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PART ELEVEN -  THE COMMENTARY CONCERNING THE "BOOKK OF MALACHI"" AND THE FUTURE OF GOD'S HEBREW PEOPLE

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THE FORERUNNER OF MESSIAH'S COMING, THE FIRST TIME

( 1 ). And we repeat some of the following ... concerning John the Baptizer . . .

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( 2 ). { V. 19 } Scripture: "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?

( 3 ). { V. 20 }: And he confessed and denied not; but confessed, I am not the 'CHRIST.

( 4 ). { V. 21 }: And they asked him, What then? Are you Eli'as? And he said, I am not. Are you that prophet? And he answered no.

( 5 ). { V. 22 }: Then they said to him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What do you say about yourself?

( 6 ). { V. 23 }: He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the LORD, as said the prophet Esa'ias,

( 7 ). { V. 24 }: And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

( 8 ). { V. 25 }: And they asked him, and said to him, Why [ do ] you baptize then, if you be not that CHRIST, nor Eli'as, neither that Prophet? { John 1:19-25 }."

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( 9 ). The above { Vs. 19-25 } paraphrased below in commentary form ...

( 10 ). { 19 }: "And this is 'the record [ and testimony of John the Baptist' ] when the 'Jews [ i.e., likely the chief priests' ] 'sent [ other ] priest and Levites [ to him' ] from Jerusalem 'to inquire [ of John': ], 'Who are you? [ what are you doing here?' ]

( 11 ). { 20 }: 'And [ then John ] confessed . . ., by admitting the truth [ and did not try to conceal anything', 'but he acknowledged ], I am NOT the 'CHRIST - [ i.e., or the Promised MESSIAH' of Israel' ].

( 12 ). { 21 }: And they asked him, What then? 'Are you 'Eli'as [ Elijah' the prophet ]? And he said, I am not! [ 'They asked him again, ] Are you that prophet?' And he answered No!

( 13 ). { 22 }: Then they said 'to him [ again' ], 'Who are you? [ 'Tell us, so ] that we may give an answer to them that sent us.' What 'do you [ have to ] say about yourself?'

( 14 ). { 23 }: He said, I am the voice of one 'crying [ aloud' ] in 'the wilderness ... [ i.e., the voice of one, shouting in the desert' ... 'prepare ] the way of the LORD, [ level, straighten out, the path of the LORD' ], as the prophet Isaiah said. [ Quoted from { Isaiah 40:3. }

( 15 ). { 24 }: Those that had been sent to John, were men of the Pharisees. Read { Matthew 3:7.}

( 16 ). { 25 }: And they asked him, and said to him, Why [ then are ] you baptizing, if you are not the CHRIST, nor 'Eli'as [ Elijah' ], neither that Prophet? { John 1:19-25 }."

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( 17 ). Commentary . . . Now John was not talking with a bunch of fools. These priests and Levites who came out to quiz him were well versed in the prophecies concerning the promised MESSIAH. They seem to be saying to John: "Since you have no authority, what are you doing baptizing and thus gaining followers?

( 18 ). When they heard that John was going around preaching the Gospel of the millennial Kingdom of Heaven and that it was now at hand, and baptizing with the Hebrew water ritual unto repentance, they decided they had better go out and see what this strange man was up to.

( 19 ). So when the priests went out to interrogate John, they asked him if he was the CHRIST, meaning the Anointed MESSIAH. Since he had told the people that the earthly one thousand year Kingdom of Heaven Dispensation was at hand, then perhaps he was the Promised One of Israel. '. . . [ Concerning the thousand years - read { Revelation 20:4-6 }.

( 20 ). But John replied that he was not the CHRIST. Then they asked if he was Elijah who would be sent to prepare the way of the MESSIAH. But John replied in the negative again.

( 21 ). So doubtless they thought he was some kind of a nut out there baptizing in the wilderness, and so they left him. According to the priests and Levites, if John was not the CHRIST nor Elijah the prophet, then he had no association or official capacity with the earthly Kingdom of Heaven that would be set up on this earth in the last day, and therefore, the message he proclaimed was considered by them to be in vain.

