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The angel Gabriel told Daniel as recorded in Daniel 9 that the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt in seven weeks which is 49 days, which at a day for a year is 49 years
The decree to build the city was given to Ezra in 457 B.C. by King Ahaseurus whose reginal name was Artaxerxes Longimanus and the prophecy was accurately fulfilled when the city was completed in 408 B.C.
The angel also told Daniel that 62 weeks after the city was completed, that is 434 years after the city was completed, Messiah the Christ would appear. That was also accurately fulfilled when Jesus Christ began his ministry at the age of 30 in the autumn of 27 A.D.
The law says that a priest should begin his service at the age of 30 years this is repeated several times in Numbers 4, therefore John Baptist began his ministry in the spring and Jesus Christ began his ministry in the autumn of 27 A.D. both of them being at the age of 30 years old.
This principle was established in the most ancient times by the person, the Being, the God, who inspired the Word of God in Numbers 4 and throughout all the holy scriptures and no man even today may be ordained into the ministry who was younger than 30 years old.
The book of Malachi [and the name Malachi [means the Messenger of God] appears to have been written by Mordecai the uncle of Esther and was somewhat later edited and canonized by Ezra and the Assembly of 70 which Ezra set up in Jerusalem.
The author of Malachi writes Malachi 4:5 behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the Great and dreadful day of the Lord verse 6 and he shall turn the heart of the father’s to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a curse [and the word curse means utter destruction].
Brethren the way to peace between men is built on the foundation of reconciliation and peace with God!
For thousands of years human beings have been unable to get along with one another, neighbor with his neighbor and nations with nations . Why? Because they are all doing what they think is right, what is right in their own eyes and they do not have a common standard of values and behavior.
The only way to achieve peace on this earth is for all human beings to have a standard of behavior a common standard of behavior, and for all human beings to be governed by a single Authority which is a loving caring guiding Authority which all people respect and will obey.
This means God and without God there can be no peace; it is true that there have been many false religions and false ways and this has resulted in the history of the world as we see in the very bloody history of this earth.
What mankind needs is a single authority a single God with the power to fulfill his will and whose will is for the very best for every single human being. A God an authority a government which will judge wisely, fairly, justly righteously, and will uphold the best interests of every living person.
Brethren the way to peace is built on the foundation of reconciliation and peace with God and if all people, both parents and children, are at peace with God and living by every Word of God; they will be at peace with one another.
In the very near future while the tribulation is humbling humanity, Elijah will work to turn the hearts of both fathers and children to sincere repentance and a passion of zeal to live by every Word of God. In that way most of mankind will be prepared to accept Christ when he comes; and when he comes Jesus Christ will bring a government which is equitable, just, fair and which will enforce righteousness with authority and power.
Jesus Christ will no longer allow wickedness on the earth, he will not allow men to fight and war anymore and soon after he comes when he establishes the kingdom of God over all the earth he will pour out God’s Holy Spirit on all repentant humanity: and in that way they will begin to learn holiness and righteousness and the way to peace.
Later in his ministry Jesus’ disciples asked him in Matthew 17 10 and his disciples asked him saying why then say the scribes that Elias must first come and Jesus answered and said unto them Elias truly shall first come and restore all things and in verse 17:12 but I say unto you that Elias is come already; and men knew him not but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood then he spoke unto them of John the Baptist.
We know because Christ said so, that John Baptist came to prepare the way for the first coming of Christ in the flesh and we know that another person with the same Elijah like zeal for godliness will prepare the way for the second coming of Christ. The second coming as King of kings over all the earth.
What did the ancient Elijah do, what did John Baptist do, what will the latter-day Elijah do? What does Malachi mean when he wrote and he shall turn the heart of the father’s to the children and the heart of children to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a curse?
How are the hearts of fathers and children reconciled together, what is the source of true unity, the source of true unity among men and true peace among men?
This requires a standard moral system, a standard system of beliefs and behavior and a powerful God who will perform his will and enforce righteousness and peace in all the earth.
The main deeds of Elijah are recorded in 1 Kings 17 and 18.
What did Elijah do ? He demonstrated and proved that the Eternal is God and beside the Eternal there is no other god and he destroyed the idols and their priests!
That was the message and mission of John Baptist; to teach the people that the Eternal is God and to teach sincere repentance and to teach the people to live by every Word of God; and after this Messiah the Christ came and taught the people the way to salvation which is through living by every Word of God; We find this in Matthew 4:4
The job, the mission, of the latter-day Elijah is precisely the same; he is to teach that the Eternal is God and beside him there is no other God. He is to teach sincere repentance and he is to smash the idols of the idolaters and to restore true religion and godliness to the earth and to unseal and reveal those things which have been sealed until the very end time.
He does these things and will do these things in preparation for the coming of Messiah the Christ as King of kings over all the earth; Which Messiah, will bring peace to the earth and he will enforce that peace in righteousness and power!
We find in the Book of Daniel that the angel told Daniel a message from God saying in Daniel 12:9 Go thy way Daniel for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified and made white and tried but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand but the wise shall understand.
The wise are those who recognize and understand that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
It is respect for God and for his Word which makes one wise. The wise know that through living by every Word of God and believing and doing what God says they will learn the true wisdom of God and the way to peace between fathers and children and between neighbor and neighbor.
From the very creation of man and through the coming 42 month trial, the wise have been and will be purified from sin; but the unrepentant evil doers will not understand the things of God.
Who are the wicked? It is written that sin is the transgression of the law; and the law says, the commandment says: honor thy father that is obey thy father and thy mother that thy life may be preserved.
