Malachi Lesson 6

CPRC  Men’s Bible Study

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Malachi 3:1-6

The Coming of the Messenger of the Covenant

The promised Messiah is the “messenger of the covenant” who is the delight as well as the object of faith of all God’s people.

Messiah IS the covenant (Isaiah 42:6, 49:8), as the substance of the everlasting covenant made within the Trinity before the foundation of the world,he embodies the only way man and God can be reconciled.  He preaches the message of God’s covenant love throughout his ministry in Palestine and teaches that his shed blood and broken body are the basis of the covenant at the Last Supper. As the messenger he often repeats the fact that he was sent (John 6:44). He establishes the covenant by coming and dying. He is the Mediator of the covenant and the Scriptures time and again say prophesy the same as in Jeremiah 31:31 and confirm it in, for example, Hebrews 9:15 and 12:24. By his death and dying, he is the Testator of the covenant which is his will. Everything about the covenant is established and made effectual through Christ. His message, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6) is the same message from Genesis 3:15 till the last elect is brought in.

John the Baptist, as the forerunner, prepared a people, otherwise apathetic and having been through 400 silent years without a prophet, for the coming King. In a sense his preaching, that of the apostles and ours today all prepare for his coming (again).

That the messenger of the covenant is divine is clear from the words spoken by him in the scripture, that it is about himself (before me), that he comes to his temple and that only a divine person can be truly delighted in and sanctify people. In his earthly ministry, Christ very often said he was sent (as a messenger) by the Father.

The temple, a bit like “world” in scripture has many meanings. It may mean the physical building (Jer.7:4), the church (Zech.6:12-15, Eph.20-22), our body (II Cor.6:16),the false church (II Thess.2:4) and the New Jerusalem (Rev.3:12). In this passage it means the church on the last day.

Malachi lumps the incarnation and the second coming together as one coming because they encompass all his saving work in time as man. From his birth and naming as the only Saviour of men till the time he presents the perfectly sanctified church to himself at his second advent he is saving his people.

His coming will be the destruction of the wicked, on whom as a stone he falls. His vengeance will be terrible and there will be no escaping the day of his wrath (Luke 2:34, Matt.21:44,II Thess.1:7-10, Hebrews 12:24-26, Rev.6:13-17).

As to the purifying, a fuller used soap to clean sheep’s wool and a metalworker heated gold or silver to very high temperatures to melt them before skimming off the impure dross on the surface. In a similar way the Lord purifies believers in this life and at his coming. We, as a kingdom of priests are all the “sons of Levi”. The perfect offering  and his eternal inheritance is the bride, the church on the last day (Eph.5:26,27).

The sins mentioned of which Israel were guilty were:

Sin Meaning Admonitions/Examples
Sorcery Satanically-inspired witchcraft II Chron.33:6, Ex.22:18, Jannes and Jambres (II Tim.3:8) Elymas.
Adultery Sexual immorality especially between married people. Matt.19:9 Too numerous (David/Bathsheba)
False swearing False oaths, lies. Ex.20:16, Eph.4:25, Ananias/Sapphira.
Oppression of labourers Unjust wages Jas.5:4,
Oppression of widows, orphans and strangers Injustice to the weak Ex.22:21, Deut.23:16, Zech.7:10.

All these which for the most part deal with the second table of the law, were committed because there was no fear of the Lord.

The last and most comforting doctrine taught in this portion of scripture is the preservation of the saints (Mal.3:6). God’s immutability (un-changeableness) which encompasses his being and nature, his decree and his word and especially his grace toward his people (Psalm 102:26,27, Numb,23:19,II Tim.2:13, Jas.1:17) mean that we are kept by his power through faith unto (final) salvation (Psalm 136, I Peter 1:5, Phil.1:6, John 6:39-40,56, 10:28,29, Eph.1:4). Hallelujah!

I feel like the privileged man of Psalm 25:14, “ The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.”

Previous. https://julikenn.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/malachi-lesson-5/

Fire

 

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Everything in creation speaks of the creator perhaps most especially the heavens. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). There would be no life on earth without the heat and light of our SUN. No plants, no rain, no life. Likewise men, who are spiritually dead by nature, have no spiritual life, no relationship with God without the SON who sovereignly reveals himself to them. “He that has seen me hath seen the FATHER”.

If you are ever tempted to doubt God’s power think of the vastness of the universe (this blog will help!) populated by billions of suns many of which are a thousand times bigger than our sun. If God created all these what cannot he do?

It is also worth noting that almost 100% of the matter in the universe is FIRE-great balls of fire! That is essentially what every star is. Red giants, white dwarfs and everything in between are giant balls of nuclear fusion fire reflecting their creator who is called a consuming fire, especially with regard to the end of this creation,” Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:26-29). Peter also teaches, ” But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

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Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (II Peter 3:10-12). Have you ever thought why God reveals himself as fire? Think of the burning bush!

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He is consummate holiness! His anger burns against sin and sinners! He judges by fire at Sodom and Gomorrah.

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Fire is a useful tool for refining metals and God refines his saints.

