Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”

Read: Malachi 3:1-4:6; Revelation 22:1-21; Psalm 150:1-6; Proverbs 31:25-31
God makes it plain that if you don’t tithe you will be under a curse. Some people say that tithing is under the law but I wonder why God would highlight tithing in the last book of the Old Testament if he was about to do away with it. From experience, I can testify to the fact that not tithing puts you under a curse which means that the Lord’s blessing and protection will not be on your finances. You will be totally open to the attack of the devil who will not only take your tithe, but more than that. When you tithe, the Lord rebukes the devourer and protects your investment and blesses it and gives back great dividends. To invest in the kingdom is the best investment you could ever make.
In Revelation, the setting is inside the new Jerusalem and there is a river of life that flows from the throne of God and his Son. It flows down the main street of the city where on each side stands the tree of life with twelve crops of fruit which yields twelve different fruit every month. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. Those who have washed their robes in the blood of Jesus will have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
John asked God not to seal this book but to keep it open because the time was getting close.
Let everything that has breath, Praise the Lord!
Congratulations! You have read through the Bible! I am so grateful for all of you who have joined me in this venture through God's Word. I hope that you will join me again next year. Every year God's revelation is new and pertinent for us during the season we are going through. I can't wait to see what new thing God will tell us next year!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - The New Order

Read: Malachi 1:1-2:17; Revelation 21:1-27; Psalm 149:1-9; Proverbs 31:10-24
God loved Jacob and his offspring because he wanted the inheritance of God. God hated Esau and his people because Esau had despised his inheritance. Jacob was a type of people who would choose God and Esau was a type of the people who would not. Edom was the land of Esau which the Lord said would never be rebuilt or redeemed. Instead it would become a place where those who do not trust in the Lord and would be under his wrath would stay. It will be called the Wicked Land.
Malachi explained that it was God’s people, the priests of Judah who were the ones who were bringing offerings to the Lord of animals that were maimed and crippled. These priests would be cursed if they refused to repent.
God told them what a priest should be doing. He should be preserving knowledge and seeking instruction because he is God’s messenger. He should not be making things up and saying that God said it.
God was also rebuked there grand displays of crying and wailing at the altar to be heard of Him. They had left the wife of their youth, their first love. They were preaching that God was pleased with them that did evil and that they were still be good in the eyes of the Lord.
In Revelation, John saw the new heaven and the new earth. It will be a new order. Death and sorrow will be defeated. One of the seven angels that had the seven bowls of the plagues told John to come with him to see the bride. She was the city of Jerusalem. Jesus and God were the temple and their glory lit the sky eternally. All the nations will bring their best to it. The gates would never be shut again and no sin would enter it but only those whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Lord, we cannot begin to understand your great wisdom. We praise you.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - The End of the Devil

Read: Zechariah 14:1-21; Revelation 20:1-15; Psalm 148:1-14; Proverbs 31:8-9
Zechariah and Revelation are both talking about he same time. Zechariah sees the day when Jesus comes back and splits the Mt. of Olives with an earthquake giving his people a valley of escape much like the parting of the Red Sea gave them an escape from the bondage of slavery. This will be the ultimate escape from the bondage of sin. God will be the king over the whole earth and the wealth of the nations will be given to his kingdom. Everyone on the earth will be commanded to worship the Lord at the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus will set up his kingdom on the earth on the Feast of Tabernacles and all who oppose his kingdom will have no rain and be afflicted with plagues.
In Revelation the devil is seized and thrown into the Abyss where he is locked up for a thousand years. The martyrs of the Lord will come back to life and reign with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released and be able to try to deceive the nations to fight against the Lord. They will wage war against the Lord and his people. Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire along with the false prophet and the beast and be tortured forever.
Then John saw a great white throne. All the people who have lived throughout the ages were standing and the books were open. The book of life was opened and the book of remembrance. The book of life had the names of those who had given their lives to the Lord in it. The book of remembrance had the deeds of the righteous and the unrighteous. Everyone was judged according to these two books. If their name was not in the book of life, they were thrown into the lake of fire.
Lord, may we speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. May we judge fairly and defend the rights of the poor and the needy.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo. - Salvation

Read: Zechariah 12:1-13:9; Revelation 19:1-21; Psalm 147:1-20; Proverbs 31:1-7
God has always protected Jerusalem. It is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and will continue to be. We are seeing prophecy come to pass as Jerusalem is being named the capital of Israel and America is moving our embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is divided into four parts owned by the Palestinians, Armenians, Israelis and Christians. This move by our president is a bold statement that is sparking controversy all over the world.
In today’s reading, God promises to save the dwellings of Judah and shield those who live in Jerusalem that that the feeblest among them will be like David. God will destroy all nations that attack Jerusalem. God will give the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication and they will turn to Jesus and accept him as their Messiah.
In Revelation we have the celebration in heaven and on earth of Christ’s wedding. Jesus makes his triumphant entry in his splendor and glory. He is no longer the suffering servant but the conquering king. He gathers his army to fight Satan’s trinity. The beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire and his followers were killed and eaten by the birds. This is the feast of Leviathan. The bride will go to the Marriage feast of the Lamb.
Lord, thank you that you are the loving father who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. May we be your instrument of peace today.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - The Fall of Babylon

Read: Zechariah 10:1-11:17; Revelation 18:1-24; Psalm 146:1-10; Proverbs 30:33
God wanted his people to ask him for rain and prosperity instead of asking all the false gods and idols they had. Since there was no spiritual shepherd that could lead them, they chose to go to fortune tellers and diviners. God was more angry with the spiritual leaders who were leading the people down the road of idolatry than he was the people.
God told of a time when he would redeem his people and bring them back to their roots and bless them once again. They would have to go through many trials to get to this place in God, but they would one day.
God told Zechariah to pasture the flocked that was marked for slaughter. These were the ones being oppressed the most. They represented the two shepherd’s rods: Favor and Union. He got rid of the three shepherds which were leading the people wrongly. These three represented the prophet, priest and king. But, the people he was sent to help and relieve of pain hated him in return just as the people Jesus was sent to restore favor and unity hated him. Jesus was the prophet, priest, and king sent to save his people but they rejected him and chose Rome to be their king (John 19:15). Zechariah broke the two staffs revoking his covenant just as Jesus rejected the Jewish race when they rejected him as their king. They paid Zechariah 30 pieces of silver which was the price of Jesus’ blood. God promised to send them a shepherd who would not care for them and treat them horribly speaking of the Anti-Christ.
In Revelation, Babylon is a type of Sodom. Even in Sodom was the righteous family of Lot’s. They were able to escape just before the city was destroyed. There will be a remnant of God’s people who will have to flee the city of Babylon just before it is destroyed. How interesting that the list of Babylon’s cargo and merchandise includes the bodies and souls of men. The earth will weep and mourn the fall of Babylon but they should weep and mourn their own end.
Lord, with great expectation we look to you as our Lord and King!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - The End of the Harlot

Read: Zechariah 9:1-17; Revelation 17:1-18; Psalm 145:1-21; Proverbs 30:32
Zechariah proclaims God’s wrath over Hadrach and Damascus in Syria. Hadrach means “commode” and Damascus means the absence of repentance. God used Alexander from Egypt to bring his judgment. When Alexander began his conquest, many did turn to the Lord.
Tyre was divided into Old Tyre which was on the shore and New Tyre which was built out in the ocean 700 paces from the shore. It was protected by a double wall 50 feet high. Alexander conquered it by laying stone and timber making a road to the island. They set the city on fire and sank her ships.
Then, Alexander advanced toward Jerusalem and was stopped by a dream. Instead of hurting the Jews, he gave them great privileges instead. His successors were not so nice to the Jews. They profaned God’s temple and persecuted the people. When it looked like all hope was gone, they were rescued by the Maccabees.
In the midst of this prophecy we have the promise of the Savior which would be humble and riding on a donkey. He would be the ultimate deliverer and Savior. He would bring the new wine of the Holy Spirit.
In Revelation, we have the harlot which stands for the apostate church - papal Rome. She will arise when the Christians are taken so all that will be left will be those who don’t know the Lord. The Roman Catholic Church will have no standard to keep evil and deception out so she will arise as the False Prophet. She has always been alive and well, but now she will have no opposition on the earth. The seven heads might stand for seven popes that have been sainted. Now there have been only six. To be sainted, you have to have miracles that have been documented and proven as true miracles. This last prophet will have many miracles that can be proven so he will be the last head. Or they could stand for the seven mountains that are around Rome just as there are seven mountains around Jerusalem. The ten horns could be the cardinals that kiss the popes feet. Their doctrine will make war with Christ’s. The beast’s cardinals will turn on the Pope and bring him down for a short time. In other words, the religion of the day will become a stench in the ruler’s nostrils and they will take it over. This happened to the papacy during the reign of Napoleon. It will happen again in the end.
Lord, today, may your glory shine through us.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - Joy To The World, The Lord Has Come!

