Malachi 1:11
"For My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place, incense and pure offerings will be presented in My name, because My name will be great among the nations," says the LORD of Hosts.
Sermons
A Worshipping WorldJ. Angley, M. A.Malachi 1:11
Acceptable WorshipJoseph Irons.Malachi 1:11
An Acceptable SacrificeW. Osborne Lilley.Malachi 1:11
Christ's Influence IncreasingMalachi 1:11
God's Name Shall be GreatTheophilus Lessey.Malachi 1:11
Of the Meaning of the Name of GodS. Clarke, D. D.Malachi 1:11
The Christian SacrificeJoseph Mede, B. D.Malachi 1:11
The Future Glory of Messiah's KingdomJ. N. Pearson, M. A.Malachi 1:11
The Name of Jesus Among the GentilesMalachi 1:11
The Universal Spread of the GospelEvangelical PreacherMalachi 1:11
The Universal Worship that is to beR. Tuck Malachi 1:11
A Sordid ReligionHomilistMalachi 1:10-14
Wrong WorshipHomilistMalachi 1:10-14
Wrong WorshipD. Thomas Malachi 1:10-14
These words are usually taken as a prophetic announcement of the future rejection of Israel and calling of the Gentiles; but it is difficult to trace the connection of thought, if this be regarded as the prophet's meaning. The LXX. rightly uses the present, not the future, tense throughout this verse. "My Name is great," etc. This gives an actual preset comparison of the fear of God's Name among Gentiles and among Jews, to the manifest disadvantage of the Jew. God found a devoutness, earnestness, and sincerity outside his own people, which wholly put to shame their indifference, formality, and time serving. This suggestion is in the line of Malachi's teaching, whereas a description of future religious conditions seems to introduce a new subject. Dean Plumptre says, "It was given to the last of the prophets to proclaim, with an entirely new distinctness, not only as Isaiah had done, the accession of Gentile proselytes to the worship and faith of Israel, but the acceptance of their worship wherever it might be offered." The Gentile religion in the mind of the prophet was probably that of Zoroaster, the purest form that Gentile religion has ever taken.

I. THE BASIS OF THE UNIVERSAL WORSHIP. The prophet must not be regarded as giving a complete account of the universal worship. He deals with it only in view of his immediate object, and to point his appeal to the unfaithful and time-serving priests. He brings out three points.

1. One characteristic of the universal worship is reverence for the Divine Name. "My Name is great among the Gentiles," No religion can ever fit to the needs of men which does not at least seem to honour the Divine Name. This is our first test of every religion.

2. Another is the demand for prayer. "Incense is offered." Every true religion provides communion with God, and gives man hope in prayer. "When we have learned by experience the unutterable value of prayer, then shall theism become a religion fit for humanity."

3. Another is sincerity shown in purity of offerings. Our Lord expressed the universal worship in a sentence, when he said," The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth."

II. THE REPROACH OF THE UNIVERSAL WORSHIP. It reproaches all who fail to meet these primal conditions, whatever their historical standing might be. It reproached the Jewish priests of Malachi's time, for they were dishonouring the Name, putting routine for prayer, and making unworthy and impure offerings which revealed their insincerity. - R.T.







My name shall be great among the Gentiles.
Prophecy has a double sense — or rather, an inferior and a higher designation: not only to keep the faith and the hope of the Church in exercise by the presentation of a grand consummation, but to edify, to warn. to comfort, and to instruct the Church. The prophets were the ordinary preachers of righteousness. Though their lessons of morality and religion were conveyed in the figured strains of poetry, they were highly conspicuous and impressive. We behold, in the discourses of those holy men, a faithful and fearless statement of the principles of pure theology. Malachi closes the prophetic dispensation. He appears in the worst part of the Jewish history. Darkness came upon them, and for four hundred years that darkness seemed to increase in depth. Malachi gives a revelation of the coming of the Lord. Here he declares that God shall be magnified and honoured and worshipped by all nations.

I. THE PROPHECY EMBRACED THE REVELATION OF GOD'S NAME AMONGST THE GENTILES. God cannot be magnified or revered or worshipped unless He is known. God can only be known as He is pleased to reveal Himself. He has given us a revelation of Himself, clear and full, so that we may know God. The name of God denotes Himself, His nature, His moral character, and all that can be made known of Him to the mind of man.

