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1  Entertainment / Computer Hardware and Software / Re: New and old software on: November 23, 2010, 02:46:37 PM
And you don't play the piano either! Smiley
2  Entertainment / Computer Hardware and Software / New and old software on: November 22, 2010, 10:06:11 PM
Came across this looking for another RefTagger type freeware:  http://www.instaverse.com/

Says "InstaVerse has a convenient ability to "inject" scripture quickly into a document you are writing. Just type any scripture reference (e.g. "Gen 1:1-3") and then press a hotkey, and InstaVerse replaces your reference with the full Bible text, instantly!

Works in Internet Explorer, Outlook, Outlook Express, Firefox, and Microsoft Word. Requires Windows XP or later. Vista compatible."

Have not tried it as i really do not use MS Word and Open Office is not supported.

And for those who play the keys, years ago i found a freeware called KB Piano, which was then free, but the later versions were not, though i think i now costs just 4.50. It turns your keyboard into a piano or other instruments, which i cannot play either, but kind of neat. I think this is the last free version here:  http://kb-piano.lastdownload.com/download.html
3  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: August 17, 2010, 02:36:33 AM
Yes, tricks and railings, and Paul prayed "that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith." (2Thes. 3:2)  But we must also pray that some "will be given them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." (2Tim. 2:25) 
Gospel of John is up:  http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/Bible/John_1.html To God be the glory.
4  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: August 09, 2010, 03:37:36 PM
Thanks brother Tom, and thanks be to God for all His grace inspires and enables. Men like Matthew Henry did far greater work, out of far better hearts. I did not see your post til now and have been busy debating atheists, with God's help. Glad that you find the RefTagger helpful. Working on John now. 
5  Entertainment / Computer Hardware and Software / Re: Battle Of The Freeware Text Editors on: July 28, 2010, 02:45:07 PM
Thanks for the additional info. I think that would be of interest for those who do a lot of work with wiki sites, as maybe it will auto close the <ref> tags.  I really need a WYSIWYG editor for html though, as well as check spelling as you type, as in OOo and Firefox as well.

A handy took with Firefox is the ability to copy from web pages using the View selection source, and paste into forums which allow html coding (like FreeRepublic). This results in the same formatting.

And thanks for the confirmation on the RefTagger. And thank God for the ability to translate to so many languages, though it must leave somewhat to be desired.  Free tools we can use! Every breath we take is from Him, and may all be used to His glory.
6  Entertainment / Computer Hardware and Software / Re: Battle Of The Freeware Text Editors on: July 27, 2010, 03:27:36 PM
Whatever BBCode is! Huh

 I do see it has an autosave option, but did not see a "check spelling as you type" feature, which is important for me and my hunt and peck typos.

Btw, how to you like the N.T. Bible study? Does the RefTagg pop ups work ok:  http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/Bible/Mark_1.html
7  Entertainment / Computer Hardware and Software / Re: Battle Of The Freeware Text Editors on: July 27, 2010, 01:40:06 PM
Thanks for the tip. I installed it, and it looks impressive, but as i do not know coding, html or otherwise, it is not very useful for me

I do use Win32 pad (http://download.cnet.com/Win32Pad/3000-2351_4-10421869.html) as a notepad replacement, as i recognizes url addresses, among other things.

I use OOo extensively, thanks be to God, and to make web pages i just created a word document and save it to a web page. But it does have some quirks. If i open a html page with tables, it places a .20 space between the last line of text and the table border, which was saved as 0.04.  Likewise if i add the Google translate script into it, after  </HEAD><BODY (as seen in my N.T. Bible study pages) and save it then when i reopen it and save it  OOo places <P><BR><BR>   </P> into it (after the <DIV ID="google_translate_element" DIR="LTR">) which was not there before, and i have to edit out the space with Win32 pad. But it is a real blessing all the same.

8  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 21, 2010, 07:03:24 AM
Having completed the Old Testament study (glory be to God) I will not be posting the New Testament study here, but  instead I will  be putting it on my own site as web pages. This is partly due to fatigue, and because of the technical limitations of this type of posting, as this will somewhat reduce the work needed to code and parcel out segments here, and by using html I can more easily retain more original formatting as well as progressively enable easy access to all the books and chapters of the New Testament via a table of contents. In addition, this format can provide pop up viewing of cross references using the RefTagger script, which is especially helpful with the greater degree of cross references in the Bible text and commentary on the New Testament. They also offer translation into many languages. 

To begin, see http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/New_Testament_TOC.html and read the  Introductory notes first. Praise the LORD.

This is yet a work-in-progress, and only Matthew, Mark and Luke have been completed thus far (7-20-10), but the Table of Contents will show active links to more book as they are competed, by the grace of God.
I originally began this study to help ensure that I myself would go thru the Bible again, but I trust it has been edifying for those who have read Read-Post through the Bible, and I hope the new format is of further help. Blessed be the name of the LORD. 
9  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 20, 2010, 07:19:31 AM
1. Who this prophet is that shall be sent; it is Elijah. The Jewish doctors will have it to be the same Elijah that prophesied in Israel in the days of Ahab - that he shall come again to be the forerunner of the Messiah; yet others of them say not the same person, but another of the same spirit. It should seem, those different sentiments they had when they asked John, “Art thou Elias, or that prophet that should bear his name?” Joh_1:19-21. But we Christians know very well that John Baptist was the Elias that was to come, Mat_17:10-13; and very expressly, Mat_11:14, This is Elias that was to come; and v. 10, the same of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger, Mal_3:1. Elijah was a man of great austerity and mortification, zealous for God, bold in reproving sin, and active to reduce an apostate people to God and their duty; John Baptist was animated by the same spirit and power, and preached repentance and reformation, as Elias had done; and all held him for a prophet, as they did Elijah in his day, and that his baptism was from heaven, and not of men. Note, When God has such work to do as was formerly to be done he can raise up such men to do it as he formerly raised up, and can put into a John Baptist the spirit of an Elias.

