Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Last Words

Read: Malachi 3:1-4:6; Rev. 22:1-21; Ps. 150: 1-6; Pr. 31:25-31 When Jesus comes back he is coming to purify the earth. He will cleanse the motives of the hearts of his people. God implores them to turn now so they can be spared judgment. God will judge people according to their tithes and offerings. The tithe stands for their things required in the law and the offerings reflect the things people give above the law. When we do the things required in the law according to giving God will keep the devil from taking things from us. Our cars will last longer, our washing machines run smoothly past their warranty, etc. In other words the devil won’t be able to steal from us. Before Jesus comes back he will send the spirit of Elijah to the land which will turn the hearts of the people toward their families. The conclusion of Revelation shows us what it will look like when death is no more. We will have access to the water of life which is the Holy Spirit. From the Holy Spirit there will come forth the tree of life and fruit to nourish us every month. There will be no darkness or night. He gives us one more warning to do God’s commandments so that we can live in God’s city and have free access to his river of life. Lord, may strength and honor be our clothing and may we rejoice in time to come.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - The Description of the Bride

Read: Malachi 1:1-2:17; Rev. 21:1-27; Ps. 149:1-9; Pr. 31:10-24 Malachi was written about the same time as Nehemiah which is pre-exile. Malachi starts by telling the people how much God loves them because His mercy endures forever. Then God points out their sin as a people. He starts with the priests and rebukes them for their distain for the Law and their deceptive leadership. They led the people into idolatry and sin which they will be judged for. They offered God sacrifices that were blind and lame instead of the best. Instead of blessings, these priests would receive curses. The office of the priest was suppose to be one of truth and justice, but they had polluted the office and profaned God’s name. In Revelation, John saw the new kingdom coming down which was holy and righteous. The bride was adorned with beauty and her heart was for her husband. God’s presence was with his people. Death and the past was done away with. The overcomer inherited every promise in the Word. The sinners were gone…into the lake of fire. The angel took John and showed him the bride. She was a city of believers who shone with God’s glory. Her foundation was the teachings of the apostles yet her gates were the tribes of Israel. She was perfectly balanced in her doctrine. God was the very center of her existence because his presence was her light. This is a picture of what the church should and will look like. “The heart of her husband will safely trust in her…she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Lord, may we be faithful wives who totally trust in You.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - In the End

Read: Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 20:1-15; Ps. 148:1-14; Pr. 31:8-9 In the end every nation will turn against Jerusalem. God himself will defend her with an earthquake. It will be a leveling of all spiritual powers that opposed God’s people. God will smite the people that fought against Jerusalem with a plague that will eat away their flesh, their eyes and their tongue. The wealth of the heathen will be given to the righteous. Everyone that is left will be required to go to Jerusalem at the feast of Tabernacles. Those nations who refuse to come will be hit with drought. God’s temple will be cleansed and made holy. In Revelation we learn that the first resurrection will be the martyrs that died for the name of Christ. They will be judged and allowed to live with Christ a thousand years. Satan will be locked up those thousand years and let out at the end to deceive the nations and gather them to the battle of Armageddon. God will consume them with fire and cast the devil into the lake of fire. There with the beast and the false prophet will burn forever. The books will be opened and everyone throughout history will be judged. Death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire and be no more. Everyone whose name is not found in the book of life will be thrown in to the lake also. Lord, help us to keep the big picture in our hearts so that we can be your ambassadors on this earth.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Final Battle

Read: Zecharaiah 12:1-13:9; Rev. 19:1-21; Ps. 147:1-20; Pr. 31:1-17 God blinded the eyes of the Jewish people because of their rebellion but Zechariah prophesies of a day when God will take the blinders off and they will come to believe in Jesus as their Messiah. In that day God will pour grace and repentance on his people. The people will put away their idols and false teachings and call the Lord their God and He will call them His people. Revelation gives us heaven’s perspective of Zechariah’s prophesy. Babylon, the false church has been judged and the bride is presented. Many believers are called to the married supper but only the overcomes are the bride. All are blessed. Jesus comes forth on a white horse to wage war on the bride’s enemies. Flying fowls were summoned to eat the flesh of the people who opposed God. This was their supper which is called the feast of Leviathan. The beast and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire. The rest were killed with Jesus’ sword which is the Word of God and eaten by the fowls. The enemies of God and us are spiritual principalities and demons which only the Word can conquer. But they will all come down with death being the last to fall. We should never be afraid of what the devil has in his arsenal because what we have been given is so much more powerful. We defeat him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The Word of God is our sword. Lord, teach us to wield our sword and defeat your enemies.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - The End of Lebanon and Babylon

