363: Malachi 3:2-3
The Prophecies of the Messiah: Prophecy 363
The Messiah’s new covenant will purge all those who believe, from their sins.
Old Testament Prediction:
Malachi 3:2-3 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire 3. And like launderers soap.He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Luke 1:76-77 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins…
Acts 13:38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins…
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…
Malachi asks the question: “Who can stand on the day of the Messiah’s arrival?” The question would be: “Which arrival is the prophet referring to?”
Jesus said that the purpose of His first arrival on earth was not for condemnation—yet, His presence here did bring judgment to all those who have rejected Him and the sacrifice He has made for their sins.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
John 3:18 (Jesus speaking) He who believes…is not condemned; but he who does not believe (in Jesus) is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Those who come to Jesus for salvation—through the forgiveness of their sins, will not be condemned. However, those who refuse Jesus, have judged and condemned themselves, because they have rejected the only way by which God has ordained that we can be saved. Those who make themselves blind to the truth of salvation that is only possible through Jesus Christ, affirm their blindness. Much in the same way that the Pharaoh of Egypt suffered from a very hard heart in accepting that the God of Israel was the only true God. Because Pharaoh was persistent in his obstinance, God confirmed the hardness of his heart, making it impossible for Pharaoh to believe.
This is not to say that God conducted a transformation of Pharaoh’s heart; He simply placed circumstances before Pharaoh that would cause his already hard heart to be perfected in its hardened condition.
Exodus 4:21 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.”
As you can see from this verse in Exodus 4, God does not harden a person’s heart. He does, however, allow the propensity of an already hard heart to be once and for all confirmed, by placing before a person—circumstances that will allow what is already unyielding to be forever unyielding. Pharaoh’s heart was made firm in its hardness, by observing the “wonders” that Moses performed in his sight.
In Jesus’ first arrival, He saved all those who came to Him in humility, out of a broken heart for their sin, by extending mercy and forgiveness. Those who would not see by the stubbornness of their heart, much as the atheists or agnostic today refuses to see, God will confirm their blindness and thereby allow these persons to find it impossible to ever see the truth.
There is a point at which a person who refuses to believe what is so clear and obvious, will reach a place where they will never be able to comprehend God, nor His plan of salvation. We observe this phenomenon in those who consider themselves informed and educated regarding the nature and existence of the universe, while denying its obvious source—God. In the words of theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, “God is not necessary…” Dr. Krauss reached this place where it is impossible for him to believe because of many years of denying and rejecting God in his life.
The Lord is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows in his life, he will reap. Those who sow unbelief in the truth of God’s simple message of salvation, will reap a heart that cannot believe. God will confirm their obstinance—thereby making their salvation an impossibility. There is a point in every human life, where after years of saying no to God, He will let this person go and they will be lost eternally.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind…
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Once a person reaches a point of unyielding to spiritual truth, it becomes nearly impossible for him to ever believe.
In answer to Malachi’s question, “Who can stand on the day of the Messiah’s arrival?”—the solution is found in the atoning work of the Messiah at the cross. As Malachi speaks of two purifying agents of fire for metals and soap for clothing, the Messiah’s atonement cleanses us from all sin—past, present, and future. The soap, being the blood of Christ that washes away all of our sins; while the fire of trials purifies the believer in a continuing process of refinement.
The Old Testament remedy for sin was to bring an animal to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle and lay your hands upon his head. As the lamb stands before you with your hand upon him, your sins are transferred to his account and removed from yours. When the animal dies and his blood is shed, your sins are forgiven.
The major problem with the old covenant sacrifice is that it did not have the power to permanently remove the sins of the guilty, forever. The new covenant that God has made with us—bases our forgiveness and cleansing upon what Jesus has done. When a person hears that Jesus has died for them on the cross—to pay the penalty for their sins, and this person believes this truth—God accounts this person as righteous. God will not only forgive those sins; He will permanently remove them as though they never existed. This is what the term “justification” means. “Just-as-if-i had ever sinned.”
All those who had their sins covered by the blood of the Old Testament sacrifices did not have their sins purged completely. When Jesus completed His sacrifice on the cross, and was put to death—rising from the dead on the third day—every sin committed from the beginning of the world to the very end, was paid in full.
See Prophecy 332 for a complete study on the Old Testament sacrifices at the Tabernacle, in comparison to the one perfect sacrifice Jesus made for us as the Messiah.
Hebrews 10:4-10 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
God’s new covenant with us declares us “not guilty” and grants us eternal life, if we come to Him on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Just as it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats—under the old covenant could take away sins, it is not possible for any human being to be saved apart from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
God has chosen only one method whereby He will grant us a full pardon for our sins. If we accept this offer by faith, trusting that God will do what He has promised—then at the end of our life, when our heart ceases to beat, we will open our eyes in heaven and live in perfection and beauty forever, never to die again.
How one man could die for the sins of the whole world:
 Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing (New York: Free Press, 2012), 191.