2. When he shall be sent - before the appearing of the Messiah, which, because it was the judgment of this world, and introduced the ruin of the Jewish church and nation, is here called the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. John Baptist gave them fair warning of this when he told them of the wrath to come (that wrath to the uttermost which was hastening upon them) and put them into a way of escape from it, and when he told them of the fan in Christ's hand, with which Christ would thoroughly purge his floor; see Mat_3:7, Mat_3:10, Mat_3:12. That day of Christ, when he came first, was as that day will be when he comes again - though a great and joyful day to those that embrace him, yet a great and dreadful day to those that oppose him. John Baptist was sent before the coming of this day, to give people notice of it, that they might get ready for it, and go forth to meet it.

3. On what errand he shall be sent: He shall turn the heart of the fathers to their children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; that is, “he shall be employed in this work; he shall attempt it; his doctrine and baptism shall have a direct tendency to it, and with many shall be successful: he shall be an instrument in God's hand of turning many to righteousness, to the Lord their God, and so making ready a people prepared for him,” Luk_1:16, Luk_1:17. Note, The turning of souls to God and their duty is the best preparation of them for the great and dreadful day of the Lord. It is promised concerning John, (1.) That he shall give a turn to things, shall make a bold stand against the strong torrent of sin and impiety which he found in full force among the children of his people, and beating down all before it. This is called his coming to restore all things (Mat_17:11), to set them to rights, that they may again go in the right channel. (2.) That he shall preach a doctrine that shall reach men's hearts, and have an influence upon them, and work a change in them. God's word, in his mouth, shall be quick and powerful, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Many had their consciences awakened by his ministry who yet were not thoroughly wrought upon, such a spirit and power was there in it. (3.) That he shall turn the hearts of the fathers with the children, and of the children with the fathers (for so some read it), to God and to their duty. He shall call upon young and old to repent, and shall not labour in vain, for many of the fathers that are going off, and many of the children that are growing up, shall be wrought upon by his ministry. (4.) That thus he shall be an instrument to revive and confirm love and unity among relations, and shall bring them closer and bind them faster to each other, by bringing and binding them all to their God. He shall prepare the way for that kingdom of heaven which will make all its faithful subjects of one heart and one soul (Act_4:32), which will be a kingdom of love, and will slay all enmities.

4. With what view he shall be sent on this errand: Lest I come and smite the earth, that is, the land of Israel, the body of the Jewish nation (that were of the earth earthy), with a curse. They by their impiety and impenitence in it had laid themselves open to the curse of God, which is a separation to all evil. God was ready to smite them with that curse, to bring utter ruin upon them, to strike home, to strike dead, with the curse; but he will yet once more try them, whether they will repent and return, and so prevent it; and therefore he sends John Baptist to preach repentance to them, that their conversion might prevent their confusion; so unwilling is God that any should perish, so willing to have his anger turned away. Had they universally repented and reformed, their repentance would have had this desired effect; but, they generally rejecting the counsel of God in John's baptism, it proved against themselves (Luk_7:30) and their land was smitten with the curse which both it and they lie under to this day. Note, Those must expect to be smitten with a sword, with a curse, who turn not to him that smites them with a rod, with a cross, Isa_9:13. Now the axe is laid to the root of the tree, says John Baptist, and it is ready to be smitten, to be cut down, with a curse; therefore bring forth fruit meet for repentance. Some observe that the last word of the Old Testament is a curse, which threatens the earth (Zec_5:3), our desert of which we must be made sensible of, that we may bid Christ welcome, who comes with a blessing; and it is with a blessing, with the choicest of blessings, that the New Testament ends, and with it let us arm ourselves, or rather let God arm us, against this curse. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen. — Henry 

The end of the book of Malachi; the end of the Old Testament. To God be the glory.