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He is always with us IN the fire (Isaiah 43:2) as the three Hebrew youth experienced for real.

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God speaks and the earth melts.

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Fire is used everywhere to destroy waste, although matter can never actually be destroyed! Fire breaks out naturally or as a result of human fault often destroying much of value–houses, trees, grassland, reducing all to ashes. Fire hurts those it burns and I have no doubt that is why God in Christ speaks so much about hell fire, the place of eternal hurt and destruction (not annihilation) of soul and body.

The sacrificial burnt offerings of the Old Testament testify to the appeasement of God’s wrath and forgiveness as types of the one and only sacrifice that atones (Hebrews 10:10-14).

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God’s holy fire consumes sin and sinners! The cross, where Christ went through the fiery hell of his father’s wrath consumed all the sin of all his people. Hallelujah! One day that same wrath will consume the sin-cursed earth and universe and from what’s left build a new one. We must thank God for and revere his FIRE!

Pray without ceasing.

How Often Do You Pray? And Is Prayer Necessary?

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do you pray(Voice of the Persecuted) How often do you pray? Do you find yourself saying, “I’ve been so busy, or tired that I forgot”? Are you finding yourself praying less? Do you tell yourself that you will pray more, but never seem to get around to it? True for many Christians, today.When you do pray, is it done with passion and from the heart, or are you just going through the motions because it’s expected? Is that type of prayer even heard by God, or are they more like nails sliding down a chaulkboard to His ears? When we pray with all sincerity, our prayers become powerful and meaningful to the One who created us! (Revelation 8:4)At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split – Matthew 27:51Through the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the veil has been torn and nothing can separate us (his people-JK) from the love of God. He has a personal relationship with each one of us. He is part of our daily lives. And prayer is our direct connection to Him.If prayer is not part of your daily routine, you’re not alone. But there is good news, ‘It’s a new day‘ and not to late to start! No longer do we need to feel regret over neglected communication with our God. Let today be the beginning of your devoted prayer life. Commit to a deeper relationship with your Father in Heaven. When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. And He’s given us the Holy Spirit to help us in every way.Make it a point to start the day in prayer. Do it while your making breakfast for the kids, getting ready for work, or in the car to where ever it is you may be going. It’s an amazing feeling when we can face the day confidently knowing our God goes with us from the start!

If all is going your way, praise Him. If it’s not, do the same. Pray about the decisions you are making, no matter how big or trivial they may seem. Pray for those you are connecting with. He is there for you in all of it. You are His child and like a parent, He wants the best for you. (Matthew 7:11) Let Him guide you.

There is much to be praying about and many who need our prayers. Never stop praying, even when it seems your prayers are not being heard. Put your trust in Him and believe He is working for the outcome—in His time.

Instead of always telling Him what He can do for us, ask what it is you that can do for Him. Pray He will change the desires of your heart to align with His will. Remember to set aside some time in your busy schedules to be still, be quiet and wait for the Lord to reveal the plans that He has designed specifically for you.

Soon, you will find yourself praying throughout the entire day. We have a God that  walks the path with us. We don’t  go it alone. He will bless you with His presence and gift you with a peace that can only come from Him.

Let us unite together and increase our praise and worship to the all powerful God who greatly loves us. May we strive for a closer relationship to the One who has called us out for Himself. It takes commitment on our part, but is worth every effort. Start this new day with the Father at the helm!

Are you remembering our persecuted family in your prayers? We speak with Christians facing extreme persecution almost daily. There is one thing they ask for in every communication, “Please pray for us”. They know the power of prayer. And it is a great blessing for them to know we care and have them covered in prayer. Oceans can’t divide us when we pray. Our prayers reach them. Many times we are told they can feel our prayers. They are facing increasing trials in persecution, the need is great to multiply our efforts in lifting them up to our Lord!

May God greatly bless you, brothers and sisters!

Lois Kanalos, Founder/Advocate

Quality not quantity

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Quality not quantity

MULTUN, NON MULTA is Latin for Much, not many i.e., Quality not quantity.

“Church? It is always better to be small and strong than to be big and corrupt.” -Herman Hoeksema.

Quality, not quantity certainly applies to God’s work in the world in saving his church. Christ said there would be many on the broad road and few on the narrow road. Remember at one time the church was reduced to eight people saved through a global flood and the second coming will also be for a small embattled persecuted church–“When the son of man comes will he find faith on the earth?”

God’s work standard in creation was perfection (Genesis 1). Christ’s work on earth was excellently, nay flawlessly done (“He hath done all things well.”) He through Paul, adjures us to work wholeheartedly (Col.3:23) and to be mature, Christ-like people (Matthew 5:48). Never sinless of course!

