Message NotesMalachi – Part 32 Page 1
Sunday July 13th 2014
Malachi – God’s Messenger
Part Thirty Two
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). Last week we had seen how the beginning of Malachi Chapter 4 addressed the issue of the vindication of the Jewish nation as a whole with respect to the centuries of ill treatment they have received at the hands of the Gentile nations and most especially because of the attempted genocide inflicted upon them during the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.
b). The promise of God’s vindication of His chosen people was seen firstly in foundation through the account of Cain and Abel, the account of a brother slaying his brother - Ge 4:14 "Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me." 15 And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
c). The promise was given again through the events of the flood of Noah’s day, where one man and his family were saved from a worldwide destruction brought to pass by the flood - 2Pe 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
d). It was a promise repeated again in history through the account of Egypt being destroyed in the Red Sea following the first Passover - Ex 14:30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
e). And we had also seen this same promise in our study of the Book of Esther - Es 9:24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the
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enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them; 25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
f). And all of these are but a few places we could go to see the promise that God had made to His people with respect to the last days. A promise, the validity of which is beyond all disputes - Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'
g). What God has said, He will do and it can be no other way –
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
h). And it is interesting to note the command given in Isaiah 46:9 ‘Remember the former things of old’ and to compare this with the command in the verse from Malachi that follows those we began with this morning –
Mal 4:4 ¶ "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.
i). The ‘former things of old’ must of necessity include that recorded by Moses, particularly in the Books of Genesis and Exodus.
j). And why should these things be remembered? Quite simply because for the nation to view their circumstances both in history, and in that which is to come, with the natural eye alone could only give rise to despair as it could be thought that God had forsaken them. At the Lord’s first advent, which comes after the catalogue of blessing and mostly cursing in the days of the Judges, and after the days of the great captivities, Israel was in the grip of the Roman Empire with all the brutality that came with that – in those days after they had embraced Caesar as their king there would seem little hope, unless they remembered that which God had promised.
k). With the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews in 70AD bringing an end to Israel’s national presence in the land – a situation that existed until 1948 – there would be nothing but the promises of God to cling to.
l). And even though a Jewish nation exists in the Middle East at this present time, a circumstance that would give the nation confidence in the natural, we can only imagine the horror the nation will experience at that mid-point in the Tribulation. But if they would remember the former things of old,
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the promises of God then the certainty of vindication would be theirs – this however is something that requires faith - Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
And faith such as this will not be present in the nation until the nation as a whole comes to repentance as a result of the ministry of Elijah prior to the conclusion of the Tribulation – the very next thing guaranteed in the 4th Chapter of 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,
m). Not only then does God throughout the scriptures promise the vindication of His chosen people, He also promises, in what will be the nation’s darkest hours, to send to them the man, Elijah the prophet, who will bring them to repentance, turning them from unbelief to belief that they will once again have faith and remember the promises of God that they might hold fast to the confession of their hope without wavering.
n). And of course along with the promise of vindication comes the promise of blessing - And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
o). Abundance and prosperity for Israel with the nations of the earth being blessed through God’s firstborn son in fulfillment of that promised to Abraham - 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."
2). So then, we have seen Israel in repentance, we have seen Israel re-gathered from the nations, we have seen Israel under Judgment, the fulfillment of the first 6 of the feasts given prophetically to the nation and the implementation of the New Covenant, we have seen Israel back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with Messiah in their midst.
a). And it is following these events, as we move to the conclusion of the additional 75 days beyond the end of the Tribulation preceding the Millennial Kingdom, that we saw Antichrist along with the false prophet with Satan and his angels gather a huge army from amongst the devastated Gentile nations to come against Israel and Christ in one last attempt to destroy them both.
b). This we have seen in the type with Pharaoh gathering his army from his decimated kingdom to pursue Israel to the Red Sea - Ex 14:5 Now it was
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told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, "Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?" 6 So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. 7 Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them.
c). And just as Pharaoh’s pursuit of Israel had to do with the right to rule, God’s firstborn son or Egypt, so Antichrist’s pursuit of Israel and Christ into the land of Israel has to do with the right to rule, but at stake here is the right to rule the earth and by extension the right to rule from the heavens giving rise to the circumstances exactly as we find them in - Ps 2:2 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."
And - Ps 83:3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. 4 They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more." 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You:
d). But let us not assume that this is a contest that is in any way undecided – the conclusion we have already looked at today and this same conclusion can also be found in verses that follow those we have just looked from our 2 Psalms – Ps 2:4 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." 7 ¶ "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
Ps 83:13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like the chaff before the wind! 14 As the fire burns the woods, And as the flame sets the mountains on fire, 15 So pursue them with Your tempest, And frighten them with Your storm. 16 Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O LORD. 17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, 18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.
e). The conclusion of the matter is prophesied in the scriptures, has been seen in the types and has, on numerous occasions, come to a partial fulfillment – all pointing to what must take place in that future day.
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3). And on this day, the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the day burning like an oven, the fulfillment of that previously seen will be total and the destruction of Gentile world power, just as we have seen in the Book of Daniel, will be complete and irrevocable - Isa 10:24 ¶ Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: "O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. 25 "For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction." 26 And the LORD of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; as His rod was on the sea, so will He lift it up in the manner of Egypt. 27 It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. 28 He has come to Aiath, He has passed Migron; At Michmash he has attended to his equipment. 29 They have gone along the ridge, They have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is afraid, Gibeah of Saul has fled. 30 Lift up your voice, O daughter of Gallim! Cause it to be heard as far as Laish-O poor Anathoth! 31 Madmenah has fled, The inhabitants of Gebim seek refuge. 32 As yet he will remain at Nob that day; He will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, The hill of Jerusalem. 33 Behold, the Lord, The LORD of hosts, Will lop off the bough with terror; Those of high stature will be hewn down, And the haughty will be humbled. 34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, And Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.
a). Isa 14:25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. 27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?"
b). As we studied the great image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel we will remember the way that this image representing Gentile world power with its base in Babylon was presented - 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.
