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Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

In this verse God shows His desire to reveal His plans to His servants before events take place. God does not just spring events on nations. He gradually warns them of coming disaster, as He did in the case of Jonah and Nineveh.

The book of Revelation was written to seven different "angels" of the seven churches of Asia. Most commentators believe that these angels were the pastors of those churches. The local pastors received revelation from the Holy Spirit of God's intention toward their churches.

In our churches today, if the pastor needs to repent, the Holy Spirit will convict the leader or use circumstances to force him to face an issue. This leading by the Holy Spirit protects the flock, since the local church will follow the leader in either the right or wrong direction.

If you are concerned about the direction of your church, pray for your pastor. God has obligated Himself to speak to him, so pray, asking the Lord to give your pastor the courage to obey as he hears God speaking.

Amos 1:1-3:15

The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of TekoaS 2Sa 14:2—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake,Zec 14:5 when UzziahS 2Ki 14:21; S 2Ch 26:23 was king of Judah and JeroboamS 2Ki 14:23 son of JehoashHebrew Joash, a variant of Jehoash was king of Israel.S Hos 1:1

He said:

“The Lord roarsS Isa 42:13 from Zion

and thundersS Ps 29:3 from Jerusalem;Joel 3:16

the pastures of the shepherds dry up,

and the top of CarmelAm 9:3 withers.”S Jer 12:4

Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Damascus,Isa 7:8; 8:4; 17:1-3

even for four, I will not relent.ver 6, 9, 11, 13; Am 2:6

Because she threshed Gilead

with sledges having iron teeth,

I will send fireS Jer 49:27; S Eze 30:8 on the house of HazaelS 1Ki 19:17; 2Ki 8:7-15

that will consume the fortressesJer 17:27 of Ben-Hadad.1Ki 20:1; 2Ki 6:24; Jer 49:23-27

I will break down the gateJer 51:30 of Damascus;

I will destroy the king who is inOr the inhabitants of the Valley of AvenAven means wickedness.

and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden.S Isa 37:12

The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir,S 2Ki 16:9; S Isa 22:6; Zec 9:1

says the Lord.S Isa 7:16; Jer 49:27

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Gaza,S Ge 10:19; 1Sa 6:17; Zep 2:4

even for four, I will not relent.S ver 3

Because she took captive whole communities

and sold them to Edom,S Ge 14:6; Ob 1:11

I will send fire on the walls of Gaza

that will consume her fortresses.

I will destroy the kingOr inhabitants of AshdodS 2Ch 26:6

and the one who holds the scepter in Ashkelon.

I will turn my handPs 81:14 against Ekron,

till the last of the PhilistinesS Eze 25:16 are dead,”S Isa 34:8

says the Sovereign Lord.Isa 14:28-32; Zep 2:4-7

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Tyre,1Ki 5:1; 9:11-14; Jer 25:22; Joel 3:4; S Mt 11:21

even for four, I will not relent.ver 3

Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom,

disregarding a treaty of brotherhood,S 1Ki 5:12

10 I will send fire on the walls of Tyre

that will consume her fortresses.Isa 23:1-18; S 34:8; S Jer 47:4; Eze 26:2-4; Zec 9:1-4

11 This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Edom,Nu 20:14-21; S 2Ch 28:17; S Ps 83:6

even for four, I will not relent.

Because he pursued his brother with a swordS Ps 63:10

and slaughtered the women of the land,

because his anger raged continually

and his fury flamed unchecked,S Eze 25:12-14; Zec 1:15

12 I will send fire on TemanS Ge 36:11, 15

that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah.S Isa 34:5; 63:1-6; Jer 25:21; Eze 25:12-14; 35:1-15; Ob 1:1; Mal 1:2-5

13 This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Ammon,S Ge 19:38; S Eze 21:28

even for four, I will not relent.

Because he ripped open the pregnant womenS Ge 34:29; S 2Ki 8:12; S Hos 13:16 of Gilead

in order to extend his borders,

14 I will set fire to the walls of RabbahS Dt 3:11

that will consumeIsa 30:30 her fortresses

amid war criesS Job 39:25 on the day of battle,

amid violent windsJer 23:19 on a stormy day.