1. It denotes His self-existence. That existence is absolutely eternal, immortal, invisible. As He thus exists, He exists independently. All existence, however varied and modified, must be an emanation from Himself. And thus He appears to us, arrayed in the awful attributes of the Creator and Governor of all things. He is the parent of all; and on Him all depends.

2. It denotes the spirituality of His nature. This would follow from the infinite perfection of His nature. God is capable, as Spirit, of occupying immensity without displacing matter. A real Christian carries about with him a solemn sense of the spiritual presence of God; and he connects with that the presence of all His attributes — of power and purity and love. Wherever we go we have a present God.

3. It denotes the mysterious existence of the Trinity in the unity of the godhead.

4. It denotes the harmony of His attributes.

II. THE MAJESTY OF GOD'S GOVERNMENT. "My name shall be great among the Gentiles." It shall be magnified — it shall be a name of weight, of authority; before it every name shall bow. Wherever the name of Jesus is published, that name becomes dominant. The majesty of the Redeemer's kingdom is demonstrated by its interior and intellectual design. Human beings under no other government are ruled by truth, by interior influences, which bring the mind and the affections to God. And the Lord's government is demonstrated by the silent but irresistible agency employed.

III. THE CELEBRATION OF HIS WORSHIP. The worship will be spiritual, but it will be offered "in every place." Spiritual worship is enlightened: it is the result of knowledge; it perceives its object, and rejoined in its object; it takes hold of a promise, or fixes on a precept; it must be the result of faith, for faith sees the great Invisible; it must be the kindling of the Holy Spirit. There will be living offerings: it will not be a cold, irrational service, but the service of a warm heart; each man will offer himself to God, and each man will be a holy and a purified oblation, kindled by the fire of God. And thus myriads of spirits everywhere, all over the world, shall be ascending in flames of pure devotion to God.

(Theophilus Lessey.)

The Rev. Mr. Broadhead, returned missionary from India, related a beautiful incident when preaching foreign missionary sermons in the county of Durham. Whilst in India it was made known to him that not far from his residence there was an extraordinary piece of architectural work in the shape of a temple, most luxuriously designed in white marble. This edifice was erected in memory of some female, but one of the things that specially attracted the notice of the missionary was the great number of arches which it contained. On nearing the entrance the attendants told him that if he whispered a word inside the building it would be re-echoed from every arch proceeding into the interior. The missionary breathed out the word "Jesus," and instantly the echoes were resounding from every part of the building. The effect was magnificent. The desire of every Christian heart is —

"Let the echo fly

The spacious earth around."

Speaking on the day of Mr. Gladstone's funeral, the Rev. F. B. Meyer said: "One of the marks which distinguishes Jesus Christ from every human teacher and reformer is the fact that His influence is ever increasing. The influence of Gladstone, to-day so great, will diminish year by year, but Jesus Christ's influence was never so great as it is now."

I. THE PRINCIPAL SCRIPTURAL ACCEPTATIONS OF THE "NAME."

1. Sometimes it signifies God Himself. Praising or blessing the name of God is praising God Himself. By His name being "great" is meant their acknowledging or professing Him to be the true God, and their adhering to the worship of Him only, in opposition to all idolatry and false religions.

2. Sometimes it is used to signify His true religion and worship. "The place which the Lord your God shall choose,... to put His name there," means the place where He shall appoint His servants to appear before Him with the external tokens of their homage and worship.

3. In other places of Scripture the "name" expresses those adorable perfections or attributes which are, as it were, the proper denomination and character of the Divine nature. See Exodus 34:5.

4. Once more, the "name" signifies the authority of God, or His Divine commission.

II. THE EVENT PREDICTED. In it is evidently contained —

1. To the Jews, something comminatory.

2. In relation to the Gentiles, a particular promise; joined with a general declaration concerning the state and condition of the universal Church in the future and latter ages of the world. Whatever be the true meaning of these and the like prophecies; whether there be a time still to come, wherein they shall be accomplished literally, or whether they are intended only to express the natural tendency of the universal and sincere practice of Christianity in the present world, and the real effect which shall be obtained by it in the world to come, we must not be too curious about particular times and seasons. Learn —(1) Our duty to promote the knowledge of God, and interest of true virtue among men.(2) To justify to ourselves the various methods in which the wisdom of God has chosen to reveal itself to the world.(3) If we, under the clearer light of the everlasting Gospel, still live corruptly, how much heavier must be our punishment than that of the Jews.

(S. Clarke, D. D.)

