A Day Burning as an Oven

The title of our message is taken from the prophecy of Malachi. It will be our final destination, but for this message we won’t be able to get there from here. So we will begin with some other scriptures and work our way there.

John 16:12-15 I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.
14 He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.
15 All things that the Father has are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.

Here is an interesting observation. Jesus spoke these things to His disciples very near the end of His ministry. So the disciples had been tutored by Him for about three and one-half years, and not just classroom study; they had on-the-job training. Their training went far beyond anything a young man can receive in a Bible college or seminary today. But there were still many things that Jesus couldn’t teach them, for they were not yet ready to understand. Even after their extensive training under Jesus Christ, they were still very immature. They understood far more than the ministers coming out of the Bible colleges and seminaries, but they were still not prepared for the ministry. The rest of their training would come from the Spirit of Truth. All things that belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and all that the Father has will be taught and shown them by the Spirit of Truth. Not only that, but the Spirit of Truth would show them things to come. They would be able to see the provisions laid up for God’s people in the realm of spirit (I Peter 1:3-5; II Peter 1:3).

No one is completely prepared for ministry without receiving the Spirit of Truth, for He is the One who reveals the mysteries hidden in the Scriptures. You did notice the two levels of training, didn’t you? First, the disciples were under Jesus the Nazarene and that prepared them for the ministry of the Spirit of Truth. Understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is both Instructors. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is the Truth, and He is the Spirit of Truth. Now listen closely. That is two different realms. Jesus can only teach you so much apart from you. His coming forth in you as the Spirit of Truth is the second realm. Let me say that one more time. What the disciples learned from Jesus the Nazarene they learned before His resurrection. What they learned from the Spirit of Truth they learned after His resurrection. I don’t know if you understand that yet. I’m not talking about His resurrection from the tomb, but the resurrection of His life and Spirit within them. It is after He is resurrected in you that He can guide you into all truth and show you things to come. It is then that His teachings come from within you.

All the things Jesus was talking about – the things the disciples could not yet bear, the things the Spirit of Truth would reveal from the Father, and the things to come – are hidden in the Scriptures, but they will never be seen or understood without the Spirit of Truth coming forth in us. We must understand that the Scriptures hold much more than we know, and we should never be satisfied with the little we know. Now before you read any further ask the Spirit of Truth to come forth within your life; we have an important concept to discuss.

I Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?

The saints shall judge the world; that is, the holy ones. That does not mean that all Christians will be involved in judging the world. The Greek word translated “saints” here is hagios. It is the same word translated “holy” in Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. Therefore, I Corinthians 6:2 could read: “Do you not know that the holy ones shall judge the world.” The “holy ones” are obviously a remnant within Christianity. The bulk of Christianity will not be involved in judging the world. In fact, all of Christianity at this time is too involved in the world.

The same truth of the saints judging the world is found in Psalms 149:6-9. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all His saints. Praise ye the Lord.

II Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t turn loose His judgments in the world and wipe out all wickedness and evil? He doesn’t loose His judgments upon the disobedient because by doing so He would wipe out most of Christianity. When there is a people who are obedient to the Voice of the Lord, then He will anoint them and commission them, and they will be the holy ones who will judge the world. They will be the ones who will crush Satan under their feet (Romans 16:20).

The “holy ones” that God uses to judge the world will be a holy people, because the Holy One of God has come forth within them. The judgments spoken of in II Thessalonians 1:6-9 will take place when the Lord is glorified in His saints (holy ones). Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. II Thessalonians 1:6-10.

Notice that the judgments spoken of here come upon those who “know not God and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is a vast difference in knowing about God and knowing Him. The Scriptures speak of knowing Him as something much more than head knowledge. To know Him, scripturally, is to know Him through experiencing His life. There are many Christians who do not really know the Lord. There are many Christians that do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they will experience the judgments of God. Judgment will first come upon the Christian world.

I Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God.

Judgment first comes to those who are obeying the Gospel of God. It is a corrective judgment to bring forth the holiness of God in them (Hebrews 12:10). Then judgment comes upon those who should be obeying the Gospel of God but are not; that is, the rest of Christianity. Then there is the judgment of God upon the wickedness of the world. It has always been in that order. God brought judgment upon His own people Israel, and He used the wicked Assyrians to do it. God brought judgment upon His own people Judah, and He used the wicked Babylon to do it. And when His own people rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah, He used the Roman army to destroy the temple and their religion. Judaism as a way to God has been wiped out completely and will never be raised up again. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man, Jew or Gentile, can come unto God in any other way. There is no religion that can bring a man to God. God judged Judaism and He will judge Christianity. Now we can go to Malachi.

Malachi 4:1-3 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.
2 But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteous-ness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
3 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.

There is a day of burning up coming to those who are proud and do wickedly. You say, “I’m not wicked!” Do you lean upon your own understanding and direct your ways according to your own thinking? That is counted as evil. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7. First of all, this is judgment coming upon Christians. This is the judgment that Peter spoke of when he said that judgment must first come to the house of God.

Verse two speaks of those who fear His name. The Sun of righteousness rises upon them with healing, and they shall grow up as calves in the stall of the Lord. Reading verse two as it is written in the King James Bible, as well as most other translations, you get the feeling that those in verse two are a different group from those in verse one. The conjunction “but” in verse two is an incorrect translation. The correct word is “and”. The Septuagint bears this out. As you know the Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament and was used by Jesus and the Apostles of the Early Church. Both the Hebrew and the Greek give “and” as the correct translation rather than “but”. The translators thought those of verse two were a different group from those in verse one so they used the word “but”. Those of verse two, however, are also in verse one. Those who fear the Lord in verse two do so because their pride and wickedness was burned up in verse one, and now they can be used by God to minister the judgments of verse three. Judgment must first come to the house of God and then it can come through the house of God.

The day comes that shall burn as an oven. Malachi also speaks of this in chapter three. 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. But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:1-3.

Copyright © 2006 by Henry DuBose