Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Malachi
(Edition 1.0 20141108-20141108 )
This text of Malachi is the last text of the OT Canon. Its style also throws light on the finishing of the book of Zechariah.
Commentary on Malachi
Matthew 23:35 states that Zechariah was killed between the temple and the altar. He was untimely killed by the priests, stopping his work.
 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?  therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,  that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Christ is talking to the priests and this is a very significant point. It shows that Zechariah was killed in an untimely manner. Zechariah 1:7 shows that it was Zechari'ah the son of Berechi'ah, son of Iddo, the prophet. (See Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 4.5.4 for explanation, also Bullinger’s footnotes.) This is mentioned as it gives rise to a problem in Malachi and Zechariah.
We have one Zechariah killed allegedly 800 years previously. Zechariah the Prophet was killed 400 years previously and then 34 years after this a third Zechariah, the son of Baruch which is a very serious problem. Remember also that Isaiah was sawn in half by these people. These people have no respect for God’s prophets. ‘These people’ are whoever is in charge of the religious or church system in the mainstream of the society. The church that we see and we respect is not the mainstream church and these papists are supported by the Jesuits who murder at will.
In the last chapters of Zechariah there is a slight change in style and what is assumed is that Malachi took over duties and began to write and to finish off the last few chapters of Zechariah’s work and then closed the Canon with his book, which then became the last book of the Canon written. It was on the death of Alexander the Great which was concurrent at 323 BCE. Ezra the scribe died at the same time. The Sedum Olam Rabbah makes the point that they were contemporaneous in their deaths. Then they compiled the Old Testament Canon from the time of this death in 323 BCE. The books were listed and published and sent out by 321 BCE.
Malachi is one of the six undated of the twelve so called Minor Prophets. His book shows that the Temple worship with its sacrifices was fully restored but the ceremonial formalism and the hypocrisy which culminated in the days of our Lord’s ministry was seen actively at work at the time of Malachi. No sooner were the restraining influences of Ezra and Nehemiah removed than the corruption began and war went on apace as evidenced by Malachi 1:7-8 and 3:8 etc.
Bullinger is in error here. When Ezra died, it was not a matter of Malachi then watching the deterioration; Ezra was dying when the deterioration was in effect and Malachi was making observation before Ezra died because the Canon was closed and Malachi’s work, if it was not written before the death of Ezra, would not have been included and accepted as one of the Twelve Prophets. It was understood to be the last prophecy from Malachi and Ezra until John the Baptist. There were some prophets operating in the church but none of them received direction from the Lord in relation to any other matter for recording. There were prophets in the Temple who knew that Christ was going to be born and knew the very day that he was going to be presented at the Temple and were waiting to see him presented by Joseph and Mariam before the High Priest and the Temple Priesthood. One had had his life spared so that he could be present to witness the Messiah as God gave him permission. So prophecy did not stop but the written testaments of the Bible did.
The style of the last few chapters of Zechariah is the same style as Malachi and differs from the former chapters and it is thought that Malachi finished the book for Zechariah, when Zechariah was killed between the Temple and the altar. Zechariah was a major prophet and his work is of major importance, yet the priests thought nothing of killing him, as they thought nothing of killing Isaiah. They were frightened of Samuel and also of Elijah but they would kill them “at the drop of the hat.”
One of the problems we have is that Bullinger’s chronology is wrong. We are looking at 323 BCE as the death of Ezra and the birth of the Messiah is in ca. 6 BCE, a period of about 317 years. They are saying that this restoration in the year of Artaxerxes was 400 years and that is not correct. Bullinger’s chronology is not correct and we need to be aware of that fact. The time sequence and the rule of the kings are much better understood now than at the time Bullinger was writing. In the last 130 years we have grown in knowledge immensely. For instance, he places Ezra’s last date as 1 Nisan 403 BCE, when the Temple was rebuilt in 419 BCE and Nehemiah was sent back in the 7th week of years which is 49 years after 419. Ezra died in 323 BCE, not 403. So these dates that you will find in the Companion Bible are wrong.
 The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Mal'achi.  "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How hast thou loved us?" "Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" says the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob  but I have hated Esau; I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert."  If Edom says, "We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins," the LORD of hosts says, "They may build, but I will tear down, till they are called the wicked country, the people with whom the LORD is angry for ever."  Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, "Great is the LORD, beyond the border of Israel!"  "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. You say, `How have we despised thy name?'  By offering polluted food upon my altar. And you say, `How have we polluted it?' By thinking that the LORD's table may be despised.  When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that no evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that no evil? Present that to your governor; will he be pleased with you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.  And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts.  Oh, that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire upon my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand.
