“Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 1:10-11)
It seems that the Lord is speaking of the doors of the temple since these doors are in the same context as the altar. At this point, it may be helpful to present a literal translation of the Hebrew text, “Who (is there) also among you, and let him shut the doors, and do not kindle fire on my altar without favor.” The Lord is saying that He would rather the doors be shut, and the altar fire extinguished than endure any more hypocrisy and disobedience. The negative command do not kindle is speaking of a permanent prohibition. The same language is used in the Ten Commandments where God repeatedly says thou shalt not. The idea is that these things shall never be performed. The LORD of hosts who commanded that the altar fire never go out (Leviticus 6:13) would rather the disobedient hypocrite cease his false worship than continue to blaspheme God's holiness a moment longer. May God's people realize that the Lord cannot endure false religion. He would rather a church shut its doors than profane His name through disobedience. Isaiah 1:13 vividly reveals God's heart toward hypocritical worship, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.” God will not permanently endure disobedience. He said to the Ephesian church of John's day, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent (Revelation 2:5).”
I have no pleasure in you is the Lord's answer to hypocrisy and flesh-centered worship. These priests believed that they had some special place of favor because of who they were, but God respects the face of no man. Any church or so-called church operating outside of the bounds of Scripture has reason to fear this warning. God has no pleasure in the world's music, the world's dress, the world's talk or the world's thinking. He will not gloss over an absence of the fear of God in a service. He will not condone the sensual behavior of a man in his home or work place. He is not on any man's side; He is JEHOVAH of the armies. Let His people repent, or shut the doors and extinguish the fire! His answer to those who believe He is content with disobedience, or that He somehow condones sensual behavior may be found in Psalm 50:21, “...thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.”
The last verse is obviously millennial, though at least a partial fulfillment can be seen in the Church Age. Although many people from various nations have come to know Christ as Savior, the number will be astronomically higher in the millennial kingdom. The world will someday worship Christ. God's name, which is hideously blasphemed by all nations, will soon be the object of praise and offering. What a day that will be! In giving such an illustration as this, God is showing these priests the importance of the fear of God. Enamored with the religious rituals peculiar to their own nation, these men took a false security in their actions and came to the place where they were apathetic to God's high and holy name. The Lord exposes their faults by declaring that the purest offering is made by the one who has come to value and adore the fear of God. The Lord says, “...in every place....” incense will be offered to His name. The most important thing is not that incense be offered at the temple location, but that the incense be offered by a man who fears and loves God's name. The location is irrelevant if the love is not present.
The word for heathen is the same word for Gentile. A false sense of dignity and sophistication can keep a man from remembering what he truly is apart from God. Those who are not Jews, “...being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world...(Ephesians 2:12),” are forever indebted to the grace of God which has made it possible for the heathen to be grafted into His good olive tree.