His purpose in saving the church is to make them spotless as a bride for the great day of the marriage supper of the lamb. But his purifying work takes the lifetime of all his people whether long or short and then final escape from the body of corruption. His great work of sanctification, pruning, humbling, chastisement and edification goes on in the church through the intake of his powerful word primarily in the preaching, but also in Bible studies, private reading, devotions and fellowship and his dealings with us in providence (Eph.2:12-16, John 17:17,I Peter 1:7). He wants well-taught people because he has forever joined the acceptance and submission to true doctrine with godliness (Titus 1:1). Have you heard that saying about the church, “A mile wide but inch deep!” This ought not to be! Disciples are well-taught learners who are always learning. His desire is a pure people zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).God looks at our hearts and he wants them to be single-mindedly set on his glory, on obedience to his word and full of faith. He promises more revelation to those who walk in the light they already have (John 14:21). In his working there appears to be a progression from faith to love in II Peter 1:5-10 but the fruit (singular) of the Spirit is exhibited to a degree in all his people as a seven-fold unit. So keep short accounts with him (I John 1:7-9). Aim for quality in all you do, pray about all you do and thank God when his manifold grace works in you. God’s work through his ministers is gold, silver and precious stones (I Cor.3:12-15), qualities that last and that begun, in a small way in our lives down here, fit us for heavenly perfection

Christ’s controversies (Justification 3)

 

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Reading Luke 18:9-14. The parable of the Pharisee and publican.

Which gospel has most to say about justification?

Answer-Luke. Reason? Perhaps because he was Paul’s companion in Acts which he also wrote. See Acts 13:38,39.

In this gospel we see various justifications:

1) Men justifying themselves.  Luke  5:31,32, 10:29, 16:15, 15:7. These were the self-righteous Pharisees, scribes and a lawyer who sought to be justified before MEN. ALL false Christianity and false religions are self-justifying, so they can easily combine forces in ecumenism.

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2) Men justifying God. Luke 7:29,30 (those baptized by John).cf Deut. 32,Isaiah 5, Dan.9:5,7.

3) Men justifying Christ. Luke 23:47 (cf. Matt.27:54). There is much to suggest this centurion, and others with him became believers.

It is also noteworthy that Christ was the only man in history who could justly justify himself! John 8:46.

Finally we have God justifying us as was the case in the contrite publican and in the case of King David in Psalm 51. This is the great central blessing of salvation which is our eternal standing in Christ and will see us justified on the last day.

 

 

Outreach to the general public

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Casting the net wide.

Family and friends are our main mission field. We all need to be out meeting people socially-toddler’s groups, gym or swimming pool, evening classes, hobbie/interest clubs seeking to build relationships/bridges over which to share what we know.

 

Means Positives Negatives Requirements
Questionnaires Gets people talking/interested. Time Short and good questions that lead to sharing or giving flyer/literature.
Public debate Wide audience on net. Interested people come. Difficult to set up. Cost of venue. Good debater, venue, interest, media coverage.
Public stall at events Interested folk will look, free literature Possible cost. Materials, manpower.
Door to door Widespread, systematic coverage. People unwilling to open up. Lots of materials. Winsomeness, knowledge of scripture.
Open air preaching The unchurched hear Difficult finding a venue where people will congregate and stop. Ordained minister/helpers, materials.
 Bible studies  Exposure to the word of God.  Difficult recruitment Wise leader and carefully chosen material. Venue.
  Most require at least a basic knowledge of scripture and some training.

True unity

 

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John Calvin: “We acknowledge no unity except in Christ; no charity of which He is not the bond … Agreement, or union, is, indeed, singularly a good thing, because there is nothing better or more desirable than peace. But we must ever bear in mind, that in order that men may happily unite together, obedience to God’s Word must be the beginning. The bond, then, of lawful concord among us is this: that we obey God from first to last; for accursed is every union where there is no regard to God and to His Word.”

What unifies the churches I am associated with are the “Three Forms of Unity”

Three Forms of Unity:

 

We also uphold the truth set forth in the ecumenical (universal) creeds:

Satan-our adversary.

 

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Some time back I listened to Prof. Barry Gritters of the PR seminary on ‘The Prince of Darkness Grim’ a name given to Satan in Luther’s famous hymn. This arch-enemy of God , his kingdom and his people continues to hold millions in bondage to false religions and false christianity worldwide. The fight against him cannot be avoided and is lifelong and here are three ways we resist him. We must hate him and his devices and adopt ‘a warfare mentality’. His strategy has not changed since Eden. He will tempt you to doubt the word of God, say it is not true, add to it, and when you sin accuse you mercilessly and cause you to doubt your forgiveness.

1) We pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ among the nations of peoples who are blind to God and his truth and ensnared by animism, Buddhism, communism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, evolutionism and materialism. Fact is many have NEVER heard the gospel (Romans 10:14). We pray for our unsaved family and friends too. http://www.joshuaproject.net/

2) We oppose his lies in false religionists by our witness to the truth-we share the word of God with all that he gives us opportunity to do so, in person or through every other form of communication e.g., the internet. ‘Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.’ Someone says, ‘ I don’t believe it is God’s word’ (ie. it’s man’s word ie not really a sword)….do you argue? NO!-you smite him with it!

3) We keep ourselves unspotted from the world and walk with our God in covenant fellowship with him, in a true church and in our families. The world with its lust of materialism, lusts of pleasure for its own sake and lust for popularity, fame and power must not be allowed to have a place in our thinking. We mortify the flesh with it’s affections and lusts. ‘Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.’