Read: Zech. 10:1-11:17; Rev 18:1-24; Ps. 146:1-10; Pr. 30:33 We can ask for the latter rain and God will give it. The latter rain is a spiritual outpouring of His Spirit. God is most upset with the shepherds who don’t teach their sheep truth and don’t care for them. For his people he promises to strengthen them and save them. God will bring them out of bondage into their inheritance. Zechariah prophesied against Lebanon which means deception and those shepherds who tried to deceive the people. When he had finished he asked the true believers that if they believed his word to give him thirty pieces of silver. He took them and threw them to the potter. This represented the price the enemy would pay Judas to betray Jesus. Then Zechariah took his staff and broke it to break the relationship between Judah and Israel. Like Lebanon, Babylon is judged. Babylon means confusion and it is the seat of deception, evil and apostasy. God first calls His people out of her then he sends plagues, mourning, death, famine and fire. Lord, we can truly say, “Happy is he that has You as their help and whose hope is in You.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - We Will Overcome!

Read: Zechariah 9:1-17: Rev. 17:1-18; Ps. 145:1-21; Pr. 30:32
The first eight verses of Zechariah nine have to do with principalities that are watching their kingdoms crumble. Verse nine turns the attention to God’s kingdom and the promised salvation that will one day ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and set up an invisible kingdom that cover the earth. It will set prisoners free and give them hope. Joy was coming to the people! Revelation 17 deals with the Roman Empire and its blasphemous power over religion and politics. The Roman Catholic church martyred more Christians over the ages than any other entity. It took the written Word out of the hands of the people and led them in apostasy and idolatry. This beast was Rome and its government and seven seats of power. Five were gone by the time this prophecy was written; one was then in being; the other was yet to come. This beast, directed by the papacy, makes an eighth governor, and sets up idolatry again. Jesus is the true leader and he will reign through us till all of his enemies are put under his feet. We are trained and equipped to do this very thing. He has put it in our hearts to do His will. How exciting it is to be living in the day we are in.
Lord. I thank you that we are a part of a kingdom that has no end and is bound for victory. Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thur.’s Devo - End Time Blessings

Read: Zech 8:1-23: Rev. 16:1-21; Ps. 144:1-15; Pr. 30:29-31 Today’s prophecy is an encouragement to God’s people. This is what God says about the church. It will be a house of truth. All ages will prosper and live in peace and safety. We will be a blessing on the earth and one day people will come to us seeking the God in us. In Revelations we see that the vials are plagues like the plagues Moses released on Egypt: sores, water to blood and darkness with a few others like scorching heat, Euprates drying up and the earth being shaken added to the list. Instead of turning their hearts to God in repentance, the people blasphemed God only adding to their judgment and showing their true heart. To these people God will come as a thief. Babylon is finally being judged. Psalms 144 goes right along with what we are reading today. God is our goodness, our fortress, our high tower, our deliverer and our shield. God is going to come to our defense and give us a new song. Our sons will be mature in their youth and our daughters will leaders that are righteous and solid in their beliefs. We will be blessed with more than enough to live on and prosper. We will have nothing to complain about and we will be happy! Lord, thank you that you care if we are happy and blessed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Two Marks

Read: Zech. 6:1-7:14; Rev. 15:1-16:21;Ps. 143:1-12; Pr. 30:24-28 
When you read the prophets you see a pattern in how God judges. He goes first to his people. Judgment begins in the house of the Lord. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 1:17. The first of his people he judges are the priests - the godly leaders. In Zechariah they are judged for ministering with themselves in mind and not God. They wanted to look good to themselves and the people but their hearts were not right. God still does it that way. It is God’s job to purify His church and He doesn’t need our help. Our job is to stay pure ourselves.
 In Revelation there are two marks. One is the mark of the beast. It is a mark on the right hand or the forehead which is necessary to buy or sell. The other mark is the mark of God. It is the signature of God written on the foreheads of His saints. I wonder if these marks are only seen by heaven. I know everyone thinks the mark is going to be a computer chip or some type of physical mark but I wonder if the mark isn’t a system that causes you to compromise your faith to be able to function like the rest of the world. Those who overcome will not only overcome the mark but the number of his name and his image. I’m not sure what all these will look like but I wonder if they are going to be as obvious as I had thought in the past. 
Today we see holy angels sent from God with vials of God’s wrath to pour out on the earth. They only fall on those with the mark of the beast. These are the last things that will happen before the battle at Armageddon. Whoever thinks God doesn’t send bad things on the earth has never really read the Bible all the way through. Even in judgment God is righteous and holy. 
Lord, help us to understand your judgments and your ways.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - The Judgments of God

