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The book of Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament.  It is a short, yet very important book.  At the time of the writing of this book, the nation of Israel had drifted far from the Lord.  Even as the Lord confirms His love to His people, they were full of ingratitude.  Malachi 1:2says, “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?”  These people had accused the Lord of not caring about justice.  Malachi 2:17says, “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?” 

Now let’s read Malachi 3:1-4, “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. 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 purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”  The people had asked for the God of judgment, so the Lord tells them that he will send His messenger to prepare the way for the Lord, the One they asked for.  Who is this messenger that would come to prepare the way of Lord?  It was John the Baptist.  Reading of him we read in Matthew 11:10, “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” 

So, the Messiah would come, but not as the people expected him to come.  He would not come to praise the people, but would come with the truth and would cause them to see their own sinful state.   

The coming of the Lord happens in two stages, called the Two Advents.  Christ came the first time to be the Messiah of His people.  They rejected him as we read in John 1:11, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”  It is sad to notice that the portion in Malachi 3, speaks of the Lord as the one “whom ye delight in” or as the Young’s Literal Translation puts it, the one “whom ye are desiring”.  Yet we read prophetically of the Lord in Isaiah 53:2, “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”  The heart of the Jewish people was exposed in a parable the Lord gave in Luke 19.  Their words in Luke 19:14were, “…We will not have this man to reign over us.” 

When the Lord comes to the earth again, He will come in judgment of sin.  When He comes to judge, “Who shall stand when He appeareth?”  John the Baptist spoke of that great and terrible day in  Matthew 3:12where He speaks of the Lord’s coming judgment on the nation of Israel.  He said, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  This purifying ministry will be as we just read in Malachi 3:3, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”  This purifying ministry will happen at the Lord’s Second Coming when the sons of Levi, or the priests, will be purified so they can make offerings of holiness and righteousness that are pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old, as verse 4 tells us.  (128.2)