In 1 Kings 18, the Israelites, despite their being God’s chosen people, had severely backslidden with many of them worshiping the false god Baal. The Lord then sent the prophet Elijah to issue a dramatic, eye-opening challenge to the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel. With extraordinary boldness and power he proved before the very eyes of the Israelites that “the LORD—He is God, the LORD—He is God.” In answer to Elijah’s prayer, the LORD sent visible fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice Elijah had prepared for Him. When the prophets of Baal prayed to Baal to send fire to consume their sacrifice, he remained silent.
“The spirit and power of Elijah” refers to the boldness and manifest power with which Elijah demonstrated to the backslidden Israelites that the Lord is in fact the One True God.
Then Malachi prophesied that Elijah would be sent again.
Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”
Before the coming of the Lord on “that great and dreadful day”, Elijah would be sent. This prophecy was fulfilled through John the Baptist who was sent “in the spirit and power of Elijah…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”.
Luke 1:17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Malachi’s prophecy will be fulfilled a second time, before the second “great and dreadful day of the LORD”—which is upon us today.
Matthew 17:11 Jesus replied, “TO BE SURE, Elijah comes and WILL restore all things. (12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.)
During these very Last Days “the spirit and power” of Elijah will being restored to the Church—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. During these very Last Days—just like in the days of Elijah—very, very many of God’s people have already fallen away. The false god Baal which deceived so very many Israelites in the Old Testament has returned to deceive many of God’s people today.
And “the spirit and power” of Elijah is now being restored to prepare God’s people for the second “great and dreadful day of the Lord”—the Second Coming of the Messiah Jesus.
On the Third World mission field in India “the spirit and power of Elijah” has already been restored and manifested to defeat the many false gods there and bring many Hindus to Messiah Jesus.
And soon the spirit and power of Elijah will be restored to the CHURCH to defeat Baal once again, and to prepare God’s people for THE RETURN.