CPRC Men’s Bible Study
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:
|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.”