The human mind loves to speculate. Let us start from Elijah the Tishbite. This was the man who once shut up the heavens so that it rained not and had called fire from heaven, a showdown against prophets of Baal. His ministry had such a majestic end – he was carried by a chariot of fire! (2 Kings 2:11). He did not experience death. The man after him was Elisha. Elisha had a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Would his ending be as glorious as Elijah’s? Would that be a true test of the authenticity of his ‘Elijah’ anointing?
Elisha performed great miracles including the healing of men who had eaten a poisonous meal. He also once multiplied bread so that a hundred people were fed (2 Kings 4:38-44). But as always happens, carnal men must have wondered at his ministry – was he a mere mortal man or he was something more, a divine being? Well, he was a great servant of God but he was still flesh and blood. His death by a sickness showed that. It signified to the people that all glory belongs to God and Elisha was only a vessel of God. Did the death of Elisha mean that God had abandoned or cursed him? Far from it: When a dead man touched Elisha’s bones, he revived and came back to life! (2 Kings 13:21). What else could that mean but that Elisha died serving God?
Next, we have John the baptist. He died a more terrible death than Elisha. After rebuking King Herod of his sinful marriage, he was imprisoned. John may have expected that since the Messiah had been revealed, the Roman empire according to prophecies of Daniel would soon give way to the establishment of the Kingdom of God. But as he lingered on in jail and was about to be killed, he got troubled and sent to ask Jesus, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Mattew 11:3). If God wanted he would have revealed to John more events to transpire before the physical manifestation and establishment of the Kingdom of God. However, God only revealed what was appropriate for John to know. John was beheaded. Scorners were certainly there to mock, “If he was truly Elijah why didnt he call fire from heaven to devour his enemies?”
Gentiles in the twentieth century witnessed an Elijah ministry in William Branham. So great a ministry it was that volumes of books and tapes have been recorded testifying of the signs and wonders that occured in his ministry. The ministry was too peculiar for many people. Branham had to be more than a man, they speculated ( a thing William Branham so harshly condemned in no uncertain terms!) Well, it is no surprising that people went to such extremes. Never before had Gentiles seen a mortal see visions and call out people’s names and their diseases, healing cancers and causing the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the dead come back to life. God would literally take over this man as he spoke THUS SAITH THE LORD. But at the end of his ministry, God again showed us that he was only human flesh, a vessel which had only yielded itself into the master’s hands. All glory had to be given to God. Even so, on that accident scene when his hand was made to touch his dead wife and she came back to life, God (like he did with Elisha’s bones reviving a dead man) testified of His presence still on the man. A confusing sign it was: The death confounded some people to reject the man, the revelation of the Word, and testimony of life on his wife, comforted the believers.
The world is yet to see the last Elijah to be sent to the nation of Israel. His ministry will manifest together with ‘Moses’.Together these men will astound and trouble the world. But at the end of it all, their lives will be terminated in a cruel death which will make the world rejoice. The Scripture has already prophesied their death in Revelation 11. But again, God will do something to raise them up!