Three distinct prophesies

In the Bible we read of the test that the Jews applied to Jesus (pbuh) in order to ascertain is truthfulness. The Jews had a prophecy that required Elias to come before Jesus (pbuh): "Elias verily cometh first" (Mark 9:12). They had not seen Elias yet so there was still doubt as to Jesus (PBUH) being the Messiah. Jesus, however, responded to them that Elias had already come but that they did not recognize him.

In Matthew 17:12-13 we read: "But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not.........Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist". John, however DENIES the claims of Jesus (pbuh). This is one of the Christian's "dark sayings of Jesus" that their scholars have yet to reconsile and we will leave this matter for them to work out among themselves.

In John 1:19-21 we read "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?. And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the christ. And they asked him, What then? ART THOU ELIAS? And he saith, I am not. ART THOU THAT PROPHET? And he answered, No".

We notice that there are three distinct prophecies here:

  1. Elias,
  2. Messiah
  3. That prophet.
The Jews were not waiting for two prophecies, but three. This can be further clarified by reading John 1:25: "And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be:

a) not the Christ,
b) nor Elias,
c) neither that Prophet?"

"that prophet" could not be Jesus (pbuh), because that would make the third question in both verses redundant; nor can we believe that "that prophet" is the holy ghost, did John look like a ghost?. Further, we must remember that "That prophet" can not apply to any prophet before the time of Jesus (pbuh) because at the time of Jesus (pbuh) the Jews were still waiting for all three. Notice how when we let the Bible speak for itself, without forcing the holy spirit or other supernatural meanings on it in the commentary, or forcing three questions to be only two, how clear these verses become.

It is quite obvious from the above verses that the followers of Jesus (pbuh) recognized that the Jews were waiting for three prophesies to be fulfilled. The Bible, to one degree or another, confirms that both the first and second prophesies were fulfilled. However, it provides no logical explanation for the third prophesy.

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