"Malachi's Eucharistic Prophecy"
For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same My name shall be great among the gentiles; And in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: For my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)
I will state at the very beginning of this article one important purpose for this, and the past three papers, dealing with the Old Testament prophets: namely, the charge by Dispensationalism (and other end-time paradigms) that the Old Testament prophets did not see, nor prophesy of, the New Testament church, whatsoever. Shown here is the chart, by the renown Dispensationalist, Clarence Larkin, which depicts this false teaching.
Of course, what we are finding is diametrically opposed to that charge, and to Larkin’s chart. The Old Testament prophets not only prophesied of the church, but, according to the apostles of Jesus, they identified the Kingdom of the Messiah and the Church to be synonymous to each other.
Malachi states: “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a purer offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye have profaned it, and that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.” (Malachi 1:11-12)
Each of the last three prophets had a counterpart in the ranks of the apostles and/or writers of the New Testament which interprets their prophecies. Malachi will be no different; namely, Paul and the Pauline book of Hebrews will give adequate commentary on the passage of Malachi that is before us.
We may approach this text in a somewhat different manner than in the past, namely, by doing a simple expository study of the text. The passage will unfold as a blooming flower. As we consider each phrase in turn.
v11 “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same.”
To begin with, it is noticed that this phrase brackets the book of Malachi by appearing here and at chapter 4 and verse 2. It is an ancient metaphor that normally references the universal rule of God, and is common in the Old Testament (see Psalms 50:1; 113:3; Isaiah 41:25; 45:6). Malachi is using it to reference the Messianic period, as seen in the context of chapter 4, and verse 2, “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.”
The metaphor of a ruler rising like the sun is ancient, and is used here for the Messiah. The Messiah and His Gospel of salvation would be a “light of” (to) “the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6). Thus, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the “sunrise” from heaven (see Luke 1:78-79, also Isaiah 9-2).
v11 “My name shall be great among the Gentiles.”
The Hebrew Scriptures are replete with prophecy concerning the nations of the earth being blessed through the coming of a Jewish sovereign called the “Messiah” (the anointed One). Under His reign all nations would learn to serve the one true God (see Isaiah 2:2; 11:10), and live in peace with one another. A time when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks (see Isaiah 2:4); under the rule of the Messiah the earth and nature would cease all animosity so that: “The Wolf... shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatlings together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; the young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat grass like the ox, and the sucking child shall play on the whole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6 and following). Such is the language describing the kingdom of the Messiah.
If one would like to get a better picture of the Messianic Kingdom, the following Scriptures should be read and meditated upon: Genesis 2:3; Isaiah 9:2, 6; see also chapter 11; Micah 5:2; Psalms 2:8-9; Daniel 7:13-14, 18, 22; Galatians 3:16, 19.
Beyond the Borders of Israel
v11 “And in every place.”
The idea is: throughout the entire world. See the statement before: “My name shall be great among the Gentiles,” and the statement after: “For my name shall be great among the heathen.” The “gentiles” and “heathen” have all nations in view. The Lord God will be known during the kingdom of the Messiah outside the borders of national Israel as well as he is known inside them.
v11 “Incense shall be offered unto my name.”
The imagery here is of the golden altar of incense (this altar is described in the book of Exodus 30:1-10) with its smoke, which symbolizes the prayers of God’s people (see Psalms 141:2; Luke 1:10; Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4). In this messianic kingdom, prayer to Yahweh would be a sweet smelling savor sent up from “among the Gentiles ... in every place.”
v11 “And a pure offering.”
The imagery here is of the altar of Holocaust; namely the bronze altar of burnt offering (Exodus 27:1-8). It is here that sacrifice was made for sin. Verse 12 of our text identifies this altar and its offerings as the “table of the LORD.” In the messianic kingdom “a pure offering” will be made for trespasses and sins “among the Gentiles ... in every place.” Malachi sets this prophecy against the “polluted” offerings being made in the Jerusalem Temple (see verses 12 through 14).
Throughout holy Scripture Jesus is shown as the “pure offering” for sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:14, 28; 10:14). Jesus accomplished through his sinlessness, what the blood of mere animals could not do (Hebrews 9:13-14).
All Christians acknowledge the sacrifice of Christ on the cross: outside the walls of Jerusalem, at nine o’clock in the morning of Nisan 14, AD 30. But to most it is an event locked in space and time. But ... Malachi speaks of this “pure offering” (sacrifice) being executed “in every place.” Therefore, unlocked from space and time: Of what could Malachi have been speaking?
The answer is, the Lord’s Supper of the Christian community.
When the prophets wrote of the altar of Holocaust they spoke of it as “the table of the Lord” (see verse 12). In Hebrews 13:10-11 the author parallels the altar of holocaust to the Lord’s Table of the Christian Eucharist. This teaching is Pauline. For Paul wrote, accusingly, concerning those who would partake of the Christian covenant meal (namely, the Eucharist) and eat at a pagan feast, those things offered to idols: “ye can not be partakers of the Lord’s table, and the table of devils,” he told them (1 Corinthians 10:21). Paul, further, told the Gentile Christians that “as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” Thus, through the weekly observance of the Eucharist (Acts 20:7-11) throughout the earth, it is declared that the Messianic Kingdom of the Davidic king is established. The “pure” (sinless-spotless) “offering” has been unlocked from time and space, and is now manifested in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the Eucharistic cup (1 Corinthians 11:26).
In relation to this “pure offering” being offered “among the Gentiles ... in every place,” we should look to Romans 15:16.
Here, when Paul writes of “ministering the Gospel,” he employs the Greek word herourgounta (used only here in the New Testament), which refers to ministering as a priest. Paul references his priestly functions in presenting the Gentiles as an offering to God. To understand his meaning, a comparison should be made with 1 Corinthians 10:17-18; which teaches that those who partake of the covenant meal of bread and wine take on an oneness with the sacrifice of Christ: just as those who partake of the sacrifice from the altar of holocausts (namely, the Old Testament Lord’s table) have an identity with the altar (namely, the sacrifice). Therefore, Paul sees himself functioning as a Christian priest, officiating at the Lord’s table of the messianic kingdom, as the communicants identify (vicariously) with the “pure offering” of Christ; Who is made present through the bread and the wine—“in every place.”
Having therefore, my precious children, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
☩ Jerry Hayes
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The subject under review in this writing is what is commonly called the “Millennial Reign of Christ.” The word “millennium” means: one thousand. but, is the 1,ooo yrs literal or figurative.
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Own this book by Bishop Jerry Hayes
After spending over forty years in the dispensational doctrine, and having raise my children in that theological framework, I became a convinced adherent to a "kingdom" theology that recognizes the Church as the Israel of God, and that the first century actually saw the fulfillment of most of Matthew chapter 24. "Letters to My Children on Apostolic Kingdom Theology" is a compilation of twenty four letters written to my children explaining my journey, and showing how we were led astray from the apostolic teaching of Scripture to embrace a view recently come into the Lord's church, of which the apostles knew nothing. These "Letters" provide a systematic approach to Apostolic Eschatological study of Scripture. It is sure to interest all students of Scriptures. ☩ Jerry Hayes