Fulfillment of Prophecy
The Holy Bible speaks of 5 comings of the "Spirit of Elijah" (see chart below). Each time God sends the spirit of Elijah to the earth, it is to an environment where the people have turned away from the purity and simplicity of the Word of God and have fallen into apostasy.
The Third and Fourth time that God sends the Spirit of Elijah coincides with the coming of the Messiah. The Third coming of Elijah was John the Baptist. His birth was preceded by the archangel Gabriel's visit, confirming to his father Zechariah that his son would indeed have the Spirit of Elijah upon him and his ministry would prepare and turn hearts to meet the Messiah. John the Baptist's ministry came to its peak in the Jordan river where he introduced and baptized the Lord Jesus.
The Fourth coming of Elijah is identified in scripture by the prophet Malachi and the Lord Jesus himself. Malachi 4:5 & 6 speaks of Elijah being sent before the Great Day (Messiah's first coming - for redemption) and before the Dreadful Day (Messiah's second coming - before the great tribulation and purging of the earth by fire), with John the Baptist having already come and introduced the Messiah, washing Him as a sacrifice.
|1||Elijah||I Kings 17:1;17:5; 19:5; 18:38||YES|
|2||Elisha||I Kings 19:19
II Kings 2:13
|3||John the Baptist||Mal 4:5
|4||William Branham||Mal 4:5
|5||ELIJAH (coming with Moses in the Tribulation)||Rev 11:3-12