See announcement tomorrow.
10  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 20, 2010, 07:16:44 AM
(2.) It shall make them victorious over their enemies (Mal_4:3): You shall tread down the wicked. Time was when the wicked trod them down, said to their souls, Bow down, that we may go over; but the day will come when they shall tread down the wicked. The wicked, being made Christ's footstool, are made theirs also (Psa_110:1), and come and worship before the feet of the church, Rev_3:9. The elder shall serve the younger. When believers by faith overcome the world, when they suppress their own corrupt appetites and passions, when the God of peace bruises Satan under their feet, then they tread down the wicked. When it came to the turn of the Christians to triumph over the Jews that had insulted over them, then this promise was fulfilled: They shall be ashes under the soles of your feet; they shall not only be trodden down, but trodden to dirt. When the day that comes shall have burnt them up, they shall trample upon them as ashes. When the righteous shall rise to everlasting life, the wicked shall rise to everlasting contempt; and, though they shall not triumph over them, they shall triumph in that God whose justice is glorified in their destruction. The saints in glory are said to have power given them over the nations, to rule them with a rod of iron, Rev_2:26, Rev_2:27. This you shall do, in the day that I shall do this. Note, The saints' triumphs are all owing to God's victories; it is not they that do this, but God that does it for them, that says, Come set your feet on the necks of these kings. Some read it, “In the day that I make, or shall make, the great day that I shall make remarkable, of which you will say with joy, This is the day which the Lord has made.” The day of the destruction of Jerusalem is called the great and notable day of the Lord (Act_2:20), and our Saviour in foretelling that destruction made use of such expressions as, like these, might be applied likewise to the end of the world and the last judgment; for it was such a terrible revelation of the wrath of God from heaven, and caused such a scene of horror upon this earth, that it might fitly serve for a type of that glorious transaction which will be an outlet to the days of time and an inlet to the days of eternity. By the accomplishment of these prophecies in the ruin of the Jewish nation, we should have our faith confirmed in the assurances Christ has given us concerning the dissolution of all things. Surely I come quickly; so says Christ, the Lord of hosts, to whom all power in heaven and earth is committed. — Henry 

Mal 4:4-6 

This is doubtless intended for a solemn conclusion, not only of this prophecy, but of the canon of the Old Testament, and is a plain information that they were not to expect any more sayings nor writing by divine inspiration, any more of the dictates of the Spirit of prophecy, till the beginning of the gospel of the Messiah, which sets aside the Apocrypha as no part of holy writ, and which therefore the Jews never received.

Now that prophecy ceases, and is about to be sealed up, there are two things required of the people of God, that lived then: -

I. They must keep up an obedient veneration for the law of Moses (Mal_4:4): Remember the law of Moses my servant, and observe to do according to it, even that law which I commanded unto him in Horeb, that fiery law which was intended for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments, not only the law of the ten commandments, but all the other appointments, ceremonial and judicial, then and there given. Observe here, 1. The honourable mention that is made of Moses, the first writer of the Old Testament, in Malachi, the last writer. God by him calls him Moses my servant; for the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. See how the penmen of scripture, though they lived in several ages at a great distance from each other (it was above 1200 years from Moses to Malachi), all concurred in the same thing, and supported one another, being all actuated and guided by one and the same Spirit. 2. The honourable mention that is made of the law of Moses; it was what God himself commanded; he owns it for his law, and he commanded it for all Israel, as the municipal law of their kingdom. Thus will God magnify his law and make it honourable. Note, We are concerned to keep the law because God has commanded it and commanded it for us, for we are the spiritual Israel; and, if we expect the benefit of the covenant with Israel (Heb_8:10), we must observe the commands given to Israel, those of them that were intended to be of perpetual obligation. 3. The summary of our duty, with reference to the law. We must remember it. Forgetfulness of the law is at the bottom of all our transgressions of it; if we would rightly remember it, we could not but conform to it. We should remember it when we have occasion to use it, remember both the commands themselves and the sanctions wherewith they are enforced. The office of conscience is to bid us remember the law. But how does this charge to remember the law of Moses come in here? (1.) This prophet had reproved them for many gross corruptions and irregularities both in worship and conversation, and now, for the reforming and amending of what was amiss, he only charges them to remember the law of Moses: “Keep to that rule, and you will do all you should do.” He will lay upon them no other burden than what they have received; hold that fast, Rev_2:24, Rev_2:25. Note, Corrupt churches are to be reformed by the written word, and reduced into order by being reduced to the standard of the law and the testimony, see 1Co_11:23. (2.) The church had long enjoyed the benefit of prophets, extraordinary messengers from God, and now they had a whole book of their prophecies put together, and it was a finished piece; but they must not think that hereby the law of Moses was superseded, and had become as an almanac out of date, as if now they were advanced to a higher form and might forget that. No; the prophets do but confirm and apply the law, and press the observance of that; and therefore still Remember the law. Note, Even when we have made considerable advances in knowledge we must still retain the first principles of practical religion and resolve to abide by them. Those that study the writings of the prophets, and the apocalypse, must still remember the law of Moses and the four gospels. (3.) Prophecy was now to cease in the church for some ages, and the Spirit of prophecy not to return till the beginning of the gospel, and now they are told to remember the law of Moses; let them live by the rules of that, and live upon the promises of that. Note, We need not complain for want of visions and revelations as long as we have the written word, and the canon of scripture complete, to be our guide; for that is the most sure word of prophecy, and the touchstone by which we are to try the spirits. Though we have not prophets, yet, as long as we have Bibles, we may keep our communion with God, and keep ourselves in his way. (4.) They were to expect the coming of the Messiah, the preaching of his gospel, and the setting up of his kingdom, and in that expectation they must remember the law of Moses, and live in obedience to that, and then they might expect the comforts that the Messiah would bring to the willing and obedient. Let them observe the law of Moses, and live up to the light which that gave them, and then they might expect the benefit of the gospel of Christ, for to him that has, and uses what he has well, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance.

