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Unification Church/Elijah

The church's understanding of the role of Elijah is important in terms of Jesus and his claim to be the Messiah.

Based on biblical texts (especially in Matthew), the church believes that Jesus was appointed by God to be the Messiah, not only for the Jewish people but for all of humanity. Elijah, understood to come before the Messiah, had the role of harbinger or forerunner. He was to reveal to Israel and the world the identity of the Messiah and work with him to usher in the kingdom of Heaven.

In particular, John the Baptist was to play the role of Elijah in relation to his kinsman Jesus. The prophecies concerning his birth ("spirit and power of Elijah" and "make ready for the Lord a people prepared") are held by the church to support this view. Indeed, John's perceived failure to provide active support for Jesus is seen as the primary reason that the Jewish people did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

See also : Unification Church

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