We are not talking about R Kelly’s hit song that was the soundtrack to Mohammed Ali’s movie.
We are talking about John, Jesus’ cousin who was 6 months older than Jesus-Luke 1:36, who was beheaded at the request of Herod’s daughter – Mark 6:16-29.
We are talking about JOHN THE BAPTIST (or BAPTIZER as Jehovah’s Witnesses call him).
There are not many words of Jesus Christ recorded in the scriptures. This means that whenever He speaks, we really ought to pay attention. Let’s listen to what He said about John.
Luke 7:28 (ESV)
28 I tell you, among those born of women NONE IS GREATER THAN JOHN. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
If none is greater than John then John is THE WORLD’S GREATEST hence our heading/title.
You also need to note the other part of the verse; the least in the kingdom is still greater than John. Whatever we make of this Kingdom, John spoke of it as futuristic, yet to come.- Matthew 3:2.
This means that at the very least right up to John the Baptist, John is the GREATEST.
John is therefore according to the Word (Jesus Christ), the greatest of all Old Testament prophets.
This is a profound statement given we read of many prophets who, in our estimation, are greater, did more exploits, wrote inspired books, performed great miracles and signs, etc.
Jesus says John beat all those. Period.
What makes this greatness astounding is that he did no miracles;
John 10:41 (ESV)
41 And many came to him. And they said, “JOHN DID NO SIGN, but everything that John said about this man was true.”
This means John’s greatness and for that matter, any other man’s greatness lies not in their miracles.
If John did no miracles but best those who called down fire from heaven, stopped the sun (earth actually), split the Red Sea, made water to come out of rocks….then greatness is not about signs.
What’s more amazing is that Jews were so obsessed with signs that used them to measure the authenticity of prophets by their miracles(Matthew 12:38). Paul remarks about Jews thus;
1 Corinthians 1:22 (ESV)
JEWS DEMAND SIGNS and Greeks seek wisdom,
Note that it is John the Baptist whom Jesus confirmed to have been the Elijah who was to come as per Malachi 4:5.
Before Elijah was born, an angel said this of John;
Luke 1:17 (ESV)
17 and he will go before him in THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
This means that the Elijah of Malachi 4:5 was not Elijah literally visiting the earth again but rather striking similarities or parallels between Elijah’s ministry and John’s made John ‘Elijah’. ‘spirit and power’ means the essence of Elijah.
Elijah led Israel to repenting of their Baal worship-1 Kings 18:16-45, he led them back to God. John too preached Repentance or turning to God. He also preached of the coming Messiah.
Throughout Christian history, there has risen a few men claiming that just as it was during the first coming of Jesus, where there was a need to send a forerunner before Him preparing Israel for His coming, there is a similar need towards His second coming.
While NT preaches the imminence of Jesus: return, this teaching holds that there will be a particular individual just as John tasked with this job. We observe that many who subscribe and teach this normally claim to be that Elijah!
William Branham is such a person. He taught of the need for an Elijah and not surprising claimed to be Elijah.
Of course he died in 1965, and his adherents the Branhamites struggle to explain how Elijah died and it’s been 50yrs since then yet Christ is yet to return.
John the Baptist served TILL Christ showed up, and when Jesus did, John’s work was done so much that he expected it. His prominence reduced as Jesus started his public ministry- John 3:30-35.
This means that if another Elijah was to come, his Ministry would stop with the coming of Jesus Christ!.
Dr. Owuor has also claim to be Elijah.
Besides such a claim lacking scriptures backing it ,it’s important to learn that Owuor then seeks to replicate Elijah’s miracles just to prove that he is Elijah indeed.
Remember John did no miracles yet Jesus called him Elijah. Why would anyone else claiming to be Elijah attempt to replicate Elijah miracles just to fit into the office?
John is Elijah by the virtue of the content of his message, his doctrine.
Is there anything in Owuor that remotely resembles John’s ministry? We can’t see it.
Owuor claims to be preaching a gospel of ‘holiness and Repentance’, but upon closer scrutiny, it is nothing more than LEGALISM.
Owuor manufactures rules on top of rules which he then uses to distinguish between his cult members and the rest.
Owuor teaches personal experiences of RIGHTEOUSNESS as opposed to RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH in Christ.
Owuor distorts the gospel of Grace which is typical of all cult leaders. In its place, he preaches WORKS GOSPEL.
In Owuor there is no ASSURANCE OF SALVATION, just attempts to make it to Rapture.
Owuor reminds us of the Pharisees;
Matthew 23:15 (ESV)
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
It is instructive that Owuor himself teaches that he is SINLESS, and thus exempted from Repentance.
Repentance is for raia, not His Holiness Owuor. He does not sin. But he can’t teach that to his members.
Members are always falling short of God so they are in permanent Repentance mode.
Back to John.
Jesus Christ taught us who Elijah is. There are no other scriptures remotely suggesting another Elijah is to come.