II. They must keep up a believing expectation of the gospel of Christ, and must look for the beginning of it in the appearing of Elijah the prophet (Mal_4:5, Mal_4:6): “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet. Though the Spirit of prophecy cease for a time, and you will have only the law to consult, yet it shall revive again in one that shall be sent in the spirit and power of Elias,” Luk_1:17. The law and the prophets were until John (Luk_16:16); they continued to be the only lights of the church till that morning-star appeared. Note, As God never left himself without witness in the world, so neither in the church, but, as there was occasion, carried the light of divine revelation further and further to the perfect day. They had now Moses and the prophets, and might hear them; but God will go further: he will send them Elijah. Observe
11  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 20, 2010, 07:15:20 AM
(2.) When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, and the nation of the Jews, as a nation, quite blotted out from under heaven, and neither root nor branch left them. This seems to be principally intended here; our Saviour says that those should be the days of vengeance, when all the things that were written to that purport should be fulfilled, Luk_21:22. Then the unbelieving Jews were as stubble to the devouring fire of God's judgments, which gathered together to them as the eagles to the carcase. (3.) It is certainly applicable, and is to be applied, to the day of judgment, to the particular judgment at death (some of the Jewish doctors refer it the punishment that seizes on the souls of the wicked immediately after they go out of the body), but especially to the general judgment, at the end of time, when Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire, to execute judgment on the proud, and all that do wickedly. The whole world shall then burn as an oven, and all the children of this world, that set their hearts upon it and choose their portion in it, shall take their ruin with it, and the fire then kindled shall never be quenched.

II. In both Christ is a rejoicing light to those who serve him faithfully, to those who fear his name and give him the glory due to it (Mal_4:2), who stand in awe of that name of his which the wicked profane and trample upon. Here are mercy and comfort kept in store for all those who fear the Lord and think on his name. Observe,

1. Whence this mercy and comfort shall flow to them: To you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings. The day that comes, as it will be a stormy day to the wicked, a day in which God will rain upon them fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest, as he did on Sodom (Psa_11:6), a day of clouds and thick darkness (Amo_5:18, Amo_5:20), so it will be a fair and bright day to those who fear God, and reviving as the rising sun is to the earth; and particular notice is taken of the rising of the sun upon Zoar when that was mercifully distinguished from the cities of the plain, which the fire consumed; see Gen_19:23. So to those that fear God is comfort spoken. When the hearts of others fail for fear let them lift up their heads for joy, for their redemption draws nigh, Luk_21:28. But by the Sun of righteousness here we are certainly to understand Jesus Christ, who would undertake to secure the believing remnant, in the day of the general destruction of the Jews, from falling with the rest, and to comfort them in that day of distress and perplexity with his consolations; he directed those that were in Judea to flee to the mountains (Mat_24:16), and they did so, and were all safe and easy in Pella. But it is to be applied more generally, (1.) To the coming of Christ in the flesh to seek and save those that were lost; then the Sun of righteousness arose upon this dark world. Christ is the light of the world, the true light, the great light that makes day and rules the day (Joh_8:12), as the sun. He is the light of men (Joh_1:4), is to men's souls as the sun is to the visible world, which without the sun would be a dungeon; so would mankind be darkness itself without the light of the glory of God shining in the face of Christ. Christ is the Sun that has light in himself, and is the fountain of light (Psa_19:4-6); he is the Sun of righteousness, for he is himself a righteous Saviour. Righteousness is both the light and the heat of this Sun; the word of his righteousness is so; it guides, instructs, and quickens; so is the everlasting righteousness he has brought in. He is made of God to us righteousness; he is the Lord our righteousness, and therefore is fitly called the Sun of righteousness. Through him we are justified and sanctified, and so are brought to see light. This Sun of righteousness, in the fulness of time, arose upon the world, and with him light came into the world (Joh_3:19), a great light, Mat_4:16. In him the day-spring from on high visited us, to give light to those that sit in darkness, Luk_1:78, Luk_1:79. Righteousness sometimes signifies mercy or benignity, and it was in Christ that the tender mercy of our God visited us. (2.) It is applicable to the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit, brought into the souls of men. Grotius understands it of Christ's giving the Spirit to those that are his, to shine in their hearts, and to be a comforter to them, a sun and a shield. Those that are possessed and governed by a holy fear of God and a dread of his majesty shall have his love also shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost; and then the sun may be said to arise there, and to bring both a delightful day and a fruitful spring along with it. (3.) Christ's second coming will be a glorious and welcome sun-rising to all that fear his name; it will be that morning of the resurrection in which the upright shall have dominion, Psa_49:14. That day which to the wicked will burn as an oven will to the righteous be bright as the morning; and it is what they wait for, more than those that wait for the morning.

2. What this mercy and comfort shall bring to them: He shall arise with healing under his wings, or in his rays or beams, which are as the wings of the sun. Christ came, as the sun, to bring not only light to a dark world, but health to a diseased distempered world. The Jews (says Dr. Pocock) have a proverbial saying, As the sun riseth, infirmities decrease; the flowers which drooped and languished all night revive in the morning. Christ came into the world to be the great physician, yea, and the great medicine too, both the balm in Gilead and the physician there. When he was upon earth, he went about as the sun in his circuit, doing this good; he healed all manner of sicknesses and diseases among the people; he healed by wholesale, as the sun does. He shall arise with healing in his skirts; so some read it, and they apply it to the story of the woman's touching the hem of his garment, and being thereby made whole, and his finding that virtue went out of him, Mar_5:28-30. But his healing bodily diseases was a specimen of his great design in coming into the world to heal the diseases of men's souls, and to put them into a good state of health, that they may serve and enjoy both God and themselves.

