Monday, July 11, 2011

Elijah, John the Baptist and the Christian fine art of Cherry Picking!


Google for "cherry picking" and you can find that nearly 33% of the results concerns the Bible. Our teachers, preachers and theologians have developed cherry picking into a fine art!

Objections to John the Baptist's role as Elijah #1: John denied it!

Whenever there is a discussion regarding John the Baptist as Elijah they (scholars, preachers, theologians) come up with John the Baptist's denial from the first chapter of the gospel of John!

Joh 1:21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No.

For them John the Baptist's word are the conclusive answer, and the words of Jesus to the contrary carries no weight at all! Of course, they believe in Jesus, they love Jesus! (Most of them esteem Jesus as God, nevertheless, they reject his words!)

Jesus said: The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. Joh 12:48.

You are judged by the words of Jesus and not of John the Baptist!

Objections to John's role as Elijah #2: Reincarnation?! No, No, it is a pagan concept.

When we point out to Jesus' affirmation that John the Baptist, purists are quick to object: Do you mean John the Baptist is the reincarnation of Elijah? (Oh! No! You are from a Hindu nation, no wonder you speak such pagan concepts!)

While Jesus said that John is the Elijah, did he mean that Elijah will be reincarnated? Was Jesus also from some Hindu or pagan nation?

John's father makes it abundantly clear: 

Luk 1:17 And he (John) shall go before him (Christ) in the spirit and power of Elias, 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 the Lord.

Does Spirit and Power sound like reincarnation and pagan to you? If your answer is "yes", could you tell me more about your other theological findings?

Elijah & John the Baptist, physical attributes.

Ahaziah, the king of Israel, who lost faith in Jehovah, and relied on Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, had no difficulty in identifying Elijah from the brief description given by his servants. (2Ki 1:1-8)
2Ki 1:8 They answered him, "He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist." And he said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite".
If Ahaziah were alive today and we present the following description of John the Baptist to him:
Mat 3:4  And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
I am sure Ahaziah would recognize this man as Elijah, but our modern day teachers and preachers have problems in identifying this! Of course, they are all servants of Jehovah! (one gentleman was kind enough to explain to me the difference between leather and leathern).
Turning the hearts of fathers to children.

Malachi says that while Elijah comes: 
...he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Mal 4:6)
If you want excuses to reject that the above statement matches with the following words of Zechariah (father of John the Baptist), I can provide some:
Luk 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, 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 the Lord.
Here is a standard excuse: Malachi said Elijah would turn the heart of the children to their fathers, but Zechariah did not say so. A very loyal servant of God told that John was supposed to do all that but he failed to do so!
If ye will receive Jesus' words

This is the testimony of Jesus on John the Baptist:

Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

Mat 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear
If one witness is not sufficient here is another one:
Mat 17:11: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Mat 17:
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

Mat 17:
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Jesus said John the Baptist is Elijah, and disciples understood that exactly the same, but if you want an excuse for rejecting this truth here is a handy one: Jesus told of Elias and not Elijah, how is it? 

Yes, Jesus added two conditions to his statement: if ye will receive it and He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
And there are groups that teach about Elijah class and all those non Biblical and laughable human doctrines!

What did John the Baptist mean while saying "No"?

There is no denying the fact that John said "No" to the pointed question whether he was Elijah, but did he not also tell:
Joh 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
Those who are familiar with scriptures would know that Elijah fled to the wilderness and dwelt there fearing the wrath of Jezebel. (1Ki 19) We also know that John the Baptist also used to stay in wilderness, for reasons that are not specified. Like Elijah, John had a rival, a queen in Herodias. More than these parallels between the two prophets there was another Jezebel that John had to with, the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20, which I will explain some other time!

To put it short, John, instead of telling them that he is Elijah, he told them to study the scriptures and discern the signs of the times. The scriptures plead to us even today to study them rather than jumping into conclusions.
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

I consider myself fortunate enough to have met some of the most faithful people who esteem Jesus as the ultimate teacher, and some even as God. But while we point out some of the pronouncements of Jesus that go contrary to their beliefs and teachings they will inevitably back out. One such noble servants of God even conceded, while cornered, that some of the statements of Jesus makes no sense at all! Hope you are not one among those.

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