When does Elijah come in relation to end time events? What year could that be? How do we recognize him before accepting his command to move to Israel? Also is Israel today really biblical Israel and how will we deal with the Ministry of the Interior's history of rejecting believers or anyone not Jewish from immigrating?
I received an email with a bunch of questions from a long time reader of my book and articles. Some I have answered before by email but never wrote a post on, so I took the opportunity correct that at last. Here's the questions:
"When is Elijah Coming?"
Hello Tim, Will Elijah come at the beginning of sorrows, at the beginning of the great tribulation, when? Some say it will be during feast of Pentecost? Why and when please?
Elijah's coming is always an interesting topic! I already have my full length article on the three Elijahs in prophecy if you missed it. But there is more I can write that I have not shared in one place that this question gives me an opportunity to address.
First, recall that Elijah's mission as given in Malachi 4:5-6 is one of teaching repentance. He "turns people's hearts back to the wisdom of the just" (Lk 1:17=Mal 4:5-6) before Christ's Second Coming, just like John the Baptist did before Christ's First Coming. (This is a true repentance that transforms you into someone who acts like Christ, not the fake repentance of Christianity that transforms you into another person merely talking about Christ.)
As such, his coming does no good if it comes at the Great Tribulation (last 3.5 years of the 70th Week). Even if he comes at the start of the "beginning of sorrows" that also does no good. He has to come sooner...
I have never heard of Elijah coming on Pentecost, but perhaps you mean Passover. At the Jewish celebration of Passover, it's traditional for them to set a place at the table for Elijah. There may be some truth to this tradition when you consider that Elijah is probably one of the Two Witnesses and their ministry does begin in the same month as Passover, the first month of the Biblical year (Nissan-Aviv/March-April).
Elijah's First Ministry, Before the Two Witnesses' Ministry
However, we can connect Elijah to another ministry before that!
Because Joel and Malachi are the only two places in the Bible using the same phrase, "before the great and dreadful day of the LORD" they are connected. Malachi 4:5-6 speaks of Elijah's repentance mission in the end time (and also by extension his intermediate fulfillment in John the Baptist, Elijah #2). Joel 2:31-32 speaks of faithful people gathered to Judea being protected from Wormwood. It says the people there are those who God has called. When God calls people to gather, he uses a human prophet as he did with Moses for the exodus. I think God left us a clue in linking the two passages that Elijah is the one who calls people to Judea for safety from the beginning of sorrows. See my article on how you will get to safety yourself.
How To Recognize Elijah and Not Miss Him?
One question not asked here but comes up a lot when talking about Elijah is how to make sure you don't miss him. What I try to emphasize with people concerned about this is that there will be no way to miss it!
I say that because Matthew 24:14 says the good news of the kingdom message of repentance that John the Baptist (Mt 3:2) and Jesus (Mt 4:19) preached will come again, this time to the whole world (Mt 24:14). Remember, Christianity is not already preaching this gospel of kingdom repentance, and never has.
According to Jeremiah (Jer 51:46) there is a period of two years of rumors in the land before WWIII/the Fall of America which is part of the beginning of sorrows. I think these rumors are Elijah telling people to flee to Jerusalem/Judea area (Jer 51:50) just as Joel does (Joel 2:32).
This means that Elijah comes two years before the beginning of sorrows, to answer the question posed at last.
This makes sense because people will need a good amount time to receive and process Elijah's warning to move. Because it is a big scary move, everyone will want to verify if he person commanding it is really God's prophet and speaking right. I'm sure he'll do either predictions and miracles or signs that will help take care of that. Also his clear inspired words from God will be something people can verify in their own Bible.
When will that be? No one knows. When could it be? I don't Elijah's ministry to commence until the early 2020s. This is based on the next window for the 70th week being 2024-2030 as discussed in my book.
It's great to get all that out in one place for others.
Speaking of moving to Israel...next question:
"Is the State of Israel the Biblical Israel?"
