• Jerry Starling

  • Search by Category

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 550 other subscribers
  • Pages

  • Blog Stats

    • 559,517 hits
  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Jerry Starling on READING: Luke 1 – The Fi…
    Henry Glancy on READING: Luke 1 – The Fi…
    Jonduey Wallin on QUESTION: re Seed in Belly of…
    SOUND DOCTRINE: (4)… on SOUND DOCTRINE (5): Christ Cam…
    Jerry Starling on READING: John 7 – Rivers…
  • Top Posts

  • December 2022
    S M T W T F S
  • Archives

READING: Luke 1 – The First Day of the First Month

In the Christmas season just past we heard much about Jesus’s birth; this morning, I give attention to things occurring the first day of the first month. 

Genesis 1:3-5 – “God said, ‘Let there be light; and light was. There was evening and morning, the first day.” The first day began the first month. A friend asked how there could be light with no sun; I said God is light; the light came from Him. 

Genesis 8:13 – “In the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth.” This was the first time God brought a never to be repeated, punishment of the people He created. The LORD saw “every inclination of their thoughts was evil, and it grieved him… But Noah found favor in LORD” (Genesis 6:5-8). You know the story; God gave His rainbow as His promise never again to destroy the earth by water. 

Exodus 40:1-2, – “The LORD told Moses: On the first day of the first month, set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.” This was also the day the LORD’s Shekina glory rested over the tabernacle as the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night to lead Israel.  

2 Chronicles 29:3, 17 – “In the first month of the first year of Hezekiah’s reign, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD… They began to sanctify on the first day of the month.” Hezekiah determined to clean things up after Ahaz’s idolatry. He called the priests and Levites together and gave them the job. They began the first day and finished on the sixteenth. 

We saw Light entering a world of darkness. John’s gospel points to the Logos of God; “In Him was life, and the life was light. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.” (John 8:14) “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” (1John1:7)  

All the world except for Noah was evil. God cleaned it up by the flood, but spared Noah’s family. When Noah removed the covering of the ark, he saw a world cleansed of sin. Peter tells us, as the flood cleansed the earth, “baptism now saves us.” (1 Peter 3:21) Water cleans us through His resurrection. 

At Sinai, God give Moses instructions about the Tabernacle. God went with them to the promised land, living with them in the Tabernacle, made visible by the cloud and fire. Had they walked with Him, the Temple wouldn’t need the cleansing Hezekiah gave it. When we need sanctifying, Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your Logos is truth.” 

Do you see why “things written in former days were written for our instruction so that we might have hope”? 

All these passages point to Jesus. 



O Father, Creator, and Redeemer: I look for You, and I see you in nature. But I have trouble seeing Your leading in my life. I need help praying, and I find some comfort in Psalms – but I have trouble praying like David did. Sometimes I wonder if You hear me at all, but I may have those doubts because I am not persistent enough or is it the other way around? Jesus taught His disciples how to pray by letting them hear Him pray. Give me some guidance through Your Holy Spirit, is my prayer in Jesus’s name, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

Father, my prayer for all who read these words, and for me, is that we see the things written before hand in the Hebrew Scriptures as pointing to Jesus and helping us to find hope in Him. The shadows of the Old Covenant can give us guidance in dealing with the full light of the New Covenant Scriptures. This is my prayer in the holy, precious name of our Savior who gave Himself for our sins, AMEN! 

READING: Daniel 11-12 – Between the Testaments

Chapter 11 is a repeat of Daniel’s earlier vision of the Ram and the Goat with one horn that was broken and replaced by four prominent horns in chapter 8. This time there is no vision, but a straightforward telling of that bit of history between the Testaments. 

Three more Persian kings would arise, and then the fourth would be richer than all of them. Because of his riches, he was powerful; he stirred up war against Greece. “Then a warrior king arose, who ruled with great dominion and acted as he pleased.” This is Alexander the Great, who died early, and his kingdom was split among his four generals who ruled in four directions. This chapter is concerned only with the Seleucid kingdom of the north in Antioch and the Ptolemy kingdom in Egypt. When these fought each other, one or the other of the armies would pass through Judea, which meant one or the other of Alexander’s heirs would be in control of Judea. That is the problem for the Jews who had been allowed to return to their land by the Persian King Cyrus and others. 