Read: Zechariah 8:1-23; Revelation 16:1-21; Psalm 144:1-15; Proverbs 30:29-31
Today we read about Israel’s restoration. I feel like we are living in the beginning of this coming true. Israel became a nation in 1943 and has suffered persecution and unrest ever since. We are seeing Israel gain favor with nations that opposed it for years. Our president is standing up for Israel and supporting her like we have not seen in years. This is encouraging other nations to rise up in her defense. He gives her two commands: love truth and peace.
In Revelation, we see anything but peace. God’s wrath is being poured out on the world that were not taken in the remnant. Many of these people bear the mark of the Antichrist and will experience many of the plagues of Moses. To these people, the Lord will come like a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10). He does not come to us as a thief but a Savior.
I pray that all of you have the most wonderful time with your family and friends. I know that we all have big expectations but if your expectations don’t pan out like you wanted them to, remember that this is our temporary home where we learn to walk with God through disappointment and through joy. May you be filled with peace and great joy!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Last Plagues

Read: Zechariah 6:1-7:14; Revelation 15:1-8; Psalm 143:1-12; Proverbs 30:24-28
Zechariah is shown another vision and in it were four chariots coming from between two mountains. The two mountains are thought to be Mt. Moriah and the Mt. of Olives. The four chariots stand for the four kingdoms of Daniel: Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Egyptian and Roman.
God introduces his true priest, Joshua and puts on his head a crown of silver and gold - redemption and wisdom. He is a type of Jesus, the Branch who would build the temple of the Lord in the hearts of his people. He would be a priest and a king. In 6:14 we have a list of people that the crown will be given to and they describe Jesus. He is God’s big secret, his dream that he gave to show his goodness, knowledge and grace.
In Chapter 7, God showed them what he really wanted from them. It was not their rituals and fasting that pleased God, he wanted them administer true justice, show mercy and compassion and stop oppressing the widow, the orphan, the alien and the poor. They refused to listen and hardened their hearts instead.
In Revelation, we have the last 7 plagues. The saints sang the song of Moses which was the song of deliverance once they had crossed the Red Sea and landed on a new land. So, I have to believe that the saints are taken up before the last 7 plagues. In the plagues of Moses, the Israelites were only affected by the first three. The last 7 they were exempt from because God made a division between his people and the enemies’ people. The temple of God was also shut at this time and no one else could enter it - no more intercession and no more salvations.
Lord, how awesome are your works on the earth. May we be diligent about the harvest while the fields are ripe.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - The House of God

Read: Zechariah 4:1-5:11; Revelation 14:1-20; Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 30:21-23
Zechariah is awakened in his spirit to a vision of a menorah with bowls and 7 pipes leading to each lamp. There were two olive trees on either side of the menorah. It was a word to the king Zerubbabel who was rebuilding the temple for the Jews. His name means “the seed of Babylon”. God wanted them to know that it was not going to be the result of some man’s idea, strength or position that this temple would be built solely by the Lord’s Spirit. The two olive trees stood for Zerubbabel, the king and Joshua, the priest. God was saying that his kingdom would be a kingdom of kings and priests. Melchizedek was both prophet, priest and king and so would the Messiah be.
In Chapter 5, Zechariah sees a flying roll which was a parchment or scroll. Written on it is a curse that shall be upon the unbelievers and the false church. The two women are the devil’s counterparts of the two olive trees. These stand for the antichrist’s prophet and king. They will build their own temple in the land of Shinar. Shinar is in Babylon and it is the seat of wickedness.
Revelation 14 is pretty self-explanatory. Jesus stands on Mount Zion with 144,000 of Revelation 7. They were singing the Song of the Lamb.
Another angel came with evangelism for the earth. It marks the last harvest, the grape and the olive harvest which are the last of the year. Next came the harvesting angels which will harvest the souls of the wicked and throw them into the winepress of the wrath of God. This is a picture of Armaggedon.
But…blessed are the those who die in the Lord.
Lord, may we be fearless and tireless in our battle against sin and Satan. May we stand as trees in the house of the Lord.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - He Who Has Ears to Hear

Read: Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1b-18; Psalm 14:1-10; Proverbs 30:18-20
Zechariah saw what John saw in Revelation 11. Here we see that not only is Jesus the measuring stick but that the kingdom of God cannot be measured or contained. Jesus is the glory within us and the wall of fire around us. God pronounced judgment on his enemies and promised his people that he would come and live among them. Many nations would call on the name of the Lord and he would once again choose Jerusalem. We are seeing that manifest in our day.
Then Zechariah was shown Joshua, the high priest which represents Jerusalem (the collect of all the people who have chosen the Lord). The angel of the Lord is Jesus. Satan is there to accuse the believers but Jesus rebukes him and reaffirms his choice to stand by his people. He takes off the clothes of sin and shame and puts clothes of a priest on the man who represents the believer throughout the ages. Then Jesus gives him his plan of redemption and restoration.
In Revelation we have a beast coming out of the sea of humanity that has characteristics of a leopard, bear and lion - all the characteristics of all the ungodly nations that ruled before. The beast and the dragon are just characteristics of the devil himself.
This beast had seven heads and ten horns. The first six heads were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome; the new seventh world power (the pagan German hordes pouring down on Christianized Rome). Satan had hoped to kill Christianity but it flourished thereby imposing a deadly wound on the beast. Satan ascended out of his bottomless pit in Revelation 17 and Revelation 11:7. A new anti-Christian spirit falls on the world. It is hatred towards Jesus and his followers. It culminates in the Antichrist, the man of sin and son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 2 Timothy 3:1).
Another beast will arise known as the False Prophet. He is the spiritual prophet that tries to reason and scientifically dupe the world into heathenism. His religion will be supported by the world powers - Satan being its ruler.
Jesus and the apostles warned the people over and over about false prophets. They can do miracles and sound very convincing but the refuse to name Jesus as the son of God and refuse to confess that the blood of Jesus took away their sins.
The image coming to life is seen over and over throughout history as people see the picture of Mary winking at them or statues talking to them, etc. Many people throughout the ages have required a mark of allegiance on the hand of their followers so I believe that like the mark that Jesus marks his own, Satan’s will be a mark unseen by the eye. It will be of the heart.
The number 666 has been totaled of many people’s names during the ages also. It is a waste of time to try to figure out this with reasoning. God will give us discernment and wisdom if we look to him and not chase theories.
Lord, help us to do as David prayed and fix our eyes on You.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo- God’s Remnant

Read: Zechariah 1:1-21; Revelation 12:1-13b; Psalm 140:1-13; Proverbs 30:17
Zechariah is the same as Revelation 11 that we read yesterday so I’n not going to spend too much time on it. Joshua is Jesus, our High Priest, the man snatched from the fire, the one Satan accused. This is the picture of Jesus when he ascended back to heaven after his crucifixion. He was given his priestly garments to wear once again. It even tells us that this is a picture of things yet to come. We even see the white stone talked about in Revelation 2:27 that will be engraved with a new name. The beast that came out of the sea
In Revelation, John sees a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. This is the church and Israel. She is standing on the moon which is the universal church with no light of its own. She has a crown of twelve starts standing for the 12 tribes of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New. She is pregnant with the plan of salvation but before it can come forth, the dragon appears with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns. The seven heads are seven rulers that oppose Jesus. The ten horns are nations that oppose Him. We are the head because of Christ, but Satan is the tail so with his tail, he sweeps a third of the stars and throw them to the earth. This is a picture of what Satan did when the church began. It tried to apostate the leaders who were heavenly minded and bring them down to earth to be earthly minded. But God prepared a place where she could flee to just like God prepared an obscure place for Jesus to be born. The child came forth but did not stay long before God snatched him up to the throne. The true church had to flee to hidden places to worship God in sincerity and truth. Spiritual warfare became more and more fierce but God’s people overcame by the blood of the lamb. Satan was thrown to earth where he roams about trying to deceive the elect and the ignorant of the earth. He is mad because he knows his time is short.
The church was given the Holy Spirit, the eagle in which to find rest and safety and be out of Satan’s reach. The flood was probably when the Germans tried to take Rome and root out all Christianity. God preserved a remnant. God always has a remnant of people that are his warriors and Satan’s enemies.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - The Seventh Trumpet

Read: Haggai 1:1-2:23; Revelation 11:1-19: Psalm 139:1-24; Proverbs 30:15-16
Haggai had a word for Joshua, the high priest that it was not time to build the Lord’s house. The problem was that their hearts were not right. They were not putting the Lord first but their own lives. They worked long hours and didn’t see the fruit of their labor. They lived from paycheck to paycheck because their finances were so extended trying to keep up with their neighbors. God rebuked them for this and they listened and repented. God sent them a new message that he was with them and would restore their land and bless them once again.
In Revelation, God was doing the same thing. He was measuring the temple which means he was examining the hearts of his people. The altar is the cross and the measuring stick is Christ. In Revelation the Jews have to do with the true Body of Christ and the Gentiles have to do with the apostate church. The holy city is the Church that was trampled on for 1,260 days which meant 1,260 years. From 539-1799, the church went through great persecution. The two witnesses that determined what happened on earth and were eventually killed was the Old and New Testaments. The Bible was taken from the hands of the common people and its teaching so distorted that there was no real truth coming forth until the invention of the printing press and the Word was brought back to life and put back into the hands of the people. It was the fifth day of the week that Jesus was delivered into his enemies’s hands. On the sixth, he was crucified. He was buried on the seventh and rose on the first day of the week. So, the persecution of the Christians begin on the fifth day and ends after the sixth day, under the sixth seal and the sixth trumpet.
The seventh day, seal, and trumpet has to do with the day when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of God’s. It is time to judge the dead and reward the saints. God’s temple and his presence is revealed.
Lord, open our spiritual eyes to see.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - God’s Covenant

