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Malachi Chapter 3

Memory verses for this week:   Mat 22:21  They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 

Introduction:  We continue our study of Malachi this week.  Last week in Chapter 2, we saw more scripture where God was upset with the priests since they were to be the messengers of God and be wholly given to God’s work.  The saved Christians today are priests to God due to what Christ did for us there on Calvary.  May we be found faithful and stay close to God and be worthy of our calling. 

1 Pet 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 

I.  The Mission of John the Baptist and Coming of the Lord

Mal 3:1  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.

The word messenger is used two times in this verse.  The first reference is to John the Baptist.  Jesus declared that John was the one that the prophets wrote about.

Mat 11:7  And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Mat 11:8  But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

Mat 11:9  But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

Mat 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.

Mat 11:11  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


Mark 1:1  The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

Mark 1:2  As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Mark 1:3  The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.


Luke 7:24  And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Luke 7:25  But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.

Luke 7:26  But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.

Luke 7:27  This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Luke 7:28  For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

The messenger, being John, was sent by the Lord.  His purpose was to prepare the way before the Lord.  The same message that he preached is what every true new testament church proclaims today.   We tell sinners to repent and to come to Christ by faith in order to be saved.

Mat 3:1  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

Mat 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mat 3:3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Mat 3:4  And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Mat 3:5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

Mat 3:6  And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mat 3:7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mat 3:8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Mat 3:9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Mat 3:10  And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

The second messenger in verse 1 of our text was the “Messenger of the covenant” who is Jesus Christ.   The Jews were seeking this messenger, and at that time, delighted in him.  They looked for Christ to come suddenly to His temple.  However, when Christ did come, as a Nazarene, he was not one in whom they delighted, but he was despised, rejected, and ultimately crucified.   And when Christ came into the temple, he found it to be a house of merchandise.

John 2:13  And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

John 2:14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

John 2:15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

John 2:16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

Mal 3:2  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:

Mal 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.

Another coming is foretold here.  When it happens, the unholy will not be able to abide it nor stand in His presence.   In that day, Christ will sit as a refiner and purifier the Levitical family.   Christ himself will set apart for Himself the sons of Zadok as mentioned in Ezekiel.  On this day, those of the tribe of Levi will own up to their guilt and judge themselves for their share of the sins of the priesthood.

Ezek 48:11  It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.

Mal 3:4  Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

Mal 3:5  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

During the thousand year millennial reign of Christ, the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant unto the Lord.  The offering will be an offering made in righteousness.  The ungodly will have God’s judgment poured out upon them.  God himself will be a witness against those who are ungodly.  God names 8 types of sinners in verse 8 that he will testify against.

Mal 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

The Jehovah God of the universe that we serve does not change.

1.  His plan of salvation is still the same as it always has been.  (Faith in Christ)

2.  His attitude toward sin has not changed.  (He is angry at the wicked everyday)

3.  His demand for faithfulness has not changed.

4.  His Word has not changed.   There are no need of new versions of the bible.  God spake what he meant and it was finished.   We have the complete and inerrant Word of God today.

Psa 119:89  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Luke 21:33  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

God has used different methods to deal with man and in the way he has communicated and spoke with them in the different dispensations.   He came directly to Adam and Eve and spoke to them in the garden.  In some instances in the Old Testament, God came and spoke to some of the prophets of old.  A little over 2,000 years ago, God sent Christ to dwell among men.

Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Today He speaks to us by the Holy Spirit.

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

During the days of his personal ministry, Jesus did many miracles that men might believe that He was the Son of God.

John 20:30  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

John 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Today, God expects us to believe His written word as mentioned there in Hebrews Chapter 1.

II.  His People Have Robbed Him

Mal 3:7  Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

Mal 3:8  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Adam Clarke in his Commentary on the Old Testament said this about verse 7.

Gone away from mine ordinances—Never acting according to their spirit and design.

Return unto me—There is still space to repent.

Wherein shall we return?—Their consciences were seared, and they knew not that they were sinners.


From the days of their fathers they had gone away from His ordinances and had not kept them.  He calls upon them to return unto God.   These are so cold and away from the Lord, they ask “Wherein shall we return?”   They attended the ceremonies, they had all the outward forms of religion, and they saw no reason to search and try their ways.   Can this happen to us in this time of the Dispensation of the church age, sometimes called the Dispensation of Grace.   For sure it can happen to us.   When we think we are strong, that is when we are weak.

1 Cor 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 Cor 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

God presses their sinfulness upon them more strongly by asking in verse 8 “Will a man rob God?”  They were so blind to their sin that they did not know wherein they had robbed God.  A true Christian would most likely never consider robbing a bank or a store,  but we can easily rob God and never blink an eye.   It comes down to more than just the pocket book too.   We should give time for God’s Work, and be in the bible reading every day.  I speak with shame that I know I fail God here.   We need to pray that God will draw us close and we will put Him first in our lives.   That is what He desires.    These in Malachi’s day had robbed God in both tithes and offerings.

Mal 3:9  Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Mal 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

What a promise we have here in verse  10.   If we give with a right heart, God says he will open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that we won’t have room enough to receive it.   Is this a promise of riches?   Perhaps, but  I think it may relate to even greater riches than money.   The spiritual blessings, the watch care God gives to us and our families, we don’t know what all that God does for us.   Like God did Job, his hand is very much about us with protection and love.

Prov 3:9  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

Prov 3:10  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.


Mal 3:11  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mal 3:12  And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

 Look at the promise that he gives when we put God first.  He says he will rebuke the devourer for your sakes.  Who is the one that is against the Christian?  It is Satan, and he would destroy every one of us if he could.  But we have the promise of protection from God when we honor Him with our lives.    And they were told that all nations would call them blessed.   When God’s hand is on a nation, the world takes notice.   Israel has been blessed above all others, and I think in America we can clearly see God’s blessings upon our nation.  This is probably due to being known as “One Nation Under God”, and for the many missionaries we have sent to the foreign fields.  But America is falling away from God, and the judgment will come if our nation does not repent and turn back to the ways of God.


Mal 3:13  Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

Mal 3:14  Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

Mal 3:15  And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

The people have spoken strong words against God, and then questioned what had they spoken.  They claimed that it was in vain to serve God and to keep his ordinances.  They say no profit in doing so, but rather saw more gain in the wicked than in the righteous.  They did not see things accurately.   Even if the wicked prospers, it is but for a short time.  When you look at eternity, a few days of fun are a high price to pay for an eternity of punishment.   All of God’s commandments are good and for our best.

Prov 3:33  The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

Prov 3:34  Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.


Prov 4:14  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

Prov 4:15  Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

Prov 4:16  For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

Prov 4:17  For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Prov 4:19  The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Appearances sometimes are misleading.  You and I have no idea the fear the wicked face each night as they try to sleep.  God gives us peace and joy and happiness.   If you could bottle the contentment and peace that God gives the Christian and sell it, you could become rich.  But money can’t buy what only God can give.

1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1 John 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

1 John 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?


III. The Faithful Remnant

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Mal 3:18  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Among the people of God, there will always be a faithful group of people who will stand in the gap and make up the hedge.   Those that are faithful are people who feared the Lord.  It says they spake words to one another and God wrote them down in a book of remembrance.   One day those words will be revealed when the books are opened at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

In Ezekiel’s day, God looked for one who would make up the hedge and stand in the gap, but could not find one.  I am proud that many today are willing to put their lives on the line for the cause of Christ.

Ezek 22:30  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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