Jesus in Malachi 3:3

Malachi 3:3 “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.

This is our Jesus…seated in glory.  His eyes are like – well, let me have the apostle say it:

Revelation 1:14 …His eyes were like a flame of fire.

These eyes see into the deepest parts of our soul.  And if we remain mindful of these eyes, they will purge the evil from our hearts, for we only want to think and be motivated by what pleases Him.  Thus will we be purified for Him.  As Paul wrote to Titus:

Titus 2:14 [Christ] gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Thus is Jesus Christ our Lord the fulfillment of what God promised through the prophet Malachi in Malachi 3:3.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Jesus in Ezekiel 38:1

Ezekiel 38:1 And the word of the LORD came to me saying,

Is Jesus not “the word of the Lord” to us?  See what the apostle John says about Him:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So, yes, Jesus is “the word” of the Lord to us.  John also said this:

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

And so we can see that Jesus is “the word of the Lord” come to us.  And that word says:

1 Peter 1:16 …”YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

Therefore, let us heed the word of the Lord…and be holy unto Him.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify: 1 Peter 1:16 is quoting Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; 20:7.)

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This Is Not the Day of Church; It is the Day of the Lord

The day of the church was New Testament times.  We can read there the glory of that church that bore glorious witness to her Lord.  The light of that witness shines so bright that it is still enlightening us today – and will be lighting creation for all eternity.  Their witness shall never be silenced.

But they did not live in the day of the Lord.  Read their letters: they looked forward to the day of the Lord and saw themselves as on the eve of it.  That day came as that generation was passing away.  And since it is an eternal day, it burns as brightly for us.

The members of the New Testament church would be the first to tell you; relinquish your grasp of the church that you might fully grasp the Lord.  For this is His day!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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The Bible Is a Record of God’s Interaction with His People

The Bible is a collection of ancient writings that record God’s interactions with His people across many generations.  We who live in modern times can learn from it because “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and “no temptation has overtaken us but such as is common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Even Jesus’ short life of 33 years was long enough for Him to be “tempted in all things as we are” (Hebrews 4:15).  Therefore, Paul was able to write of Satan, “we are not ignorant of his schemes.”

From the compendium of the Bible we are able to find parallels to the temptations we face in life.  We have no need of a modern text for this purpose; the ancient one will do just fine.  Satan has no new tricks.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Proper Study of the Bible Is Devotional, Not Intellectual

The Bible can be studied intellectually, but that doesn’t mean this is the best way to study it.  If it were, intellectuals who study the Bible would be the people most like Jesus.  However, we know that it’s often humble, and relatively uneducated, people who remind us most of our Lord.

Yes, you should use all of your mind to study the Bible just as you should use all of your soul and body and strength.  But do not think that a mind with educational degrees is able to absorb any more of the life-changing spiritual power in those words than a mind without them.

Make sure your study of the Bible is primarily devotional, and not intellectual, in nature.

And by devotional, I don’t mean reading it and forgetting it.  I mean reading with a view to do.  That is, study the Bible devoted to the purpose of practicing what it teaches you about our Lord.

Intellectual reading of the Bible produces theologians; devotional reading of the Bible produces saints.  God is interested in producing saints, not theologians.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Are We To See a Connection Between the Good Samaritan’s Story and Martha’s?

The story of the Good Samaritan occurs in Luke 10:25-37.  It is immediately followed in Luke 10:38-42 by the story of the sisters Mary and Martha: one of whom sat and listened to Jesus while the other tried to serve Him, being “worried and bothered” in the process.  Can it be that Luke (or, more importantly, the Holy Spirit) wants us to see the similarity between Martha’s “busyness” for the Lord and the hurrying of the priest and Levite right by the wounded traveler?

Might this sort of dynamic also be a reason for James’ admonition in James 4:13-17?  He chides those who do not recognize that even if you believe you are “going to Jericho for the will of God” it can still be the will of God for you to stop along the way to help someone in need.  Even if it makes you a day late and a dollar short.

Read the two passages from Luke 10 mentioned above and see if you see at least a slight similarity between Martha and the priest and the Levite.  Then, be willing to stop anywhere along the way of your life in order to do the will of God.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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How Can God Be Found True If No One Can Be Sure What He Has Said?

Paul wrote:

Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar…

Some say that the Bible is subject to interpretation and that therefore it’s pointless to argue about what God has said.  But if we cannot know what God has said, then the idea that He does not lie is useless.

That God testifies through the prophets and apostles that He does not lie is therefore evidence that He does not consider it impossible to be sure about anything He has said.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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The Feast of Booths

The first biblical reference to booths is found here:

Genesis 33:17 Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth.

Moses expanded this idea into a time of celebration for Israel:

Leviticus 23:34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD.

Booths were temporary housing which foreshadowed the church of saints first drawn to the resurrected Christ that we see in the New Testament.

It was not God’s intent that Israel live indefinitely in booths.  Neither was it His intent that the New Testament church go on indefinitely.  It was only to house the believing until the kingdom of God came.  And that was to happen, of course, before the generation of Jesus’ contemporaries had all passed away (Matthew 10:23; 16:28; 24:34).  (If you are in doubt, see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.)

See also these posts:

The Feast of Temporary Housing

When Christ Was King of Israel and When He Became King of All Nations

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Jesus Was Anointed on Earth, and the Son of God in Heaven

The New Testament confession of Jesus was “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” as voiced famously by the disciple Peter in Matthew 16:16.  This confession was echoed in John 20:31.  These and other such confessions are echoes, of course, of Psalm 2 – quoted most extensively in Acts 4:25-26.

Jesus was certainly seen as anointed by God while on earth.  As Peter said:

Acts 10:38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

And Jesus was seen as the Son of God most notably in His resurrection from the dead.  As Paul wrote of Him:

Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead…

Linking the resurrection of Jesus to Psalm 2, Paul says:

Acts 13:32 “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers,
Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’

Thus Jesus was viewed as anointed like a prophet while on earth (Isaiah 61:1), and crowned as the Son of God in His resurrection (Psalm 110:1).  This is not to say that He could not be seen as the Son of God on earth or as anointed in heaven.  It is to say, however, that He ministered as a prophet on earth and not as a king.  He didn’t begin to reign as king until His elevation to heaven.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify – e.g. Acts 13:33 above which is quoting Psalm 2:7.)

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The Righteous Scepter of the King

The righteous scepter of the King of the kingdom of God – who is, of course, Jesus our Lord – is the life He lived on earth.

A rod is a branch that is cut off from the tree.  And, of course, Jesus was the Branch (Isaiah 4:2 and elsewhere) and He was cut off from the living (Isaiah 53:8).

Jesus lived a perfect life.  He loved everyone – even His enemies.  He turned the other cheek; He walked the extra mile.  To put it succinctly, He practiced what He preached.  That perfect life was cut short (“cut off”).

It is by this life that He measures righteousness.  If you want to be righteous, measure up to that.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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