Read: Zephaniah 1:1-3:20; Revelation 10:1-11; Psalm 138:1-8; Proverbs 30:11-14
Zephaniah gave Judah a synopsis of God’s plan for them. They had been rebellious and refused to repent so judgment would come fast and soon. There would be no way of escape. But for the remnant there was great hope of restoration and healing.
Honor would be restored to those who were the outcasts of society and oppressed for their faith. This is a promise to the Bride also.
In Revelation, John sees a mighty angel robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head. His face is like the sun and his legs like fiery pillars. He was holding an open scroll in his hand. The rainbow stands for God’s eternal covenant with the earth. This angel will come to bring vengeance on the land and the sea. God didn’t allow John to write down what this angel thundered out but he did say that when it comes to his time to thunder, it will all be over.
John approached the angel and asked about the scroll in his hand and he was told to eat it. It would be sweet to his mouth but bitter to his stomach. He was then told to tell everyone what he had seen. So, John wrote his revelation down and trillions of people have read it.
This man is the spirit of Christ in his messenger, Martin Luther and his book is the Bible. Martin Luther opened the truth that the just shall live by faith, not by works thereby opening the way to salvation. He opposed the Roman Catholic laws that were so oppressive toward the people and kept them from truth. The book is the covenant promise God has given his people and he will do everything he said he would do in it. During this time, the printing press brought the Bible to the common people and the Word spread. The Word is sweet to read, but living it out is harder to do.
Lord, helps us to be awake and aware of what you are doing in this world. Thank you for the covenant you made with us to save us and preserve us for your glory.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - God’s Covenant Promise

Read: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19; Revelation 9:1-21; Psalm 137:1-9; Proverbs 30:10
It is amazing how the Old and New Testaments dove-tail in our One Day Bible. Habakkuk gives us a detailed description of the end of days. God promises to bring a sudden end to the earth. His righteous remnant will plunder God’s enemies and the survivors of God’s nation will inherit their land. This is what will happen to those who proudly mock and insult the Lord Almighty and his people. God will destroy all the gods of the land. This should make us sing with joy!
In Revelation, the fifth angel came with the first woe. The fifth angel was probably Wycliff. A star fell from heaven and was given the key of the bottomless pit. He opened it and great smoke came from it. From this smoke came locusts with the power of scorpions. During this time Muslims took Christian territory and the Roman Catholic Church - the apostate church, was becoming more and more barbaric and pagan. Mary became the center of worship instead of Jesus. The “locusts” were the false teachings of the “church”. They couldn’t touch God’s anointed but only those who didn’t have the seal of the Holy Spirit to lead them into truth. This spiritual torment went on for five months which spiritually speaking is 150 years. Men would seek to be saved but not be able to. This was true during the Reformation - it would take days to get saved and some labored in vain.
The sixth angel was probably Martin Luther. Many Reformers like Luther, Knox, Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin rose up and began great movements of God. This became known as the Great Awakening which brought many to the faith in Jesus and made the devil very mad. Satan countered this Great Awakening, with the Scientific Revolution which taught that knowledge and reason were supreme. The Reformers were all martyred for their faith but opened up great truths in God’s Word to the people.
Lord, may your church become stronger and stronger in the days ahead.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Plan of Redemption

Read: Nahum 1:1-3:19; Revelation 8:1-13; Psalm 136:1-26; Proverbs 30:7-9
God’s judgment always starts with his own people. He uses his enemies to do the punishing, then he destroys his enemies. God’s enemy was Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. God had to give Nineveh a chance to repent first so God sent Jonah to Nineveh. They did repent temporarily but, they came back more evil than before. Now God could righteously judge them. Nahum’s name means “comforted”. He was a Elkoshite which means “of the gathered of God.” This is a picture of the end judgment. God will comfort his people who are called out as his bride and judge the rest. He promised to restore the splendor of Jacob and of Israel. Nahum also declared judgment against the king of Assyria which is a type of the Antichrist.
This was fulfilled when the Medo-Babylonians attacked Nineveh. The river, by a flood broke down the walls, and the king burnt himself and his palace and all his concubines along with his wealth. The enemy entered by the breach in the wall and took Nineveh.
In Revelation we have the opening of the seventh seal. The same seven angels of chapter One stood before God and were given trumpets to sound. Another angel with a golden censer was given much incense which he would use to offer with the prayers of all the saints. I think it is important to know that heaven was praying for the saints that would be persecuted for the sake of the gospel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and cast it to the earth and voices, thunders, lightnings and an earthquake happened. Then we go through the seven angels sounding their trumpets.
The first angel - Paul sounded his message and there was hail and fire mingled with blood cast to the earth. This was the persecution that the early church went through along with the fire of Pentecost. Acts 16 tells of an earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison and shook the doors open. A third of the trees - (spiritual leaders) and all the green grass (new converts) were burnt up (killed).
The second angel was John and I wonder if the great mountain that was thrown into the sea was the remnant of God’s people when Jerusalem fell and Jews were scattered into the sea of humanity. One third were martyred.
The third angel was probably Arius who was a leader of Christianity during the time. I wonder if the great star that fell from heaven wasn’t the same one seen by Constantine that caused his great interest in Christianity but his total lack of understanding. His lack of knowledge led to great apostasy and oppression for the true believer. So their freedom led to bondage and bitterness.
The fourth angel was probably Waldo and the lights being dimmed has to do with the Dark Ages when the light of revelation and prophesy was next to none. God seemed to be silent during this time. This ushered in the last three angels and their “woes”.
The church will be taken before the Jews are sealed so the seventh seal has to do with God’s people, the Jewish nation.
Our Psalm is a great song to sing after reading about the end of the world. It reminds us that God’s love is what endures till the end. Judgment sounds so horrible but it is God’s love at work. He is restoring his people and his creation to its original purpose.
Lord, thank you for your love and your plan of redemption.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - The Sealed of God

Read: Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6
Micah warns them to be ready against the enemy because it is coming. Then he mentions that Bethlehem, which was small and insignificant in comparison to the other great cities of the kingdom would be the birthplace of the Messiah whose origins were from the days of eternity.
Then he gives a list of God’s grievances against them and presents his case and their sentence. He gives them a chance to look at their sins and see if they would judge any differently if they were Him. He does tell them what he requires and that is to act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with Him. These were three things they were not doing.
They would be dispersed among all the nations until the time when God would call them back to their nation and restore and rebuild them.
In Revelation we see four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land, sea or trees. They were not to harm the earth until God had sealed his 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. These will be the new Jewish converts that will come in to faith in Jesus as their Messiah. Dan and Ephraim are replaced by Joseph and Levi. One commentator I read said that the Anti-christ would come from the tribe of Dan. I’m not sure but it makes sense in the fact that one of Jesus’ disciples was a traitor.
God doesn’t forget anything. When Reoboam became king after Solomon and the kingdom was split, he didn’t want the people to travel to Jerusalem, in Judah lest they decided to defect to Judah so he built two golden calves - one in Bethel (in Ephram) and the other in Dan. I think this is the main reason they were left out of redemption in the end.
The crowd of people from every tribe nation and people and language were the redeemed throughout the great tribulation - These were the martyrs of the fifth seal. Notice that the church has been taken out by this time.
Lord, thank you for your plan.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - The Seven Seals

Read: Micah 1:1-4:13; Revelation 6:1-17; Psalm 134:1-3; Proverbs 30:1-4
Micah means “who is like Jehovah?” he was a Morasthite which means “possessor”. He prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah which were kings of Judah but he spoke to both Judah and Samaria which was the capital of Israel. They were both in spiritual decay. He spoke of the coming of Jesus which would judge them for their sins then restore them.
In Revelation, we have finished the church ages and now a sealed book is about to be unsealed. Ephesians 4:30 says, “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God that is sealed until the Day of your Redemption.” So this book is the Book of Redemption. The truths that come from the seals are hidden mysteries of God that he has sealed until the time of their exposing to the earth. The first seal came with the noise of thunder and a white horse. The rider had a bow, a crown and his job was to conquer. This had to do with the first church age - the Apostolic Age. It came with the roar of Pentecost and began a war with the devil that continues till the end. The second seal came on a red horse and his power was to take peace from the earth and natural war. This happened during the second church age - the Persecuted Church. The third seal came on a black horse and the rider carried a pair of balances which have to do with justice and righteousness. This was opened during the Indulgent Age. The fourth seal brought a pale horse whose name was Death and Hades. War, famine and death followed him. This was the fourth church age - The Afflicted Church. The fifth seal showed the martyrs crying out to have their blood avenged on the earth. They were given white robes and told to rest for a season. This symbolizes the fifth church where many were martyred for their faith - the Dead Church. The sixth seal brought an earthquake and the sun became black and the moon became like blood. Stars fell to the earth and untimely figs were shaken off the tree. This was the sixth Church which was the one of Brotherly Love. Many have died and will die for their faith the closer we get to Jesus return. With the opening of each seal comes the revelation of Jesus’ plan for his church. In every church age, the messenger brought a new understanding of Jesus.
Lord, give us eyes to see and a heart to understand.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Jonah

Read: Johan 1:1-4:11; Revelation 5:1-14; Psalm 133:1-3; Proverbs 29:26-27
Jonah was a Jew whose name means “dove” who was the son of Amittai whose name means “truth teller”. This tells us that he was probably the son of a prophet since that is what prophets do. He is the only recorded prophet who was sent to a heathen nation giving them the chance to repent. Israel refused to repent after many prophets and yet Nineveh repented after one. Nineveh was a forerunner of the Gentiles who would repent at the words of Jesus.
There are so many parallels to the life of Jesus in Jonah’s. There was a threatening storm and Jonah, who was asleep in the bottom of the boat was the only one who could calm it just as Jesus was asleep in the bottom of the boat and was the only one who could calm it. Jesus cursed the fig tree because it represented Israel who was not ready for his appearance just as Jonah’s vine represented the people of Nineveh who did welcome him. Jonah died in the belly of the fish to resurrect three days later and bring in a harvest of Gentile souls. Jesus resurrected after three days and brought in a harvest of 3,000 souls on Pentecost.
In Revelation we see God sitting on his throne with a scroll sealed with seven seals on it. An angel asked who was worthy to break the seals and open but no one could… not even God. One of the elders told John not to weep because, the Lion from the tribe of Judah had triumphed and he was able to open the scroll and its seven seals.
Instead of seeing Jesus in his glorified state, he saw him as a lamb, the symbol of the Old Testament. He had seven horns and seven eyes which were the seven spirits of God sent out to the earth. The seven spirits of God are found in Isaiah 11:2, “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, and the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” These are the seven branches of the menorah with the Spirit of the Lord being the middle candlestick that is raised above the rest. They are grouped in pairs because the two go together. For example, wisdom allows you to gain understanding and vice-versa. Counsel from the Word allows you to act on it and produce might or power. Knowledge of our sin gives us a healthy fear of God.
Lord, help us to acknowledge your holiness and your sovereignty over the earth.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - The Twenty-Four Elders

