Message for the church today, for the leaders, for the people
One of three post exilic books along with Haggai and Zechariah
450-430 BC in the time of Nehemiah or Ezra
No historical references in book (ie kings’ names)
516 BC temple rededicated
Written during time of restoration of Judah
Last book chronologically
Patterns approach and techniques to be aware of:
Presented like it’s a dialogue but it’s a monologue
God asks a question through Malachi and then He answers His own question
Set off by this one word wa’ămartem wa·’ă·mar·tem
“yet you say” “but you say” and a few other ways
and then God answers for them
Jeremiah 17:10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
Seven questions God asks and answers on their behalf (We will point out along the way) this forms the basis for the first three chapters
1. The prophet Malachi
2. The priests, the failed messengers
3. John the Baptist who prepared the way for Christ’s first coming
4. Jesus Christ is the Messenger of the New Covenant
5. Elijah the prophet to come
21 times the “Says the LORD of hosts; ” (it’s an emphatic power move) reinforcing that He is the commander of the army of angels; the`Lord of the hosts of heaven, of the universe, of everything. He is the one that has shown His power in the past, is showing it in the present and will show it in the future.
Usage of this term in the prophets
Isaiah 53 (66 chapters); Jeremiah 71 (52 chapters); Micah 1 ( chapters); Nahum 2 ( chapters); Habakkuk 1 ( chapters); Zephaniah 2 ( chapters);
Haggai 12 (2 chapters) Post exilic; Zechariah 46 (14 chapters) Post exilic; Malachi 24 (4 chapters) Post exilic
Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
Why a burden – such is the life of a prophet
Matthew 23:34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,
Matthew 23:35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Some believe that the end of the book of Zechariah was written by Malachi
This is the circumstance that Malachi was writing and living under
word of the LORD… as we brought out before this is God talking for Him AND them and then God answering. So this more completely the word of God than if they were actually answering – and they might not have answered correctly – hemming and hawing and making excuses and telling half-truths or lies.
Malachi means My Messenger or messenger of Yehovah
This is the only place this word/name is found in the Bible
Was he a real person or just the messenger?
No other book is by a fake person
Minor prophet is not the focus any way
As a part of the nation of Israel they are sometimes referred to as Israel especially considering that they are a part of the covenant that was made with Israel (Judah being a part of that)
That being said, this can also point to modern day Israel as well as spiritual Israel (the church today) as we will see as we go along.
Malachi 1:2 “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;
Question #1 ‘In what way have You loved us?’
God is love yet they do not see this
He loved them very much and wanted their love in return
They were thankless and unappreciative of what God had done for them.
Examples: Delivery out of Egypt; gave them the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey; protected them against adversaries, and so on
How is it that they don’t know how God loved them.
Malachi 1:3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.”
Paul interprets this verse for us thankfully
Romans 9:10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac
Romans 9:11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),
not born yet so they had not done anything good or bad yet, so when God spoke these next words it was by a calling and not based on works
Romans 9:12 it was said to her, “THE OLDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”
Esau being the first born would have the rights. But God does it according to His will. Not because of the physical but on promise and purpose and those that had the characteristics He wanted to work through
Romans 9:13 As it is written, “JACOB I HAVE LOVED, BUT ESAU I HAVE HATED.”
This is how we are to interpret this verse now. God was working with Jacob in a special way that He was not with Esau and subsequently Esau followed a very carnal path.
This is part of how God’s election works. It is for HIS reasons
Main point is that God chose Jacob over Esau (even though Esau was first), it was His will that mattered not ours.
He was making a point. He could have just as easily had Jacob come out first but instead He wanted to make a point here.
Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!
He says this right on the heels of saying “Esau have I hated” So whatever it exactly means because God said it, that means that it cannot be unrighteous.
It does not make God unrighteous because he chooses one over another. God is not unfair, He is MERCIFUL and all will have the opportunity for salvation.
Romans 9:15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOMEVER I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOMEVER I WILL HAVE COMPASSION.”
God has a plan that He is working out and He knows what is best
It is not mercifully and compassionate to call someone to failure.
Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him who wills [not us], nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
It simply was not Esau’s time.
Malachi 1:4 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 forever.
Esau/Edom was the perpetual nemesis and antagonist of Israel/Judah
Amos 1:11 Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.
Psalm 83 it will be this way in the future as well
But God is saying here that He will not let them rise or become significant in power as much as they tried
Malachi 1:5 Your eyes shall see, And you shall say, ‘The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel.’
God gives evidence of his blessings
God loved them from the beginning.
Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
Question #2 on their behalf
Father and Master
He did not get the respect that He was due
Not only that but they despised His name and they are in the priesthood (dichotomy)
When we act, we define the name of God
We reflect who and what He is in the eyes of those around us
a name is who and what you are
My name…what’s in a name: Benedict Arnold; Adolf Hilter; Abraham (father of the faithful), Daniel (man greatly beloved), John (the disciple whom Jesus loved)
how were they defining His name?
The priests, by their actions, despised the name of God – in actuality they were despising God
Aimed first and foremost at the priests
Priests are to expedite access to God by teaching righteously and by setting the right example
Applicable today on to modern day Israel and Judah
But perhaps it more closely relates to the church and it’s people (congregation in the wilderness and the temple)
Here is how they despised His name
Malachi 1:7 “You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.’
The answer to :6
They believe that it mattered what they offered on it they said; they watered down the truth; taking license
Leviticus 22:17 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Leviticus 22:18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, who offers his sacrifice for any of his vows or for any of his freewill offerings, which they offer to the LORD as a burnt offering—
Leviticus 22:19 you shall offer of your own free will a male without blemish from the cattle, from the sheep, or from the goats.
Leviticus 22:20 Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf.
Leviticus 22:21 And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the LORD, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.
Leviticus 22:22 Those that are blind or broken or maimed, or have an ulcer or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the LORD.
Leviticus 22:23 Either a bull or a lamb that has any limb too long or too short you may offer as a freewill offering, but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
Leviticus 22:24 ‘You shall not offer to the LORD what is bruised or crushed, or torn or cut; nor shall you make any offering of them in your land.
Leviticus 22:25 Nor from a foreigner’s hand shall you offer any of these as the bread of your God, because their corruption is in them, and defects are in them. They shall not be accepted on your behalf.’ ” [Leviticus 1:3; 7:19-21; Deuteronomy 15:21]
This should put :8 in context for us
Malachi 1:8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of hosts.
It’s not much of a sacrifice to offer an animal that might die or is of little or no value to you
offerings should be the best
you wouldnt give this to your governor
do you think he would like the rotten and putrid
Malachi 1:9 “But now [if you] entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of hosts.
You want from God but this is the way that you treat Him
The answer is obviously no (see verse 10).
Malachi 1:10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” Says the LORD of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.
Their actions spoke for them. They wanted what God had to offer but were unwilling to do their part
Possible allusion to Christ coming and doing away with the temple
At the least no Phineas type
Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,” Says the LORD of hosts.
Prophecy for the future
Isaiah 11:10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.”
To the Jew first (Romans 1:16)
Romans 11 grafting the Gentiles into the plan of salvation
1 Peter 2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises [type of spiritual sacrifice] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Among the nations.…points more to a time in the future
Malachi 1:12 “But you profane it, In that you say, ‘The table of the LORD is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’
They are saying that because they are not getting anything out of these rituals, that this process is useless
Jews were questioning whether God was really with them and looking after them because they were not seeing the evidence of it. Of course they were not doing their part and they put the blame on God by saying this
Malachi 1:13 You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it,” Says the LORD of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” Says the LORD.
Tired of serving God who gives us everything, this is in effect what the priests were saying
God wants our best from us.
They were trying to cheat God – this was unacceptable
Malachi 1:14 “But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished— For I am a great King,” Says the LORD of hosts [commander of the spiritual army and all that is in the universe], “And My name is to be feared among the nations.
vow had a sacrifice attached to it as we read before (Leviticus 22:18)
They were not willing to do their part in the relationship
Revelation 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
There should be a true fear here especially to do the things that they were doing
:1-9 we finish up this section to the priests
Malachi 2:1 “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.
And now, O priests…Priests are held responsible for what they preach and those listening are held responsible for what they do.
Obviously a priest is responsible to God for all His commandments too, in fact they are more responsible because they instruct others
James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
Makes sense – so of course there are rules and requirements for them as well
So he is outlining and reinforcing some of them from before
this commandment is for you… [the stuff from before that they were not doing]
remember there were no chapter breaks in the original text; this is a continuation of the previous chapter
Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name,” Says the LORD of hosts, “I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, Because you do not take it to heart. [correction; they did not have the fleshly heart that was receptive to this].
If you won’t take this correction then it will not be good for you.
In fact it already has not been good for the people because of the priests not leading the people properly
Haggai 1:6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
Haggai 1:7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!
Haggai 1:8 Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.
Haggai 1:9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.