Read: Zechariah 4:1-5:11; Rev. 14:1-20; Ps.142:1-7; Pr. 30:21-23 
Zerubbabel is the governor of Judah and he is responsible for rebuilding the temple but God wants everyone to know that this temple is not going to be built by manpower and man’s resources. It will be built by His Spirit. He was referring to the Church which would not be a building or an organized structure that man manages and controls but it is going to be a spiritual force. 
The flying roll is a picture of God’s bread, the Word coming down to judge the nation for its stealing and using God’s name to swear falsely. The woman in the measuring cup stands for wickedness and idolatry. She is being measured and lifted up by the wind and carried to the land of Babylon. This speaks of a time when God will rid his people of idolatry and sin. This is God making a separation between His people and evil people. 
Revelation speaks that same theme only it takes it a little further into the future. We see Babylon fall and those who worshipped idols and hated God. We see Jesus reaping the earth of his children first then we see another angel with a sickle coming forth to reap the souls of the earth that are left. These last people are cast into the winepress of the wrath of God. 
Lord, may we be that force that sweeps through the earth bringing salvation and truth to a lost world.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Church and the Antichrist

Read: Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1-18; Ps. 141:1-10; Pr. 30:18-20
 The angel is told to measure Jerusalem which is the same thing as to judge it. He speaks of a day when Jerusalem will once again be inhabited with people and filled with God’s glory. Their enemies will be judged and punished. Jerusalem will have a reason to sing and rejoice once again. 
In chapter 3 we see Joshua representing the priesthood. God is showing the state of the priests that they have become polluted with sin. He prophesies Jesus, the High Priest, that will come and remove the iniquity of the land in one day… the day he dies on the cross. 
Every time I read Revelation, I get a deeper understanding of it and I realize that most of it has already happened. We are further into this than I thought. Beasts are representative of powers that oppose God. When Nebuchadnezzar told his kingdom to worship him as God, he was reduced to a beast. He was like a beast with a womb that God healed when he humbled himself. Constantine was another example of a heathen king who opposed God and then came to a knowledge of Him. He changed his policy only to turn away from God and become more harmful to the truth than before. He was a type of Antichrist. Antichrist has been alive and well since Christ. 
The first beast attacks the church from without. The second beast is a false prophet who attacks the church from within. There are two churches just as there were two trees in the garden. One is the true church and the other is the counterfeit. The seven heads were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and Germany. The ten horns are leaders that have authority. Notice that the beast looks a lot like the creatures that are before the throne. Satan always counterfeits what God has…he’s not creative. Notice that the second beast looked like a lamb (Jesus). He is the false prophet that can do great miracles but his heart is self-motivated. His number is 666 because six is the number of man. He is totally self-centered. 
Lord, open our eyes to see truth and let us not be deceived by miraculous exploits but be established in You.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Church

Read: Zechariah 1:1-21: Rev. 12:1-17; Ps. 140:1-13: Pr. 30:17 
Zechariah means “Yahweh Remembers”. He prophesied before Israel was taken into bondage to Babylon. He followed Haggai and was one of the most Messianic prophets in the Old Testament. Zechariah starts by calling God’s people back to Him. He sees a man riding on a red horse along with others on red and speckled and white horses. The man explains that these were God’s watchmen on the earth. The angel said that the temple would be rebuilt inspire of the four powers that had risen against her (the four horns). 
Revelation 12 is a summary of the church. She is pregnant with the Messiah all through the Old Testament. She has the Word of God in her belly. He comes forth and is taken up to God - resurrected. The Church flees into hiding where God feeds her. In heaven there is a battle to cast Satan and his hosts out. They are cast down to earth along with his demons. The Church overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony and the fact that they don’t love life but are willing to die for Jesus. In the place of hiding, the devil tries to flood the Church out of its place of rest. The earth helps the Church so the devil, who is irate wages war on her seed. We are that seed. The devil will try to flood us out of our place of rest and faith with adversity and anything he can come up with. We need to stay in peace and trust in God. We are in a war where we will win! 
Lord, thank you for this great picture to show us of what is going on. I pray that we not be flooded away with fear and dismay but keep our eyes on You!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Judgement and Rewards

Read: Haggai 1:1-2:23; Rev. 11:1-19; Ps. 139:1-24; Pr. 30:15 
Haggai’s name means “festive” because Haggai came with a message of hope and encouragement. He prophesied during the time when Israel was in exile. A few of them had come back to their land to rebuild the temple and Haggai was among them. They had started out well but when opposition came against them, the people had stopped construction. Haggai’s message caused the people to rally and finish. Haggai is an encouragement to us since he also prophesies the end when God will destroy the earth as we know it and rebuild it. 
We can take this very literal since we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to build up our walls and set our foundation firmly on Christ or the enemy will come in and discourage us from finishing our race. Take heart and stand back up and finish strong.
In Revelation we have the two witnesses. These are two last day prophets who will demonstrate great wonders and miracles. I hope we are here to see this. They will have the ministry of Moses and Elijah. They will be killed and resurrected then judgment will come upon all men who ever lived. God’s children will be rewarded before the throne of God. 
Lord we ask you to search us and know our hearts and thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in us. Lead us in the way everlasting.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Open Book