3. What good effect it shall have upon them. (1.) It shall make them vigorous in themselves: “You shall go forth, as those that are healed go abroad and return to their business.” The souls shall go forth out of their bodies at death, and the bodies out of their graves at the resurrection, as prisoners out of their dungeons, and both to see the light and be set at liberty. “You shall go forth as plants out of the earth, when in the spring the sun returns.” Some make it to mean the going forth of the Christians from Jerusalem, and the escape they thereby made from its destruction. And thus the souls on whom the Sun of righteousness arises go forth out of the world, go forth out of Babylon, as those that are made free indeed. “You shall likewise grow up; being restored to health and liberty, you shall increase in knowledge, and grace, and spiritual strength.” The souls on which the Sun of righteousness arises are growing up towards the perfect man; those that by the grace of God are made wise and good are by the same grace made wiser and better; and their path, like that of the rising sun, shines more and more to the perfect day, Pro_4:18. Their growth is compared to that of the calves of the stall, which is a quick, strong, and useful growth. “You shall grow up, not as the flower of the field, which is slender, and weak, and of little use, and withers soon after it has grown up, but as the calves of the stall,” that, as one of the rabbin expounds it, grow great in flesh and fatness, with which both God's altars and men's tables are replenished; so the growth of the saints, on whom the Sun of righteousness arises, honours both God and man. Some read it, instead of You shall grow up, You shall move yourselves, or leap for joy, shall be as frolicsome as calves of the stall, when they are let loose in the open field; it denotes the joy of the saints, who rejoice in Christ Jesus; they shall even leap for joy; they are always caused to triumph.
12  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 20, 2010, 07:14:16 AM

This chapter contains an account of the destruction of the wicked Jews, and the happiness of the righteous by the coming of the Messiah; an exhortation to regard the law of Moses; and a description of John the Baptist and his work. The day of Christ's coming, reaching to Jerusalem's destruction, is compared to a burning oven; the wicked Jews to stubble, whose ruin would be utter and complete, Mal_4:1 the appearance of Christ is signified by the arising of him, the sun of righteousness; the manner, with healing in his wings; the effects of which are, going forth in the exercise of grace, and the discharge of duty, and spiritual growth and triumph over their enemies, in which will lie the happiness of them that fear God, Mal_4:2 who are put in mind of the law of Moses on Horeb, Mal_4:4 the sending of John the Baptist under the name of Elijah, before the coming of Christ is prophesied of, Mal_4:5 and his work pointed out, with the end of it, Mal_4:6.  — Gill

Malachi 4 - We have here proper instructions given us (very proper to close the canon of the Old Testament with),  I. Concerning the state of recompence and retribution that is before us, the misery of the wicked and the happiness of the righteous in that state (Mal_4:1-3). And this is represented to us under a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the unbelieving Jews with it, and of the comforts and triumphs of those among them that received the gospel.  II. Concerning the state of trial and preparation we are now in, in which we are directed to have an eye to divine revelation, and to follow that; they then must keep to the law of Moses (Mal_4:4) and expect a further discovery of God's will by Elijah the prophet, that is, by John Baptist, the harbinger of the Messiah (Mal_4:5, Mal_4:6). The last chapter of the New Testament is much to the same purport, setting before us heaven and hell in the other world, and obliging us to adhere to the word of God in this world. — Henry 

Mal 4:1-3 

Here is a reference to the first and to the second coming of Christ: God has fixed the day of both. Those who do wickedly, who do not fear God's anger, shall feel it. It is certainly to be applied to the day of judgment, when Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire; to execute judgment on the proud, and all that do wickedly. In both, Christ is a rejoicing Light to those who serve him faithfully. By the Sun of Righteousness we understand Jesus Christ. Through him believers are justified and sanctified, and so are brought to see light. His influences render the sinner holy, joyful, and fruitful. It is applicable to the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit, brought into the souls of men. Christ gave the Spirit to those who are his, to shine in their hearts, and to be a Comforter to them, a Sun and a Shield. That day which to the wicked will burn as an oven, will to the righteous be bright as the morning; it is what they wait for, more than those that wait for the morning. Christ came as the Sun, to bring, not only light to a dark world, but health to a distempered world. Souls shall increase in knowledge and spiritual strength. Their growth is as that of calves of the stall, not as the flower of the field, which is slender and weak, and soon withers. The saints' triumphs are all owing to God's victories; it is not they that do this, but God who does it for them. Behold another day is coming, far more dreadful to all that work wickedness than any which is gone before. How great then the happiness of the believer, when he goes from the darkness and misery of this world, to rejoice in the Lord for evermore!