Haggai 1:10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
Haggai 1:11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
Malachi 2:3 “Behold, I will rebuke your descendants And spread refuse [dung] on your faces, The refuse of your solemn feasts; And one will take you away with it.
spread refuse on your faces…
The excrement of the sacrifices
Wrong approach towards the sacrifices
Shameful condition / spiritually unclean…very unclean
Their sacrifices were far from being acceptable to God, it showed the contempt God had for what they were doing and the way that they were doing it.
And one will take you away with it…
The implication being that as refuse they (the priests, the descendants, the corrupt) will be taken care just as trash is.
Malachi 2:4 Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, That My covenant with Levi [his descendants] may continue,” Says the LORD of hosts. [God is doing this in hopes of reconciling them to Him. This is what He wants and longs for].
Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, And I gave them to him that he might fear Me; So he feared Me And was reverent before My name.
Levi was to fear and serve god; this was being violated, but it was not always that way
covenant with Levi….The context here in Malachi is the priest(hood). God made another covenant with Aaron (the brother of Moses) who was a Levite, through whom the Priesthood descended.
All Priests are Levites; not all Levites are priests; only through Aaron’s lineage
Numbers 18:19 “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt [a reference to the salt used in the offerings] forever before the LORD with you and your descendants with you.”
Numbers 18:20 Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.
Numbers 18:21 “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
Numbers 18:22 Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.
Numbers 18:23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
(Leviticus 24:5, 8–9: everlasting covenant for Aaron and his sons…by a perpetual statute)
Leviticus 2:13 tells us that “…every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.”
Carried on with Phinehas (perpetually Psalm 106:31)
Numbers 25:13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement [kaphar – covering; pitch – Noah] for the children of Israel.’ ”
Phinehas covered their sins through his singular act of zeal.
Similar to Malachi’s message
Numbers 25:1 Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab.
Numbers 25:2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.
Numbers 25:3 So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel.
Numbers 25:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the LORD, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.”
Numbers 25:5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal of Peor.”
Numbers 25:6 And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
Numbers 25:7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand;
Numbers 25:8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel.
Numbers 25:9 And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.
Numbers 25:10 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
Numbers 25:11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal.
Numbers 25:12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; (Malachi 2:5)
So the point that Malachi is getting across here by the reference to the Covenant with Levi and the allusions to peace is that there was a time when the priesthood was doing what was right to begin with and then when the people got off the track, Phinehas, of the Aaronic lineage, stood up and did what was right and necessary and this is what you guys need to be doing – that is the priesthood of Malachi’s time.
They needed to righteously teach and administer the law of God.
Malachi shows God’s covenant with Levi will continue. We find this confirmed in (Jeremiah 33:16–22)
These passages clearly tell us that God’s covenant with Levi was to be perpetual
Jeremiah 33:16 In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’
Jeremiah 33:17 “For thus says the LORD: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;
Jeremiah 33:18 nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.’ ”
Jeremiah 33:19 And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,
Jeremiah 33:20 “Thus says the LORD: ‘If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season,
Jeremiah 33:21 then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers.
Jeremiah 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’ “
So, when there is a temple in Jerusalem, the sacrifices will be handled by those of the lineage of Aaron and Phinehas.
At the beginning of the Millennium
It will be for the unconverted – the converted have a different High Priest after the order of Melchizedek
REREADING :5 for transition to :6 -7 show how the priests were executing their duties properly and of course how those in Malachi’s time should have been doing it:
Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, And I gave them to him that he might fear Me; So he feared Me And was reverent before My name. [was reverent before My name… this was no longer the case as we addressed before; Malachi 1:6 despised God’s name].
Malachi 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, And injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, And turned many away from iniquity.
Malachi 2:7 “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
Messenger: מלאך mal’âk 1) messenger, representative
they bring the message of another
#1 was Malak iy; embedded in the name; messenger of God (as all these messengers are)
#2 messenger was supposed to be the priests
The priest was to be a messenger of:
the law of truth;
peace and equity (walking by example)
repentance (turning people from sin)
knowledge (they should be able to direct the people)
The priest should know the answer or be able to get it to them; should keep knowledge, should further knowledge; true knowledge not just knowledge about sacrifices
They did that in the past:
Malachi 2:8 But you [it is emphatic in the Hebrew] have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” Says the LORD of hosts.
The priests were doing the EXACT opposite of what they were supposed to be doing
Notice the effect this has
Proverbs 28:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
This would be the effect on the people who were turning away because the priests were not teaching them the law.
Also it would be doubly bad for the priests because of what we read before: James 3:1 that teachers will receive a stricter judgment.
