Message NotesMalachi – Part 21 Page 1
Sunday April 13th 2014
Malachi – God’s Messenger
Part Twenty One
1). Mal 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). God’s rebuke of His chosen people through His messenger Malachi details the depth of the depravity and unbelief that characterized the nation at that time; a depth of depravity and unbelief only to be surpassed some 430 or so years later with the rejection and crucifixion of their Messiah.
b). And yet within the harshness of the rebuke Israel receives through Malachi is the promise of deliverance from her enemies and restoration, following repentance, in order to fulfill the nation’s God given role as a firstborn son that is both to rule and bring God’s blessing to the nations of the earth - Ge 22:17 "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
c). And in order to see how God has orchestrated events to bring this to pass we have in the past 2 weeks been putting together a time chart to show us the sequencing of the events that bring us to our verses here in Malachi.
d). In our first week we had looked at events concerning this present dispensation, the events of the Judgment Seat of Christ and events leading up to and including the opening of the 1st seal of the 7 sealed scroll.
e). Last week we had begun to look at events from the opening of the 1st seal, events that take us through the period of time that we know as the Tribulation – So as we begin this morning we will have a short review of the things which we had studied last week –
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2). This week we are going to continue looking at this same overall period of time, but with a particular concentration on the second half of the Tribulation, that which we know as the Great Tribulation – going from the mid-point in the tribulation when the abomination of desolation appears in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem through to Christ’s return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation.
a). Let’s just remember what the scriptures record concerning this mid-point - Mt 24:12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
b). It is at this mid-point that Antichrist, having received Satan’s crown and throne and great authority, now fully asserts himself as the world wide ruler he had always intended to be having gone forth conquering and to conquer, being the ultimate and final expression of Gentile world power, fulfilling the prophecy of the 4th part of the great image standing in Babylon as seen in Daniel, and having accomplished this he sets about the complete annihilation of the Jewish people.
c). We also see this same scenario from a slightly different perspective recorded in - Lu 21:20 ¶ "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 "Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 "For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 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. 25 "And
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there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 "men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. 27 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Joe 3:6 Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders. 7 "Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head. 8 I will sell your sons and your daughters Into the hand of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a people far off; For the LORD has spoken."
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: 9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"
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.'
d). It is at this mid-point, or very close to it, that we find the Jews who heed the advice given by Christ in Matthew and Luke escaping to the place of safety the Lord has prepared for them - Re 12:6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
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e). And the 144000 Jews converted through the ministry of the 2 witnesses during the first half of the Tribulation are, after a similar fashion, taken into heaven for a twofold purpose - Re 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
f). Firstly, they are ‘caught up to God and His throne’ to escape the wrath of Antichrist as he seeks to destroy them along with the rest of the Jewish nation and secondly to receive the message of the Kingdom they are to take to the Gentile nations during the Great Tribulation once they have been returned to the earth – Re 14:1 ¶ Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God. 6 ¶ Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting [age lasting] gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people-- 7 saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
g). It would seem that the 144000 will have a similar experience to that which Paul had as he was taught by the Lord in order for him to take the gospel of the Kingdom to the Gentiles in his day - Ga 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
h). In Matthew we are told - 14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
And similarly in Mark’s account - Mr 13:10 "And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
i). In returning to the earth and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom the 144000 are described as ‘firstfruits to God and to the Lamb’ – It was always
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God’s intention that the nation of Israel should be His witness, to take His message to the ends of the earth. During the Great Tribulation the 144000 will do just that and then during the Millennial Kingdom the whole nation that has survived the Great bTribulation will do likewise, hence the 144000 are the firstfruits of the main harvest which is to come.
3). Now as we think about the 144000 and their post conversion experience we find an interesting parallel with events in the life of Christ - Mt 2:13 ¶ Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
a). When Mary had brought forth the Man Child who would rule the nations with a rod of iron He was immediately taken to a place of safety outside of Herod’s jurisdiction to escape Herod’s wrath and his attempt to destroy the Child - Mt 2:16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more."
b). Similarly, as we have seen, the 144000 having been brought forth, who will rule the nations with a rod of iron, are immediately taken to a place of safety outside Satan’s jurisdiction – Satan and his angels having been cast out of heaven prior to this point – to escape Satan’s wrath and his attempt to devour the man child.
c). Then, at a later point Christ returned to the place from which He had been taken and preached the gospel of the Kingdom for 3 ½ years.
d). And in the same way the 144000 will return to the place from which they had been taken and will preach the gospel of the Kingdom for 3 ½ years.
e). The result of the ministry of the 144000 we can see in - Re 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
f). We will deal with this in more detail in a future week of study.
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4). The 7 Sealed Scroll
Let’s return for a moment to an overview of the complete 7 years of the Tribulation so that we can see how the opening of the 7 sealed scroll, which brings about the redemption of the inheritance, fits into this whole picture.
a). Re 6:1 ¶ Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. 3 ¶ When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. 5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." 7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
As the Lord opens the first 4 seals we see with the opening of each the going forth of 4 different colored horses and their rider and through the imagery that describes each of these we are progressively given a complete overview in skeletal form of that which takes place during the 7 years of the Tribulation – we might remember that within the opening 34 verses of Genesis God provides us with a complete picture of the outworking of His purpose; the rest of scripture then puts flesh on the previously presented skeleton – And exactly the same is true with the opening of the first 4 seals – the opening of seals 5-7 including the trumpets and the bowls, along with the intervening Chapters taking us from Revelation Chapter 6 through Chapter 19, put the flesh on the previously presented skeleton given through the opening of the first 4 seals.
b). The opening of each of the 4 seals should be seen as progressive and concurrent with the events described in them being a result of that which has gone before.
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c). The White Horse and its Rider – Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Antichrist as the man of peace setting out to gain the kingdom by intrigue.
d). The Fiery Red Horse and its Rider – 3 ¶ When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Having gained the kingdom by intrigue the Antichrist reveals his true nature, seeking now to annihilate the Jewish people from the face of the earth and as he sets his hand against the Jewish people so he reaps the harvest of the promise of - Ge 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
War and devastation follow in the wake of his attempted Jewish genocide as the law of sowing and reaping comes into effect - Ho 8:7 "They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind.
e). The Black Horse and its Rider – 5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
The war and devastation that follows the persecution of the Jews gives rise to a world-wide famine the likes of which have not been seen before – it seems that the inhabitants of the earth are plunged into a desperate struggle for survival.
f). The Pale Horse and its Rider – 7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
As a result of the previous seals/ horses and rider we now find Antichrist characterized as ‘Death’ itself with the picture of Hades, the place of the dead, closely following at his heels. By the end of the Tribulation ¼ of the earth’s
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population, a number probably over 1 billion will be dead through conflict, famine, sickness, disease, pestilence and even the ravages of wild animals.
g). 9 ¶ When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
h). The events seen with the opening of the 5th seal now give us the result of that which has happened through the opening of the first 4 seals and what we are shown here are the events in heaven with respect to this.
i). 12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
j). The opening of the 6th seal does the same as that of the 5th, showing us the result of the opening of the first 4 seals – the result we see with the 6th seal though is with respect to the earth and those who dwell on it rather than in heaven.
k). The opening of the 7th seal along with the trumpet and bowl judgments that accompany it picture for us the totality and completeness of God’s righteous Judgment both upon Israel and the Gentile nations, bringing to conclusion the redemption of the inheritance.
l). But we will have to pick this up again next time – if the Lord is willing.
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