Message NotesMalachi – Part 25 Page 1
Sunday May 25th 2014
Malachi- God’s Messenger
Part Twenty Five
1). Mal 4:4 ¶ "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). There is a day coming, referred to here as ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord’, the same day described as ‘burning like an oven’, when Gentile world power will be utterly destroyed in the antitype of the military power of Egypt being utterly destroyed in the Red Sea following Israel’s deliverance from Egypt under Moses - Ex 14:26 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen." 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 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. 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.
b). It is exactly the same event that is also pictured in - Joe 2:1 ¶ Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: 2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations. 3 A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. 4 Their
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appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. 5 With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array. 6 Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. 7 They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. 8 They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. 9 They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. 10 The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. 11 The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?
c). That this day is coming is absolutely certain – that which God has done in history will be completely fulfilled in Prophecy, but we read in our verses from Malachi Chapter 4 this morning, and we had seen last week, that before this day comes God will have sent Elijah the prophet to Israel in order to turn Israel from unbelief to belief, just as Elijah had done at Mt. Carmel as a result of overcoming the prophets of Baal as seen in 1 Kings.
d). And we had also seen that along with Elijah, Moses is also to have a prominent role in the events that lead up to this ‘great and dreadful day’.
e). We have seen both Elijah and Moses being present with the Lord when He is ‘coming in His Kingdom’, from the events recorded in Matthew Chapter 17 - Mt 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.
f). And we had also seen that it was Moses and Elijah who were the 2 men in white apparel who spoke to the disciples on the day of the Lord’s ascension - 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."
g). And although we did not deal with this last week and are not going to go there today, suffice it to say that given the nature of the events taking place
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at the Lord’s resurrection in connection with the 3rd Day it would be Moses and Elijah who were the 2 men at the Lord’s tomb as recorded in –
Lu 24:1 ¶ Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
h). So then, we find Moses and Elijah to be present in the gospel accounts at 3 significant moments with respect to Christ and His coming Kingdom – and as we noted last week, seeing Moses and Elijah in conjunction with each other like this, representing the totality of the scriptures, made flesh in Christ, is not surprising.
i). Now before we concentrate on the roles of Moses and Elijah following the Lord’s return to the earth let’s bring to our remembrance the 2 witnesses that are seen prophesying in the streets of Jerusalem for the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.
2). Re 11:3 ¶ "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
a). V4 takes us to the 5th vision seen in the Book of Zechariah –
Zec 4:1 ¶ Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, "What do you see?" So I said, "I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. 3 "Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left." ……………..13 Then he answered me and said, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." 14 So he said, "These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth."
And Zechariah’s visions all have to do with Israel with respect to Christ’s coming Kingdom.
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b). And so, to see ‘the two anointed ones’ standing ‘beside the Lord of the whole earth’ would inevitably bring to mind the scene in Matthew Chapter 17 with Moses and Elijah standing beside the Lord as He comes in His Kingdom
c). We also see these 2 witnesses, who are prophets, being given supernatural powers to perform miraculous signs - These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
d). Now within the OT there are only 2 individuals who were given power to perform supernatural signs, one was Moses and then his successor Joshua and the other was Elijah and then his successor Elisha.
e). With regards to both these individuals their empowerment to perform supernatural signs was inseparably connected to Israel and the theocracy, Israel and the Kingdom.
f). With respect to Moses the supernatural signs appeared in connection with Israel leaving Egypt in order to realize an inheritance in a theocracy in another land, the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – And in this we have the establishment of a first-mention principle with regards to signs which can never change. In other words supernatural signs demonstrated by those empowered to perform them can only have to do with the Jewish people, with the theocracy, the Kingdom in view.
g). Remove either the Jews or the theocracy from this equation and supernatural signs of the nature seen in the scriptures cannot exist. If this were only understood by Christendom at large it would unmask the satanic deception that pervades so much of the ‘church’ today.
h). Consequently, with respect to Elijah and Elisha, the manifestation of supernatural signs could only have to do with the Jewish people with the theocracy in view – which is exactly what we see in the scriptures.
i). Elijah’s ministry takes place during one of the darkest times of Jewish history when Ahab and his wife Jezebel, the daughter of a pagan king, had led Israel completely away from God, into Baal worship. The theocracy was in existence at this time, but in a divided kingdom. And the supernatural signs performed had to do with Israel and the Kingdom – they had to do with a call for the people to return to the God of their fathers – And I think we can see obvious parallels here with the circumstances that will exist in the days of Antichrist.
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3). So then, at a time following the resurrection/rapture of the Church we find ‘many’ in Israel making covenant with the Antichrist thereby aligning themselves with the kingdom of Satan and binding themselves by covenant to Satan’s son, bringing the nation’s harlotry to a new level of depravity.
a). And it is in this setting, within the context of bringing the previous dispensation to a close, Daniel’s 70th week, that we find our 2 witnesses performing supernatural signs – signs to do with both Israel and the Kingdom, signs to do with calling the people to return to the God of their fathers.
b). And within the OT context we have seen that Moses and Elijah were the ones empowered to perform such signs – now with regards to Moses let’s remember this from Exodus - Ex 7:20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
c). And with regards to Elijah let’s remember this from – 1Ki 17:1 ¶ And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word."
Jas 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
d). And do we remember what we read a short time ago concerning the supernatural powers given to the 2 witnesses? - These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
e). By comparing scripture with scripture after this fashion we cannot help but conclude that the 2 witnesses, the prophets who are sent to Israel, are indeed Moses and Elijah – the totality of the OT scriptures, soon to be manifested in the coming of the Christ.
f). And then given the nature of the ministry Moses and Elijah are to have upon the Lord’s return to the earth they really are the only ones we could identify to be the 2 witnesses in Revelation Chapter 11.
g). And one final thing – 2 is the number of witness and the 2 witnesses together, Moses and Elijah, represent the totality of the scriptures which themselves bear witness to the events unfolding during ‘the days of their prophecy’. And also bear witness to the Christ, who is the scriptures made flesh, who is being unveiled through that contained in the Revelation.
