Malachi 1:6-8 ESV
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are now kingdom priests (1 Pet 2:9). We are a holy people, set apart from the world and unto God and to his service to offer up to him spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him and pleasing in his sight. And we do this by giving our lives to him as living sacrifices (Rom 12).
As his chosen people, a royal priesthood, his holy nation, we are God’s possession that we may declare (proclaim) the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We are to tell others that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness.
We are to tell them, and we are to live what we tell them, too, that by faith in Jesus Christ we are turned from darkness (sin) to light (righteousness) and from the power of Satan to God that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus (Acts 26:18).
As his royal priesthood, we who believe in Jesus Christ are to honor him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and we are to worship and respect him by doing what he says, and by forsaking our sins, and by living in his righteousness, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world.
We are to give to our Lord all that he requires of us, which is our submission to him as Lord, our obedience, and the forsaking of our sins to now walk in his righteousness, in his power and strength. For all this is part of what it means to believe in him, which is a belief that is God-persuaded.
We are not to give to the Lord false sacrifices which are superficial and lip service only, or which are external (outward) only and which do nothing to transform our hearts and our actions. He wants the surrender of our lives to him in dying with him to sin and in living to him and to his righteousness.
Yet, many people are teaching that we don’t have to obey the Lord or submit to his Lordship or leave our lifestyles of sin behind us. They refuse to honor Christ or to give him their allegiance, and yet many of them will honor and give allegiance to political and religious leaders who are mere flesh.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 12:1-2]
Malachi 1:9-11 ESV
“And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.”
Shut the Doors!
Personally, I believe that the Lord allowed what happened to many gatherings of the church this past year because he wants the doors to these market-driven institutional churches closed, for they do not honor him as Lord and King, and because they are not following him, but they are following humans.
They do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of humans and of the flesh. For, they are market-driven, not Holy Spirit led. And they compromise with the world, and they alter the truth of the gospel to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh.
They are more about pleasing humans than they are about pleasing God, if they care at all about pleasing God, that is. For, many of them now are teaching that God is pleased with us no matter what we do, and that we don’t have to repent, obey, or submit to Christ as Lord.
And it isn’t just that, but they are attacking the truth of the gospel as Jesus taught it and as his New Testament apostles taught it, and they are also attacking the gospel’s messengers, accusing them of teaching works-based salvation or of “Lordship salvation,” as they call it.
So, they are literally working against God and against his gospel and against his messengers as they spread their lies and their false gospel of a false grace which gives free license for its adherents to continue living in sin deliberately without conscience that what they are doing is wrong and that it is harmful to themselves and to others.
So, the Lord is not pleased with his people partnering with these institutional churches which give glory to man and not to God. He is not pleased with them accepting a false teaching which denies him as Lord. For what our Lord wants from us is our submission, our obedience, and our repentance.
Malachi 1:12-14 ESV
“But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.”
Treating the Sacred as Unholy
This is exactly what is happening today when these false shepherds of the people are teaching that the Lord’s gospel is polluted, i.e., that it is works-based salvation and thus it is to be discarded in favor of a gospel which requires no repentance, no submission and no obedience to our Lord.
They actually do “snort” (grumble) at the true gospel of our salvation. For, they reject the truth in favor of the lie because the lie grants them permission to deliberately and habitually continue in their sin, only now without guilt or remorse.
So, the offering they bring to the Lord is a slap in the face to his holiness and righteousness. It is a mockery of his love and grace. For, it is self-serving, not God-serving. It is unholy, not holy. And it treats what is vile and wicked with honor while it disdains all that is holy and righteous.
So, their profession of faith in Jesus Christ is a sham. Their declaration of Christ as Lord is a forgery. For, they have no intention of submitting to his Lordship or of following him in obedience and in surrender to his will.
Sad to See
An Original Work / August 8, 2018
Sad to see so many lost,
So many so afraid.
Sad to see the circumstance
When Christians fail to pray.
Sad to see the Bibles closed,
Now sitting on a shelf.
Sad to see the church engaged
In entertaining self.
Sad to see the gospel told
To satisfy the flesh.
Sad to see how many lives
Are lived in wickedness.
Sad to see church upside down.
On marketing, they’re bent.
Sad to see lives torn by sin
Not willing to repent.
Sad to see so many folks
Addicted now to porn,
Living in adultery,
Their love for God forlorn.
Sad to see so many hurt
By others’ sins, at cost.
Sad to hear their cries to God,
Their pleas for mercy most.
Sad to see the world in flames
Be subject to the beast,
Sad how many are deceived.
On worldliness they feast.
There is hope in Jesus Christ,
Who takes away our sin.
Leave your lives of sin behind,
And let His truth come in.