Scripture reading for December 28th: Revelation 13-18
Key Scriptures: Revelation 18:2, 4-5 “With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, My people so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”
Babylon, in Scripture, represents godless and humanistic government. This is a world system dominated by Satan and his fallen angels, the demons. After being cast out of heaven, the world system is completely taken over in the last part of the tribulation. God calls His people of every generation out of this system and promises to judge it, repaying all who have persecuted His people!
God calls His people out: “Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance; He will pay her what she deserves. Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad. Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.” (Jeremiah 51:6-8)
Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 3-7
Key Scriptures: Revelation 4:2-3, 8 “At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the One who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. . .Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stopped saying: “Holy, holy holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.””
John was worshiping the Lord and saw a door open in heaven and the voice of the Lord inviting him to come up! Immediately he was transported through the door and beheld the throne of heaven and the Majesty seated there. He also saw the creatures around the throne and listened to their worship! They were saying the same thing that Isaiah beheld over 700 years earlier! HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!
Isaiah’s vision: “In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:1-3)
Scripture reading for December 25th: 3rd John, Jude, Revelation 1-2
Key Scriptures: Jude 20-21; “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”
Revelation 1:7 “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.”
Both Jude and John, author of the Revelation, encouraged the church to watch and be ready for the return of the Lord Jesus. For those who believed on Jesus Christ and were cleansed by His blood, Christ’s return would bring eternal life and the riches of God’s presence forever! For the world and the unsaved of the earth, Christ’s return with the clouds of believers would be a cause for mourning as they would know the judgment of God was at hand!
Visions of Christ’s return: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Daniel 7:13) “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10)
Scripture reading for December 30th: Revelation 22:12-21
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 22:7, 12, 20-21 “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” . . . . “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” . . . . “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”
The final revelation of Jesus Christ to John during his visit to heaven comes from Jesus Christ, Himself! He states three times emphatically that He is coming soon! He reminds His people that His reward is with Him when He comes. He repeats that each person will be rewarded according to their deeds. He also emphasizes that some will not enter heaven because of their failure to repent of sins and wash their robes! (Revelation 22:15)
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers say “Amen!” and pray for Christ’s prophecy to be fulfilled and long to see His face!
Jesus Christ: “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)
Scripture reading for December 29th: Revelation 22:1-11
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 22:1-4 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His Name will be on their foreheads.”
As great as the vision of the holy city, the New Jerusalem was, the real reward for over-comers will be to see the face of the One who redeemed them and adopted them into His family! The cry of over-coming believers is for more of His presence! His prophets longed for Him, the Apostles longed to touch Him again, and His saints are promised that they will “reign with Him for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)
Observations for over-comers: An old worship chorus declares: “O the glory of His Presence, We His people give Him reverence!” “Then Moses said, “Now show me Your Glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My Name, The Lord, in your presence. . .But, He said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:18-20)
Scripture reading for December 28th: Revelation 21
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 21:1, 5-8 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,. . .He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who over-comes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
The over-comer’s inheritance is the new heaven and new earth renovated by our Lord Jesus through the fires of His wrath! It is a gift of grace to those who faithfully followed and believed on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! Liars, cowards, sexually immoral, idolaters, and unbelievers have only a fiery lake as their place of eternal torment!
Observations for over-comers: If you are born twice by faith in Jesus you totally escape the second death! “And the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. . . . .”And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against Me, their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathe-some to all mankind.” (Isaiah 66:22-24)
Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 19
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 19:11-14, 16 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself. He is dressed in a rob e dipped in blood, and His Name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” . . .”On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Observations for over-comers: Christians are the only ones on earth who know for sure who will come to judge the earth and redeem the faithful! We do not know when, but Jesus’ coming is sure! “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, He has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.” (Zephaniah 3:14-15)
Scripture reading for December 23rd: Revelation 18
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 18:19-21 “. . .and with weeping and mourning they will cry out: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city,where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin! Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.’ Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone, and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will the thrown down, never to be found again.”
The final judgment of God on the wicked of earth falls on the great city of Babylon, the center of all wickedness and false religion. The Lamb, King of kings, destroys the city and wicked in one hour causing great mourning on the earth but a call to rejoice for those in heaven who were waiting for God’s justice! A visual of this event was given John by a mighty angel throwing a boulder into the sea of humanity and pronouncing the end of rebellion! It confirmed an earlier prophesy in Jeremiah 51:60-64.
Observations for over-comers: Over-comers can rest assured that the Lamb will justly judge the earth and Satan, once and for all time! “Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon—all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. . . .When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more. . .” (Jeremiah 51:60, 63-64)