Read: Obadiah 1:1-21; Revelation 4:1-11; Psalm 132:1-18; Proverbs 29:24-25
Obadiah sees the fall of Judah because of the relationship of hate between him and Edom, his brother. Edom refers to Esau and Judah refers to Jacob. Esau stood for Israel, God’s first-born who rejected their birthright to be God’s sons for simple worldly things comparable to a pot of stew. Jacob, the second-born refers to the Gentile Church who desired the birthright and was adopted by God to be his sons and daughters. The good news was that God was going to deliver Esau one day just as He is going to deliver the Jews.
In Revelation, John is invited to walk through a door and enter God’s presence. There are 24 thrones where 24 elders sit, a menorah, a sea of glass and the throne in the center with four living creatures. One looked like a lion, one like an ox, the third like a man and the fourth like an eagle who continually worship the Lord on his throne. This looks like the tabernacle in heaven - the Holy of Holies with no partition between the rooms because there is no need. The twenty-four elders probably represent the twelve patriarchs of the Old Testament and the twelve apostles of the New even though John would have been one of them which makes it a little questionable.
The four living creatures represent so many things:
1. the four world powers of the earth
2. the four Gospels, Matthew the lion, Mark the ox, Luke the man, John the eagle which express the personal character of the Evangelists and the way Jesus relates to the world. The lion is a symbol of royalty and Matthew was written to the Jews to show Jesus as the King. Mark represents the ox which was a picture of the suffering servant. Mark was written to the Romans to show that Jesus came to serve. Luke represented by the man was written to the Greeks to show that he was the Son of Man. John was written to the church to show that Jesus was the Son of God and was represented as the eagle who soars majestically over mankind.
3. the four corners of the world
4. redeemed man’s rule over the earth. The lion is the head of the wild beasts of the animal kingdom. The ox is the head over the tamed beasts. The eagle is the head over the birds and the creatures of the water. Man is over all of them. As redeemed kinds and priests we are to take dominion over all creation for the glory of God.
5. the four standards by which the Jewish people camped in the wilderness. Judah, to the north was the lion. Dan, to the west was the eagle, Ephraim, to the south was the ox and Reuben, to the east was the man.
In the midst was the tabernacle was the Shekinah symbol of the Divine Presence. This is a picture of earth in heaven which will come down to earth when Revelation 21:3 is fulfilled. Then the tabernacle of God will be with men. Then all four aspects will be manifest. There will be kingly righteousness (the lion) and just judgment (the man), everyone will work with diligence and excellence (the ox), everyone will be sympathetic toward one another and love and the heavenly truth will be on the earth (the eagle).
All will give glory, honor and power to the Lord who created all things.
Lord, you are beyond finding out. Thank you for your Word. Help us to rightly divide it and understand its meaning.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Philadelphia and Laodicea

Read: Amos 7:1-9:15; Revelation 3:7-22; Psalm 131:1-3: Proverbs 29:23
God showed his plan to destroy Judah by locusts and by fire. Each time Amos interceded with God for Judah and God relented. Then God showed Amos how he was going to bring down the high places of Isaac and the sanctuaries of Israel with the sword. Their land would be measured out and divided and the people would die in a pagan land. Worse than that, there would be a famine of the hearing of the word of the Lord. But, the time would come when God would bring his exiled back and rebuild the ruined cities and restore them.
In Revelation we have the last two churches: Philadelphia and Laodicea. Philadelphia was located in the center of Greek civilization and means “brotherly love”. It lasted from 1750-1900. The leaders of the organized church were appointed by the monarch and not usually spiritual men. God began to open the door to other nations and send missionaries to unreached nations like Africa China, Japan, India, North and South America, to name a few. Jonathan Edwards was one of America”s great awakeners. The invention of the printing press and the fact that people started taking the Word of God literally led to America’s Great Awakening to the spirit of God.
The last church was Laodicea which was The Apostate Church or The People’s Church. It started in 1900 and will go through the Tribulation. Laodicea was a wealthy city about 40 miles from Ephesus, a striving center of Greek culture commerce and industry. The apostate church was the Roman Catholic Church and the pope blamed all their trouble on the Protestant Reformation. Liberal theology was gaining momentum in Europe focussing on the present and man, instead of God and eternity. In the meantime, the Charismatic Movement began in California and swept across the nation in America. World War One broke out and many Catholic nations were decimated like Belgium, France, and Italy. Russia became a socialist state and became the USSR. Communism was the most anti-Christian anti-Jewish programs in history inspired by Marx and Engels. W.W.I led to W.W.II. Laodicea is about the prostate church - the world’s religion. It is the spirit behind gay rights, the feminist movements and the left agenda. It is Satan’s agenda which is anything that opposes God’s heart. It is alive and well on planet earth, but it is not close to being as powerful as the Church of Jesus Christ.
God counsels us to buy from him gold refined in the fire, clothes of white, and and salve for our eyes. These are pictures of the wisdom we get from going through trials, a holy lifestyle that we put on every day and spiritual eyes to see from God’s perspective.
Lord, may we walk in wisdom, holiness, and revelation.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - The Churches of Thyatira and Sardis

Read: Amos 4:1-6:14; Revelation 2:18-3:6; Psalm 130:1-8; Proverbs 29:21-22
Amos was speaking to a calloused people who had no compassion for the poor and no respect for God. When they were in need, they didn’t turn to the Lord, and when they were rich they didn’t give him credit for their blessings. Their religious acts were not impressing God because he knew their hearts. God was going to stir up another nation against them.
The fourth church of Revelation was Thyatira which means “the odor of affliction”. It was to be known as the Pagan Church and represented the time of 606- the time of the Great Tribulation. It was condemned for tolerating the misdeeds of Jezebel. Jezebel means “unchaste”. During this time Boniface became the first Pope. They started kissing his feet, worshipping images and relics, using “holy water”, canonizing dead saints, fasting on Fridays and during Lent, praying prayer beads, the sale of indulgences, and many other rituals. The most defiling thing they did was to forbid the people to have a Bible making it impossible for the people to oppose what they were doing because there was no standard except what they said. This became a time known as The Dark Ages and it continues until today.
The fifth church was The Church of Sardis which started in 1520 and will continue till the Tribulation. It is called The Dead Church.
Sardis was the capital of Lydia and was destroyed by an earthquake. It means “escaping ones or those who come out”. These are the Reformers that started with Martin Luther. They opposed “works” as the means of salvation and preached salvation by faith. Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the church stating the error of their teaching and the truth of the Bible. He was charged with heresy but his teaching spread throughout the world. Other Reformers like Calvin, and Knox
continued his work teaching the Bible and awakening the people to truth. They did come out of the Roman Catholic Church and its organized religion, but then went on to build their own organized religions according to which Reformer they sided with. So now we have Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.
Man will never get it right when they try to control and organize the things of God. He never wanted to rule from a box or a building. His kingdom is not one of walls and borders, it fills the earth…every bit of space. We carry the church within us although I love to go to my church and fellowship with my faith family. Sunday worship cannot be contained to a day; it is every day. We take the presence of God everywhere we go. We bring the church to the lost every place we go.
Lord, awaken us to be the church, not just attend one.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - The Churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum

Read: Amos 1:1-3:15; Revelation 2:1-17; Psalm 129:1-8; Proverbs 29:19-20
Amos was both a shepherd and a prophet who lived during the reigns of Uzziah, and Jeroboam. He spoke against he sins of Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Moab, Judah, and Israel. God was about to punish each of these nations for their idolatry and sin. Amos makes a profound statement that surely the Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. That is so true which is why we have Revelation. It is God revealing Jesus and his plan for the church age.
Revelation is a call to the Gentile Church to become the bride. Everyone of the churches that John mentions were Gentile churches. He started with Ephesus which stands for the first church age. It started at Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus death on the cross and lasted about 70 years. Everything that started in the early church continues throughout history and grows. The righteous shine brighter and the evil become more corrupt until the end when God will judge it all.
It is impossible for me to explain all of this in my blog but I will give you the skinny of it.
Ephesus was the Apostolic Age. Ephesus was the largest and finest of the churches of the time. It was begun by Paul who was also the messenger of the age. The world was in turmoil as the Roman Empire was gaining more and more power. Christians were being persecuted and the temple dishonored but they came out stronger. The Nicolaitans completely separated their spiritual nature from their physical nature giving themselves license to sin. Jerusalem fell and most of the Sanhedrin was killed during the war which led to the split between the Jews and the Christians.
The next church age was Smyrna which was known as the Persecuted Church. The established church was becoming religious with all kinds of laws and rituals. Church leaders fell into a hierarchy with popes, archbishops, bishops and presbyters. This is when they started having liturgies, prayers, hymns, baptism. teaching of the Eucharitst, and offerings. Jerusalem had fallen and the Christians and the Jews split into synagogues and churches. Pagan practices seeped into the church and persecution swept the church until 260 when Christianity became popular in Rome again. In 284, Diocletian became emperor and wanted the people to worship him as a god. This caused another sweep of persecution through the church causing the church to grow.
Diocletian became emperor in 284, with about 5 million Christians in his empire. At first he tolerated them but eventually, he chose Jupiter to be Rome’s god and ordered a violent attack on the church. he had their sacred writings burned and many killed.
The third church was Pergamum, the Indulged Church. They represent the time of 312-606. Pergamum was the capital of Asia and completely given over to Greek gods, especially Bacchus, the god of revelry and Asclepius, the god of healing. Constantine became ruler and ordered Christianity to be the religion because of a vision he had seen of a cross in the sky and heard the words, “In this name, conquer.” Even though he was attracted to Christianity, he did not really understand what it was and watered down the meaning of the truth till it looked like Babylonian mysticism. This is when the rosary, celibacy of the priests and nuns, prayers for the dead, making the sign of the cross, worship of saints and angels, mass, worship of Mary, priestly dress, extreme unction, the doctrine of purgatory, services in Latin and prayers to Mary were introduced. Where the church at Ephesus rejected the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, the church of Pergamum accepted it. The lay people were given no voice in church affairs but were expected to blindly agree. God called them to repent.
To those who overcame, God promised to give him hidden manna and a white stone. That is the same revelation and assurance he gives us.
Lord, help us to have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - Know the Times You are Living In