The King of the North who did the most damage to Judea was Antiochus IV aka Antiochus the God. Will Durant in his Story of Civilization, Vol. 2, The Life of Greece, p. 574 says, “He attempted in 169 B.C. to conquer Egypt. He was succeeding when Rome, herself a candidate for the Egyptian plum, ordered him to retire from African soil. Antiochus asked time to consider; but the Roman envoy, Populis, drew a circle in the sand around Antiochus, and bade him decide before stepping over its line. Antiochus yielded in fury and plundered the Temple at Jerusalem to restore his treasury.” 

He tried to destroy Judaism. He introduced Greek ways and caused gymnasiums to be built where men competed naked. Many Jews accepted these ways, even when an image of Zeus was placed in the Temple and a sow was sacrificed on the altar of God. He banned observing the Sabbath and circumcising a son was punished with death. 

It was in these days that Mattathias, a loyal follower of the law of Moses, and his five sons rebelled against this King who thought he was greater than the LORD God of Israel. They won Jewish freedom and purged the Temple of every trace of idolatry. They established a Jewish kingdom that lasted about 100 years, only to have a faction open Jerusalem to Pompey in 63 BC, and Rome, the fourth beast stronger than the others, dominated Judea. 

What happened to Antiochus? He went off to Persia, and the last thing Daniel says of him is, “He shall come to his end, with no one to help him.”  

Herod Antipas beheaded the Apostle James, tried to kill Peter, and accepted the accolades of a crowd shouting, The voice of a god, not of a man!” He died painfully, smitten by an angel. 

God punishes those who afflict his faithful ones! 



O Father in Heaven, I am happy that I am learning the things I need to put out of my life, mostly thinking too highly of myself, and thinking of myself more than I think of others. This is my prayer in the name and strength of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me)   

O Lord God of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of Life and Light, I pray for all who read this message, and for myself, that we will learn to make the most of our time and let our speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that we may know how you ought to answer everyone. This is my prayer in His name, AMEN! 

READING: Daniel 9-10 – Daniel’s Prayer of Confession

“The first year of Darius, a Mede, Daniel perceived the years according to the prophet Jeremiah that must be fulfilled for the devastation of Jerusalem, namely seventy years.” 

This sent Daniel to his knees to seek an answer from God by prayer, supplication, fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. “He prayed to the LORD His God and made confession” in one of the great prayers of the Bible for the next 15 verses. He acknowledged God’s greatness, that He kept covenant and steadfast love with “those who love You and keep Your commandments.” He prayed, “We have sinned, done wrong acted wickedly, and rebelled by turning aside from Your commandments. We have not listened to Your servants the prophets who spoke for You to our kings, princes, ancestors, and all the people of the land.”  

He admitted God was righteous and they were shameful, “the people of Judah, Jerusalem, all Israel, those near and far away in the lands to which You have driven them because of their treachery against You. Open shame falls on us, our Kings, officials, and our ancestors, for we have sinned against You.” Yet, he said, “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness” before saying again, “for we have rebelled against Him, not obeying His voice by following His laws.” 

So, the curse and the oath in the law of Moses in Deuteronomy 29:19-28 and elsewhere fell on them. Yet, Deuteronomy 30:1-10 promised great blessings if they recalled His blessings and returned to Him and obeyed Him with all their hearts and souls. 

Daniel’s prayer continued, “He has confirmed His words by bringing on us calamity so great that what has been done to Jerusalem has never been done under heaven. We did not entreat Him, turning from our iniquities and reflecting on His faithfulness. Indeed, the LORD our God is right in what He has done, for we disobeyed Him.” 

The final part of Daniel’s prayer beseeches God: “Listen to my prayer, and for Your own sake, let Your face shine upon Your sanctuary. We do not present our supplication on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear, forgive, listen, act, and do not delay! For Your own sake, because Your city and Your people bear Your name!” 

While Daniel was speaking, Gabriel came to him bringing wisdom and understanding. Gabriel spoke of 70 weeks decreed for Israel and Jerusalem to atone for iniquity, bring in righteousness, seal the vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. The weeks were weeks of years divided by 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and a final week split into halves. “To the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. For half the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease; and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured out upon the desolator.”  

