There have been different schools of thought as to who the prophets of Malachi 4:5-6 are. Some believe that this has been wholly fulfilled by John the Baptist, Some believe that it was fulfilled in totality by the Prophet of the age, William Marrion Branham. With a careful study of the scriptures, we would find out who the prophets of Malachi 4:5-6 are.

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 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.

Malachi 4:5-6

Key Terms

  1. Elijah The Prophet
  2. The Great and Dreadful Day of The Lord
  3. The Heart of The Fathers
  4. The Heart of The Children

Elijah The Prophet

Elijah was an Old Testament Prophet known peculiarly for the restoration of the true worship of Yahweh (1Kings 18). So we can say that Elijah is associated with restoration.

And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

2 Kings 2:15

The sons of the prophet  (these weren’t carnal men)  said that the spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. This doesn’t teach incarnation as some sects claim, but rather points to the fact that the anointing that was upon Elijah had come upon Elisha. As a matter of fact, Elisha received a double portion of that anointing (2 Kings 2:9) .  Yes, the man may die, but the anointing doesn’t die.  This knowledge is necessary as we continue in this study.

So far, we have learned that Elijah the spirit is associated with restoration and that God can anoint any man with the same anointing that was upon another man that had once lived.

The Great and Dreadful Day Of The Lord

In scriptures, “A Day” doesn’t always point to our 24-hour understanding of days (Genesis 1:5; 2 Peter 3:8). The day of the Lord refers to that period when the Lord Jesus Christ returns bodily to earth to avenge His adversaries. (Joel 1:15; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:14, 18). Let me say at this point that there is a difference between the appearing of the Lord in the sky and the corporeal return of the Lord. In the former, He appears in the Sky, while in the latter, He steps his foot on Mount Olives (2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1:12). The Day of The Lord is a 75-day period comprising of the Armageddon war and the Judgement of Nations (Daniel 12:11-12; Matthew 25:31-32)

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 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.

Malachi 4:5-6

In this passage, we see God saying HE will send Elijah the prophet to

  1. Turn the heart of the Fathers to the Children.
  2. Turn the heart of the Children to their Fathers.

Israel had stayed a period of almost 400 years without any major prophet and then John the Baptist came on the scene.

  1. Who was John the Baptist?
  2. What did he do?
  3. What was his message?

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 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.

Luke 1:13-17

2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Luke 3:2-4

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

John 1:19-23

Other Prophecies about John the Baptist are Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1. Jesus, when He was asked, called John The Baptist, Elijah.

11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

Matthew 11:11-14

10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Matthew 17:10-13

It is evidently clear from the above scriptures that John the Baptist was Elijah (Matthew 11:14; Matthew 17:12-13) and He came in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the heart of the fathers to the children (Luke 1:17) which he did and fulfilled. Let me quickly interpolate here that Prophecies could be dual fulfillment.

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Isaiah 61:1-2

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

Luke 4:18-20

Jesus immediately after his fasting, the Spirit of God led him to identify the scriptures written concerning him (Hebrews 10:7). He took the scrolls of Prophet Isaiah and turned to Isaiah 61 and read the prophecy concerning him; howbeit he didn’t complete the reading. He stopped at “the acceptable year of The Lord” (verse 19) and He closed the book (verse 20) and went further to say “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your eyes” (verse 21). But remember He didn’t talk about the day of vengeance (Isaiah 61:2). Now I have a question:

Will The Day Of Vengeance Be Fulfilled? When?

In Jesus’ 1st advent, He came to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, good tidings, but in his 2nd advent, He will come for vengeance, surely He will recompense (Hebrews 10:30). Just like the above prophecy, a part of Malachi 4:5-6 was fulfilled by John in which John the Baptist turned the heart of the fathers to the children. Surely the 2nd part must be fulfilled (Luke 21:33; Isaiah 55:11).

The Fathers and The Children

The fathers of John the Baptist days were the Jewish fathers or the Fathers of Judaism. Those who held tenaciously to Moses; the Scribes and Pharisees who sit in Moses’ seat (Matthew 23:2), holding the tradition of the elders (Mark 7:3-5). Remember, Israel received the lively oracles from God (Acts 7:38). These Fathers are not Fathers because of their age, but rather because of their understanding of the Jewish religion and those things associated with the law and prophets.

In Matthew 17:10 we see Peter, James and John ask Jesus a good question: “why say the scribes that Elijah must first come?” This they did because they held on to words of the interpreters of the law and prophets. We also see Elisha calling Elijah father (2 Kings 2:12). So the fathers and the children don’t differ by age. These religious fathers were caught up in traditions, making the word of God of none effect (Matthew 15:2-6; Mark 7:3-7). Their worship had become vain and their heart far from God.

Some examples include Nicodemus (John 3:1, John7:50-52) and Joseph Arimathaea (Luke 23:50) who of worthy note had their heart turned (John 19:38-39). Let me quickly state that  John the Baptist himself changed orders in order to change the Priesthood Order. He was a Levite, a Priest but was ordained by God a Prophet and he was the one that changed the Priesthood from Aaronic to Melchizedek Priesthood . The Children of John the Baptist days as we have stated earlier has nothing to do with age. We observe in the Gospels that Jesus likened his disciples to Children (Matthew 18:2-4; Luke 17:1-2; Mark 9:42; Luke 7:28).

1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Luke 17:1-2

The Fathers and the Children have both been identified; the fathers being the Scribes, Jewish fathers while the children are the Disciples of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist foreran the coming of Christ (Luke 7:27) in the power and spirit of Elijah to turn the heart of the fathers to the children (Luke 1:17) and he preached the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 3:2).

The Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 13 gives us a clear view concerning the Kingdom of Heaven with the seven parables mentioned in it. This Kingdom of Heaven speaks of the Gospel Age of which the Gentiles is included, and as a matter of fact, runs the course of the Seven Gentile Church ages mentioned in Revelations 2 and Revelations 3. From Daniel seventy weeks vision (Daniel 9), we understand that Messiah was rejected and cut off. The Jews rejected their Messiah and killed him (Daniel 9:26). Messiah then turned to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46) leaving one week, the Seventieth week for Messiah to deal with Israel (Daniel 9:27). Apostle Paul called this a Mystery (Romans 11:25), even the Mystery of God.

The Blood of Jesus or God as Paul puts it in Acts 20:28 was not Jewish blood, neither was it shed for only Jews (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). That same blood of Jesus had a voice like that of Abel (Hebrews 12:24) speaking better things in that it called the Gentiles, a people who were not a people unto the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12)

So far, we have seen the following:

  • John the Baptist fulfilled the 1st part of the Malachi 4:5-6 prophecy and
  • The Gospel age included the Gentiles (Matthew 24:14; Acts 1:8).

The church started on the Day of Pentecost and just as it is usual for children to grow, the Children in the days of John the Baptist had “grown” to become the Apostolic Fathers.

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

1 Corinthians 4:15

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

1 John 2:1

Again, let me emphasize that the term Fathers and Children are not based on an age factor. In the above scriptures, we see Paul and John calling those whom the preaching of the Gospel had begotten—Children. Definitely there would be older people in those groups whom these Apostles called Children. The Church has run from Ephesus down to Laodicea (Revelation 2 and Revelation 3) and children have been borne by the preaching of the gospel.

However, just like Israel, before the coming of John the Baptist, there has been a great apostasy and many have been caught up in creeds, dogma and church traditions. In Matthew 25, though Virgins, they were all found to be sleeping while the bridegroom tarried (Matthew 25:5). There has been great religiosity and less spirituality. The nation Israel types the Church which is Spiritual Israel. There is a work of restoration to be done and which one other than Elijah would be raised up by God? There must be a return to the standard set by the church that started on the day of Pentecost both in Doctrine and Power, there must be a return to the Original Apostolic Faith.

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 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.

Malachi 4:5-6

The Children and Their Fathers

The heart of the Children must be turned to their Fathers. The word “their” in verse 6 points to the fact that there is a relation between the children and the fathers, which is the Word of God by which the children were borne by the Gospel. The gospel had spread and children have been borne by the preaching of the gospel. Also, these fathers were the children in the days of John the Baptist who had “grown” and now become Apostolic Fathers.

Since we don’t expect a return ministry for John the Baptist, and it would be foolishness for him to come and turn the heart of the children to their fathers, he can’t be the one to fulfill the 2nd part of the Malachi 4:5-6 prophecy. Also, since the gospel age incorporated the Gentiles and blindness in part must happen to Israel till the fullness of the Gentiles be come in (Romans 11:25), there must be one among the Gentiles anointed with the Spirit of Elijah to fulfill the turning of the heart of the Children to the Apostolic Fathers.

Now, I am not here to preach a man but I must say that in this age, God raised a Prophet. His name was William Marrion Branham of which God vindicated to be Elijah with the Pillar of Fire and other divers signs. The crux of his message was  “go back to the bible”, ‘back to the original”, “back to the original!”  He told us the truth concerning the Original sin, the Godhead and Water Baptism. He was also used by God to REVEAL the Seven Seals which was OPENED by Jesus Christ in Revelation 5 (He revealed and expounded the content of the first six seals because the 7th was silence when opened, however, He told us the seventh seal is the coming of the Lord, that no man knoweth.). He was chosen by God to restore the denominational children from 1906 to the original faith of their fathers, The Apostles.

How are we going to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude vs 3) if we are not first restored to it? Just like John the Baptist, he was a lamp, a star (John 5:30-35, Revelation 1:20) and he pointed to Christ. He was the angel to the church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14, Revelation 10:7), he made the Midnight Cry of Matthew 25:6, fulfilled scriptures written concerning him in Luke 17:30 when he revealed the Son of Man to the Gentiles, a bringing back of the Messianic sign Jesus showed to Jew (John 1:47; Luke 5:22); Samaritan ( John 4:18-19) but didn’t show the Gentiles ( John 12 :20-24) and finally turned the heart of the Children to their Apostolic fathers (Malachi 4:6b)

To believe God is to believe whom God has sent (John 5:38; John 6:29). Like John the Baptist he was sent with a message to forerun the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and was anointed in the Spirit and Power of Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 17:11). Please note that Matthew 17:11 doesn’t pertain only to William Marrion Branham.

After Elijah the Tishbite, Elisha, John the Baptist, there is the 4th Elijah: William Branham. He didn’t restore ALL things, he only restored the Gentile Church back to their apostolic fathers.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

Matthew 17:11

3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Revelation 11:3-6

There is an Elijah (the 5th and final) that will appear again, this time alongside Moses and God calls them his two witnesses (verse 3). By then, the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and the Gentile bride–wife has been raptured. By type and shadows we know this to be true, Joseph a perfect type of Jesus Christ when he was making himself known to his brothers, didn’t allow any Egyptian to be there (Genesis 45:1). Remember Joseph married an Egyptian.

This Elijah that comes with Moses will take place in the 70th week of Daniel, in which they will seal the 144,000 Jewish manservants (Revelation 7) and this is immediately at the close of the Gentile Age or Seven Church Ages. That there is an interval allocated to the gentiles is also supported by the Feasts of Yahweh (Leviticus 23) in which there is an interval of 119 days from the Feast of Pentecost to the Feast of Trumpets, same as there is an interval from the 69th week of Daniel to the 70th week (Daniel 9).