Losing Our Faith

Polluted Privileges

Book of Malachi Chapters 1-3

Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament

We have seen in our study of the Old Testament, where Israel would sin, and the Lord would chastise them over and over again.

Jehovah would scatter them across foreign soil, and He would allow them to return back to the Promised Land. These things happened over and over again, until God will chastise them one more time and then go away for 400 or more years and let the world see what happens.

All these things are still the plan of God from the beginning, but these things are beginning to sink in.

What was happening?

They doubted God’s love.
They doubted God’s Word.
They doubted God’s great promises.
They doubted God’s justice.
They doubted God’s willingness to do anything for them.
They doubted God’s willingness to do anything against them.

All these things happened because they had lost their faith.

They had forgotten the “mercy” of God, written in all the Old Testament!

All these things then led to rebellion against the Lord and they were blaspheming His Holy Name.

Whenever sin and doubt become our religion, corruption becomes evident in our lives!

Before we start there is a passage we need to look at:

There is a verse in the Book of Malachi that is not in our lesson today.

Mal 1:5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

We can look at this Scripture both ways.

It could mean that the Lord’s name will be magnified from all the border of Israel inward, and this will take place in our future.

It could also mean that the Lord’s name will be magnified from the borders of Israel outward to all other nations, and we know that this will also take place.

Add this next Scripture:

Psa 83:17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
Psa 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

It is the Lord God Jehovah who is the Most-High over all this Earth who is getting no respect!

We can see this in America, and we see this in the modern day church.

The Book of Malachi was written by the Prophet Malachi and “Malachi” means “the messenger of the Lord”.

The Book of Malachi was probably written around 433 BC just over 400 years before the time of Jesus Christ.

During these 400 years, Persia would fall to Greece and then Greece would fall to Rome, who ruled the known world when the Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

I guess you have all heard the latest news from the Muslim, “that Palestine ruled Bethlehem at the time of Christ, so Jesus is a Palestinian Muslim”.

It was Rome who first called the area around and near Israel, Palestinia, and the Jews were on the land at that time even though they again were a conquered nation.

Malachi was alive during the time Persia ruled the majority of the known world.

Malachi remained true to the Word of God, as did Ezra and Nehemiah.

The Book of Malachi remains as a Book of the Bible that calls God’s people back to faithfulness.

We know that many in Israel were returning again to their old sinful ways by the words given to Malachi by the Holy Spirit.

Malachi also described the coming of God’s Judgment.

Again as most of the other Prophets, the Book of Malachi gives us a glimpse into the Character of God!

It truly breaks God’s heart for His children to return to sin!!!!!!!!

We see that we are deeply loved by God!

If we want to know what God is doing right at this very moment? God has His eyes on us!!!!!!!

So let’s begin

*****Mal 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
Mal 1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

I believe God is asking this same question of us here today!!

What is the most common sin of God’s people?

It is written right here in this passage. “We do not always show reverence to our Father in Heaven”.

We do not always give God our very best, and the Lord will not accept our second best!

Remember, the Lord is sanctified, it is we who need to be sanctified.

We owe our allegiance to our Savior, we owe our life to our Savior.

In fact, we owe everything we have, physically and Spiritually, to our Savior.

Yes this includes our tithes, the very first part of any income.

Even in the Christian world, we have lost our fear of our Awesome God!

Yes, He is the God of love.
Yes, He is the God of creation.

He is also the God of all Power!

I believe when we first see Him, we may be hunting some place to hide from our terrible God, until He says, “peace be with you”.

Deu_7:21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.

If we fear anything in this world, then we do not know how powerful is our God!

Anytime we go against God the Father, or His dear Son or go against the Holy Spirit, we have dishonored our Savior, who gave it all just so we would have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him!

If we make up our own laws to live by, we have said the table of the Lord is contemptible!

Where have we despised the name of God?

Here is what God said to these Jews.

*****Mal 1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

If we have not given our very best, we have offered the blind to God for a sacrifice!

If the things we offer God are tarnished in any way, we have offered the lame and the sick!

If we try in any way to hold onto our hidden sin, God will not be pleased with us!

These are facts!

If we do not worship God in Spirit and Truth, we have not reverenced God.
If we do not adhere to all the Word of God, we have not reverenced God.
If we give in to our temptations, we have not reverenced God.
If we do not pick up our cross and follow the Lord daily, we have not reverenced God!
If we have not sacrificed our heart to the will of God, we have not reverenced our God!
If we have taken the name of the Lord in vain, we have shown the Lord we do not love Him as we say we do!

If the Lord does not live in our heart, we are not even God’s child!

We should ask ourselves this same question! Will He be pleased with us?

What is God’s answer?

*****Mal 1:14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

What is the actual truth? To worship the Lord in a way that goes against what He teaches us, is worse than not worshiping the Lord at all!

We need to take a moment and let that sink in!

What did God say to the Jews?

Isa 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

When we just worship to be worshiping, we are deceiving ourselves!

If we forget God’s “mercy”, we have forgotten why we worship!