Therefore we are to live by every Word of God our Father and if we fail in any point to honor God our Father and obey Him we have broken the commandment.
It is those who have no zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God who are the wicked, and they shall not understand. It is those who cleave to their own thoughts their own ways and their own false traditions and refuse any correction from the Word of God who are the wicked and in the day of trouble they shall not stand.
Because they do not understand the truth they do not understand the Word of God, because they have rejected wisdom therefore they will fall and have indeed fallen into strong delusion, because they believe the lies of their own false traditions and refused to believe that sure Word of prophecy and doctrine which is the Word of God.
The ministry and mission of John Baptist is first described by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias the priest who was to be the father of John Baptist.
We find this in Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 1:7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
They were both quite old and yet they were both faithful and lived by every Word of God just like Noah, ancient Noah, did.
Verse 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 1:9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense, [that is outside the inner courtyard of the temple]. 1:11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. [At the time of the incense burning.]
The incense burning and the smoke of the incense rising up was symbolic of the prayers of repentant people rising up as a sweet perfume very acceptable before God
1:12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
John was given the Holy Spirit from birth in fact from the womb, and he was sent to prepare the way before Messiah the Christ. John would preach the gospel of sincere repentance and he would turn many to God, even sincere repentance so that a people would be ready to accept Christ when he came the first time
Luke 1:16 and many of the children of Israel shall he [John] turn to the Lord their God.
And how will he turn them to God? By calling them to sincere repentance and teaching them to live by every Word of God. John was a kind of Elijah and his mission was the same mission as Elijah’s, which was to turn people to God and to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of living way every Word of God, which sincere repentance and obedience would turn the heart of God the Father to humanity in response.
Verse 17 and he shall go before him [that is Christ] in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the father’s to the children [which is a quote of Malachi 4:6] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just to make ready a people prepared for the Lord and so it came to pass.
In Luke 1:23 and so it came to pass that as soon as the days of his service were accomplished that Zacharias returned to his own house.
Elizabeth his wife would have been happy to see him and doubly glad when she heard the news of his vision of an angel, then 10 lunar months later as is the normal course of a pregnancy a child was born.
Luke 1:59 and it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child and they called him Zacharias after the name of his father and his mother answered and said not so but he shall be called John and they said unto her there is none of kindred that is called by this name and they made signs to his father [who had been struck dumb by the angel] how he would have him called and he asked for a writing table and wrote saying his name is John and they marvelled all.
Then with the fulfillment of the words of Gabriel the tongue of Zacharias was loosed and filled with God’s Spirit he prophesied about the mission of his son John and of the mission of the latter-day type of Elijah as well. Then Zechariah praised God.
Luke 1:64 And his [Zechariah’s] mouth was opened immediately, his tongue was loosed and he began to speak and praised God and fear came on all that was round about them and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea.
Verse 66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
In a certain sense the ministry began at his very birth because the events of his birth from a very elderly woman generated so much excitement throughout all Judea.
Verse 67 and his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied saying blessed be the Lord God of Israel for he hath a visited and redeemed his people and he hath raised up a horn of salvation [that is Messiah the Christ] for us in the house of his servant David and as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets which happened since the world began. That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all them that hate us to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy Covenant the oath which he sware to our father Abraham.
Now, to serve means to obey, the same thing as worship, to worship means to obey God and if we truly served and worshiped God the Father and Jesus Christ we would do what they say.
Verse 74 that he God would grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies might serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our lives.
And how do we serve God in holiness and righteousness? We do this through learning and living in a passionate enthusiasm for every Word of God.
Verse 76 and thou shalt shall be called the prophet of the highest [that is, the child John] for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways to give knowledge [now listen here is the mission of John] to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of sins [that is to show the people how to be forgiven for their sins through sincere repentance] again verse 77 to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins through the tender mercy of our God whereby the dayspring [or fountain of living waters] will come forth from on high.
The latter day Elijah and Moses who are God’s two prophets will teach the way to salvation, teaching sincere repentance from breaking and compromising with any part of the Word of God so that the sacrifice of Christ may be applied to us because we are sincerely repentant and have committed ourselves to never again reject any part of the Scriptures or to sin against the Word of God.
Moses and Elijah will declare the Word of the Lord and call all people to sincere repentance, they will restore all that which was lost and reveal any new thing which God chooses to present to humanity; they will proclaim the light of godliness and life to all those that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death and guide our feet into the way of peace.
Verse 80 and the child grew and waxed strong in spirit and was in the desert till the date of his showing unto Israel.
John did not preach until he became thirty years old as the law says (Numbers 4) and he kept himself hidden while studying and learning the Word of God and preparing himself until he was fully ready to carry out his mission which began in the spring just before Passover in 27 A.D.
John being six months older than Jesus began to preach at the Jordan River just before Passover in 27 A.D. He prepared the way for the Ministry of Jesus Christ by preaching repentance and a sincere zeal to live by every Word of God we find this in:
Matthew 3 1 In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying repent ye for the kingdom of God is at hand for this is he that was spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord make his paths straight.
This is exactly what God’s latter-day Elijah will also preach, he will restore that which has been lost and reveal that which has been sealed, and he will preach sincere repentance and a passionate zeal to live by every Word of God.
This way he along with Moses as the two prophets will prepare the Assemblies and the whole earth for the coming of Messiah the King to rule all nations as King of kings over all the earth; and through a combination of the humbling of the Great Tribulation and the preaching of God’s latter day two witnesses much of mankind will be ready to accept the Lord Messiah when he comes.