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Malachi 3:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He shall sit as a refiner - Alluding to the case of a refiner of metals, sitting at his fire; increasing it when he sees necessary, and watching the process of his work.

The sons of Levi - Those who minister in their stead under the New covenant, for the Old Levitical institutions shall be abolished; yet, under the preaching of our Lord, a great number of the priests became obedient to the faith, Acts 6:7; and, as to the others that did not believe, this great Refiner threw them as dross into the Roman fire, that consumed both Jerusalem and the temple.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And He shall sit - oas a King and Judge on His throne, with authority, yet also to try accurately the cause of each, separating seeming virtues from real graces; hypocrites, more or less consciously, from His true servants.

He shall purify o the sons of Levi - These had been first the leaders in degeneracy, the corrupters of the people by their example and connivance. Actually Acts 6:7, “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Barnabas also was a Levite. Acts 4:36. But more largely, as Zion and Jerusalem are the titles for the Christian Church, and Israel who believed was the true Israel, so “the sons of” Levi are the true Levites, the Apostles and their successors in the Christian priesthood.

It was through three centuries of persecutions that the Church was purified by fire.

That they may offer - , literally “and they shall be unto thy Lord offers of a meal-offering in righteousness,” i. e., they shall be such, and that, habitually, abidingly. Again, here and in the next words, “and the meal-offering of Judah shall be pleasant unto the Lord,” it is remarkable, that the “meal-offering,” to which the holy eucharist corresponds, is alone mentioned. Of bloody offerings Malachi is silent, for they were to cease.

In righteousness - , as Zacharias prophesied, “that we might serve Him in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The first words of this chapter seem an answer to the scoffers of those days. Here is a prophecy of the appearing of John the Baptist. He is Christ's harbinger. He shall prepare the way before him, by calling men to repentance. The Messiah had been long called, "He that should come," and now shortly he will come. He is the Messenger of the covenant. Those who seek Jesus, shall find pleasure in him, often when not looked for. The Lord Jesus, prepares the sinner's heart to be his temple, by the ministry of his word and the convictions of his Spirit, and he enters it as the Messenger of peace and consolation. No hypocrite or formalist can endure his doctrine, or stand before his tribunal. Christ came to distinguish men, to separate between the precious and the vile. He shall sit as a Refiner. Christ, by his gospel, shall purify and reform his church, and by his Spirit working with it, shall regenerate and cleanse souls. He will take away the dross found in them. He will separate their corruptions, which render their faculties worthless and useless. The believer needs not fear the fiery trial of afflictions and temptations, by which the Saviour refines his gold. He will take care it is not more intense or longer than is needful for his good; and this trial will end far otherwise than that of the wicked. Christ will, by interceding for them, make them accepted. Where no fear of God is, no good is to be expected. Evil pursues sinners. God is unchangeable. And though the sentence against evil works be not executed speedily, yet it will be executed; the Lord is as much an enemy to sin as ever. We may all apply this to ourselves. Because we have to do with a God that changes not, therefore it is that we are not consumed; because his compassions fail not.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 355
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 317

As a family, you need to be sanctified through the truth. Dear sister, will you see the work to be done for you and take hold of it without delay, that your influence may be saving? Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 2T 317.1

There are enough profitable subjects upon which to meditate and converse. The conversation of the Christian should be in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour. Meditation upon heavenly things is profitable, and will ever be accompanied with the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Our calling is holy, our profession exalted. God is purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He is sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver. When the dross and tin are removed, then His image will be perfectly reflected in us. Then the prayer of Christ for His disciples will be answered in us: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” When the truth has a sanctifying influence upon our hearts and lives, we can render to God acceptable service and can glorify Him upon the earth, being partakers of the divine nature and having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2T 317.2

Oh, how many will be found unready when the Master shall come to reckon with His servants! Many have meager ideas of what constitutes a Christian. Self-righteousness will then be of no avail. Only those can stand the test who shall be found having on the righteousness of Christ, who are imbued with His spirit, and walk even as He walked, in purity of heart and life. The conversation must be holy, and then the words will be seasoned with grace. 2T 317.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 355

We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us; it is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who, escorted by a retinue of holy angels, is to appear in the clouds of heaven to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have preserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us. 2T 355.1

We embrace the truth of God with our different faculties, and as we come under the influence of that truth, it will accomplish the work for us which is necessary to give us a moral fitness for the kingdom of glory and for the society of the heavenly angels. We are now in God's workshop. Many of us are rough stones from the quarry. But as we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence affects us. It elevates us and removes from us every imperfection and sin, of what ever nature. Thus we are prepared to see the King in His beauty and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. It is here that this work is to be accomplished for us, here that our bodies and spirits are to be fitted for immortality. 2T 355.2

We are in a world that is opposed to righteousness and purity of character, and to a growth in grace. Wherever we look we see corruption and defilement, deformity and sin. And what is the work that we are to undertake here just previous to receiving immortality? It is to preserve our bodies holy, our spirits pure, that we may stand forth unstained amid the corruptions teeming around us in these last days. And if this work is accomplished we need to engage in it at once, heartily and understandingly. Selfishness should not come in here to influence us. The Spirit of God should have perfect control of us, influencing us in all our actions. If we have a right hold on Heaven, a right hold of the power that is from above, we shall feel the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God upon our hearts. 2T 356.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 417

Self is mingled too much with all your labors. Your will must be molded by God's will, or you will fall into grievous temptations. I saw that when you labor in God, putting self out of sight, you will realize a strength from Him which will give you access to hearts. Angels of God will work with your efforts when you are humble and little in your own eyes. But when you think you know more than those whom God has been leading for years, and whom He has been instructing in the truth and fitting for the extension of His work, you are self-exalted and will fall into temptations. 3T 417.1

You need to cultivate kindness and tenderness. You need to be pitiful and courteous. Your labors savor too much of severity and an exacting, dictatorial, overbearing spirit. You are not always kindly considerate of the feelings of others, and you create trials and dissatisfaction needlessly. More love in your labors, and more kindly sympathy, would give you access to hearts and would win souls to Christ and the truth. 3T 417.2

You are constantly inclined to individual independence. You do not realize that independence is a poor thing when it leads you to have too much confidence in yourself and to trust to your own judgment rather than to respect the counsel and highly estimate the judgment of your brethren, especially of those in the offices which God has appointed for the saving of His people. God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and despising, for in so doing he despises the voice of God. 3T 417.3

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