Message NotesMalachi - Part 17 Page 1
Sunday March 16th 2014
Malachi – God’s Messenger
1). Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. 17 "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him. 4:1 ¶ "For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the LORD of hosts, "That will leave them neither root nor branch.2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. 3 You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this," Says the LORD of hosts.
a). We have seen in our past weeks of study that within the rebellious nation of Israel of Malachi’s day there still remained a remnant ‘who fear the Lord and meditate on His name’ – those who had faith in that which God had said in His promises to Israel through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as set out in Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms – Ps 2:7 ¶ "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
b). Those who like Abraham were looking for the Son of promise as seen in Psalm 2 and like Abraham had the same focus on a time and place yet future
Heb 11:10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
c). And it would be good for us to understand that the faithful in Malachi’s day as with other OT saints, such as Simeon and Anna at the Lord’s first advent, did have their focus on the coming 7th Day – whether or not they understood the full implication of what the coming of that Day means I would not want to say, but they did understand the deliverance and restoration of
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Israel and the promise of rulership that went along with that - Lu 2:29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
d). And this of course remains true throughout this dispensation also – Just as those in the past have been counted faithful because they believed God and organized their lives with a view to receiving an inheritance in the coming Kingdom, so those today who do exactly the same are counted as faithful. As we have seen and understood now for the longest while it is not just being a Christian that the Lord counts as faithfulness, but it is those Christians who have faith to the saving of the soul and then organizes their lives to that end through faithful obedience and patient endurance who are the ones counted as faithful - Heb 11:6 But without faith [contextually – faith to the saving of the soul] it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
e). Heb 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
That which we have seen here in Hebrews Chapter 11 is true for all the eternally saved of all generations and I am sure we can readily see from the verse in Hebrews Chapter 10 that those ‘who draw back to perdition’ would describe the Levitical priests and the majority of the Jews in Malachi’s day, those who had drawn back from the teachings of Moses, the Psalms and the Prophets thereby finding themselves in a place of ruin with regards to that which could have been theirs, whereas those ‘who fear the Lord and meditate on His name’ would be those Jews who believed, who had faith, to the saving of the soul.
f). This is a distinction along with the inevitable separation that goes with it that is foundational to understanding God’s dealings with the eternally saved with respect to His plans and purposes for man.
2). And for those ‘who fear the Lord and meditate on His name’, who through their faithfulness to the scriptures would find themselves separated from the majority amongst whom they lived, with the unavoidable persecution that would come with this separation - 2Ti 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
There was the comforting assurance that a book of remembrance was being written for them so that they could be content and secure in the knowledge
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that their faithfulness was recorded for all to see in that Day when the books are opened with nothing lost, nothing overlooked and nothing forgotten.
a). And along with this wonderful assurance with regards to their present was the certainty of the reward for their faithfulness and vindication for their persecution yet future - 17 "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.
b). Implicit in the analogy of a man sparing the son who serves him is the corollary that the son who does not serve him will not be spared – something that is poignantly demonstrated with regards to the religious leaders at the Lord’s first advent - Mt 12:32 "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
3). In this future day we are told at the end of Malachi Chapter 3 - 18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.
And this verse is then expanded upon at the beginning of Chapter 4 –
4:1 ¶ "For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the LORD of hosts, "That will leave them neither root nor branch.
a). Although we have been looking particularly at those whom God classifies as ‘wicked’ within the nation of Israel, that which we see described here at the beginning of Chapter 4 cannot be limited to unfaithful Jews alone.
b). The ‘day’ referred to here would in effect be a reference to a time period encompassing the last half of the Tribulation and the judgment of Israel that will follow the Tribulation’s conclusion. A time that not only brings Israel to the place of repentance, but also sees the complete overthrow of Gentile world power under the god of this world – a power base characterized by pride and wickedness, just as we see if we return to –Ps 2:1 ¶ Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
c). And as we take this into consideration we will remember that Malachi addressed the purpose for the judgment upon unfaithful Israel that is
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enacted through the judgment on the Gentile nations, during the Tribulation, which we saw recorded in – Mal 3:1 ¶ "Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," Says the LORD of hosts. 2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness. 4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD, As in the days of old, As in former years.