Zephaniah 1:1-3:20; Rev. 10:1-11; Ps. 138:1-8; Pr. 30:11-14 
Zephaniah means “the Lord has hidden”. Zephaniah traces his lineage back to King Josiah who brought about major reforms in the nation to bring the people back to God. Unfortunately, his sons did not follow in his path. The Assyrians had invaded during his grandfather, Manassah’s reign and his father, Amon’s reign. The Assyrians took most of Judah into captivity and filled the land with its people and its idolatry. They worshipped the sun, moon, stars, zodiac signs and all the host of heaven on the roof of the temple. When Josiah became king he found a copy of the book of the Law and purged the land of its idolatry only he couldn’t purge the people’s hearts. There was a superficial sense of welfare and prosperity so the people thought they were in God’s favor. This is the time that God sent Zephaniah to rock their boat and expose their hearts.
In Revelation we are shown the sixth and seventh angel. The sixth angel is wearing a rainbow which is a symbol of God’s covenant with his people. It is like this angel is declaring God’s Word over the earth and sea. This angel stood and didn’t sound his trumpet. Instead he is holding the book and crying with his voice. This is the age we are living in. The Word is open for us to understand if we will study and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us. When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, the mystery of God will be finished. 
Lord, may we eat the Word like the seventh angel told John to do.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Put Your Hope in the Lord

Read: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19; Rev. 9:1-21: Ps. 137:1-9; Pr. 30:10 
Habakkuk wrote this prophesy and sang it as a worship leader and member of the Levite family. The timing was probably between the fall of Nineveh 612 B.C. and the fall of Jerusalem 586 B.C. He is overwhelmed by the injustice he is witnessing - the poor being oppressed, the collapse of the legal system and the violence of the age. (Sound familiar?) He seems to work through his anxiety and in the last few verses he lifts up his head and puts his hopes in God. He sees a place in God where he can walk above the circumstances with the joy of the Lord. Let’s not let our life be three chapters of gloom and doom and three sentences of hope. Let’s let our lives be just the opposite. There is very little in the world to put our hope in but our world is outside this world. Our world is the big picture. God is in control of everything so we can put our hope in him and walk in joy unspeakable and full of glory!
In Revelation we have the fifth angel who opens the bottomless pit and allows locusts to be released on the earth. The first four plagues were on the earth itself but this one attacks mankind. Like the fifth plague of Exodus, God makes a distinction between his people and the rest of the people. They can not touch his people! Since this is a vision these locusts represent a powerful presence that is like a locust. They are allowed to torment but not kill the people. In fact, if doesn’t let them take death as an option though many would choose it. 
The sixth angel is allowed to kill man. The whole reason is found in verst 20; God is giving man a space to repent before it is too late. God’s heart is always for men to be saved and come to Him.
Lord, in these lasts days may we enjoy You and put our trust in Your unfailing love.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

Read: Nahum 1:1-3:19; Rev. 8:1-13; Ps. 136:1-26; Pr. 30:7-9 
The Assyrian nation had been a thriving leader of nations for centuries before Nahum prophesied against it. The capital of Assyria was Nineveh and they were known for their cruelty and savagery. The Assyrians had conquered Israel and was threatening Judah. God had used Assyria as an instrument of judgment but it was now their turn to be judged. It fell when Nineveh was destroyed just as Nahum prophesied. 
Nahum’s name means “Comforter” because his words were a comfort to Judah. They would experience God’s favor once again.
In Revelations we have the sounding of the first four angels. They walk us through the succession God uses to judge a nation. First he touches the earth and we see destruction on the land: wildfires, blight, floods, etc. Second He touches the sea and we see death in the seas and those who are on it. Third, He touches the rivers and they bring forth death and the water supply is tainted. Then he does things in the heavens. Right now God is speaking through this forth trumpet as we see blood moons and unusual storms and weather. If we were to look at our history we would find evidence of all four of these judgments on America. 
The thing about God is his mercy triumphs over his judgment. We who know Him and are His are safe in His mercy. We don’t have to worry about judgment because He is our shelter and strong tower.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Hope and Restoration

Read: Micah 5:1-7:20; Rev. 7:1-17; Ps. 135:1-21; Pr. 30:5-6 
Micah prophesies that Messiah will come from Bethlehem. In the middle of his prophesy of judgment he gives us some key scriptures like Micah 6:8, “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” And living in the midst of idolatry and wickedness he says in 7:7, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the GOd of my salvation; my God will hear me.” He ends his prophesy with hope and mercy. God will turn again and have compassion on them and cast their sins into the sea.
In Revelation John sees four angels which are in charge of keeping the earth. They stand at the north, south, east and west keeping back a destroying wind. They must wait till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. There are 144,000 to be sealed - all of them Jews. Once they are sealed there is a meeting in heaven of people in white robes before the throne. These people were the believers who came out of the great tribulation. Their suffering is over forever.
Lord, may we be sealed for Your kingdom.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Micah

