There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation.

More than a Prophet

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  • More than a Prophet

    “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come” (vv. 13–14).
    - Matthew 11:7–15


    Given John the Baptist’s earlier declarations about Jesus, his doubts about the Lord’s identity raised in Matthew 11:1–6 could have led many to question the consistency of his ministry. How could they not doubt his steadfastness and teaching since he has gone from exalting Jesus (3:13–17; John 3:22–36) to inquiring if He is truly the Christ? Alternatively, how could they trust in Jesus as the Messiah if the beloved John the Baptist had doubts about Him?

    Jesus addresses these thoughts with His own questions. When swayed by the wind, the long reeds beside the Jordan River are visual metaphors of those who teach according to the whims of men. Christ’s inquiry about the reed intends to ask if John is one to change his message with the blowing of the wind (Matt. 11:7). He expects the people to answer that John was a faithful preacher. Similarly, Christ’s question about soft clothing (v. 8) reminds them that they sought John, a prophet who like Elijah wears camel’s hair (2 Kings 1:8), not fine linen. Jesus is saying that John is a prophet whose words must be embraced.

    However, John is not only like Elijah, he is Elijah. In verses 9–10, Christ says John the Baptist fulfills Malachi 3:1, which looks for a special messenger to come before the Day of the Lord. This messenger is Elijah (Mal. 4:5–6), and in going before Jesus, John is revealed as the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy. Of course, John is not Elijah reincarnated. Just as the prophets refer to the coming Messiah as David (Jer. 30:9) because David is the prototypical king, so too does Malachi say the Messiah’s forerunner is Elijah since Elijah is the exemplary prophet. But Jesus is not literally David, nor is John the Baptist literally Elijah.

    John is indeed great, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater still (Matt. 11:11). Here Jesus contrasts John’s place in redemptive history with that of the new covenant believer. John saw Jesus, but he died before the Lord’s death and resurrection. After His resurrection, we understand the work of Christ more clearly. Moreover, even today we experience new covenant benefits —like immediate access to God’s presence (Heb. 10:19–22) and the indwelling Spirit (Rom. 8:9) more powerfully than John did when he walked the earth.

    Coram Deo

    John Calvin says the new covenant minister’s preaching is greater than John the Baptist’s because “it holds out Christ as having rendered complete and eternal satisfaction by his one sacrifice, as the conqueror of death and the Lord of life, and because it withdraws the veil, and elevates believers to the heavenly sanctuary.” John the Baptist was blessed, but we are more greatly favored to live in an era more cognizant of God’s grace in Christ.

    Source: More than a Prophet | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org

  • #2
    Originally posted by William View Post
    However, John is not only like Elijah, he is Elijah.
    Only metaphorically. Here is what John the Baptizer said : Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. And he was indeed a faithful witness: [ELIAS = ELIJAH]

    20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. (John 1:20-23) [ESAIAS = ISAIAH]

    As other Scriptures tell us, John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and also resembled him externally. But the real and true Elijah will come to earth just before the Day of the Lord (which is yet future).

    5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 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. (Malachi 4:5,6).

    I believe Elijah will be one of the two prophets described in Revelation 11. Moses may be the other prophet. Thus the Law and the Prophets will be personified to Israel during the reign of the Antichrist.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Origen View Post
      That a boy! Deflect!

      As I said your argument is convoluted and pure nonsense. It assume what you must first prove. Moreover ignoring my points only severs to prove you really do not care what the text says. You have to address all the points not just the ones you mistakenly think helps your case.
      yea but you came back and edited that post because i didnt see any of that before. you make valid points though. i only wish you would have addressed the arguments i made in my threads the same way, point for point. ill assume because you didnt you actually couldnt. everyone should know by now i dont believe in the bible literally i believe it is a parable. i thought this conversation was interesting and i still think the bible supports reincarnation just not overtly.

      thats how they always do things, they'll tell you but make it so complicated you cant understand. bottom line is jesus said john was elijah, all that other stuff is fluff. theres great reason to believe that Elijah is enoch. because if john is greater than all who came by women. that means he is greater than not only jesus but enoch and elijah. enoch and elijah were the only ones to never die so it stands to reason they are the same person and that john is indeed enoch and elijah.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by thelionofjudah View Post
        So u are telling me john was better than Elijah or is elijah an exception?
        I will.
        Yes, John is 'better' than Elijah.
        Elijah got to announce the Messiah from far away (long before Jesus came).
        John the Baptist got to announce his imminent arrival and to proclaim to the world "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" It is the truth of John 1:34 that makes John better than Elijah ... he was given a ministry in the same spirit, but a greater honor.

        John 1:19-34 [NASB]
        19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not [fn]the Christ.” 21They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he *said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

        24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the [fn]Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them saying, “I baptize [fn]in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

        29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who [fn]has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize [fn]Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing [fn]in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize [fn]Him, but He who sent me to baptize [fn]in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes [fn]in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”



        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by atpollard View Post
          I will.
          Yes, John is 'better' than Elijah.
          Elijah got to announce the Messiah from far away (long before Jesus came).
          John the Baptist got to announce his imminent arrival and to proclaim to the world "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" It is the truth of John 1:34 that makes John better than Elijah ... he was given a ministry in the same spirit, but a greater honor.

          John 1:19-34 [NASB]
          19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not [fn]the Christ.” 21They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he *said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

          24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the [fn]Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them saying, “I baptize [fn]in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

          29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who [fn]has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize [fn]Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing [fn]in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize [fn]Him, but He who sent me to baptize [fn]in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes [fn]in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”


          well follow it through, john is better than all that came by women so he is always greater than Enoch, moses and even jesus he is the greatest
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by thelionofjudah View Post
            well follow it through, john is better than all that came by women so he is always greater than Enoch, moses and even jesus he is the greatest
            There is nothing to follow through: I answered the question you asked ... "So u are telling me john was better than Elijah or is elijah an exception?"
            If you want to start a conversation on the topic, then start a proper conversation with a proper question and state your case with Scriptural support, but sending me chasing after every thought that pops into your head to offer scriptural support refuting your unsupported statements is bad form.
            "Homie don't play that game." ;)



            So let me turn it around:

            Matthew 11:11 NASB “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
            Luke 7:28 NASB “I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

            I have two witnesses who testify that JESUS says "John is greater than ..." (insert 'among those born of women' of your choice).
            I also have 2 Corinthians 13:1 (EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.) so I have established Jesus testimony as a fact.

            Feel free to present evidence that Jesus lied.
            Then I can respond to YOUR evidence rather than your empty rhetoric.
            Last edited by atpollard; 06-21-2017, 12:42 PM.
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