d). This is the same time as we have seen spoken of in - Jer 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it. 8 'For it shall come to pass in that day,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them. 10 ¶ 'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the LORD, 'Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with you,' says the LORD, 'to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.'
e). And here in Jeremiah, just as in Malachi, we see that the purpose of God’s judgment upon Israel is redemption – the restoration of God’s chosen people so that they may again bring Him an offering in righteousness, as in the days of old, throughout the Millennial Kingdom.
f). And with the redemption and restoration of Israel in view we find the Book of Malachi returning to the foundation from which Malachi had begun his prophecy – Mal 1:1 ¶ The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved; 3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness."
g). God has loved and continues to love Jacob and therefore through the process of judgment comes redemption and restoration for unfaithful but now repentant Israel, but He has hated Esau, within this context picturing Gentile world power, and as a consequence of hating Esau is the promise of judgment leading to the complete destruction of Gentile power - Mal 1:4 Even though
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Edom has said, "We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.
h). The destruction of Gentile world power is the subject of that seen in Psalm 2 and we can find additional commentary on this recorded in –
Ps 21:8 Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. 9 You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire shall devour them. 10 Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men. 11 For they intended evil against You; They devised a plot which they are not able to perform.
i). And this complete overthrow of Gentile world power is seen in the foundational types, beginning with the destruction of the tower of Babel; seen in connection with the saving of Noah and his family alone during the time of the world wide flood and seen in connection with the safe passage of Israel through the Red Sea, followed by the utter destruction of the power of Egypt in the sea – Ex 14:28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
j). An overthrow prophesied of course through the destruction of the image seen in Daniel –Da 2:34 "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
k). At this end point of the Tribulation then the love that God the Father has always had for Jacob is once again manifest and we find ourselves full circle to where we began in Malachi.
l). And here is the thing we would particularly note – because God’s judgment on Israel is for the purpose of redemption and redemption is for the purpose of rulership, God’s judgment is an expression of the love He has always had for Jacob.
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4). Now, we had already seen from Jeremiah that the Lord has said to Israel - But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.'
And although both Noah and his family and Israel at the Red Sea are types for that which is to come we see that all of Noah’s family was delivered from the flood and the whole nation of Israel passed through the Red Sea, but we would need to understand these as types in a broad sense showing that Israel, as a nation, will be delivered at the end of the Tribulation – in much the same way as we see in the burning bush incident – but the types do not teach that every Jew alive at the time will be delivered.
a). In fact what happens to Israel during the Tribulation is foreshadowed in the persecution they experience at the hands of the Assyrian Pharaoh prior to the night of Passover in Egypt.
b). From the scriptures dealing with Israel in the antitype of this the outcome for the nation is made very clear - Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one -third shall be left in it:
c). God had promised them in - De 4:26 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess; you will not prolong your days in it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 "And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you. 28 "And there you will serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 "When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice 31 '(for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
d). God’s words to them, even before the second generation entered the land, prophesied of a time when they would be scattered ‘among the peoples’ and would be left ‘few in number among the nations’, but there is also the promise that ‘He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which I swore to them.’
e). So then if we begin to draw this together we will realize that in order to purify the sons of Levi He will purge them as gold or silver through the events of the time of Jacob’s trouble that we have been reading about and He does this in faithfulness to the covenants that He has made with ‘the fathers’. This process of purification takes place out amongst the nations where Israel
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is scattered resulting in 2/3rds of all Jews being killed at this time – the few in number from Deuteronomy Chapter 4 – leaving a repentant remnant that will be re-gathered to the land.
f). Then as this purification of Israel takes place via the hands of Gentile world power under Antichrist - Lu 21:24 "And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
so this same Gentile world power is utterly destroyed bringing an end to the times of the Gentiles, and Israel, just as in the days of Moses, will witness the power of God in bringing this about – they will see all who do wickedly become as stubble which is burnt up - Isa 51:22 Thus says your Lord, The LORD and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people: "See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it. 23 But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, Who have said to you, 'Lie down, that we may walk over you.' And you have laid your body like the ground, And as the street, for those who walk over."
