Bible Reading and Commentary August 17-22, 2015

Bible Reading and Commentary
August 17-22, 2015

REVELATION — The book of Revelation might be viewed as a commentary on 2 Bible passages, “We must through many hardships enter the Kingdom of God,” (Acts 14:22) and “The gates of hell will not overcome it (the church)” (Matt. 16:18; A.A.T.)

Monday, August 17, Revelation 1
v. 5 — How are we saved? Look for the answer in vv. 5-6.
v. 8 — Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Jesus uses these letters for his name to symbolize God’s steadfastness from beginning to end. (Rev. 22:13) He brought us to faith and will stay with us to the end. (Phil. 1:6; Heb. 13:8)
Vv. 13-16 — In this awesome description of Jesus, His white hair is symbolic of holiness and righteousness. The sharp, double-edged sword is the 2-fold message of Law and Gospel. (Heb. 4:12)
v. 20 — Sometimes the symbolism in this book is difficult to understand. Who are the 7 stars and 7 lamp stands? God’s Word tells us the 7 stars are the angels (messengers or pastors) of the 7 churches and the 7 lamp stands are the 7 churches mentioned in v. 11.

Tuesday, August 18, Revelation 2:1-11
Vv. 2, 3, 6 — Some positive things of the church at Ephesus are in verses 2-3 and v. 6. Who were the Nicolaitans? They were a sect who practiced idolatry and immorality (v. 6).
v. 9 — The church of Smyrna had problems with the “synagogue of Satan” who were unbelieving Jews opposed to Christianity.
v. 10 — God encouraged them and all of us, “Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Memorize this beautiful verse.

Wednesday, August 19, Revelation 2:12-29
v. 14 — In verse 14, Balaam advised the Midianite and Moabite women how to lead Israel astray. There were those in the church at Pergamum who, like Balaam, were tempting Christians to commit sexual immorality. Read Numbers 25:1-3; 31:7-9 and 15-18.
v. 20 — In the Old Testament, Jezebel was the evil, heathen wife of King Ahab. Her counterparts in the New Testament church at Thyatira were teaching Christians to practice sexual immorality and become involved in idolatry. Our Balaam and Jezebel today can be found on TV and the internet. Let’s heed God’s warning in I Cor. 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality.” Read also I Cor. 6:9-11.

Thursday, August 20, Revelation 3
Vv. 1, 8, 14 — In chapter 3, John contrasts the last 3 of the 7 churches. Where do we fit as a congregation? Most of those in the church at Sardis were dead spiritually. The church at Philadelphia was faithful (v. 8) and the one at Laodicea, lukewarm (vv. 15-16). God expects us to be like the church at Philadelphia. In order to stay such a church, we need to heed John’s words in vv. 19-21. Underline these words.

Friday, August 21, Revelation 4
v. 4 — The 24 elders probably is a reference to the 12 tribes of Israel of the Old Testament and the 12 apostles of the New Testament. The elders, therefore, represent the believers of all times.
Vv. 6-8 — In this chapter, you are taken to God’s throne in heaven. What you see is awesome and uplifting! The sea of glass, clear as crystal, signifies the perfect peace that exists in the presence of God. The 4 living creatures may represent all the living things in God’s creation. Some have compared the 4 living creatures to the 4 Gospel writers. Mark is the Lion, John is the Eagle, Luke is the Ox and Matthew has the face of a human. See if you can find a representation of these 4 living creatures in our stained glass windows at church. Hymn No. 195 is based on the song of the four living creatures. (v. 8)

Saturday, August 22, Revelation 5
Vv. 5-6 — Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God. Cf. Gen. 49:9-10; Jer. 23:5-6; Is. 53:5-7; and John 1:29.
v. 8 — Incense was used in connection with prayer in Jewish worship. Read Luke 1:9-10; Ps. 141:2; Christian Worship, p. 55. The prayers of the saints are those not in heaven, but still on earth.
v. 9 — The fact that the Messiah, Jesus, is worthy and able to open the book or scroll indicates that the future is in His control. The book or scroll was sealed because only God knew its content and only He reveals to us the future (v. 1).
v. 11 — Think how vast the numbers of angels are! This is extremely comforting since they are sent to serve us Christians. Read Heb. 1:14.

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