Malachi 2:9 “Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base [remember Proverbs 28:9] Before all the people, Because you have not kept My ways But have shown partiality in the law.”
partiality in the law… literally: “exalted faces” meaning respecters of persons
Leviticus 19:15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
This is under the section of ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2
The priesthood were not acting in a holy manner in so many ways
The Message to People :10-16
How they were doing wrong in particular how they mistreated their wives / divorced them and went after strange wives.
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?
One father or one Father;
One God … all the same God with the same set of rules
So we are one family – physically and spiritually
So why do you deal deceitfully with your family by breaking the the covenant of your fathers
the Old Covenant that we recently went over again
Malachi 2:11 Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The LORD’s holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
an abomination has been committed… [turning away from the law leads to this as we saw previously [Proverbs 28:9]
Judah has profaned… violated or defiled
The LORD’s holy… institution is not there in the original
What is implied?
Institution – could be a pretty good implication
Malachi 2:10… profaning the covenant….that marital relationship
by marrying another they were violating their previous agreement
When we look at it in context and see what Judah was doing, they were desecrating the covenant relationship with God which was a holy one (Leviticus 19:2)
married the daughter of a foreign god…. They were getting in bed, so to speak, with other nations in inappropriate ways
a foreign god…. specifically a pagan religion – that would be ANY religion that does not follow and conform to the law of God
Malachi 2:12 May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob The man who does this, being awake and aware, Yet who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
being awake and aware… him that calls (or awakes) and him that answers; the master and the student;
in other words to both will be cut off if they either of these two things:
1. Brings an offering to the LORD of hosts while being married to the daughter of a foreign god
2. Brings an offering with a false show of repentance
Malachi 2:13 And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
It was a show and they can not serve a foreign god and the true God at the same time.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Malachi 2:14 Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.
Question #3 For what reason?
Are they really saying that? Think about today? Do people believe that they are really doing anything wrong when they are making a mockery of the law of God? They say that God is not upset with them.
God was the witness of their marriage covenant of one to another. He knows they made it and holds them to it.
Yet the men are dealing deceitfully with their wives and illegally and wrongfully divorcing them for a woman whom worships that which is not God
Malachi 2:15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,’
Matthew 19:5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’ ?
Matthew 19:6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
remnant of the spirit… God had plenty of power to do more than that, but it did it for this reason:
He seeks godly offspring: He wanted a Godly family a Godly father mother and children following His ways. Why? To represent the God family of the future that He was working towards.
This is why he found it abominable when they were deceitful in this.
Malachi 2:16 “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”
wedding garment with violence; the effect of divorce and how it violently rips apart families and the work God is doing.
Summary from this section
Jews were divorcing and remarrying outside of Judah. This was committing adultery.
Judah as a nation was being deceitful and abominable and committing spiritual adultery. Jews were mixing religion and thereby breaking the marriage covenant with the God of the Old Testament.
We are to marry within the church for the same reason – we do not want to dilute the truth of God.
If we do we are in danger of breaking the new marriage covenant that we entered into with Christ at our baptism.
Malachi 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words; “Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the LORD, And He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?”
Question #4 In what way have we wearied Him?
goes through to 3:6
Answer: by continually doing these things
Same argument from before, they are saying that God is not punishing the evil nations or being just concerning them, when they should have been introspective.
The people were upset that they were not that the people around them the other nations were not getting their Just Desserts “even though they were giving their sacrifices.”
They are accusing God of not acting justly concerning the actions of nations:
neighboring nations were being evil and not being punished
Judah was being “good” and not being blessed
This is a pervasive theme in the book of Malachi
This is very similar to their sentiment regarding Christ at his return because they believed that He was coming in power and authority to squash all the other nations and raise them up – so Jesus could not have been the Messiah. So this attitude obviously persisted from the time of Malachi some 400 years plus before Christ and they never really did learn the lesson or hear the words of Malachi.
We find the answer to this question in the next six verses and in a sense through to the end of the book. We will see that God is Just and will bring judgment in due time – and as we know to each one in his own order
Malachi 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.