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c). The completeness and totality of this destruction, as seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we had seen last week presented on this occasion as a harvest of grapes - Re 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe."…………….19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
d). And a graphic image is used to describe the outcome of this harvest –
Re 14:20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
e). The completeness and totality of this destruction was also graphically portrayed through the great supper of God, seen in –
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 great supper of 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." 19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
f). All that we see portrayed here makes perfectly clear that this is the fulfillment of all that has been promised concerning the conclusion of the times of the Gentiles and we should not be surprised by the graphic descriptions that we read that describe it, because what we see in action here is the outworking of the law of sowing and reaping – that which we sow we shall surely reap - Ho 8:7 "They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind.
g). To set this alongside the verse from Hosea, Antichrist can be seen as having sown the wind, and we will remember how that which he sows is described – Mt 24:21 "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.
h). This being so, what can we say about the whirlwind which he reaps other than it is significantly worse than the Great Tribulation which he had
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sown? Such is the completeness and intensity and irrevocability of that which will take place – God’s seven fold vengeance will be exacted to the full.
i). The Gentile armies are utterly destroyed after the graphic fashion we have seen, the Antichrist and the false prophet are cast alive into the fire which burns with brimstone and Satan and his angels are bound with a great chain and sealed in the bottomless pit for the 1000 years of the Millennial Kingdom.
4). But what of those eternally saved Gentiles who were saved through the ministry of the 144000, who remain alive on the earth at the conclusion of these events?
a). The answer in many ways should be obvious to us – the eternally saved must be judged according to their works, according to their faithfulness, with respect to rulership in the Kingdom of Christ. And this is exactly what we see taking place at that which call the sheep and goats judgment –
Mt 25:31 ¶ "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' 41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;43 'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
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46 "And these will go away into everlasting [age lasting] punishment, but the righteous into eternal [age lasting] life."
b). What we will notice here straight away is that we are seeing a judgment of works – the separation being made between the sheep and the goats is dependent solely upon their treatment of the Jewish people during the time of the Tribulation.
c). There will be those eternally saved Gentiles, the sheep, who will have believed that which God had said concerning Israel and will have acted accordingly and there will be those eternally saved Gentiles, the goats, who for whatever reason did exactly the opposite.
d). Those found faithful will enter into the Kingdom age on the earth in some capacity of rulership, while those found unfaithful will find themselves experiencing the same age lasting outcome as those Christians found unfaithful at the Judgment Seat and those resurrected OT saints found unfaithful in the wilderness of the peoples – the loss of reward and exclusion from the Kingdom rule of the Lord Jesus Christ.
5). So then, 6 days of work will have been completed and the longed for 7th Day will begin – Christ and His co-heirs in the heavens, Christ and Israel on the earth along with certain resurrected, faithful OT saints, tribulation martyrs and the sheep from the sheep and goats judgment will begin the process of ruling – a time described in Acts Chapter 3 as - Ac 3:21b……………the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
a). The time of the Kingdom though is not a time of utopian bliss but a time of judgment and subjugation, just as we have seen in the overcomers’ promise recorded in - Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father;
b). The imagery here is quite clear. And it must be this way as the Millennial Kingdom of Christ has purpose with respect to the endless ages of eternity which are to follow - 1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, [of the Millennial Kingdom] when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
c). And the events that lead up to this concluding point can be found in Revelation Chapter 20. And we begin today here in - Re 20:7 Now when the
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thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
d). At the end of Man’s Day, concluding the additional 75 days, the Gentile nations will be gathered by Antichrist into the land of Israel for a great battle – which in one sense was no great battle at all and at the end of the Lord’s Day Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the 4 corners of the earth and gather the Gentile nations into the land of Israel for a great battle – which as we can see from our verses is really no great battle at all.
e). All that is unrighteous and all that exalts itself against God will be completely destroyed from the earth at this point and the great deceiver along with his angels are now cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
f). Here is where we see the Lord put an end to all rule and all authority and power and it will be now that God the Son delivers the Kingdom to God the Father - 1Co 15:27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
g). And it is presumably at this point that we find that spoken of by Peter taking place - 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
h). But before the New Heavens and New Earth are brought into existence, the last enemy, death, must be dealt with and this is what we find as we continue in Revelation Chapter 20 - Re 20:11 ¶ Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was
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opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
i). Here in these verses we see the judgment of the eternally lost from all time and as a consequence of this judgment Death and Hades are to be cast into the lake of fire – death of course speaks of separation from God and death we will remember only came into the world because of sin. And Hades of course is the place of the dead. So this is the moment when sin is no more and therefore there is no death and no need for a place to keep the dead –
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Re 21:1 ¶ Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
6). And so, our journey through the Book of Malachi comes to a close – all that we have seen promised is prophesied through the hand of Malachi and is implicit in the command to ‘remember the Law of Moses’ – and if we return briefly for a moment to the beginning of Malachi we might remember that which the Lord said about declaring the end from the beginning –
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." 4 Even though 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
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forever. 5 Your eyes shall see, And you shall say, 'The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel.'
a). And as we close for today, keeping all these things in mind, let’s remember this from - 2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;