Malachi 3-4

Malachi 3-4

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

These last two chapters of Malachi and the ending to the Old Testament have a great deal of importance. First we learn that God does not change; He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He will never change, period. Secondly we learn that God has a marvelous plan for us all, he sent a messenger before the coming of His son Jesus Christ to die for all our sins, so that we could return to live with our Heavenly Father [God] again. God reminds us of the importance of paying a full and HONEST tithe and offering. This of course means 10% of our gain, whether we work for it or it be given to us, it is a gain.

In the last part of Malachi chapter 3 verses 16, we learn of the importance of RECORDS! It states that a book of remembrance was kept by the Lord. I can only imagine that this book contains a record of our deeds, good and bad in this life. The Doctrine and Covenants [A canonized LDS Book of Scripture] digs deeper into the meaning of Malachi 3:16

“…Let us therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:24)

What exactly are the records of our dead? It is GENEOLOGY! It is FAMILY TREES! But on a personal level it is a journal or journals. I think the Lord has made it clear that we need to keep a written journal of our life. When we come before the Lord in that Day of Judgment we can present him with our written journal of our life. However, while we are still here on the earth we can keep a record of our life to hand down to our family to keep as part of the genealogical records.

Finally in the last two verses of the Old Testament we learn of Elijah and how he will come in 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…” (Malachi 4:5-6) In a vision by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836 in the Kirtland Temple, Elijah CAME! Elijah restored the sealing power and gave Joseph Smith the keys of the final dispensation. With these keys the hearts of the fathers and children can be sealed together. Families can now be brought together forever through the sealing powers of the Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 3: Tithes and Offerings/ Book of Remembrance

“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 3:1) The messenger spoken of in this opening verse of chapter three is John the Baptist. “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” (Matthew 11:10)

The Lord will sit as a judge and a “…refiner and purifier of silver…” (Malachi 3:3) and with this the Lord will purify the sons of Levi. The Lord tells them “…Return unto me, and I will return unto you…” (Malachi 3:7)

We are commanded to pay tithes and offerings and the Lord rebukes his people by asking them; “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me, But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:8-10) God has been robbed by the withholding of tithes and offerings. He makes it very clear that we are to pay our tithes and offerings! In the LDS church we pay 10% of our gain to the church as tithes and then once a month we fast for 24 hours, and the money saved from not having those meals is donated to the church in the form of “offerings”. These offerings, which often times are more generous than just 3 meals are used to help members and non-members in everyday need of food, clothing and shelter.

The Lord tells us with surety; “…I am the Lord, I change not…” (Malachi 3:6) The simple fact is that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He does not change. Therefore it is important to pay a full tithe and offerings. We learn that those who follow the Lord and fear him will be written into a book of remembrance. “…a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16)

Chapter 4: The Last Days… Elijah Shall Come (and HE DID)

“…the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and that day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1)

Here the Lord is talking about the end of the world, the time right before the Second Coming of His Son, Jesus Christ. “…the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings… And ye shall tread down the wicked…” (Malachi 4:2-3) The world will be filled with wickedness, but God the Father will send his Son (Jesus Christ) to crush the wicked and save the righteous. God even gave us a sign of the times when He said; “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before 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 4:5-6)

What did the Lord mean when He said that Elijah “…shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers…”? (Malachi 4:6)

On April 3, 1836 in Kirtland, Ohio the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery went into the Kirtland Temple to pray, upon finishing their prayer they arose to a vision. In this vision they described; “The veil was take from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit…” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:1-2) and the Lord said unto them “…I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here… Yea the hearts of thousand and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in the consequence of the blessing which shall be poured out…” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:7&9)

After that the vision closed, and another vision came forth, this time Moses appeared before them and committed unto them “…the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:11)

Again this vision closed, and another vision came forth, this time is was Elijah. Elijah stood before Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and said: “Behold the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi – testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come – To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse – Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:14-16)

095-095-elijah-appearing-in-the-kirtland-temple-med

The KEYS of the FINAL DISPENSATION (A dispensation is a time when God has an authorized prophet on the earth) were given to Joseph Smith as a Prophet in these Last Days by the Prophet Elijah! The Old Testament told us that Elijah would come again, and he did! How glorious is that? The words of the prophet Malachi are fulfilled! With the keys of the final dispensation the hearts of the fathers and children can be sealed together through the temple. Families can be together forever with this sealing power that was given to Joseph Smith by Elijah and passed down all the way to the current Prophet of God’s Restored Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elijah came…

Proverbs 17-18

Proverbs 17-18

Chapter 17: Friends Forever

“Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5)

                I really love this verse, but when I read verses I often look at other translations of the same verse to see what kind of differences or possibly new interpretations of the verse exist. This particular verse had a different translation that I think really captured the message. The translation is from the Douy-Rheims Bible and is basically the same except; “…he that rejoices at another man’s ruin, shall not be unpunished.” Essentially we learn that we should never make fun of someone because of their social status and if we rejoice in seeing someone else suffer or be ruined (example: tricking them into paying you more money, taking advantage of someone) then those people will be punished for that.

