Malachi 4:1-6

Malachi 4:1 (KJB)

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.


The LORD is now plainly telling the disobedient in Israel and for all those who are disobedient throughout all time that the day is coming and notice that the verse uses the definite article “the” which means a specific day and not a series or years of days.  Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into a fiery furnace heated seven more times hotter than normal, the unsaved on Judgment Day will be cast into a lake of fire.  The proud and all those that do wickedly will be judged for their sins and cast into hell.  Isaiah 47:14 (KJV) Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.  Just as those who dabble in the occult will be burned with the fires of judgment so will all those who sin against the Lord and have no Savior.  The judgment will be so thorough that there will not be any vestige of them left just as a tree is burned and the trunk and branches are lopped off, there will be no remembrance of them.  Job 18:17 (KJV) His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street.


Malachi 4:2 (KJB)

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.


Here is one of the great “buts” found in Scripture which deals directly with the true believer.  Those who fear the name of the Lord are those who are truly saved.  The unbeliever is the one who does not fear the Lord.  Romans 3:18 (KJV) There is no fear of God before their eyes.  The Sun of righteousness is the Lord Jesus Christ himself and the healing he brings with him is not physical healing but eternal healing of the soul which makes it ready for Heaven and eternal life.  The physical healing that the Lord Jesus Christ did were symbolic of how the soul is healed with salvation in Christ.  1 Peter 2:24 (KJV) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  Then the true believer is likened to calves in the stall which are young and full of life and vibrant yet they are in a stall which is a controlled environment so they do not get into trouble.  It is like the yoke which is put on oxen so they can work together but this is a different type of yoke.  Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  {30} For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  As believers we are yoked to the Lord Jesus Christ.


Mat 11:29

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

A yoke was designed to cause two animals to work together thus allowing both to bear the burden of the work together. The people would have been familiar with this term and would have understood the analogy. The stronger animal would get the heavier end of the yoke. In Judaism, there was a well-known image of a person who was yoked to the law and also when a person studied with a certain rabbi, he was considered to be yoked to the rabbi. Jesus then uses that analysis for His followers that they are to be yoked with Him and are to learn of Him. To learn of Jesus is a lifetime undertaking because how can a finite being learn all there is to know of an infinite being? Jesus is stating that He is lowly and meek in contrast to the arrogance of the leaders who pile excess laws on the people and consider themselves to be better than the people. Jesus was prophesied to be lowly and humble. (Zec 9:9 KJV) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Then once a person becomes saved, they will have found the rest that their souls have craved by attempting to keep the law, which gave them no rest but constant anxiety. Once a person a is saved, the soul is safe and secure. (Rev 3:12 KJV) Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (John 10:9 KJV) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. Once the soul finds rest in Jesus, it never craves anything else because it is home.

Mat 11:30

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Burden - Obligation, duty, or load

In contrast to the heavy load and burdens of the law and the added legalism which weighed the people down, the yoke which Jesus gives is easy because He has completely fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God’s holy law and therefore a person in Christ need not add any laws or works to salvation because it is totally complete. (Acts 15:10 KJV) Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? This was what the big Jerusalem church conference was all about, whether the tenets of the law need to be kept for salvation or not. Then Jesus states His burden is light. Since there is no keeping of the law which weighs a person down with that burden, a person is free in Christ and from the moment of salvation begin to live the Christian life. The duty or obligation the Christian has in this world is to reach others with the Gospel. It is not preaching a religion which has all the confusion of works. Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. It is a relationship of love and faith, and these two things make the burden much lighter.

Faith and love are liberating to the soul and that is what Christianity is all about, liberty. When we go out into the world, the Lord Jesus Christ goes with us and it is not up to us to make a person saved, that is what Jesus does and it lightens our load and removes any guilt from us knowing that salvation is in the hands of the Lord. The guilt I speak about are those who feel they have not done enough to evangelize a person and then that person dies. If you have given a person a tract with Scripture or spoke to a person about the Gospel, you have done your job and if they reject it, then it is their problem and not yours. The problem is that in Christianity, too many people are placing unnecessary burdens on Christians by guilt manipulation. If a person rejects the Lord, it is not the fault of the person who gave the tract but they may not be the Elect of God and therefore the burden of guilt is removed.


Malachi 4:3 (KJB)

And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.


An allusion here to the making of mortar which is done by mixing sand, ashes, and lime and then trodden down under foot. Just as those who had power and authority and wealth in their earthly life and treated the righteous with contempt as is being done today, on that day the righteous will be as those who trod upon the righteous.  The wicked shall be no more than ashes under foot which means there is no more opposition from the wicked because ashes can be kicked aside with no effort.  Psalm 58:10-11 (KJV) The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.  {11} So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.  The righteous shall take their places as kings and priests in the kingdom of God while the ungodly shall be cast into eternal damnation to pay for their sins eternally.


Malachi 4:4 (KJB)

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.


Then God commands Israel to remember the Law of Moses which was given to them at Mt. Sinai which when obeyed properly would be a hedge against going apostate and thus sinning against the LORD.  They were to keep all statutes and judgments contained in the law which was a conscious sign that they desired to be obedient unto the LORD and would prevent the judgments of God falling upon Israel.  God winds up the Old Testament warning them to keep all that is contained in the Law because at this time Israel did not know there would be 400 years of silence before the final Old Testament Prophet John would come on the scene ushering in the beginning of the last days.


Malachi 4:5 (KJB)

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:


Then the LORD promises that he was going to send them Elijah the prophet before great and dreadful day of the LORD.  As I penned in the last verse that this day of the LORD was going to be the beginning of the last days on earth before the final judgment day.  Elijah was dead about 400 years so what the Lord was saying that this was a prophecy of one to come but it would not be a reincarnation of Elijah. 


Matthew 17:10-13 (KJV)   And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?  {11} And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.  {12} But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.  {13} Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.


The day of the LORD would end in judgment day and is called dreadful because the final day will be a separation of the wicked from the saved.  The wicked will be judged and cast into hell and the saved will be taken to Heaven.  Matthew 25:46 (KJV) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 


Malachi 4:6 (KJB)

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.


John the Baptizer will come in the spirit and strength of Elijah.  John would begin to preach repentance when people came to be baptized and the word would spread throughout the land that after 400 years of silence from Heaven, a prophet has finally arisen again in Israel.  There would be a reconciliation of families based upon the preaching of the true gospel and those families would turn into the body of Christ which will extend to the ends of the earth as the gospel goes forth.  Just as there was division in Israel during the time of Malachi over whether God was going to act on the disobedience of many or not, those divisions would be terminated because once the day of the LORD begins, the end will bring together a unified body of believers.  It will make no difference what age a person is, whether they be children or fathers, there will be unity in the body of Christ.  Those who reject the coming Messiah will be the ones who will be cursed on this earth and finally cursed into eternal damnation.  Zechariah 5:3 (KJV) Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.  The great curse will come in response to their breaching of the law, even the slightest bit of transgression means cursing.  James 2:10 (KJV) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.