Malak #3 and #4 the 3rd and 4th messengers mentioned in Malachi
#3 John the Baptist
Matthew 11:10 For this is he of whom it is written: ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER BEFORE YOUR FACE, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’
Matthew 11:11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist
… speaking of Jesus Christ and His first coming
the Lord, whom you seek… There is an underlying desire in the previous chapter for their savior to return and deliver them and raise them up higher than the nations around. We see this in the comments they make about how well the other nations are doing in spite of their pagan ways and in their questioning of why God won’t bring them down for their evil deeds.
the Lord…. Even the Messenger of the covenant… It is naming the Lord as the messenger (4th Malak of Malachi) of the new covenant. This is confirmed in
Hebrews 9:15 And for this reason He [Christ] is the Mediator [go between; communicator of the message of God to the people; messenger] of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
in whom you delight… in whom you desire [translated desire other places in the Bible; other translations have this verse as desire;] goes hand in hand with the comments we just made about “whom you seek”
They really need to be careful with what they want though, becauuse they may just get it as we see in the next verse:
Malachi 3:2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap.
Let’s not forget that we are answering question #4 from Malachi 2:17
specifically: “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the LORD, And He delights in them,”
-This is obviously not true and He now begins to tell them that all will be judged (of course we know that this will happen in due time and each in his own order)
And the way that this question is being answered is by talking about prophecy
“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears?… Speaking of Jesus Christ’s return; His second coming. The first verse was His first coming and now the second verse is His second coming.
1. Religious Deception (white horse) (Revelation 6:2)
2. War (fiery red horse) (Revelation 6:3-4)
3. Famine (black horse) (Revelation 6:5-6)
4. Pestilence (pale horse) (Revelation 6:7-8)
5. The Great Tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11)
6. Heavenly Signs (Revelation 6:12-14)
7. It is the 7 Trumpets (Revelation 8:1-2, 6)
Revelation 6:17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
The answer to this question and who can endure is found in
Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Refiner’s fire… launderer’s soap… It is for the cleansing of sin
Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.
a refiner and a purifier of silver…
Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our God, You people of Gomorrah:
Isaiah 1:11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats.
Isaiah 1:22 Your silver has become dross, Your wine mixed with water.
Isaiah 1:23 Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
Isaiah 1:25 I will turn My hand against you, And thoroughly purge away your dross, And take away all your alloy.
the idea is to remove the impurities through a process of intense heat to produce a person of high moral character
purify the sons of Levi…That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness…. because of the way that the unacceptable sacrifices they had been making that we went over in chapters 1 and 2
Malachi 3:4 “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD [after the purifying], As in the days of old, As in former years.
Malachi 3:5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien— Because they do not fear Me,” Says the LORD of hosts.
Further answering the question “Where is the God of justice?”
In due time God assures them that He will come swiftly against evil-doers as judge AND witness.
He is not unjust or irresponsible but He is keeping an eye on EVERYONE
I will come near you… They wanted Christ to come but it seems as though they haven’t thought this one all the way out.
He will be coming for them! Because they do not fear Me (they did not have the proper respect for Him. This is at the core of the sins they are committing. If they did revere God and understood the penalty He was going to exact, then they would think twice before doing things that Malachi is pointing out. God was not only going to be witness, but also Judge, Jury and Executioner.
In reality, this was not a time that Judah should have been looking forward to
they held these misconceptions
When He returns that He will immediately and automatically raise them up
Inherent in this is that they are not doing wrong.
He is coming for them (Judah and Israel) as well as others during the great tribulation
The time of the great tribulation and the Day of the Lord will be the worst time in all of the history of mankind. Most of those of the houses of Israel and Judah will not escape it.
Jeremiah 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jeremiah 30:2 “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
Jeremiah 30:3 For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’ ”
Jeremiah 30:4 Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah 30:5 “For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace.
Jeremiah 30:6 Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale?
Jeremiah 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.
Jeremiah 30:8 ‘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.
Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
The nature of God. He is not capricious. His nature will not change.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Not talking about Him relenting.
He will show mercy if we change to be like Him
But the real question is why is He saying this here and it is because God was saying otherwise you would be consumed. But because He is has a plan and is patient and merciful He will not bring judgment upon them at this time for all the sins that they continually commit.
finished answering the question now to the next one:
Malachi 3:7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’
Question #5 ‘In what way shall we return?’
Covenant always seemed to be one-sided. God was doing what He promised that He would do, but they were not. They frequently did not do what they said they would do – do you remember their refrain when the covenant was being made, “All the words which the LORD has said we will do.”
This was their agreement with God regarding the statutes which further defined the 10 Commandments
The next verse answers the question ‘In what way shall we return?’ and poses another in the process:
Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
An example of how they needed to return to God was in tithing “Why I Tithe” Message
Will a man rob God?… Didnt say Jew, Israelite or converted man, but ANY man
Yet you have robbed Me!… God considered it thievery
Question #6 ‘In what way have we robbed You?’
