Malachi-------->John the Baptist?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by convicted1, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. convicted1

    convicted1
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    I ask this question, because, as you may already know, I am shaking my beliefs to the very core, to it's very foundation, iow, it's like I am laying my fleece out.

    Heaven was silent for ~400 years from Malachi to John the Baptist. I am thinking that a biblical generation was 40 years. If so, then ~10 generations of Israelites didn't hear from God. If a biblical generation was 20 years, then that's ~20 generations that didn't hear from God. Now, here's three questions:


    1) Was any of the Israelites during this silent time saved?

    2) If so, how?

    3) If not, how come?
     
  2. mad_hat

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    The way I see it as this is not the same as intending that the Lord was not active in man's life. Merely that no fresh word came from the Lord. The Word of God was available during that time as well.
     
  3. convicted1

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    But God didn't send a messenger during this time. That's is what I am driving at here. Why did He do this?
     
  4. saturneptune

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    I do not know off the top of my head, and I suppose it depends on how you view Creation in Genesis (like me, young earth), was there another 400 year period from Adam and Eve until Malachi that there was a similar period of silence? How about the period between when Joseph dies until the start of Exodus?
     
  5. convicted1

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    I honestly don't know the answer. Maybe someone else on here does?
     
  6. Fred's Wife

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    From Osborn's Biblical History: Osborn's Biblical History
    3-1. The Israelites in Egypt.

     
  7. 12strings

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    I suppose I would compare it to the last 2,000 years. As SN Said, there were other periods of seeming silence from God, in which no NEW word from God is recorded.

    I would say those in the intertestamental period were saved in the same way as prior OT believers were saved, by believing God's promises of redemption, even though their knowledge of how that would work out was limited.

    During that time, they DID have the OT, in fact it was durring that time that the last books became solidly recognized as completing the Hebrew scriptures.

    Also, I would tend to think that there were, proportionally, MORE faithful Jews at that time than in much of the prior OT times...because if you remember the majority of Israelite history was marked by idolatry and worship of false gods...but after the return from exile...it seems that they FINALLY got the point, and whaterver other problems they had, for that 400 yrs leading up to Christ...were very committed to worshiping one God...which makes it all the more amazing that many of them would actually believe that Jesus, a Human, could be God.
     
  8. kyredneck

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    Yes.

    Because regeneration is direct, no human 'messenger' is required:

    ...It behoveth you to be born from above; the Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit.` Jn 3:7,8 YLT

    God sent no messengers (except for Jonah) to the Gentiles for thousands of years, yet there were more of God's children among them than there were the Jews:

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd. Jn 10:16

    27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: For more are the children of the desolate than of her that hath the husband. Gal 4

    1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith Jehovah.
    2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not: lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.
    3 For thou shalt spread aboard on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall possess the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Isa 54

    26 even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints,
    27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Col 1

    Your sovereign grace ORB brothers, or a PB brother worth his salt, Willis..... :)
     
    #8 kyredneck, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2013
  9. DrJamesAch

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    The answer why is in Daniel 9, too lazy right now to explain it :) But Harry Ironside has a good explanation on it in his booklet "400 Silent Years"
     
  10. Scarlett O.

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    I think you are looking at this from a negative point of view - as if God was "silent" as a punishment or as withdrawing Himself from His people.


    I don't see it like that. Here's what I see.
    • Daniel, in captivity, was reading the words of Jeremiah, the prophet and discovered that their horrible captivity had already been foretold and the exact number of years foretold.
    • He immediately prostrated himself before God in repentance for his own and his people's sins. It's a beautiful prayer of repentance.
    • The angel, Gabriel, appears and tells Daniel that from the rebuilding of the second temple to the appearing of the Messiah will 480-something years.
    • Malachi 3/4 speak of God telling His people that He is preparing to send the forerunner and the Messiah. It will be a time exposing the wickedness of the unrighteous AND of pouring out of compassion upon the "remnant" of God's people who love and fear Him.
    So - between the angel Gabriel explaining the timeline to Daniel and God, Himself, explaining that the He is making preparations to send the Messiah and for His people to get ready and that He is going to bless the faithful remnant - the 400 years of "silence" isn't necessarily negative. Once those announcements were made - that the time is imminent, there really wasn't much more to be said that hadn't already BEEN said. The silence is not punitive. It's an opportunity for waiting patiently and trusting the words you HAVE been told.

