Malachi 3:1-4:6; Revelation 22:1-21;
Psalm 150:1-6; Proverbs 31:25-31
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." ~Revelation 22:17
Prediction of John the Baptist
Malachi's name means "my messenger." Malachi is faithful to point out messengers of God's truth in his prophetic book. Yesterday, we read that the tribe of Levi was appointed to be priests of God to preserve the Law and point the way to the Messiah through daily sacrifices and rituals. Today, God tells the world about the messenger who will prepare the world for the coming Messiah.
John the Baptist is the messenger who will prepare the way for Christ's first coming. Malachi then predicts that the Lord will suddenly come to the Temple in Jerusalem and will be the messenger of the covenant that was promised to Abraham and David so many years before.
Qualities of This Final Messenger of the Covenant
What will the Messiah be like in his role of fulfilling this promise? Here are some things predicted by Malachi:
- He will be a blazing fire that purifies. This speaks of Christ's judgment. Vs. 2
- He will refine the Levites to make them acceptable for service. This is during Christ's millennial reign on earth. Christ's death makes people acceptable to God. Vs. 3
- He will accept offerings in Jerusalem once more under new conditions in the millennial reign. Vs. 4
- He will test the population for sorcerers (drug users), adulterers, and liars. Remember, the millennial kingdom is also a time of testing. Vs. 5
- The Lord is consistent and does not change. Vs. 6
Now, Malachi reminds the Israelite remnant that God is aware that they are not tithing to Him. He is aware of their cheating hearts and hands.
God promises to have a scroll of remembrance for those who loved and feared Him. We have seen this called the Lamb's Book of Life in the book of Revelation. God promises that in the end the differences between the righteous and the wicked will be clearly seen in how they are judged.
The Day of Judgment and The Sun Of Righteousness
Malachi is given a promise that a day of judgment is coming. Arrogant people will be burned up like chaff. They will be consumed in the lake of fire (chapter 4:1). For those who love God, the Sun of Righteousness will shine and rise with healing in his wings. People will leap like young calves in joy and carefree happiness. The wicked will be tread upon.
Once more, God promises before the Old Testament is complete to send Elijah to prepare the way for the Messiah. We know from our reading in Revelation that Elijah comes to earth as one of the two witnesses prior to Jesus' second coming in judgment at the Battle of Armageddon. Jesus refers to John the Baptist as a type of Elijah, but the nation of Israel does not accept her Messiah at Jesus' first coming. This prophecy of Malachi is fulfilled at Jesus' second coming and the final judgment of Christ. Israel will turn to her Messiah at this time, although not all of them. Remember the concept of the remnant is true to the end.
There is no curse in this new universe. There is no need for the sun as God is Light and His energy sustains all things. Those who have loved the Lord without seeing Him will now know His face intimately. They will be identified with their Creator. They are given authority to reign. This implies order, government, and activity. If you have been under the notion that you would be spending eternity holding a harp, sitting on a cloud, and singing God's praises, this should dispel that thought. People will be busy with learning and ruling and exploring and knowing the most brilliant Being ever.
John is overwhelmed at these revelations. He falls down to worship the angel who revealed these truths to him. He is told to not worship a fellow servant of God. Worship God! What a wise messenger this angel is!
What To Think About These Things
Here is a philosophy that we can adopt given straight from the mouth of an angel,
"Let the one who is doing wrong continue to do wrong; the one who is vile, continue to be vile; the one who is good, continue to be good; and the one who is holy, continue in holiness." (NLT) Revelation 22:10-11Jesus promises to come soon (meaning that these are the next major spiritual events to occur in God's Story) and he brings his reward with him. Everyone is going to be paid according to their deeds. Remember that faith in Christ exempts people from being judged by their works. Believers in Christ will only be rewarded for their works done in the power of the Holy Spirit. This confirms what we learned yesterday. Jesus declares that He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Think back to Genesis, my friends. This book is about our central character, Jesus Christ. It is all about him. You and I are creatures. He is the Creator.
Those who love Christ will be blessed. Outside of this beautiful eternity are the proud ones, who hated God. Their behavior and attitudes reflected their hatred.
Jesus declares that he is the source of David and he is also the heir to David's throne. God will never forget His promises to the nation of Israel. Jesus is the bright morning star. That is the first star you see each day. What a beautiful picture. Out of the darkness comes this first light.
Now, the Spirit of God and the Church call out for Christ to come and fulfill this promise. Everyone who has ears to hear the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the Church should also say, "Come!"
Jesus replies that He is coming soon! That is a promise, my friends! Amen and amen. May we all say, "Come, Lord Jesus!"
I hope that reading the Bible this year has led you to know Jesus Christ in an intimate way. Our purpose on this earth is to know him and glorify him with our lives. Regardless of our relationship to God, our lives and all things on earth will glorify God, the Creator, because He has deemed that this universe will glorify Him. Whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, your life will either reflect God's mercy, grace, and love, or His holiness, wrath, and righteous judgment of evil. Either way, God's personality and essence will be reflected on this earth and in the world to come.
My prayer for you is that your life will reflect your glorious Creator by reflecting His mercy, grace, and love through an intimate relationship brought about by your redemption through Jesus Christ.
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
The Church is God's bride. We must conduct our lives as godly wives to our Beloved. Never worry about the days ahead. We are in God's hands.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Your words of encouragement and wisdom have gotten me through each day as I sought to learn more about my Creator. I encourage you to continue to study the Word of God. Drink it in each day and let God's Truth sustain you. May you experience the warmth of walking in the Sun of Righteousness.