15 Her kingOr / Molek will go into exile,

he and his officials together,S Jer 25:21

says the Lord.1Ch 20:1; S Jer 49:1; Eze 21:28-32; 25:2-7

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Moab,S Isa 16:6

even for four, I will not relent.

Because he burned to ashesIsa 33:12

the bones of Edom’s king,

I will send fire on Moab

that will consume the fortresses of Kerioth.Or of her citiesJer 48:24

Moab will go down in great tumult

amid war criesS Job 39:25 and the blast of the trumpet.S Jos 6:20

I will destroy her rulerS Ps 2:10

and kill all her officials with him,”S Isa 40:23

says the Lord.Isa 15:1-9; 16:1-14; S 25:10; Jer 48:1; S Eze 25:8-11; Zep 2:8-9

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Judah,2Ki 17:19; Hos 12:2

even for four, I will not relent.

Because they have rejected the lawS Jer 6:19 of the Lord

and have not kept his decrees,S Eze 20:24

because they have been led astrayIsa 9:16 by false gods,Or by liesS Ex 34:15; S Dt 31:20; S Ps 4:2

the godsOr lies their ancestors followed,S 2Ki 22:13; S Jer 9:14; S 16:12

I will send fireS 2Ki 25:9; S 2Ch 36:19 on Judah

that will consume the fortressesAm 3:11 of Jerusalem.S Jer 17:27; S Hos 8:14

Judgment on Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Israel,

even for four, I will not relent.S Am 1:3

They sell the innocent for silver,

and the needy for a pair of sandals.S Joel 3:3; Am 8:6

They trample on the heads of the poor

as on the dust of the ground

and deny justice to the oppressed.

Father and son use the same girl

and so profane my holy name.S Lev 18:21; Am 5:11-12; 8:4

They lie down beside every altar

on garments taken in pledge.S Ex 22:26; Dt 24:12-13

In the house of their god

they drink wineHos 7:14; Am 4:1; 6:6 taken as fines.Hab 2:6

“Yet I destroyed the AmoritesNu 21:23-26; Jos 10:12 before them,

though they were tallS Isa 10:33 as the cedars

and strong as the oaks.S Ps 29:9

I destroyed their fruit above

and their rootsS 2Ki 19:30; S Job 18:16; S Eze 17:9 below.

10 I brought you up out of EgyptS Ex 6:6; 20:2; Am 3:1

and ledS Dt 8:2 you forty years in the wildernessS Dt 2:7

to give you the land of the Amorites.S Ex 3:8; S Nu 21:25; S Jos 13:4; Am 9:7

11 “I also raised up prophetsDt 18:18; Jer 7:25 from among your children

and NaziritesS Jdg 13:5 from among your youths.

Is this not true, people of Israel?”

declares the Lord.

12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine

and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.Isa 30:10; Jer 11:21; Am 7:12-13; Mic 2:6

13 “Now then, I will crush you

as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.Am 7:16-17

14 The swift will not escape,S Job 11:20

the strongS 1Ki 20:11 will not muster their strength,

and the warrior will not save his life.Ps 33:16; Isa 30:16-17

15 The archerS Eze 39:3 will not stand his ground,

the fleet-footed soldier will not get away,

and the horsemanS Ex 15:21; Zec 10:5 will not save his life.Ecc 9:11

16 Even the bravest warriorsJer 48:41

will flee naked on that day,”

declares the Lord.

Witnesses Summoned Against Israel

Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against youZep 2:5—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:S Am 2:10

“You only have I chosenS Ex 19:6; Dt 7:6; Lk 12:47

of all the families of the earth;

therefore I will punishver 14 you

for all your sins.S Jer 14:10; Mic 2:3; 1Pe 4:17

Do two walk together

unless they have agreed to do so?

Does a lion roarS Isa 42:13 in the thicket

when it has no prey?Ps 104:21; S Hos 5:14

Does it growl in its den

when it has caught nothing?

Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground

when no baitS Ps 119:110 is there?

Does a trap spring up from the ground

if it has not caught anything?

When a trumpetS Nu 10:2; S Job 39:24; S Jer 4:21 sounds in a city,

do not the people tremble?