( 22 ). However, JESUS cleared the matter up when He said to Israel. 'If you will accept and receive Me as the MESSIAH, then John will indeed be Elijah.' We have mentioned this fact before but now we will enlarge on this subject . . .

( 23 ). We learn from the Scriptures that John the Baptist was almost a carbon copy of Elijah. They were both rugged men of the mountains; they both wore 'leather girdles [ i.e., belts, sashes' ]; they both lived on about the same diet; they were both sent by GOD to bring revival and confront the priesthood and the governors of Israel with their sins.

( 24 ). Even though GOD knew that Israel would reject their MESSIAH, every sign must be legally presented in accordance with the Scriptures.

( 25 ). After CHRIST was crucified, the keys of the Kingdom as we have before stated: was presented to Peter, and under the administration of Peter, the Jerusalem Congregation again made the offer of the Millennial Kingdom to Israel in accordance with the Scriptures . . .

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( 26 ). { V. 18 } Scripture: "But those things, which GOD before had showed by the mouth of all the prophets, that CHRIST should suffer, He has so fulfilled. . . . Read [ Psalm 22 ].

( 27 ). { V. 19 }: Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the LORD;

( 28 ). { V. 20 }: And He shall send JESUS CHRIST, which before was preached to you,

( 29 ). { V. 21 }: Whom the Heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which GOD has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began, { Acts 3:18-21 }."

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( 30 ). The above { V. 18-2o } paraphrased below in commentary form ...

( 31 ). { 18 }: "Thus has GOD fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of 'ALL the prophets', that His CHRIST, the MESSIAH, should undergo ill treatment and be afflicted and suffer.

( 32 ). { 19 }: 'So repent [ I say to you Jewish people' ] ... by "changing your mind and purpose [ primarily speaking to the Jews to repent during the Tribulation Period and prepare themselves for His literal return to come." He states ]: "Turn around 'and return [ to the LORD' ], 'that your sins may be erased [ and blotted out, and wiped clean' ], that times of refreshing ... [ as it would be 'when recovering from the effects of heat', or of 'reviving with fresh air of that which ] will come from the presence of the LORD';

( 33 ). { 20 }: And that 'He, [ the TRIUNE GOD' ] may 'send [ to you' who will become the saved Remnant of the Israelis during the Tribulation Period': ] 'the CHRIST, the MESSIAH [ to set up His Millennial Kingdom Governmental Theocracy' ], 'Which before was prophesied, preached, designated and thus appointed [ and promised to ... and: ] for you',

( 34 ). { V. 21 }: Whom the Heaven 'must receive [ and retain' ] until the time of the complete restoration of all the things, which GOD has spoken by the mouth of all His 'holy prophets' [ The root word for holy is "sanctified . . . set apart" ] 'since the world began [ i.e., and from the most ancient time in the memory of man ]. { Acts 3:18-21 }." [ This 'refreshing and the restitution of all things refers to the Millennial Kingdom Dispensation to come ], { Acts 3:18-21 }."

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( 35 ). Commentary . . . And even later during the years that Jerusalem was under siege by the Roman Army, GOD gave Israel every sign that the earthly Millennial Kingdom of Heaven was at hand if they would only believe that CHRIST was the MESSIAH ..., and call out for GOD to send Him back so that they could make everything right with Him. "But, they wouldn't!"

( 36 ). These many signs are found in the history of Josephus, and Josephus himself witnessed the attack on Jerusalem by the Romans.

( 37 ). But, we know from Scripture that John was unable to prepare for the LORD'S acceptance at His first coming, and neither did CHRIST purify Israel and the sons of Levi.

( 38 ). Neither did the offering of Judah become pleasant in the LORD. And, because the Hebrew nation refused the Crucified One Who came offering Himself as a sacrifice once and for all time for sin, GOD destroyed the Temple and took away their sacrifice.

( 39 ). Also, our LORD did not abolish from the Kingdom the sinners and evil doers as prophesied in { Malachi 3:4 }. But we are assured in { Revelation 21:8 }, that MESSIAH will bring the Kingdom into prominence after He returns the Second Time.