Mal 4:4-6 

Here is a solemn conclusion, not only of this prophecy, but of the Old Testament. Conscience bids us remember the law. Though we have not prophets, yet, as long as we have Bibles, we may keep up our communion with God. Let others boast in their proud reasoning, and call it enlightening, but let us keep near to that sacred word, through which this Sun of Righteousness shines upon the souls of his people. They must keep up a believing expectation of the gospel of Christ, and must look for the beginning of it. John the Baptist preached repentance and reformation, as Elijah had done. The turning of souls to God and their duty, is the best preparation of them for the great and dreadful day of the Lord. John shall preach a doctrine that shall reach men's hearts, and work a change in them. Thus he shall prepare the way for the kingdom of heaven. The Jewish nation, by wickedness, laid themselves open to the curse. God was ready to bring ruin upon them; but he will once more try whether they will repent and return; therefore he sent John the Baptist to preach repentance to them. Let the believer wait with patience for his release, and cheerfully expect the great day, when Christ shall come the second time to complete our salvation. But those must expect to be smitten with a sword, with a curse, who turn not to Him that smites them with a rod. None can expect to escape the curse of God's broken law, nor to enjoy the happiness of his chosen and redeemed people, unless their hearts are turned from sin and the world, to Christ and holiness. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen. — MHCC

Mal 4:1-3 

The great and terrible day of the Lord is here prophesied of. This, like the pillar of cloud and fire, shall have a dark side turned towards the Egyptians that fight against God, and a bright side towards the faithful Israelites that follow him: The day cometh, that is, the Lord cometh, the day of the Lord; and it has reference both to the first and to the second coming of Jesus Christ; the day of both was fixed, and should answer the character here given of it.

I. In both Christ is a consuming fire to those that rebel against him. The day of his coming shall burn as an oven; it shall be a day of wrath, of fiery indignation. This was foretold concerning the Messiah, Psa_21:9, Thy hand shall find out all thy enemies, and shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of thy anger. It will be a day of terror and destruction like the burning of a city, or rather of a wood, the trees whereof are withered and dried, for to that the allusion seems to be, as Isa_10:17, Isa_10:18, The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame, and it shall consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field. Now observe here, 1. Who shall be fuel to this fire - all the proud in heart, whose words have been stout against God, and their necks stiff and unapt to yield to the yoke of his commandments (all those that in the pride of their countenances will not seek after God, nor submit to the grace and government of Jesus Christ - all that proudly say they will not have Christ to reign over them), and all those that do wickedly in their affections and conversations, that wilfully persist in sin, in contempt of and contradiction to the law of God; they are such as do wickedly against the covenant, as another prophet had lately expressed it, Dan_11:32. God, that has perfect knowledge of every one's character, knows who are the proud, and of every one's actions, knows who they are that do wickedly; and they shall be as stubble to this fire; they shall be consumed by it, easily consumed, utterly consumed, and it is wholly owing to themselves that they shall be so, for they make themselves stubble, that is, combustible matter, to this fire. If they were not stubble, it would not burn them; for the fire will be to every man according as he and his works are found; if they be wood, hay, and stubble, they will be consumed; but if they be gold, solver, and precious stones, they will abide the fire and be purified by it, 1Co_3:13-15. Those that by their unbelief oppose Christ thereby set themselves as briers and thorns before a devouring fire, Isa_27:4, Isa_27:5. 2. What shall be the force and what the fruit of this fire: The day that cometh shall burn them up, shall both terrify and ruin them, and shall leave them neither root nor branch, neither son nor nephew (so the Chaldee paraphrase): neither they nor their posterity shall be spared; they shall be wholly extirpated and cut off. Who knows the power of God's anger? The proud and those that do wickedly will not fear it, but they shall be made to feel it. Where are those now that called the proud happy, when thus they are made completely miserable, when there remains no branch of their happiness to be enjoyed for the present, nor any root of it out of which it might again spring up? Now this was fulfilled, (1.) When Christ, in his doctrine, spoke terror and condemnation to the proud Pharisees and the other Jews that did wickedly, when he sent that fire on the earth which burnt up the chaff of the traditions of the elders and the corrupt glosses they had put upon the law of God.
13  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 20, 2010, 07:12:50 AM
Malachi 4

 1 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. {Obad 1:18;} 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. 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.

 4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, [with] the statutes and judgments. {Deut 6:3;} 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: {Matt 11:14; Matt 17:11-13; Mark 9:11-13; Luke 1:7;} 6 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.
14  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 19, 2010, 12:33:17 AM
  [2.] There is a day coming when God will make up his jewels. They shall be gathered up out of the dirt into which they are now thrown, and gathered together from all places to which they are now scattered; he shall send forth his angels to gather his elect, who are his jewels, from the four winds of heaven (Mat_24:31), to gather his jewels into his jewel-house, as the wheat from several fields into the barn. All the saints will then be gathered to Christ, and none but saints, and saints made perfect; then God's jewels will be made up, as stones into a crown, as stars into a constellation. [3.] Those who now own God for theirs, he will then own for his, will publicly confess them before angels and men: “They shall be mine; their sanctification shall be completed, and so they shall be perfectly and entirely mine, without any remaining interests of the world and the flesh.” Their relation to God shall be acknowledged, and his property in them. He will separate them from those that are not his, and give them their portion with those that are his; for to them it shall be said, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you. They were in doubt, sometimes, whether they were belonging to God or no; but the matter shall then be put out of doubt. God himself will say unto them, You are mine. Now their relation to God is what they are reproached with, but it will then be gloried in; God himself will glory in it.