When disasterS Isa 31:2 comes to a city,

has not the Lord caused it?Isa 14:24-27

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing

without revealing his planGe 18:17; S 1Sa 3:7; S Da 9:22; Jn 15:15; Rev 10:7

to his servants the prophets.S Jer 23:22

The lionS Isa 31:4 has roaredS Isa 42:13

who will not fear?

The Sovereign Lord has spoken—

who can but prophesy?S Jer 20:9; Jnh 1:1-3; 3:1-3; Ac 4:20

Proclaim to the fortresses of AshdodS Jos 13:3; S 2Ch 26:6

and to the fortresses of Egypt:

“Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;Am 4:1; 6:1

see the great unrest within her

and the oppression among her people.”

10 “They do not know how to do right,Am 5:7; 6:12” declares the Lord,

“who store up in their fortressesS Ps 36:3; Mic 6:10; Zep 1:9

what they have plunderedHab 2:8 and looted.”

11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“An enemy will overrun your land,

pull down your strongholds

and plunder your fortresses.Am 2:5; 6:14

12 This is what the Lord says:

“As a shepherd rescues from the lion’sS 1Sa 17:34 mouth

only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,

so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,

with only the head of a bed

and a piece of fabricThe meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain. from a couch.Or Israelites be rescued, / those who sit in Samaria / on the edge of their beds / and in Damascus on their couches.S Est 1:6; Am 6:4

13 “Hear this and testifyEze 2:7 against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty.

14 “On the day I punishS ver 2; S Lev 26:18 Israel for her sins,

I will destroy the altars of Bethel;S Ge 12:8; Am 5:5-6

the hornsS Ex 27:2 of the altar will be cut off

and fall to the ground.

15 I will tear down the winter houseJer 36:22

along with the summer house;Jdg 3:20

the houses adorned with ivoryS 1Ki 22:39 will be destroyed

and the mansionsAm 5:11; 6:11 will be demolished,S Isa 34:5

declares the Lord.Hos 10:5-8, 14-15

This message was given to Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa in Judah. He received this message in visions two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash,Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash. was king of Israel.

This is what he saw and heard:

“The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion

and thunder from Jerusalem!

The lush pastures of the shepherds will dry up;

the grass on Mount Carmel will wither and die.”

God’s Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Damascus have sinned again and again,Hebrew have committed three sins, even four; also in 1:6, 9, 11, 13.

and I will not let them go unpunished!

They beat down my people in Gilead

as grain is threshed with iron sledges.

So I will send down fire on King Hazael’s palace,

and the fortresses of King Ben-hadad will be destroyed.

I will break down the gates of Damascus

and slaughter the people in the valley of Aven.

I will destroy the ruler in Beth-eden,

and the people of Aram will go as captives to Kir,”

says the Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Gaza have sinned again and again,

and I will not let them go unpunished!

They sent whole villages into exile,

selling them as slaves to Edom.

So I will send down fire on the walls of Gaza,

and all its fortresses will be destroyed.

I will slaughter the people of Ashdod

and destroy the king of Ashkelon.

Then I will turn to attack Ekron,

and the few Philistines still left will be killed,”

says the Sovereign Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Tyre have sinned again and again,

and I will not let them go unpunished!

They broke their treaty of brotherhood with Israel,

selling whole villages as slaves to Edom.

10 So I will send down fire on the walls of Tyre,

and all its fortresses will be destroyed.”

11 This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Edom have sinned again and again,

and I will not let them go unpunished!

They chased down their relatives, the Israelites, with swords,

showing them no mercy.

In their rage, they slashed them continually

and were unrelenting in their anger.

12 So I will send down fire on Teman,

and the fortresses of Bozrah will be destroyed.”

13 This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Ammon have sinned again and again,

and I will not let them go unpunished!

When they attacked Gilead to extend their borders,

they ripped open pregnant women with their swords.

14 So I will send down fire on the walls of Rabbah,

and all its fortresses will be destroyed.

The battle will come upon them with shouts,

like a whirlwind in a mighty storm.