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4). So then, we can see that in one sense, when the Lord promises to send Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord we could include his appearance, along with Moses, in the first half of the Tribulation.
a). But given the purpose for Elijah being sent, And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, we will realize that although instrumental in the conversion of the 144000 Jewish evangelists during the first half of the Tribulation, national repentance did not occur at this time and therefore the primary focus for this promise looks beyond the first half of the Tribulation to Christ’s return and the Tribulation’s conclusion.
b). Now in the Book of the Revelation the return of Christ to the earth is pictured both in Chapter 6 and in Chapter 19, but presented after a different fashion in each. This is how we see it presented in - Re 6:12 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?"
c). Here we see Christ’s return presented in regal terms, ‘Him who sits on the throne’, using an image of rulership to convey Christ’s status at this time – this pictures Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords, this is Christ ‘coming in His Kingdom’ as seen in Matthew Chapter 17. And is perfectly consistent with the way His return is pictured in - Re 19:11 ¶ Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
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d). And is perfectly consistent with the Lord’s own description of His return to the earth in - Mt 24:30 "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.
e). In Revelation Chapter 19 the regality associated with His return to the earth is pictured in the phrase, ‘on His head were many crowns’ – the word for crowns here is the Greek word ‘diadema’, these many crowns are presumably those that had been cast down by the 24 elders, crowns specifically related to the rulership of the earth.
f). The reference to crowns here cannot be a reference to Satan’s crown as this has not yet been removed from his head – something that will happen at the time of the battle of Armageddon – and this will be the only crown that Christ will wear during the Millennial Kingdom, not ‘many crowns’.
g). Also, the crowns cast down by the 24 elders will not be in the possession of those revealed at the Judgment seat who will ultimately wear them as those in this group have not at this time, upon Christ’s return to the earth, become Christ’s Wife and cannot therefore yet be seen as crowned rulers.
h). Let’s remember that at the beginning of the Tribulation the rider on the white horse begins his ride at a time when the inheritance is still in Satan’s possession, still belonging to him, but at the time Christ rides forth on a white horse at the end of the Tribulation the inheritance is still under Satan’s dominion, but no longer belongs to him and is about to be taken forcibly from him - 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!"
5). We have just seen recorded in Revelation Chapter 6 that Christ’s return to the earth is seen following the opening of the 6th seal on the 7 sealed scroll,
Re 6:12 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.
a). Now we know from our previous studies that the opening of seals 5, 6 and 7 all provide additional detail and commentary on the totality of that pictured in the opening of the first 4 seals with their horses and rider, but it would also be true to say that the opening of the 6th seal provides additional detail on the conditions upon the earth close to the end of the Tribulation –
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conditions that exist because of what has been progressively seen through the opening of the first 4 seals.
b). So unbelievably appalling are the conditions on the earth at this time that we find Antichrist’s kingdom in a state of devastation and the Jewish people so hard pressed that they have cried out and continue to cry out, to the God of their fathers; hence the return of the Lord to the earth accompanied by His angels and Moses and Elijah.
c). Although the opening of the 7th seal, with the trumpets and bowls, must be seen within this overall context we can also understand that the opening of this seal pictures a further intensification of the judgments taking place through the first 4 seals upon the kingdom of Antichrist close to the end of the Tribulation which we would see continuing beyond the time of Christ’s return to the earth.
6). So in order to make sense of this we need only go to the type given in the Book of Exodus to view the sequencing of events that take place there as this same sequencing must be present in the antitype.
a). Ex 2:24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
b). Chapter 2 of Exodus closes with the Children of Israel crying out to the God of their fathers because of their persecution by the Assyrian Pharaoh.
c). We would have to see this crying out as a progressive and continuous cry rather than a one-time event, but what we should note from this is that it is the nation as a whole who is crying out.
d). Then in Chapter 3 God sends Moses back to the children of Israel in order to deliver them - Ex 3:9 "Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 "Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
e). Then upon Moses return, he and Aaron appear before Pharaoh to demand the release of the children of Israel - Ex 4:22 "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 "So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me.
f). Pharaoh of course does not let them go and so his kingdom is brought to utter desolation through the 10 plagues, the last of which is the death of the firstborn, giving rise to the first Passover – the first of the 7 feasts given as a prophetic end time calendar for Israel.
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g). In the antitype then we see Christ’s return to the earth, to the Mount of Olives, following the opening of the 6th seal and it would be as a result of the intensity of the conditions pictured in the 6th seal that Israel will have cried out even more vehemently to the God of their fathers and God will have responded just as He did in Exodus Chapter 3.
h). Because of the type we may assume that a demand will be made of Antichrist, and possibly even Satan, who will be confined to the earth at this time, to let Israel go – a demand that will be ignored as in the type.
i). And it would be because of this that a further intensification of the already appalling conditions within Antichrist’s kingdom, pictured through the opening of the 7th seal with its trumpets and bowls, comes into play, paralleling the 10 plagues seen in Exodus – these presumably would be the days that the Lord must shorten - 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.
j). And it would have to be during these same days, following the Lord’s return, that Moses and Elijah will bring to completion the ministry they began at the start of the Tribulation.
k). And we would have to realize that all these events happen within a very short period of time – just a matter of days – which makes them difficult to differentiate within the broad scope of our time chart.
l). But we will do our best to try and represent all this.
7). The detail of Moses and Elijah’s ministry though will have to wait until next time – if the Lord is willing.