Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Friday, May 27, 2011

You are loved by God the Father

You are loved by God, not because of what you've done, but because of who you are. The Bible tells us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He longed to have a relationship with you even before you became His child!
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
This one may be hard to get your mind around, but it is true. God loves us with the same love that He had towards Jesus Himself! Look at this passage in scripture:
John 17:23, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
Jesus said that the greatest love a man can show for his friends, is when he lays down his life for them. Jesus laid down His life for us - that is how valuable and dear we are to Him!
John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
As a matter of fact, if we don't realize the love of God, we cannot be filled with the fullness of God. We will lack His fullness in our lives until we come to know of His deep love for us:
Ephesians 3:17-19, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
You were purchased at a steep price
The wages of your sin is death (see Romans 6:23), but Jesus paid that price for you. God's Word tells us that we were purchased by the precious Blood of the Lamb:
1 Corinthians 6:20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Revelations 5:9, "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed (meaning purchased) us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;"
Why did Jesus purchase us with His own Blood? Because of His deep love for us, and He deeply desires to have a loving relationship with you and I.
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

We are justified and declared innocent
If you have repented of your sins and accepted the gift of God, referring to the forgiveness of sins through the precious shed Blood of Christ, then God's Word tells us that we are justified:
Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
The word justified in the above passage is derived from the Greek word dikaioo, which means, "to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent: - free, justify (-ier), be righteous." If a person is justified, it means they are made innocent or made just as if they have never sinned!
We are entitled to a clean conscience
Since our sins have been put away and removed from us, and we are justified, that is, made right with God, you and I are entitled to a clean and un-defiled conscience!
Hebrews 9:14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
My friend, if you are still beating yourself up over your past failures which have been nailed to the cross, you are denying the work that Christ has done for you! A clean conscience before the Lord agrees with what Christ has done in removing their sin and declaring them as justified or innocent before the Lord.
Your sins are no longer a part of you
The truth is that your sins have not simply been covered, but actually removed from your account. This was not possible in the Old Testament, but through the precious Blood of Christ, the removal of sins is a reality.
John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Matthew 26:28, "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Strongholds