"The nation of Israel we see today, is it the one that the Bible is talking about? is the government of Israel today legitimate according to prophecy: seeing that they reject Jesus, and [reject people for permanent residency who profess Christ and expel people who proselytize for Christ]
It speaks of the time we live in of fake news and conspiracy theories that I even have to address the question: is Israel today really Jewish or not. I already did address this question in my recent article on the "blessing and cursing those who bless and curse Israel" article. As the article says, we can prove through Bible prophecy that Israel today is Judah (the Jews) and show the conspiracy theories as faulty, even based on Antisemitism.
Yes, Israel Rejects (Professing) Believers
Let me clarify up front, Christianity is not rejected in Israel. It's just hindered from spread with restrictions against proselytizing. And Christians can visit the country easily.
The problem comes when a Christian wants to move or immigrate to Israel. That is where the rabbinic dislike for Christianity manifests in discrimination that has kept many from living in Israel.
I've talked to several believers who have had dreams of moving to Israel, also known as "making aliyah." Even those who were Jewish and could prove it (either through birth or conversion with a rabbi), discovered that they had a problem. You could be asked if you believe in Jesus. If you answer yes, you could probably be rejected. (Or they can even just google you and find out for themselves based on what you've posted on the Web.)
How can they discriminate like this? Years ago I heard that the Ministry of the Interior (which controls immigration to Israel) is controlled by the rabbinate. The Orthodox Jewish political party runs it. They don't want a Christian country of course.
Honestly, I don't what an "illegitimate government" is how it makes any difference. Is there a government that accepts or "rejects Jesus" officially? I thought that was for individuals to do, not governments. Whether they are a legitimate government or not, they are running things. Paul in Romans 13 said some heavy and hard to take things on submitting to all authorities, if that's what this question is alluding to: ignoring the laws there of an illegitimate authority.
Moving to Israel As A Believer
But there's no need to go that route because if God wants you to be in Israel, nobody will stop you.
I know someone who was banned and expelled for a proselytizing infraction. Because travel to Israel was important to his ministry, he did not give up so easily. He "lost" his passport and got himself a new one. He then flew to the country some time later. Since it was a new passport, they asked him something like, "have you ever been to Israel before, such as under another passport?"
Gulp...what should he answer? He didn't want to lie. He may have prayed immediately for guidance. At that very moment, the door opens up behind the lady questioning him. A person greets her and starts an brief conversation with her. After the man departs, she turns back and continues on as if she never asked the question or already got a "no" answer. He was cleared to enter Israel! And with the entry stamp in his passport, no one would ask him that question again. Yes he was legally already in Israel with no problem =).
I know other people who have done fake conversions with a sympathetic closet-believer rabbi in New York to move there. The rabbi will do the paperwork for you saying you converted to Judaism. Then when they likely ask you if you still believe in Christ, you probably have to lie. Personally this sounds like "denying Christ" like Peter famously did three times. For me to go this route feels like kicking down the door that God can open for you later.
Moving to Israel When Elijah Says
Similarly, when the time comes for us all to be in Judea as Joel 2:32 says and Matthew 24:16 heavily implies, God will make our way. God must break down the current prohibitions and resistance in Israel against non-Jewish immigration.
I believe the coming Psalm 83/Damascus destruction war and resulting great loss of life (even though Israel wins) will set this up. Perhaps they will accept us as aid workers. Perhaps they will realize with the impending Arab demographic majority problem in a democracy like Israel, they need to admit non-Muslims who want to live there (otherwise Muslims can take control of the government). Perhaps the economy will need help of immigrants, too.
We can only speculate, but one way or another, God will fulfill prophecy that says we will all be able to move to Israel.
Years ago, around the early 2000s, we had the same dream to live in Israel. Then God showed me what I wrote above, and I gave up that idea. We stayed in Costa Rica for 16 years, then to my surprise God called us to Germany. We're only a four hour flight away now, so I'm getting excited. We hope to visit again, but not move. As for when I plan to move, I tell everyone who asks it's the same answer for me as for them: when Elijah comes!