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The Tree of Life:


Preparation for the Lord’s Coming

Chapter 1. "The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi," that is, "My Messenger," or "My Angel." It is the last cross preparatory to the advent of the Lord. Many of our trials do not make a complete change in our lives. For the most part they only modify or clarify our thoughts. The heart must be perfected as well as the head to perfect the life. Although the Lord has done much for us, we do not yet honor or fear Him as a son honoreth his father, and a servant his master. Our sacrifices are not entirely worthy; there is too much of self in them. Those outside the church do Him greater honor. Those within the church profane their worship. It is not pure, as it should be.

2. And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. "The role of priest has its counterpart in everyone who feels his responsibility for upholding others in right living. We face a terrible curse when we are tempted to let them down, and "do not lay it to heart." The Lord has a covenant with Levi, whose name means "conjunction." "He is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. . . . Have we not all one father? Hath not God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" We seriously contemplate forsaking others ignominiously to their own fate, to escape life’s responsibilities, and at the same time "cover the altar of the Lord with tears. . . . Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" Good, sincere and honored members of the church, oblivious to the profanity in their hearts!

3. "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? . . . For he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." "The Lord will come into the world, and will teach the Word in its purity. The church doctrine and worship will then be as they had been among the ancients. The Lord will then execute judgment upon all who have adulterated and destroyed the truths of the church. They have done this from the beginning, and do not desist from it. Therefore this will bring about their ruin. If they had lived according to the statutes, they would have been in the good of the church. They have confirmed themselves in this, that good is of no profit and that evil does no harm, because the good and the wicked are alike prosperous. It is otherwise with those who trust in the Lord: they will be blessed of the Lord when He cometh. Then the difference will be seen."

4. And then the good and the evil within will be altogether separated. "The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings. . . . And the wicked shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." Remember the law of Moses. Elijah shall precede the day of the Lord’s coming to heal the breach in the home, and avert the curse that hangs over us, until the last attachment to evil in the heart has been severed forever, either here, or there.

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