    The book of Malachi says that there was a faithful remnant who believed God.



    And just look at what some of those people of the faithful remnant were doing when Jesus was born.
    • Simeon, the old man, present at baby Jesus' presentation in the Temple had only one wish - to see the Messiah in the flesh before He died. God honored His prayer. This was a man who saw part of those "silent" years and was apparently very faithful.
    • The same could be said of Anna, the prophetess, who announce to all she could find in the Temple area that the Messiah had arrived - the one that they had been looking for. So .... apparently there WAS a group of people who were clinging in belief to the last word's their people had heard from God.
    • And Zechariah, the priest, had a job in the Temple to burn the incense and wait for a word from God. Remember the day when Gabriel came to him and told him about John the Baptist? Remember he was struck mute for unbelief and when he left the Temple - who was waiting for him? The people - waiting to see if God had spoken.
    There was most definitely a way for those people in those 400 years to "hear" from God. They had the law, the previous prophets, prayer, and Temple regulations such as sacrificing and burning incense.

    To me, the New Testament opens up showing that there were many, many people who believed God when He said He was making preparation for the Messiah's imminent coming. And there obviously were several generations of Israelites who had not used those four centuries idly but had taught their children and grandchildren ABOUT the truth of the prophecies in Jeremiah, Daniel and Malachi and obviously more.

    Many of the people had waxed cold and the religious elite had all but ruined the intent of the law. But there were many, many people who were on fire for God and whose parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents had share the Words of God with them from centuries passed and they believed that Word and are actively and joyfully anticipating the arrival of Christ.

    The only thing left to ask is what was GOD doing during those 400 years? Well - Rome wasn't built in a day, you know .... HA!!! (Sorry.)
     
    #10 Scarlett O., Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  11. 12strings

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    Also,

    Do you have the exact same question about our present day...since God has not given us a new word for quite some time now?
     
  12. convicted1

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    What I was saying/asking is that in the OT, God spoke to Israel solely through the High Priest/Judges at that time. He would tell them what Israel needed to do, and then they(High Priest/Judges) would tell them what God said to do. Now, Jesus is our High Priest, and He, through the Spirit and His Word, tells us what we need to do. And I was wondering if during this 400 years of silence, Had He chosen to pass over them?
     
  13. 12strings

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    I don't think it's accurate to say God spoke SOLELY through the high priests, judges, prophets, etc...Because Many, like moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and some others we don't know WROTE DOWN what God had said so the people would not be reliant only on the spoken word, because we tend to forget things.

    Even early in Israel's history the wrote down the law, and would regularly read it aloud to the people.

    We do have the advantage now of knowing Christ, and being indwelt by the spirit, but I'm not convinced that the H.S was not also working in the OT, and intertestamental period.

    When Israel returned from exile and rebuilt the temple, it is said that many shouted for joy, and many also wept. There was real joy at the prospect of being able to worship God again, which they COULD STILL DO in some ways, even though the ark was gone, and God's VISIBLE presence was not seen...(MUCH LIKE TODAY). We today recognize that God, for whatever reason, has chosen this period of history as one in which his visible presence and audible voice are generally not seen, and so we wait, sometimes longingly, sometimes impatiently, sometimes with an unclear picture of what exactly we are waiting for...for the next big event in redemptive history.

    I suppose I just don't see God abandoning his people for these 400 years...rather it is a period in which his AUDIBLE voice is not heard, but as he says, his Word does not return void.
     
  14. convicted1

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    Well, there has always been a remnant that has served Him. Thanks to all for their imput. I don't know all the answers, but I do want to know more than I do now.
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    There were no fresh/new/additional revealtions from God during that time, but still had the Law and the prophets!
     

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