Read: Joel 1:1-3:21; Revelation 1:1-20; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 29:18
Joel gives us a picture of the end judgement on the earth. God urges the people to repent because God is so merciful and always giving his people a way out of judgment if they would only choose it. Judgement is imminent but his promise is that he would pour his Spirit out on his sons and daughters. He fulfilled this the first time on Pentecost but he will do it again.
Revelation is the revelation of who Christ is and it gives the history of the New Testament and of what was to happen soon. God used the churches that had been established to be pictures of the progression of the church to come. John received this vision on a the day of Atonement which was the “Lord’s day”. He was to write what he heard on a scroll and send it to the seven churches so they could repent and grow.
John heard a voice and when he turned to look, he saw Jesus, the Living One who was dead but came alive and holds the keys to death and Hades. Hades is the place of the dead or the grave which we call hell. John saw seven stars and seven lamp stands. The stars are the messengers or prophets of the different ages and the lamps were the churches themselves.
Our Psalm gives us our blessing - it comes to those who fear the Lord. Those who fear the Lord will be blessed in every area of their lives. Our Proverbs tells us what happens when there is no “now” revelation or understanding of the days they are living in; these people have no restraint. But, the people who obey the Lord will be blessed.
We are living in the time of great revelation and truth being exposed - both good and bad. We are in the beginning of the kingdom age where we are learning to walk as Jesus walked on the earth. We are learning our identity in Christ and are getting God’s perspective on life which takes a renewing of our minds. We are embarking on the greatest time for the history of the church.
Lord, help us to know the times we are living in and walk in your Spirit.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Judgment by Fire

Read: Hosea 10:1-14:9; Jude 1:1-25; Psalm 127:1-5; Proverbs 29:15-17
Hosea gave Israel a picture of their history as a nation. They had grown and prospered. Instead of letting God be their king they had rejected him and made idols out of wood and altars out of mortar. He called Ephraim and Judah back to the Lord so that God could bless them. But, they chose to do evil and believe a lie. They trusted in their own strength and the strength of their army which could not save them.
God had called his children out of Egypt with Moses but the more he called them, the more they ran the opposite direction.
God didn’t want to have to treat them like Admah or Zeboim who were two of the five cities destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah. In other words, God did not want to have to judge them and destroy them too. In all their sins, God would rather have compassion. Ephraim had made alliances with Assyria and Egypt, wooing God’s enemies.
God understands man’s struggles with Him as long as man learns the truth and humbles himself before God. Jacob struggled for things that were not lawfully his, like the birthright and the blessing. He got both when he cried out to the Lord, after struggling with the angel all night.
God had led Israel by Moses out of Egypt but they worshiped Baal and the golden calves. When they asked for a king, he gave them one which he had to take away because of his disobedience. Israel and Ephraim stored up their sin until now and God was ready to repay. They will lose it all but one day return to Him and be restored.
Jude is one of the most interesting books in the Bible to me. It gives us a glimpse into the angels who rebelled against God in Genesis 6 and are now being held in chains awaiting judgment. They committed sexual perversion having sex with human women and having offspring with them. God compared their sin to Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin. Both caused the Lord to judge them and destroy them from the face of the earth. They are a picture of the final judgement which will be by fire also.
Jude gives us a picture of false prophets who prophecy their words without any fear of God. They do it for money and man’s worship. Deepest darkness has been received for them. Even Enoch warned of these deceivers. The answer to how to avoid being deceived by them is to build yourself up by praying in the Holy Spirit. God is able to keep us from falling and present us faultless before God.
Lord, help us to be busy building a temple in our hearts for the Holy Spirit to dwell.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Walk in Love 12-7-17

Read: Hosea 6:1-9:17; 3 John 1:1-14; Psalm 126:1-6:Proverbs 29:12-14
These words of Hosea came at the end of their punishment and Hosea was pleading that Israel acknowledge finally, that her punishment was for her sin. God wanted to now have mercy and restoration, but was not able to because of their continued sin. It was not ritual acts that God was after, but love and obedience.
In 6:8, Gilead is mentioned as being a city polluted with blood. Gilead was a city of refuge where men ran for safety. But in 2 Kings 15:25, Pekah conspired against Pekahiah and killed him and took his place as ruler. Also, the priest would kill people coming to the city before they got there further obstructing justice and God’s commands.
Samaria was Israel’s capital. Four kings were murdered and usurped. The sins of Samaria and Ephraim where the priests were were keeping their nation from being restored by God. They had not repented and returned to the Lord after all they gone through.
Hosea rebuked them for their calf. According to JFB, Jeroboam, during his sojourn in Egypt, had seen Apis worshipped at Memphis, and Mnevis at Heliopolis, in the form of an ox; this, and the temple cherubim, gave him the inspiration for the calves set up at Dan and Beth-el. All Israel was to worship these calves which were an abomination to God.
So, instead of God being able to forgive and restore, He would have to send judgment. It is God’s nature to forgive and have mercy but he will judge when pushed to the limit.
John was having to do some correcting himself. There was a man who was head of an ultra-Pauline party that was anti-Jewish named Diotrephes. He was self-centered and wanted the attention John was getting to he stirred up the people against John who only taught about love. John had tried to unify the Jewish and Gentile believers with love. He admonished them to imitate God’s goodness and not man’s sins.
Lord, restore us by your unfailing love.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Love and Obey

Read: Hosea 4:1-5:15; 2 John 1:1-13; salm 125:1-5; Proverbs 29:9-11
Israel was in a bad state. There was no faith, no love and no acknowledgement of God in the land. There was only lawlessness, adultery and bloodshed. The land mourned and the animals and fish were dying. The spiritual leaders were just as sinful as the people. The people were being destroyed because they had no knowledge. Their priests were not teaching them God’s laws so there was no foundation. God was going to punish the priests, first, for all their sins. Because they chose to reject God, everything in their lives would be cursed and not prosper. God was holding the priests responsible for the people’s sins. The way the priests lived kept the people from returning to the Lord. They had a spirit of prostitution in their heart and did not acknowledge the Lord. God held Israel’s ignorance against them.
In John’s second letter continues to tell us to love one another. Love is who God is and what Jesus came to show us through his life and his death. If we don’t walk in love then the love of Jesus is not in us.
Lord, may we walk in knowledge of your Word and in love for you and others.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Hosea

Read: Hosea 1:1-3:5; 1 John 5:1-21; Psalm 124:1-8; Proverbs 29:5-8
Hosea will stretch your religiosity. It seems so offensive that God would tell a prophet to marry a harlot who has children born out of her sin as a sign to Israel. But, that is exactly what God told Hosea to do. He specifically chose Gomer whose name means “completion”. Israel had come to the end of their sin and was about to be judged for her adultery against God. Homer was the descendent of Japheth who had been one of Noah’s three sons. They came from the time of God’s greatest judgement on the earth and now Israel had come full circle and would be judged again.
Hosea and Gomer had three children. The first was a son that was named Jezebel for the Valley of Jezreel. Jehu had massacred the kings sons there and God was going to judge him for that. Next they had a daughter and God told them to name her Lo-Ruhamah which means “not pitied” because God would no longer show love to the house of Israel. He told them to name their third son Lo-ammi which mens “not my people” because God was no longer their God and they were no longer his people. God is so loving that he would not stay angry with them forever. One day, he would draw them back and call them his people and He would be their God. God showed this through Hosea’s life. His wife had returned to harlotry but God told Hosea to go get her back and love her again. Hosea had to buy her back just like Jesus bought us back from the devil with the price of his blood. He told Gomer that she could not go back to prostitution but he wanted her to be his wife. That is what God says to us. We are the bride of Christ and we can not return to our other lovers, we have been bought by Jesus.
First John continues his sermon on love. Because of God’s great love, we can ask anything in his name and he will hear us. We also know that Jesus keeps us from the harm of the devil because we are children of the living God.
Lord, thank you for your great love. Help us to walk in your will.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - The Antichrist