There chapter nine ends. 

Daniel may have understood, but it is a mystery to me. 



O Father in Heaven, keep me humble before you, but bold in speaking against the arrogance of others. Help me learn how to speak in a spirit of gentleness and humility. This is my prayer in the name and strength of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me)  

O Lord God of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of Life and Joy, of Love; and all Blessings, I pray for all who read this message, and for myself, that we will be faithful to You and Your Son; keep us humble before you, but bold before the world that is in darkness. Let the light of Your glory shine in this darkness through us that we may bring others to Jesus who is the light of the world. This is my prayer in His name, AMEN!  

READING: Daniel 7-8 – Daniel’s Visions

“The first year of Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a vision. Four beasts came from the sea. One was like a lion with eagle wings; the wings were plucked off; it stood like a man and received a human mind. A second beast looked like a bear, had three tusks in its mouth, and was told to devour many bodies. Another beast, like a leopard, had four wings on its back and four heads. A fourth beast came, frightening, dreadful, and exceedingly strong; it had iron teeth and devoured, breaking in pieces, and stamping what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts; it had ten horns. Daniel saw another horn, a little one; there were eyes in this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.” 

As Daniel watched, “one like the Son of Man came with the clouds to the Ancient of Days; he was given glory and a kingdom that all peoples and languages should serve Him; His dominion is everlasting, and His kingdom will never be destroyed.” This is Israel’s Messiah ascending from the earth. 

The beasts were four empires, “But the holy ones of the Highest shall receive the kingdom forever.” Daniel asked about the fourth beast with its ten horns and the arrogant horn. This horn “made war with the saints and was prevailing until the Ancient One came; then judgment was given for the saints, and they possessed the kingdom.”  

The fourth beast was different from the others. It devoured the whole earth, spoke against the Highest, and wore out the saints; he tried to change sacred seasons and law; and for a while he prevailed. Then the court sat in judgment; his dominion was destroyed, and his kingdom given to the saints as an everlasting kingdom. 

In Belshazzar’s third year, Daniel had another vision. He saw a ram and a goat. The ram had two long horns, one longer than the other, and came up second. The ram charged west, north, and south. No one could withstand it. 

As Daniel watched, a male goat appeared from the west, coming without touching the ground. The goat had one horn and came against the ram with savage force. It broke the ram’s horns, and no one could rescue the ram. The goat grew exceedingly strong, and its single horn was broken, at the height of his power, Four prominent horns came up toward the four winds. 

The ram was the Medo-Persian empire. Daniel 5 tells how this empire captured Babylon while Belshazzar watched the handwriting on the wall. This empire lasted nearly 200 years. Then Alexander the Great tore it apart. He died young, and his generals divided his kingdom among themselves. One of the four kingdoms became more powerful, but he was broken without human hands. 

Four empires: Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman. All fell before our God. Paganism was destroyed, and Messiah reigns – but spiritual warfare continues. 

As long as powerful men are arrogant, they will be defeated by God. 



O Father in Heaven, keep me humble before you, but bold in speaking against the arrogance of others. Help me learn how to speak in a spirit of gentleness and humility. This is my prayer in the name and strength of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me)  

O Lord God of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of Life and Joy, of Love; and all Blessings, I pray for all who read this message, and for myself, that we will be faithful to You and Your Son; keep us humble before you, but bold before the world that is in darkness. Let the light of Your glory shine in this darkness through us that we may bring others to Jesus who is the light of the world. This is my prayer in His name, AMEN!  

READING: Revelation 21-22 – The New Heaven and Earth

John writes, “I saw a new heaven and earth for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” To Jews, the sea was chaos, which the new heaven and earth does not have. “And I saw the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband.” Heaven comes down to us. When we “meet Jesus in the air,” Paul used words that mean we meet him to escort him back to earth, and He will bring heaven and earth together. 

