MALACHI

Book of Malachi – As the final Book of the Old Testament closes, the pronouncement of God’s just and the promise of His restoration through the coming Messiah is ringing in the ears of the Israelites – Four hundred years of [Scriptural] silence ensues [the 400 years are very active years, i.e. the Kingdoms of Persia, Greece and Rome], ending with a similar message from God’s next prophet, John the Baptist, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 3:2) – Malachi 3:1-6 is a prophecy concerning John the Baptist – He was the Messenger of the Lord sent to prepare the way (Matthew 11:10) for the Messiah, Jesus Christ

Purpose of Writing: The Book of Malachi is an oracle: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi (1:1). This was God's warning through Malachi to tell the people to turn back to God. As the final book of the Old Testament closes, the pronouncement of God's just and the promise of His restoration through the coming Messiah is ringing in the ears of the Israelites. Four hundred years of silence ensues, ending with a similar message from God's next prophet, John the Baptist, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 3:2). Key Verses: Malachi 1:6, "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the Lord Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name." Malachi 3:6-7, "I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord Almighty." Brief Summary: Malachi wrote the words of the Lord to God's chosen people who had gone astray, especially the priests who had turned from the Lord. Priests were not treating the sacrifices they were to make to God seriously. Animals with blemishes were being sacrificed even though the law demanded animals without defect (Deuteronomy 15:21). The men of Judah were dealing with the wives of their youth treacherously and wondering why God would not accept their sacrifices. Also, people were not tithing as they should have been (Leviticus 27:30, 32). But in spite of the people's sin and turning away from God, Malachi reiterates God's love for His people (Malachi 1:1-5) and His promises of a coming Messenger (Malachi 2:17-3:5). Foreshadowings: Malachi 3:1-6 is a prophecy concerning John the Baptist. He was the Messenger of the Lord sent to prepare the way (Matthew 11:10) for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. John preached repentance and baptized in the name of the Lord, thus preparing the way for Jesus' first advent. But the Messenger who comes "suddenly to the Temple" is Christ Himself in His second advent when He comes in power and might (Matthew 24). At that time, He will "purify the sons of Levi" (v. 3), meaning that those who exemplified the Mosaic Law would themselves need purification from sin through the blood of the Savior. Only then will they be able to offer "an offering in righteousness" because it will be the righteousness of Christ imputed to them through faith (2 Corinthians 5:21). [link]

Book of Malachi Prophecy Foretells Jesus – At the end of the first chapter God makes a statement that, “His name would be great among the gentiles and great among the heathen as well” (Malachi 1:11) – There is no other name so great that is known, which has come forth from Jerusalem [Nazareth], and inspires awe among the peoples of the world – This is exactly what God was speaking of in Malachi – Take note that He is also speaking of Himself in this chapter – This is just a small prophecy in regards to length, but it is important none the less – The Bible is littered with such seemingly small prophecies – They do not really jump out at you and catch your attention until you really start to look – These small prophecies are important because they add to the whole picture to validate the claims of Jesus, and the basis of our faith in Him

There are many prophecies in the Old Testament which foretell the coming of Jesus as Messiah. However, at the time that the prophecy was written, it would not be fully understood until it came to pass. That is why men today, who believe, can read the ancient prophecies, and after knowing of Jesus, they understand them. The same can be said of the parables which Jesus himself told to the people that, "They might hear, yet not comprehend." This was another fulfillment of prophecy. However, it is in the book of Malachi, where we see the prophecy, though it is only one verse in length; it is a clear reference to Jesus. The book of Malachi is a very tough book to read, but only because it is such a condemnation of Israel's religious leaders and practices of which God is not happy at all with. At the end of the first chapter God makes a statement that, "His name would be great among the gentiles and great among the heathen as well." ... This is just a small prophecy in regards to length, but it is important none the less. The Bible is littered with such seemingly small prophecies. They do not really jump out at you and catch your attention until you really start to look. These small prophecies are important because they add to the whole picture to validate the claims of Jesus, and the basis of our faith in him. I am aware that there are those that simply will not believe and they will make their own interpretation. They will do this because in their hearts they do not want to believe that it is true. Nevertheless, truth is truth and no matter how you interpret it, it will remain, and they only serve to deceive themselves. [link]

Malachi 1-2 – The Prophet Malachi begins to Prophesy about 400 B.C. – Malachi will also prophesy regarding the then coming Messiah [Jesus Christ] and will also prophesy of the forerunner the coming John the Baptist’s ministry previous to the ministry of Jesus Christ – The prophesies of Malachi will ‘seal’ the Old Testament Scriptures concluding the Old Testament Bible but not concluding prophesy in Israel as many will continue to prophesy and write texts primarily as local encouragement and not the office of inherency and global encouragement of the Holy Scriptures that comprise the Jewish and Christian Bible — ‘Malachi 1:1-5 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you [Israel], saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s [physical, blood] brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved [godly] Jacob, And I hated [worldly] Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom [Esau’s descendants] saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They [Esau’s descendants] shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation forever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border [all] of Israel.’

The Prophet Malachi prophesies of the continuing problem of an uncooperative Priesthood. A Priesthood that is doing much more to further the corruption of mankind than it is doing in proclaiming the Blessedness, Holiness and Truth of God: Malachi 2:1-9 And now, O ye Priests, this Commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto My Name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this Commandment unto you, that My Covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The Law of Truth [image of God] was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: *he walked with me in peace and equity, **and did turn many away from iniquity. *For the Priest's lips should keep [holy] knowledge, and they [people] should seek the law at his mouth: for he [Priest] is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of Hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial [biased, incomplete] in the law [representation of God]. ... Malachi 2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Malachi 3-4 – The Prophet Malachi declares to us The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Righteousness — ‘Malachi 3:1-3 Behold, I (God) will send My messenger [John the Baptist (Matthew 11:10)], and he shall prepare the way before Me (God): and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He [Messiah-Christ] shall come, saith the LORD of Hosts. *But who may abide The Day of His Coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He [Christ] is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ sope: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD ***an offering in righteousness.’

The Bible's book of Malachi concludes: Malachi 4:1-6 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My Name **shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing (Salvation) in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of Hosts. Remember ye the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb [Mt. Sinai] for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah [lit. 'my God is Jehovah'] the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. - Note: The first Book of the Old Testament the Book of Genesis concludes in a coffin in Egypt (Genesis 50:26), the last Book of the Old Testament concludes with the possibility of a curse (Malachi 4:6). The first Book of the New Testament the Gospel of Matthew concludes with God's promise that He is always with His people (Matthew 28:20) and the Bible's last book the Book of Revelation concludes with God and mankind united into all eternity in the Grace of God the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 22:21). Cleary the Old Testament of God for mankind has been completed and replaced for mankind by the New Testament of God in Jesus Christ.

Source: www.BasicChristian.org

by David Anson Brown

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