If we forget we are saved by “faith” we have forgotten why we worship!

If we have forgotten God’s “judgment”, we have forgotten it is the Lord that washed us in His blood!

What is going on in the modern-day church? We see the offerings to God without repentance!

It will just not work that way! We should think on “Faith” and “Repentence” as the first steps in the right direction!

We cannot just offer things to the Lord, thinking we can appease Him!

We must understand that we are full of sin as long as we are in these bodies of flesh, but we still cannot abuse God’s “Grace”!

Repent, is a word we do not hear much of other than here at Gethsemane!

We need Pastors and Preachers to teach the truth!

*****Mal 2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

What is a true man of God?

1) He is divinely called: There is no such thing as choosing to be a preacher, it is a special calling of God!
2) He must be a man of profound reverence: This is a respectful, submissive, attitude toward the Lord God, built upon affection and esteem for the truth.
3) He must be a man of truthfulness: Because the Word of God is true and it must be taught as the truth, with no higher authority.
4) He must be a man devoted to his calling, unwavering.
5) He must be devoted to the Lord and this devotion passed down to his flock.
6) He must be a man of intelligence, not worldly book learning, but the wisdom of God through knowledge of the Word of God.

God only has “one standard” for those He has called to preach the “Gospel”!

That one standard is “for” every Preacher, to guard the truth of the Scriptures!

What happens if they fail? They will face the “judgment” of God.

This also holds true for every teacher!

We have the law that came from God’s mouth, it is the Bible, the preserved Word of God, from the original Greek and Hebrew text.

If not, we will fall into the curse of God!

God’s blessing will turn into the curse of God!

That good Pastor will turn away from all iniquity.

A good Pastor will never depart from the truth of God!

*****Mal 2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

What had these priests done? They had perverted the Word of God to please great men!

They had twisted the Word of God to serve what God had forbidden!

They had only given the Law of God, that suited their own benefit!

Sounds just like the many who pervert the Word of God today and people say the Old Testament is not good enough for the modern-day Church.

Shame on all those who call themselves “called of God” yet they serve their own calling.

Jer 28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
Jer 28:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
Jer 28:17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

How can a man preach about sin, when they are deliberately withholding their own sin to suit themselves?

The job of the Christian Minister, must bring all the Word of God, fearlessly, faithfully, firmly, and impartially!!!!!!!

They are never sent of God to tickle ears.
They are never to modify the Word of God to hinder its application to anyone just because of their social status.
They must present the Word of God as the perfect Word of God that it is!

They must never confirm men in their sins!

Even today we have gay pastors in certain denominations. This goes against the Scriptures!

We have multitudes claiming that God created them “to sinful lives” and therefore they need not repent to Biblical truth.

Each one of these who pervert the Word of God, will be destroyed and they will be accountable for their destruction of others, who believed them!

They will be rejected of God and condemned by the people they had misled!

Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Gal_2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

What is the truth of these men?

*****Mal 2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

When fake ministers and fake Christians call evil good and good evil.

When we ask where is the God of Judgment?

We must understand that these people will be held accountable for their foolish life!!!!!

Every minister is called of God to instruct us in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ who adhered to every law in the Word of God and did everything He set out to do for the glory of God!!!!!!!

That word “wearied” means these men are trying God’s patience!!

Those who think along these lines today, really think that God does not care about His creation!

What is the truth of our God?

2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 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.

We have to believe God knows what He is doing, and His patience will run out one day!

What did God say?

God said He would send John the Baptist to prepare for the Messiah.

*****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.

God said He would send a real messenger because they were not His messengers!

These men knew about the Messiah, because they knew of the true prophets that they had rejected.

We should understand these people had seen the work of God take place in their own life time.

Malachi was a prophet sent of God in the days of Nehemiah.

They had seen the words of Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel come true in their lifetime.

Who can really say, what were they thinking, but it should be obvious, they were only thinking of themselves and they were not worried about the coming of the Messiah?

Malachi was the last prophet they would see for more than 400 years but they did not care at this time.

What do we know? The Temple had been rebuilt, the city of Jerusalem had been restored and maybe some places still showed signs of the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar.

The walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt, which gave them that sense of security and all these things had been dedicated to the Lord.

A Jew, Queen Esther of Persia was in a place to help the Jews for her life time and again thru her son who would also be the next king.

Some would think the Jews had everything going for them so why would the Levites act in such a way?

There are corrupt priest in every age and every life time just as there are, today! Even today no one is really concerned with the coming of the Messiah for the second and final time.

The prophet Malachi offered up the truth of God and the truth of the Scriptures!

*****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.

All our hope rest in the Word of God which we have seen over and over again, God has proven to these people that He loves them, but he will not tolerate those who abuse the truth of God, nor those that teach them it is OK to do so!

In actuality Malachi 3:2 tells us of the First and the Second Coming of the Lord.

What was the world like when the Lord first came?

