while Christ is for baptism of the Holy Spirit [Mark 1:8]. John denied he is Elias [John 1:19-28]. He denied he is Elias because he knows the Levites are looking for physical return of Elias. John said so because he is not physical Elias.

[Side topic: The reason why Jews in our time (I really mean our time not including first century Jews, our generation, year 2017 ) do not believe our Jesus Christ is the Messiah, they also do not believe that Elias has come. They are waiting for a physical return of Elias.]

In the case of Church of Christ, the doctrines teaches that John the Baptism is the second Elias – so far this align to my point that even if John denied he is Elias, we accept that he is in the spirit of Elias. This is written in Luke 1:17

Luke 1:17 (NKJV) – 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘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.”

Mark Testimony of John

Mark started his gospel about John the Baptist

Mark 1:1-3 (NKJV) – 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets:
“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.”
3
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’”

Take note of the words “voice” and “wilderness“. Those are important keywords for the next topics.

Mark use the word “as it is written” to indicate he is just quoting a reference from the Old Testament. Primarily Isaiah and Malachi.

Mark then directly relate John baptizing in the wilderness.

Mark 1:4 (NKJV) – 4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Christ Testimony of John as a Prophet

Our Lord Jesus Christ testified who John is.

Mathew 11:7-9 (NKJV) – “7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.”

Notice the word “multitudes”. Clearly indicates just how many went to see John the Baptist.

Let us analyze very important keywords because understanding them are keys to understanding why John is second Elijah and no third Elijah.

WILDERNESS

This is a significant place of the Jews. Throughout the life of the Jews(Israel) significant things happen to them in the wilderness. It appear the word “desolate” is a common word used in the Old and New Testament to describe the wilderness. It is the same place Elisha cured the servant of King of Syria and Prophet Elijah was seen assumed into heaven in a fiery Chariot (2 Kings 5:1-14). When Moses led Israel out of Egypt they went out into the wideness. Joshua also led the people across the Jordan River into the the promised land near Jericho. The wilderness is therefore a symbolic place for the Hebrews(we call them Jews, and most often Israel). During the time of Jesus and John, the Hebrews are under the rule of the Roman empire. People are longing to go to the wilderness for spiritual reasons seeking for their Messiah.

SOFT GARMENTS

Mark describe the cloth of John in Mark 1:6.

In Mark 1:6 (NKJV) – 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

This description about the dress of John the Baptist is intended primarily to indicate clearly the identity of John as Elijah.

2 Kings 1:8 (NKJV) – 8 So they answered him, “A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

MORE THAN A PROPHET

Christ is testifying John the Baptist is a prophet, in fact more than a prophet He said. I think the reason He said that is because Christ also testifies John is Elias. Another reason is John is the last Prophet of the old covenant. John appear in the wilderness 400 years after the last prophet before him (most agree it was Prophet Malachi before John). But the one that standout why John is more than a prophet is explained by no less than our Lord Jesus

Matthew 11:11 (NKJV) – 11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

This statement of our Lord Jesus truly elevate John’s position. In fact it sounds like John the Baptist is the greatest of all humanity born of women except that Christ is still greater than him. John the Baptist is indeed a very important person with a very important role.

Christ Testimony of John as a Elijah

I think Matthew 17:10-13 is where different Christian denominations try to align their doctrines. I meant “align” their doctrine as oppose to adopting to the teachings. Rather than interpreting according to what Christ is teaching, they interpret to satisfy the Church entire doctrines.

Matthew 17:10-13 (NKJV) – 10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
11 Jesus answered and said to them, “ Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.

I think they have to align to the doctrines, or else, the entire Church teachings will fall off. Read this verse very carefully. I think readers in English speaking countries, you probably have advantage understanding the language over most of us but even if you and me are not Harvard graduates, we can understand the word “but” put into conclusion what is said coming has come.

When the disciples asked him why do the scribes [Old Testament] say that Elijah must come first?. Christ said Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.. For the believers of third Elijah doctrine, they split  Matthew 17:11 [third Elijah teaching]  and Matthew 17:12 [second Elijah teaching]. I must insist read Matthew 17:10-13 again. Did Christ refer to another Elijah when he said But I say to you that Elijah has come already? Is in it Christ is answering one question and talking about the same Elijah? I think some religions try to split the verses to match their doctrines of a third Elijah.

If you still believe at this point that Christ is talking of third Elijah when he said “Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.” and when he is talking of second Elijah when he said “But I say to you that Elijah has come already”, continue reading. Additional topics might clear the way. I think one of the confusion is that Elijah is coming first and restore all things. The believers of third Elijah doctrine are blinded that John indeed came first and restored all things. More on this in next topics.

Summary

We should have learned here:

  • Jesus testified  John the Baptist is a Prophet
  • Jesus testified John is the Elijah prophesied in the Old Testament.

Next topic we need to learn that John the Baptist role is to testify that the Messiah has come and indeed it is our Lord Jesus Christ to give the way to Him. John also testified that there is one greater than him, one who will baptize with Holy Spirit, one who everyone must follow.

In the next topics we will review again the role of John the Baptist and why he gave the way to our Lord Jesus Christ and why there is no third Elias. We will also explore why the signs for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ are misleading and why Christ said in the future if someone says He has come do not believe it as stated in Matthew 24:23.

Matthew 24:23 (NIV) – 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.

-Cornelius

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