This is where the Church of God got to by the end of the Armstrongite period. Nobody would do anything for nothing. This is one of the reasons that CCG does not have a paid ministry, because this text in Malachi shows where it had got to and what Christ was condemning and the system that was rotten and nobody worked for the love of God. It was a business. God scattered them as He scattered the Temple. He sent them Christ when he was over 30 years of age. He became Priest at the Jubilee of 27 CE and from 28 CE he began his mission and the church was started. It continued on for 40 Jubilees and is in the final phase of the last jubilee now, the 120th Jubilee.
In 1987 Joseph Tkatch stated throughout his tour through USA, and around the world, that we were at Revelation chapter 11, verses 1 and 2, and that God had commenced the measuring of the Temple of God. 1987 was the beginning of the last 40 years of this Jubilee and the beginning of parole or judgment until 2027. It was the third year of the sacred calendar.
This first chapter of Malachi carries through in prophecy from 27 CE, through Christ’s death, Pentecost, the 40 years to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and its complete dispersion which began from 70 CE. The church came into the same problem in the last 40 years and that began ‘this generation,’ the term that Christ uses in the Gospel saying that ‘this generation’ will not pass away until the Messiah comes and destroys the nations of the earth and brings them into captivity under the vials of the wrath of God. “This generation” referred to by Christ began in 1987.
 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.  But you profane it when you say that the LORD's table is polluted, and the food for it may be despised.  `What a weariness this is,' you say, and you sniff at me, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD.  Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished; for I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name is feared among the nations.
The whole development of the church and the Pharisees, the development of the Sadducees in the Temple system and their collapse occurred with the Messiah. After the death of Christ the Sadducees and the factions in the Temple began to increase and become more and more corrupt. In the same way the church became more and more corrupt. The act of stopping the full Passover/Unleavened bread continuing for the full seven day period from 1965 is indicative of this. By 1967 it was no where kept by the Church of God. This was part of the problem of taking away of the sacrifices and the proper worship of God. It follows on from what happened at the time of Christ and what happened after the death of Ezra through to Christ where it became worse and then the 40 years for repentance allocated from the death of Christ to 70 CE gave the entire priesthood their judgment at the end of the Temple Period.
The measurement is now concerned with the Churches of God and their priesthood has been judged now.
 "And now, O priests, this command is for you.  If you will not listen, if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.  Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung upon your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence.
This text is directed at the priesthood and the fact that their feasts have been so totally corrupted. Armstrong and the Church of God introduced the Hillel Calendar which came out as the Jewish calendar in 358 CE. It did not exist until then but the postponements were introduced by deceit from the fall of the Temple. So not only was Judah prophesied here in Malachi to corrupt the feasts and to make them contemptible but also the Church of God in the last days under Armstrong became an apostate system using the same corrupt calendar as Judah had done. The end of the Sardis system under Herbert Armstrong was the most corrupt ever to hold office in the Church of God. The theology was corrupt, the calendar was corrupt, the administration was corrupt and the brethren were rendered to the hooves.
Note that verse 3 in the KJV reads:
 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.
We see that one of the feasts will remove these priests. In the first instance it was the feast of the Passover in 30 CE that took the priesthood away on Christ’s death. He had already ordained the 70 and the authority had been passed from the priesthood to the church. When the Holy Spirit came at that Pentecost of 30 CE in power and strength, the entire structure of the priesthood of Israel or Judah was removed and destroyed over the forty years.
 So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may hold, says the LORD of hosts.  My covenant with him was a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him, that he might fear; and he feared me, he stood in awe of my name.  True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity.  For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
This is the responsibility of the priesthood and right up to the closing of the Old Testament Canon Malachi was saying that this is their responsibility. The texts tell us that it was passed to the church by the Messiah. We are the messengers of the Lord of Hosts. They don’t get it. We have been given the responsibility in the last days for taking the mysteries of God and explaining the coming of the Messiah and the witnesses and dealing with those problems. The priesthood, both of the church and the Temple, departed out of the way.
 But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts,
That antinomianism is the biggest single problem in the Christian religion in the 21st century. The whole of the Christian structure is antinomian and they have stumbled at the law. The Jews themselves have perverted the law with the Talmud.
 and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you have not kept my ways but have shown partiality in your instruction."  Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?  Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.
If we don’t believe that the churches in the 21st century are married to a strange god and are in fact the daughters of a strange god then we haven’t got our eyes open.
 May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob, for the man who does this, any to witness or answer, or to bring an offering to the LORD of hosts!
So everybody who does will be cut off, even those who make offerings at the Temple.
 And this again you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand.  You ask, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.  "For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless."  You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, "How have we wearied him?" By saying, "Every one who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them." Or by asking, "Where is the God of justice?"
In other words, why has God not dealt with these things? Chapter two is directly concerned with the priesthood, the assemblies, the conduct of the priesthood and the people, their attitudes, their respect of persons and their failure in their families. That can be seen in our society now as to how the social structure is simply being destroyed.