(4.) He promises them a share in his grace now: I will spare them as a man spares his own son that serves him. God had promised to own them as his and take them to be with him; but it might be a discouragement to them to think that they had offended God, and that he might justly disown them, and cast them off; but, as to that, he says, “I will spare them; I will not deal with them as they deserve. I will rejoice over them” (so some expound it) “as the bridegroom over his bride,” Isa_62:5; Zep_3:17. But the word usually signifies to spare with commiseration and compassion, as a father pities his children, Psa_103:13. Note, [1.] It is our duty to serve God with the disposition of children. We must be his sons, must by a new birth partake of a divine nature, must consent to the covenant of adoption and partake of the spirit of adoption. And we must be his servants; God will not have his children trained up in idleness; they must do him service, and they must do it from a principle of love, with cheerfulness and delight, and as those that are therein serving their own true interest, and this is serving as a son with the father, Phi_2:22. [2.] If we serve God with the disposition of children, he will spare us with the tenderness and compassion of a Father. Even God's children that serve him stand in need of sparing mercy, that mercy to which we owe it that we are not consumed, that mercy which keeps us out of hell. Nehemiah, when he had done much good, yet, knowing there is not a just man on earth, that does good and sins not, and that every sin deserves God's wrath, prays, Lord, spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy; see Neh_13:22. And God, as a Father, will show them this mercy. He will not be extreme to mark what we do amiss, but will make the best of us and our poor performances; he will mitigate the afflictions his children are exercised with, and save them from the ruin they deserve. The father continues to spare the son, and does it with complacency, because he is his own; thus God will spare humble penitents and petitioners, as a man spares his son that serves him, though we do him so little service, nay, though we do him so much disservice.

3. How they will thus be distinguished from the children of this world (Mal_3:18 ): “Then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between sinners and saints, between those that serve God and make conscience of their duty to him and those that serve him not, but put contempt upon his service. You that now speak against God as making no difference between good and bad, and therefore say, It is in vain to serve him (Mal_3:14), you shall be made to see your error; you that would speak for God, but know not what to say as to this, that there seems to be one event to the righteous and to the wicked, and all things come alike to all, will then have the matter set in a true light, and will see, to your everlasting satisfaction, the difference between the righteous and the wicked. Then you shall return, that is, you shall change you mind, and come to a right understanding of the thing.” This primarily respects the manifest difference that was made by the divine Providence between the believing Jews and those that persisted in their infidelity, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish church and nation, by the Romans. But it is to have its full accomplishment at the second coming of Jesus Christ, and on that great discriminating day when it shall be easy enough to discern between the righteous and the wicked. Note, (1.) All the children of men are either righteous or wicked, either such as serve God or such as serve him not. This is that division of the children of men which will last for ever, and by which their eternal state will be determined; all are going either to heaven or to hell. (2.) In this world it is often hard to discern between the righteous and the wicked. They are mingled together, good fish and bad in the same net. The righteous are so distempered, and the wicked so disguised, that we are often deceived in our opinions concerning both the one and the other. There are many who, we think, serve God, who, having not their hearts right with him, will be found none of his servants; and, on the other hand, many will be found his faithful servants, who, because they followed not with us, did not, as we thought, serve him. But that which especially raised the difficulty here was that the divine Providence seemed to make no difference between the righteous and the wicked; you could not know wicked men by God's frowning upon them, for they commonly prospered in the world, nor righteous men by his smiling upon them, for they were involved with others in the same common calamity. None now knows God's love or hatred by all that is before him, Ecc_9:1. (3.) At the bar of Christ, in the last judgment, it will be easy to discern between the righteous and the wicked; for then every man's character will be both perfected and perfectly discovered, every man will then appear in his true colours, and his disguises will be taken off. Some men's sins indeed go beforehand, and you may now tell who is wicked, but others follow after; however, in the great day, we shall see who was righteous and who wicked. Every man's condition likewise will be both perfected and everlastingly determined; the righteous will then be perfectly happy and the wicked perfectly miserable, without mixture or allay. When the righteous are all set on the right hand of Christ, and invited to come for a blessing, and all the wicked on his left hand, and are told to depart with a curse, then it will be easy to discern between them. As to ourselves, therefore, we are concerned to think among which we shall have our lot, and, as to others, we must judge nothing before the time. — Henry

15  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Read-Post Through the Bible on: July 19, 2010, 12:15:54 AM
(2.) They maintained that wickedness was the way to prosperity, for they had observed that the workers of wickedness were set up in the world, and those that tempted God were delivered, Mal_3:15. The outward prosperity of sinners in their sins, as it has weakened the hands of the godly in their godliness (Psa_73:13), so it has strengthened the hands of the wicked in their wickedness. Note, [1.] Those that work wickedness tempt God by presumptuous sins; they do, as it were, try God, whether he can and will punish them as he has said in his word, and, in effect, challenge him to do his worst, by provoking him in the highest degree. [2.] Those that tempt God by their wicked works are many times both delivered out of the adversity into which they were justly brought and advanced to the prosperity which they were utterly unworthy of. They are not only set up once, but when we thought their day had come to fall, and they were in trouble, they were delivered and set up again; so strangely did Providence seem to smile upon them. [3.] Though it be thus, yet it will not warrant us to call the proud happy. For they may be delivered and set up for a while, but it will appear that God resists them, and that their pride is a preface to their fall; and, if so, they are truly miserable, and it is folly to call them happy, and to bless those whom the Lord abhors. Wait awhile, and you shall see those that work wickedness set up as a mark to the arrows of God's vengeance, and those that tempt God delivered to the tormentors. Judge of things as they will appear shortly, when the doom of these proud sinners (which follows here, Mal_4:1) comes to be executed to the utmost.