Read: Daniel 11:36-12:13; 1 John 4:1-21; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 29:2-4
The king is Antiochus which is also a type of the Antichrist of Revelation. He is the seventh head of the seven headed beast and the ten horned beast of Revelation 13:1-18. He will be the beast of Revelation 16:13 and 19:19. The Pope will rise to be the false prophet. Antiochus identified himself as the god, Jupiter Olympus. He forbad the worship of Jehovah and attack the temple of Venus that was worshipped by the women. Rome forbid women to marry.
Verse 38 speaks of the god of forces which was probably referring to Jupiter Capitolenes. Antiochus was erecting a fortress to this god at Antioch. He also honored the god Mahuzzim which was a guardian. The Jews were discriminated against and their land taken and divided. Antichurch invaded Egypt and Judea and took Palestine and devastated all Phonecia. He finally marched against Ptolemy and was side-tracked by his zeal to persecute the Jews. He used Edom, Moab and
Amon who were life-long enemies of Israel to help him against Israel.
Antiochus’ last venture was against the Armenians in the north. He died on his return.
The “tabernacles”of 11:45 have to do with the desolation of the sanctuary by Antiochus, all the Roman symbols place around Jerusalem during the time of Christ and the Islamic mosque placed on the temple mosque that is still there today. The last Antichrist will sit on this mount and be brought down to hell (Isaiah 14:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:8)
The Antichrist will be destroyed at Christ’s return but right before that happens there will be an unleashing of persecution that the world has never seen. God’s people will be refined by fire. Those who have confessed Christ before he comes will live in their glorified body. Those that died in Christ will rise to live the last millennium but those that didn’t know Christ will remain in the grave to be judged in the end.
There are many ideas about the number of days but I can’t say that I agree with any of them nor do I have revelation about them but I believe that the closer it comes to the day of Christ’s return the more revelation we will receive about it.
First John tells us how to tell if a spirit is from God or not. If the person believes that Jesus came down in the flesh then that person has the right spirit. John’s theme is love. He defines love as not our love but God’s. He gave his Son to atone for our sins which is our example of how we should love one another.
Lord, help us to walk in love and truth.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Walk in Love

Read: Daniel 11;2-35; 1 John 3:7-24; Psalm 122:1-9; Proverbs 29:1
Daniel saw the future of the next kingdoms. The king of the South was the king of Egypt the king of the North was the king of Persia and the players were the Ptolemies and the men who reigned in these places. To explain everything Daniel saw would take pages to explain but it happened just as Daniel saw in his dream. What is so comforting about prophecy is that it proves beyond a doubt that God is in control and he knows everything that will happen before it happens. He orchestrates the events and works everything for the good of his people who love him with all their heart. In the world, we will have tribulation but Jesus overcame the world.
First John tells us that Jesus appeared on earth to destroy the works of the devil. In the beginning there was a righteous seed and an unrighteous seed. Abel was a picture of the righteous seed and Cain the unrighteous. God has a seed and Satan has a seed on the earth. God’s seed know what is right and love their brothers. Satin’s seed hate and are murderers. True love manifests in acts of kindness and giving.
Lord, may we walk in love and kindness.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - The Spirit of Antichrist

Read: Daniel 9: 1-11:1; 1 John 2:18-3:6; Psalm 121:1-8; Proverbs 28:27-28
Daniel heard that Jeremiah had prophesied that Jerusalem would be desolated for seventy years and was so upset he set his face to pray for forgiveness for his nation. He had seen how the people of Israel had forsaken the Lord and refused to listen to any of the prophets God had sent them. They were in captivity because of their great sin but Daniel could not stop interceding for them and begging God to forgive them. He fasted and prayed for days and didn’t hear a thing. At the end of his fast, Gabriel appeared to him and explained to him that as soon as Daniel began to pray he was sent to show him how loved he was. Gabriel said that the punishment of their sins would be 69 weeks plus one. At the end of that time the streets and the wall in Jerusalem would be rebuilt but it would happen in troublesome times. This was fulfilled when Ezra came back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls.
Two years later, Daniel and some other men were fasting and praying again and had been doing this for 21 days. He had another vision where he saw a man in linen clothed in glory and splendor. The men with him didn’t see what he saw but were overcome with the fear of the Lord and ran to hide. The angel, Gabriel touched Daniel and told him he was loved and wanted him to stand on his feet. When Daniel did, he explained that he had been trying to come to him since he began but the prince of Persia had resisted him. He finally had to call on Michael to help him. He came to tell him what would happen in the last days. When he would leave he would have to fight the prince of Persia again then the prince of Greece would come.
These princes are the powers of the air that guard over countries. They are principalities that determine what comes in and what goes out of that nation. The prince of Persia is the principality that rules the Middle East. It is the spirit behind ISIS and the other sects that hate Israel. It is also the spirit that will rules the antichrist spirit. Jesus is Lord over all and he is stronger than any principality or power.
First John talks about this antichrist spirit. Many men in history have carried this spirit: Nero, Antiachus Epiphines, Hitler, ISIS, Obama, etc. This spirit hates Israel and hates Christians. It is not the man that is our fear, they are only pawns in the hands of this spirit. We can fight hatred with love. John explains that the world cannot understand who we are because they didn’t understand who he was. But he has lavished his love on us and called us his children. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.
Lord, we look to the hills because we know it is in you that we have hope and help.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - Walk in Love

Read: Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 28:25-26
Daniel had a vision where he was standing in the citadel of Susa. This is the very place Esther was queen. He was shown the next kingdoms that would rise up. The first kingdom was represented as a horned ram and it represented Media and Persia. After that the baggy goat with a huge horn which would be Greece with the king named Alexander the Great. After that four kingdoms would arise represented by horns. One of these horns would be a ruthless leader that would hate the children of God. He would be killed but not by human hands. This was Antiacus Ephphanes who marched into the sanctuary and slaughtered a pig on the altar. Everything that Daniel saw was not only for that time but the end times.
First John talks about the commandment of love. It is the only one Jesus gave us. First he told us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, then when he was about to leave he gave us a new commandment to replace that one. This one was to love one another as He loved us. If we don’t walk in love, then we walk in darkness and cannot clearly see.
John tells us not to love the world because you cannot love the world and love God.
Lord, help us to walk in your love today.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - The Four Beasts

Read Daniel 7:1-28; 1 John 1:1-10: Psalm 119:153:176; Proverbs 28:23-24
Daniel is a book that is not in order so we are flipping back in time to the time when Belshazzar was king. David had another dream where there was much wind and turmoil. Out of the sea (of humanity) came four beasts. The first was like a lion with eagle’s wings which stood up and walked as a man and had the heart of a man. The second looked like a bear with three ribs in its mouth. This one was told to eat the flesh of the world. The third was like a leopard with four wings like a bird and four heads. It was given authority to rule. The last beast was terrifying and powerful. It had large iron teeth and crushed and devoured its victims under his feet. It had ten horns. One of the horns started growing and uprooted three of the other ones. This horn had eyes like a man and a mouth that boasted.
Then God sat on his seat of judgment and millions of people stood before him. The court was seated and the books were opened.
The beast with the boastful horn was judged and thrown into the fire. The other beasts were stripped of their power but they were allowed to live for an allotted time.
Jesus, then came through the clouds and stood before God. He was given authority, glory and all power. Everyone worshipped him and his kingdom was established forever.
When Daniel asked about the beasts he was told that they represented the lasts four kingdoms that would arise on the earth. The horn that was boasting would be the Antichrist. He would wage war on God and his people until Jesus returns. Then Jesus would set up his kingdom and everyone would worship him. This is Revelation in a nutshell.
First John talks about this Jesus that came to earth as a token of what life will be like when he reigns in the end. His kingdom will be a kingdom of love and light. We will have intimate fellowship with Jesus, our Father, God and each other.
Lord, what a great hope we have before us! Help us to glorify you in our lives.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - Walking Unspotted in a Wicked World

Read: Daniel 6:1-28; 2 Peter 3:1-18; Psalm 119:129-152; Proverbs 28:21-22
Yesterday, we read where the Medes and the Persians took over and the king changed from Belshazzar to Darius. Once again, Daniel was exalted to leadership because of his excellent qualities and was about to be promoted to the highest position in the kingdom. His fellow satraps heard about this and wanted to bring Daniel down so they devised a wicked plan. They tried to bring up some filth from his past but could find none so the only thing they thought they could nail Daniel on was his faith in God. They played on Darius’s pride and came up with a law that anyone who didn’t pray to only him for the next thirty days would be thrown into the lion’s den. Darius fell for their scheme and signed it. When they found Daniel praying to God they reported it to Darius. He spent the whole day trying to find a loophole so he wouldn’t have to throw Daniel to the lions. When he couldn’t he told Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually rescue you!” The king was so upset when he threw Daniel in the lion’s den that he couldn’t sleep. Early the next morning he ran to the den and desperately called to Daniel asking if his god was able to deliver him. Daniel answered back that his God sent angels to shut the mouths of the lions. Daniel was lifted out unharmed and his false accusers were thrown in with their wives and children and before they reached the floor, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. Darius wrote a new decree that all the people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
What a change of events happen when we put our trust in God and don’t worry what man or lions can do to us. God is our defender and he will bring justice.
Peter wants to change our thinking. He reminds us to remember the things spoken by the prophets years ago and not forget them. It is easy to get weary in waiting for God’s promises, but they are as sure as the sun rising every morning. God explains that with him a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. He is not making a metaphor as much as he is giving us a huge clue about his ways. Every thousand of our years is a day in his calendar. For example, he raised Lazareth on the fourth day because it was the end of the fourth thousand years that Jesus rose from the dead. God’s week ends with rest on the seventh day. It will be rest for the children of God but fire for the world. Sodom and Gomorrah was a picture of the judgment and fire that will fall on the ungodly. We experience the fire of cleansing as we walk through this life striving to be spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. It is possible to walk in holiness, because it was possible for Daniel to walk unspotted by the world. We do this by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, help us to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - Judgement

