The Apostle Paul prophesied that there would be a great falling away before the return of Christ.[2 Thess 2:3] This prophecy is most certainly true for in fact most all of Christendom has departed from the original faith and teachings that Christianity was founded upon. The original church was built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone [Eph 2:20] Instead of the being like the original church, Christian denominations have placed themselves as the chief corner stone and are founded upon interpretations of various scholars and theologians. Today Christianity is divided into more than 40,000 denominations, each with their own interpretation of the scripture. The adherents to these various denominations have taken on the name of the church and so are called and known by that name. This was not so in the early church for they took on the Name of Jesus Christ both by baptism of water and Spirit baptism and so were named as followers of Christ. This falling away that Paul spoke of happened after the departure of the Apostles even as Paul further prophesied of a departure from the original faith by giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines that were not of the original foundation i.e. doctrines of devils. [1 Timothy 4:1] The Bible having prophesied of the departure from the original faith did not leave us without hope of restoration. Rather, Peter prophesied that Jesus will not return until the times of restitution or restoration of all things. [Acts 3:21] The Bible also tells us how this will be accomplished for the Word speaks of Elijah coming before Jesus returns.
In Matthew 17:10,
“And His disciples asked Him saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?” And Jesus said, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.”
Before the coming of our Lord, Elijah must come back for a work of restoration in the church.
This is what Malachi 4:5 says,
“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
There is absolutely no doubt that Elijah must return before the coming of Jesus. He has a specific work to accomplish. That work is the part of Malachi 4:6 that says “he will turn the hearts of the children to their fathers”. The reason that we know this is his specific work to do at that time is because he has already accomplished the part that says “he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” when the Elijah ministry was here in John the Baptist.
“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.”
In the ministry of John the “hearts of the fathers were turned to the children”. We know that because Jesus said so. But it does not say that the hearts of the children were turned to the fathers. That was still yet to take place. The hearts of the last day children will be turned back to the Pentecostal fathers. John got the fathers ready for Jesus to welcome the children into the fold. Now this prophet upon whom the Spirit of Elijah falls will prepare the children to welcome back Jesus.