The Gnostics loathed their body of flesh. They did not believe in bodily resurrection, for they wondered why anyone would want to have a body of evil flesh. Many today think we enter heaven as spirits because of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians about a spiritual body. What Paul was saying is we will have a body animated by spirit instead of animation by flesh. Our new bodies will be like Jesus’s body after His resurrection, which was a solid body that eats, though it was capable of things we cannot do in our present bodies. It is this new body we will have in eternity. There is no mention of a new body for the wicked.  

Our destiny is to be with God who will wipe away all tears, death and pain will be no more, “for the first things have passed away.” What will that be like? It will be glorious beyond your imagination. 

John saw the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven. He said, “It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel.” The angel with him measured the city; it was a cube 1,500 miles in length, width, and height. The Holy of Holies in the Temple was a replica of this city of God, but there was no Temple in the new Jerusalem. The Temple was the LORD God Almighty and the Lamb. “The glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” 

Then the angel showed John “the river of the water of life flowing from the throne of God” with the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit produced monthly on each side of the river.  

Again, the angel said he had been sent “to show His servants what must soon take place. See, I am coming soon!” The angel also said, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near,” unlike the words in Daniel 12:9, where the angel said, “The words are to remain secret and sealed until the time of the end.” 

After an invitation to come and a warning about adding to or subtracting from the words of the book, the one who testified to these things said, “Surely I am coming soon.”  

John said, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” 

Is this Jesus’s return at the end of the world? Or comfort for persecuted Asian Christians? Could be either or both.



O Father in Heaven, I do not understand these things; just help me to remain faithful to you and serve you as best I can with the help of Your Spirit. This is my prayer in the name and strength of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me)  

O Lord God of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of Life and Joy, of Love and all Blessings, I pray for all who read this message, and for myself, that we will never quarrel over what is said in these two chapters. Help us all to be humble when we approach passages such as these two chapters, is my prayer in the name of Jesus, AMEN!  

READING: Revelation 19-20 – Satan’s Doom

The scene opens with the saints singing a Hallelujah chorus. They attribute salvation, glory, and power to God for His righteous judgment of the evil persecutions of Rome. They do not rejoice that evil fell on Rome but sing, rejoicing over the triumph of righteousness. 

Christ has been spoken of as Lion, Lamb, Judge, and now as a victorious warrior. The rider on the white horse is Christ and is called faithful and true (see 1:5, 3:7,14) and the Word of God, a name John frequently uses for Jesus. This warrior is not alone; following Him are heavenly armies, also on white horses of victory. 

The beast and allied kings were no match for the victorious Warrior and His sharp sword. The beast and false prophet were thrown into the “lake burning with fire and brimstone.” The rest were killed by the sharp sword in the mouth of the victorious Christ. It is a vivid symbolic representation of the victory of Christ’s cause and people over pagan Rome. The beast (Domitian) and the second beast (false prophet) were sent to the lake of fire. Christians were bothered by them no more. The emphasis is on the defeat of the pagan false religion of Asia Minor about A.D. 95-96. 

Victory over Satan, the force behind Rome, is pictured in the chaining of Satan for 1,000 years. From chapter 12 on, Satan and the beasts have been allied in fighting Christ and His church. The beasts have been vanquished, but victory does not come if Satan spreads his lies. Hence, he is bound by a chain for 1,000 years. A literal chain doesn’t bind a spirit. Nor is the 1,000 years literal. 

Ten is a symbolic number; 1,000 is 10×100. It must be demonstrated that Satan will no longer interfere with the church. The power behind the beasts must also be overcome. Hence, the “binding of Satan” for 1,000 years. Then, he comes out of the pit for a little while, and again deceives the nations, Gog and Magog. Who are these? Anyone and no one. When people listen to Satan, Gog and Magog show up. But they will also be deposed, and this certainty is depicted by the binding of Satan and on his release, he is thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone. 

Whenever Satan gathers an army to fight, before the battle begins, fire from heaven comes down and destroys that army; Gog and Magog are defeated over and over until the Lord returns for the final judgment at the end of the age. 

While Satan is bound, those who had held to the testimony of Jesus reign with Christ 1,000 years. These were the souls under the altar in 6:9. When Satan is released, this is the first resurrection; when he is in the fire. followed by Death and Hades, this is the second death that cannot touch the saints (the first death is physical death).  

Confused? Not if we can rejoice at every defeat of Satan. 

