Scripture reading for December 24th: Revelation 17
Key Scriptures: Revelation 17:1-6 “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk. And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pears, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of the earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”
John was shown a vision of a strange beast with seven heads and ten horns. On this beast, sat a woman who was dressed as a prostitute. John, lead by the Holy Spirit, saw this woman holding a cup in her hand, full of abominations and sexual immorality. On her forehead was written a mysterious name: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” This woman was drunk on the blood of the saints. This vision reveals the woman as the corrupt and false system of world religions, depicted by Babylon, that specialized in leading people into idolatry and immorality, violating God commandments. The beast she rides upon are the corrupt political systems culminating in the one world government of the antichrist. The cup represents the true spiritual condition of those involved in the false religion of the end times and the wicked and rebellious government of antichrist. God’s purposes will not be thwarted. His judgment will bring down this woman and the beast she rides!
Revelation 17:16-18 “And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out His purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.” And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, I trust You to reveal all that I need to know about the time that I live in these last days. Thank You for Your divine control of all events of history past and the present and the future. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as in heaven! Use me to accomplish Your purposes and fulfill Your Word in my time on earth.
Revelation 17:14 “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
Scripture reading for December 24th: Revelation 18, Psalm 139-40, Proverbs 9
Key Scriptures: Revelation 18:4-7 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back other, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, . . “
God’s heart is that all made in His image would not be found in the wicked city of Babylon, involved in its false religion and materialism. John heard a voice from heaven calling out to God’s people and giving stern warning of the impending doom of that city and its residents. God remembered their sins and was about to repay. In contrast, the sins of God’s people had been cast away and carried away by their Savior, the Lord Jesus.
Faith Confession: I am thankful that I heard the call from heaven to come out of ‘Babylon’ and look for God’s City–the New Jerusalem. I thank God that He graciously forgave me through the sacrifice of His Son and remembers my sins no more! Hallelujah!
Proverbs 9:10-11 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by Me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.”
Scripture reading for December 20th: Micah 7, Nahum 1-3, Revelation 16
Key Scriptures: Revelation 16:17-19 “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there has never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.”
John sees the seventh angel pour out the final bowl of the wrath of God into the atmosphere. From heaven, a loud voice announced the judgment as “It is done!” On earth, an earthquake was triggered that shook the earth and its cities and peoples more than any other before it. God especially remembered Babylon and made her drink and drain the cup of His wrath.
Micah 7:13 “But the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their deeds.”
Nahum 2:10 “Desolate! Desolation and ruin! Hearts melt and knees tremble; anguish is in all loins; all faces grow pale!”
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember that Your final judgment will come to all on the earth and to the earth itself. Keep me from entanglement in the corrupt system of earthly government and business represented by Babylon. Amen.
Scripture reading for August 26th: Ezekiel 29-32
One of the bad habits that Israel had developed was a dependence on Egypt for help. After Moses led them out of Egypt with a mighty deliverance, they talked of stoning him and choosing a new leader who would take them back. They easily forgot that Egypt was a land of idolatry that God had called them out of. Even after Babylon had conquered the nation of Israel and left a remnant, that group of Jews went down to Egypt for protection against the advice of Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 42:19-22) (Jeremiah 43:7)
Ezekiel again prophesied concerning Egypt and Pharaoh. God warned them that their pride would bring judgment and defeat. God was bringing a sword against them that would leave the land of Egypt desolate for forty years. (Ezekiel 29:8-12) After forty years, God would bring a remnant of Egyptians back and they would be a lowly kingdom.
The prophet Ezekiel then announced that the day of the Lord was near. That day was to be a day of clouds and darkness. It would be a day of doom for the nations that Ezekiel had spoken about. A sword would arise from Babylon that would bring destruction on Egypt and her surrounding friends. (Ezekiel 30:1-4) This “day of the Lord” came to these people during the lifetime of Ezekiel. His word from the Lord came to pass and Egypt went into captivity; Israel, Cush, and Tyre were destroyed as well.
We often hear the messages of the “day of the Lord” and “the end” and tend to think that it must be a long way off. I want to encourage you that this day could be today! We are told to live in readiness for Christ’s return. (Matthew 22:42-44) We are told that no one will know the day or hour, but that we should be watchful and prepared. (Matthew 24:36) For those who are ready by faith in Jesus Christ, it will be a day of joy and gladness. For those who experience this day outside of God’s mercy, it will be darkness, trouble and doom. We don’t know when that day might come, but we do know that it is nearer today than yesterday!
Scripture reading for July 21st: Isaiah 13-16
Babylon was an ancient kingdom in the time of Isaiah. It rose to world-dominating status a few decades after the ministry of the prophet. As a city, Babylon rose to legendary status with it’s walls surrounding it and it’s hanging gardens. It was located in the present-day country of Iraq. Babylon was characterized by pride, false religion, idolatry and man-centered achievement. God hates pride and idolatry, and promised judgment through His prophet.
God’s army would bring “the day of the Lord”, a day of wrath against sinners. (Isaiah 13:6-9) This judgment would put an end to pride, arrogance, and the evil of the wicked. His army of “holy ones” would be none other than the Medes! (Isaiah 13:17) Isaiah prophetically predicted what God would do over 150 years before it happened! Daniel the prophet, at the end of the Babylonian captivity, got to read the handwriting of God on the wall the night Babylon fell to the Medes! (Daniel 5:25-28) The city would be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah, never to be inhabited again! (Isaiah 13:19-20)
Isaiah saw the day when God would have compassion on Israel and settle them in their own land. (Isaiah 14:1-2) Others would join themselves to Israel and Israel would possess the nations that have taken them captive! God’s Word is full of hope and truth.
The rest of Isaiah 14 is a taunt against the “king of Babylon” spoken by God’s people in the day they are set free! God, Himself, would break the power of this wicked king. He would be brought down to the grave and maggots and worms would cover him. All those leaders of the world now in the grave would ridicule him as he joined them. (Isaiah 14:9-11) Their ridicule turns into what some believe is a description of Satan and his fall. He was cast down because he had said in his heart that he would raise his throne above the stars of God. (Isaiah 14:12-15) But God would bring him down to the grave!
Behind all earthly political power and humanistic pride lurks the evil influence of Satan! We must be born again to escape! God has provided the way out in Jesus Christ! We can take up the taunt today against the “king of Babylon”! He is defeated!