Malachi 3:13- 18; 2 Thessalonians 2
One of the marks of the end days is delusion. The Lord Himself will send delusion among His people in
the last days for two reasons. Firstly, because they do not love the truth. "And with all deceivableness of
unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of truth..." (2 Thess 2:10). In 2
Timothy 4:3,4 Paul says, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after
their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; And they shall turn away their
ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables". If a man has itching in some part of the body, he
wants to scratch it. If someone scratches they have a nice feeling. In the last days people will have itching
ears. These days there are scratching preachers who leave out the truth and tell fables. They have turned
their places of worship into places of entertainment because they are pleasure- loving. Secondly, God will
send delusion because people do not love righteousness. Thou- sands of people want to go to heaven, but
they love unrighteousness. God wants them to put away every unrighteousness and untruth in their lives
but they are not willing. For these two reasons the Lord will send delusion.
We are living in such days where we can be easily deceived. In the days of the Lord Jesus Christ, the
Pharisees were the most religious people, but they were spiritually deceived by delusion. The church at
Laodicea also was in delusion. They thought they lacked nothing, but in reality they were poor, naked,
blind, wretched and miserable (Rev.3: 21). This is the mark of the last days. In Matthew 7:22,23 we read
how in the last days many will come and tell the Lord how many things they did in His Name. But He
will say, "I never knew you". They lived in spiritual delusion: They will realise this only on the last day.
If you do not love the truth, and if you do not love righteousness, you will be caught up in that delusion.
You may think that you are alright, but on the last day, you will realise that you were in delusion.
In the days of Malachi people lived in spiritual delusion. Among God's people, only a handful of them
feared God, and thought about Him, as we read in Malachi 3:16. "Then they that feared the LORD spake
often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written
before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name". Not only were their names
recorded but they were made His jewels (v.17). The Lord is coming back for such people. Those who
have truly feared God and escaped delusion will be His Bride. We shall now see three things about the
fear of God. (1) Marks of those who really fear God. (2) How we can have this fear, and (3) Rewards for
those who really fear God.
MARKS OF THOSE WHO FEAR GOD
(1) They never doubt the love of God. Those who do not fear God doubt His love. "I have loved you,
saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Where in hast thou loved us?"(Mal.1: 2). They never truly put their trust in
the love of God. When they see other people prospering and they themselves having many problems, they
begin to doubt God's love. Many young people doubt the love of God, if they do not get their desired seat
in colleges or universities. When they see people getting jobs by giving bribes and themselves not having
a job, they say, where is God? When their friends get married by giving dowry, and they are left out
because they do not give dowry, they doubt God's love and care. The children of Israel also said like that.
"Wherein hast Thou loved us?" God showed His love on the cross of Calvary. The Lord Jesus Christ shed
His blood for us to redeem us. He made us members of His body, which is the temple of God. There is no
need to feel jealous about worldly people.
In Psalm 73, the Psalmist also made the same mistake. He began with a clean heart and also said, "Truly
God is good" (v.1). After some- time his heart was filled with envy, by seeing the prosperity of worldly
people. He forgot that they had only temporal things. In verse 13 he said, "Verily I have cleansed my
heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence". That is how some believers also think. Attending
meetings is in vain, prayer is in vain, everything is in vain, so they stop going to God's House. But the
Psalmist, instead of doing that went to the sanctuary of God (vs.16, 17). When he went there he
understood the future of worldly people and his own future. What is the future of worldly people? Their
end is "destruction" (v.18). What is his own future? "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward
receive me to glory" (v.24).lf you really fear God, no matter what He allows in your life, however severe
your trials may be, you will never doubt God or His love. If you are not secure in His love, you can never
truly love Him. Rather, for small things also you will begin to murmur. In 1 John 4:19 we read. "We love
him. because he first loved us". Those who fear God are secure in His love.
(2) Those who fear God truly, honour Him. The children of Israel thought that they feared God and
honoured Him, but the Lord said, "...if then I be a father. Where is mine honour?" (Mal.1: 6). They
brought offerings to God, which were blind, lame and sick. They offered God something, which cost
them nothing. So God said, "And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame
and sick. is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?
Saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal.1: 8). Our God is great and His Name is great, as we read in verse 11. "For
from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the
Gentiles~ and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name
shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts". To honour God we should bring pure
offerings, and offerings in righteousness (Mal. 3:3). If our offering is not righteous, He will not accept it.
He will treat it as dung and spread it upon our faces (Mal.2: 3).
Secondly, God wants spiritual sacrifices. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a
contrite heart, O God. thou wilt not despise"(Psalm 51:17). If our offering has to be acceptable to God, it
must come from a broken heart. How can you know you have a contrite heart? David wrote this Psalm
after he repented of his sin. Very often we ask forgiveness from God, but we commit the same sin again.
If you have a broken and contrite heart like David. You will never again do the same sin. God wants from
us the sacrifices of a broken heart.
Thirdly, according to Rom12: 1. We have to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. Holy and acceptable to
God. If we have truly offered our bodies to God, no lie or angry words will come out of our mouth. In the
same way all other members also will be used for God only. If that is not true, our singing of songs unto
God and putting our offerings in the offering box will not be acceptable to God. It will be like dung to
Him. When we offer something to a big officer, we carefully examine everything and give the very best.
Those who are in spiritual delusion and do not fear God. Do not offer righteous offerings. Contrite hearts
and living sacrifice of their bodies
SECRET OF EFFECTIVE MINISTRY -2
The Lord Jesus Christ left His glory and Kingdom and came down to this earth. He offered His whole
body to be broken and blood to be shed. He became poor, emptied Himself and gave all, to be our
Saviour. That itself is a proof to us that our Lord had a very grand and lofty purpose in saving us and
calling us to Himself. In the beginning, Moses never knew why God called Him. But he knew God had
spoken to him and called him by his name saying, "Moses, Moses". God's call to me for His service
became clear to me two years after my salvation, but He spoke to me about His service soon after I was
born again. A month after my conversion I went for a meeting. Nobody knew me there. As an utter
stranger I was standing there outside the church building. One tall man came near me and enquired who I
was. I told him, "I am also a Christian". He said to me, "Why don't you go to India and preach the
Gospel?" I said to him, "Sir, I am an engineer. I spent so many years studying engineering.
things worse, I stutter and stammer. To make things still worse, I am shy. How can such a person be a
preacher?" He said nothing afterwards. But somehow these words came to me again and again. "Why
don't you give up engineering, go to India and preach the Gospel?" I could not understand why, but I
knew that the same voice was coming to me. Only after two years I could fully realise what God had
called me for. So after we are born again, to have a desire to serve the Lord is good. We realise that the
Lord wants us for something, and we have to pray definitely, "0 Lord, make your call clear to me. What
are you expecting me to do for you? Even though I know my limitations, weaknesses, failures of the past,
and my handicaps of all kinds, I know you have some purpose for me". After you are truly born again
that must be your prayer. God has saved you for something. He paid the price for something. You should
find it out.
When God spoke to Moses, he answered saying, "Here am I" (Exo.3:4). Then God said to him, "...1 am
the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his
face; for he was afraid to look upon God" (v.6). And straightway God made him see the great purpose for
which He had called him -to be His mouthpiece, as a witness, a servant and a messenger. That purpose is
mentioned in verses 7 and 8. "And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which
are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their task masters; for I know their sorrows; And I am
come down to deliver them out of the land of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land unto a