___________________________________________________________________________ ___ 


O Father in Heaven, I join in the hallelujah chorus of praise to You and the Lamb! I also fall down to worship You, for You are reigning, and You allow me to reign with you from the throne of Jesus, my Savior and Lord. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus and the strength of the Holy Spirit, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me)  

O Lord God of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of Life and Joy, of Love and all Blessings, I pray for all who read this message, and for myself, that we will understand the way you bind Satan and cast him into the lake of fire and brimstone. I confess that I do not understand this passage as well as I would like to, but I am certain it is not to be understood the way so many teach it. Help us to understand this passage more clearly and correctly, is my prayer in the name of Jesus, AMEN!  

READING: Revelation 17-18 – The Woman, Scarlet Beast, and Fall of Babylon

An angel invited John, “Come; I’ll show you the judgment of the whore with whom earth’s kings fornicate and whose wine makes earth’s inhabitants drunk.” 

He brought John to a wilderness where he saw a woman sitting on a Scarlet Beast with seven heads and ten horns like the sea-beast. The woman wore purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, jewels, and pearls, having a golden cup full of abominations. Her forehead had writing: “Babylon the Great, Mother of Whores.” She was not a chaste woman but was drunk with the blood of the saints. 

John was amazed; the angel said, “I will tell you the mystery of the woman and the beast that carries her.” The beast will soon come from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. The seven heads are mountains where Rome is and represent seven kings; five fell, one is alive, and one is coming for a short time. The beast is an eighth and is going to destruction. His ten horns are kings united in yielding power to the beast. They will fight the Lamb; the Lamb will defeat them because He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  

The woman John saw was the city ruling the kings of the earth – ancient Rome. 

John saw another angel from heaven who called with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It is a place of demons. Nations drink wine of her fornication. Kings of earth commit fornication with her. Earth’s merchants grow rich from her luxury.”  

Another heavenly voice said, “Come out of her, my people; do not sin with her or share her plagues. God knows her iniquities. She glorified herself and lived luxuriously; she says, ‘I rule as queen; I will never see grief,’ therefore, her plagues will come quickly.” When God acts, He acts decisively. 

The kings who slept with her will weep over her, standing far off saying, “Alas the great city, Babylon! In one hour, your judgment has come.” 

Merchants will weep for her; no one buys their merchandise. Thirty luxurious products are listed – from gold to human lives. The wealth of the world flowed to Rome. Human lives were lost in gladiatorial games. Slaves did the work of Rome. “The fruit you longed for is gone, your dainties are lost, never to be found!” 

Merchants mourn, “Alas the great city, clothed in fine linen, adorned with gold and jewels! In one hour, this wealth is laid waste.” 

Shipmasters, seafarers, sailors, and all who trade on the sea cry, “Alas, the great city, where all who had ships grew rich by her wealth! In an hour she is gone.” 

But, “Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets! For God has given judgment for you.” 

What nation is most luxurious today? Is this luxury a sign of God’s blessing? 

How does our nation compare with Rome? 

Would we be better off with less luxury but more godliness? 



O Father in Heaven, I value Your Name and the Name of Jesus above every other name. I see dangers around me, and I pray that You will protect me from them. I honor and praise You, and I want to always seek You, Your strength, and Your presence in my life. I am often distracted by the glitter around me. Give me godliness over luxury! This is my prayer in the name of Jesus and the strength of the Holy Spirit, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

O Lord God of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of Life and Joy, of Love and all Blessings, I pray for all who read this message, and for myself, that we will look more to You and less to the governments that rule over us in this world. Help us to be able to discern between good and evil, to know Your desire for our lives, and to walk in it. Give each of us Wisdom and Understanding, for we need it so much (and often think we have it when we do not). Help us to lift up our souls in glory and praise to you, is my prayer in the name of Jesus, AMEN! 

READING: Revelation 14-16 – The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

“I saw the Lamb and 144,000 who had His name on their foreheads standing on Mount Zion.” John heard a voice like harpists playing. “And they sing before the throne. None learned that song except the 144,000 redeemed from the earth.” This number, 144,000, is a perfect number referring to the triumphant Christ.  