Read: Micah 1:1-4:13; Rev. 6:1-17; Ps. 134:1-3; Pr. 30:1-4 
Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah about 800 years before Christ. Micah’s name means “He Who is Like Yahwah”. He came on the scene when the kingdom had been divided and the temple had been destroyed. Judah had been badly influenced by Samaria and enticed into idolatry. Samaria was the capital of Israel and Jerusalem the capital of Judah. Both of them had high places where idolatry took place and Micah rebuked them both. Not only did they participate in idolatry but they coveted their neighbor’s fields, and used violence to steal. God does not look away at these things but warns if they continued without repentance there would be judgment.
But in the last days…things will turn around. Jerusalem will be raised up as a place of worship and God’s people will walk in his paths.
 In Revelation we read about the six seals. They correspond to the church ages. Once again it is a progression of time as we walk down church history. The first seal describes the church of Ephesus and so on. The last seal describes a huge earthquake but it is also symbolic about what is happening in the spiritual realm. God is going to shake the realms of the religious, political, entertainment, sports, business and everything that can be shaken. The mountains have to do with the proud people in authority and the islands have to do with those the people that thought they were safe in their expensive shelters. Things will get so unpredictable and scary that these great men will hide in fear. 
Lord, It is comforting to know that You planned the end and everything You do is good.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - God’s Mercy

Read: Jonah 1:1-4:11; Rev. 5:1-14; Pr. 133:1-3; Pr. 29:26-27 I’ve heard so many sermons about Jonah and why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh but I wonder if he didn’t want to go because he was afraid of all the evil people and what they would do to him if he went and cried out against them. God was adamant about Jonah going. He wasn’t interested in Plan B. Jonah was a type of Jesus in that he was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40). When he was spit out by the whale, he was a changed man. He probably look like he had surfaced from the bowls of earth. I’m sure that the prayer Jonah spoke in chapter two was the same prayer Jesus prayed as he ascended into hell. Don’t you know, Jonah was shocked when they repented! Shocked and dismayed since he hated the very people he preached to. I think that Jonah was more concerned about his reputation than the hearts of the people. What would they think of him if his prophecy didn’t come true? He couldn’t trust God’s eternal purposes. The book of Jonah should be a great encouragement to us. If God would spare a heathen city because they repented, how much more will he spare us if we repent? In Revelation we see that there is only one worthy to open secrets in heaven. That person is Jesus. These secrets are sealed with seals. God reveals revelation a little at a time. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10) This is true in our lives; only the spirit of Jesus can give us wisdom and understanding into the Word and He metes it out in small portions. Lord, may your Spirit give us wisdom and understanding into the Word of Life.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Obadiah and the Throne

Read: Obadiah 1:1-21; Rev. 4:1-11; Ps. 132:1-18; Pr. 29:24-25 The backdrop of Obadiah was the age-old struggle between Esau and Jacob. When they parted ways back in Genesis 27, Esau took the land of Edom and Jacob went the way of Cannan. They remained bitter enemies through the years. When the Babylonians came to attack Jerusalem, the Edomites joined the Babylonians. In 586 B.C. the Babylonians took Jerusalem and exiled them to Babylon. This prophecy or vision was given during the time of exile. It is a warning of God’s vengeance on Edom for joining forces against Judah. Notice that one of the things God does when he punishes a nation is to take wisdom and understanding out of the land. Next, God attacks their physical strength and causes their enemies to triumph over them. For Edom, that would be the people of Judah. We see this progression in our own land. We have leaders devoid of godly wisdom and understanding and we see our enemies encroaching on our land. In Revelation, John is invited to walk through a door into the very throne room of God’s presence. God was on his throne surrounded by brilliant colors. It was encircled by 24 seats in which sat white-robed elders wearing gold crowns. Lightning and thunders proceeded from God’s throne and he saw the menorah of heaven which stands for the 7 spirits of God. The floor was shining crystal and before the throne stood 4 beasts. They were the same cherubims described by Isaiah in Isaiah 6:2 and Ezekiel in his first chapter. Cherubims are the highest ranking angels in heaven. They are symbolic of the courage (lion), strength (ox), intelligence (man) and speed (eagle) of God. The beasts and the elders continually gave glory and praise and worship to God. Lord, we put our trust in You and in You we will be safe.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Church of Laodicea

