Summary: For most of us, the idea that the Messiah will judge each of us and the idea that God does not change -- and therefore we must adapt to Him and not He to us -- motivates us to surface as His followers. We recognize the wisdom of aligning ourselves to Him
The Cream Rises to the Top
1. Sometimes people say, "It doesn’t matter what we believe, as long as we all believe there is one God?"
2. We were shocked to hear about the polygamous sect in Texas this past week.
3. According to the Associated Press, "Authorities searching the compound of a polygamist sect in West Texas found a ’cyanide poisoning document’ among the dozens of items it seized during a weeklong search.… Another 139 women voluntarily left the compound of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — known as the YFZ Ranch — and were being housed with the children."
5. What we believe has a direct correlation to how we live. But talk is cheap, and we might say that what we live evidences the strength of what we believe.
Main Idea: For most of us, the idea that the Messiah will judge each of us and the idea that God does not change -- and therefore we must adapt to Him and not He to us -- motivates us to surface as His followers. We recognize the wisdom of aligning ourselves to Him.
TS --------- > Today, let’s see how Malachi tried to lead his people to this conclusion.
I. The Coming MESSIAH (1-5)
Jesus first coming instituted the beginning of the Messianic era, but only certain aspects of that era are realized now; some will not be realized until He returns…
A. Preceded by His MESSENGER (1a)
Refers to John the Baptist, as made clear by Jesus in Matthew 11:7-11
7As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written: " ’I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’11I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
B. He is the LORD (1b)
The term is Adonai, translated Lord distinguish the term from Yahweh; Yet they are one in the same being. God refers to Himself in both the first and third person, “I” and “He.”
1. God can refer to Himself and both “Me” and “Him” because God is more than one Person, He is three Persons, but yet one being.
2. The people of Israel desired the Messiah to come, including those whose love for God was just token; but did they know what they were in for? That He was coming to clean house, as well as bring in the Millennial Kingdom? More than bargained for.
"Henry Ziegland thought he had dodged fate. In 1883, he broke off a relationship with his girlfriend who, out of distress, committed suicide. The girl’s brother was so enraged that he hunted down Ziegland and shot him. The brother, believing he had killed Ziegland, then turned his gun on himself and took his own life. But Ziegland had not been killed. The bullet, in fact, had only grazed his face and then lodged in a tree. Ziegland surely thought himself a lucky man. Some years later, however, Ziegland decided to cut down the large tree, which still had the bullet in it. The task seemed so formidable that he decided to blow it up with a few sticks of dynamite. The explosion propelled the bullet into Ziegland’s head, killing him." [source: coincidences.nawaz.org/archives/page14]
C. He will enforce JUSTICE (2-5)
Robert Alden comments, “Like most of the OT prophets, Malachi, in his picture of the coming Christ, mingled the two advents. So while the birth and earthly ministry of Christ are in view in v. 1, we already have the returning Judge in v.2.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)
➢ Purification of metals by fire
➢ Purification of clothing by soap
This is prophetic of Christ’s reign during the Millennium; He will come with fierce justice
D. He will purify Temple Worship (added)
God’s Word may mean more than its literal, normal reading, but it does not mean less; God may have spiritual shadows for the church in these prophecies, but the spiritual does not eliminate the literal…it is not a case of either/or, but both/and
1. The Levites will be purified, the offerings of Jerusalem acceptable
2. During the Millennium, the Temple will be rebuilt, (Ezekiel 40 through the rest of the book) – Pastor Nord Zootman read it to his congregation – if not a literal temple, what does it all mean?