And in every place incense shall be offered unto My name
Two phenomena of the moral world severely task the faith of religious persons. One is, that so large a portion of the globe should not even be nominally Christian. The other is, that Christendom itself should be so corrupt and so scantily imbued with vital godliness. Attempts may be made to reconcile our minds to this difficulty in the moral administration of the world, by urging that the scheme of nature lies open to similar objections, and that much physical energy runs to waste in abortive efforts and through counteracting forces. But analogies of this kind are more ingenious than conclusive; they silence rather than satisfy. We may find comfort in such reflections as these —

1. It is the prerogative of an infinite Being to be deliberate and slow, whereas haste and precipitation are the characteristics of s limited nature.

2. Much may be going forward by secret and unnoticed processes, conducive and preparatory to the development of Messiah's kingdom.

3. God has consulted His own glory in thus far contracting the supply of His Spirit; since He has thereby made apparent the insufficiency of moral means, and the strongest objective inducements, although accompanied with common grace, to overcome the repugnance of the human heart to the humbling doctrines and self-denying precepts of the Gospel.

4. Contrasted with the stage of thick darkness or glimmering twilight between which the world has been so long divided, the glory of that unclouded day will be the more conspicuous, when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." But the prophecies have a special virtue, reviving our drooping faith. This text contains a sublime annunciation of that triumphant era when Messiah "shall have dominion from sea to sea." It is usual with the prophets to describe the dispensation of the Gospel by terms and analogies taken from the Mosaic ritual.

I. THE PREDICTION THAT "INCENSE SHALL BE OFFERED UNTO THE NAME" OF JEHOVAH. The "incense" denotes primarily the intercession of the Saviour. He hath given Himself for us, "an offering of a sweet-smelling savour." The Word is, in the original, the past participle of a verb which means to fume, and may properly denote any sacrifice which, being consumed by fire, was carried up in smoke. Its spiritual meaning should not be restricted to proper acts of worship, but should be held to comprise all those holy works which are the produce of a spiritual nature — those "sacrifices of righteousness" with which God is well-pleased. Then translate the passage, "In every place whatever is fumed shall be brought near unto Thy name," — then what else is represented to the mind save the universal reign of evangelical righteousness? What is meant by the phrase, "offered unto Thy name"? There is strong presumptive evidence for believing that this denomination of Jehovah is no meagre expletive, but carries a direct and explicit allusion to Christ the Mediator. This appellation of God is strictly associated with the character He sustains in redemption. The elder patriarchs appear to have understood the "name" as a sacramental term, by which Jehovah exhibited Himself conversing with guilty men through the promised Intercessor, the Word made flesh.

II. THE PREDICTION THAT A PURE OFFERING SHOULD BE EVERYWHERE PRESENTED TO JEHOVAH. We have considered the offering of incense to imply the benign effect of our Lord's pacification, in rendering the worship and service of mankind acceptable to Jehovah, and surely the "pure offering" will express the sanctification of the Church, and of each individual believer, and the consequent purity of those offerings which are brought near to Jehovah by His spiritual household. In this pure "offering" see —

1. The extraordinary extension and purity of the Church. Contemplate the entire extermination of the lewd and sanguinary rites of paganism, and the abolition of all bloody sacrifices, through the oblation of one great victim, who by actually putting away sin has annulled all symbolical immolations. Henceforth we are to render only unbloody offerings — the sacrifice of thanksgivings. We are warranted to contemplate the Catholic Church as one magnificent offering to Immanuel. The Church, indeed, teems with nominal Christians, self-deceivers, and hypocritical pretenders. But from this it shall hereafter, even in its visible pale, be wholly or extensively purged. Another thing constituting the adult Church "a pure offering " will be this — that its worship will be no longer debased with fiction and mummery. The doctrines of transubstantiation, indulgences, masses, penances, purgatory, and supererogation will fall to the ground, and with them will expire the adoration of images, saints, and angels. And the universal Church will be free from sectarian distinctions. We may also anticipate a considerable abridgment of ecclesiastical ordinances.

2. The religious worship of that brilliant age will have a peculiar purity, owing to the improved character of the individual Christians. They will have attained a much higher illumination. The conscience will then be thoroughly pure and undefiled. There will be none of that double-mindedness and self-delusion with which the purest minds of this silver age are more or less alloyed. We are even led to expect a state of perfect exemption from the dross of earthliness. The kingdom of Christ will be developed in their bosoms in all its purity and fulness; and to them it will be not less easy than delightful to have "their conversation in heaven." The promise of the text is most encouraging. What manner of persons, then, ought we to be? If the blessed Trinity is incessantly employed in this work of regeneration, shall we not help it forward as humble but zealous instruments, with the best faculties that we have?