Read: Amos 7:1-9:15; Rev. 3:7-22; Ps. 131:1-3; Pr. 29:23 God showed Amos a plumbline that He would use to judge Israel for their idolatry. The priest, Amaziah, turned Amos over to the king of Israel accusing Amos of conspiring with God against them. If that wasn’t crazy enough, he told Amos to take his prophesies and leave their town and go to the land of Judah. Amaziah told Amos to leave Beth-el because it was the king’s chapel and the king’s court. Did he not know that “Beth-el” means “house of God”. It was the place that God spoke to Abraham and Jacob. It remained a place where priests dwelt but obviously the priests had become defiled. Instead of running, Amos stood up to the priest and prophesied even greater judgment on the city and the people of Israel for their sins. He told Amaziah that his wife would be a harlot in the city and that his sons and daughters would die by the sword. Israel would go into captivity. Today we read of our church age - the church of the Laodiceans. Laodecea means “peoples rights”. The city was one of the most politically important and financially prosperous cities in Asia Minor. It had a medical school and was known for its arts and sciences. It was striving for a one-world government and one-world religion. Sound familiar? So what is our admonition? We are to buy gold tried in the fire which will make us rich. These are our trials that we go through to try and test us and refine us. We are also to buy white raiment to cover our nakedness. In other words, we are to walk in righteousness and covered with the blood of Jesus. Lastly we are to anoint our eyes with eyesalve that we might see. That means to let the oil of the Holy Spirit enlighten our spirits that we might understand the Scriptures. Lord, may we be overcomes in the age we live and may we hear what the Spirit is saying.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - The Church Ages

Read: Amos 4:1-6:14; Rev. 2:18-3:6; Ps. 130:1-8; Pr. 29:21-22 Amos refers to the rich as cows. They oppressed the poor, corrupted justice, and did evil. Even though God sent them famine and pestilence, they refused to turn to the Lord or consider changing, so they would be the first to be carried away. God warned them to seek good and not evil and to restore righteous judgment in order to live. Yesterday, I said that the church ages have to do with the history of the church so I thought I would break it down in a chart: Ephesus - 30 AD - 100 AD Smyrna - 100 AD - 313 AD Pergamum - 313 AD - 590 AD Thyratira 590 AD - 1517 AD Sardis 1517 AD - 1790 AD Philadelphia 1730 AD - 1900 AD Laodicea 1900 AD - to the end So you see, we are in the days of Laodicea. Notice that in every church age it ends in “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The world can not head the warning because they can not hear it. God has given his people ears to hear what the Spirit says so that we can have no excuses. God always warns his people of what they are doing wrong, then he gives them a space to repent. If they refuse, they will be judged. If they turn, they will be blessed. Each church age has an “angel” assigned to it. I don’t know who our “angel” is but I’m thinking Billy Graham isn’t a bad guess. The angel is a person who carries the message of that age. Dr. Graham came with an uncompromising message of repentance and being born again. He was loved and admired by more presidents and foreign leaders than anyone I have ever seen. His legacy lives on. Lord, help us to have ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us individually and to our nation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Amos

Read: Amos 1:1-3:15; Rev. 2:1-17; Ps. 129:1-8; Pr. 29:19-20 Amos was not a professionally trained prophet like most of the others. He was a herdsman who lived in the Judean hills. He wrote his prophesy down as opposed to giving it orally like so many others did. His name means “burden-bearer”. Amos’s prophesy was given to Israel at a time when she was living in great prosperity outwardly but even greater spiritual and moral decline. Amos makes two statements that stand out to me found in the third chapter. The first is in verse three: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Jesus talked about the power of agreement. If you are married, or have been in any business deal with another person, you know the truth in this statement. The other is found in verse seven: “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” We can know trust that God is not going to surprise us with anything that He hasn’t already warned us about. I find the “Elijah List” to be so informative about what the prophets of our day are saying. You can get this in your e-mail by going to and signing up for it. It is totally free. Today we start going through the church ages. In every church age there is an encouragement to the true church and a warning to the false church. Every church age had a messenger which was a person of that age that carried the message. It will be impossible for me to blog in detail what all these mean but you may go back into my archives where I dealt extensively with Revelations. In every church age, we are given a clue to its history. They are in order from the earliest church age to the present. Lord, thank you for your encouragement and truth. Reading the prophets and Revelation gives us assurance that You are in charge and everything is in your hand.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Joel and Revelation

Read: Joel 1:1-3:21; Rev. 1:1-20; Ps. 128:1-6; Pr. 29:18 “Joel” means “Yahweh is God”. He lived in a time when a plague of locusts blew through the land and in hours stripped the countryside of all vegetation. It even stripped the bark off the fir trees. All crops were lost and the seed for the next harvest was gone. People and animals were dying of starvation and Joel could only conclude that God was judging them. Moses had warned the people that locusts would destroy their land if they turned away from Him (Deut. 28:38-46). Everyone was affected by the plague. Joel explained that this plague was nothing to compare to God’s judgment in the end of time. The sound of locust will be small compared to the voice of God when He roars. But even in judgment, God promises to pour out his Sprit on all flesh. People of all ages will prophesy and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. We are experiencing this right now. The theme of Revelation is “the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” John has the vision of Revelation during a time of extreme persecution of the Christians by Nero. As John was contemplating the persecution of his age God thrust him into the future where he saw an even greater persecution coming to the church. John blesses anyone who reads or hears this prophesy read aloud. John tells us that Jesus will come with clouds and every eye throughout history will see him. John was to write everything he saw in a book and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Jesus spoke this prophesy from the midst of the seven candlesticks or the menorah in heaven. John was to write the mystery and we are left to unlock it with the help of the Holy Spirit - the light of the menorah. Lord, help us to understand the future and the day we are living in that we might be encouraged to stand strong.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Jude

