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The Book of Malachi
The Coming Judgment Malachi 3:1-6
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (KJV)
Here, God states that He will send His messenger, John the Baptist; as Mat. 3:3; 11:10; Mark 1:2-3; Luke 1:76; 3:4; 7:26-27; John 1:23, prove.
Malachi 3:1 reinforces what Isaiah says. Isaiah 40:3-5 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (KJV)
Here in Malachi 3:1, we have TWO messengers. The first messenger is to go before and to prepare the way, is John the Baptist. The second is “the messenger of the covenant,” the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophecy concerning the first messenger is in all four of the Gospels and applies to John the Baptist; there is NO guesswork (Mat.11:7,11,14; Mark 1:2,5-7; Luke 1:76; John 1:6,15,19-30). The messenger of the covenant is the Lord Jesus; Who came the first time to save us. He came to bring grace, not government. He came as the Saviour, not the Sovereign Judge. God sent Him FIRST as a Saviour because He is gracious and merciful and He wants to save us. BUT, it does NOT end there. Christ is coming again as the messenger of the covenant, to execute justice and judgment on this Earth. God DOES intend to judge sin; He does NOT intend to let ANY sinners get by with ANY of their injustices today . . . not the beggar on the street, and not the greedy millionaires who lie, cheat and deceive the most of us, and NOT the corrupt government of ANY nation! My friend, if you refuse Him as your Saviour, you will have Him as your Judge whether you want to or not (John 5:22).
Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope: (KJV)
Malachi is referring to the Second Coming of Christ because it is judgment that is in view here. “Who shall be able to stand when He appears?” He will be like a refiner’s fire and fullers’ soap. In a refining process, the metal is put over red-hot fire; as it begins to melt, the waste can be drawn off, and the metal is purified. Christ intends to purify, and He intends to clean, there will NOT be any pollution when He establishes the Millennium on this Earth (Rev.20:1-6). The refining process, is where a third of the Jews is refined as silver of its dross, while two-thirds perish, is described in Zech.13:8-9; Isaiah 1:25. There are two processes: purifying and cleansing. Cleansing is the use of soap. Fuller’s soap was made with alkali from the ashes of certain plants and nitre from Syria, and was used to whiten cloth. Here it is used as a symbol of spiritual cleansing.
Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (KJV)
The Messiah shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi. He will cleanse all those who enter the Millennium. He shall purge them as gold and silver. As we are purified by God, His reflection in our lives will become more apparent to those around us. God says that leaders (here the Levites) should be especially open to His purification process in their lives. But, what about believers?
Malachi 3:4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. (KJV)
Only when people are purified, will the offerings which the people of Judah and Jerusalem bring to the Lord be pleasing to Him, as they used to be in the past. The Lord will take a great delight in their sacrifice because the ones who are offering it are now cleansed and purified. God is NOT interested in your going through any rituals. He wants your heart right, He wants you to forsake your sin and turn from it. You can always get into sin, but IF you stay there, God will NOT accept your religion or your sacrifice.
As in the days of old in the time of Solomon (Mal.1:11; 2:5-6), there was a period in which Israel served God in such a way that they witnessed to the entire world. The offering is not making amends, for Jesus took care of that for us on the cross. The offering God is always pleased with is prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and self-dedication (Rom. 12:1; Heb.13:15; 1 Peter 2:5).
Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. (KJV)
God will bring judgment down on ALL sinners. He will be a willing witness against ALL who practice witchcraft, and adulterers, liars, and those who cheat employees of their wages, those who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, and those who do not reverence and respect Him. Through the mixed marriages, marrying heathen and pagan women who worshiped idols; their sorcery, the occult, and demon worship was brought in.
Millions are turning to the occult today. And too, the people were NOT a witness for God, then or now! The stranger in that day, to whom they should have witnessed, actually turned from God because of the way He was treated by His own people. What about today? I had one lady in class years ago that said: “You can’t go to church on Sunday and live like the devil the rest of the week.” You cannot profess to be a Christian, if you don’t walk in His Light and Spirit (Gal.5:16,25). TRUE believers are not hypocrites.
Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (KJV)
God is a God of judgment, yes, but He is also a gracious (loving and merciful) God. The only reason these people had not been absolutely wiped out like the Edomites was because of His grace. God was gracious to Israel, His chosen people (Ex.19:5; Deut.14:2; 26:18). He is still gracious to them, and us, because He never changes. Thank God for that.
