The multitude in white!

Scripture reading for December 8th: Revelation 7, Psalm 95, Proverbs 28

Revelation 7:9-12, 14 “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power be to our God forever and ever! Amen!” . . .“And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.””

Heaven will be populated by people from every tribe, tongue and nation because God is Maker of them all! Jesus instructed the apostles and all who would believe on Him to go into all the world and preach the good news to every creature. As the Gospel age comes to a close, the Church on earth will undergo severe persecution and the martyrdom of many believers through the ‘Antichrist and his rebels. The ‘great tribulation’ will be marked by martyrs. But John sees these martyrs, now in heaven, clothed in white and singing around the throne! Their song rejoices in their salvation and attributes all honor and glory to the One on the Throne and to the Lamb, Who provided the blood to clothe them in white! Their worship resounds through all of heaven as they await the fullness of salvation.

Psalm 95:6-7 “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”

Prayer: Father God and Jesus our Lamb, we worship You and bow down in reverence and honor for the great salvation You have provided and announced to the entire world. Thank You for saving people from all nations and tongues. Thank You for providing us ‘robes of white’ through Jesus’ righteousness! Thank You for the privilege of worshiping you throughout eternity as members of Your forever Flock!

Proverbs 28:17-18 “If one is burdened with the blood of another, he will be a fugitive until death; let no one help him. Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.”

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How Long, Sovereign Lord?

Scripture reading for December 7th: Revelation 6, Psalm 94, Proverbs 27

Revelation 6: 9-11 “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before You will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been killed.”

As John witnessed the Lamb opening the seven seals, he saw a multitude of souls under the altar, all in heaven through martyrdom. They were calling out to the Sovereign Lord, asking “how long” before the judgment and avenging of their shed blood. At this, John saw them given white robes and instructions to rest a while longer. This indicated that there were others that would die as martyrs and join them, also robed in the white of Christ’s righteousness. After the full number of those witnesses would arrive at the altar, then the judgment would come on those on earth. The Lord is truly a ‘Stronghold’ and ‘Rock of Refuge’ for His people and the wicked will be wiped out by their own wickedness.

Psalm 94:22-23 “But the Lord has become my Stronghold, and my God the Rock of my refuge. He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the Lord our God will wipe them out.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are a Refuge for Your people, not only in this life, but for all eternity. Thank You for the promised justice for those of Your people who were mistreated and killed for their testimony of Jesus Christ. Through Your Word, we have a vision of what is to come. Use me to share Your Word of protection for believers and the judgment of the wicked as a warning and encouragement.

Proverbs 27:20 “Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.”

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Worthy is the Lamb!

Scripture reading for December 6th: Revelation 5, Psalm 93, Proverbs 26

Revelation 5: 6-10 “And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And He went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him Who was seated on the throne. And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals, for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

John’s attention was focused on a scroll in the hand of the One on the throne. It was sealed with seven seals and a mighty angel asked a question: “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (Revelation 5:2) John began to weep loudly as he understood that there was no one in heaven or earth who could open it or look in it. But an elder spoke to John, calming his fears with the announcement that “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David had conquered.” (Revelation 5:5) At this point, John saw the Lamb, bearing marks of crucifixion, standing between the throne and the living creatures and elders. The Lamb took the scroll and all around the throne fell down in worship. The elders offered bows full of incense, the prayers of believers and sang a new song of worship to the Lamb, worthy to open the scroll.

Psalm 93:1-2 “The Lord reigns; He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; He has put on strength as His belt. Yes, the world is established from of old; You are from everlasting.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world, I worship You as alone worthy of all honor, glory and praise! You are worthy to open the scroll and take possession of the kingdom prepared for You before the world began. I am thankful to be part of those You ransomed. As a priest and part of Your eternal kingdom, use me today to pray for those needing salvation and adoption into Your family.

Proverbs 26:1 “Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.”

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Worship beyond the door!

Scripture reading for December 5th: Revelation 4, Psalm 92, Proverbs 25

Revelation 4: 8-11 “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him Who is seated on the throne, Who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who is seated on the throne and worship Him Who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.