Read: Hosea 10:1-14:9; Jude 1:1-25 Ps. 127:1-5; Pr. 29:15-17 Israel was called out of God and from her moment of conception chose other gods. God extended arms of love to them and they repaired Him with rejection and rebellion. God said that they were bent on backsliding from Him. Over and over, Ephraim chose other gods over the True God. They destroyed themselves by their hard hearts. Hosea pleads for Israel to return to God. Jude is a most interesting book. He warns us to contend for the faith we have in Jesus. God delivered many people out of Egypt that he had killed later because of unbelief. There were angles who left the abode of heaven and came to earth and had sex with women (Gen. 6) who had to be locked up until the final judgment. Sodom and Gomorrha were filled with people who gave themselves over to sin and homosexuality who had to burn as an example of the final judgment. Jude warns us to let God bring the judgment. If the archangel, Michael didn’t rebuke the devil himself but did it in the Lord’s name…we should follow his example. God will bring judgment in His timing. We are admonished to keep ourselves in the love of God. You are the One who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of Your glory with exceeding joy.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Truth

Read: Hosea 6:1-9:17; 3 John 1:-1-14; Ps. 126:1-6; Pr. 29:12-14 God warns a nation of judgment before He actually brings it. He even gives the people little discomforts to turn them and to spare them of greater judgments ahead if they would only repent. When Israel and Judah were in trouble, instead of going to God for help, they hired the Assyrians. This only made matters worse for them. God is a jealous God and He will have no other nations or gods before Him. God was waiting and longing for His people to feel worse about their sins than their afflictions. Then there would be hope for them. The same is true of us and our nation. Until we start turning to God for our answers we are just going to get deeper and deeper into debt, despair, trouble and depression. God is our ticket out! So what can we do as mere citizens in a huge nation where we hold little influence? We can make our voice to be heard on high. It is not the heart or the ear of the President we need to reach; it is the heart and ear of God. And, He is listening. It is so refreshing to hear that God wishes nothing more than that we prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. He wants us to walk in truth. Lord, thank you that when we walk with You, we walk in truth because You are Truth!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - The Truth and the Lie

Read: Hosea 4:1-5:15; 2 John 1:1-13; Ps. 125:1-5; Pr. 29:9-11 Hosea’s prophecy can be summed up in 4:6. The people of Israel were destroyed for lack of knowledge. Their teachers, the priests encouraged them to worship false gods and led them in idolatry. If they had truly desired to know their God and learned of His ways they wouldn’t have turned from Him to the counterfeit of other gods. Now, they will be judged and their children because they have not taught them the truth either. John makes it clear again that to come to God you have to believe in Jesus and come through Him. If you believe in Jesus then you believe in God but you can’t have God without Jesus. To bless someone’s ministry who doesn’t have this basic belief is wrong. “Coexist” is not Biblical. John says that to bless them is to take part of their evil deeds. Jesus didn’t come to bring peace but a sword that would divide the truth from the lie. (Matthew 10:34) To tip-toe around the lie in the name of peace is to agree with the lie. We have to be bold and live true to our convictions. Lord, help us to recognize the truth and stand firm against the lie.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Hosea’s Children - God’s Children

Read: Hosea 1:1-3:5; 1 John 5:1-21; Ps. 124:1-8; Pr. 29:5-8 Hosea lived during a time of great prosperity in his nation that led to their down fall. Little by little they started worshipping what their money could buy which led them into idolatry. God sent Hosea to be a picture of his love for them. He was to marry a harlot who would stand for Israel in it’s idolatry. They had a son and named him Jezreel because God said that he would avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu. (2 Kings 9) Jezreel is figurative of the northern kingdom of Israel. When Jehoram was king a prophet went to Jehu and told him he was to be the next king. He and his buddies got all excited and started killing off Jehoram and all his leaders. They should have let God do that. God is the revenger of blood. It is his job to kill and exalt but Jehu took it into his hands. He killed Jezebel and had the idols taken torn down except for the two golden calves which remained and were a snare to the nation. Their second child was a son named Lo-ruhamah which means “not pitied”. Israel was to have no pity for Israel when He judges her. They will be judged in the valley of Jezreel which is another name for the valley of Armageddon. Judah who stands for the church will be shown mercy and they will not be killed in war. (Hopefully the Rapture) Her next son was Lo-ammi which means “not my people”. One day these same people will be God’s children and come out of the land as one. One day they will call God their husband and put away their false gods. In Chapter 3, God told Hosea to go buy a girl out of the brothel and love her as a picture of how God was going to redeem Israel out of her idolatry and love her. Thank you that You have given us understanding, that we may know You as the truth.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thur’s. Devo - Resurrection From the Dead