They were not tithing as God commanded. This was the financial system that God set up to not only fund His earthly work, but enable us to go the feasts each year as well as provide a means of taken care of the widows orphans and strangers.
God only asked them to give 10% back of 100% that He had given them. Think about it: He had brought them out of slavery in Egypt and by miracle after miracle brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey. He did all that for them and all He asked for in return to pay it forward – this was one way in which they could begin to return to God
Malachi 3:9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
Judah as a whole had succumbed to yet another sinful habit.
Curses had come upon them for not tithing.
*This would explain why they had been complaining about how well everyone else was doing and why they were doing so poorly.
This section about tithing along with the unacceptable offerings explains why they lacked the blessings that they thought they deserved
It is one of the inexorable laws that most of mankind has yet to figure out – and that is that by giving away 10% you will be richly blessed and by keeping the money to yourself you will bring cursings upon yourself, especially when you have been taught to do so.
This does not jive with the carnal mind – so naturally Judah was not doing it and thought that they would be better off by keeping the tithe of God.
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
try Me now in this… God is saying here to test Him by keeping this command. IT is a conditional promise: He says IF you do your part THEN He will do His part which is: (open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.)
It is interesting that He makes this unconditional promise – He doesn’t make one with prayer or healing or etc., but He does with tithing
He is telling the nation of Judah here that one of the reasons that they are not being blessed physically is because of disobedience to this command.
If you don’t believe in God — This is a way to prove that there is a God. It goes contrary to selfish human nature to give away what you have gotten. But God says if you are faithful in doing this He will be too!
Malachi 3:11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts;
God gives an example of one of the many ways in which He does this.
Here He protects their livelihood by supernaturally thwarting the pests
Context is the Day of the Lord. It does not come upon people for no reason. It is because of disobedience. Study this chapter with that in mind.
Joel 1:2 Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers?
Joel 1:4 What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
Joel 1:6 For a nation has come up against My land, Strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, And he has the fangs of a fierce lion.
Joel 1:7 He has laid waste My vine, And ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white.
Joel 1:10 The field is wasted, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine is dried up, The oil fails.
Joel 1:11 Be ashamed, you farmers, Wail, you vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished.
Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
Joel 1:20 The beasts of the field also cry out to You, For the water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the open pastures.
Back to Malachi 3:11 So sometimes, and we must recognize this, that by just having a normal crop, having enough food throughout the year, staying healthy, the things that do not seem above and beyond or extraordinary, are because of God.
As I look backward, I have not gone hungry for lack of food. God has seen to it that my needs have always been met and exceeded – especially by comparison.
As we look around the world, there are nearly a billion people that are persistently hungry and under-nourished for lack of food.
We need to realize THAT we are blessed and HOW we are blessed for obedience, because these people surely do and we see that in the next verse.
Malachi 3:12 And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.
This was God’s original intention. He wanted Israel to be an example to the rest of the world of what a model nation looks like and how it acts.
Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God [Leviticus 19:2]; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 7:7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
Deuteronomy 7:8 but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
Deuteronomy 7:10 and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.
Deuteronomy 7:11 Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them. [this how they were set apart] Deuteronomy 7:12 “Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.
Deuteronomy 7:13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.
Deuteronomy 7:14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.
Deuteronomy 7:15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you.
God wanted the other nations to look upon an obedient Israel and the God that they worshipped and say, “We want what you have.”
Now we transition to the last question
Malachi 3:13 “Your words have been harsh against Me,” Says the LORD, Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’
Question #7 What have we spoken against You?’
Whether out loud or in their hearts, they have continued with this very wrong attitude.
In much the same way that we started this chapter, they are accusing God of not acting in the right manner.
In this case they are saying:
Malachi 3:14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance [statutes], And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts?
They said it was futile to serve God
It is useless to serve God;… Yet again they bring it up because they do not have the correct perspective; they do not see that they are not doing their part in keeping the covenant with God.
What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance… a hint at their wrong motivation.
Malachi 3:15 So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’ “
By now we can see why God has grown weary! They constantly harp on the same thing over and over without ever asking the right questions of themselves.
Recurring theme. Once again they were pointing finger at non-God-fearing nations and how God was not saying to them that should do such and such and they prosper and go unpunished.
God will finish answering this question in chapter 4 (noticed some versions do not have a chapter 4 they just make it a continuation of chapter 3 for this reason)
First God addresses (in the remaining verses of this chapter) the fact that in the long run the righteous will be blessed with the ultimate reward:
The Reward of the Righteous
Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.
those who feared the LORD spoke to one another… This is speaking of proper fellowship and not the incessant accusations AGAINST God that this book has so diligently recorded.