After John’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus on the prison island of Patmos, he looked and saw a door standing open in heaven. He heard a Voice speaking to him, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” (Revelation 4:1) John was invited by Jesus to enter the throne room of heaven. There, he observed the One seated and twenty-four elders who were also seated on thrones, dressed in white with crowns of gold on their heads. He also saw four other ‘living creatures’ around the throne with various animal features and one the face of a man. John observed these creatures at worship, day and night, without ceasing. Their cry was “Holy, Holy, Holy” and they gave honor and thanks to the One on the throne. In response, the twenty-four elders cast their crowns before the throne and fell down in worship of God as Creator and ‘Most High’ Ruler of the universe.

Psalm 92:1-2 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Lord, to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; to declare Your steadfast love in the morning, and Your faithfulness by night, . .”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for this amazing Revelation of Jesus Christ through John the Apostle. The unseen world is real, while this earth is temporary. Thank You for Your invitation to John and to all believers in Jesus to ‘Come up here!’ I join now those around Your throne worshiping You! You are worthy, O Lord My God, to receive glory and honor! You created all things! I declare Your love and grace.

Proverbs 25:6-7 “Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.”

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Reputation and Truth!

Scripture reading for December4th: Revelation 3, Psalm 91, Proverbs 24

Revelation 3: 2-6 “”I know your works. You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of My God. Remember, then what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the Book of life. I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.””

Jesus Christ gave honest judgments on the works of each church and each person involved. We develop reputations among men by what we do and say, but Jesus has eyes of fire that see to the heart. This church had a reputation that it was alive, but Jesus saw it as dead or dying! He warned them to repent and complete the works He had given them. If they refused, they would be unprepared when He came to them. However, not the entire church was in need of repentance. Some were walking humbly with Jesus. He promised that these would be clothed in white. These white robes are the righteousness of Christ, given to His faithful witnesses. Jesus would also confess their names before the Father and His angels.

Psalm 91:14-16 “”Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My Name. When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.””

Prayer: Father God, thank You for this plain warning from Jesus Christ to the Church. I chose to hold fast to Jesus as my righteousness and trust You for deliverance from death and dead works. Speak honestly with me each day about my path and my witness. I count Your correction as a kiss on the lips of covenant love and faithfulness. I want to be an overcomer and ready and watching and working when You appear!

Proverbs 24:26 “Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.”

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Eyes like a flame of fire

Scripture reading for December 1st: Revelation 2, Psalm 90, Proverbs 23

Revelation 2: 18-23 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: “The Words of the Son of God, Who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your later works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.”

Thyatira was one of the churches John oversaw. He relayed the message of Jesus to them some 65 years after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus described Himself as “the Son of God, Who has eyes like a flame of fire.” Jesus saw everything and knew everything about His people and His Church. He loved them and faithfully warned the church of what He saw that would cause trouble. In this church, there was a woman named ‘Jezebel’, who called herself a ‘prophetess’. Beware of self-proclaimed ministers or prophets! Test them by their teaching and living. Jezebel, like the Old Testament wife of Ahab, was immoral and lacked a reverent fear of God. God was merciful, but she refused to repent. Judgment was coming to her and those following her teaching and example! The flaming Eyes see and know and will decisively act!

Psalm 90:16-17 “Let Your work be shown to Your servants, and Your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Son, and His ministry of overseeing His Church through appointed overseers like John the Apostle. Thank You for warning Your Church. May each person have discernment and wisdom to walk in Your way and obey Your Word. Use me in whatever way You desire to live out an example of integrity and honor of You and Your Word. Establish the work of our hands, Lord Jesus!

Proverbs 23:19-21 “Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”

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The Time is Near

Scripture reading for November 30th: Revelation 1, Psalm 89, Proverbs 22

Revelation 1:3-7 “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven spirits Who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings on earth. To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priest to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so, Amen.”

We have come to the last book of Holy Scripture. It is unique in that it promises a blessing to all who read it aloud, those who hear it read, and those who apply what is written. This is really true of all Scripture, but is plainly stated at the beginning of this final revelation of Jesus Christ. John, the youngest Apostle, was in his nineties, and imprisoned on a small island, Patmos. He received this revelation directly from Jesus as he was at worship. He was instructed to write down what he heard and saw and to send it to the seven churches of Asia under his eldership oversight. There was an urgency in this revelation to get Jesus’ Revelation out to God’s people. The time was ‘near’ of His coming again! His people would receive the ultimate blessing as they were faithfully waiting, passing on their faith and ready for Jesus!