But God today, as then, is still a God of judgment. His judgment will fall on ALL evildoers. But His grace has NOT changed either, and that is a comfort to anyone who will accept the amazing grace of God. No matter what a person has done in the past, no matter how evil it was, God can and will forgive them IF they sincerely repent (turn away from) their sin, and TO God. His loving and merciful arms are outstretched in your direction, no matter who you are! Red, yellow, black or white, Jew or Gentile; God can be merciful to you, if you let Him! Leave your sin, go to God!
The Jews Reproved for their Disobedience Malachi 3:7-12
Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? (KJV)
Ever since the days of their ancestors, Israel has scorned God’s laws and failed to obey them. Here God tells them IF they return to Him, He will return to them. But they reply with sarcasm: “How can we return when we never went away?” God’s patience seems endless! All through history, Israel disobeyed, even scorned His laws, but each time God is willing to take them back. These people have the nerve to imply that they never disobeyed . . . just like millions of supposed "Christians" today! Many people today turn their backs on forgiveness and restoration because they refuse to admit their sin. Abortion is sin! Adultery is sin! Fornication is sin! Homosexuality is sin! etc., etc!
Romans 1:22-32 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (KJV)
Gal. 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Eph. 5:3-7 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (KJV)
Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV)
Rev. 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (KJV)
Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV) . . . Is your name there?
God is ready to return to us, but we must be willing to return to Him.
Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (KJV)
God is accusing the people of cheating Him. Again, they snap at Him: “When did we ever cheat You?” God’s answer: “You have cheated Me of tithes and offerings that are due to me.” Malachi begged the people to stop holding back their tithes, to give God what was His. The tithes of Israel went to the tribe of Levi. That was their inheritance. They received no land as did the other 11 tribes (Num.18:20-24). In Malachi’s day, the people had stopped giving tithes, so the Levites had to work to earn a living, thus neglecting their God-given responsibilities to care for the temple and for the service of worship.
I do not believe in tithing. I think the only ones ever permitted to accept tithes were the Levites. (Acts 11:29; 1 Cor.16:2; 2 Cor.8:12; 2 Cor.9:7 Mark 12:41-44). Some people are very well able to give much more than a tenth of their earnings, whereas others, on a limited income, have great difficulty giving a tenth. Tithing is simply a loop hole to the wealthy. . . . http://www.hisservants.org/tithing_h_s.htm
Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (KJV)
God cursed the Jews for disobeying Him; for ignoring His command to give a tithe of their income to His temple. When we give, let’s remember that the blessings God promises are NOT always material things, and may not be experienced completely here on Earth, but we will surely receive them in our future life with Him.
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (KJV)
God told them to bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there would be enough food in His Temple for the Levites. He told them if they did, He would open the windows of Heaven for them. He would pour out a blessing so great they would not have enough room to take it in! The storehouse was a place in the temple for storing grain and other food given as tithes. The Jewish priests lived off these gifts. So many churches and denominations claim that the storehouse is the local church. Personally I think they are falsifying God’s Word. The "storehouse" was a part of the temple. The New Testament does NOT tell us to take our offerings to the storehouse.
1 Cor.16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (KJV)
2 Cor.8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. (KJV)
2 Cor.9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (KJV)
Mark 12:41-44 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (KJV)
Malachi 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. (KJV)
The Lord told them He would not let insects destroy their crops, and their grapevines would produce abundant grapes if they did as they should. The devourer probably means the locust. Many plagues that came to Israel were through the locust, but now God says, “I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes.” The men had turned away from God, had not kept His ordinances. God always sees how our hearts respond to His Word. He clearly reads our hearts and sees either the great stubbornness in our sin, and how we make excuses for our sin; OR He sees our willing obedience. . . . What does He see in you?
Malachi 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. (KJV)
When Israel becomes right with God in the future, they will be a blessing to all the other nations of the world. Honesty and obedience with God is the only way to be blessed by God (individually or as a nation). This verse looks forward to a future day, when God will make Israel a blessing to the nations.
Difference Between The Righteous And The Wicked Malachi 3:13-18
Malachi 3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? (KJV)
These people had said terrible things about God. But they in their sarcasm asked: “What have we said about You?” Malachi describes the people’s arrogant attitude toward God.
Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? (KJV)
God answers them: “You have said, What's the use of serving God? What good does it do us to obey His commands, or by trying to show the Lord Almighty that we are sorry for our sins?”
They are good at murmuring against God (Ex.16:7-9,12; Num.14:27). But, what about us? The Jews mistake the nature of God’s service, they show up for outward rituals, NOT because they love God, but in the hope of being well paid for in outward prosperity.
