Behold, I will send my messenger - מלאכי Malachi, the very name of the prophet. But this speaks of John the Baptist. I, the Messiah, the Seed of God, mentioned above, will send my messenger, John the Baptist.
He shall prepare the way - Be as a pioneer before me; a corrector of civil abuses, and a preacher of righteousness.
And the Lord, whom ye seek - The Messiah, whom ye expect, from the account given by the prophet Daniel, in his seventy weeks, Daniel 9:24.
Shall suddenly come to his temple - Shall soon be presented before the Lord in his temple; cleanse it from its defilement, and fill it with his teaching and his glory.
The Messenger of the covenant - He that comes to fulfill the great design, in reference to the covenant made with Abram, that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. See the parallel texts in the margin, and the notes on them.
God answers their complaints of the absence of His judgments, that they would come, but would include those also who clamored for them. For no one who knew his own sinfulness would call for the judgment of God, as being himself, chief of sinners. Augustine pictures one saying to God, “Take away the ungodly man,” and that God answers, “Which?”
Behold, I send My messenger before My face, and he shall prepare My way before Me - they, then, were not prepared for His Coming, for whom they clamored. The messenger is the same whom Isaiah had foretold, whose words Malachi uses Isaiah 40:3: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straiqht in the desert a highway for our God. Luke 1:76. Thou, child,” was the prophecy on John the Immerser‘s birth, “shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way, to give knowledge of salvation unto His people, for the remission of their sins.” Repentance was to be the preparation for the kingdom of Christ, the Messiah, for whom they looked so impatiently.
He who speaks, is He who should come, God the Son. For it was before Him Who came and dwelt among us, that the way was to be prepared. He speaks here in His divine nature, as the Lord Who should send, and Who should Himself come in our flesh. In the Gospel, when He was come in the flesh, He speaks not of His own Person but of the Father, since “indivisible are the operations of the Trinity, and what the One doth, the other Two do, since the Three are of one nature, power and operation.” Whence Christ, in order to give no excuse to the Jews to speak against Him before the time, refers it, as He does His life John 6:57. His doctrine John 7:16 words John 3:11; John 5:43; John 8:38, John 8:40, John 8:47, John 8:55; John 12:49; John 14:10, John 14:24 and works John 4:34; John 5:19-20, John 5:26, John 5:30, John 5:36; John 6:38; John 8:28; John 9:4; John 10:25, John 10:32, John 10:37-38; John 14:10-11 to the Father.
“Those works, which do not relate to that which b uniquely belongs to each Person, being common, are ascribed now to One Person, now to Another, in order to set forth the One Substance in the Trinity of Persons.” Thus, John says John 12:41. Isaiah spoke of the unbelief of the Jews, when he “saw” the “glory” of God the Son “and spake of Him,” and Paul says Acts 28:25. that the “Holy Spirit spake” then “by” him.
And he shall prepare the way before Meo- “The same is God‘s way here, and Christ‘s there, an evident proof that Christ is one God with the Father, and that, in Christ, God came and was manifest in the flesh.” The prophets and all who turned men to righteousness, or who retained the knowledge of the truth or of righteousness or of God in the world, did, in their degree, prepare the way for Christ. But John was His immediate forerunner “before His Face,” the herald of His immediate approach; from where he is called “the end of the law, and the beginning of the Gospel,” “the lamp before the Light, the voice before the Word, the mediator between the Old and the New Testament;” “the link of the law and of grace; a new morning star; a ray, before the true Sun should burst forth,” the end of night, the beginning of day.
And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple - He, Whose Coming they sought for, was Almighty God, “the God of Judgment.” He who should come, was “the Lord,” again Almighty God, since, in usage too, none else is called “the Lord,” as none else can be. The temple also, to which He was to come, the temple of God, is His own. “The messenger, or the Angel of the covenant,” plainly, even from the parallelism, is the same as “the Lord.” It was “one,” for whom they looked; one, of whose absence they complained; Malachi 2:17, “where is the God of judgment?” one, who should come to His temple, one whose coming they sought and prepared “to have pleasure in;” one, of whom it is repeated, “lo, He cometh,” one, in the day of whose coming, at whose appearing, it was asked, “who shall stand?” “All Christian interpreters are agreed that this Lord is Christ Acts 2:36, whom God hath made both Lord and Christ, and Acts 10:36. Who is Lord over all; by whom all things were made, are sustained and governed; Who is (as the root of the word implies) the basis and foundation, not of any private family, tribe or kingdom, but of all; 1 Corinthians 8:6. by whom are all things and we by Him: and whose we are also by right of redemption; and so He is Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16. Lord of lords and King of kings, deservedly called the Lord.” As then the special presence of God was often indicated in connection with “the Angel of the Lord,” so, here, He who was to come was entitled the Angel or messenger of the covenant, as God also calls Him the covenant itself.
