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 3:16 to end 3:18
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.”