Their hearts were no longer in God’s work – the work that He was doing in them and those around them. They had been serving God in form but without substance and heart. They were just going through the motions selfishly only in order to get something for themselves.
the LORD listened and heard them;… Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,
Isaiah 58:14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
book of remembrance… A record of our thoughts and actions by which we will be judged
was written before Him For those who fear the LORD… Malachi 1:14; 2:5; 3:5; 3:16 This has been addressed three times before in this book
Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, [covered by the blood of Christ]
Hebrews 10:15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
Hebrews 10:16 “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR HEARTS, AND IN THEIR MINDS I WILL WRITE THEM,”
Hebrews 10:17 then He adds, “THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”
And who meditate on His name… Do not despise His name. They think on it and dwell on it and what it means and what He says and what they should do.
Malachi 3:17 “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels [His treasure]. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
I will spare them… One of the factors that we discussed in who will return to Jerusalem in the second exodus
Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
Jeremiah 23:6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Malachi 3:18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.
Finally they will see things correctly, themselves and those around them which they were not doing most recently in :15 and had been brought out several times in the book of Malachi
Malachi 3:14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance [statutes], And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts?
Malachi 3:15 So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’ “
First he addresses the reward of the righteous in Malachi 3:16-18 and now with the beginning of chapter 4 he addresses the punishment of the wicked
Day of the Lord
Malachi 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.
the day is coming… reference to Day of the Lord
all who do wickedly…
Elberfelder – every offender of lawlessness
Luther – the godless
will be stubble… It is the stub that is leftover after a harvest; [straw]
The stumps of wheat, rye, barley, oats or buckwheat, left in the ground; the part of the stalk left by the sythe or sickle.
Isaiah 5:24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law [not remembered :4] of the LORD of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
burn them up… not keep torturing them forever in a burning fire, but burn up the wicked until they are ashes (:3) this implies that there is an end to them.
That will leave them neither root nor branch…. They will be completely and utterly destroyed. There will be no hope for rebirth since every part that could grow will no longer exist.
Malachi 4:2 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.
But… by contrast to the previous verse
fear my name… Now for the final time we see the importance of fearing God and not despising His name.
Second question / recurring theme Malachi 1:14; 2:5; 3:5; 3:16
Sun of Righteousness…
Sun = Jesus Christ why? Actually sun giving it’s goodness in contrast to previous verse which points to the destruction it will cause Revelation 16:8
Psalms 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
Healing power of the sun???
With healing in His [or its] wings…
wings = kânâph
Psalms 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalms 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Psalms 91:3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
Psalms 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves…
go out – blessed and joyful
Malachi 4:3 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.
Once again the consequence of being wicked and evil
they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet… reference :1; not burning up forever but burnt up
On the day… referring to the end-time once again
Malachi 4:4 “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb [Sinai] for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.
Remember the Law of Moses… Moses delivered the law – the one that they were breaking.
Law will be kept “in that day which is coming” :1 [this is the context; it is the future]
Summation of what Israel was doing wrong [addressed in this book and the others]
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
5th Messenger of Malachi and the final one.
Subject of great controversy and misunderstanding
To understand this scripture we need to go back to the time of Elijah and recognize:
How the Elijah Commission Works
This is the key to understanding how God works in this respect
Elijah comes on the scene
1 Kings 17 Prophesies drought
1 Kings 18 prophets of Baal are killed and rain returns
And then in chapter 19 he is given:
Elijah’s Three Tasks
Elijah was given three specific duties to carry out:
1 Kings 19:14 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
1 Kings 19:15 Then the LORD said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.
1 Kings 19:16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
1 Kings 19:17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill.
1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
So here is the key to understanding the Elijah commission – of these three tasks given to Elijah, ONLY one of them was done by him personally!
1. Elisha anointed by Elijah
1 Kings 19:19 So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him.
1 Kings 19:20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”
1 Kings 19:21 So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.
The work that Elisha did was literally in the spirit and power of Elijah
2 Kings 2:8 Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
2 Kings 2:9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
2 Kings 2:10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”
2 Kings 2:11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2 Kings 2:12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.
2 Kings 2:13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
2 Kings 2:14 Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over.
2 Kings 2:15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.
Now, what we will see is that the commission is passed on to Elisha. He continues to fulfill the tasks given to Elijah
2. Hazael Anointed by Elisha
2 Kings 8:7 Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.”
2 Kings 8:8 And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ”
2 Kings 8:9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ”
2 Kings 8:10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However the LORD has shown me that he will really die.”
2 Kings 8:11 Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept.
2 Kings 8:12 And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”
2 Kings 8:13 So Hazael said, “But what is your servant—a dog, that he should do this gross thing?” And Elisha answered, “The LORD has shown me that you will become king over Syria.”