The power of your thoughts - Where many strongholds begin
The enemy loves to put thoughts into the believer's mind. Those thoughts (if meditated on), produce strongholds, which produces feelings, which lands you into bondage... all because you listened to the devil more then your heavenly Father! I am going to use a common stronghold here in this teaching as an example... an incorrect perception of who you are in Christ. There are many other strongholds out there, but this teaching will give you a general idea of how many strongholds are formed.
How it works
Two voices are speaking: Satan likes to come along and tell you, "Look at that sin you did 5 years ago! That was so bad! You are such a failure!" But Jesus, through God's Word, tries to tell you that if you turn to Him, you will be forgiven (1 John 1:9), and your past will be forgotten: Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."
You are faced with a choice: You can either listen to Satan's lie that you are a failure, or you can listen to God's Word that tells you that your past has been washed away and you are a new creature in Christ! 2 Cor 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Whichever voice you listen to will crowd the other one out: If you have two dogs that fight all the time, and you can only afford to feed one of them, how do you know which one will win? The one you feed! The same is true in the spiritual realm. The more you listen to Satan's lies and deception, the more he will build strongholds in your mind, and the more strongholds that go up, the harder it will be to hear God's voice. The other side of the coin is true too... the more you feast yourself on the truth in God's Word, the more it tears down strongholds and makes it harder for the enemy's voice to penetrate your system.
If you listen to Satan's lies that you are a failure, he will continue to feed you that lie, and it will grow into a stronghold (a lie that is believed, or an incorrect thinking pattern). Your feelings are quite often a direct result of your thoughts. If you think you are a failure, you will feel like one.
If you listen to your heaven Father, who is speaking truth to you through His Word, you will begin to tear down the strongholds in your life. When you meditate on the truth in God's Word, it will become part of you, and before long, you will be feeling different, simply because you are exchanging lies of the devil for the truth in God's Word. When you believe that your sins are forgiven, you can then allow your conscience to be cleansed from dead works by the blood of Jesus: Hebrews 9:14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
A practical example
Let me show you how many believers end up feeling like losers... guilt-ridden by their pasts. It all starts with a simple voice of condemnation from the enemy. Satan, through his network of evil spirits (that's how the devil speaks to people, since Satan can't be everywhere at once), injects thoughts into their mind that remind them of their past and their failures. They begin to listen to his voice and agree with it. They did sin, and they failed. But instead of looking at the solution, which is repentance and the blood of Jesus (which washes away sin), they continue to listen to the enemy who keeps reminding them of their past. As they continue to do this, stronghold(s) are formed. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern based on lies and formed in deception. Once a stronghold is in place, the person naturally thinks of their past instead of focusing on the fact that their past has been forgiven and wiped away. They believe they are a failure instead of believing the truth in God's Word, which tells them that they have been forgiven, washed clean, and even God Himself has chosen to forget their dirty past! So instead of feeling like a child of God who was washed clean in the blood of Jesus, they feel unworthy, guilty and consider them self a loser. What a shame for a child of God to feel that way!
Your thoughts can affect how you feel
When you believe something, it will affect your feelings. When you believe you are a failure, you will feel like one. When you believe you are a forgiven saint, you will feel like one.
The difference between a guilt-ridden Christian and a light-hearted and joyful Christian is often one simple thing... what they are thinking about. Guess who's thinking about the sin, the guilt and the past? Now guess who's thinking about how they have been washed clean and they are a new person in Christ Jesus?
Whatever you keep your mind on (think about often) will affect your whole being. Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
An exception to the rule: Evil spirits are known to directly affect our emotions, feelings, etc. King Saul was tormented with fear and depression directly. However, evil spirits often use our thoughts to access our feelings, and this is done through the creation of strongholds. This is what we are addressing in this teaching... how the enemy uses our thoughts to build strongholds, and how strongholds affect our feelings.
In a nutshell
Thoughts from the enemy (if listened to) turn into strongholds (lies believed or incorrect thinking patterns) which affect how you feel (you feelings often stem from your beliefs) and can cause you to remain in bondage to plain simple ignorance. Jesus made it clear that it's possible for a believer to remain in bondage to sin even after they've been set free, all due to ignorance of the truth in God's Word (John 8:31-36).
If you think you're a failure, you'll feel like a failure. If you think you're a new creation (washed clean from your past), you'll feel clean and new... alive in Christ!
This is one elementary subject that most Christians still don't fully understand, and it is a powerful key to spiritual breakthrough for countless believers around the globe today! Don't believe you're just an old forgiven sinner just because some pastor tells you so. Look these things up in the Word of God for yourself and know the truth. For Jesus said clearly that if we continue in His Word, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free!
John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
The opposite of truth is deception or false beliefs... and will cause you to live in bondage unnecessarily. This subject is no exception. If you see yourself as a failure, you will not be able to boldly exercise your authority in Christ because you will feel unworthy (even after the Blood of Christ has made you worthy). If you claim to be unworthy after the Blood of Christ has made you worthy, then you are denying the work of Christ in your life!
I want you to say to yourself, "I am worthy, because JESUS' blood has made me worthy!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Power of Your Thoughts


