The Book of Malachi is the last book of the so-called Old Testament. It is not known if Malachi was the name of the prophet, or if the prophet had another name, but whoever wrote the book, he was the messenger of the Lord. Malachi means “a messenger,” ambassador or envoy. In the Septuagint it is “angelos” – angel – or messenger. Now what is a messenger? A messenger is someone who delivers the message given by the sender, not his own. This is not an easy task, because a messenger must be faithful. If a messenger reads the message but disagrees with it and changes it, he is an impostor and no longer a faithful messenger. So, to be a faithful messenger, he must accurately reflect the message that the Lord entrusts to him for his people. A good messenger must also know the sender exactly. If you do not know the Most High and the message he wants to give to his people, what message will you give to his people? You must know what is in the heart of God and what He wants to communicate to His people. For this, you must be seekers; your heart must be pure and your mind renewed. He must be able to speak to you.
For this reason, the Lord did not speak to the churches directly in Revelation, but to the messengers of the seven churches. If the messengers are faithful, they will proclaim what the Lord speaks to them. They should be stars in the right hand of the Lord, and under His authority. In the midst of darkness, the stars were to shine and show God’s way to the people. However, if the messengers are not in the right hand of the Lord, it is unfortunate that they will do their own thing and eventually become the Lord himself, just like the Pope. Obviously, the messengers in Revelation were not faithful, because the churches did not follow the Lord. In time, the word “elders” was changed to “responsible brothers” or “leading brothers.” However, the term “leading brother” is misleading because the person who leads might think he is “somebody” while the others are “nobody” and follow the leading brother even if he leads them astray. If you have an “accountable brother,” does that mean that only one person is accountable and everyone else is not? What happens when the “person in charge” or “leader” is wrong? In the Lord’s church, we are all servant brothers because we are servants. We have only one leader. We follow the Lamb wherever he goes. Christ is our only leader, our Master: “One is your guide” (Mt. 23:8, 10). In church life there is only one head: Christ is the head over all things in the church (cf. Eph. 1:22). You and I have nothing to decide and must ask Him about everything. Such faithful messengers the Lord needs.
When we receive his speaking, we must pass on as faithful messengers what he speaks. Do not add a word or take one away, but be a faithful messenger. Even if people do not want to listen, we are still to speak the Word of God faithfully. The Lord gave Ezekiel His message for the people, even though He knew that His people were a stiff-necked people (cf. Ezek. 2:3-5). God even warned Ezekiel that their sins would come upon His head if he did not carry the message (cf. Ezek. 3:17-21). So be faithful and speak what God speaks, whether people want to hear it and agree or not. Usually, no one wants to hear what God has to say. Understand his speeches and be faithful messengers! Do not change the Lord’s message, but speak faithfully what He speaks.
In Malachi 1:1 we read, “This is the saying [or: burden], the word of the LORD to Israel, by the hand of Malachi.” This is a wonderful word, namely God’s actual speaking at that time. We must believe that God speaks in each age what He wants to carry out currently, not what He did 10, 50 or 500 years ago. What is God speaking today, what is His message to us? The word to Malachi was the last word spoken for a long period of time before the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God did not speak again until John the Baptist after that. That is why God said at the end of the book of Malachi that He would send His messenger – referring to John the Baptist (cf. Mal. 3:1). When John the Baptist came, they would not listen to him because their thinking was crooked and wrong. It is no different today: only rarely can you hear anything sensible and truthful these days. In all countries, the media spread lies. They are not messengers of truth – they should not be called “news” but liars. But we believers should know the truth. When we share the gospel with other people or our relatives, we should speak the truth in love. This avoids arguments about right or wrong. If you are faithful and speak the truth in love, the Holy Spirit will strengthen your back. Such speaking expresses God’s power. It is powerful. The Lord said in John 8:32, “and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free” – free from veils, lies and many bondages. The Lord needs such messengers today. Then when people say to you, “I don’t believe you … I heard it differently,” then answer them, “What you heard was not the truth, but what I am telling you now is the truth.”
Therefore, the Lord must sanctify our lips, for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt. 12:33b). The Lord must give us a pure heart, and our minds must be renewed. We need ears that hear what the Spirit is speaking NOW, not what He spoke forty or fifty years ago. This is important because we live in extraordinary times today. For more than five years we have been talking about the exercise of the priesthood, but many people reject it. We are talking about true worship, the special worship that God expects from His people. There are many other ways of worship such as kneeling down or singing. Some think that shouting “Abba Father” is worship, but it is sonship. God has revealed to us that true worship is in the Spirit, with the reality of the sacrifices we bring to the Father (cf. John 4:23-24). It is this worship that the Father longs for. Peter clearly said that the church is a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to the Father through Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Pet. 2:5). This is the word that God has spoken. Even if people do not want to hear it – but the priesthood is very special to God. As we go through the book of Malachi these days, you will realize that the ministry of the priesthood is quite different from any other work or service for God. Be encouraged to be God’s ambassadors before your relatives and friends. Do not go there just to talk to them, but pray for them beforehand before the golden altar of incense. You are God’s messenger!