WHAT’S YOUR OPINION — DOES IT COUNT?

Do you have your own fixed opinion of what you expect the end-time Elijah to be like, look like, speak like, etc.?  Can your fixed opinion be changed or are you one of these people who dictate to God how things should be done in your life?

“God, you can save me, but you have to use MY format.  If you are going to send an end-time Elijah, as you say in Luke 1:17, he must have a Ph.D.  He must use the King’s English properly.  He must be handsome, or at least not ugly.  I can’t accept anyone who is abrasive.  And, surely, the end-time Elijah will perform great miracles to convince people to be saved.  Surely he will be trying to gather a great following so that his organization can be large in number.”

What foolishness to entertain such thoughts!  And, don’t kid yourself; many people feel this way even if you don’t.  They are the foolish virgins of Matthew 25:2:

Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

“Foolish” is Strong’s #3474, moros, meaning, “dull or stupid, (as if shut up) i.e. heedless (mor.) blockhead…”  Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says of this word, moros, “silly, stupid, foolish, from which the English word moron is derived…”

What morons we would be to let some preconceived notions, planted in our minds by Satan, steal our crowns!

The Bible gives us clear instructions on what to look for: natural abilities, looks, education, etc., are not among the characteristics.  First of all, the Bible is written for the end-time Christians:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Failure to believe this verse cuts you off from the salvation process because anyone who rejects knowledge will be rejected by God:

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

The word “examples” in 1 Corinthians 10:11 is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck) i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar.  By anal. a shape, i.e. a statue, (fig.) style or resemblance, spec. a sampler (type) i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says of #5179, “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

Now, if the Bible is written for us, the end-time Christians, and has prototypes, the Bible has to be our basis for making decisions about our salvation.  Revelation 20:12 means exactly what it says:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

How can we judge this end-time Elijah?  By his fruit, and that’s the only way.

James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Luke 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

So, what will be the fruit of this end-time Elijah, since his job is to restore all things (Matthew 17:11) and Christ stays in heaven until this time (Acts 3:21)?

Matthew 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

These things are the things necessary for salvation.  What you may be thinking is, “I know the way to salvation.”  No you (and I) don’t—not if the Bible is true.  Is Matthew 25:5 true?  If not, then none of the rest of the Bible is true.

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Remember 1 Corinthians 10:11—the Bible is written for us.

So, if Matthew 25:5 and 1 Corinthians 10:11 are true, then Matthew 25:6 must also be true.  If we are spiritually asleep, we must be spiritually awakened by this end-time Elijah as he restores all things necessary for salvation.

Now, I ask the question: will Elijah be doing miracles to convince us to be saved? No way!  He will be doing miracles, especially in the last phase of his work, but he won’t be doing miracles to convince anyone to be saved.

What does God’s word say about the subject?  First, Hebrews 11:6 is an absolute MUST for us:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Good, solid faith cannot be built on miracles.  Luke 16:27-31 tells us God’s opinion of doing miracles to convince someone to be saved.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Verse 31 is the only way.  We must believe what is written in the books—that’s the only way for us.  If the Bible says that we will know a tree by its fruits, the only way to recognize Elijah is by his fruits.  Matthew 25:5 says we are all asleep.  Is he waking us up?  If we are spiritually asleep, there must be a spiritual awakening.  The closest thing to a miracle in waking us up will be the shock we get from the new truth he will give us.  Our preconceived ideas or opinions will only send us to the lake of fire if we go by them and not what the Bible itself says.  It’s a sure thing that Satan has planted most, or all, these thoughts in our minds.  We will blush with embarrassment when we finally wake up and see how much influence Satan and his demons have had on us.

Will all the end-time Christians have direct access to this Elijah character?  Will we all know him personally? I would think not.  Let’s look at the magnitude of the end-time work and ask some hard questions.

Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14 give us the scope of the end-time work:

Revelation 17:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Israel is scattered all over a large portion of the world.  There are 144,000 Israelites to be sealed, that means 288,000 have to be dealt with by this man—50% are foolish:

Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands……..14…And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Notice in Revelation 7:9 that the “multitude no man can number” comes from all nations, peoples and tongues.  Now, is it possible for one man to go one-on-one with all these people?  What if this multitude is a couple million people or larger?  Do the math—one man can’t deal with that many people one-on-one in a lifetime.  And, in all probability, this Elijah character will be well along in years (mature in Christian things) when God starts to use him. So will you be one of the foolish (moron) virgins who will miss salvation because Elijah doesn’t have time to come over to your place for lunch?