The power of your thoughts - Where many strongholds begin
The enemy loves to put thoughts into the believer's mind. Those thoughts (if meditated on), produce strongholds, which produces feelings, which lands you into bondage... all because you listened to the devil more then your heavenly Father! I am going to use a common stronghold here in this teaching as an example... an incorrect perception of who you are in Christ. There are many other strongholds out there, but this teaching will give you a general idea of how many strongholds are formed.
How it works
Two voices are speaking: Satan likes to come along and tell you, "Look at that sin you did 5 years ago! That was so bad! You are such a failure!" But Jesus, through God's Word, tries to tell you that if you turn to Him, you will be forgiven (1 John 1:9), and your past will be forgotten: Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."
You are faced with a choice: You can either listen to Satan's lie that you are a failure, or you can listen to God's Word that tells you that your past has been washed away and you are a new creature in Christ! 2 Cor 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Whichever voice you listen to will crowd the other one out: If you have two dogs that fight all the time, and you can only afford to feed one of them, how do you know which one will win? The one you feed! The same is true in the spiritual realm. The more you listen to Satan's lies and deception, the more he will build strongholds in your mind, and the more strongholds that go up, the harder it will be to hear God's voice. The other side of the coin is true too... the more you feast yourself on the truth in God's Word, the more it tears down strongholds and makes it harder for the enemy's voice to penetrate your system.
If you listen to Satan's lies that you are a failure, he will continue to feed you that lie, and it will grow into a stronghold (a lie that is believed, or an incorrect thinking pattern). Your feelings are quite often a direct result of your thoughts. If you think you are a failure, you will feel like one.
If you listen to your heaven Father, who is speaking truth to you through His Word, you will begin to tear down the strongholds in your life. When you meditate on the truth in God's Word, it will become part of you, and before long, you will be feeling different, simply because you are exchanging lies of the devil for the truth in God's Word. When you believe that your sins are forgiven, you can then allow your conscience to be cleansed from dead works by the blood of Jesus: Hebrews 9:14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
A practical example
Let me show you how many believers end up feeling like losers... guilt-ridden by their pasts. It all starts with a simple voice of condemnation from the enemy. Satan, through his network of evil spirits (that's how the devil speaks to people, since Satan can't be everywhere at once), injects thoughts into their mind that remind them of their past and their failures. They begin to listen to his voice and agree with it. They did sin, and they failed. But instead of looking at the solution, which is repentance and the blood of Jesus (which washes away sin), they continue to listen to the enemy who keeps reminding them of their past. As they continue to do this, stronghold(s) are formed. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern based on lies and formed in deception. Once a stronghold is in place, the person naturally thinks of their past instead of focusing on the fact that their past has been forgiven and wiped away. They believe they are a failure instead of believing the truth in God's Word, which tells them that they have been forgiven, washed clean, and even God Himself has chosen to forget their dirty past! So instead of feeling like a child of God who was washed clean in the blood of Jesus, they feel unworthy, guilty and consider them self a loser. What a shame for a child of God to feel that way!
Your thoughts can affect how you feel
When you believe something, it will affect your feelings. When you believe you are a failure, you will feel like one. When you believe you are a forgiven saint, you will feel like one.
The difference between a guilt-ridden Christian and a light-hearted and joyful Christian is often one simple thing... what they are thinking about. Guess who's thinking about the sin, the guilt and the past? Now guess who's thinking about how they have been washed clean and they are a new person in Christ Jesus?
Whatever you keep your mind on (think about often) will affect your whole being. Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
An exception to the rule: Evil spirits are known to directly affect our emotions, feelings, etc. King Saul was tormented with fear and depression directly. However, evil spirits often use our thoughts to access our feelings, and this is done through the creation of strongholds. This is what we are addressing in this teaching... how the enemy uses our thoughts to build strongholds, and how strongholds affect our feelings.
In a nutshell
Thoughts from the enemy (if listened to) turn into strongholds (lies believed or incorrect thinking patterns) which affect how you feel (you feelings often stem from your beliefs) and can cause you to remain in bondage to plain simple ignorance. Jesus made it clear that it's possible for a believer to remain in bondage to sin even after they've been set free, all due to ignorance of the truth in God's Word (John 8:31-36).
If you think you're a failure, you'll feel like a failure. If you think you're a new creation (washed clean from your past), you'll feel clean and new... alive in Christ!
This is one elementary subject that most Christians still don't fully understand, and it is a powerful key to spiritual breakthrough for countless believers around the globe today! Don't believe you're just an old forgiven sinner just because some pastor tells you so. Look these things up in the Word of God for yourself and know the truth. For Jesus said clearly that if we continue in His Word, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free!
John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
The opposite of truth is deception or false beliefs... and will cause you to live in bondage unnecessarily. This subject is no exception. If you see yourself as a failure, you will not be able to boldly exercise your authority in Christ because you will feel unworthy (even after the Blood of Christ has made you worthy). If you claim to be unworthy after the Blood of Christ has made you worthy, then you are denying the work of Christ in your life!
I want you to say to yourself, "I am worthy, because JESUS' blood has made me worthy!"
You are loved by God the Father
You are loved by God, not because of what you've done, but because of who you are. The Bible tells us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He longed to have a relationship with you even before you became His child!
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
This one may be hard to get your mind around, but it is true. God loves us with the same love that He had towards Jesus Himself! Look at this passage in scripture:
John 17:23, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
Jesus said that the greatest love a man can show for his friends, is when he lays down his life for them. Jesus laid down His life for us - that is how valuable and dear we are to Him!
John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
As a matter of fact, if we don't realize the love of God, we cannot be filled with the fullness of God. We will lack His fullness in our lives until we come to know of His deep love for us:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tips on Staying Free of Pornography

Avoid stores that sell porn, especially those that display it behind the cash register so you can see it as you check out
Don't surf the internet alone
Avoid sexually explicit movies (usually R rated and some PG rated)
Avoid looking at people in a sexual manner. If you can't look at a person without having sexual thoughts, then don't look at all!
If married, avoid being separated from your spouse, especially in the evening
Avoid being alone
Pre-plan alternate, non-pornographic activities you will do when you feel the urge to view porn. Examples:
Ask God for help in prayer
Pray for others struggling with porn addiction
Call a friend
Exercise
Recite Bible verses audibly
Sing praise songs to God
Install internet filters on your computer and give a friend the password; use a text only browser (like Lynx) if search engine pictures are tempting you
When tempted, remind yourself the truth about the lies behind the temptations
Take actions to clean out your home from any physical or spiritual stumbling blocks related to porn

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good Reads



Theologians that Love to Write!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Was Paul's Thorn in The Flesh?


