Biblical Prophecy

A prophet in the Bible is a spokesman for God and is given insight into the mind of God and declares what he has “seen”  as a message to the people. This insight could be through visions or other means. It is the deliverance of the message that is emphasized rather than the mysterious mode of reception of the prophetic revelation. The biblical prophets uttered the actual words that God had given them with no modification or interpretation on their part. Though some would disagree with me, the prophets did not predict the future but were forth telling the truth.  The messages the delivered were mostly warnings to repent of national or individual sins and the outcome depended on if the warning was heeded or not. There were three tests to determine if a prophet was a true prophet or a false prophet.  First there was the Theological Test (Duet 13).The second test was the Practical Test( Duet 18:20) Note that this is a negative test.  The third test was the Moral Test ( Jer 23:9) This test was to be applied first the how the prophets lived their lives and then to the tendency of the message they preached. The message they preached would have to turn people away from doing evil and to the Lord.  All of the prophets spoke of a a future deliverance to be accomplished by the Messiah. These prophecies are called Messianic Prophecies. The word Messiah is not frequently used the Old Testament. Just to review briefly there are four major prophets and twelve minor prophets. The major prophets are called such because of the length of the books – the major prophets being the longer and the minor being the shorter, this distinction has noting to do with the importance of the messages that each delivered. To further complicate this the prophets are also classed as the former prophets and the latter prophets. The former prophets would include the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. The latter prophets are also called the Writing Prophets. These are Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the twelve minor prophets, are all considered the Writing Prophets.  The terms former and latter do not reflect the historical chronology of when the prophets preached their messages. The study of biblical prophecy must include the prophecies of the New Testament as well as the Old Testament. Jesus was a prophet, priest and king. Jesus gave many prophecies and we will look at them too. We have covered a great deal of Revelation, the only book in prophetic book in the New Testament, that does not mean that the other books do not contain prophecies, bu they best  fit in the category of historical books, I am referring to the four Gospels, and they do contain prophecy throughout.  Once again a brief review – the four major prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel, the twelve minor prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos,Obadiah,Jonah,Micah,Nahum,Habakkuk,Zephaniah,Haggai,

Zechariah, and Malachi. Jeremiah wrote the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  

Isaiah is called the Messianic prophet and Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet.  

We will now pick up our study of Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament and the last book of the minor prophets.  We pick up in Malachi Chapter three:

Malachi 3 (New King James Version)

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Malachi 3

New King James Version (NKJV)

 

Malachi 3

The Coming Messenger
 1 “Behold, I send My messenger,
      And he will prepare the way before Me. 
      And the Lord, whom you seek, 
      Will suddenly come to His temple, 
      Even the Messenger of the covenant, 
      In whom you delight. 
      Behold, He is coming,” 
      Says the LORD of hosts. 
       2 “ But who can endure the day of His coming? 
      And who can stand when He appears? 
      For He is like a refiner’s fire 
      And like launderers’ soap. 
       3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; 
      He will purify the sons of Levi, 
      And purge them as gold and silver, 
      That they may offer to the LORD 
      An offering in righteousness. 
 1 “Behold, I send My messenger,
      And he will prepare the way before Me. 
      And the Lord, whom you seek, 
      Will suddenly come to His temple, 
      Even the Messenger of the covenant, 
      In whom you delight. 
      Behold, He is coming,” 
      Says the LORD of hosts. 
We see in this verse two messengers, the first is John the Baptist and the second is Jesus, the Messiah.  Both John the Baptist and Malachi prepared the way for Jesus.  There are three persons in view in this verse, The Father(the Lord) speaks of sending a messenger( a prophet- John the Baptist) who will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord(Jesus)
Will suddenly come to His temple- Surprise! Both the wicked and the righteous will be surprised when the Messiah arrives. 
 Messenger of the covenant-This is a Messianic title referring to the one who will initiate the New Covenant.
He is coming-It would be 400 years before this would be fulfilled , however the wording indicates that something dramatic was about to occur. Remember, God’s timetable is not the same as ours!

 2 “ But who can endure the day of His coming? 
      And who can stand when He appears? 
      For He is like a refiner’s fire 
      And like launderers’ soap. 

Here Malachi is referring to the second appearing of the Messiah, and that will be a time of judgment and purification.
       3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; 
      He will purify the sons of Levi, 
      And purge them as gold and silver, 
      That they may offer to the LORD 
      An offering in righteousness. 

He will purify the sons of Levi- The priests had come under some harsh words in this book, and since Malachi, himself, was a priest, these words would hold some special significance for him.

May God richly bless you till next time!

 

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