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Bible 2016: 11 December Daily Bible Reading

Context and Comment:

Today’s reading in Revelation continues our study of the letters to the churches.

Jesus describes Himself as having eyes like a flame of fire and feet like burnished bronze, symbolic of discernment as he judges His people.

To label someone as Jezebel is symbolic of their depravity. Ahab was the most wicked king that ever reigned, but his wife Jezebel was even worse. The church in Thyatira has the same problem as the church in Pergamum: both tolerated false teaching. This false prophet called Jezebel will be thrown into a bed of suffering and those who follow her teachings will be thrown into the great tribulation. The summary of this judgment is stated at the end of verse 23. “I will give to each of you according to your works.”

Two things are given to those who conquer:

  • conquerors will receive authority to rule; the book is going to conclude with the picture of Christians reigning with Christ for 1000 years
  • conquerors will be given the morning star, defined at the end of Revelation when Jesus says of himself, “I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16)

Christ says that those who seek this relationship with him will be clothed in white garments, symbolic of purity and victory.

Your name will never be erased from the book of life when we are seeking him. This book contains the names of the people of God, chosen by God to inherit eternal life. Let this promise sink into your hearts and minds. Christ will never erase your name out of his book of life. Even in our failures, mistakes, and shortcomings, when we choose to stop being fake and start being real with Christ and pursue him in love, then Christ is who full of grace will give to us grace upon grace.

I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. Christ is not going to deny the relationship you have with him. On the day of judgment when you say to the Almighty Judge, “I know Jesus,” Jesus is not going to say that he does not know who we are. He says that he will confess our name on that day if we confess his name on earth now. Jesus will say that he knows you and you are worthy to enter into eternal life. If this does not ignite our hearts, then I do not know what else can.

