Chapter Two:

The Old Testament


Malachi 2: 4-7: “And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant may be with Levi, saith Jehovah of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him that he might fear; and he feared me, and stood in awe of my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of hosts.“

Note: We, who belong to the Body of Christ, are a royal priesthood, and our lips should keep knowledge, and we should continually seek the righteousness of God because we are messengers of God, Not only speaking the truth of His Word but living the truth of His precepts, displaying the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

The book of Malachi closes our Old Testament. Malachi is purported to be the last prophet, and that the book was written around 450/430 BC which was followed by the “silent period” or the period of “spiritual drought”. (Amos 8:11). The writings of Amos were in the form of argumentation against the style of living and the apathy toward the statutes of God; the complacency and indifference that seems to so easily overcome God’s children, and is so prevalent in this generation.

Malachi presents a dialogue by God, followed by complaints from the people again and again. Then he closed the book with the admonition to those Jews to “remember the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” The LAW was not for the gentiles, but was to let everyone who loved God understand what to do in order to do what was right in the sight of God.. The point being, to recognize and acknowledge! Then he predicted the forerunner of Christ ,John the Baptist, and the appearance of the Messiah.

Malachi 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.”


Malachi 3:16 -18: “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. 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 sparest his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”

Malachi 4:1: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

For those who “remembered God’s statutes”, learned its principles, discerning between those that obey God and those that do evil, and speaking about God among themselves, God put their names (those Jews under the Old Testament) in a book of “remembrance” (Malachi 3:16). To those that fear His name and obey His Will in baptism to receive remission of their sins, (under the New Testament - learning its principles, discerning between those that obey God and those that do evil, and speaking about God among themselves), Christ is that Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings, and their names are entered into the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12). Malachi outlines the characteristics of the true priest (Malachi 2:4-9): the true priest maintains his covenant with God; his life is ordered by the divine will; and his service is in keeping with his covenant obligations.

Among the listings of the sins of the people (Malachi 2:10 through 3:18) he gives:

(1) The dangers of intermarriages and divorce, calling it detestable (verses 10-16); New Testament teachings; Paul admonishes us to marry “in the Lord”. We endanger the strength of our faith when we consider marrying a non-Christian even though we think we can convert them later. Most of the time, the subject of Faith becomes one that is not even discussed in the home under those conditions. From the beginning, God made it one man/one woman, and sanctified marriage.

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2.) He promises to send His Messenger, and condemns false worship and unholy conduct. (Chapter 2:17 through 3:6);

We are to listen to Christ and obey from the heart. Worshiping in order to please oneself or others and accepting false teachings is condemned. One should worship in truth and in spirit, keeping oneself unspoiled from the world.

(3.) Robbing God. He gives the blessings for obedience and trust (chapter 3:6-12); and the effect of God’s corrective measures (chapter. 3: 14-18).

We seek the greatest blessing – eternal life – in Christ. God gives us blessings in Christ such as peace, joy, hope, and salvation. (Romans 5:1-11) When we see a brother erring we admonish him to bring him back to Christ and his statutes, and we may save that soul from eternal damnation. (Galatians 6:1) If we overlook and excuse such practices, then we are a partaker of the evil deeds by accepting his actions and fellowshipping with him.

The New Testament is very clear and full of the ways to walk in the light, but if you ignore them, and press more toward the saving the soul of others, which is necessary, but do not emphasize displaying the attributes of Christ in your life, you are missing the point of Christian Faith. 1 Corinthians 9:27: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

You say "Praise the Lord for all His blessings ", but you do not follow His commands or serve your brother as you are told to do. Your feet run to the pleasures of this world, all the partying, sports, Disney Worlds, places to play in the water, fun-fun-fun-and-games, and spend your money on things that make your life comfortable, pleasurable and ostentatious: but your "neighbor" is starving both physically and psychologically, as well as spiritually. Pleasures of this world are acceptable when you spend your time and your money on them within reason, while also giving heed to the needs of family, friends, and the poor that are within your scope of opportunity. You spend daily times talking about politics and all that irritates or pressures you, gossiping and ridiculing, puffing yourself up, but do not spend your time talking about God and His marvelous works and the truth of His word; but you condemn others for being neglectful of their Christian "duties".

The Truth is painful but necessary! And if I speak the truth, do I become your enemy? God does not change (Malachi 3:6); therefore, the Old Testament cannot contain truths which are not upheld in the New Testament in some way; the two most important commands:“that we love the Lord God with all our might, and love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:40).

And, since God is unchangeable, and since we are now a holy priesthood unto him, these truths are attributes we should incorporate into our lives and hold to, even though we have been set free from the rituals and the “toiling in the works of the Law”. By obedience in baptism, we are now under the New Covenant in Christ’s blood, and our service should be in keeping with our “covenant obligations”; that which we commit our lives to under Christ’s royal law; meeting with the saints; fellowshipping with the brethren and esteeming one another in love; partaking of the Lord’s supper, among other things such as the fruit of the spirit, bearing one another’s burdens; caring for the widows and orphans, etc. Also, we should understand what sin is and guard ourselves accordingly.

Luke 22:16-20: “For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Timothy 6:20-21: “ Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babbling, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.”

And now, since He is our High Priest, we are to observe all he taught.

Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

His life, as fulfillment of the law, should be the standard we strive to imitate; not as following the “Law”, but as following Christ. And His covenant determines the relationship we have with God, and the relationships between the world and us.



Table Of Contents

Preface
Introduction
About The Author
Chapter One: The Covenants
Chapter Two: The Old Testament
Chapter Three: Our Relationship to God
Chapter Four: The Old Covenant
Chapter Five: Under The Law?
Chapter Six: Learning Faith
Chapter Seven: The New Covenant
Chapter Eight: The Royal Law
Chapter Nine: Experiences and Learning
Chapter Ten: Growing Spiritually
Chapter Eleven: Striving For Perfection
Chapter Twelve: Relationships and Responsibily.
Chapter Thirteen: Walking Worthily
Chapter Fourteen: Learning Faithful Love
Chapter Fifteen: What Is Grace

References

~~~ Poems ~~~

The Pilgrim