John saw three angels in midheaven with good news for all the earth. The first called on men to “fear God and give him glory” for it is judgment time; God’s judgment goes on now, “Those who do not believe are condemned already.” (John 3:18) The second announced, “Babylon is fallen! She made all nations drink wine of the wrath of her fornication.” The third said, “Beast-worshipers will drink the wine of God’s wrath. There is no rest for beast-worshipers.The Spirit said, “Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord. They will rest from their labors.” 

Then come two sickles: one for wheat, to gather in, and the other for grapes for the winepress of God’s wrath. When trodden, blood flowed 200 miles as high as a horse’s briddle. These signify redemption and judgment. 

Next come seven angels with the last of God’s wrath. This called for a burst of joy for those who conquered the beast. They, standing on the crystal sea, sing the song of Moses and the Lamb: “Great are your deeds; Lord, who will not fear Your name?”  

The first bowl gave painful sores to beast-worshipers; the second bowl, poured into the sea, which became blood and killed sea life. The third bowl, poured into freshwaters that became blood. The freshwater angel said, “You are Just, for they shed the saints’ blood.” The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, which scorched people with terrible heat. They cursed God and did not repent. Bowls of wrath were poured in the same sequence as the trumpets of warning affecting 1/3’s. Bowls of wrath were total in their effects. 

The fifth bowl was poured on the beast’s throne; “Its kingdom plunged into darkness; people cursed God and did not repent.”  

The sixth bowl went onto the river Euphrates; it dried up for Parthians. John saw three foul frogs coming from the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet. These demonic spirits assembled armies to Armagedón. 

“The seventh bowl went into the air; a voice from the throne said, ‘It is done!’” There was lightning, thunder, rumbling, and an earthquake that split the great city into three parts and cities of nations fell. God gave Babylon the wine-cup of the fury of His wrath. Hailstones, weighing 100 pounds, fell from heaven on people, who cursed God – but would not repent. 

This is the end of God’s wrath against Rome. The next two chapters give some details. 

It is a fearful thing to store up the wrath of God against yourself. Yet, many ‘Christians’ live to do so. 


Heavenly Father, I pray that I will NEVER have to have a bowl of Your wrath poured on me! Help me to seek You, Your strength, and Your presence continually. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus through Your Holy Spirit, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

Holy Father in Heaven, I pray for all who read this, as well as for myself, that we will seriously meditate on Your bowls of wrath as a part of Your being a God of justice. Oppressors must be punished while those who are oppressed find comfort from You. This is my prayer for all who read this, including me, in the precious name of our Savior, AMEN!

READING: Revelation 12-13 – The Woman, The Red Dragon, and the Beasts

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and crying in birth pains. Then another sign appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and diadems on his heads. The dragon stood before the woman to devour her child when it was born.”  

Her child was snatched away to God, for he was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. The woman fled into the wilderness for 1260 days. This is the third story of Christmas to go with Matthew and Luke, the story from heaven’s perspective. This “snatching away” is God’s protection of His Son for His time on earth until His ascension. 

Michael and his angels fought the dragon and his angels fought back. The dragon and his angels were thrown down to earth, the ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan. The accuser of the saints was thrown out of heaven so he could no longer accuse them; “But they conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life in the face of death.” This is good news for the churches then and now. 

Heaven rejoiced, but there was woe on the earth for the Dragon was loose on earth. He pursued the woman, but she was given wings to evade him; when the Dragon poured water like a river from his mouth to stop her, the earth opened its mouth to swallow the river. Then the Dragon went off to make war on the Christians. 

The Dragon conjured up two beasts, one from the sea, the other from the earth. The sea-beast was a compilation of four beasts in Daniel 7:1-8 – Lion, Bear, Leopard, and “a fourth beast, terrifying, dreadful, and exceedingly strong, and it had ten horns. Another horn appeared, a little one. Three earlier horns were plucked up by the roots. This horn had human-like eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly.” 

The beast from the land had lamb’s horns and spoke like a dragon. It made the inhabitants of the earth worship the sea-beast. This beast performed “signs, even making fire come from heaven.” It made earth’s people make images of the sea-beast. 

