Are you a Christian?
PREVIOUS SECTION - NEXT SECTION - HELP
Chapter XLIX.—To those who object that Elijah has not yet come, he replies that he is the precursor of the first advent.
And Trypho said, “Those who affirm him to have
been a man, and to have been anointed by election, and then to have
become Christ, appear to me to speak more plausibly than you who hold
those opinions which you express.
“If therefore Scripture compels you to admit that two advents of Christ were predicted to take place,—one in which He would appear suffering, and dishonoured, and without comeliness; but the other in which He would come glorious and Judge of all, as has been made manifest in many of the fore-cited passages,—shall we not suppose that the word of God has proclaimed that Elijah shall be the precursor of the great and terrible day, that is, of His second advent?”
“And, accordingly, our Lord in His teaching,” I continued, “proclaimed that this very thing would take place, saying that Elijah would also come. And we know that this shall take place when our Lord Jesus Christ shall come in glory from heaven; whose first manifestation the Spirit of God who was in Elijah preceded as herald in [the person of] John, a prophet among your nation; after whom no other prophet appeared among you. He cried, as he sat by the river Jordan: ‘I baptize you with water to repentance; but He that is stronger than I shall come, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into the barn; but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire.’2101
And Trypho said, “This statement also seems to me paradoxical; namely, that the prophetic Spirit of God, who was in Elijah, was also in John.”
To this I replied, “Do you not think that the same thing happened in the case of Joshua the son of Nave (Nun), who succeeded to the command of the people after Moses, when Moses was commanded to lay his hands on Joshua, and God said to him, ‘I will take of the spirit which is in thee, and put it on him?’ ”2104
“As therefore,” I say, “while Moses was still among men, God took of the spirit which was in Moses and put it on Joshua, even so God was able to cause [the spirit] of Elijah to come upon John; in order that, as Christ at His first coming appeared inglorious, even so the first coming of the spirit, which remained always pure in Elijah2105