Remember the law of Moses?
Most modern followers of Jesus can quote Malachi 4:5-6 and can even relate a partial fulfillment of those two verses in John the Baptizer. In Matthew 11:4 Jesus even said ‘if you care to believe it, he (John) is Elijah to come.’ We also know that since John did not fully complete that prophecy there is one, or many who will have the ‘spirit and power of Elijah in the End Times.’ Books have been written and many prophecies and declarations and songs sung regarding the ‘days of Elijah’. But is there something we are missing?
The prophecy regarding Elijah speaks about turning the hearts of the fathers towards the children and visa versa. It also ends with the words ‘lest I come and smite the land with a curse’. The spirit of Elijah in the end times speaks of reconciliation and the generations learning from one another. Why would God need to ‘send Elijah the prophet to prevent the land from being smitten with a curse?
In order to understand that we need to go back to the preceding verse in Malachi 4, verse 4. The prophet writes “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.” I believe there is a big connection between the law of Moses and the work of Elijah in these last days. The primary job of the prophets of Israel was to turn the nation of Israel back to the Lord. The prophets spoke the word of God by first telling them where they went astray, and then how to repent and get back to worshipping God and God alone.
Obviously, New Testament prophets have a bit of a different role but, aside from being five fold leaders they are to take a strong stand against sin in the church at large and in the land. Of course all New Testament believers should take a stand against sin and a strong stand for righteousness. But, some are given a voice to speak out and speak up for God’s truth and righteousness according to God’s word.
So, anyone desiring to, or claiming to come in, or walk in the power of Elijah in these last days should be a voice that can say loudly and sharply, “Remember the Law of Moses! Notice the writer of Malachi goes on to say even the statutes and ordinances which God commanded at Horeb. What statutes and what ordinances are these? Is this the Ten commandments given at Sinai? Most scholars equate Horeb as being the same as Sinai but there are a few that do not. We know that according to Exodus 3:1 Horeb is the place of the burning bush where Moses received his commission from God to deliver the children of Israel.
Moses received the Ten Commandments which later were expanded. The heart of God for the children of Israel is spelled out in these commands and statutes. They were built on to address specific situations they would encounter in the wilderness, but primarily after they moved into the promised land. The law was never given to be oppressive. Paul tells us the law is a tutor (Gal, 3:24) The two terms ordinances and statutes also refer to justice and judgment. The law requires judgment if it is broken. I am fully aware we do not live under New Testament law, but by the same token we are, in that Jesus came to fulfill the law. Jesus actually took the commands higher in that if you entertain continuous thoughts you have committed that sin. He also gave us a way of escape, victory, through His power, through the Holy Spirit. The point is we always want to throw the law out but forget the expectations of following Jesus are narrow and require us to remain separate while in the world.
But, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to help guide us in the word and therefore enable us to obey and follow Jesus’ commands. So why is it important to remember the law of Moses for us? Or does it apply? As I said we are under the New Testament which requires more of us, but without all of the religious trappings and legalism the children of Israel were prone to fall into. It also frees us from sin to live holy and separate.
Malachi is giving a warning to Remember! what Moses wrote and was given as guidelines. To remember and obey. The children of Israel fell into patterns where they turned from God and He sent a deliverer and later a prophet, and they turned back and worshipped Him. The warning is when Elijah comes again or the ‘spirit of Elijah’ comes in the last days, we need to live holier, more separate and on more on fire for Jesus than any generation before. The warning is not to fall into the traps that the children of Israel did and turn away from following the Lord.
Jesus gave us a good example in the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. In this parable we know 5 were wise and 5 were foolish. 5 stored up oil and 5 didn’t. Storing up oil indicates the presence of God, in the Holy Spirit. In indicates staying in the Word, and prayer and worship. Obeying Jesus and His teachings and keeping the First commandment above all the others is part of being a ‘wise virgin’. They are called virgins in that they were chaste and set apart. The foolish one didn’t have enough oil, so that they were not prepared when the Lord came back. They didn’t stay in the word and pray and fast, and seek Him. Those are some of the things we must do to ensure we have enough oil. It is all part of the preparation for His return.
In these last days as we seek the Lord and wait for His return let us be diligent to obey all of His commands, not just a few, and not just our favorites. We don’t have a choice. Moses received the law from God and in turn gave it to the people. Elijah represents so many that interpreted that law and told the people what God required to return to Him. In the same way as Elijah’s are raised up to prepare for Christ’s return we need those who can remind us of the ‘law of Moses’ and do that in reference to Jesus fulfilling that law, and giving us the power and victory to walk out the life He purchased for us.
Finally, the law of Moses was given as a precursor to Jesus’ coming and points to reconciliation between man and God. It was an act of intercession, as Jesus hanging on the cross. The law was placed on Jesus and as he died was buried and raised again He fulfilled it all and has sent us as ambassadors to teach the ways of holy living, and God’s desire to reconcile the nations to Himself.