Wednesday, July 22, 2015
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1 KJV).
What can the Prophet Malachi teach us about dispensational Bible study?
A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine the two comings of Jesus Christ: from these prophets’ perspective, it appeared to be one coming. From our perception, however, we can look back and see two comings were planned. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)
Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: the first time Israel denied and crucified Him, but the second time Israel will delight in and crave Him. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). What the Old Testament prophets did not know was that there would be two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).
In today’s Scripture (cf. Mark 1:1-3), John the Baptist announces Christ’s earthly ministry (First Coming). Then, Israel accepts Jesus Christ to establish the New Covenant and the Millennial Kingdom on Earth (Second Coming). Is there any hint of our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace? No, Malachi knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but it was also completely hidden from the prophets of old. God kept a secret from Satan, and it was how He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) that involved the Body of Christ was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Malachi. What a marvelous Book the Bible is!
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why could Moses not enter the Promised Land?”