The Bible says we are judged by what’s written in the books, Revelation 20:12, and for each of us to spend private time with Elijah is not written in the books.  Elijah has deputies, and the end-time harvest comes from all over the world (Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14), and the number of people could be in the millions.  The possibility of Elijah spending one-on-one time with each of us is not realistic.

Philippians 2:5 says to let this mind of Christ be in us:

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Does our preconceived opinion make any difference or will it change anything about who God picks out as this Elijah person?  It won’t change our judgment when Christ is judging us because we are judged by what is written in the books:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Let’s look at a few sets of scripture that our very salvation hinges on.  If we reject these verses and don’t like God’s way of dealing with us, then we are rejecting salvation.  Haggai 1:14 tells us what we can expect to happen—it’s very plain, if you are willing to accept the mind of Christ:

See the articles on Zechariah 3 and 4 and Haggai for information on how Zerubbabel and Joshua are types of the end-time Elijah.

Haggai 1:14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,

Notice that God stirred up the spirit.  “Stirred” is Strong’s #5782 meaning, “through the idea of opening the eyes, to wake (lit. or fig.) wake (n) up…”  This is the cry at midnight:

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Notice Zerubbabel/Joshua (Elijah) was awakened along with the remnant of the people.  “Remnant” is Strong’s #7611: “a remainder or residual (surviving final) portion—that had escaped…”  Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Old Testament says of Strong’s #7611: “it is a remainder, a remnant, a residue, survivors (especially after a slaughter)…”

The question must be asked: was there a slaughter, spiritually speaking, in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG)?  You bet there was!  This remnant that is awakened by the cry at midnight is the few of the Sardis Church who will walk with Christ in white.

Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

This word “work” in Haggai 1:14 is Strong’s #4399: “deputyship, i.e. ministry, gen. employment, (never servile)…”  Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Old Testament adds: “the principal meaning is deputyship…”

“House” is Strong’s #1004: “house, in the greatest variety of applications, especially family.”

So, what God is telling us in Haggai 1:14 is the way He will wake us up and build His family.  We have two choices—we can believe it or disbelieve it and reap the consequences that go with our decision.  He is telling us that the cry at midnight comes and wakes us up and that the end-time Elijah/Zerubbabel/Joshua receives his cry personally by God, since Matthew 25:5 has to be true.  It means all not all but one:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Then, after we wake up, we become deputies of the end-time Elijah in the end-time family of God.  What is the end-time family of God?  It is made very clear in Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14: the tribulation is held up so the Israelites can be sealed, and the multitude that no man can number comes out of the tribulation.

If we become deputies of the end-time Elijah, we act on his behalf.  The very term “deputy” means we can act on his behalf.  His job description is found in Matthew 17:11 and Luke 1:17, so our deputyships must follow these guidelines as well.  In reality, we will be furthering his message.  Notice there is no gender mentioned in Haggai 1:14.  This allows for both male and female deputies.  As mentioned earlier, it will be impossible for the end-time Elijah to go one-on-one with all the people mentioned in Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14, so God has chosen to use deputies.

So, what is your opinion of that, and does it matter?  Or will you let Satan influence your human reasoning and reject it entirely?  Our opinions do not count.  We are judged by what is written in the books:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

What if God chooses a female deputy to come to you with His cry at midnight?  And this will be true in many cases.  Will you refuse to accept her message that she is passing on from Elijah, thereby missing your chance for salvation?  See, our preconceived opinions mean nothing.  We have to be willing to accept God’s written word.  Apply Hebrews 11:6, then compare the fruit of what we see going on:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Daniel 12:3 adds further proof as to how God will be doing this deputyship.  Notice that verses 1 and 2 mark this as end-time:

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Notice in verse 3 that no gender is specified.  Men and women are equal in doing the work of turning many to righteousness.  Since Luke 1:17 is true, only Elijah can make ready a people prepared for the Lord.  This “they” in Daniel 12:3 have to be furthering his message as he restores all things—all things necessary for salvation, not the weather cycles, balance in nature, etc.

Matthew 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

Will you accept this fact—that God is going to use deputies of the end-time Elijah to turn many to righteousness?  Will the fact that you may never see the end-time Elijah in person, possibly having to accept the cry at midnight from a woman deputy, cause you to stumble and fall?  Will this be the method Satan uses to steal your crown?  Remember, 50% of the virgins are foolish (morons).  Where will you be?

You may be thinking, “But this is not my opinion as to how the end-time work will be done,” and, no doubt, it isn’t.  I remind you again that we are judged by what is written in the books (Revelation 20:12).  Our preconceived notions, influenced by Satan, mean nothing.

