Malachi On the Judgment Of Physical Israel and Its Transformation

"The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3. And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
4. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever." Malachi 1: 1-4

Malachi starts by saying this is the word of the Lord to Israel. When that Israel is seen from the teachings of Paul, from the revelations given him by the risen Christ (Acts 26: 15-18), we know that Israel which became disobedient to the Lord is physical Israel. In Romans and Galatians, when Paul makes a distinction between the "children of the flesh" (Romans 9: 6-8) and "the children of the promise," which is the spiritual seed of Abraham (Romans 9: 7, Galatians 3: 3-29), he does not say that the elect of God is the ekklesia, the meeting, the assembly or the congregation.

Rather that talk about the elect being the church, Paul in Colossians 3: 10-12 says "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
12. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"

Physical Israel is said to be lost in Matthew 15: 24, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

But Christ in the parable of the fig tree of Luke 13: 6-9, when the Father wanted to cut down the fig tree because it was bearing no fruit, Christ, the dresser of the vineyard said, "Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it." Christ fulfilled the prophecy of II Kings 21: 13, Isaiah 29: 16 and Jeremiah 18: 1-6 by giving Israel new life. That new life was himself in human flesh, and the transformation of Israel from a physical house to that spiritual house of I Peter 2: 5-9 is the metamorphosis of Romans 12: 2, the renewing of the mind by taking in the mind of Christ (Philippians 2: 5). It is being born again in John 3: 1-6, which Christ says must happen in order to be in the kingdom of God. And Christ was telling this to a member of physical Israel, Nicodemus.

Paul also teaches about the difference between physical Israel, the lost Israel of Matthew 15: 24, and Israel the elect, the spiritual house, in Romans 2: 23-29, where he uses the term "Jew" and says there is an outward Jew of the flesh, and an inward Jew of the heart, in the Spirit. Again, in Galatians 4: 25-26 Paul writes about this distinction, using the term "Jerusalem." He says there is one Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children, and another Jerusalem, or Israel, which is above, is free, and is the mother of us all. "Us all" is the elect, those who are saved. All those who are saved in Christ Jesus are Israel as the Jerusalem which is above and is free. So, "All Israel shall be saved." Romans 11: 26. He could have said "All Israel is saved."

The Lord says in Malachi 1: 4, "They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever."

But is Malachi talking about Edom, or Esau, or physical Israel here? Malachi starts by saying "The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi." Edom lost the birthright and sought to get it back. Israel fell away into apostasy, and still claimed to be the chosen people, to get back its position, which it claimed never to have lost. But remember that Matthew 15: 24, in the New Testament, says physical Israel is lost. Amos 7: 8 and Amos 8: 2 say "I will not pass by them any more." Amos 2: 4, 5 say "their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked: But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem."

Amos 5: 26-27 says "Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts."

Stephen in Acts 7: 43 quotes Amos 5: 26-27, and - because of this and the fact that the Pharisees could not develop a dialectic argument against the absolute truths of scripture Stephen was preaching, they bit him and then stoned him to death.

Malachi 1: 11-12 says "For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible."

Physical Israel is said to have profaned the name of God. Paul in Romans 2: 17, 19, 23-25 says something similar to Malachi 1: 11-12, "Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God.........And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness..........Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision."

Again, is Malachi talking about Edom, or Esau, or physical Israel? He is talking about physical Israel.

In Chapter 2 Malachi says "And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn 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 the LORD of hosts.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." Malachi 2: 4-8

The subject of Malachi is physical Israel in apostasy.

"Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. Malachi 2: 14-15

Physical Israel is arguing that because she was the "wife of thy covenant," and no one should deal treacherously with the wife of his youth, that Israel must always be the chosen people of God. And followers of John Darby, C.I. Scofield and Lewis S. Chafer continue to make this same argument.

Malachi answers for the Lord in verse 17 of Chapter Two, "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?"

The answer comes in Malachi 3: 1-3, "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to this temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 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: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifer 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."

Malachi is not writing just about John the Baptist appearing. John the Baptist in verse 3: 1 will prepare the way, but "...the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to this temple, even the messenger of the covenant." Jesus Christ is the Lord, the messenger of the New Covenant. But "...who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire." Christ was to be a refiner's fire, and that "fire" was to transform those of physical Israel who had ears to hear him and let him change them. Those who did not hear him, but rejected him, were to be cut off (Romans 11: 17, 19-20).

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

Then Malachi 4: 2-6 is a great prophecy for the coming of the New Covenant and the transformation of physical Israel into a spiritual house where the Sun of Righteousness will have healing in his wings. The Truth, which is Jesus Christ (John 14: 6), is healing.

"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." II Thessalonians 2: 10

In that transformation of physical Israel to Israel as a spiritual house, reborn in Christ, the members of the elect, the seed of Abraham, who are the seed of God, come to love the truth of God's word and defend it. They love the truth of God's word more than relationships of this world based upon feelings.

"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. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts...........
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Malachi 4: 2-3, 5-6.

Elijah the prophet is John the Baptist, who spoke about the ax being laid to the root of the trees, and that every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and burned, all metaphoric for judgment on physical Israel. Matthew 3: 10 But a spiritual Israel was to be created by Christ.