2 Kings 8:14 Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.”
2 Kings 8:15 But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.
Lastly we come the final task and it is completed by yet another
3. Jehu Anointed by Yet Another Prophet
2 Kings 9:1 And Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, “Get yourself ready, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. [Elisha is still alive, so the commission can be accomplished by two or while others that are doing the work are still alive]
2 Kings 9:2 Now when you arrive at that place, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, and go in and make him rise up from among his associates, and take him to an inner room.
2 Kings 9:3 Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” ‘ Then open the door and flee, and do not delay.”
2 Kings 9:4 So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead.
2 Kings 9:5 And when he arrived, there were the captains of the army sitting; and he said, “I have a message for you, Commander.” Jehu said, “For which one of us?” And he said, “For you, Commander.”
2 Kings 9:6 Then he arose and went into the house. And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel.
What is the spirit of Elijah? It is of course the ONE spirit:
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
It is the same spirit that John the Baptist was filled with at the time of his birth
We briefly addressed that John the Baptist fulfilled the role of the third messenger in Malachi 3:1
Some have confused him with the fifth messenger in Malachi 4:5
but it isn’t and not only that but it can’t be.
John the Baptist is dead and awaiting the resurrection.
The context here is just before the Day of the Lord (not 2,000 years before)
What we found out is that John the Baptist came “in the spirit and power of Elijah”
He is continuing in the same commission and the same way as those before did
John the Baptist – a type of Elijah
Luke 1:11 Then an angel [Gabriel] of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luke 1:12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luke 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
Luke 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
Then Gabriel interprets this for us; he puts the scriptures together:
Luke 1:17 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.”
John the Baptist is not literally Elijah
John 1:19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
John 1:20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
John 1:21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
Preparing the People of God
Just like Elijah before him, John the Baptist pointed people to God, he was the messenger of Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me.
John 1:22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
John 1:23 He said: “I am ‘THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS: “MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,” ‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
In the same way that Elijah directed Israel to God, John the Baptist was to point “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
John the Baptist realized that he was a fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’
John 1:31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
John 1:32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.
John 1:33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
John 1:34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
John 1:35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.
John 1:36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
A message of repentance
Matthew 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
Matthew 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
Just as Elijah took on the false prophets and pagan ways and ungodly leaders and turned the people back to God, John the Baptist continued on with the commission of telling the people to repent of their sins.
Christ, at his first coming, not a type of Elijah
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
Matthew 16:14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Matthew 16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Christ Addresses Malachi 4:5
All this being said we find that the disciples were still a little unclear on the matter later on in :
Matthew 17:10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” [There was the belief, based on Malachi that it was actually Elijah that was coming to do these things; by this point that they had been waiting over 400 years and what they did not realize is that there would be individuals that would fulfill the Elijah commission in spirit and power; notice this in the next two verses]
Matthew 17:11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.
The Greek interlinear does not have “first” in it, nor does other versions. This was more than likely put here because of the fact that the disciples put the word “first” in the previous verse. So it should read:
Matthew 17:11 …Elijah is coming and will restore all things.
This job is Christ’s and will be done ultimately at His return
Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
Acts 3:20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,
Acts 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
Matthew 17:12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.”
Matthew 17:13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.
Jesus Christ was saying that John the Baptist was one of those that filled in part the continuing Elijah commission. Each of the “players” have had their part in the ongoing plan of God.
The commission given to Elijah continues to this day through the church and the leaders that God has raised up through the centuries.
And it is the same exact spirit that God gives to those that He continues to call to fulfill this end-time Elijah commission
Turning of the hearts
Malachi 4:6 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.
Let’s once again go back to the example of Elijah
1 Kings 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.”
1 Kings 18:38 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.
John the Baptist was doing
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark 1:2 As it is written in the Prophets: “BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER BEFORE YOUR FACE, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.”
Mark 1:3 “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS: ‘PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD; MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.'”
Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Mark 1:5 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.
Same message Jesus taught:
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.“
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Commission of the Church TODAY!
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.“ Amen.
We are to continue preaching this same message today up to and through the return of Christ. And just preceding the return of Christ, God will yet once again bring this commission to a zenith. Whether it is the church, or an individual or the two witnesses, the message will once again be preached mightily “in the spirit and power of Elijah” “Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”