Are you willing to accept the mind of Christ?

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Will you believe Matthew 4:4?

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Will you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling?

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Notice in Revelation 3:7-8 that the end-time Philadelphians have works to do and a door is opened to them—the door of Daniel 12:3:

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

They also must become deputies of Elijah and do the things that God has ordained for them to do.  Notice again Revelation 3:7-8.  There is no gender mentioned here—men and women are equal in doing works and going through the doors.

In Acts 8:1-4 we find some more of the mind of Christ.:

Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every wherepreaching the word.

Notice what happened when there was a great persecution against the church.  They went everywhere preaching the word.  Notice that there is no gender mentioned here, either.  Men and women preached the word.  Remember 1 Corinthians 10:11—these prototypes are for us.

So here we have a prototype, in Acts 8:1-4, of how it will be in the end time.  We will be persecuted and we will preach the word.  “Preaching” is Strong’s #2097: “to announce God news (evangelize) espec. the gospel…”

Isn’t it interesting that the end-time church is told exactly what to expect?  Expect persecution and spreading (preaching) the good news by being deputies of Elijah, men and women alike.  This good news is the cry at midnight, spiritually waking us up from the spiritual sleep that we are ALL under:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

We will be preaching the things that Elijah tells us as he restores all things.

Do our preconceived opinions have any bearing on what this mighty God says and does?  We had best bend to His will and word and cast our opinions aside.

In Zechariah 4:9, we see that Zerubbabel (Elijah) has laid the foundation of the end-time house (family, Strong’s #1004, “a house (in the greatest var. of applications, espec. family…).

Zechariah 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

This may be done inadvertently by him as he tries, in some feeble way, to spread the truth that God has used to wake him up.  Matthew 25:5 applies to him also, and he must wake up first.  Inadvertently or not, verse 9 seems to indicate a pause between the laying of the foundation and the actual building of the rest of the house (family).  Could this be the time when the Spirit is stirred up (Haggai 1:4) and Pharaoh (Satan) is forced to let the Israelites (foundation) go?  Is this Passover 1999?  Today, as I write this, is March 18, 1999.  We will know in hindsight.  Satan has to release us, since the original Passover was a prototype for us.

Satan (Pharaoh) has deceived us into a deep spiritual sleep and will be forced by God to release us as He stirs up the spirit (Haggai 1:4).  As the foundation begins to wake up, they will start to do Daniel 12:3 and go through the doors of Revelation 3:7-8.  They will have the zeal and God’s tithe money to further the message that woke them up.  As the foundation wakes up, and in turn begins to wake up others, the whole thing will snowball.

That’s why there seem to be degrees of reward offered in Daniel 12:3.  The foundation people will have more time to turn many to righteousness than the people who are turned ten years later.  As time goes on, there will be fewer and fewer virgins to wake up and, in turn, there will be more and more virgins putting forth the effort of waking the remaining sleeping virgins.  Then, the process will end.  The tribulation hits with all its fury and the lazy Laodicean virgins will be cast into the tribulation:

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Elijah has to deal with these disobedient virgins (Luke 1:17).  They will have to be turned to the wisdom of the just.  The wise, just virgins, Philadelphians, will be in the place of safety at this time and the Laodiceans will be in the prison camps.  (See my article on The End-time Work for more information on Elijah and the two witnesses)

What will it be for you?  Are you one of the people who hold on to preconceived ideas and opinions regarding the end-time Elijah?  Many even reject the whole idea of an end-time Elijah.  This is gross rejection of the scripture.  Many scriptures deal directly with the end-time Elijah:

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

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, 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.

These verses, and others, directly involve end-time prophesy.  How foolish the unwise virgins will be to let Satan steal their crowns by planting and encouraging their personal opinions, causing them to reject plain Bible statements.

The shock value of these Bible statements is what wakes us up from the deep spiritual sleep:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

The decision is yours and mine, because Philippians 2:12 and Revelation 19:2 apply to each of us, as individual members of the Bride of Christ:

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Published April, 1999

Postscript:

This is May 12, 2006, seven years after putting this paper together.  Passover 1999 was NOT the year of release.  This is seven years later and things just creep along.  I realize now that we won’t see much sign of the release until Pentecost and the Holy Spirit is poured out.  After all, it is the Holy Spirit that does the work and wakes us up.  Hopefully starting with Pentecost 2006 the Holy Spirit will start showing signs of the God at work.

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org