The sea beast is Domitian; the other beast symbolizes the committee set up to enforce Domitian-worship. They made people make images of Domitian which they worshiped by throwing a pinch of incense on an altar by the image. Without this homage to the ‘emperor-god’ people could not buy or sell. Only Christians refused this worship. 

The two beasts fight with God and His Messiah until they are thrown into hell. 

Saul of Tarsus had persecuted the church but soon preached Jesus. 

Nero persecuted Christians, accusing them of torching Rome. 

Domitian persecuted the church but died at age 44 on September 18 A.D. 96 as John wrote Revelation.  


Heavenly Father, I thank you for stopping Domitian’s persecution, showing us how You work. You are working in Your way to (a) bring all people to repentance and (b) stop those who refuse to repent when they harm others. I praise You for Your patience with me, for I know that I sin against You and others. But Your grace reaches me, and for this I thank You. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus through Your Holy Spirit, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

Holy Father in Heaven, I pray for all who read this, as well as for myself, that we will take to heart Your patience with sinners, for we see in Revelation that You are calling for repentance and giving opportunity to all men to repent – before You punish those who do not repent. This patience is also extended to us for we also sin against you and others. We acknowledge our sins and ask for Your forgiveness and strength. This is my prayer for all who read this, including me, in the precious name of our Savior, AMEN!  

READING: Revelation 10-11 – The Little Scroll, Two Witnesses, & The Last Trumpet

Before the final trumpet, John saw another mighty angel coming from heaven with a rainbow over his head, his face like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. These signify he comes from God.  

The angel shouted; seven thunders sounded. John began writing their words but was told not to bother; the angel swore by the One on the Throne there would be no more delay. When the seventh trumpet sounds, “The mystery of God announced to the prophets will be fulfilled.” 

The voice from heaven told John to take a little scroll from the angel. He took the scroll, and the angel told him to eat it; “It will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” Then they said to John he must prophesy again about many nations and kings. I presume this meant he would be released from Patmos and continue his ministry. 

Then he was given a measuring rod to measure the temple. Remember these are visions and symbols. He was not to measure the outer court; the Gentiles would trample the Holy City forty-two months.  

“And I will give my two witnesses authority to prophesy 1260 days (forty-two months), wearing sackcloth.” The witnesses are two olive trees and two lampstands before the Lord of the earth. “If anyone wants to harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes.” They can “shut the sky so no rain will fall while they prophesy and to turn waters into blood.” They successfully prophesy. After months of prophesying, the beast from the bottomless pit kills them. They lie dead in the street of the city where their Lord was crucified for three and a half days, while people gloat over them, refusing them burial. 

After th0se days, the breath of life from God enters them, they stand up, and all who gloated were terrified. Then they ascended to heaven on a cloud when called up. There was an earthquake and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand died – not a literal number but the number of completeness multiplied by a thousand.  

And many gave glory to God. This is the end of the second woe. 

The seventh trumpet sounded. Loud voices in heaven said, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His Messiah, and He will reign forever.” 

The twenty-four elders fell on their faces and worshiped God, singing: “We give You thanks, Lord God Almighty, who are and were, for you have taken your power and begun to reign. Nations raged, but your wrath has come, and the time has come for judging the dead.” 

Then the temple in heaven was opened and the ark of His covenant was seen within the temple. 

This ends the first half of the Revelation to John, an ending with victory for God’s people. 

The second half has powerful symbolic visions of beasts and armies that come from Daniel and Ezekiel. 

It will be interesting. 



Heavenly Father, I guess I do not know the Old Testament very well. I know the names of Moses and Elijah, but I do not know much about what they did. I know nothing about them being two witnesses and having power to have fire spew from their mouths. I guess I need to read more in the Old Testament. Help me to learn; I am so muddled up. This is my prayer in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me) 

Holy Father in Heaven, I pray for all who read this, as well as for myself, that we will understand more about the Old Testament and be able to understand John’s symbols more easily. Most of us have only a Sunday School knowledge of the Old Testament, which makes these allusions to Old Testament events somewhat vague to us. Are these two witnesses’ symbols or literal? This is my prayer for all who read this, including me, in the precious name of our Savior, AMEN!  

ious name of our Savior, AMEN! 

%d bloggers like this: