Bible Believers' Newsletter #228
"We focus on the PRESENT Truth -- what Jesus is doing NOW . . ." ISSN 1442-8660
Once again we extend Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and thank you for gathering for fellowship around God's unchanging Word.
In this issue we commence a study on the Book of Malachi, emphasising the relevance of its types and prophecies in this closing hour of grace. As usual we stress the importance of personally confirming everything we present in your own Bible. . . Brother Anthony
The State of Israel was Founded on the Holocaust Myth
Moscow, April 10, 2002 -- The fact that discussing different versions of the Holocaust is illegal in many European countries speaks to the relevance of this issue. First, the state of Israel appeared on the basis of the Holocaust myth. The world would never have allowed Israel to exist without this myth, since it appeared during the times of global decolonization. Britain made up with the independence of India, and dozens of territories were doing their best to cast off the yoke of the White man. The colonial intrigue of the Jews in the Middle East was carried out in a very brutal way: the massacres, the destruction of numerous Arab villages, and expelling a large part of the Palestinian population from the lands of their ancestors. The international community is coming to grips with all of this. . . Full story: english.pravda.ru
Program Links US Evangelicals with Israel
The warm relations that have existed for many years between Israel and evangelical Christians in the United States are set to be improved in the near future with the launch of a program called "Stand with Israel."
The program, aimed at institutionalizing evangelical support for Israel, is the brainchild of Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. . .
For the last eight years he has headed the Jerusalem Friendship Fund that collects donations from the evangelical community in aid of immigration and welfare projects in Israel. To date, Eckstein says, the fund has distributed around $60 million.
Eckstein now wishes to use his connections to deepen evangelical support for Israel and talks of setting up a Christian version of the pro-Israel lobby on Capitol Hill, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Full story: haaretzdaily.com townhall.com
US Troops Told to Kill Women and Children
New York (Ithaca Journal) May 30, 2002 -- In an interview with an American soldier returned from Afghanistan, the Ithaca Journal, an upstate New York newspaper, quoted the soldier from the 10th Mountain Division that troops in his unit were to kill everyone in certain sectors even if they were women and children.
"We were told there were no friendly forces" said Guckenheimer, an assistant gunner with the 10th Mountain Division at Ft. Drum "If there was anybody there, they were the enemy. We were told specifically that if there were any women and children to kill them."
Australia: Don't Criticise Israel -- That's 'Racist'
Sydney (Sunday Telegraph) 26 May, 2002 -- A petition circulating in Australian universities calling for a boycott of academic and cultural ties with Israel has been slammed by the Federal Government.
The petition has been signed by academics from all major universities. However, Multicultural Affairs Minister, Gary Hardgrave, said the petition was racist and academics should reject it.
"It is un-Australian to judge people other than on the content of their character," Mr Hardgrave said."It flies in the face of the normal behaviour of academics. This is in itself a form of censorship at its very worst." Mr Hardgrave said the petition would 'hurt' a lot of Australians.
(Comment: An implied threat of repression by the Racial Vilification Tribunal where "truth is no defense". Was criticism of Apartheid South Africa 'racist' against Afrikaaners? Is constant condemnation of Germany over the mythical 'holocaust' of six million "Jews" in World War I and a further six million in mythical 'holocaust' of World War II 'racist'?)
Pro-Israel Groups Take Aim at US News Media
Jewish organizations are pressuring news outlets through boycotts.
Chicago (Chicago Tribune) May 26, 2002 -- The contentious issues of the Middle East have spilled over into the US media as pro-Israel organizations are pressuring news outlets, through boycotts and other measures, to change the way they report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The campaigns are motivated by the desire in Jewish communities that the United States maintain its traditional support of Israel and by a concern that media coverage of the Mideast, especially articles deemed sympathetic to Palestinians, could weaken public backing for Israel and ultimately alter US policy.
Nowhere does the Bible imply that our thoughts have guided, disordered or misled the will; but it does say that man is misled by walking after his own thoughts. Thoughts of malice, injustice, and perversity could not be done unless they were at the same time acts of the will. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:1-7). Let the mind that was in Christ be in you for your thoughts devise means of accomplishing your will, whilst a godly conscience either accuses or excuses them according to the Absolute of God's Word.