(J. N. Pearson, M. A.)

I. THE GLORIOUS PREDICTION OF A WORSHIPPING WORLD. We accept any promise according to the known worth or truthfulness or power of him who gives it. Here is the very highest authority, even that of God Himself. The image is very significant; it is taken from the wide circuit and prevalency of solar light which visits every portion of the globe. There can be no vividly more glowing nor general promise of the widespread power of the Gospel than this is.

II. THIS DIVINE TIME OF GENERAL HAPPINESS INCLUDES MILLENNIAL GLORY FOR THE WORLD. The second image employed indicates the glorious season of true religion possessing the hearts of men in all its Divine purity and hallowed devotions. The contrast is lovely between the two figures used. Light, the most beautiful element in nature; perfume, the sweetest of elements; the incense of most precious odours represents the purity of soul-worship presented to God, whether in public devotions or from private hearts. We need not enter on the question, whether this Divine time shall be before or after the second advent in glory. The sweet incense and pure offering which Jehovah now demands and loves are spiritual devotions, true prayers, praise, obedience, love, and charity. These are to be found "in every place." The coming glory of Christ in the conversion of the world is the earnest prayer of faith now; it is the glowing object of Divine hope now; it is often the warm pulse and action of Christian love and charity.

III. OUR IMPERATIVE DUTY TO EXTEND THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST IN ALL LANDS.

1. This is the Christian's duty of obligation.

2. Efforts for the conversion of the heathen always bring down rich blessings on the soul.

(J. Angley, M. A.)

I. THE WORSHIP WHICH GOD ORDAINS. All true worshippers "worship the Father in spirit and in truth." The first idea relative to God's ordination of worship is, that human inventions in the worship of God are rejected as hateful to Him. Open vice is not more evil in the sight of God than the mockery which is offered in human inventions. There is one offering that is pure, and that is the offering of God in Christ for us, and that alone God will accept. Its purity constitutes its value. We must keep an eye upon the two natures of Christ, and the purity of both, in order to get at the pure offering.

II. THE EXALTATION OF THE NAME OF JEHOVAH. In Scripture the one prominent object the Lord has in view everywhere is the glory of His own name. The honour of Jehovah's name is to be constantly eyed, in doctrines received, in experience enjoyed, and in practice manifested; and the interests of the living Church are involved therein.

(Joseph Irons.)

Evangelical Preacher.
For our Lord's obedience unto death His Father appointed unto Him a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. The world-wide spread of Christ's Gospel is the truth announced here.

I. THE SCRIPTURE TESTIMONY TO THE ULTIMATE UNIVERSAL SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL. This testimony is full, clear, and decisive. It is given alive under patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispensations.

II. THE SAME TRUTH IS EVIDENT FROM THE NATURE OF THE CASE.

1. The need of redemption is universal. All false religions bear testimony to the need. And to their own insufficiency to satisfy this need.

2. The Gospel alone can satisfy this craving of mankind. It proclaims the one oblation by which Christ hath for ever perfected, etc. It shows the chains of evil broken by the great Deliverer.

3. The Gospel is fitted for universal diffusion. All other religions are adapted only for local influence; even the Jewish religion was suited only to Palestine. But the Gospel is at home under every clime, and with every race of man.

4. The Gospel implants the instinct of universal diffusion. It produces hatred of sin, and love to God and man. It impels the Christian to say to his brother, "Know the Lord." It finds a brother where the Samaritan found a neighbour. It brings us to our knees to pray, "Thy kingdom come."

5. The kingdoms of providence and grace are united under the same sceptre. The revolutions of nations ultimately further the Gospel.

III. THE VOICE OF HISTORY CONFIRMS THE CONCLUSIONS. Here we have God's works confirming His words. The witness of history is to the point, whether we consider —

1. The importance of the conquests hitherto won by the Gospel. Christianity has conquered every religion with which it fairly came in contact — Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, Scandinavian, Celtic, Phoenician, Polynesian.

2. The proved weakness of the only weapons with which it can be assailed. Persecution, false philosophy, and priestcraft. Then —

(1)Let us submit ourselves to Christ's authority.

