The Coming of Elijah
Due to a misunderstanding of what Jesus said, we hardly ever hear about the Prophet Elijah returning to the earthly scene. But this is as certain as all the other Biblical prophecies. Here is the Scriptural evidence.
Malachi 4 :5-6 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome 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.”
This has never happened. But the Lord Jesus confirmed Malachi’s word when He said, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.” Matt.17:11
Because the Lord went on to say, “But I say to you that Elijah has come already”, meaning John the Baptist, a misunderstanding has arisen. Expositors affirm that John fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy. But in fact he didn’t. John came “in the spirit and power of Elijah”, but he was not Elijah. He could never have been Elijah, because he was born to Zachariah and Elizabeth. The prophet Elijah could not have been born twice into this world. In fact he answered the people, who were saying, “Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” John 1:21.
Therefore, although John fulfilled some of what had been prophesied about him, much remained, and we must get used to the fact that the literal Elijah will appear in this world once again. The Jewish rabbis expect this to happen, and some of them lay a place at their tables for the evening meal, in case he should arrive.