Paul’s explanation of what his splinter in the flesh really was is quite clear:

"Wherefore also, lest I should be lifted up by the transcendence of the revelations, there was given me a splinter in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, that he may be buffeting me, lest I may be lifted up"

"For this I entreat the Lord thrice, that it should withdraw from me. And He protested to me, ‘Sufficient for you is My grace, for My power in Infirmity is being perfected" (II Cor. 12:7-9).

Notice, "...there was given me a splinter in the flesh, a messenger of Satan..." The "splinter" is the "messenger." It is exactly the same as "...there is one God, the Father..." The "Father" IS the "one God." The splinter IS the messenger. But wait; there’s more.

So the "messenger" is the "splinter." What was the messenger to do to Paul? Answer: "...that he may be buffeting me..." (Ver. 8).

"Buffeting" comes from the Greek word kol aph iz’o = CHASTEN-FROM. It means: "to rap with the fist" (Strong’s Greek Dictionary p. 43. Webster’s, buffet, (bufit) n. a blow. "A blow." Now where have we seen that before?

II Cor. 11:23--"...in blows inordinately..."

Again, Webster’s New World Dictionary, blow n. 1 a hard hit, as with the fist 2 a sudden attack 3 a sudden calamity; shock.

Webster’s Twenteth-Century Dictionary gives us an even broader definition: buffeting, n. 1. A striking with the hands. 2. A succession of blows; strife; opposition; adversity.

So now we have a good idea of the meaning of this word "buffet"--A hard hit (especially to the face), sudden attack, sudden calamity, shock, succession of blows, strife, opposition, and adversity. Why would Paul call all this pain and calamity "a splinter"? A splinter seems rather mild compared to the miseries that define buffet. That’s because Paul is not speaking of intensity when he speaks of a "splinter," but rather the incessantness of a splinter. The pain and aggravation is constant. It never goes away. It plagues one with every move, until the splinter is removed.

The idiomatic expression "a splinter in my flesh" is still in popular usage. We alter it slightly to "a thorn in my flesh" or "a thorn in my side." We say things like: "Jack as been a thorn in my side ever since he came to work here."

The pain that Paul suffered from his hundreds of trials was obviously very intense. However, an analogy of a "splinter in the flesh" is not a description of intensity, but rather of its uninterrupted, nonstop, persistence. Paul suffered by buffeting for fourteen years prior to his writing II Corinthians, and probably another eleven years after writing II Corinthians, seeing that God never did remove it from him ("Sufficient for you is My grace...").

Imagine twenty-five years of such suffering by being buffeted by a messenger of Satan. Why so much? Why so severe? Why so long?

Remember, Paul’s revelations were transcendent. It is, therefore, necessary that his humiliation must be in accord with his exaltation. Is there a negative word that answers, in kind, to the word "transcendence"? Yes. It’s the word "inordinately"!

Let’s first look at the positive: Webster’s, transcend, 1. To go beyond the limits of; exceed 2. To surpass; excel. This is the positive side of [h]uperbole.

Now the negative: I like Webster’s New World Student’s Dictionary: inordinate, adj. too many or too much; excessive.

How revealing these words are. Paul’s privilege in revelations was so high (maybe almost too high) that God had to answer this exaltation with the opposite of "transcendence." Something that will humble him. Something "excessive." Something that is almost "too much." Inordinately!

God’s answer and remedy to "transcendence" is "inordinately."

Here’s proof: The word "transcendence" and the word "inordinately" are both translated from the same Greek word, "[h]uper bal’lo"!

Paul’s splinter was a messenger of Satan. His purpose was to buffet Paul. Buffeting was the category that Paul said happened to him inordinately, which answers in kind to Paul’s transcendence in revelations. So Paul lived for twenty-five years, being "hit hard," "suddenly," constantly and incessantly (like an aggravating "splinter in the flesh").

