Dr.K.Schilder,Schrifoverdenkingen # III (Pages 176-178)

This Article appeared in De Reformatie, (# 21, Aug.3, l946.)

Translated by Mrs. H. Heetebrij

Malachi 1:10: " Who is even among you, who will shut the doors, and you not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts. I will not be pleased with an offering from you." Oh that there was one among you who would shut... According to God's Word there is no room for self-improvised Worship practices in His Church. The Bible is quit clear about it, even in the Old Testament volunteers in the office of all believers were requested to close the doors of the temple on it. The office of all believers is granted to all those who believe. Who ever had been brought into the fellowship of Christ's Church has been received and appointed as an anointed labourer in the Lord's vineyard.

Just as hard as it was in the Old Testament to get this point across, the New Testament Church has even experienced more difficulty with this. Difficult to the effect that God's people would receive insight on this point. No wonder, in the Old Testament the church was still placed under the clergy; there the hierarchy still ruled, there the priests were the temple overseer, and access to the Lord was limited. Therefore it is even more remarkable that Malachi calls the believers to action against the priests, who continue to neglect their calling. Malachi knew all about the temple service; the Temple which was restored after the return of God's people from bondage. It was a Temple considerably much smaller than the one of Solomon, but still beautiful and well defined by strong guarantees, and maintained by powerful prayers. But soon after the Reformation the deterioration of life under Joshua and Zerubabel became evident. How little did the priesthood tremble before the content and conditions of the God-given promises to Joshua, via the mouth of Zechariah; the promise that if the priesthood remained loyal in their worship services on earth, only then God would grant heavenly access.

Oh how blatant the decline after Zechariah's time! The Priests slighted the Lord's name (vs. 6); they corrupted His altar; the sacrifices were carelessly observed; their hearts were not in it; and the sacrifices were not brought according to the lawful rules (vs. 7,8). And now that everything is going wrong, yes terribly wrong behind those beautiful temple doors, now the prophet appeals with great emphasis: " Who is there among you, who will close the doors! ? The Old Translation presents this Hebrew text quite differently, but we shall follow the commentators, Marti and Nowack, in their better translation. Who is there among you? That means to say: Oh if there could be just one among you who would! Why one? For whoever would ever dare to close those temple doors, and actually obstruct the access to the sacrificial altar and interrupt the daily worship service and more; would openly liberate oneself of all this fraudulent deception that occurs behind those temple doors?

Yes indeed, who is there among you Malachi deplores. He is addressing all the believers and including the entire official Priesthood. The Prophet would like to see someone come forward to set up an effective stop sign, accompanied by strong action and say "no" to the evil doings behind those gilded temple doors, and he likes to see this someone to be one among the priests and from the society of the Levites, yes, from the office bearers. Just one definite "no" that would attract everyone's attention and that would be irrevocable.

When considering all of this, Malachi wants to see a priest or Levite (who knows his calling)

to liberate himself publicly and take strong action in the office of all believers.

Closing the temple doors in this manner was only possible by the High Priest by virtue of his office. Should a priest or Levite stand up and say, "I'm liberating my self, and I'm going to stop this debauchery" then one could say of this person, "he is pitting Church against Her synod he is openly resisting/opposing the higher authorities, and at that time, at least, this should be agreed upon, as ordinary priests definitely stood under the High Priest, and the Levites under the common priests, and the individual believers were accountable to observe the lawful worship service. Yes that's how it was. And yet, while the Old Testament hierarchy stood in place, a Prophet of God led by the Spirit is putting the question before them: "Who rather wants to be more obedient to God than to man? Who dares to sound the alarm ring out? Who dares to proclaim rebellion and close the House that God Himself had opened under certain conditions? Yes indeed, who dares to openly admit and confess that the Temple, which has decisively violated the law of the Temple, must be locked up, and that the office of all believers has to come into action, being lawfully propelled from the Old to the New Testament?

Those who openly refuse to conform to the flagrant sins of the temple brings about the true up building of the temple; that person then helps to work towards the edification of the Temple service. That person truly leads the worship services from the Old to the New Testament (see vs.11) wherein the Lord's name will be truly glorified among the people and pure worship will be initiated. That means that person brings the great day of the Lord nearer to the congregations. In Malachi's time, it was the day of Bethlehem (Christ's birth), the day of Christ's return (judgement) in the period after that. Malachi cried out, but nobody listened. The temple service continued to function in a sinful way; violation of the ordinances of God became worse and worse. But when no-one dared to heed Malachi's cry, then the Son of Man -the Son, the Lord of the Temple-came to the house of His Father to sweep the Temple clean, and His last breath carried His immediate and fulfilled and powerful prayer that God would abandon this temple, by rending the curtains publicly apart. This Christ now wants sacrifices of thankfulness (simple obedience) from His people. They must openly oppose the wrong-doings of the Church, which works deceitfully against God's decrees, which tramples the rules of the order of the Temple (the church order) and which continues to harden itself in this. They must definitely pronounce a public "no" to the sins of this 'Temple'; they shall leave it desolate and empty. They will separate themselves and refuse to conform. And in this way, the true worship service will be preserved until the day when Christ returns.


From Dutch Book "Verantwoording Van Een Keus"

( In Defence of a Choice) by Prof. J.Kamphuis of the Theological School in Kampen, Overijsel.

"Dominocraty? is the lording over of one or a few, with slave like consent by a majority of the consistory, against which the subscription form for elders and deacons speaks emphatically.

The lording over of ministers is clear here regarding the Open Brief and the struggle during the mid 60's. in the Netherlands. (Rev.van der Ziel and Rev.Schoep being the main instigators) . If a minister systematically and publicly denies or disclaims the confession of God as triune, in his prepared sermon, members of the congregation need not and may not wait around for consistory or Classis to make a judgement of false doctrine or heresy, even though consistory and classis have this church orderly calling within their jurisdiction." The same is true for any other heresy-whether the confession or Scripture or both are stepped on or denied in any way.

(See 1 John 2:2O, 27, 1 Cor. 4:6)

Regarding Art. 28, B.C.

"Whenever a split in Christ's Body (the Church) is caused by an ecclesiastical assemble, then the believers ought to diligently discharge their office (be active). They have the office of all believers. If they neglect those who have been censured unjustly then they are also rending the unity of the Body of Christ.