The three main issues Malachi spoke to the people about:
- Corrupt Priesthood
- Corrupt Marriages
- Corrupt Giving
Wow! Hello American pastors and teachers!!! It is clear that the downfall of our Christian nation just as the downfall of Israel began in the pulpit. It so grievous to listen to American pastors and entire denominations that no longer honor the Lord’s Word; He said, “ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”. 2 Timothy 3:16 . Why would anyone think they can pick and choose what Scriptures they like and disregard those that are no longer accepted by our culture?
Regarding weak sacrifices; too many times I have heard pastors promoting themselves far more often than Jesus our Savior. How often in America does a pastor stand behind the pulpit and share funny jokes or inspirational teachings that you and I can go online and hear from non-believing speakers? How many pastors put in the hours of study required to properly divide the Word of God? I heard pastors say from the pulpit, “as I was preparing last night for this lesson", and my heart sinks thinking, thanks for throwing us scraps and pig slop. Will you pray with me for our American pastors and teachers? Will you pray they don’t open their mouths unless it is to proclaim Truth and Grace? Will you pray with me that Abba sweeps across this land and cleans up pulpits that are defiled with lies from our culture, that are weak with little truth and that do not honor Him? Will you pray Abba puts an end to blemished messages to His flock?
2 Peter 2:1 (ERV)-False Teachers- In the past there were false prophets among God’s people. It is the same now. You will have some false teachers in your group. They will teach things that are wrong—ideas that will cause people to be lost. And they will teach in a way that will be hard for you to see that they are wrong.
When I work out, I often scan Christian TV and sadly discover many false teachers sharing with millions of souls across our land. Although there are many, let’s touch on three false teachings sweeping across our land. The first is Universalism, which believes a good Abba would never send those created in His image to eternal damnation. Although it is true, all humans are created in the image of God; not all humans chose to be Abba’s child. A disturbing poll by Barna reveals 25% of born-again Christians believe that everyone will spend eternity with God.
If this is true what was the point of Jesus being born of a virgin, taking our sin upon His back, willingly dying as our substitute on the cross and then coming back to life before ascending to sit at the right hand of Abba? Sadly, our youth loves this false teaching because it emphasizes God’s love, but completely ignores God’s justice. He is both.
Remember in Genesis 3 when the deceiver Satan said to Eve, “Did God really say that Eve? You can eat whatever you want, and you will not die.” Doesn’t that line of thinking always appeal to our human nature? I can do whatever I want, not what God says, and I will not have consequences. All decisions have consequences.
Secondly, the Word of Faith movement is gaining ground in America. These false teachers preach that you and I can use our words to manipulate desired results such as wealth and health. The focus of faith is not on Jesus, but on revved up words to force God to give us what we desire. These pastors teach we can tap into a faith-force surrounding us and control our lives; essentially making us little gods. This destructive teaching claims that illness and poverty result in the lack of faith; that Abba would always desire us to be wealthy and healthy. Interesting that Jesus said we would have many troubles here on earth and he told his disciples they would not stay in the best inns.
Again, what did the great deceiver, Satan, tell Eve in Genesis 3? He told her to follow his ways, and she would be like God (3:5). My faith and your faith come from Abba in the first place as Hebrews 12:2 (AMP) says Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].
Finally that old heresy that threatened the early church is back in New Age teaching and repackaged as Christian Gnosticism. There is nothing Christian about Gnostic teachings that are based on two doctrines; the first is that we are spirit and matter and that matter (the body) is evil but our spirits are good. They teach whatever you do in the body does not affect the spirit. Again, a teaching that says there are no consequences for bad choices.
Gnostics also teach they are superior because they are able to tap into a higher level of consciousness and knowledge of God. The word Gnostic is derived from knowledge, and they believe they obtain salvation by tapping into this “special” knowledge which is in direct contrast to what Jesus said. He said God desired not one to be lost, no not one and that God does not have favorites. He offers salvation to all as a gift of grace, and it has nothing to do with us but is a gift from Him. Regarding “special knowledge”, Abba clearly teaches us in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
How do we recognize a false teacher; we could make ourselves crazy trying to make sure we follow Truth with so many false doctrines floating around. I love the story of Ruth Graham touring Scotland Yard and commenting to one in charge of identifying counterfeit money, “You must spend a lot of time handling counterfeit money to know what it looks like”. “"No," he replied.”We never touch the stuff. All day long, we just handle the real thing: genuine currency. And when a counterfeit bill comes our way—we can quickly detect it."
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16
One final word, if you are blessed to be in a church where your pastor takes time to prepare and rightly divide the Word of God please thank him and encourage him often!
Malachi wrote in chapter 2: Verses 5-6 that the purpose of the priestly covenant given to the Levites was to bring life and peace, but this required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.
7 “The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
May God bless our pastors and teachers who are passing on Truth and Grace to all of us.
Next week let’s talk about corrupt marriages.