 "Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts  But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
This is quoted in Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2 and Luke 1:76 and 7:27. Bullinger claims that it was not directed to our generation; it was to the Lord’s generation in his day. ‘My messenger’ is literally seen as John the Baptist.
This is he of whom it is written, `Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.'
This is Christ speaking from verse 7:
 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind?  Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings' houses.  Why then did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
So Christ said that it was John the Baptist that was this messenger sent to prepare the way for the Lord. There is however another prophet and voice sent for that purpose in the last days and he is not from the Tribe of Levi but is from the composite of the last days of Ephraim and Dan as foretold by Jeremiah (Jer. 4:15) (see the paper Warning of the Last Days (No. 044)). Then we will see the Witnesses, one of whom is Elijah as foretold.
Continuing from Malachi 3:2:
[2b] … "For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap;  he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.  Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.  "Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.  "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
So the whole purpose of the Lord is maintained and Jacob is not consumed because there is a purpose conceived by God which established Jacob as the seed and as the source of the law and the prophecy. That is also contained in the references in the Koran, in the Surah: “Those who set the ranks” which deals with the prophecy of the establishment through Moses and Aaron down to Christ. The authority of the Scriptures is established in the priesthood through Moses and Aaron, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob down to Christ and that is the sequence of the establishment of the law.
the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not
kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But
you say, `How shall we return?'  Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me.
But you say, `How are we robbing thee?' In your tithes and offerings.  You
are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me; the whole nation of you.
 Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.  I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts.  Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts.  "Your words have been stout against me, says the LORD. Yet you say, `How have we spoken against thee?'  You have said, `It is vain to serve God. What is the good of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts?  Henceforth we deem the arrogant blessed; evildoers not only prosper but when they put God to the test they escape.'"  Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another; the LORD heeded and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and thought on his name.  "They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.  Then once more you shall distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
Other people have tried to get members to the church by saying the law is corrupt and done away. It has been decided to do away with the requirement to tithe in order to get more people but that does not work.
These whole sequences of the failure to obey the laws of God are resulting in people leaving the Churches of God in significant numbers. People either want to be part of the body of Christ doing the work of God or they do not. If they don’t they need to leave.
In the end there will be two people, Enoch and Elijah, working at the Temple. We will be assisting by baptizing those who do repent in the last days. The work will then go to Christ who will build up the church right throughout the nations.
Verse 17 in the KJV says: 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 spareth his own son that serveth him.
These jewels are a peculiar treasure, an acquired property, i.e. one’s own. So the end result of the work of God will be a church of people who will be a peculiar treasure to God, specifically the sons of God.
 "For behold, the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
This is the last days being spoken of. This is when the two witnesses are sent in preparation for the Messiah and they will stand before the god of the whole world.
 But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall.  And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.  “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.  "Behold, I will send you Eli'jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse."
The sequence is in two parts. It’s the law of Moses which was given at Horeb for all Israel with the statutes and judgments that are to be kept. Then Elijah will be sent to reinforce those statutes and judgments before the great and terrible day of the Lord.
From verse 5 Bullinger notes: Elijah the prophet. Called thus, only here, and in 2Chonicles 21:12. Elsewhere, always "Elijah the Tishbite", to indicate his own person; but here "Elijah the prophet "because had Israel received Messiah, John the Baptist would have been reckoned as Elijah (see notes on Mat. 17:9-13, Mk. 9:11-13): and, at His last supper, the wine, representing His blood, would have been (as it will yet be) reckoned as "the blood of the (New) Covenant", as foretold in Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-13; 10:15-17; 12:24).
This day of the Lord as we all know is the final days which we are waiting on and that day of the Lord has notes on Isaiah 2:12,17; 13:6f. The Lord is referred to as Jehovah which is Christ acting as the High Priest in the Temple of God.
Malachi is a prophetic work that goes forward to the coming of Messiah and tells us specifically the name of the prophet that is being sent in the last days. It finished the Old Testament Covenant showing what is to happen and showing the two elements of the covenant which are: the law and the statutes and that Elijah will come as the messenger of the covenant and the law and that that will be established in the last days.
What will happen is that most of these church groups will be destroyed and there will be a reaction amongst the people in Israel and their foolishness in their behaviour will be stamped out. We will once again be prepared and brought into a proper nation and a proper group under those who are fortunate enough to be in the First Resurrection of the dead.
This is what we are working for and this is what we hope to achieve. We will be in either the First or the Second Resurrection. We work as though we qualify for the First but if we come to the Second, then that is the judgment of God. We must do what we can.
The sign of the return to God is tithing and return to the whole system; tithing properly and keeping the laws of God. Many do not want to understand the Old Testament or its relationship to the Gospels, the so-called “New Covenant” of Christ, which is merely a reiteration of the covenant he gave Moses at Sinai. Christ was the elohim, the Angel of the Presence, that gave the covenant to Moses and we must never forget that.