Read: Daniel 5:1-31; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Psalm 119:113-128; Proverbs 28:19-20
Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar so he had heard of how God had humbled his father by taking his mind, but it hadn’t affected they way he lived. He had also heard of stories of how Daniel interpreted dreams yet he hadn’t paid attention to them either. He was strictly living in the moment and making his own mistakes instead of learning from the past. He sounds like most of us.
This story gives us the meaning behind the statement “written on the wall”. As Belshazzar’s men were drinking out of the goblets stolen from the temple of the Lord and worshipping the gods of gold and silver, God wrote with his hand on the wall. The wall he chose to write on was the one that had engravings of all the exploits that the Babylonians had accomplished. God was putting his stamp of disapproval on Belshazzar’s reign. He did it by the candlestick that had been taken from the temple of the Lord. The candlestick is a symbol of revelation and God was giving them divine revelation.
The queen mother would have been Nebuchadnezzar’s wife and Belshazzar’s mother so she well remembered Daniel and all he had done. She had him called and God gave Daniel the interpretation. King Belshazzar’s days had been numbered and weighed in a balance. He had been found lacking so God was going to take his kingdom from him and give it to the Medes and the Persians. The Medes and the Persians were the shoulders of silver that Nebuchadnezzar had seen in his vision.
Daniel was clothed in purple, had a gold chain placed around his neck and was promoted to third in the kingdom. Second place went to the son of the king. That very night Belshazzar was killed and his kingdom taken by the Medes and Persians. Daniel’s prophesy was coming true.
Peter warned them of false prophets and of how God judges. He started with the angels that were judged for rebelling with Satan and were put in dungeons in hell. The people of Noah’s day were also judged by the flood for their rebellion and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were judged by fire. God rescued Lot from the vexation of Sodom’s sin. God knows how to rescue us also from the sins we see every day in our lives. We have to remember that the men who live to sin will be punished and judged one day. They are only slaves of their own sins and they are the ones to be pitied.
Lord, help us to walk with a clean soul and with joy because we know the end reward.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - A Sane Mind

Read: Daniel 4:1-37; 2 Peter 1:1-21; Psalm 119:97-112; Proverbs 28:17-18
The story of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity is amazing. God took this man’s mind and reduced him to an animal to humble him to acknowledge that God was Lord over all the heavens and the earth. God will go to great lengths to let us come to the end of ourselves. Some people have to lose years of their lives to drugs, alcohol, a bad marriage, a wrong occupation or a prison of unforgiveness just to come to that same conclusion.
The answer to how to avoid falling into the pride that Nebuchadnezzar did is in our reading from Second Peter. Peter tells us that God’s power gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him. God has given us great promises that allow us to participate in God’s divine nature and escape the corruption of the world. Peter gives us a progression of maturity. It starts with faith as the foundation and then it adds goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness and brotherly kindness. He explains that if these qualities continue to grow in you they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of Jesus. The world will make us confused and insane but God gives us clearness and truth that we can walk in confidence and balance.
Lord help us to walk in forgiveness and love. Help us to have the mind of Christ today.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - No Compromise

Read: Daniel 2:24-3:30; 1 Peter 4:7-5:14; Psalm 119:81-96; Proverbs 28:15-16
Daniel went to Arioch, the man who was appointed to execute the wise men and told him to wait because he had what the king wanted - the dream and the interpretation. Daniel was taken to Nebuchadnezzar where he asked Daniel if he was able to tell him his dream and the interpretation. Daniel’s response was that no man could do that but there was a God in heaven who reveals mysteries and he had shown the king what will happen in the future. Daniel’s response gave no attention to himself but exalted God and the king instead.
Then Daniel told him the dream. He had dreamed a huge statue stood before him with a head of gold, shoulders of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. Then a rock that was cut out not by human hands, struck the statue on its feet and smashed them causing the whole statue to fall into pieces on the ground.
Next, Daniel told him the interpretation. He was the head of gold, the king of kings on the earth. The other pieces working down to the feet were other kingdoms that would come. The rock, was the kingdom that Jesus would set up that would crush every man-made kingdom.
The king was so impressed he fell and worshipped Daniel. Daniel was exalted above all the other wise men and given much honor and gifts. Daniel exalted his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three ended up being thrown into the fire because they wouldn’t bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue he had made of himself. God killed the men who threw them in the fire then came and walked among them in the flames. They were brought out and once again Nebuchadnezzar got to see the power of Almighty God and was humbled again.
First Peter talks about the future also. He says that the end is near so we should watch over our mind and show self-control so that we can pray. We can’t get the heart of God when we have so many things in our minds. Our main goal should be to love others as God loves them. Our service to God should be without grumbling or complaining. We should not be surprised at the trials we face but rejoice that we can suffer for Christ.
We have a real enemy who is looking for someone to devour. Let’s revisit him and stand firm in our faith.
Lord, may we be like the men we read about today that refused to compromise the truth for their lives.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - From Victim to Victor

Read: Daniel 1:1-2:23; 1 Peter 3:8-4:6; Psalm 119:65-80; Proverbs 28:14
Today we start reading Daniel. Jerusalem was finally besieged by Nebuchadnezzar and the fit people were carried off to Babylon. Daniel and his three friends were singled out because they had been royalty in Jerusalem and they were well educated. They were chosen to be a part of Nebuchadnezzar’s government so they were taught the language and their laws. Daniel excelled in academics as well as revelation. He was given favor with his teacher and asked that him and his friends not defile themselves with the king’s food since it was against the law of Moses. After a ten day trial, the officer obliged them and gave them only vegetables and water. They thrived.
The king had a dream that greatly disturbed him and he wanted to test his spiritual advisors. He not only wanted the interpretation of the dream but they were to tell him the dream also or die. None of them could do this and I love that they said, “No one can revel it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.” That is the difference between our God and all the other religions… our God does live among men and he now lives inside of us!
When Daniel found out his life was about to be cut short he went to the king to plead for time. He was granted it and that night God gave him the king’s dream and its interpretation in a vision.
There are so many lessons we can take from just what we read today about Daniel. He was of nobility yet he was humble and put all of his hope in the Lord. He didn’t let the world dictate their standards on him, he stood against the pier pressure and peacefully found a way to honor God. When he was up against the wall, he asked for the impossible and God gave it to him.
Daniel lived First Peter. He tried to live in peace even with his enemies and received great favor. He even saved their lives and won their respect. Daniel gave his opinion with respect and honor to very ungodly men who had done him evil. He chose to bloom in a very unfruitful place and let the glory of God shine in his life. He is a great example to us of someone who chose to live in the spirit instead of in his circumstances. He was a victim who became a victor.
Lord, may we be a victor for you in the midst of our struggles and injustices. We know that you are the ultimate judge who will one day bring total justice to the earth.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fri.’s Devo - The Living Waters

Read: Ezekiel 47:1-48:35; 1 Peter 2:11-3:7; Psalm 119:49-64; Proverbs 28:12-13
Ezekiel sees this flowing water that started on the eastern side and flowed to the south, and out of northern side. He was told to measure the water. He measured the first thousand cubits and it was ankle deep. He continued to measure every thousand cubits and by the fifth cubit it was over his head. The water brought life and fruit for nourishment and its leaves for healing.
I believe this water began when Moses stuck the rock and water poured from it. This water nourished the children of Israel through their journey. The water stands for the living water of the Holy Spirit and the Word. The thousand cubits stand for years. Every thousand years to the Lord is as one day (2 Peter 3:8). We are now in the fifth thousand that Ezekiel measured and God’s Spirit is filling the earth as the waters cover the seas.
Isaiah 11:9 speaks of the end and says, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” When the Spirit is poured out on all flesh, God will give out his inheritance to his faithful children. The presence of the Lord will be in the midst of them just as the sanctuary is set in the middle of all the tribes. The name of the city will be “THE LORD IS THERE.”
Peter is always reminding us that we are aliens and strangers in the world so we are to act like our family. Our father is God and he walks in holiness. So must we. He tells us to honor our leaders as the supreme authority. We should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. There is certainly a lot of ignorant talk going on. All you have to do is to pick up a newspaper or turn on the news to hear it.
I love what it says about women. He tells women how to be beautiful. It has nothing to do with her clothes or jewelry but what makes a woman beautiful is her inner self, her gentle and quiet spirit and her hope in the Lord. She submits to their husbands and did what is right and does not give way to fear.
Husbands are to be considerate of their wives and treat them with respect as equals and heirs with God.
Lord, may we walk in confidence in You with great hope and love.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thurs.’s Devo - Our Inheritance

Read: Ezekiel 45:13-46; 1 Peter 1:13-2:10; Psalm 119:33-48; Proverbs 28:11
I have to remind myself that Ezekiel is seeing all of this in a vision. Today we read the special gift that the princes of Israel are to offer. All of the people of the land were to participate in this offering. They were to give grain, oil, and sheep for the Passover week. The prince would offer these gifts to make atonement for the people. Jesus is our Prince of Peace who invites us to salvation by the sacrifice of his own blood. Our only participation is that we believe and appropriate his blood for our sins. Our sacrifice is ourselves.
I love verse 10 that says that the prince would be among them, going in when they go in and going out when they go out. That is the presence of the Holy Spirit that is with us all the time.
He explains the difference of being a servant or a son. Sons are believers who are born again into the kingdom of God. Servants are people who have not been born again. They still live in the blessings God has created but they won’t receive the inheritance stored up for God’s children. God’s children’s inheritance will be passed down to their children. The gifts God gives you will be passed down to your children and your grandchildren. The blessing of an inheritance is that it grows and becomes more and more valuable with time. I always pray that my spiritual ceiling will be my children’s floor.
Peter tells us to be self-controlled which begins in our conscious minds. We have to decide to make the right choices. He commands us to be holy because God is holy. We are to live as strangers on the earth because our home is not here but with the Lord. We purify ourselves by believing the truth. This will make us love others and we won’t want to do anything to hurt anyone. Our lives are so short so we should want to walk in maturity and do the most we can for the Lord before we are taken to heaven.
God calls us a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Lord, thank you for your salvation and our inheritance in you.
Happy Thanksgiving! I pray that you have a blessed day with your family being thankful for all God has done for us!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wed.’s Devo - The Faithful

