The Eliyah Message
"To make ready a people prepared for Yahweh" (Luke 1:17).
What is the Eliyah message? Who is to serve in the role of Eliyah? Does the Eliyah message have anything to do with our day and time? Who is or was Eliyah?
Eliyah is usually incorrectly rendered Elijah in most of our English versions or even Elias in the New Testament. Hebrew names typically have meanings. The name Eliyah means "my El is Yah" or "my deity is Yah."
Eliyah was the great prophet of Yahweh who witnessed to the northern kingdom of Israel when King Ahab was defending the worship of Baal. Eliyah departs from the pages of the Scriptures with a letter to Jehoram, king of Judah, that proclaims Yahweh's displeasure, 2 Chronicles 21:1-11. This is years after Eliyah had been removed from the scene in Israel and was succeeded by Elisha. Eliyah was carried away by a physical, earthly whirlwind, according to 2 Kings 2:11, not the chariot and horses of fire as commonly thought.
But Eliyah is mentioned in Malachi in an amazing way. He is spoken of as the one to prepare the way for the Kingdom of Yahweh. In Malachi 3:1, we read: "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me." And in the closing verses of the book, we find: "Behold, I will send Eliyah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh," Malachi 4:5.
The name Malachi means "my messenger." Yahweh indeed used him to speak about the coming Messiah and Kingdom.
Yahshua the Messiah quoted Malachi and then said: "And if you will receive it, this is Eliyah who was to come," Matthew 11:14. But this Eliyah was John the Baptizer, not the Eliyah of centuries before. The kingdom of Yahweh was being offered to Israel, and John had served the role of Eliyah the messenger.
That generation was blind with unbelief, just as ours is today. To understand better the Eliyah message, we need also to look at John's message.
Eliyah and John—Two of a Kind
John was a remarkable person, as was Eliyah. Yahshua said that no one had risen who was greater than John (Matthew 11:11). We find that John was foretold and called by name by an angel of Yahweh even before his conception, Luke 1:13. His very name, Yohanan in Hebrew, means "Yahweh has been gracious."
The angel said that John would go before the Messiah "in the spirit and power of Eliyah, 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 Yahweh," Luke 1:17.
Upon John's birth we read: "His father Zechariah (meaning "Yahweh has remembered") was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: "...and you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Master to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins ... to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death," Luke 1:67-79.
Indeed John did just as had been foretold. Mark 1:1-8 tells us about John. "John did baptize (immerse) in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins," verse 4. In Matthew 3:2, John's message was, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." And in verse 8 we read: "Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance." John's message was strong and to the point. He did not compromise it, even calling the religious figures of his day a "generation of vipers."
John also seemed to be a man of simplicity, as was Eliyah. They both wore garments of hair with a leather belt, Matthew 3:4; 2 Kings 1:8. John lived on food the desert provided—locusts and honey. Eliyah at one time was fed by ravens. The two men are examples of single-mindedness in purpose.
The opinions of the world and their personal comforts were not obstacles to them. Their goal in life was to serve Yahweh and Him alone.
John's Message Prepares Us for Truth
Does the Eliyah message have anything to do with our day and time? We do not know the hour or day of Yahshua's coming. But Yahshua said: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when its branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near...even at the door," Matthew 24:32-33.
The time of Yahshua's return is nearing. We should be prepared as we see prophecies unfold. Who is to serve in the role of Eliyah? It may well be Eliyah himself. With Yahweh nothing is impossible, Luke 1:37. It may be an individual from the end-time generation. It might even be a joint effort of many individuals. We can be certain that the Eliyah message will precede the coming of our King, Yahshua the Messiah.
Could we have a part in the spreading of the Good News of the Eliyah message? Be sure to remember the response that John gave when asked: "Are you Eliyah?" And he said, "I am not," John 1:21. John did not consider himself to be Eliyah, but Yahshua said that he was serving in that role.
If we today are to teach the Eliyah message to a lost and dying world, what would it include? This should be our message also: Repent, change your ways, for time is short. Don't be satisfied with half- truths of a paganized religion that teaches disobedience and lawlessness.
Thirst for and seek after the deeper truths that the prophets, apostles, and Yahshua the Messiah laid down for the True Worshiper. Don't be satisfied with anything less.
Is that a popular message? No! Yahshua never said that it would be easy. Will many listen to such a message? No, not many. But if we can show light to the one who is thirsting for truth and hungering for righteousness, we will have accomplished much. Luke 7:24-30 says, After John's messengers left, Yahshua began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you."
Our Goal Same as Eliyah's
If we look to Eliyah and John as examples, we can see that their message was not popular with the religious establishments of their day. They were not given wealth and prosperity by the world's standards. And their job wasn't easy. Neither is ours.
There is no easy way to walk the narrow path required. But it is up to us and we will be given what is necessary to do it. We ourselves are the limiting factor.What is the basic, original Eliyah message? It isn't any more popular today than it was in his day. We find the account in 1 Kings 18, where Eliyah was confronting the prophets of Baal.
Eliyah stood alone against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves (Asherah). But Eliyah still had them outnumbered because Yahweh was watching over his servant.
Eliyah asked the people to make a commitment: "If Yahweh be Elohim, follow Him; but if Baal [meaning lord], then follow him," verse 21. Our message should point out this same choice: Yahweh of the Scriptures or the Baal of popular religion.
As we read on, Eliyah calls out to Yahweh to intervene and prove the foolishness of Baal worship. "Then the fire of Yahweh fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said,'Yahweh, He is Elohim: Yahweh He is Elohim.'" verses 38-39.
There it is— the basic Eliyah message contained in the prophet's name: ELIYAH: "my mighty one is Yah." Do you know the true Heavenly Father of the Bible? Do you realize that salvation is available only in His Name? The world understands Scripture one way, while Yahweh challenges us to know the true message of salvation offered to those who love Him enough to be obedient to His commandments.
The gate is strait and the way narrow that leads to life everlasting," and few will find it.