Amos 4-6
4 Listen to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who tell their husbands, “Bring us drinks!”
2 The Lord Yahweh has sworn by his holiness that behold,
“The days shall come on you that they will take you away with hooks,
and the last of you with fish hooks.
3 You will go out at the breaks in the wall,
everyone straight before her;
and you will cast yourselves into Harmon,” says Yahweh.
4 “Go to Bethel, and sin;
to Gilgal, and sin more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
your tithes every three days,
5 offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened,
and proclaim free will offerings and brag about them:
for this pleases you, you children of Israel,” says the Lord Yahweh.
6 “I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
and lack of bread in every town;
yet you haven’t returned to me,” says Yahweh.
7 “I also have withheld the rain from you,
when there were yet three months to the harvest;
and I caused it to rain on one city,
and caused it not to rain on another city.
One place was rained on,
and the piece where it didn’t rain withered.
8 So two or three cities staggered to one city to drink water,
and were not satisfied:
yet you haven’t returned to me,” says Yahweh.
9 “I struck you with blight and mildew many times in your gardens and your vineyards;
and your fig trees and your olive trees have the swarming locust devoured:
yet you haven’t returned to me,” says Yahweh.
10 “I sent plagues among you like I did Egypt.
I have slain your young men with the sword,
and have carried away your horses;
and I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camp,
yet you haven’t returned to me,” says Yahweh.
11 “I have overthrown some of you,
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
and you were like a burning stick plucked out of the fire;
yet you haven’t returned to me,” says Yahweh.
12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, Israel;
because I will do this to you,
prepare to meet your God, Israel.
13 For, behold, he who forms the mountains,
and creates the wind,
and declares to man what is his thought;
who makes the morning darkness,
and treads on the high places of the earth:
Yahweh, the God of Armies, is his name.”
5 Listen to this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel.
2 “The virgin of Israel has fallen;
She shall rise no more.
She is cast down on her land;
there is no one to raise her up.”
3 For thus says the Lord Yahweh:
“The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left,
and that which went out one hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel.”
4 For Yahweh says to the house of Israel:
“Seek me, and you will live;
5 but don’t seek Bethel,
nor enter into Gilgal,
and don’t pass to Beersheba:
for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.
6 Seek Yahweh, and you will live;
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, and there be no one to quench it in Bethel.
7 You who turn justice to wormwood,
and cast down righteousness to the earth:
8 seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns the shadow of death into the morning,
and makes the day dark with night;
who calls for the waters of the sea,
and pours them out on the surface of the earth, Yahweh is his name,
9 who brings sudden destruction on the strong,
so that destruction comes on the fortress.
10 They hate him who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor him who speaks blamelessly.
11 Therefore, because you trample on the poor,
and take taxes from him of wheat:
You have built houses of cut stone,
but you will not dwell in them.
You have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many your offenses,
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the just,
who take a bribe,
and who turn aside the needy in the courts.
13 Therefore a prudent person keeps silent in such a time,
for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so Yahweh, the God of Armies, will be with you,
as you say.
15 Hate evil, love good,
and establish justice in the courts.
It may be that Yahweh, the God of Armies, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”
16 Therefore Yahweh, the God of Armies, the Lord, says:
“Wailing will be in all the wide ways;
and they will say in all the streets, ‘Alas! Alas!’
and they will call the farmer to mourning,
and those who are skillful in lamentation to wailing.
17 In all vineyards there will be wailing;
for I will pass through the middle of you,” says Yahweh.
18 “Woe to you who desire the day of Yahweh!
Why do you long for the day of Yahweh?
It is darkness,
and not light.
19 As if a man fled from a lion,
and a bear met him;
Or he went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall,
and a snake bit him.
20 Won’t the day of Yahweh be darkness, and not light?
Even very dark, and no brightness in it?
21 I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I can’t stand your solemn assemblies.
22 Yes, though you offer me your burnt offerings and meal offerings,
I will not accept them;
neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat animals.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like rivers,
and righteousness like a mighty stream.
25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, house of Israel? 26 You also carried the tent of your king and the shrine of your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves. 27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus,” says Yahweh, whose name is the God of Armies.
6 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
and to those who are secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the chief of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel come!
2 Go to Calneh, and see;
and from there go to Hamath the great;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
are they better than these kingdoms?
or is their border greater than your border?
3 Those who put far away the evil day,
and cause the seat of violence to come near;
4 Who lie on beds of ivory,
and stretch themselves on their couches,
and eat the lambs out of the flock,
and the calves out of the middle of the stall;
5 who strum on the strings of a harp;
who invent for themselves instruments of music, like David;
6 who drink wine in bowls,
and anoint themselves with the best oils;
but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
7 Therefore they will now go captive with the first who go captive;
and the feasting and lounging will end.
8 “The Lord Yahweh has sworn by himself,” says Yahweh, the God of Armies:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob,
and detest his fortresses.
Therefore I will deliver up the city with all that is in it.
9 It will happen, if there remain ten men in one house,
that they shall die.
10 “When a man’s relative carries him, even he who burns him, to bring bodies out of the house, and asks him who is in the innermost parts of the house, ‘Is there yet any with you?’ And he says, ‘No;’ then he will say, ‘Hush! Indeed we must not mention Yahweh’s name.’
11 “For, behold, Yahweh commands, and the great house will be smashed to pieces,
and the little house into bits.
12 Do horses run on the rocky crags?
Does one plow there with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison,
and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness;
13 you who rejoice in a thing of nothing, who say,
‘Haven’t we taken for ourselves horns by our own strength?’
14 For, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, house of Israel,”
says Yahweh, the God of Armies;
“and they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of the Arabah.”

Revelation 2:18-3:6
18 “To the angel of the assembly in Thyatira write:
“The Son of God, who has his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like burnished brass, says these things:
19 “I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate your woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great oppression, unless they repent of her works. 23 I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24 But to you I say, to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as don’t have this teaching, who don’t know what some call ‘the deep things of Satan,’ to you I say, I am not putting any other burden on you. 25 Nevertheless, hold that which you have firmly until I come. 26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. 27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father: 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.
3 “And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write:
“He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things:
“I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and keep the things that remain, which you were about to throw away, for I have found no works of yours perfected before my God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If therefore you won’t watch, I will come as a thief, and you won’t know what hour I will come upon you. 4 Nevertheless you have a few names in Sardis that did not defile their garments. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will be arrayed in white garments, and I will in no way blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

Psalm 130
130 Out of the depths I have cried to you, Yahweh.
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my petitions.
3 If you, Yah, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you,
therefore you are feared.
5 I wait for Yahweh.
My soul waits.
I hope in his word.
6 My soul longs for the Lord more than watchmen long for the morning;
more than watchmen for the morning.
7 Israel, hope in Yahweh,
for with Yahweh there is loving kindness.
With him is abundant redemption.
8 He will redeem Israel from all their sins.

Proverbs 29:21-22
21 He who pampers his servant from youth
will have him become a son in the end.
22 An angry man stirs up strife,
and a wrathful man abounds in sin.

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