Read: Ezekiel 44:1-45:12; 1 Peter 1!-12; Psalm 119:17-32; Proverbs 28:8-10
God took Ezekiel to the eastern gate and told him that this gate was to remain shut because the Lord had entered through it. The prince would be the only one who could eat inside and he would do this in the presence of the Lord. He was also the only one who would exit the gate he entered. Everyone else was to exit the opposite door they entered. Only Jesus entered the world without sin and exited it the same way. We came to Christ through the past of our sin and exit through the gates of righteousness.
They were reprimanded for bringing foreigners into the temple along with their sacrifices. This is like us bringing all our unrepented sin before the Lord and praying as if our sacrifices are enough to gain God’s favor. The Levites who had rebelled would have to pay the consequences of their sin but then be put in charge of the duties of the temple and its work. The Levites who remained faithful would be able to minister in the presence of the Lord and enter God’s sanctuary. Just like the Levites who went astray, we must bear the consequences of our sin. The reward for faithfulness is God’s presence. The faithful priests were to wear linen garments so that they wouldn’t sweat because sweat is the result of work. Those who are faithful to the Lord are invited to enter into God’s rest where work is a joy and there is no sweat involved. The faithful priests had more rules to abide by because they were an example of the holiness of God to the people. These priests were not to associate with dead things or sin. They were to be a picture of Jesus, our priest.
For their reward, they got the best of the offerings - the best of the grain, the fruit, the oil, the meat. They even got the best land but everything was a gift and not something they worked to earn or that they could call their own.
It was not theirs but temporarily theirs. Their permanent inheritance was the Lord, himself.
This is to be our attitude toward what we own and all our stuff. If we see it as God’s, it will be so much easier to give away. Our inheritance is God, himself. With him you get the best so it shouldn’t be a hard trade.
Peter explains that we are strangers in the world. They were scattered all around the known earth just as the Levites were given towns in every tribe. God has scattered his body all over the world so that everyone will have a chance to hear the good news.
Lord, thank you for grace. Help us to not take it for granted but cherish the blood that paid for it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tues.’s Devo - The Blessing in the End

Read: Ezekiel 42:1-43:27; James 5:1-20; Psalm 119:1-16; Proverbs 28:6-7
Today we read about the priest’s quarters which were opposite the outer wall on the north side. It was three levels becoming smaller as it reached the third floor. The upper rooms were narrower. The measurement of the area of the temple and its buildings was 1 and 1/7th mile.
Three is the number of conformation. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all conform as one. On the third day, God created seed that produces fruit that conforms to the seed that was planted. Three has to do with the end of that process. The area was smaller and narrower at the top because the road is narrow which leads to salvation. As we get closer and closer to God we become more and more single focused and the things of the world fall off of us.
In Chapter 43 we see the coming of Jesus to his temple. This is a picture of the last days when Jesus would come to his people and pour out the Holy Spirit on all flesh. It sounds just like the story of the Pentecost in Acts 2. There was a sound of rushing waters and there was glory. In Acts 2, the glory was flames of fire on their heads. In both, the glory of the Lord filled the house. When the glory of the Lord comes there is always repentance because the light of God’s glory exposes the darkness and our sins. When God pours out his spirit on the earth it will bring secret things to light. We are seeing this happen in the earth right now. People are being exposed of things they have been getting away with for decades but God is now bringing their sins to light. It is God cleansing the land.
James gives us a great description of this very thing. When we see injustice, we need to pray and wait. It is God’s job to bring justice and he will use men on the earth to do it. We are reminded of Job who persevered many trials waiting for God to justify him when everyone was accusing him of being at fault. God did justify him and exalt him so that all could see. One day, Jesus will justify us for the whole earth to see. It will be worth every trial and injustice we have endured.
Lord, may we persevere till the end and reap the reward with the faithful. Thank you for our trials because they mature us into warriors for you.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mon.’s Devo - The Courts of God

Read: Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalm 118:19-29; Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5
Reading about the inner and outer courts and all its decoration and measurements gives us a picture of God and his care about detail. Our inner court is the inner working of ourselves like our mind, emotions, will, heart and spirit. The outer court is a picture of what people can see - our outer man. God gave Ezekiel instruction about every detail of both. There was purpose in direction, size, placement, entrances and exits, and decoration.
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and God takes that same care for our direction in life and our placement. He cares about every measurement in our lives whether it is the amount of our paycheck or the number of children we have. It is all measured in his plan. The number of our days on earth have been measured before we came here. The doors God opens for us have been chosen and they lay open for us to walk in. The ones we are to exit are also open at the right time. The doors we are not to go through are carefully locked for our protection. We can walk in God’s will if we desire to and trust the Lord. He will lead us down the right path. The way we look and every detail about us has been carefully crafted and planned. The way our body works is like the carrying on of the temple. Every vein, tendon, bone and vessel has a purpose and we are wonderfully made just like the Psalmist so aptly put in Psalm 139. We are wonderfully and fearfully made.
James talks about our inner struggles that manifest on the outside as fights and quarrels. They stem from our desires and wrong motives. He sums it up as being friends with the world. You can’t be a friend of the world and a friend of God because they are at opposite spectrums. To be a friend of the world is to be a friend of Satan’s. A friend of the world only wants what is best for his own selfish pleasure, but a friend of God’s lays down his life for his enemy for the sake of Christ. Christ was selfless where the world is selfish. That can be our litmus test to check our motives. It is like putting your flesh in the fire.
Lord, help us to walk in your will daily; open for us the gates of righteousness.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sun.’s Devo - Be

Read: Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2
In Ecclesiastes 1:9 says that everything that has happened has happened before and there is nothing new under the sun. What we read about today in Ezekiel will be repeated in the end of time. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Gog has been supposed to be the name of a district in the wild north-eastern Central Asia, north of the Hindu-Kush, now a part of Turkestan, a region about 2,000 miles north-east of Nineveh.
God said he will bring Gog against Israel to destroy her then He would turn on Gog and destroy her. All her warriors would become food for the wild animals and the birds. You can read about this “Feast of Leviathan: also in Revelation 19:17-21. The tables will be turned and Israel will loot those who have looted her and plunder those who have plundered her. It will take seven months to cleanse the land of the bones of the wicked. Next God would gather his people together and pour out his Spirit on the house of Israel.
All of this happened on the cross. Satan was defeated and the plunder is ours. The bones of the past are still in the land and we have the right to bury them. These bone of the past are anything passed down to us that hinders us from taking our inheritance. We have to throw defeat, discouragement, fear, worry, pain, offenses, curses, anger, etc. into the valley of Hamon Gog. Gog means “to cover” which is exactly what the devil wants us to do with all our sins. He just wants us to sweep them under a rug and deny they exist. There they take root and grow bigger and bigger and produce more seeds. God wants to cover our sins under the blood of Jesus so that they have no more power over us. Only the blood of Jesus can take away our sins. Hebrews 10:4 says that it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats to take our sins away but, 1 John 3:5 says that Jesus was manifested to take away our sins. We have to throw our sins and weaknesses into this valley and let the blood of Jesus cover them and take them away forever.
This will also happen at the end of time when Jesus returns and fights the final battle at Armageddon. Death will be defeated and we will live the last millennium cleansing the earth of the destruction of that war.
James explains that it is a “be” - “do” religion instead of a “do” - “be” one. The “do” - “be” was the religion of the law. It said that you had to “do” first then you would “be” in right standing with God. Jesus taught that first you must “be” then out of who you are you will “be”. You must first have faith to exercise faith - not the other way around.
Lord, help us to “be” your sons and daughters who have inherited your righteousness.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sat.’s Devo - God’s Revenge

Read: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1
God brought Ezekiel to a valley full of dead bones and told him to prophecy life into them. He witnessed them as an army being transformed back into human beings lying on the ground, but they weren’t breathing. So God told Ezekiel to speak breath into them. He did and they revived and stood to their feet. God explained that this army was the whole house of Israel. Israel had lost hope in ever being a nation again but God wanted them to know that he would bring them back from the dead and put them back in their land.
Ezekiel was next told to take two sticks and join them as one. These sticks represented Israel and Judah. God wanted them to know that one day they would be one nation as they are today. Oddly, they are known as Israelis and Jews but they are one. The best part is the fact that they wouldn’t defile themselves with idols and vile images or the things that so greatly offended God and caused them to sin. God spoke of the day that David would be their king and shepherd… speaking of Jesus.
God told Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog and Magog and the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Gog and Magog are probably where Russia is now. Meshech and Tubal are descendants of Noah’s third son, Japheth. Meshech, Japheth’s sixth son and Tubal his fifth. God was going to draw them out of their land and put a plan in their head to attack His people. They would gather other evil nations with them to attack Israel but there would be a great earthquake. Mountains would topple and Gog would die of sword, pestilence, hail and fire from heaven. All throughout Revelation it speaks of earthquakes and scenes just like this one.
James is so rich it is hard to single out one thing to focus on. Today he deals with anger, sin, obedience, caring for the helpless, and sincere love for one another. Our deeds prove our faith.
Lord, help our deeds prove our faith today.