Israel types the church. As God revealed His will to guide and direct Israel in the path of true righteousness for His Name's sake, He revealed Himself to the church. And as Israel fell in apostasy, the nominal church, having chosen her own will, and refusing to submit to her espoused Husband the Word, is now apostate and knows it not.
Malachi's prophecy is of such a threatening nature since it is the burden of judgment God has commissioned him to lay upon Judah. Its first five verses establish God's elective love as the basis of His rebukes and exhortation to Israel, and His rejection of Esau.
Malachi 1:1-5, "The burden of the Word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi -- 'I have loved you,' says the Lord. Yet you say, 'Oh yes? And when was this'?"
"Esau and Jacob were brothers, says the Lord: yet I loved your father Jacob, and I disregarded Esau, and laid waste his mountains, giving his inheritance to the jackals of the desert. Although Edom says, 'We are ruined, yet we will return and rebuild the ruins;' THUS SAITH THE LORD, They shall build but I will pull down, and men shall call them, 'The Land of Wickedness,' and, 'The people whom the Lord will never forgive.' Your own eyes shall see the destruction of Esau, and you will be deeply convinced that His government over His people Israel was of abundant grace".
Paul delivered the same warning to the Church in Hebrews 12:5-10. "Have you forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, 'My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when He rebukes you: for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives'. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not in this way train and discipline with a view to correction? But if you are exempt from correction and without discipline, in which all of God's children share, then are you bastards (like Cain), and not true sons. Moreover since we respected our earthly fathers who have corrected us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits, and truly live a life worthy of His Name? For our earthly fathers truly disciplined us for a few brief years, training us as best they knew how; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers of His own holiness".
Malachi's prophecy is a rebuke advising Israel that because an election of the natural seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is predestinated to overcome and prove worthy of adoption, God will discipline and sift the whole nation for that righteous seed. Studying Malachi's prophecy as it develops from the restoration of Jerusalem to John the Baptist, to Israel's rejection of Abraham's Royal Seed, we discover this natural people will only receive redemption's blessing in tears, 2,400 years thence, and as servants to a largely Gentile nation of kings and priests, the embodiment of God's promise to Abraham whose name means "Father of the Gentiles".
'Israel' is the covenant name applied to the small colony that returned to Judea after the Babylonian Captivity and thus became the focus of the Divine promises and threatenings. Only a colony of 42,360 returned -- 30,000 belonging to Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, the remainder belonging to the other ten tribes (plus 7,337 slaves and a choir of 200) -- and settled with Joshua and Zerubbabel in Palestine in 536BC (Ezra 2:64-65). A further group returned with Ezra in 458BC and under Nehemiah in 445BC (Ezra 7:6-7; Nehemiah 2). Now because God only deals with Israel in the Land, those who declined to return rejected the covenant of promise, and lost the name 'Israel'.
As God's New Covenant excludes all outside the Body of Christ, His Old Covenant is not in effect to any Israelite so long as he is living outside the Promised Land. So 'Israel' is used to name the returnees. (See Ezra 7:10; and compare II Chronicles 21:2 "Jehoshaphat king of Israel," where Judah, rather than the ten tribes, is regarded as the truest representative of Israel. Compare II Chronicles 12:6; 28:19). Soon God will gather Israel the second time: not non-Semitic "Jews" from Russia, America, Europe and England, but Semitic Hebrews who are Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dispersed in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq and other Muslim countries of the Middle East (Isaiah 11:11; Zechariah 10:10).
It is these 'lost Ten Tribes' (so-called) that the Gentiles (i.e. "Jews") who are "treading down Jerusalem" today seek to destroy with the blood and revenue of nominally Christian nations (Luke 21:24). Never ever allow a "Jew" to disarm you with his crafty psychology, calling you 'anti-Semitic:' the only anti-Semitic group of consequence is the non-Semitic self-styled "Jew" themselves.
Satan knows God's plans. His people control every nation and will shortly rule over all nations. One of their objectives is to steal Jacob's birthright and kill him as Esau swore (Genesis 27:39-40). The Money Power holds dominion over every nation on earth. They control the major political parties and influence all major religions. The United Nations is their 'golem,' imposing its perverse regulations over every facet of human life. Knowledge is power. Power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Power is exercised through money. The love of money is the root of all evil. The root of all evil follows the money trail to the synagogue of Satan in Rome.
As the prophets Haggai and Zechariah backed Joshua and Zerubbabel in building the new temple which was the first priority of the restoration, so after it had been rebuilt (Malachi 1:10 3:1-10) the prophet Malachi assisted the priest Ezra and the governor Nehemiah "to restore and build Jerusalem" and re-establish the holy Law during the latter half of the fifth century BC which incorporated the first "seven weeks" of prophetic years that began Daniel's Seventy Weeks, the last period of Old Testament revelation (Daniel 9:25-26).
The following "sixty-two weeks" of 434 years "unto Messiah the Prince" were without any prophets to Israel until John the Baptist and Jesus, whose combined three and a half year ministry "confirmed the Abrahamic Covenant with many" which began the revelation for the New Testament. Six days thereafter, Israel crucified his Messiah.
The seventy weeks began on March 14, 445BC with "the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem . . . the street shall be rebuilt, and the wall, despite the perilous times" (Nehemiah 1:1-2:8; Daniel 9:25).
In reply to the people's challenge that God prove His claim to have loved Israel as Father and Lord, He condescends to appeal to facts in their history and in His dealings with them that clearly prove His love. Unlike Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau were twin brothers born of the same holy parents and raised in the admonition of God with equal opportunity of serving and pleasing God Who dealt with each alike according to His Word. The exercise of their own free will separated them from one another and from God's Word, determining His blessings upon the one and His cursings upon the other.
Romans 9:6-16, "It is not as though God's Word has failed. For not every descendant of Jacob belongs to the true Israel: neither are all of Abraham's natural seed truly his children: for the Scriptures say that the promises follow only through the line of Isaac (and not his elder half-brother Ishmael). Clearly not all of Abraham's natural children are the children of God: but those to whom the promise applies are accounted as Abraham's true descendants".
"For God had promised, 'At this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son'. Years later, when Rebecca had conceived twins by one, (unlike Eve who conceived by two), even by our father Isaac; before the children were born, neither having done any good or evil, but in order to execute God's purpose according to election, which depends not on works, but on Him that calls them; God told her, 'The elder (Esau, who became Edom and accursed of God) shall serve the younger' (Jacob, who became Israel and heir to the promises -- Genesis 25:21-23). As it is written (in Malachi 1:2-3), 'Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated'."
"What shall we conclude? Was God being unjust and unfair? Certainly not. For God told Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion' (Exodus 33:19). So then, the blessings of God are not granted just because of human will and effort, but through God's sovereign mercy and grace".
God's grace is apprehended through obedience to faith (or a clear understanding of His revealed Word -- Ephesians 2:8-10). Jacob had the revelation and was obedient thereto, willing to lay aside everything in order to obtain the birthright. Being first-born, Esau held the promise naturally, but he was a carnal man who esteemed the momentary indulgence of his senses above his heritage and the responsibilities and blessings pertaining to the promises of God (I Corinthians 15:32).
On the other hand one might argue that God could not deal with these brothers alike -- either in their persons, or in their posterity -- because of election. But this depends upon your point of view. Paul taught, we are "saved by grace through faith. . . not of works, lest any man should boast," whereas James declared, "You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works". Works is faith expressed and election is not arbitrary but by God's foreknowledge of the choices one will make when confronted with the Word for their hour.
Esau demonstrated his unworthiness by marrying Serpent's seed women, so his posterity is accursed of God (Genesis 3:15; 5:11-16; 9:25; 10:15-19). He later tried to conciliate his parents by marrying an Ishmaelite. In spite of God's prophecy to Rebekah (Genesis 25:25), Esau's sale of the birthright to Jacob, and his reckless unworthiness to be the progenitor of Messiah, Isaac determined to give Esau the blessing because Esau was 'a man's man' and on account of his fondness for his son's venison. But with characteristic faith (and impatience) Jacob, looking to the unseen future privileges attached to the birthright (the priesthood of the family, typing Christ -- Numbers 8:17-19), and to the progenitorship of Messiah independent of temporal advantages (Genesis 48:22) as heir to the everlasting promises to Abraham's seed, at his mother's suggestion, added a little 'insurance' by deceiving his father to deliver the blessing.
Still, the prophet Isaac granted Esau a blessing which would become a curse to Jacob. Genesis 27:39-40, "Yours will be no life of ease and luxury, but you shall hew your way with your sword, and shall serve your brother; and when you have the dominion, you shall break his yoke from off your neck".
Whilst Israel was in Egyptian bondage, Edom was independent. But Saul and David later conquered the Edomites (I Samuel 14:47; II Samuel 8:14), and except for some revolts, they were subject to Judah until the reign of Ahaz; then they threw off the yoke (II Kings 16:6; II Chronicles 28:7). But whilst Israel was rebuilding the ruins of Jerusalem after their return from the Captivity, all attempts to repair Edom would prove abortive and Israel was able to acknowledge God's grace. Later Judas Maccabaeus defeated, and his nephew John Hyrcanus conquered and compelled Edom to be circumcised and assimilated with the state and its people; but an Idumean dynasty, Antipater and the Herods, ruled down to the final destruction of Jerusalem. Edom at last gained the dominion and has broken Jacob's yoke from off his neck. Today Edom rules over Israel, and over every nation, tribe and tongue.
In the days of our Lord the "Jews," and even the priesthood, were largely Edomites: not the people of the covenant but "The people against whom the Lord has indignation for ever". Eventually Rome expelled the "Jews" and the Israelites from Jerusalem, and many intermarried (once again) with the Canaanites as they migrated across northern Africa; and Canaanites from Carthage and their other North African colonies assimilated with these "Jews," migrating to Europe and England through Spain, hence the appellation "Sephardim." Then in about AD740, Talmudic "Jews" from Babylon converted the Khazars, a Hittite people originally from Lower Mongolia, overnight. These non-Semitic people now comprise the vast majority of "Jews," and are called "Ashkenazim".
Since most "Jews" never returned to Judea from the Captivity, Babylon remained the centre of "Jewish" life and scholarship until about AD1200 which explains why Israel is so determined to destroy Jacob's children in Iraq today. In 1948 the new State of Israel was established in unbelief and populated primarily by non-Semitic Edomite "Jews." But Malachi had prophesied, "Although Edom says, We will return and re-build the ruins; THUS SAITH THE LORD, They will build, but I will pull down".
One hundred years earlier, Daniel prophesied, "for the overspreading of abominations he (the Devil-incarnate pope) shall make Jerusalem desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Daniel 9:27). Then Jesus said, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" which is the consummation (Luke 21:24). Israel has been apostate since they crucified Messiah, and will remain so until three and a half years after close of the Gentile dispensation (three and a half years before the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled), when God reveals Jesus Christ to the 144,000 elect Israelites through the ministry of their two prophets (Romans 11:25; Zechariah 4; Revelation 11).
The entire history of Edom from the Exodus to the Captivity, to the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, to the present day, is a statement of treachery against Israel. Nowadays Edom has the dominion over natural Israel, and over the nominal Christian church who styles herself 'Spiritual Israel.' In "the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion" 144,000 elect Israelites who have been restored to their own "borders" will recognize the richness of God's elective love by grace through faith in contrast to the desolate condition of Edom within "Jewry" and apostate Christendom, and glorify the Lord (Isaiah 34:1-8; 63:1-4).
In Malachi 1:6-2:9, God turns from the people to the priests and threatens them with severe punishment for their contempt for His Law and their unfaithfulness to their office, announcing that the Levitical priesthood is to be superseded by the priesthood of all believers. Under the realization of God's promise to Abraham, the 'father of the Gentiles,' the Christian Church is designated a holy nation of kings and priests, a royal priesthood of the elect from every tribe from Adam's race (I Peter 2:9-10).
In Malachi's time the priests acknowledged but did not honor God as their Father, nor fear Him as their Lord. They made the "Jew's" religion a cheap religion in that the sacrifices to God were blemished or unhealthy and therefore no sacrifice at all. Rather than confessing and repenting of their guilt, with hypocritical self-righteousness they protested innocence and demanded that God substantiate His charge.
"How have we polluted Your altar and despised Your Name?"
"In your heart, you regard the altar with contempt and derision, saying, 'It is not evil to offer blind, lame and sick animals.' (However the worshipper is identified with his sacrifice and its acceptance signifies God's acceptance of the offerer himself -- Genesis 4:3-5). In order to ensure one's gift will be well-received, one must know the mind of the recipient. Offer such gifts to your heathen governor and see whether you will earn his pleasure, or if he will receive you graciously, says the Lord of hosts".
"You chant, 'God have mercy on us. Lord have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us.' But if the governor would be insulted by such worthless gifts, when you present God with a second-hand religion from the days of Luther, Wesley or the Pentecostals, instead of Spiritual food in due season, will He accept it or show you any favor at all?"
"O, that there were just one priest among you, (a Martin Luther, John Wesley, or William Branham), who would shut the temple doors to the altar of burnt offerings, refusing such vain offerings, and not kindle fire on God's altar for a sacrifice He will not receive. For I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of Hosts, and I will not accept your offerings".
This iniquity exists among ministers of the apostate (once) Christian churches today who dishonor God by profaning His Name, causing the people to sin as Paul prophesied in II Timothy 3-4. They say they are rich and in need of nothing when they are naked of the blood, spiritually bankrupt, blind to His Word, and know it not (Revelation 3:17-20).
The denominations sacrifice "polluted bread" to God when they offer the Word for a day gone by. Either the leaven of human reasoning has been added, or it is not whole-Word Bread, and deficient like blind sheep and lame goats offered by the Israelitish priests. To offer God the PART-Word from a day gone by is to pollute His Name. We are to present the fruit of the PRESENT Truth manifest in our own lives, sacrificing our sensual desires to obedience of His Word by faith.
Yes, the religious conditions of Malachi's day have replicated in Laodicea outside the Body of Christ. Revelation 17:3, "I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns".
Revelation 17:8-11, "The beast that you saw was once a great power, and is no more but shall ascend from the bottomless pit and go into perdition: and the physical and spiritual Serpent's seed whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world shall wonder, when they recognise the power that once was, and is no longer, and yet is." (The Roman Universal church in dominion over a revived Roman empire).
"The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings. Five have fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space of time. And the beast that once was, and is now no more, is the eighth ruler, but he is of the seven, and goes into perdition".
This eighth is a Devil-incarnate pope who will rule the New World Order under a revived Roman church empire following the close of the Gentile dispensation when all without the Holy Spirit shall wonder. Let's identify these rulers in verse 10:
Five had fallen -- Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, one was ruling at the start of the Ephesian Church Age when time John was seeing these visions -- Nero; and one was yet to come -- Galba. We know these Roman emperors are the seven "kings" of whom Jesus spoke because Brother Branham identified them for us (William Branham, The Mark of the Beast, p. 34:253-256; The Revelation of the Seven Seals, p. 219:2-6).
Blasphemous TITLES were said to be upon each of these seven heads. Augustus from his accession called himself `son of the divine Julius', and all of his successors except Claudius and Vespasian had followed his example. Four were declared divine at death by the Roman Senate. Caligula claimed to be all of the gods at once and determined to defile the temple at Jerusalem, while Claudius anticipated the action of the Senate by using the title `DIVUS' on coins in his own lifetime. (In the eastern provinces the coins bore the Greek word `THEOS'). Nero's 'enthusiasm for art made his flatterers hail him as Apollo' M. Cary et al. (eds.), The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon, 1949, p. 604) and coins were struck commending him as Appolos or Helios, and 'Saviour of the World' (R. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, revised edition, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998, p. 245).
Today the eighth sits in the Vatican's temple of God, pontificating as if he were God. And in the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week he will demand to be worshipped as God, forcing the mark of the beast upon both "Jew" and Gentile alike (Isaiah 14:13-15; Daniel 9:27; II Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:8; 17:8, 11-18).
The "woman" is the Roman Catholic church. Jesus calls her, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH". As the natural types the spiritual, the mother and her daughters in usurping the authority of God's Word, have taken blasphemous names, like Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Congregational, Methodist, Baptist, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Adventist, United Pentecostal, Jehovah's Witness and so-on, and deified themselves like the seven Roman emperors.
The ten horns are the ten kingdoms into which Rome has divided after the fall of the last emperor, Romulus Augustus, in AD476. They are the Alemani (Germany), the Franks (France), the Burgundians (Switzerland), the Suevi (Portugal), the Anglo-Saxons (Britain), the Visigoths (Spain), the Lombards (Italy), the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Heruli. These royal houses now comprise the 'Black Nobility'. The last three were destroyed by the Pope because they refused to become Roman Catholic `christians'.
So much for British Israel theory. Britain was once a part of the Roman empire. Jesus said Britain will agree with the other nine horns and "give her power and strength unto the beast" (Revelation 17:13).
God has never left Himself without a witness. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, "You worship you know not what: we Judeans know what we worship: for salvation is of the Judeans. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks worshippers with a clear revelation. God is one Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:22-24). God's Word is truth. When He illumines It by His Spirit we see clearly what It means, or receive faith.
The time came when the revelation passed from Israel, who rejected and crucified the fullness of the Word, and It was revealed to "whomsoever will" from Adam's fallen race: even we Gentiles "who were afar off" (Acts 2:38-39; 17:23-31).
Malachi 1:11, "For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, (from East to West, and from morning till night), My Name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense (or prayer) shall be offered to My Name, and a pure offering (or perfect faith): for My Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts".
As we now stand at the close of the Gentile dispensation, God has sent us another witness, the prophet William Branham, whose ministry restored the apostolic faith and finished the mystery of God. Since the revelation of the Seven Seals in 1963, Christ has been calling the wise and foolish virgin out from Rome and her (once) Protestant daughters into the unity of the faith, for the manifestation of the sons of God and the great translation (Matthew 17:11; 25:13; Revelation 10:7; 18:4; I Thessalonians 4:16).
How late is the hour? Jesus warned, that the generation that witnesses Israel restored to the Promised Land would not expire through old age before the commencement of the Millennium (Matthew 24:32-34). Its almost forty year since Christ's second or 'parousia' Coming. He warns us that the end of grace is at hand, for the revelation of the Seven Seals brought Christ back to earth in the fullness of the Word (Acts 3:23; I Corinthians 13:10; Revelation 10:7), and the Gentiles in rejecting It are crucifying unto themselves the Son of God afresh. Soon the Light will return to Israel.
Four hundred years before the birth of Messiah, God spoke through Malachi warning Israel they would end in apostasy. He foretold Jerusalem's temple worship would cease, and that men would offer the pure sacrifice of praise in every place (Deuteronomy 12:13-14; Malachi 1:11; Matthew 21:43).
The "Jewish" priests regarded their service to God as irksome, and they so despised the offerings they could not conceal their contempt from the people. They received unworthy sacrifices, and avarice, not poverty, was the cause of their mean offerings. They allowed the deceiver to substitute female animals (which are of less value than the male) when the Law stipulated a male. "Cursed, cursed be he, for Jehovah is a great King, says the Lord of hosts. My Name shall be held in awe among the Gentiles," and must therefore be served with reverence and godly fear.
After reinforcing the prophecy of Malachi 1:11, God pronounces the sentence that will follow if the priests do not repent. "I will turn every one of your blessings into curses. Indeed, the curse has already begun." Ministers cannot sin and suffer alone, for if they fall they drag down others with them. The "blessings" of the priest were his tithe of the produce of the Land. He did not plant but depended upon the tithe of the farmer for the temple offerings and his own livelihood, so if the seed was cursed he would suffer. "Gird yourselves, and lament, you priests: howl, you ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God: because the meat offering and the drink offering is withheld from the house of your God" (Joel 1:13; Haggai 2:17).