The world was under world-wide domination. First the Babylonians, then the Persians, then the Greeks and at the time of Christ, the Romans. (The Heathen)

For the most part the Jewish leadership had strayed away from the Word of God even though God will always have a certain group of people, a remnant, who will stay faithful.

What will the world be like when the Lord returns? Guess what, it will not be much different. All the Superpowers are flexing their muscles to see who will come out on top, and many Christians have left their 1st love and most of the rest can only be said to be “lukewarm” Christians.

What did Jesus say?

Luk_18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Add to this:

Luk_17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Add to this:

Luk_17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Anyone in their right mind can see that we are in those last days of the Church Age, and then these other things will take affect and the Lord Jesus will return just as He says!

No one will be able to abide at His coming accept a few Jewish people, a remnant of what it could have been!

“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.”

John the Baptist did pave the way for the coming of the Lord, but the coming of the Lord will be in two stages. At His first coming the Lord established the Church which was certainly pleasant unto the Lord, but it is at the Second Coming of the Lord when Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the Lord!

****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.

Every age has its peculiar features. It is our duty to study the past. A knowledge of the past is often the basis of safety in the present, and stability in the future.

We should not be fooled, it is the days of old that created these present days and one reason is, we seem to never remember the mistakes of our past. No Age can begin for itself, since the time of Adam and yes Adam looked just like humans do today!

We cannot understand the present without acknowledgment of the past!

Today in America, there is a goal to erase the past, and this one thing will be the most foolish thing that could ever happen.

I should repeat myself there is a goal to erase only the portions of the past that does not fit in with the direction a certain group of people would have us to go!

It is History that teaches us, so we do not make the same mistakes!

Jewish history should have been the answer to the mistakes the Jews made at the time of Jesus Christ!

The days of old were full of Divine revelations.

What we should ask ourselves, just how many times should God ask us to “repent” until He moves on, and He will move on!

Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

What do we see in the past of the Jews?

The Bible is God’s record of the “days of old.” We may learn what He will be to us in our days, by what He was to men then. His faithfulness, mercy, and truth are written unmistakably on those wondrous days.

*****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?

God still says “REPENT”!

We must understand that as soon as a nation is prosperous in worldly things, it is at this point when they will begin to slip.

We have seen this over and over again in the Old Testament!

What is melancholy?

Full of misery; distressful; wretched; afflictive; that may or does produce great evil and grief; as a melancholy event.

Today we see a great falling away from the ordinances of God and the results is the nation we see today only a glimmer of what it could still be!

Malachi describes what happened to Israel when they continually had a similar falling away, even over and over again.

To repent is to return to the path of the Lord and never stray again!

It is not here a few days and then there a few days and then start all over again.

In the end we all have robbed God!

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

We should understand that all we have actually belongs to God because He gave it to us!

By the Laws of Moses given to these of Israel, a tenth of all produce, a tenth of all the flocks and of cattle, belonged to God and “MUST” be offered to Him.

It is this tenth that was assigned to the Levites for their services at the Temple, and to the people for teaching them the Scriptures and their meaning.

In order for them to do this thing, they had to constantly learn the Scripture themselves.

Num 18:20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
Num 18:21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Num 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

You see, it was not about giving to the Church as it was sustaining those who God had appointed the care of the Church on a fulltime basis.

Nehemiah dealt with this when he was Governor of Israel, and none of this tenth was for Persia because the king had stated that Israel would not be taxed.

Nehemiah had to return to Persia for a time that, some say was 3 years, but when he returned to Israel, he had to deal with this same things again.

You see we do not understand this process!

If we give God a tenth of what he has given to us, He will bless us by giving us more.

This is not a prosperity thing, like the more we give the more God gives, this is a blessing for being obedient!

Now this law was for the Jews, but it is also a guideline for giving to the Church for the same reasons!

In reality this is the first step in departing from God!

You see this in an outward sign of our inward heart for God!

When we do not support the work of God, how can we say we love the Lord with all our heart.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

This seems like such a little thing our tithes, but in reality, it reflects our love for our Savior.

This was the same meaning given in the Laws of Moses!

God is serious about this thing!

That curse meant they would have even less to give which meant they would have even less for themselves and their families.

Is this cruel? No it is just fact!

Rev_2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Our first love is the Lord Jesus Christ, if we cannot show an outward love for Him, how can we say we love Him with all our heart?

*****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 was happening at this time in Israel?

The people were robbing God of tithes and offerings. (see how these are two separate things)

The priests were polluting God’s altar.

They gave things to God that they would not give to their neighbor.

Yet they could not realize the evil they were doing!

You see sin brings its own punishment!

This tenth came about before the laws of Moses, all the way back to Abraham before Israel was even a nation, so how can we say that it does not apply to the Church.

Besides the tithe (a tenth) there is the freewill offering for specific needs of others.

We must understand that God as our Creator owns all His creation, and should not our owner reap part of the rewards that He gives us!

Here is another place in the Scriptures where God promises a blessing.

How can we turn down the blessings of God?

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Published by

Bobby Mayfield

I just want to be an obedient servant of God.

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