_______ April 24 ______
SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. __Malachi 4:5__
This prophecy was fulfilled by John the Baptist; for the Saviour himself declared to his disciples, “Elias is come already.” Upon hearing this, the disciples “understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
In every stage of this earth’s history God has had his agencies to carry for¬ward his work, which must be done in his appointed way. John the Baptist had a special work, for which he was born and to which he was appointed,—the work of preparing the way of the Lord. (The Southern Watchman, March 21, 1905)
Thousands were led to embrace the truth preached by William Miller, and servants of God were raised up in the spirit and power of Elijah to proclaim the message. Like John, the forerunner of Jesus, those who preached this solemn message felt compelled to lay the ax at the root of the tree, and call upon men to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Their testimony was calculated to arouse and powerfully affect the churches and manifest their real character.
And as the solemn warning to flee from the wrath to come was sounded, many who were united with the churches received the healing message; they saw their backslidings, and with bitter tears of repentance and deep agony of soul, humbled themselves before God. And as the Spirit of God rested upon them, they helped to sound the cry, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” (Early Writings, 233)
John the Baptist went forth in the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare the way of the Lord, and to turn the people to the wisdom of the just. He was a representative of those living in the last days, to whom God has intrusted sacred truths to present before the people, to prepare the way for the second appearing of Christ. And the same principles of temperance which John practiced should be observed by those who in our day are to warn the world of the coming of the Son of man. (Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 39)