Daily Nuggets

Dec. 31, 2019

Revelation 22 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

 

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

2 Peter 3:3-10 says:  Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,  and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief    Surely there are many today who mock the idea that Jesus is coming again. Surely, as Peter says, these are following after their own lusts.   They rely on human wisdom and knowledge. They discredit what God says because they view it through the perspective of their own finite understanding. They attempt to limit the infinite God by their finite understanding. They try to fit the eternal God into the constraints of finite time.   They cannot comprehend that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.   In today’s text the Lord says:    “These words are faithful and true”… “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”  Here’s the thing, what seems like a long time when viewed from our perspective; when viewed from the present looking back 2000 years, was not such a long time for the many who have lived and died since these words were written. In Luke 12:16-21 it says:  He (Jesus) told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive.  And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  Hebrews 9:27 says:  It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.   To the one or the ones that died without repentance over the last 2000 years, the day of the Lord came very quickly. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. The Lord’s patience; that Jesus has not returned has been by His grace, but no one should presume on that grace. Whether Jesus returns in the way it is described in Revelation, or we come to the time when our soul is required, God wishes that none would perish. Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Today, on this last day of 2019, on this day like so many others since the love of God was demonstrated on the cross, where Jesus died so that none would have to perish, on this day, if you have never before, I encourage you to respond to the love and grace of God. Believe, repent and live.  

The text says:  “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end… I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost…  He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec. 30, 2019

Revelation 21 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements18 The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

In today’s text the Lord says: “For the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”   The Amplified translation says:  But as for the cowards and unbelieving and abominable [who are devoid of character and personal integrity and practice or tolerate immorality], and murderers, and sorcerers [with intoxicating drugs], and idolaters and occultists [who practice and teach false religions], and all the liars [who knowingly deceive and twist truth], their part will be in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”  Cowardly or cowards is also translated fearful. Unbelieving is also translated faithless. Surely it is only by grace that any of us are saved. Romans 3:23-24 says:  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. As we saw in yesterday’s meditation, it is by having our names written in the book of life through believing in the redeeming work of Christ on the cross that we are saved from judgment and death.  

Look at what the text says about this time in the future after Christ returns.  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”  And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.  In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;  and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;  and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.   Consider all that it says in light of what the Lord says in Revelation 1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”   God is eternal and so is not subject to the limitations of finite time. He is unchanging; the same yesterday, today and forever. Consider also what Jesus taught us to pray:  Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.   We then, whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, should live here on earth as it is and will be in heaven. We should live in the realities and promises of the future now in this time.  The text says:  “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.”  1 Corinthians 3:16 says:  Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?   If then, because in the future when God dwells among us there will be nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, should it not be now, that because God dwells in us, that we should also be pure?    If we want to know the promises of the realities of the kingdom of heaven, that He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; if we want to walk in these things, then we also need to walk in the holiness, righteousness and purity of heaven.   We cannot expect that we will see and be the fulfillment of Jesus prayer, that we will bring the realities of heaven to earth, if we continue to live as though we ourselves are unchanged by the indwelling Spirit of God.  1 John 1:5 says:   God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we would see the realities of heaven manifested on earth, it should begin with there being no darkness in us. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says:  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  If we want to glorify the Father in heaven, we need to walk as His light on earth. 

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; the unchanging triune God; thank You that You not only dwell among us, but that You actually dwell within us. May Your light truly dispell the darkness in me. May I walk in Your light among those who are in darkness; that Your kingdom would come and Your will would be done, here and now, on earth as it is and as it will be in heaven.   Amen.

 

 

Dec. 29, 2019

Revelation 20 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Satan Bound

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Satan Freed, Doomed

When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Judgment at the Throne of God

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 

Today’s text says:  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.    Many people question God, saying how could or why would a loving God condemn anyone to Hell.  This would be a valid question if God actually judged people by their own abilities. That would be an unfair system of judgment because some people would have advantages over others based on their situations and circumstances in life. But, God is a loving God and as Romans 5:8 says:  God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Because God is a God of both love and justice, He made a way for all to be judged equally. John 3:16 says:  God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.   Each person will be judged. Those who believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ and receive the demonstration of God’s love; that He died for their sins, will be judged by what is written in the book of life. Those who choose not to believe will be judged for their own deeds alone.

Here is the thing, for those whose names are written in the book of life, every time that they sinned, rather than facing judgment, they receive mercy, grace and forgiveness. In Isaiah 43:25 God says: "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.”   For those who believe and receive the forgiveness of the cross, the demonstration of the love of God, the pages which recorded the sins of their lives are wiped clean. So the question should not be, why would or how could a loving God send anyone to Hell. The question should be, why would anyone not accept the love of God? Why would they choose instead to be judged for their own deeds?

