When will Elijah come?
Before the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
By Craig C. White
The Prophet Malachi promises that God will send the Prophet Elijah to Israel before the great and dreadful day of the LORD. So then we must determine when the “day of the LORD” will happen.
The word “day” in Malachi 4:5 tends to refer to a specific day rather than a period of time, so I would suspect that this is the day that Jesus returns to wipe out Israel’s enemies.
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And 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.
The Prophet Daniel foretells a coming seven year period of trouble for the nation of Israel. It is referred to as the Tribulation period. The seven years long Tribulation happens just before Jesus returns to judge the nations that have gathered against the nation of Israel.
Yes the nation of Israel will turn to God during the tribulation period or at least during the second half of the Tribulation (Jerusalem’s great tribulation”).
So when is the “day of the LORD”? Every verse in the Old Testament that refers to “the day of the LORD” describes the day that Jesus will return to judge the nations.
Jeremiah 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.
Obadiah 1:15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
I am pretty sure that Elijah will be one of the two witnesses that are described in Revelation chapter 11. According to Revelation chapter 11 the nations will overrun Jerusalem for 3 1/2 years. Also the two witnesses will prophesy for 3 1/2 years.
Rev 11:2-3 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. 3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
It seems that the two witnesses will be killed and resurrected near the end of the tribulation period. If that is the case then they will begin to prophesy during the middle of the tribulation period. That means that Elijah will come during the middle of the seven year Tribulation period.
The next verse happens just after the two witnesses are killed and resurrected.
Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
The day of the Lord seems to primarily indicate the day that Jesus returns to fight against the armies that he has gathered together. Just before the day of the Lord, the sun shall be darkened. When Jesus fights against his enemies then the earth will melt with heat.
I agree that the entire seven year Tribulation period is a time of God’s wrath. I agree that God will pour out judgments upon the earth during the Tribulation. The Revelation seal judgments seem to fall on the earth in general. Such trials as earthquakes, famines, disease, tidal waves, hail, fire, blood, wild animals, and wars will happen throughout the entire seven year tribulation period. The day of the Lord seems to fall on the rebellious nations and armies that God has purposely gathered together so that he can destroy them in person.
While it is important to note that God will pour out his judgments upon the earth throughout the tribulation period; “The great and dreadful day of the LORD” definitely refers to Jesus Christ’s second coming when he will personally judge the nations.
Elijah will come before the second coming of Jesus or what the Bible calls “the day of the LORD”. Elijah will continue for 3 ½ years. The Bible does not say that Elijah will come before the Antichrist. The Bible doesn’t say that Elijah will come before the seven years long tribulation period begins. The real and original Elijah will come to Jerusalem during the middle of the Tribulation period to turn the hearts of the Jews back towards their God. Then Jesus will return to judge the nations and to restore the nation of Israel.