Message NotesMalachi – Part 24 Page 1
Sunday May 18th 2014
Malachi – God’s Messenger
Part Twenty Four
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. 4 ¶ "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
a). Last time we had started to lay out the events leading up to the return of Christ to the earth, events associated with the opening of the 7th seal and the 7 trumpet judgments and 7 bowl judgments contained in the opening of the 7th seal.
b). And we had seen that Christ’s return to the earth is preceded by the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven - Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife [lit Bride] has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
c). A celebration which takes place in anticipation of the Bride automatically becoming the Wife of Christ as a result of the conclusion of the legal transaction of Christ redeeming the inheritance – this is the very thing that we had seen with regards to Ruth becoming Boaz’s wife in the type, which must be replicated in the antitype with regards to Christ and His Bride – Let’s just review the verses from Ruth Chapter 4 once again - Ru 4:9 ¶ And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from
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the hand of Naomi.10 "Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day."
d). We had then jumped forward into the 75 day period that follows the end of the Tribulation, but preceding the Millennial Kingdom, where we saw another set of wedding festivities, this time with regards to God the Father and Israel, a wedding that was given as the first sign to the nation of Israel in the Gospel of John.
e). And then beyond that, at the end of the 75 day period we had seen another ‘supper’ taking place, this being the great supper of God that marks the irrevocable destruction of Gentile world power - Re 19:17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
f). We had then at the end of our last study, for the sake of brevity, followed the themes of marriage festivities and suppers, placing them in a broad context on our time chart as we see here with our first slide.
2). Having done this it is now time to go back and start to add in more detail concerning Christ’s return to the earth and the 75 days which follow so that we will have the fullest picture possible. And in doing so we must of necessity deal with the final 3 verses of Malachi, the final 3 verses of the OT – verses that make reference to both Moses and Elijah, both of whom are seen in connection with the coming of ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord’.
a). Now this ‘great and dreadful day of the Lord’, would not be a reference to the Millennial Kingdom, which we do know as ‘the Day of the Lord’, but contextually would rather refer to that particular day, which will be great and dreadful, when Gentile world power is utterly destroyed – pictured as we have seen in the great supper of God – this is the same ‘day’ described as ‘burning like an oven’ when ‘the wicked’ will be trampled under Israel’s feet.
b). So let’s remember that which Malachi records concerning Elijah and Moses, beginning with - 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.
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c). We will remember from these verses that God had promised Israel that He would send His messenger to them to ‘prepare the way’ for Christ’s coming and we will remember that the scriptures recorded this with regards to John the Baptist, the one to prepare the way at Christ’s first advent –
Mr 1:1 ¶ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You." 3 "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.'" 4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
d). But, we will also remember that John himself stated quite categorically that he was not Elijah - Joh 1:21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not."
e). The Lord appears to offer a contradictory statement to this in –
Mt 11:13 "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 "And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
But there is a condition attached to the statement He makes concerning John, ‘IF you are willing to receive it’ – the nation was not willing to receive it and therefore John could not be Elijah – and we would know that God in His foreknowledge of all events knew very well that this would be the case.
f). And this would be evidenced through the angel Gabriel’s words to Zacharias prior to John’s birth - Lu 1:16 "And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 "He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
g). If we compare these verses from Luke with those we find in Malachi-
Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
We will see that which is to be accomplished by John the Baptist is substantively different from that to be accomplished by Elijah; at best John brings a partial fulfillment of the prophecy, but that spoken by Malachi still awaits yet future – and the context that we find in these verses in Malachi
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must take us to the future time of Christ’s return to the earth preceding the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom.
h). And it is within this same Millennial context that we find the origin for these verses recorded in Isaiah - Isa 40:3 ¶ The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare 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 brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
3). So then, the scriptures promise the sending of a ‘messenger’ to prepare the way of the Lord, spoken of first by Isaiah and repeated by Malachi and this ‘messenger’ is someone other than John the Baptist for the reasons that we have seen.
a). The scriptures also promise in Malachi Chapter 4 that the Lord will send ‘Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord’, before Christ utterly destroys Gentile world power at the battle of Armageddon.
b). Therefore at some point beyond Elijah being taken into heaven by a whirlwind as recorded in 2 Kings, and beyond the conclusion of the OT, but before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, Elijah the prophet will be sent again to the nation of Israel.
c). This did not happen at the Lord’s first advent and neither did the Lord destroy Gentile world power at that time, in fact the Lord Himself spoke of Elijah being sent as a future event - Mt 17:10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 11 Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.
d). And the restoring of ‘all things’ that Elijah will accomplish will be turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers – in other words turning Israel from unbelief to belief, just as Elijah had done at Mt. Carmel in the days of Ahab - 1Ki 18:37 "Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!"
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e). And so, if this didn’t happen at the Lord’s first advent, which it didn’t, and as Gentile world power is still intact at present, which it is, then we must see Elijah being sent in connection with the Lord’s second advent – which is the clear teaching of the scriptures.
4). We also see in Malachi Chapter 4 a command to ‘remember’ with respect to Moses and this is presented in conjunction with the promise concerning the sending of Elijah.
a). And from a scriptural standpoint this would have to be the case as placing Moses and Elijah together in this way is one of the ways used in scripture to reference the totality of scripture – Moses the Law and Elijah the prophets.
b). There are a number of different expressions used in the scriptures to describe the whole of scripture. We can see other examples for this in –
Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony!