Read: Dan. 11:36-12:13; 1 John 4:1-21; Ps. 123:1-4; Pr. 29:2-4 The end of Daniel 11 describes Anitiochus who marched into Jerusalem and twice. The first time he offered a pig on the altar and desecrated the temple. He also killed eighty thousand, took forty thousand prisoners, and sold forty thousand as slaves. The last time he came to Jerusalem he fell on the worshippers in the temple and killed them. Then he proclaimed that he was the Greek god Jupiter and demanded that all people worship him. Once again, he is a type of the Antichrist that will come before Jesus comes back. Daniel 12 speaks of the resurrection of the dead back to life during the final millennium. They will be like the dry bones that Daniel saw coming back to life. Many come back to be judged and others to have the spirit of God poured into them. They will be the ones that shall be purified and made white. John gives a new criteria for being of God…confessing that Jesus came in the flesh. I guess he is implying that if we believe he came in the flesh then we believe that he died for our sins and rose from the grave. The main point of his sermon is if we believe then we have the spirit of truth. Then John encourages us to love one another. Our love is the outward proof of God in our hearts. Lord, help us to love like you love.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - He Has the Whole World in His Hand

Read: Dan. 11:1-35; 1 John 3:7-24; Ps. 112:1-9; Pr. 29:1 The events of Daniel show the timeline of what happened the millennium before Christ came the first time. These are the events of the 70 weeks Daniel spoke about yesterday. The northern kingdom was the Seleucid kingdom of Syria, the southern was the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt. The other powers that are involved are the Jewish Hasmonean dynasty, the Roman Empire, and Herod the Great, the vassal of Rome. Antiochus IV and Herod the Great were antichrist prototypes. This whole scenerio is a picture of what will happen before Jesus comes again. The most important factor is that God is in control of world events. Everything happens according to His plan. I love what our Psalms says today in verse 7 talking about the man who fears the Lord: “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed trusting in the Lord.” First John brings up some interesting thoughts. When we have the seed of God in us we are righteous because the seed God placed in us is righteous. Cain had the seed of Satan in him so he was evil and wicked. He took life where God gives life. Lord, we live in peace and joy because we know we can rest in Your plan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Daniel’s 70 Weeks

Read: Dan. 9:1-10:21; 1 John 2:18-3:6; Ps. 121:1-8; Pr. 28:27-28 Studying end time prophecy can be very confusing because there are so many different opinions out there. I have decided that when God gets ready to tell us what’s right then it will be time to know. The primary focus of Daniel’s prophecy was to tell Daniel when the Messiah would come. It also predicted the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as the Messiah and what that would mean to Israel. Then Antichrist appears in the last 3 1/2 year time period which will usher in the messianic age on earth talked about in Daniel 11 and 13. Then the trumpet will sound and sin will be over and righteousness will reign. John reminded the people that there have been many antichrists that have arisen and will be many more. He tells us that an antichrist is someone who denies God and Jesus, the Father and the Son. He makes it clear that you can’t have God without Jesus which clarifies that God is not Allah since believers of Allah deny that Jesus is God’s son. John really brings it home that Christians do not sin. Not a clear teaching to the body of Christ but none the less it is Bible. Sin died in us the day we accepted Jesus as our Saviour. When we understand this we are unstopable and dangerous to the devil because condemnation is the power he holds over us. When we realize we are eternally justified we are free to walk in righteousness and power. Lord, give us an understanding of the grace and power of the cross.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Tribulation

Read: Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Ps. 120:1-7; Pr. 28:25-26 Daniel saw this vision while staying at the palace at Shushan, the very palace that Esther became queen. He sees a vision of what will happen in the end days. Even though he was to see the interpretation partially fulfilled in his lifetime, it was a picture of what will happen in the very end during the Tribulation. The antichrist will arise with occultist powers that mimic the miracles of Jesus. His influence that God gives him will seduce and deceive many. He will defy Christ but Christ will win. The Bible teaches us not to sin where we teach everyone has to sin. I’m going with the Bible. Jesus told the woman at the well to go and sin no more as if it was possible. John thinks it’s possible too. But if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. Everyone sins before Christ, but after Christ we should be obeying God’s commands. Jesus only gave us two: Love the Lord with all our heart and love one another as we love ourselves. We get caught up in the nit-picky things that the devil loves to accuse us of. Let’s just choose to walk in the light. Lord, shine your light on our hearts and enlarge our hearts to love you more.