( 40 ). This same MESSIAH Who came the first time to save men from their sins is coming a Second Time to save the world from those who would destroy it. Do you know Him as your Saviour?

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( 41 ). Because there are so many important revelations in the first six verses in Malachi chapter three, and because there are such wonderful things contained in these verses I would like to go back and briefly enumerate them. The next verse is a repeat . . .

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( 42 ). { No - 1 }: Scripture: "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me." . . . { Malachi 3:1 }."

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( 43 ). Commentary . . . The messenger referred to here is Elijah who must precede the return of the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

( 44 ). Or at least he will be a prophet, that will have the same type of spirit and power as Elijah possessed back during the time he prophesied while he was on the earth during the Old Testament Period - 'that was under the Mosaic Law.'

( 45 ). JESUS said of John the Baptist that he was the one spoken of here, but then He qualified this declaration by saying that if Israel would accept Himself as the MESSIAH and King, then John would be that Elijah, evidently with the same spiritual, strength and power that Elijah had beforehand possessed.

( 46 ). Later, JESUS revealed that John's death meant that Elijah must truly come in person and restore all things. This prophecy was fulfilled at that time in type only by John the Baptist.

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( 47 ). { No - 2 }: Scripture: "... And the LORD, Whom you seek shall suddenly come to His Temple . . ., { Malachi 3:1 }."

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( 48 ). Commentary . . . According to the Word of GOD, a Temple must be standing in Israel when the MESSIAH comes. Although the Tribulation Temple will be torn down or destroyed either during the Tribulation Period itself or perhaps at the end of it.

( 49 ). We are aware that we have taught in several of our messages, that there will likely be several wars in the 7 year period of tribulation. And, since Russia, the Muslim nations, and many other nations will attack Israel during that period, missiles will probably be sent at the Jewish people.

( 50 ). Personally, I believe that it may be one of the invading nations missiles that strikes the Muslim Mosque on the Temple mount and destroys it. At least, this makes sense to me. The Bible doesn't give us that particular information.

( 51 ). After the MESSIAH'S return, the Scriptures make clear that the returning MESSIAH will build His Millennial Temple Himself. MESSIAH will suddenly come to His Temple at Jerusalem at his return in His Second Advent.

( 52 ). In typology, this prophecy was fulfilled when CHRIST came into the Temple and chased the merchants and money changers out { John 2: 14-15 }. But its greater realization is when MESSIAH returns the Second time. We read a fuller description of this glorious event as follows . . .

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( 53 ). { V. 5 } Scripture: "Hear the Word of the LORD, you that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

( 54 ). { V. 6 }: A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that renders recompense to His enemies, { Isaiah 66: 5-6 }."

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( 55 ). The above { Vs. 5-6 } paraphrased below in commentary form ...

( 56 ). { 5 }: "Hear the Word of the LORD, 'you [ the saved Remnant of Israel who have gone through the Tribulation Period' ] 'that tremble at His [ wonderful ] Word'; 'Your brethren [ i.e., who are unsaved - that is, those wicked Jews' who have ] hated you and ] 'cast you out for [ the LORD'S ] name's sake', [ 'have ] said, Let the LORD be glorified [ with Divine glory' ]: 'and He shall appear [ to you who will become the MESSIAH'S followers at His Second Coming - when He returns down from Heaven,' and 'when He does appear on the Mount of Olives and ], it will be to your joy' ..., [ 'when this occurs ... the wicked' ] 'shall be ashamed [ of themselves.' ] Read { Acts 1:9-11 - & - Zechariah 14:4 }.

( 57 ). { 6 }: [ When the MESSIAH returns they will say ... 'hark listen' to that: ] 'uproar from the city [ of Jerusalem' ]! It is a voice coming from the Temple, it's the voice from the LORD MESSIAH Himself, rendering 'recompense [ judgement' ] to all His enemies, { Isaiah 66:5-6 }." . . .

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This Commentary Continued On . . .

PART TWELVE OF THIS COMMENTARY CONCERNING THE "BOOK OF MALACHI"

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