August 28, 2018

In Parts 1 through 5, I presented a case to show that: (1) The two witnesses of Revelation 11:3 are two flesh and blood men who preach in the Spirit by which Moses and Elijah proclaimed God’s word, (2) They represent the Assembly of Israel, who dispensed the Old Testament Word and its Law by the Spirit, and the local called out Assemblies of Christ known as churches, who dispense the Word by the Spirit in the New Testament Law of Liberty in Jesus, (3) John the Baptist was, and is, the spiritual Elijah for all who believe his message that Jesus was, and is, the Messiah, and (4) Israel rejected the gospel message of both John and Jesus, for which they have paid a terrible price. The price that they have paid has been under a curse associated with them as the fig tree of God. Luke quotes Malachi 4:5,6 in Luke 1:16,17, and gives us an inspired interpretation of the “heart of the children to the fathers,” in order that we will not be led to understand it as our immediate families. Malachi is referring to the need for the children of Israel to turn back to the faith of their forefathers, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph, David, etc.

Malachi 4:5,6
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: [6] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and THE HEART OF THE CHILDREN TO THE FATHERS, lest I come and SMITE the earth (erets – land) with a CURSE.

Luke 1:16,17
And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. [17] And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and THE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WISDOM OF THE JUST to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Luke interprets “the heart of the children to the fathers” to mean a turning of repenting hearts of “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just” that justified their forefathers. John came to turn the disobedient children of Israel in his lifetime to repent of their ways and turn back to the faith of their fathers in Messiah. It was a cry to be made “just” by repentance, and thereafter live by faith. It is this sort of faith that is to be passed down from generation to generation.

Romans 1:17 – For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The JUST shall live by faith.

The souls of the generation of John’s day had lifted up their own works to justify themselves, and would not live by faith in God’s promise of a seed, for the righteousness they possessed was self-righteousness.

Habakkuk 2:4
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the JUST shall live by his faith.

Their faith was not in the promised seed of Genesis 3:15, which was reaffirmed through Abraham in 22:18.

Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 22:18
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Galatians 3:16,6,7,26
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [6] Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. [7] Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

John came preaching repentance, because the seed had come, and the kingdom was at hand.

Matthew 3:1,2
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, [2] And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The Seed came preaching repentance in reaction to the gospel, because the kingdom was at hand.

Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The nation of Israel rejected the message of the Seed and of John, and God smote the land of Israel with the curse of Malachi 4:6.

Lord willing, I will cover the curse in Part 7.

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