Malachi

Malachi and Dispensationalism

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1 KJV).

What can the Prophet Malachi teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine the two comings of Jesus Christ: from these prophets’ perspective, it appeared to be one coming. From our perception, however, we can look back and see two comings were planned. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: the first time Israel denied and crucified Him, but the second time Israel will delight in and crave Him. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). What the Old Testament prophets did not know was that there would be two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

In today’s Scripture (cf. Mark 1:1-3), John the Baptist announces Christ’s earthly ministry (First Coming). Then, Israel accepts Jesus Christ to establish the New Covenant and the Millennial Kingdom on Earth (Second Coming). Is there any hint of our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace? No, Malachi knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but it was also completely hidden from the prophets of old. God kept a secret from Satan, and it was how He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) that involved the Body of Christ was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Malachi. What a marvelous Book the Bible is!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why could Moses not enter the Promised Land?

The Word Wearied With the Wicked’s Words

Saturday, January 31, 2015

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 2:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture could have been written to our profligate society today!

The Prophet Malachi had a ministry to Israel about 400 years before Christ. Post-Babylonian-exile Israel, while not as wicked as it was centuries before God sent them away captive to Assyria and Babylon, is nonetheless still plagued with spiritual, economic, and societal problems.

Through the Prophet, the Holy Spirit rebukes His people—especially the priests in chapter 2 (today’s Scripture)—of their wayward behavior. They then ask Him what they are doing wrong, and God replies each time. Malachi’s short book, only four chapters, is compiled around six objections and six divine answers. Today’s Scripture is the fifth. God never grows tired in the sense of doing work and then feeling “drained.” Existing outside of our universe, He is not bound by our time-space continuum. But, today’s Scripture says that God can and does grow tired of people talking about Him in a very foolish way.

Just as you eventually have enough of someone slandering you, or trampling your name underfoot, and you finally react, God has grown sick of the Jews saying that He approves evil, them saying that He delights in those workers of iniquity. Furthermore, God has grown sick of the Jews asking where He is, if He will show Himself and punish them for their wrongdoings. They challenge JEHOVAH to retaliate! Chapters 3 and 4 proceed to explain how Messiah Jesus is coming: “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purge the sons of Levi…” (3:2,3).

Messiah Jesus came once, and He will be back again one day! He will punish the additional 2,000 years of man’s “wearisome words!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Will we know if a loved one is not in heaven with us?

Big Brother Versus Heavenly Father #4

Thursday, November 7, 2013

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5c,6 KJV).

Big Brother is watching; Heavenly Father is, too!

A brief survey of the Old Testament Scriptures reveals God’s chief nation in the earth, Israel, refused to submit to His will. Like sinful Adam, Israel had no interest in governing earth for God’s glory. Israel’s recurrent breaking of the Mosaic Law had a consequence: she could not be a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:3-6).

In Leviticus 26:27-39, God had warned them that, after repeated chastisements and subsequent habitual disobedience, His final judgment on them would be that Gentile nations would defeat them in battle, and carry Israel out of her Promised Land. Israel’s monarchy would be lost, and not restored until Messiah-King would come (Ezekiel 21:26,27).

The culmination of this judgment against Israel was when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon successfully thrice invaded Jerusalem. During the last invasion (586 B.C.), Jerusalem was utterly destroyed, God’s Temple was burned to the ground, and the remaining Jews taken captive to Babylon (see 2 Chronicles 36:5-21).

Some Jews returned to the Promised Land after the Babylonian exile, such as with Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Nevertheless, the majority of the Jews are still scattered worldwide, still without a Davidic kingdom. By the time Jesus Christ came, Babylon, Media-Persia, and Greece had already ruled over Israel. In Jesus’ day, the Roman Empire was oppressing Israel.

Ezekiel 21:26,27 said that Israel would not receive her crown again until her Messiah came. When Jesus finally arrived, and Pilate told Israel, “Behold your King!,” the Jews released themselves from their national heritage as they publicly declared, “Crucify him… We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:14,15). By rejecting Jesus their King and demanding His crucifixion, they hindered God’s earthly kingdom from being established (again!).

During the early Acts period, most of Israel still rejected Jesus’ right to David’s throne. The last week of Daniel’s prophecy, Israel’s spiritual cleansing and God’s wrath, would be postponed so God could commence another program… ours….