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Sunday, February 28 2016
Malachi 4: The Reapers Of The Harvest
"For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch"
"Stubble" is an English-language word that originated from an Old English word that referred to the short stumps ("stubs") of grain stalks that remained protruding from the ground after the harvest cutting removed the stalks (that were used for straw) and the heads that contained the grain. Stubble differs from the "chaff" which is the outer husks of the grain heads that are removed during winnowing.
In ancient times (and in many places still today), the harvested grain was shaken and thrown upward (modern mechanical combines do the very same job with power-driven fans and screens), from which the wind carried the light chaff away, while the kernels fell straight back down into the grain pile. The Temple Mount was just such a high, wind-exposed winnowing place when King David purchased it (see Why Did King David Purchase The Temple Mount?).
John the Baptist's ministry (see The Way Of The Messenger) provided a warning to the unrepentant, and a wonderful encouragement to those who turn to the right way (see Which Way Is Right And Left? and Strait And Straight) - that the Messiah is coming, not only to pay the price for evil, but to then eliminate it from the world.
"3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
There is no "ever burning hell" recorded in the Holy Scriptures. The result of the coming hell fire will be eternal oblivion - totally lifeless and inert: "And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts."
"4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.
This Day In History, February 28
628 Persian King Khosrau II was assassinated (see also The Decrees Of The Persian Kings).
1066: Westminster Abbey opened. Originally an abbey church of Benedictine monks, it became a national shrine of Britain.
1525: Aztec King Cuauhtemoc was executed by the forces of Hernan Cortes.
1638: The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh.
1692: The Salem, Massachusetts witch hysteria began (see also What Is Sorcery?).
1759: Pope Clement XIII granted permission for the Bible to be translated into the languages of the Roman Catholic states - provided that it was read and "interpreted" only by Catholic priests.
1784: John Wesley of the Church of England established his "Methodist Church" (also known as "the Wesleyan faith" or "the Methodists").
1825: A treaty was signed between Britain and Russia settling the border between Canada and Alaska. Alaska was then a Russian province.
1843: The Great March Comet of 1843 made its closest approach to the sun, only 120,000 km., less than a tenth of the solar diameter. For a few hours that day, the comet outshone any comet seen in the previous 7 centuries. Burning in the daytime sky like a brilliant, tailed star less than 1 degree from the limb of the sun, the comet's astronomical magnitude may have reached -17, more than 60 times brighter than the full moon. The tail eventually reached a length of 68 degrees, 3 weeks after perihelion, estimated to have stretched 300,000,000 km. across the inner solar system. The last time a comet was seen that close to the sun was in 1106.
1844: On the Potomac River, the U.S. navy was demonstrating its new frigate Princeton when one of its guns exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas Gilmer and some other government officials.
1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), total ships sunk for the month by German submarines: 212.
1940: British Colonial Secretary MacDonald terminated all further land sales to Jews in "Palestine" (see Where Is Palestine?). The move was officially intended to prevent arousing the Arabs, thereby destabilizing the region, which would have benefited Nazi Germany.
1940: The superliner Queen Elizabeth was launched in Britain.
1948: The last British troops left India which had then become independent.
1954: The U.S. detonated its second hydrogen bomb, at Bikini atoll. The expected yield of the weapon of mass destruction was 8 megatons; the actual yield turned out to be 15 megatons.
1969: A Los Angeles court refused Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan's request to be executed.
1974: The U.S. and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after 7 years.
1993: The siege at Waco, Texas, began after U.S. federal agents tried to serve an arrest warrant for weapons charges on Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh.
1996: Russia entered as the 39th member of the Council of Europe.
1997: An earthquake in northern Iran killed over 3,000 people.
2013: Pope Benedict XVI resigned - the first pope to do so since 1415.