Listen to what Jesus said when he was asked about resurrection.
quote: Mark 9
10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
12 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.
13 But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.
Parallel in Matthew
quote: Matthew 17 10And 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.
quote: Matthew 11 11Verily 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.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The fictional Gospel of John was written perhaps to contradict what Jesus said.
Interestingly, early Christian communities seemed to hold views that were based on the plain words of Jesus.
quote: The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions John Bowker (ed.) Oxford University Press; 1st edition (May 8, 1997) p.311
Elkesaites. A Jewish Christian group which arose c. 100 CE in the country east of the Jordan, having affinities with the *Ebionites (e. g. in their *asceticism and in their use of only the gospel of *Matthew) and deriving their name from Elkesai who received a revelation from an angel 96 miles tall. Mani (see MANICHAEISM) belonged to an Elkesaite community in S. Babylon from the ages of 4 to 25. It is clear that a number of Manichean beliefs (e. g. in repeated incarnations of Christ, heavenly and earthly counterparts, and eating as sacramental) derive from the Elkesaites.)
Mani and the Dead Sea Scrolls Manichaean mythology not only draws on Genesis, but also borrows from extrabiblical Jewish texts, including a Second Temple era account known as the Book of Giants. The Book of Giants includes an expanded version of Genesis 6:1–4, in which the sons of God mate with the daughters of man. The Book of Giants is known from only two literary collections: the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Manichaean scriptures, where it was considered canonical.
How did Mani and his followers know about this ancient Jewish book? Is there a connection between Mani and the Essenes, the Jewish sect often credited with producing and preserving the Qumran library?
Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, a fourth-century C.E. expert on Christian heresies, suggests an intriguing link.
According to Epiphanius, who was intimately familiar with the late antique Palestinian landscape, the Dead Sea area was home to a Jewish sect of “Ossaeans,” a designation that is strikingly reminiscent of “Essenes.” Epiphanius reports: “During the reign of the Emperor Trajan [98–117 C.E.],” these “Ossaeans” were joined “by one called Elksai, who was a false prophet.” According to Epiphanius, the Ossaean sect is now called “Sampsaean,” but elsewhere he states that the “Sampsaeans are now called Elkesaites.”
quote: Oxford Dictionary p.302 Ebionites. (Heb. ..., 'poor men'). Asect of Jewish Christians of the early centuries CE. Its nature and history cannot be reconstructed from the surviving references. It appears to have existed east of the river Jordan. ...It is an open question whether they can have been direct descendants of the Jerusalem church. ...See also ENCRATITES.
quote: Oxford Dictionary ibid. p. Encratites. Groups of early Christians whose ascetic practices (and related teaching) were condemned by mainstream writers such as *Iranaeus. The term was apparently not used precisely but with reference to many *gnostics and *Ebionites who commonly rejected *alcohol, meat, and especially marriage. In these terms, much of earliest Syriac Christianity may be said to have been 'encratite'.