Ministers have a heavy responsibility to guard Gods law. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; if thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charges, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by" (Zech. 3:7). The expression "keep my charge" means the act o guarding. It means a place where guards or guardians are set. The end-time Joshua's great sin was failing to guard Gods truth. (see Zech 3 and 4).
"For the priests lips hall keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 2:7). The word keep is better translated guard. Here God says the Laodiceans failed to guard what God had revealed about His law. This is why God is not revealing truth to them today and give it to ministers to guard.
"For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Prov. 6:23). The commandment is a lamp. The law is a light. If you reject God's government based on His law, you lose God's lamp and light. You enter into a world of darkness - without prophecy and vision.
God removed the lamp from the Ephesus era. He also removed His lamp from the Laodiceans. We will be greatly condemned by God if we can't see His lamp in this dark, dark world. God reveals his secrets to people with childlike attitudes (Matt. 11:25; 18:1-3).
Only through strong government, based on on Gods law, can we see God's lamp. The more intensely we keep God's law, the brighter God's lamp will be.
The book of Malachi is prophecy mainly for the end time. But there is a great deal in this book about the law. "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 2:7-8). The Laodicean ministers are causing people to stumble at Gods law. This is the major theme of this prophetic book. God makes the ministers contemptible and base because of their contempt for His law.
It would seem that our most important work within the church and for the church is warning the Laodiceans. "As for the beauty of his ornament, he set in majecty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them. And I will give it into the hands of the trangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it. My face will I turn also from them, and they pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it" (Ezek. 7:20-22). This book was written primarily for the end time. The expression "my secret place" is "holy of holies" in the Langes and Soncino commentaries. The holy of holies is being defiled in this end time.
The temple is a type of God's Church in this end time. So God's own Church is being polluted. But so are the nations of Israel. "Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence" (v. 23). God warns them to repent. If they fail to respond, God will take it to the next level. "Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled" (v. 24).
What is the real problem? "Mischief shall come upon mischief, an rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from her ancients" (v. 26). The prophet has no vision. Why? Because the law has perished from the priest - meaning God's own ministers. They had Gods law and then let it slip away. Ezekiel's statement that the law "shall perish" is a prophecy for today. Because the ministers of God have defiled the law, God reveals no vision or prophecy to them.
So we can see how closely prophecy and the law are intertwined. When the law perishes, it mens mainly the Laodiceans rejected God's government. They are guilty of not guarding the law. Events are growing much worse in Israel at a rapid pace.
People will perish both physically and spiritually if they don't wake up. "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Prov. 29:18). The word vision is rendered "prophetic vision" in the Anchor Bible. If the Laodiceans fail to have God's "prophetic vision" it is because they don't keep Gods law. And that means they are not "happy" - they lack Gods joy.
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