God rewards TRUE worshippers not so much in this life, as in the life to come. They had fasted and God had not responded. Their outward show was a far cry from real humiliation. When we ask, “What good does it do to serve God?” we mean: “What good does it do for me?” We are selfish, just like these people were. Our question should be, “Am I doing any good for God?” We must serve God because He is God and He deserves to be served.
Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. (KJV)
As those people saw it, proud people were the ones who were happy. Not only did these evil people prosper . . . like those today . . . but they tested God’s patience with their evil deeds and got away with it. We today see this same injustice. It seems that proud, evil people get rich, and those who are trying to live right for God struggle to get along. Since we who serve Almighty God are not prosperous and the proud heathen flourish in prosperity, does that mean that they are the favorites of God? NO way, my friend (Mal.2:17; Psalm 73:12). We must never tempt God (Ex.17:2; Deut.6:16; Mat.4:7).
Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. (KJV)
As you see, there were SOME good people! There were some that feared the Lord. No matter how evil the world around you seems, God always has some people who love Him and obey Him and willingly serve Him. Consider Noah and his family, and in Elijah’s time (1 Kings 19:18), and other faithful ones (Isa.10:20-21; Jer.4:27).
Those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, building up each others' faith and hope, and the Lord listened to what they said. In His Presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared Him and loved to think about Him. The "book of remembrance" means that God will remember those who remain faithful to Him, and who love, fear, honor and respect Him. There was a small remnant who loved God, then and now!
All through the Bible, there is this idea that God keeps books (Psalm 56:8; Isa.65:6; Dan.7:10; Rev.3:4–5; 20:12). I do not know if there are actual books or not . . . it does not matter, because God never forgets, so He really does not need a book or computer. Maybe this book is like a report card we used to get in school. You get a report card if you are a student; all you have to do to get a report card is to enroll in an earthly school. BUT . . . to get into the Lamb’s Book of Life, you must accept Christ as your Saviour, and once you are there, your name will never be removed.
You then have a report card; you are in the Lamb’s Book of Life; you’re enrolled. NOW you are going to start making grades. NOW He is going to put down how you are doing with your service to Him, how you are doing witnessing to others. What grade are you receiving? Are you making A’s or are you failing the course? How is your life for Him? How is your service for Him? He takes note of all these things, and He records them.
The Lord knows exactly where you have been and what you have done ALL the time. Maybe your neighbors, your church members, and your pastor do not know, but God knows. One day, you shall see your life, from birth to death, one day, it will ALL be there, in plain sight! I’m not too anxious to see some parts of mine! But I guess I’ll have to see it someday. ALL my sins before Christ have been completely erased (Ps.103:3; Mic.7:18-19; Heb.8:12; 10:17; 1 John 1:9). BUT, after Christ, there are some things that I will be sorry for.
Malachi 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. (KJV)
One day, Israel will be God’s own special treasure. He will spare them as a father spares an obedient and dutiful child. He will be merciful to them. God’s treasured possession is those who are faithful and obedient to Him. This will fulfill the Promise He made in the covenant to His people (Ex.19:5). And according to Peter, all believers today are God’s treasured possession. 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (KJV) . . . Have you committed your life to Christ for safekeeping? (John 3:16; 5:24; 14:6).
Malachi 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (KJV)
There is a vast difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. God’s people are the righteous and serve Him willingly and faithfully. The wicked are those who simply refuse to believe God, refuse to obey Him, refuse to serve Him and in no way love Him.
In Malachi’s time, MANY were children of the wicked one (1 John 3:10,12), just as there are many wicked (unbelievers) in today’s world. Those who work wickedness, tempt God by their arrogant sins. God will make sure that His children (the righteous) will never perish (John 3:16). They are vessels of mercy and honor to Him, while the wicked are vessels of wrath and dishonor. Only those who own Christ as theirs, will He own for His. All people fall into one category OR the other: the righteous OR the wicked. There is NO gray area . . . it is either black OR white! A person cannot sit up on the fence! Every person must make a decision in THIS lifetime! Once you die, it is too late! (Luke 16:19-31). You are either FOR Jesus, OR you deny and reject Him, refusing to believe what God says about Him (1 John 5:10-12). ALL people either serve God, or refuse to serve Him. ALL people will go either to Heaven OR to Hell . . . there is NO other place!
We are living in a day, much like the day in which Malachi lived. It is hard at times to tell the righteous from the wicked, for there are many "professing" Christians who are nothing but lying hypocrites! But, when the day of His judgment comes, it will be quite clear who are the TRUE believers and who are the hypocrites.
Let us seriously take to heart what Malachi said to the people of his time, for it REALLY does apply to us today. We must love and obey God or we are doomed!
Book of Malachi
Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4