Is there value in Tribulation? Is Tribulation part of the day of the Lord? If we read Mal. 4:5 we see that Elijah is to come before the Day of the Lord. The empty seat at the Jewish Passover is evidence of their trust as Jews in this promise from their God — and ours.

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (KJV)

For you oh Israel this prophecy means that your Messiah is coming when you see Elijah. You obviously get that part that It will happen when you see Elijah. If we read Joel 2:10&11, we see that the Lord comes with His mighty army on the Day of the Lord, and that before that glorious event the sun, moon and stars do not shine.

Listen to the question asked concerning this event in this prophecy: “and who can endure it”s coming (“it” being this coming day of the Lord)? Paul says of this day when writing about it in 1 Thessalonians 5:3: “and they shall not escape”. Paul stated that fact fully knowing what Joel had stated in his prophecy. In fact for the wicked, there will be no escaping it, and no enduring it when Jesus is revealed (Israel’s Messiah) and our Messiah on His day.

And for the Jews who are looking for Messiah, it is a fact that when Jesus came the first time Elijah (John the Baptist) did go before Him. John came with Elijah’s mission to restore all things as Malachi prophesied, but Jesus tells us that John as Elijah was rejected by His people — by you Oh Israel. And Jesus even used John’s rejection as a comparison to His own rejection when He was telling the disciples that He also must be rejected. It wasn’t your fault Israel. But because of your first rejection of Elijah; Jesus knew that Elijah is: yet to come. The way that He tells us this confuses some; because His prediction of a future Elijah preceded His own telling of John’s past rejection as Elijah. But this message from Him was clear that Elijah is still to come one more time.

So because of what Jesus said, some hold to this belief that Elijah’s coming was already fulfilled by John the Baptist, and that there will be no future appearance of Elijah. If they are correct then they must prove what Jesus said to be incorrect/wrong. Because, without Elijah’s coming to restore all things before the Day of the Lord; then these scriptures never will see their fulfillment. And if one tries to say that all things have been restored; then what in the world is happening to us right now?

Some Theologians, in fact, want us to believe that we are already living in the day of the Lord today, but if this is true then the glory of the Lord that Scripture predicts to be coming on that day has been so greatly diminished that instead of Him and His church ruling with a rod of iron, instead men today are paying Him no attention whatsoever, and they fear no god, much less The very God who created them. But that will not remain the case. Some Theologians of today resemble the false Prophets of Israel’s day. And they lead the sheep astray.

So, Jesus says about Elijah in a future tense, soon after John is dead and buried, that Elijah will come. This is to be a future coming, with the same mission — to restore all things before the Day of the Lord when Jesus will come with His armies. It appears however, that again Elijah will be rejected, but not until after he restores all things.

The restoring of all things causes us to speculate — what does it mean?, but God does not speculate. This restoration obviously was not completed by John the Baptist. So, what Jesus tells us means that Elijah, (comes likely as one of the two witnesses of Revelation), if so, then he completes his assigned mission before he is once again rejected by a world succumbed with evil. This would then mean that he is the vehicle to bring about the restoration of all that is important to God — including Israel as a nation and the Church as a bride. This same Church that Jesus prayed for in John chapter 17. One would expect that Elijah’s mission would also have an impact on the sheep gathered after the Tribulation, who will at that time be seen at Jesus’ right hand in the judgment of the nations, which follows Jesus’ return (Matthew 25). For it then will be that all things that Elijah did impact will be restored as God intended it in His word. There is no question that a future restoration is needed within not just this world but in a church that remains divided doctrinally, and one, which is in no way ready to be a bride without spot or wrinkle for which Christ is coming.

I’m convinced that in order to make herself ready in purity and in unity it must be that it will take this time of Great Tribulation for:

Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and [saying,] “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (NASB1995)

Revelation 1:9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance [which are] in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (NASB1995)

When the two witnesses are slain, then the day of the Lord will be very near, and the bride will have made herself ready: Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” (NASB1995)

Revelation 7:14b “And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (NASB1995)

I personally see no conflict in this understanding with the words that Jesus provides in this verse:

They asked Him, saying, “ Why is it that the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And He said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has [j]indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him.” Mark 9:11-13 NASB.

Notice that He first said; “Elijah is coming”. And then He says: Matthew 17:12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” (NASB1995)

Jesus is the word. He knows the word. Listen:

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (KJV)

If you cannot accept that there is still a Nation Israel the recipient of what is prophesied here, which remains to be saved and added back to His olive tree; then you will need to spiritualize these verses to make them say what you want. I prefer to believe the word as it is written.

May God use Elijah to help with the preparation of His bride.

May God bless His bride so that she may make herself ready. Tribulation I believe is taught to be a tool to be used in the hands of Elijah to bring about this prophetic restoration.

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (NASB1995)

Is Elijah one of the two witnesses in the Revelation prophecy? Many Theologians say yes, but those same Dispensationalists who do, will still teach that the Tribulation is the beginning and important part of the day of the Lord, while ignoring that Elijah must come before that day to introduce His Coming.