Friday, March 27, 2009

Malachi Prepares Us For Christ's Coming (Part 2)

Mal 3:1-5
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.
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:
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.
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.
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in [his] wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger [from his right], and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. (emphasis added)

Malachi promises that the Lord whom we seek will suddenly come to his temple after his messenger, John the Baptist, has prepared the way. The Lord reiterates this promise two more times in latter day revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

D&C 36:8
8 I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen.

D&C 42:36
36 That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.

The statement in Malachi may be read in the context of the temple that is yet to stand in Jerusalem. The two statements to the Prophet Joseph Smith can be read in the context of the temple that is to be built in the New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri. Some even see the Lord's appearance in the Kirtland Temple as a partial fulfillment of these prophecies. There is more that we have yet to learn about these scriptures and their fulfillment.

The Sons of Levi had been offering up sick and lame animals on the temple altar and was an affront to Jehovah. In preparation for the second coming of Christ the Sons of Levi need to be purged so that they will offer and acceptable, righteous, offering to the Lord. This is also a clear warning to all of us who hold the priesthood that we need to make sure that our service to the Lord is worthy of his acceptation by magnifying our priesthood responsibilities. Notice that the Lord is coming to purge and to purify so that his priesthood is acceptable to him.

So, obviously, one of the things that we need to do to be prepared for the coming of the Lord is to make sure our service to him is up to his standard by magnifying our callings. He requires that our service is to be with all of our heart, mind, and strength.

We must all ask ourselves as Malachi asks, "who may abide the day of his coming?" Will I be allowed to stay during the Millennial reign of Christ or am I to be swept off the earth. In other words, am I the problem or the solution to the problems that plague the earth.

Malachi warns of six sins that one cannot be participating in and still be acceptable to the Lord when he comes. Those sins are:

1. Sorcery
2. Adultery
3. False Swearers
4. Those who oppress the weak and vulnerable
5. Those who take advantage of strangers who are not part of the culture
6. Those who do not fear the Lord (have respect and love for him as he warns, "For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in the last days" (D&C 63:58).

Most of these sins are self-apparent and speak for themselves. We must remember that this message is aimed at covenant Israel. My understanding of sorcery in that context is using anything to guide your life that is not authorized by God, such as, astrology, witchcraft, drugs, and the dark arts, etc. Those that are acceptable to the Lord are, the Light of Christ, Holy Ghost, prophets, priesthood leaders, righteous parents, scriptures, etc.

These are important warnings for those who want to live in the Millennium in peace.