II. Here is the gracious notice God takes of the pious talk of the saints in Zion, and the gracious recompence of it. Even in this corrupt and degenerate age, when there was so great a decay, nay, so great a contempt, of serious godliness, there were yet some that retained their integrity and zeal for God; and let us see,

1. How they distinguished themselves, and what their character was; it was the reverse of theirs that spoke so much against God; for, (1.) They feared the Lord - that is the beginning of wisdom and the root of all religion; they reverenced the majesty of God, submitted to his authority, and had a dread of his wrath in all they thought and said; they humbly complied with God, and never spoke any stout words against him. In every age there has been a remnant that feared the Lord, though sometimes but a little remnant. (2.) They thought upon his name; they seriously considered and frequently mediated upon the discoveries God has made of himself in his word and by his providences, and their mediation of him was sweet to them and influenced them. They thought on his name; they consulted the honour of God and aimed at that as their ultimate end in all they did. Note, Those that know the name of God should often think of it and dwell upon it in their thoughts; it is a copious curious subject, and frequent thoughts of it will contribute very much to our communion with God and the stirring up of our devout affections to him. (3.) They spoke often one to another concerning the God they feared, and that name of his which they thought so much of; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak, and a good man, out of a good treasure there, will bring forth good things. Those that feared the Lord kept together as those that were company for each other; they spoke kindly and endearingly one to another, for the preserving and promoting of mutual love, that that might not wax cold when iniquity did thus abound. They spoke intelligently and edifyingly to one another, for the increasing and improving of faith and holiness; they spoke one to another in the language of those that fear the Lord and think on his name - the language of Canaan. When profaneness had come to so great a height as to trample upon all that is sacred, then those that feared the Lord spoke often one to another. [1.] Then, when iniquity was bold and barefaced, the people of God took courage, and stirred up themselves, the innocent against the hypocrite, Job_17:8. The worse others are the better we should be; when vice is daring, let not virtue be sneaking. [2.] Then, when religion was reproached and misrepresented, its friends did all they could to support the credit of it and to keep it in countenance. It had been suggested that the ways of God are melancholy unpleasant ways, solitary and sorrowful; and therefore then those that feared God studied to evince the contrary by their cheerfulness in mutual love and converse, that they might put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. [3.] Then, when seducers were busy to deceive and to possess unwary souls with prejudices against religion, those that feared God were industrious to arm themselves and one another against the contagion by mutual instructions, excitements, and encouragements, and to strengthen one another's hands. As evil communication corrupts good minds and manners, so good communication confirms them.

2. How God dignified them, and what further honour and favour he intended for them. Those who spoke stoutly against God, no doubt looked with disdain and displeasure upon those that feared him, hectored and bantered them; but they had little reason to regard that, or be disturbed at it, when God countenanced them.

(1.) He took notice of their pious discourses, and was graciously present at their conferences: The Lord hearkened and heard it, and was well pleased with it. God says (Jer_8:6) that he hearkened and heard what bad men would say, and they spoke not aright; here he hearkened and heard what good men did say, for they spoke aright. Note, The gracious God observes all the gracious words that proceed out of the mouths of his people; they need not desire that men may hear them, and commend them; let them not seek praise from men by them, nor affect to be taken notice of by them; but let it satisfy them that, be the conference ever so private, God sees and hears in secret and will reward openly. When the two disciples, going to Emmaus, were discoursing concerning Christ, he hearkened and heard, and joined himself to them, and made a third, Luk_24:15.

(2.) He kept an account of them: A book of remembrance was written before him. Not that the Eternal Mind needs to be reminded of things by books and writings, but it is an expression after the manner of men, intimating that their pious affections and performances are kept in remembrance as punctually and particularly as if they were written in a book, as if journals were kept of all their conferences. Great kings had books of remembrance written, and read before them, in which were entered all the services done them, when, and by whom, as Est_2:23. God, in like manner, remembers the services of his people, that, in the review of them, he may say, Well done; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. God has a book for the sighs and tears of his mourners (Psa_56:8 ), much more for the pleadings of his advocates. Never was any good word spoken of God, or for God, from an honest heart, but it was registered, that it might be recompensed in the resurrection of the just, and in no wise lose its reward.

(3.) He promises them a share in his glory hereafter (Mal_3:17): They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. When God utterly cuts off the Jewish church and nation for their infidelity, the remnant among them, that believed his word, and, having waited for the consolation of Israel, welcome him when he comes, shall be admitted into the Christian church, and shall become a peculiar people to God; God will take care of them, that they perish not with those that believe not; but that they be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger against that nation. They shall be my segullah - my peculiar treasure (it is the word used, Exo_19:5), in the day when I make or do what I have said and designed to do; so some read it. These pious ones shall have all the glorious privileges of God's Israel appropriated to them and centering in them; they shall now be his peculiar treasure, when the rest are rejected; they shall now be the vessels of mercy and honour, when the rest are made vessels of wrath and dishonour, vessels in which is no pleasure. This may be applied to all the faithful people of God, and the distinction he will put between them and others in the great day. Note,[1.] The saints are God's jewels; they are highly esteemed by him and are dear to him; they are comely with the comeliness that he puts upon them, and he is pleased to glory in them; they are a royal diadem in his hand, Isa_62:3. He looks upon them as his own proper goods, his choice goods, his treasure, laid up in his cabinet, and the furniture of his closet, Psa_135:4. The rest of the world is but lumber, in comparison with them.
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