Luke 1:13-17 (NKJV) BUT the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘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.”
This is a few of the scriptures concerning the birth of John the Baptist, who came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” as a forerunner to prepare the way of Jesus. Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Gabriel also appeared to Mary and told her she was going to give birth to the Son of God. Luke 1:34-37- Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you: therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
We know that the custom of the day was when a Jewish man, especially a priest, gave birth to a son, they were named after the father. Because Zacharias had questioned Gabriel about how, as an old man, he could have a child, he would not be able to speak until these things were fulfilled. (Luke 1:18-22) When John was born, and he was to be circumcised on the eighth day, the other relatives and neighbors assumed he would be called Zacharias. In verse 60 of Luke 1, it was the mother, Elizabeth, who said, “No; his name shall be called John.” And Zacharias wrote on tablet, sying, “His name is John.” Verse 64 says, “Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God.”
Now, what can we learn from this great story and prophetic scriptures?
First of all, this was the start of the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5,6: “Behold, I will send Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Notice back in Luke 1, the last part of verse 17 is changed from what Malachi said, ‘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.”
Jesus said in Matt. 11:10-15 concerning John: “For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ “Assuredly, I say to you among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom is greater than he. “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent take it by force. “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. “And if you are willing to receive it, HE IS ELIJAH WHO IS TO COME. (my emphasis) “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
IN Matt. 17:10-13, Jesus is asked by his disciples: “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. “But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” THEN THE DISCIPLES UNDERSTOOD THAT HE SPOKE TO THE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. (MY emphasis)
Then, Jesus said in Luke 16:16:16- “The Law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.”
What can we conclude from this?
1) To fulfill Malachi, John the Baptist was born to simply come in the spirit and power of Elijah “to turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” (Luke 1:16)
2) He came “To make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17b.)
How shall we prepare today concerning Malachi, to break the curse off?
John the Baptist came in the “spirit and the power” of Elijah belfore the “great and the dreadful (awesome) Day of the Lord. The curse was broken off the first time Christ came because of the obedience of John, who said speaking of Christ, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” He was also born, not to fulfill a religious requirement or be a part of the system of the day, but his “name change” signified that he would represent a new thing in that day. If John was the “Elijah who is to come” and fulfilled this in the transition from “law to grace”, who and what is this power of Elijah who will break the curse off this generation of Jesus Christ?
We are now in another great “overlapping” transition in that the spirit and power of Elijah has come into the ‘hearts of the fathers turning to the children (sons)’ and the “hearts of the children (sons) being turned to the heart of their fathers”, so that a people are made ready, prepared for the Lord.’
Who and what is that people today? It is a “John the Baptist Company”, a prophetic and apostolic people who so represent the Father today that because of the maturity of the “new man” in Christ Jesus, we will point the way to Him! The mystery is being fulfilled, not just mong the children of israel, but the sons of God, which is, Christ in YOU, the hope of glory…” (Col.1:26-28)
What is this people? The Father represents the kingdom, since it is the “Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) So, the fathering spirit of Elijah is being raised up in “fathers in the faith” today, those whose lives and hearts accurately represent our Father Heart of God! The mother represents the church, just as Elizabeth gave birth to John, and Mary gave birth to Jesus, now the children being born are prophetic and apostolic, ( spirit and power of Elijah) to call the church back to its first love, and to see the equipping of the saints!
We must remember: It will NOT happen the way most think it will today, that just like Israel, we are looking for something we can understand with our mind. But without the mind of Christ, we cannot see the “generational curse” of immature ministry be broken off the church and It’s leadership today! Let us embrace the name change, from “Abram” (exalted or high father) to “Abraham” (father of many nations, or a multitude), Jacob to Israel, and like a “Saul to Paul.”
Finally, the Spirit of Elijah has restored the heart of the fathers, so that once again, an attitude of righteousness has returned to the sons of God because of the wisdom of the fathers, to break off disobedience, to make ready a people prepared for the (habitation) of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:1,2,5,6,8-11- After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, ” The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest…” But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ “And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon it; but if not, it will return to you…”
“Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. “And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ “But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into it is streets and say, ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME NEAR TO YOU.”