                “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)

                This is another verse where I hate to say it, but I like the entire translation better than the King James Version, and I REALLY like the King James Version… “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it seperates close friends.” (New Living Translation of Proverbs 17:9) When we are forgiven by others or forgiven of sin, LOVE can prosper. If we dwell on things and never let them go it will ruin relationships.

                “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

                Friends and Family are important. True friends and “brothers” (which can be both friends and family) are there for each other… ALWAYS!

                “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” (Proverbs 17:28)

                Sometimes it is just better for us to keep our mouth shut and move on. We will probably look a lot more intelligent if we do so.

Chapter 18: Find a Wife

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 18:8)

                In other words… we can say that the words of the gossiper or liar will come back to hurt the one telling the stories.

                “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)

                Marriage is important in the eyes of the Lord. We must get married, instead of “living” with someone.

                “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

                If you want friends, you too must be friendly and keep the friendship going. Friendships that are not taken care of will eventually die off.

 

Psalms 117-118

Psalms 117-118

Chapter 117: The Truth Endureth forever.

Praise the Lord and know that His truth endures forever!

Chapter 118: The Head Stone

“It is better to put trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalms 118:8)

                We need to understand that the Lord and His truth enure forever. Men will always try to deceive and tell us what is right. But we need to take strict heed to the counsel of this verse. Do not put our trust or confidence in man, but only in the Lord.

“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” (Psalms 118:22) Jesus is the headstone, so we read; the man which the people refused, became the Saviour of man. This is essentially the same thing. It would be like construction workers refusing to accept the only stone that would complete and hold up their structure and by placing anything else their as the “head stone” the building will not stand.

We know that this verse is referring to Jesus because later in Acts 4:10-11 we read; “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner”

                Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.

Psalms 9-10

Psalms 9-10

Chapter 9: The Righteous in Zion; the Wicked in Hell.

To the chief Musician upon Muth-labben, A Psalm of David.

                “Muth-labben – What this phrase means is somewhat disputed, but it likely indicates either what the motivation for writing the Psalm was (in which case it probably means “the death of Labben” or “the death of the son” or “the death of the fool”) OR how the psalm was to be sung (in which case it probably denotes a specific musical instrument to be used for accompaniment, or an existing song whose tune was to be used.

Some (as in the New King James Version) associate the title with the phrase ‘The Death of the Son’, and apply that title as the ancient Chaldee version does: ‘Concerning the death of the Champion who went out between the camps,’ referring to Goliath. Perhaps David wrote this Psalm remembering the victory over Goliath from the advantage of many years since that triumph.”

David tells about the judgment of the Lord and how he shall judge the world in righteousness…

“…the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.” (Psalms 9:7)

David also mentions that those who trust in the Lord will have his help…

“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalms 9:9)

David goes on to say that “…they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psalms 9:10)

Those who put their trust in God will not be forsaken, or in other words will not be abandoned. If you put your trust in the Lord he will be a refuge for you in times of trouble. So that we can later “…rejoice in…salvation” (Psalms 9:14). However, those who forsake the Lord and put their trust in the Devil, who by the way WILL FORSAKE YOU, will be “…turned into hell…” (Psalms 9:17)

                David, in closing, asks the Lord to put the wicked people and nations “…in fear… that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” (Psalms 9:20). We can learn a lot from this, as the world falls apart around us, we can know that we are just men (human) we must obey our master, Lord and Savior.

Chapter 10: The Lord is King Forever and Ever

Because this Psalm has no title (in the middle of several Psalms that do), and because it shares some similar themes with Psalm 9, some have thought that it was originally the second half of Psalm 9. But many arguments of Bible Scholars have led to this being really unknown.

David starts off by questioning the Lord;

“Why standest thou afar off, Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Psalms 10:1)

The answer is pretty simple, usually we don’t understand the workings of the Lord, but as we are reminded in the last chapter, the Lord is a refuge for those who trust him and he will not forsake them. See Psalms 9:9-10. Sometimes we just don’t fully understand things that happen in our short life, most people live to an average age of 75? 80? In the scheme of Eternity, that is nothing!

David goes on to mention that the evil/wicked ones are “…full of cursing…deceit and fraud…” (Psalms 10:7)

                David asks the Lord in closing of this chapter to “…forget not the humble.” (Psalms 10:12) and to “Break… the arm of the wicked and evil man…” (Psalms 10:15). One thing we can know for sure is that the wicked will never prevail, those who trust in the Lord will be lifted up in the last day and given refuge.