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An independent SDA Ministry
Proclaiming the 3 angels Messages and

   Abiding in the Father and His Son

 
 

 The Last Elijah

Chapter One

A Voice in Time

 

It was a warm and pleasant afternoon and the sun shone brightly on the city of Jerusalem. The sky was clear resonating deep blue and reflected in kind the joy that emanated from the city as the anticipation of festivity captured the minds of the people.

“From the crest of Olivet, Jesus looked upon Jerusalem. Fair and peaceful was the scene spread out before him. It was the season of the Passover, and from all lands the children of Jacob had gathered there to celebrate the great national festival. In the midst of gardens and vineyards, and green slopes studded with pilgrims’ tents, rose the terraced hills, the stately palaces, and massive bulwarks of Israel's capital. The daughter of Zion seemed in her pride to say, “I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow;” as lovely then, and deeming herself as secure in Heaven's favor, as when, ages before, the royal minstrel sung, “Beautiful of situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion,” “the city of the great King.” [Psalm 48:2.] In full view were the magnificent buildings of the temple. The rays of the setting sun lighted up the snowy whiteness of its marble walls, and gleamed from golden gate and tower and pinnacle. “The perfection of beauty” it stood, the pride of the Jewish nation. What child of Israel could gaze upon the scene without a thrill of joy and admiration! But far other thoughts occupied the mind of Jesus. “When he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.” [Luke 19:41.] Amid the universal rejoicing of the triumphal entry, while palm branches waved, while glad hosannas awoke the echoes of the hills, and thousands of voices declared him king, the world's Redeemer was overwhelmed with a sudden and mysterious sorrow. He, the Son of God, the Promised One of Israel, whose power had conquered death, and called its captives from the grave, was in tears, not of ordinary grief, but of intense, irrepressible agony.” GC 1888 pg 17-18

While the people of God were singing and rejoicing, what could Christ have been thinking? What had brought on such deep anguish and sorrow of soul? It was because He knew what they did not. Looking forward He saw the final rejection by His people of Himself and the Father. He saw the terrible doom that would be the result of that rejection. But He, who had been with Israel throughout all time, was not just looking into the near future. He, who was the Alpha and the Omega, also saw the distant past and the distant future. He saw how history would repeat itself just before He returned the second time.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.“ (Mat 23:37-38)

His mind drifted back to another bright sunny day. As the people of Israel made their way toward the mountain, the sun was just breaking the horizon. The dry leaves and twigs crunched under their feet. The dust puffed up into swirling cloudlets with each step and even this early in the morning the air was stifling hot. There had been no rain for over three years. The people could not even remember the last time the ground had been moist with dew. The streams and rivers bed were all dry. All that was left of tree and bush was dead dry skeletons that found their counterpart in the skeletons of those of Israel who had died of thirst. The sea to the west lay blue and tranquil in morning light yet its water was only a cruel reminder of the water that could not be drunk. As the trail steepened, their breathing became labored and stung their dry cracked lips. As they continued on, they passed the bodies of those who had collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration.

As they began to climb the ridge of Mount Carmel, they saw the King’s entourage of servants, soldiers, and litter bearers who also were slowly making their way up the dry rocky trail. Behind them followed over eight hundred and fifty men who claimed to be prophets and priests that served Baal and Ashtoreth in the groves and high places. When the water had failed, the people had cried unto these men for help but alas there had been no rain. It seemed that even these men and their gods could not bring rain. Their thoughts drifted back to when they had heard how a man named Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, had started all this trouble.  It was said that he had gone before King Ahab and stated that there would be no further rain until he declared as much and had then left suddenly from before the king. There had been a three year search for him but it had been in vain. It seemed that he had simply vanished from the face of the earth.

At first, no one had taken him seriously. But as the weeks turned into months and the land dried up, a serious search had begun for this trouble maker. Its urgency had escalated as the months turned into years and still no rain. It was said that the king had even sent to other nations looking for him but it had been in vain. He was simply gone. It was said that he was a follower of Jehovah, the old God of Israel. Perhaps this God was more powerful then Baal or Ashtoreth. There were some who were in this camp, while others thought that it was Baal and Ashtoreth who had cursed the land because of Elijah. If only he could be found and punished, then perhaps the rain would come again.

All this however had suddenly changed when the announcement from the king had been sent urgently throughout Israel. Elijah was back and by the king had summoned all people of Israel to come to Mount Carmel. It was a hard dry journey but none dare refuse. All life would end soon if the rain did not return. Even for the rich, the supplies were reaching an end.

As they made their way up the trail their eyes were scanning the mountains ridge and horizon. “There he is” one gasped as all looked up toward the mountains crest. Then a murmur went through the crowd as they saw the old prophet appear on the summit of the mountain. He was standing by the old and broken down altar of Jehovah.

As Jesus wept, He remembered vividly that moment when all of Israel fell into a hush. Elijah had stood for a long while as the people filed up the ridges and trails until the entire summit was surrounded by the nation of Israel. The mountain had seemed alive as tens of thousands fell totally silent. Then at Jehovah’s bidding, Elijah’s voice rang out, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.”(1Ki 18:21) His voice had echoed off of rocks and into small valleys. When it had finally died, there was only silence.

What was it about this Prophet Elijah’s message that was so important to Jehovah? What did it have to do with Israel in the time of Christ, and what does it have to do with you and me? How was it tied to those bitter tears that our Master shed when looking down, not only to the fall of literal Jerusalem in 70 A.D., but alas all the way to our time? It is to the source of anguish that our Savior suffered at our hand that this book is written. For that voice that boomed from the top of Carmel thousands of years ago is still echoing through time. Its truth, sounding from the past, was uttered clearly before Christ came to this earth as our Savior to die for fallen mankind. Now, here at the end of time, its echo is building again. It is now, just before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, booming from the top of spiritual Carmel one last time. It’s voice clear and keen. “How long halt ye between two opinions?!”