Bible Reading and Commentary Aug. 31 – Sep 5, 2015
Bible Reading and Commentary
Aug. 31 – Sep 5, 2015
Monday, August 31, Revelation 12
v. 1 — The woman is a symbol of the Christian church.
v. 3 — “Crowns” is not the word for the crown of victory, but “diadem,” which implied deity. It was worn by the Persian emperors, by the mad Caligula and Diocletian (Roman emperors) and still later by the popes.
Vv. 5-6 — The “male child” is Jesus. The “1260 days” is the New Testament era (from the time of Christ to the end of time at Judgment Day).
Vv. 7-12 — This struggle refers to Good Friday and Jesus’ decisive victory over Satan (Col. 2:15). That’s the day on which “the great dragon (the devil) was hurled down.” (v. 9) Heaven, in v. 7, is probably the spiritual realm or the heavenly realms mentioned in Eph. 6:12. In Gen. 1:8, the atmosphere is spoken of as heaven.
Tuesday, September 1, Revelation 13
Vv. 1-5 — The beast coming out of the sea represents governmental powers used by Satan (the dragon) and the anti-Christ, the Pope, in their attacks against the saints. Those attacks at times will take place for 42 months, the whole New Testament era.
Vv. 11-18— The beast coming out of the earth is the Anti-Christ (II Thess. 2:3,4), another great enemy of the Holy Christian church. The number 666 is a number of incompleteness. The number 666 has been referred to as the unholy trinity, which would be the devil and the 2 beasts. The work of the 2 beasts, the Anti-Christ and governmental powers, is incomplete, doomed to failure.
Wednesday, September 2, Revelation 14
v. 1 — The 144,000 with the Lord is a picture of the church in heaven, the sum total of all believers. The number is figurative, not literal.
Vv. 6-8 — Traditionally, the angel flying in mid-air with the everlasting gospel, has been interpreted as a prophecy concerning the Reformation. Babylon’s falling refers to all the enemies of the church from the very first one to the very last. Eternal death for God’s enemies is symbolically described in v. 20.
Thursday, September 3, Revelation 15
Vv. 1-2 — The sea of glass is probably symbolic of heaven’s perfect calm and peace. The fire mixed with it represents God’s wrath that will be revealed by God against all unbelievers as God empties his 7 bowls of wrath (16:1-21). These are called the last plagues because they will end with the final destruction of the world.
Friday, September 4, Revelation 16
v. 1 — Compare closely the vision of the 7 trumpets with the 7 bowls of wrath. Between the 2, there are great similarities. In both, the vision for the most part is in symbolism. It describes false doctrine that would lead us astray. The 7 bowls of wrath describe the times just before the end of the world. The 7 bowls are a symbolic representation, then, of the flood of false doctrine that will come in the last days. Is this happening today?
v. 16 — Armageddon is from 2 Hebrew words: Har, a mountain and Megiddo, a city in the plains of Esdraelon. Armageddon is probably not a physical war, but from the context of the chapter, one final all-out spiritual war for the souls of all Christians. There is a parallel to this found in the Old Testament. It took place at Mt. Carmel near Megiddo, where all the prophets of Baal were destroyed and Elijah, with the truth of God’s Word, stood victorious (I Kings 18:16-40). Another example is Deborah and Barak’s victory over superior Canaanite forces (Judges 4-5).
Vv. 17-21 — The 7th bowl is the end of the world on Judgment Day.
Saturday, September 5, Revelation 17
Vv. 3-5 — The woman sitting on the scarlet beast, also called Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes, is the apostate church which has turned away from God. It has involved itself in spiritual adultery. It makes alliances with worldly governments (the beast of the sea) to destroy God’s people. As an example, in Luther’s day, both the false apostate church and the government, the Holy Roman Empire, were aligned against Luther and his followers.
Vv. 11-12 — The scarlet beast (v. 3) pictures the nations that rise up against God’s kingdom. Verses 10-11 refer to those kingdoms. In the Old Testament, they were nations like Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece, and Rome. In v. 12, the 10 horns or 10 kings represent secular enemies of the church who would still arise. We need to be strong and to wear the full armor of God. (Eph. 6:10-18), building daily on God’s Word in Gospel and Sacraments.