(2)Let us fervently pray for the advancement of the kingdom.

(3)Let us cherish and promote the missionary spirit.

(4)Let us contribute liberally and cheerfully of our substance to this good end.

(Evangelical Preacher.)

A pure offering. —
The world rose in vision before Malachi, as one great altar, burning everywhere with the incense of devout hearts, and covered with its myriad races, offering themselves to God as a "pure offering." The vision must have comforted him. The glorious era which Malachi gazed on for a moment has not yet come. We may, however, offer unto God "a pure offering."

I. THE DUTY SUGGESTED. From the earliest ages the custom of presenting offerings to God has prevailed. It might have arisen from instructions given to our first parents, or from the natural instinct of gratitude or of fear. The first family presented their offerings. Christianity does not remove from us this obligation, though Christ has offered Himself without spot for us. He offered Himself that we may be able to offer ourselves through Him. Ourselves are the best offerings we can give. If we had no sense of possession in ourselves we could not consecrate ourselves to God. Every sacrifice, sincerely made for the world's advancement, is an offering presented to God.

II. WHAT A PURE OFFERING IS. Many offerings are not pure. Men defile their offerings by their own impurity. How can man present an offering that shall be pure in God's sight?

1. It must come from a purified heart. Men's hearts may be purified and yearn after God. Holy love may prompt the gift. Cleansing fountains abound on this polluted earth. Angelic ministries, the sanctifying spirit, the purging flame of God's truth, the fountain of forgiving love opened at the Cross, are all ours to take away our guilt, as we seek to present our offerings to God.

2. It must proceed from a penitent and obedient spirit. The disposition of the offerer will be regarded more than the offering. Gifts separated from the inner life are of no value to God.

3. It must emanate from a spirit of entire consecration to God. Entire consecration purifies. To devote ourselves to God is to separate ourselves from sinful defilements. Offerings ever derive their value from the devoted spirit of the offerer. Entire consecration is difficult to our depraved hearts. All lingering covetousness must be conquered.

III. HOW IT SHOULD BE PRESENTED. We should seek not to mar our offering by the way in which we present it. It should be —

1. In faith. Which will lay hold of God's willingness to accept our gifts, however lowly and insignificant they may be. Faith will lead us away from the altar, rejoicing in the assurance that God has accepted our offerings.

2. By Jesus Christ. He is the High Priest of humanity. He presents prayers, praises, works for us. He presents the saints themselves as an offering without blemish to God.

3. With sincerity. God looks into the heart of the offerer. Some offerings are presented only for the eves of men.

4. With grateful eagerness. All lukewarmness should be banished. Grateful love should animate us.

IV. BLESSINGS ATTEND THE PRESENTATION OF A PURE OFFERING. We have a consciousness of Divine approval. Every time we present ourselves as a pure offering to God we receive ourselves back again from His hands with every spiritual power quickened and enlarged.

(W. Osborne Lilley.)

I. A DEFINITION OF THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE. As the ancient Church meant it. Not the mere sacrament of the body and blood of Christ; but the whole sacred action or solemn service of the Church assembled. The sacrifice of praise and prayer through Jesus Christ, mystically represented in the creatures of bread and wine. This is the sacrifice which Malachi foretold the Gentiles should one day offer unto God. Incense denotes the rational part of the sacrifice. Mincha the material part of it. The rational part is prayer, thanksgiving, and commemoration. Mincha, the material part, is a present of bread and wine. It is called a pure offering — mincha purum; wherein does this "purity" consist? Some think the meaning is purely or spiritually offered. Others say pure, by reason of the disposition and affection of the offerer. I prefer to understand, pure in respect of Christ, whom it signifies and represents a sacrifice without spot or blemish. Six particulars contained in the definition of the Christian sacrifice.

1. That this Christian service is an oblation.

2. That it is an oblation of thanksgiving and prayer.

3. An oblation through Jesus Christ commemorated in the creatures of bread and wine.

4. This commemoration of Christ is also a sacrifice.

5. The body and blood of Christ, in this mystical service, was made of bread and wine which had been first offered unto God, to agnize Him the Lord of the creature.

6. This sacrifice was placed in commemoration only of Christ's sacrifice upon the Cross, and not in a real offering of His body and blood anew. The sacrifice of Christians is nothing but that one sacrifice of Christ once offered upon the Cross again and again commemorated.

(Joseph Mede, B. D.)

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