Psalm 89:8 “O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as You are, O Lord, with Your faithfulness all around You?

Prayer: Father God, no one is Mighty as You and Faithful to Your Word! I desire the blessing You have promised to all who read this Revelation, hear what is revealed, and put it into practice. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and guide me each day to share Your love and blessing of eternal life with my children and grandchildren as well as those in my neighborhood. Help me to live in awareness of Your soon return.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

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Faith, prayer, and patience!

Scripture reading for November 29th: Jude, Psalm 88, Proverbs 21

Jude: 20-25 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus Christ and a follower of Jesus as his Messiah. He wrote to the early church, encouraging them to contend for the faith once delivered to them. False teachers and false prophets were seeking to devour and draw away Christ’s followers. Jude had simple instructions and a benediction that has been used by many church leaders to encourage Christ’s followers. Jude recognized the need for faith. Faith comes by hearing and applying God’s Word. Prayer is an act of faith. The Father’s Gift, the Holy Spirit, enables us to pray effectively. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, we build ourselves up in holy faith. Through faith and prayer, patience to wait for and anticipate the coming of Jesus is a glorious by-product! All glory to Jesus Christ, the Faithful One, Who is praying for us as we wait in His Love!

Psalm 88:13 “But I, O Lord, cry to You; in the morning my prayer comes before You.”

Prayer: Father God, I cry to You each morning, responding to Your Word that tells me to ask You for my daily bread and protection from the evil one. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my life and those of my brothers and sisters and children. Your Word is a precious Treasure and the Holy Spirit is Oil of Joy in my heart as I keep my heart in Christ’s love, seek His kingdom, pray, and wait for His return.

Proverbs 21:20-21 “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

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The future is guaranteed!

Scripture reading for November 28th: 2nd Peter 3, Psalm 87, Proverbs 20

2nd Peter 3:`10-13 “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming Day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Peter’s closing letter to the Church of Jesus Christ was a bold statement of what the future ‘Day of the Lord’ would be like. No one of the world would know its coming–like a ‘thief’ was the description. But believers can be assured of what will happen because God has decreed it in His Word. The heavens and earth will be dissolved and renovated by fire at that appointed Day. Because of the certainty of this day coming and it’s destruction, believers should be motivated to live holy and godly lives while they wait for the promised ‘new heavens and new earth’, the home of eternal Righteousness in Jesus’ reign as King of Kings on Mt. Zion, the eternal City of God in the New Jerusalem. Only through God’s Word can man know with certainty the future!

Psalm 87:1-3 “On the holy mount stands the city He founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God.” (Selah)

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the settled certainty that comes through trusting Your Word concerning future events. Your amazing plans are eternal and settled in heaven by Your Word and glorious power. Thank You for directing our steps into the Way of Christ and faith. We as believers are looking forward to Your rule as King of Kings in the City of God and enjoying the new heavens and new earth for ever!

Proverbs 20:24 “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?”

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Finish what you start in Christ

Scripture reading for November 27th: 2nd Peter 2, Psalm 86, Proverbs 19

2nd Peter 2:18-22 “For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Peter is a seasoned pastor and Apostle. He has watched Judas walk with Jesus and then go his own way, ending his life in suicidal misery. He evidently watched many others over his years of ministry start out right and then succumb to false teaching, fleshly enticements, or Satan’s deception. False teachers were in the church of his time and he plainly warned the people of God to beware. He used two very strong word pictures to describe what happens when a believer goes back to the world and the flesh. A dog may vomit up his food, but later the dog returns and eats it again. A sow, an unclean animal, washes herself but then goes back to wallow in the mud. The idea of a pig washing themself is somewhat humorous. Pigs wallowing in the mud is common! Thankfully, God is merciful to even use humor to help us!

Psalm 86:15-16 “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Turn to me and be gracious to me; give Your strength to Your servant, and save the son of Your maidservant.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for this humorous but clear warning to keep moving forward in our relationship with You. Thank You that You are merciful and gracious to us and have given me strength through Your Word and the Holy Spirit to stay on the right path. Use me to warn others that may be falling away from Truth to avoid the mud, vomit and folly of a backslidden life.

Proverbs 19: 3 “When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.”

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