We have to understand that Paul could not live normally, by just expecting a setback or trial from time to time as circumstances would allow. No. Paul traveled in foreign lands for years, fully conscious of the fact that this appointed messenger of Satan was always there, like a sniper in the dark, ready to suddenly pounce on Paul with blows of every description and severity of pain and agony. And how often did these things happen to Paul? Almost too often, and too much--INORDINATELY!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who Was Robbing God in Malachi?


Who has thus far robbed God in the context of Malachi 3:8?



First, Bible students simply cannot ignore Malachi 1:13-14 which is clearly addressed to the priests from 1:6. The NAS reads, “…you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering!…But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished ­ animal to the Lord…” Again, where the KJV reads “torn,” the NAS says “taken by robbery,” the NKJV says “the stolen,” the RSV says “taken by violence,” and the TLB says “stolen.” God says that the priests had “stolen” either more than their tenth of the tithe, more than their share of offerings, or both! Malachi also points out that the priests had robbed God by not giving Him the best which they had vowed.



Second, when we compare Nehemiah 10:37, 38 and 12:44, 47 with 13:4, 5, 10, 11 it is clear that the high priest had stolen the Levites’ share of the tithe because everything else was at hand to replace. Undeniably the priests had stolen the tithe from the Levites! “And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field” (Neh. 13:10).

The objector says, “No! No! You have it all wrong! The priests are completely innocent! The people are guilty of not bringing tithes to the priests! The people are guilty of robbing God!”



I answer this objection by asking, “Where do you find this from Malachi 1:6 to 3:7?” Throughout the book of Malachi, THE PRIESTS HAVE BEEN THE VILLAINS, the guilty party, the robbers—and, now, suddenly, you say that they are the mistreated party. How inconsistent can one be! God has already CURSED the priests FOUR TIMES for robbing him and for not bringing what they already possessed. The priests are not the poor innocent victims which so many preachers want us to think. The priests are the “robbers” and “swindlers” who already have the tithes and offerings (from Nehemiah 10:38; 12:44, 47), are not giving God the best and are not sharing with the Levites in Nehemiah 13:10 and the needy in Malachi 3:5.



The phrase “tithes and offerings” “tithes” PLUS “offerings.” And it does not mean (as many teach) that everybody must give tithes first and offerings can only be given after tithes have been given. That is a lie! In reality tithes were never required from everybody (especially the poor) and legitimate tithes could only come from inside national Israel (see chapter one). Only farmers and herdsmen could tithe from the increase produced by God. Everybody else only gave freewill offerings from what they produced.

Mal. 3:9 “You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.” KJV

Mal. 3:9 “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! NASU



“Finally,” the tithe-teacher will say, “you must admit that NOW God is speaking to the WHOLE NATION and not to the priests in this verse!”



I reply, “What is the context? Up to this point, the pronoun, you, has almost exclusively referred to the priests receiving the curses which God had placed on them because of their guilt. Are we justified in concluding that NOW the pronoun, you, suddenly refers to the people, and that the people have wronged the priests?” The first four curses had been placed on the dishonest priests (1:14 and 2:2). These ministers were guilty of robbing God and received the longest and most harsh rebuke in Malachi (1:6 to 2:9). They had dishonored Him and despised His name (1:6). They had robbed Him by not offering the best (1:7-8)). Their worship was not acceptable (1:8). God desired that one of them would stop the hypocritical worship and lock the temple doors (1:10). He was tired of their dishonesty (1:13-14) and cursed them as deceivers or swindlers (1:14). Even their children would be affected by their sin and rebuked (2:3). God promised to even spread dung in their faces during their religious festivals (2:3).



“But,” objects the tithe-teacher, “verse 9 clearly says “this whole nation.”



I reply, “Look at the verse more closely.” For some good reason many scholarly Hebrew translators think that verse 9 should read, “this whole nation OF YOU.” Although “of you” does not appear in the King James Version, it does appear in the more literal NAS and RSV (and also the very popular NIV). The purpose of adding “of you” is unclear unless it distinguishes the whole nation “of you priests” from the rest of the nation! A possible contextual biblical precedent is seen in the theft of tithes from ministering Levites by Eliashib in Nehemiah 13:7-10 which had to involve other priests. Again, the main point thus far, however, is that (until now at least) God had been cursing the priests as thieves instead of expressing sorrow for them.



If Malachi 3:9 continues the curse of 2:2, then it is an addition to it. “I will even send a curse upon you (priests), and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart.” Even the priests’ offerings were cursed, “And this is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand” 2:13 NAS.



The priests needed a serious cleansing indeed, “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” 3:3. Why would God so quickly switch from cursing the priests to assisting them a few verses later (as some say)?