In John 3:17-21 Jesus explains the answer:   God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”    It’s ironic that those who love darkness do not come to the light because they fear their deeds will be exposed. No one can hide their deeds forever. A person can only defer the exposure of their evil deeds. Hebrews 9:27 says: It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.  Even if they are never exposed in this lifetime, at the judgment those who loved darkness rather than light will be judged by their deeds. For the believer, it is not that they are perfect, but if they practice the truth, coming to the light, their deeds are manifested as having been wrought in God. The believer is judged by the deed of Christ on the cross. To question God’s motive or His method, that as Jesus says in John 14:6:  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” is as foolish as someone being given $50,000,000.00 and rejecting it because it was in fifties and not one hundreds. Again, Hebrews 9:27 says: It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.   No one can escape judgment. We can only choose whether or not we will accept the love of God as the terms by which we will be judged. That some reject His love, does not mean that He is not a loving God.

Thank You heavenly Father for Your love, demonstrated and given to me in that while I was a sinner, Christ died for my sins. Thank You that the sin in my life has been wiped off of the pages of the book of my deeds. Thank You that instead I am judged by the deed of Christ on the cross. I gladly accept the terms of Your love. Amen.   
 

 

Dec. 28, 2019

Revelation 19 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

 

After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

 

In today’s text it says:  And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” … the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.  In Genesis 1:1-3 it says:  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.  The same pattern continued throughout creation, God spoke and it came into being. John 1:1-5;14 says:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.   Creation was established by the spoken word of God. The written word of God guides us in truth and life. The living word of God, manifested in Christ gives us power over life and death. In the beginning, God by the word of His mouth spoke creation into existence. In the end, Jesus by the power of the word will rule the nations.   

Proverbs 18:21 says: The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.  We too, because we are created in the image and likeness of God, have the power to speak life or death into the world, by His word. If we speak the word of God, then we can be certain that we speak the will of God. Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 says:  There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.   It is vital that we be in step with God; that we are aligned with His will and His time. We need to speak life and build up what God is building and we need to tear down what He is tearing down. If it is time for something to die, we should not speak life. Conversely, if it is time to heal, we should not accept that something would die. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 says:  You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.   We are God’s living word to the extent that we believe and speak God’s word to the situations and circumstances we encounter. More people will read us; what we say and what we do, than will ever read the Bible. Jesus taught us to pray saying:  Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  As we speak the word of God, and as we live the word of God, we can be those who fulfill or are the answer to that prayer. We can bring the manifestation of the realities of heaven to the situations and circumstances of the world.

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him. Amen.

Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for Your word by which all things were created; and by which You will reign forever. Thank You for the power of Your word to bring life. May I always be in tune with, in step with and in time with Your will, speaking Your word to the circumstances I encounter.  Amen.    

 

 

 

 

Dec. 27, 2019

Revelation 18 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

 

After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

“And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’

11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12 cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, 13 and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. 14 The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19 And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”

21 Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. 22 And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”

 

Today’s text says:  I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”   There is debate among Biblical scholars as to exactly who or what Babylon represents. It is again not my desire to speculate. The debate actually has the affect of causing division between the opposing points of view since it is thought by many that Babylon represents a religious power or authority. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says:  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  There is so much division and discension among those who are called by the name Christian that the world does not know who the disciples of Christ are. In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus says: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”   So, rather than pointing our finger at any one group, let us instead look at the sin of Babylon so that we can first judge ourselves; so that we can see clearly to take the speck out of anothers eye.

James 4:4 says:  You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.   1 John 2:15-17 says:  Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.  In Matthew 6:24 Jesus says:   “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”   If we rightly discern the identity of Babylon, but are ourselves guilty of adultery with the things of the world; of serving wealth, what has our knowledge of Babylon profited us? If we identify immorality in others but are guilty of it ourselves, will we not still be enemies of God?

The text says:  All the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality… And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble,  and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them.  The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning,  saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’   In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus says:  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   In Luke 12:16-21 Jesus says: “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”   Many today are building treasures on earth. They errect large buildings and have large budgets. Many sell religion and “ministry” for profit. It is not wrong to have wealth, but it is wrong to serve wealth. It is not wrong to have some stores of treasure but it is wrong to not be rich toward God. What we might take a lifetime to accumulate can be gone in a day. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

The text says:   All the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.   So the sins of Babylon also include immorality and sensuality. These too are part of the world culture and society which have entered into the church. Much of the church has winked at, tolorated and even embraced and participated in and with the immorality and sensuality of Babylon. Again it does no good to identify Babylon if we are guilty of drinking the wine of her passion and committing acts of immorality. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says:  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

The text says:  ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her. Amen.   Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; You have overcome the wolrd and have righteously judged the sins of the world. Through the demonstration of Your love, that Christ died for our sins, we too can overcome.  Amen.