"Behold, I will rebuke your seed (to prevent it from growing) for your use, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung in the stomach of the victims sacrificed on your solemn feasts days; (the stomach was the right of priests (Deuteronomy 18:3), so you shall receive the dung of the maw as your reward, instead of the maw), and some one shall take you away like dung; you shall be treated as dung and cast onto the dung heap with the rotten seed" (Luke 14:34-35; John 15:6).
This decree was sent with intent to correct the priests, that by its bitter consequences they might return to the covenant made with Levi so their posterity should perpetuate an everlasting priesthood as it was in the beginning. For God's covenant with Levi was for life and peace, and to provide the inspiration whereby he should reciprocate by displaying reverence and godly fear in observing God's covenant. Levi types the Bride: the parallel under our New Covenant is to have the Token or evidence of the Life of Christ on display.
The covenant is said to be not merely "of life and peace," but "life and peace"; for the keeping of God's Law is its own reward (Psalms 19:11). These priests self-deceivingly claimed the privileges of the covenant, while neglecting its conditions, as if God were bound by it to bless them, while they were free from the obligations which it imposed upon them to serve Him.
In contrast, their pious predecessors had expounded the Law according to its true nature and there was found in them no perverseness, no self-seeking, nor partiality. Thus they walked in endearing communion with God, fulfilling the design of the priesthood which was to expound and apply to every case the will of God, as expressed in His Law, and always ready to instruct His people.
The priest's lips should keep knowledge for the people. Ministers are the "ambassadors of Christ" (II Corinthians 5:20), His instrument to dissolve their doubts, His "messengers" or angels to make plain His will -- revealed personally to them from Genesis to Revelation. Thereby reconciling the people to the Lord through agreement in the common faith. Paul said, "the woman ought to have uncut hair as a sign that she is under the authority of her husband, and because of the Word of the angels" -- the messengers and prophets who delivered this commandment from God (I Corinthians 11:10; Hebrews 2:1-7).
Unlike their pious fathers, the priesthood in Malachi's day had respect of persons, and by scandalous example and false expositions of the Law, made the Law a stumbling stone, plunging the people into sin, guilt and perdition. And because of their corruption of the covenant and partiality, inasmuch as the people look up to ministers of religion, and as a just retribution for their sin, God will abandon them to the contempt of all Israel (I Samuel 2:17; Jeremiah 18:15; Matthew 18:6; II Timothy 3:13).
During the Captivity, the synagogue was introduced, diminishing the authority of the temple as today the Charismatic Movement (so-called) has diminished the authority of denominations. And rabbis supplanted the priesthood as Bible school educated ministers ordained by man have supplanted the five-fold ministry called of God. The majority of "Jews" remained in Babylon, and although Judah returned from exile outwardly cured of idolatry, the germs of Phariseeism and Sadduceeism were planted in their hearts and minds which would be full-blown by the time Jesus was on earth.
In Deuteronomy 32, Moses likened Jehovah to an eagle Who protected Israel as an eagle overspreads her young. "He alone led them, there was no strange god with them. Then, when upright Israel settled in the Promised Land, and grew fat on the blessings of God, they forsook and provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods, forgetting it was God that formed the nation. And when He saw it, God abhorred them, because His sons daughters had insulted Him. And He said, (prophesying of the Gentile dispensation), I will hide My face from them, and see what becomes of them then: for they are a perverse race, children in whom is no faith. They have made Me jealous of their idols which are no gods at all; now I will make them jealous by giving My affections to the foolish Gentile nations (Malachi 4:4-6). For My anger has kindled a fire that burns to the depths of hell, and shall consume the earth and all of its increase, even setting its mountains on fire. I will heap calamities upon them; I will shoot them with My arrows" (Malachi 4:1-3; II Peter 3:7).
Before Israel had entered the Promised Land, Moses foretold their idolatry and apostasy, and how God would chastise and scatter them throughout the times of the Gentiles which end at the consummation and destruction of all life on earth. Moses prophesied God would forsake Israel while He turned to the Gentiles to take out from them a people for His Name. nl228.htm
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Brother Anthony Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister. He has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations in various countries. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to minister in your church.
For Further Information Contact:
Bible Believers' Church
Currabubula, NSW 2342, Australia
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