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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The Old Testament prophets were primarily forth tellers rather than foretellers.

They communicated the message of God to the needs of the day.

“Listen to the Major messages of the Minor Prophets’ is the title of the series we will be working through for the next few weeks.

Today we are talking about Malachi, Religious Recession and Revival.


Malachi 3:7 NKJV

7 Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“But you said,
‘In what way shall we return?’

Scripture Reading

Malachi 3:1-7 NKJV

The Coming Messenger

3 “Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

2 “But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.

3 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.

4 “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem
Will be pleasant to the Lord,
As in the days of old,
As in former years.

5 And I will come near you for judgment;
I will be a swift witness
Against sorcerers,
Against adulterers,
Against perjurers,
Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,
And against those who turn away an alien—
Because they do not fear Me,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

7 Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“But you said,
‘In what way shall we return?’


In Jesus name we pray.



Three things may be noted about the last of the Old Testament prophets.

Malachi’s style was unique among the prophets.

He did not thunder, “Thus says the Lord!”

He has been called the Hebrew Socrates because he employed that Greek philosopher’s method with telling effect.

First, he presented an accusation against the people.

Then we read, “But you say,” as the prophet proposed an objection on the part of his hearers.

This objection was next refuted in some detail, and in doing so, the truth of his original charge was driven home.

Seven distinct examples of this method appear in this fifty five verse book.

Malachi’s prophecy is remarkable in its originality.

No expression of universal monotheism is as clear and far reaching as that found in Malachi 1:11, For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name,
And a pure offering;
For My name shall be great among the nations,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

While God’s name is despised by His people, it is magnified among the Gentiles, the heathen.

Malachi was also unique in his attitude toward divorce.

He presented the Old Testament doctrine of marriage in its highest form.

In his admonition regarding the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

Malachi rose to sublime heights.

Malachi lived in perilous days.

Though the restoration of the temple had been completed in 516 BC, Judah seemed doomed to obscurity, little touched by the tides of history, their dreams of renewed splendour gone, their zeal for the God of their fathers played out.

Ezra visited Jerusalem in 458 BC and found the conditions there to be appalling.

He made little headway until the coming of Nehemiah, by the authority of the Persian king, to rebuild the walls and carry through the reforms Ezra had begun.

Sparked by Ezra’s public reading of the Law, a genuine revival resulted.

During Nehemiah’s twelve year absence in Persia, however, the abuses he had so vigorously suppressed sprang up again.

It was about this time that Malachi began his work.

Accordingly, our text aptly states the theme of this prophecy, “Return unto me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts”

This is a plea for revival.

  1. The nation’s need of revival.

We can single out five evidences of this.

The spirit of ingratitude.

Malachi 1:6, “A son honors his father,
And a servant his master.
If then I am the Father,
Where is My honor?
And if I am a Master,
Where is My reverence?
Says the Lord of hosts
To you priests who despise My name.
Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’

The spirit of irreverence.

This charge was made against both priests and people.

They had held the “table of the Lord” contemptible.

They were irreverent in there offerings of polluted bread as well as beasts that were lame, blind, and sick.

The unworthy priesthood.

The priests made their office contemptible.

As blind leaders of a blind people, they caused others to stumble with them.

The aim of the leaders of the restoration was the creation of a religious community.

Consequently, the life of the new Jerusalem was centred around the temple and its services as the life in the old city had never been.

High character rooted in a vital faith in God, devotion to the preaching of the truth, patient and loving teaching of the god given way of life that is life indeed, these are still, as they were in the days of Malachi, the marks of a good minister.

The unfaithfulness of the people.

Malachi 2:11, Judah has dealt treacherously,
And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem,
For Judah has profaned The Lord’s holy institution which He loves:
He has married the daughter of a foreign god.

This is different in form from that of Hosea, but the meaning is almost the same.

The people as a whole, and many as individuals, wee untrue to God.

Not content with their sins of sorcery, perjury, and oppression, they entered into mixed marriages, practiced adultery, and encouraged divorce.

This was unfaithfulness with a vengeance.

The spirit of envy.

This was something new for the Hebrews.

The previous generations had turned away from God because they had played with some foreign deity, but here, while professing still to serve Jehovah, they complained bitterly against His apparent favouritism to the wicked.

For a people as a whole to be moved by envy of evildoers and to flaunt their dissatisfaction with God before the world was an alarming thing.

2. The tokens of revival.

With Malachi the tokens, the keys of revival were not wholly spiritual.

They must with us.

The spirit of liberality.

This is the exact opposite of the sin of ingratitude.

This is to bring into the storehouse the whole tithe and only their best in sacrifices was necessary for revival among the people of Judah.

And so it is for us.

Revival can never come to the church of Christ until the whole church brings the whole tithe into the church treasury, which corresponds with the prophet’s storehouse.

The spirit of reverence.

The words “then they feared Jehovah” indicate that there was a remnant in Judah who held Jehovah in reverence.

Such fear is the dominant note of every saintly life.

The psalmist said in Psalm 25:14, The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.

The attitude of meditation.

Malachi 3:16, Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name.

In our evangelistic efforts, are we content with the absence of thought?

Are we ministers too busy to prepare thoughtful messages based on diligent study of the Bible?

As Psalm 119:97 says, Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

In days gone by, the mighty power behind the mass gatherings held by Moody and Sunday and many of the old time ministers was largely due to Bible study and prayer.

The willingness to serve.

Malachi 3:17, “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

This fourth key to revival goes with the third.

Meditation and service are inseparable.

They must blend.

Meditation without service degenerates into religious daydreaming, service without meditation soon becomes materialism.

When revival truely come, God’s people are no longer content with thinking, talking, and singing about spiritual things.

They begin to serve.

The habit of cordiality.

Malachi 3:16, Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;

This key of revival should stand last, for unless the other graces precede, talking to people means little to the kingdom.

If all these graces, liberality, reverence, meditation, and service, abound , speaking to people and friendliness will also abound.

With these graces abounding, God’s favour crowns the work of revival.

3. The blessings that come with revival.

These also are purely spiritual.

The prayers of God’s people will be heard.

In a sense our heavenly Father hears all our prayers, but He does not give us all we ask for.

When we really learn to pray, all our prayers are heard, and all our prayers are answered according to God’s will for us.

God’s people will be remembered.

The prophet put in beautiful fashion, “a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name.”

When revival comes, new names will be written in God’s book, and other names, written long since blotted by sin, will be made bright and new.

God’s possession of His people will be confirmed.

Verse 3:17 says “They shall be mine, says the Lord”.

They belong to Him, and He will keep them safe.

God, as Father, will spare His children.

Verse 3:17 also says, And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

God spares His children not from burdens and trials but from burdens too heavy and from temptations too strong.

He treats them not as pets to be pampered but as children being trained for eternity.


Malachi and indeed all the twelve Minor Prophets present a grim alternative to revival and the glorious promise of the coming of the forerunner of the Messiah of we can’t get the basics right.

What are you going to do?

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings


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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia


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