Lu 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets,
Lu 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."
c). And so, by placing Moses and Elijah together in what are the last 3 verses of the OT, it is the whole of scripture that is now in view – the Law was given through Moses and Elijah is one of the prophets.
d). With Moses and Elijah presented this way as representative of the totality of scripture it really is no surprise that we would see both Moses and Elijah present with the Lord, who is the totality of scripture made flesh, when all that is contained in the scriptures is to be brought to completion.
5). And we can clearly see from the scriptures that Moses and Elijah are not used in a figurative sense but are quite literally, physically present with the Lord upon His return - Mt 16:28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." 17:1 ¶ Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud
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overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
a). This scene is what we have come to call ‘the mount of transfiguration’ and we must see the events recorded in the first 5 verses of Matthew 17 in the light of that seen at the end of Chapter 16 – remember in the original scripture there is no Chapter break, this is something added by the translators.
b). The statement made at the end of Chapter 16 is very clear, the Lord states that some of His disciples, ‘shall not taste death’, they won’t die, before they see Him ‘coming in His Kingdom’.
c). And what the Lord says here we need to take quite literally – He is not promising that they will see ‘something like Him coming’ in His Kingdom, but that they will see the actual event.
d). This can be easily understood by remembering John’s experience as the Lord had him record the events in the Book of the Revelation –
Re 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
John was not experiencing a vision, nor was he dreaming, but had been transported through time and space to witness first-hand the events that would take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ and beyond, as far as the beginning of the ages of eternity future.
e). Remember, we are dealing with the God who created the universe here and He may manipulate time and space after any fashion He chooses –
Isa 38:7 "And this is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing which He has spoken: 8 "Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward." So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.
Jos 10:12 Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: "Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon." 13 So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
Am 8:9 "And it shall come to pass in that day," says the Lord GOD, "That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
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Mt 24:22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
f). Matthew Chapter 17 then begins, ‘Now after six days..’ which must inevitably take us to the 7th Day and Christ’s Kingdom. And this is perfectly consistent with that which is set out for us in foundation in the first 2 Chapters of Genesis, with 6 days of work and a 7th day of rest and perfectly consistent with that which is set out in the first 2 Chapters of John’s Gospel which presents exactly the same foundation for that which will be recorded in the NT.
g). And we see that ‘after 6 days’ the Lord leads Peter, James and John up on a ‘high mountain’ – not just any mountain, but ‘a high mountain’ – terminology that of itself points to Christ’s Kingdom.
h). Let’s just look at how mountains are used as metaphors for kingdoms in - Isa 2:2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
i). Here we see ‘the mountain of the Lord’s house’ established on the top of the mountains, making it a high mountain.
j). The same metaphorical representation can also be seen in Daniel –
Da 2:35 "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.
With this metaphor explained some few verses later - Da 2:44 "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold-the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
k). Then this same truth is simply stated without the use of metaphors in - Re 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
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l). This then, after 6 days, on a high mountain, is where we find Peter, James and John witnessing Christ coming in His Kingdom without having tasted death – the same event that we see described in Isaiah, Daniel and Revelation.
m). The Lord is transfigured before them in His Kingdom glory - His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And with the Lord, also appearing ‘in glory’, were Moses and Elijah.
n). We have then the Word made flesh and the 2 individuals who represent the written form of the Word of which Christ is the embodiment. And from the overall scope of the scene we cannot help but see that both Moses and Elijah are to be instrumental in the fulfillment of God’s purpose upon the Lord’s return to the earth.
o). The significance of this event is not lost on Peter – note what He says as recorded in - Mt 17:4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
p). Tabernacles is the 7th of the 7 feasts given to Israel, a feast that will be fulfilled during the course of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom with both rest and blessing and Peter recognizing exactly what he is witnessing could comment in no other way.
6). If we then move forward in time from this event recorded in Matthew Chapter 17 we find this recorded in - Ac 1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
a). This is the record of Christ’s ascension into Heaven following His resurrection and we see His disciples ‘gazing up into heaven’ and 2 men standing by them in white apparel who tell them, ‘this same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’. The Lord’s return will be in the same manner as His ascension and if we go back to Matthew Chapter 17 we have already seen the Lord coming in His Kingdom.
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b). The cloud which received Him out of their sight in Acts can only be the same ‘bright cloud’ that overshadowed them on the mount of transfiguration – the glory of God.
c). And the 2 men who stood by them in white apparel, which we can only assume to be a covering of glory, are not identified in the Book of Acts, but must be identified through that which we see in Matthew Chapter 17 – they must be Moses and Elijah as the Lord will return in the same manner as He left and upon His return Moses and Elijah will be with Him.
d). The words spoken to the disciples by the 2 men, Moses and Elijah, would for Peter, James and John be a reminder of that which they had previously witnessed on the high mountain after 6 days – an event that was to have the most profound impact on Peter’s life and ministry –
2Pe 1:15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease. 16 ¶ For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 ¶ And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
7). So then, when our Lord returns to the earth following the marriage supper of the Lamb, this will be when the Son of Man comes ‘in His Kingdom’ and He will, according to the scriptures, be accompanied by - Re 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Accompanied by the angelic host and also, according to the scriptures in Matthew Chapter 17 by Moses and Elijah.
a). To attempt to see Christ’s return at the end of the Tribulation any other way would be to deny the veracity of the scriptures.
b). So, why aren’t Moses and Elijah mentioned in our verses from Revelation Chapter 19? The answer is simple, they don’t need to be as they have already been shown to be present elsewhere in the scriptures –
Isa 28:9 ¶ "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from
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the breasts? 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little."
8). We will continue with this next time – if the Lord is willing.