Isaiah 42:6, “I will give Thee for a covenant of the people, a light of the Gentiles.” He it was Isaiah 63:9, “the Angel of His presence,” who saved His former people, in whom His “Name was,” and who, by the prerogative of God, would Exodus 23:21, “not pardon their transgressions.” He should be Hebrews 12:24; Hebrews 8:6, “the Mediator of the new and better covenant” which is promised Jeremiah 31:32-33; Hebrews 8:9, “not according to the covenant, that I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,” which “My covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord; but this shall be the covenant, that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and they shall be My people.”
Whom ye seek, are seeking, whom ye delight in - , i. e., profess so to do; “He will come,” but will be very different from Him whom ye look for, an Avenger on your enemies. Judgment will come, but it will begin with yourselves.
Shall suddenly come - o“unawares, when men should not think of them; whence perhaps it is that the Jews reckon the Messiah among what shall come unawares.” As, it is here said of His first Coming, so it is said of His second Coming (which may be comprehended under this here spoken of) that except they diligently watch for it Luke 21:35, “it shall come upon them unawares Mark 13:36. suddenly Matthew 24:44. in such an hour as they think not.” “The Lord of glory always comes, like a thief in the night, to those who sleep in their sins.”
Lo, He will come - : he insists again and calls their minds to that Coming, certain, swift, new, wonderful, on which all eyes should be set, but His coming would be a sifting-time.
Christ might have occupied the highest place among the highest teachers of the Jewish nation. But He chose rather to take the gospel to the poor. He went from place to place, that those in the highways and byways might catch the words of the gospel of truth. He labored in the way in which He desires His workers to labor today. By the sea, on the mountainside, in the streets of the city, His voice was heard, explaining the Old Testament Scriptures. So unlike the explanation of the scribes and Pharisees was His explanation that the attention of the people was arrested. He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes. With clearness and power He proclaimed the gospel message. CH 318.1
Never was there such an evangelist as Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, but He humbled Himself to take our nature that He might meet men where they were. To all people, rich and poor, free and bond, Christ, the Messenger of the Covenant, brought the tidings of salvation. How the people flocked to Him! From far and near they came for healing, and He healed them all. His fame as the Great Healer spread throughout Palestine, from Jerusalem to Syria. The sick came to the places through which they thought He would pass, that they might call on Him for help, and He healed them of their diseases. Hither, too, came the rich, anxious to hear His words and to receive a touch of His hand. Thus He went from city to city, from town to town, preaching the gospel and healing the sick—the King of glory in the lowly garb of humanity. “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye, through His poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9. CH 318.2Read in context »
Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The Messenger of the covenant must speak. His voice must be heard in His own temple. Christ must come to utter words which should be clearly and definitely understood. He, the author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man's utterance, which had made it of no effect. The principles of God's government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men. DA 34.1
Among the Jews there were yet steadfast souls, descendants of that holy line through whom a knowledge of God had been preserved. These still looked for the hope of the promise made unto the fathers. They strengthened their faith by dwelling upon the assurance given through Moses, “A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.” Acts 3:22. Again, they read how the Lord would anoint One “to preach good tidings unto the meek,” “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,” and to declare the “acceptable year of the Lord.” Isaiah 61:1, 2. They read how He would “set judgment in the earth,” how the isles should “wait for His law,” how the Gentiles should come to His light, and kings to the brightness of His rising. Isaiah 42:4; 60:3. DA 34.2
The dying words of Jacob filled them with hope: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come.” Genesis 49:10. The waning power of Israel testified that the Messiah's coming was at hand. The prophecy of Daniel pictured the glory of His reign over an empire which should succeed all earthly kingdoms; and, said the prophet, “It shall stand forever.” Daniel 2:44. While few understood the nature of Christ's mission, there was a widespread expectation of a mighty prince who should establish his kingdom in Israel, and who should come as a deliverer to the nations. DA 34.3Read in context »
We prayed with him, and after we left him we wrote to him and later visited him again. He finally reached the point where he gave himself to God, and he is becoming the very pillar of the church in the place where he lives. He is working with all his soul to bring his relatives to a knowledge of the truth.—The General Conference Bulletin, April 23, 1901. Ev 532.1
Victory Through Faith—In this work all classes will be reached. When the Holy Spirit works among us, souls who are unready for Christ's appearing are convicted. Many come to our meetings and are converted who for years have not attended meetings in any church. The simplicity of the truth reaches their hearts. The tobacco devotees sacrifice their idol, and the liquor drinker his liquor. They could not do this if they did not by faith grasp the promises of God for the forgiveness of their sins. The truth as it is in the Word comes before high and low, rich and poor, and those who receive the message become workers with us and with God, and a strong force is raised up to labor harmoniously. This is our work.—Manuscript 3, 1899. Ev 532.2Read in context »
The Lord saw us in a sad condition, and sent to our world the only Messenger that He could trust with His great treasure of pardon and grace. Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was the delegated messenger. He was ordained to do a work that even the angels of heaven could not accomplish. He alone could be trusted to do the work required for the redemption of a world all seared and marred with the curse. And in this gift the Father gave all heaven to the world. LHU 208.3Read in context »