Date: 10/01/2016 Issue Number: 339
Haggai 2:1 says,
1 On the twenty-first of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet saying…
This word came to Haggai about seven weeks after his first word. Hag. 1:1 dates the beginning of his revelation as the first day of the sixth month, and that word stirred up the people. They met to start work on the 24th day of the same month (Hag. 1:15), and it took a week to set up the altar of burnt offering.
Ezra 3:6 tells us,
6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to off…
Date: 09/01/2016 Issue Number: 338
Haggai 1:6 implies that the people were suffering crop failures because they had lost interest in rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.
6 You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”
What was the reasoning behind this prophetic statement? What does building the temple have to do with prosperity and the la…
Date: 08/01/2016 Issue Number: 337
The prophet Haggai ministered in Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity while Zerubbabel was the governor. His main focus and calling was to give the word of the Lord to those constructing the second temple. But, as we will see, his prophecies had applications far beyond his time, and his revelation was actually of a greater temple that was to be built out of living stones.
The first appearance of Christ laid the foundations of this spiritual temple, described in Eph. 2:20-22,
20 having been built upon the foun…
Date: 07/01/2016 Issue Number: 336
After giving us the message from God that we will be blessed if we “bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,” the prophet records the popular objection that he faced in his day. Malachi 3:13-15 says,
13 “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against Thee?’ 14 “You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of…
Date: 06/01/2016 Issue Number: 335
What is the divine purpose in refining and purifying the so-called “sons of Levi” in Malachi 3:3? The prophet tells us the reason: “so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”
Why is this so important? The next verse tells us:
4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord, as in the days of old and as in former years.
Apart from priestly integrity (and real faith), their offerings carry no weight with God. Offerings are valued according to t…
Date: 05/01/2016 Issue Number: 334
Malachi links the third and fourth messengers in a special relationship. The third prepares the way for the fourth. The fourth is the Messiah Himself and the mediator of the New Covenant.
The last part of Mal. 3:1 says, “the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold He is coming.” Both the people and the priests were desirous of the Messiah’s coming. The thought was delightful, but only because they did not truly understand His mission. The prophet then foretells the mission of both …
Date: 04/01/2016 Issue Number: 333
Two Wrong Views of the Law
After criticizing the priests for their partiality and their unjust marriage policies, the prophet says in Mal. 2:17,
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, “How have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them,” or “Where is the God of Justice?”
The prophet implies that the priests did not agree with his assessment. Instead, they argued with him and with Go…
Date: 03/01/2016 Issue Number: 332
The second “messenger” in the book of Malachi is the model priest who adheres to the covenant, walks uprightly, and preserves the knowledge of God so that he may teach it to the people.
One major criticism that God had for the priests in the days of Malachi was that they were showing partiality in their judgments, their thinking, and their attitudes toward others. In so doing, they had “turned aside from the way” (2:8) and had caused many to stumble by their instruction/teaching.
Date: 02/01/2016 Issue Number: 331
In Malachi 1:13 God complains about the priests’ attitude toward the sacrifices, saying,
13 “You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it [i.e., “pooh-pooh it”],” says the Lord of hosts, “and you bring what was taken by robbery, and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?” says the Lord.
Not only were people bringing sacrificial animals that were lame or sick, but also what they had…
Date: 01/01/2016 Issue Number: 330
In the first four verses of Malachi, God expresses His love for “Jacob” while hating “Esau-Edom.” Though Edom’s desire was to inherit the promises of God, the decision of God was made before these twin sons were even born.
The Law of the Stubborn Son
The sovereign decision of God, however, appeared to contradict the provision in the law which forbade preferring a younger son over the older (Deut. 21:15-17). Replacing a first-born son could be done only when there was legal cause&md…
Date: 12/01/2015 Issue Number: 329
Malachi is the last prophet of the Old Testament. He lived after Judah’s exile and is one of the post-exilic prophets, along with Haggai and Zechariah.
Malachi’s prophecy shows us the conditions in the nation of Judea leading up to the coming of Christ. In that sense, this prophecy told the people of his day what issues were going to be a problem in the next few centuries. God wanted the people to know what to pray about, so that they would have understanding during the 400 so-called “silent year…
Date: 11/01/2015 Issue Number: 328
There have been many classic controversies in the history of the Church, most of which were “settled” by Church Councils. These Councils, however, were made up of bishops who were largely carnally minded religious men and did not truly reflect the humility and love that had been seen in Jesus. For this reason, these Councils were more similar to the Jewish Sanhedrin and based upon human understanding, rather than to the biblical Council of the Lord, which functions by revelation.
The fourth century, be…