g). Now, we will realize that all of this deals with a time that is yet still future and therefore none of those who feared the Lord of Malachi’s day could possibly be present and yet they have been promised that not only will they see that which God will have brought about on the Gentile nations, but would also discern between the one who serves God and the one who doesn’t amongst their own generation.
h). All OT saints then will be resurrected and must appear before the Lord in Judgment and it will be at this time that the faithful in Israel from past generations will be vindicated and rewarded and the unfaithful will experience condemnation and exclusion from their inheritance - Joh 5:28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 "and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
5). Then by comparing scripture with scripture we would see that this whole panorama of events had been set out in a prophetic calendar for Israel through the 7 feasts given to the nation by the Lord through Moses recorded in Leviticus Chapter 23 - Le 23:1 ¶ And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
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a). These feasts of course begin with Passover, a feast that has to do with the national conversion of Israel – a feast that began 2000 years ago with the slaying of The Passover Lamb, but held in suspension as it were, awaiting the day when Israel would appropriate the blood - Ex 12:6 'Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 'And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
Israel has done that seen in v6, but has not yet done that seen in v7 – and just as the original Passover took place while Israel was in Egypt so the fulfillment of the Passover begun 2000 years ago must take place at the end of the Tribulation while Israel is still out amongst the nations - Zec 12:9 ¶ "It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
Resulting in the nation being born ‘at once’ - Isa 66:8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children.
b). After Passover comes the Feast of Unleavened Bread which has to do with the removal of leaven from the house – here of course dealing with the removal of sin from the House of Israel - Le 23:6 'And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
This then speaks of the removal of the sin of unbelief which resulted in disobedience over centuries, culminating in the crucifixion of their Messiah. Because of the crucifixion Israel is presently unclean through contact with the dead body of their Messiah and must remain unclean for 2 days, 2000 years – it will then be in the presence of the One whom the nation crucified that Israel will acknowledge her sin and put it out of the House in the antitype of that seen in - Ge 44:16 Then Judah said, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord's slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found."
c). We then come to the Feast of Firstfruits, which is a feast picturing resurrection – the OT saints will be resurrected at this time fulfilling this
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festival. This was begun and was also pictured in the resurrection of some OT saints following the Lord being raised from the dead on the 3rd Day –
Mt 27:52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
d). On the Day of Pentecost following the Lord’s resurrection Joel’s prophecy began to be fulfilled but was not completed because the nation did not follow that which Peter told them to do - Ac 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
But it will be fulfilled, because of national repentance, following the resurrection of the OT saints at Firstfruits - Joe 2:27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. 28 ¶ "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions……….
e). With national repentance, the resurrection of OT saints and the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy in place we come to the Feast of Trumpets when Israel will be re-gathered to the land - Mt 24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
f). With the re-gathering of Israel complete we now have the Day of Atonement which deals with the sins of those who have already availed themselves of the blood of the Passover Lamb – this will be the cleansing of the sin that was previously acknowledged and put out of the House at Unleavened Bread, bringing that feast to its conclusion - Eze 36:24 "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 ¶ "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
g). The conclusion of these 6 Feasts, brings us to the last, Tabernacles, which takes us into the Millennial Kingdom, to the time of rest and the offerings to be made to the Lord during that time. And as the Feast was to last
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for 7 days we would see this extending throughout the entire Millennial reign of Christ thereby bringing that Feast to its conclusion.
6). And although all that we have looked at has been exclusively for the nation of Israel it is impossible to separate the Lord’s dealings with the ‘Church’ at the Judgment Seat from these events surrounding Israel as all has to do with God’s purpose for Man and His promise to Abraham with respect to both the heavenly and earthly realms of the Kingdom.
a). We will continue with this next time – if the Lord is willing.