The Book of Malachi Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 1

We begin this week by looking at Malachi 3:1-6
We believe in a G-d who does not lie. He is always faithful to His covenant and His promises. We need to be like Him. Our words should always be true, and our actions should always reflect His character. In this chapter we encounter a Messianic prophecy. Messiah (Jesus Christ) is coming to establish His Kingdom. As He establishes His Kingdom, He is also going to establish His Kingdom people – He is going to bring them into that Kingdom with Him. 
v1: Behold: This is a word that indicates that we need to pay attention. G-d is going to reveal something very significant here.
·      My messenger: This word in Hebrew means ‘messenger’ but it can also mean ‘angel’. In this context, this verse is not speaking about an angel – a created being. It is a word that is referring to the Messiah – Yeshua – the Eternal, uncreated, Son of G-d. There was never a time when Yeshua did not exist. Yeshua is G-d’s messenger to mankind. 
·      Prepare: This is not the word for prepare but it is better translated as ‘clear’. It is a word that means to clear away, to get rid of. Yeshua is going to get rid of anything that hinders G-d’s Kingdom or His will. 
·      He will prepare (clear) the way: HE does the work.
·      Temple: Sanctuary. A reference to the most Holy Place – the Holy of Holies.
·      The L-rd … will suddenly come to His Temple: During the Millennial Kingdom (the Thousand-Year rule of Messiah – Rev 20:4-4, Zec 14, Isaiah 2:2-4) there will be a functioning temple in Jerusalem. Messiah will rule and reign from out of this place.  
·      The Messenger of the covenant: Referring to Messiah – Yeshua (Genesis 48:15-16 speaks of this Messenger as a Redeemer. Redemption comes to us through a covenant – the New Covenant which, like the Abrahamic covenant, can only be entered into through faith). 
·      Delight: Can also be translated ‘desire’.
·      He is coming: Messiah is coming to set up a Kingdom of righteousness of which we, as believers, are going to be a part. 
v2: Who can endure the day of His coming: He is coming for the purpose of judgment. The answer to this question is: only those who are in covenant with Him, redeemed by Him (Heb 9:22 -remission is a redemptive word), will be able to endure it. 
·      Who can stand when He appears: Only those who have had their sins forgiven will be able to stand at the day of His coming. 
·      Fire … soap: Messiah’s blood refines (fire) and purifies (cleanses – soap) us. His blood has the power to bring about a righteous change in our lives. Redemption prepares us for His Kingdom. His righteousness is imputed to us the moment we believe (Roms 4:6-8).
·      Fire: Speaks of judgment. It is going to be displayed and poured out on this world for those who have no covenantal relationship with G-d through Messiah. Those who have rejected G-d, or who have not had faith like Abraham, will be consumed in that day. They will not be able to stand. But for those who believe, that fire is not going to consume them but it is going to refine them (bring them into a glorious state). 
·      Cleanse: Messiah is going to wash and purify His covenant people (see Zech 12 and 13)
v3: Purify the sons of Levi: We have seen how displeased G-d had been with the children of Levi, the priests. However, He is going to refine, restore and purify the priesthood once more. The priesthood is related to worship. G-d is going to move so that the Kingdom will be a Kingdom of acceptable worship, worship that is well pleasing to G-d.
·      Purge. A word that is related to purifying or cleansing. 
·      Offer to the L-rd: Present a gift.
·      Righteousness: This word, too, is a Kingdom word. They are going to be offering up to G-d that which G-d sees and receives as righteous. This is a wonderful transition or change that G-d’s going to bring about among His people. In the last days He is going to cause His Old Covenant people to embrace a New Covenant reality whereby through that New Covenant they become part of the Kingdom and begin to worship G-d in spirit and in truth – in a way that G-d is glorified.
v4: Offering: Gift. This verse is telling us that worship acceptable to G-d is going to be restored. The catalyst of this change is going to be the coming of Messiah. When He comes, there is going to be a pleasant change to the house of Israel and Judah. 
·      As in the days of old, as in former years: There were times in Israel’s history where G-d was pleased with them. There were times that He rejoiced over His people. G-d is going to restore this in the last days. 
v5: Come near: When G-d draws near it means that He is observing the people.
·      You: G-d is speaking to Israel, through the prophet Malachi, about their current condition. G-d can only deal with us in a beneficial way if we realize the actual spiritual state that we are in – how He sees us. In the days of Malachi, G-d was not pleased with His people.
·      Perjurers: Those who deal in lies and falsehood.
·      Exploit wage earners: Taking advantage of others.
·      They do not fear Me: G-d was not their priority. Everything in our lives needs to be submitted to G-d. It is only when G-d’s priorities become our priorities and when we begin to submit to and obey Him that we will begin to reflect His glory and begin to live in the way that we were created to live. 
v6: L-rd: The name used for the L-rd here is the transcendent name of G-d. He is the G-d who is over all things. He was, He is and forevermore He will be. 
·      I do not change: There is no such thing as an Old Covenant G-d and a New Covenant G-d. It is One and the same G-d. G-d does not change (Heb 13:8). He has always been perfect and forever more He will remain perfect. In perfection there is no need to change, no need to improve. Because G-d does not change, we can have confidence. He does not change His mind. He does not go back on His promises. 
·       Sons of Jacob: G-d has made a promise to the sons of Jacob (the people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) that they will not be consumed but that they will be redeemed. This redemption (being recipients of G-d’s mercy) is going to bring about a great change. No longer will adultery, sorcery, perjury etc characterise them anymore. 

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