15 And their kingHebrew malcam, possibly referring to their god Molech. and his princes will go into exile together,”

says the Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Moab have sinned again and again,Hebrew have committed three sins, even four; also in 2:4, 6.

and I will not let them go unpunished!

They desecrated the bones of Edom’s king,

burning them to ashes.

So I will send down fire on the land of Moab,

and all the fortresses in Kerioth will be destroyed.

The people will fall in the noise of battle,

as the warriors shout and the ram’s horn sounds.

And I will destroy their king

and slaughter all their princes,”

says the Lord.

God’s Judgment on Judah and Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Judah have sinned again and again,

and I will not let them go unpunished!

They have rejected the instruction of the Lord,

refusing to obey his decrees.

They have been led astray by the same lies

that deceived their ancestors.

So I will send down fire on Judah,

and all the fortresses of Jerusalem will be destroyed.”

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Israel have sinned again and again,

and I will not let them go unpunished!

They sell honorable people for silver

and poor people for a pair of sandals.

They trample helpless people in the dust

and shove the oppressed out of the way.

Both father and son sleep with the same woman,

corrupting my holy name.

At their religious festivals,

they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security.

In the house of their gods,Or their God.

they drink wine bought with unjust fines.

“But as my people watched,

I destroyed the Amorites,

though they were as tall as cedars

and as strong as oaks.

I destroyed the fruit on their branches

and dug out their roots.

10 It was I who rescued you from Egypt

and led you through the desert for forty years,

so you could possess the land of the Amorites.

11 I chose some of your sons to be prophets

and others to be Nazirites.

Can you deny this, my people of Israel?”

asks the Lord.

12 “But you caused the Nazirites to sin by making them drink wine,

and you commanded the prophets, ‘Shut up!’

13 “So I will make you groan

like a wagon loaded down with sheaves of grain.

14 Your fastest runners will not get away.

The strongest among you will become weak.

Even mighty warriors will be unable to save themselves.

15 The archers will not stand their ground.

The swiftest runners won’t be fast enough to escape.

Even those riding horses won’t be able to save themselves.

16 On that day the most courageous of your fighting men

will drop their weapons and run for their lives,”

says the Lord.

Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel—against the entire family I rescued from Egypt:

“From among all the families on the earth,

I have been intimate with you alone.

That is why I must punish you

for all your sins.”

Witnesses against Guilty Israel

Can two people walk together

without agreeing on the direction?

Does a lion ever roar in a thicket

without first finding a victim?

Does a young lion growl in its den

without first catching its prey?

Does a bird ever get caught in a trap

that has no bait?

Does a trap spring shut

when there’s nothing to catch?

When the ram’s horn blows a warning,

shouldn’t the people be alarmed?

Does disaster come to a city

unless the Lord has planned it?

Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything

until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.

The lion has roared—

so who isn’t frightened?

The Sovereign Lord has spoken—

so who can refuse to proclaim his message?

Announce this to the leaders of PhilistiaHebrew Ashdod.

and to the great ones of Egypt:

“Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria,

and witness the chaos and oppression in Israel.”

10 “My people have forgotten how to do right,”

says the Lord.

“Their fortresses are filled with wealth

taken by theft and violence.

11 Therefore,” says the Sovereign Lord,

“an enemy is coming!

He will surround them and shatter their defenses.

Then he will plunder all their fortresses.”

12 This is what the Lord says:

“A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth

will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear.

So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds,

and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches.The meaning of the Hebrew in this sentence is uncertain.

13 “Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel,Hebrew the house of Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.” says the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.

14 “On the very day I punish Israel for its sins,

I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel.

The horns of the altar will be cut off

and fall to the ground.

15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy—

their winter mansions and their summer houses, too—

all their palaces filled with ivory,”

says the Lord.

The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

And he said, The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.

Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.

I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:

But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:

And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord God.

Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:

10 But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.

11 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:

12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.

13 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:

14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:

15 And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:

But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:

And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;

That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.

10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord.

12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.

13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.

16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the Lord.

Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?

Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.

10 For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.

11 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.

12 Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

13 Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord God, the God of hosts,

14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.

15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.

Revelation 2:1-17

To the Church in Ephesus

“To the angelOr messenger; also in verses 8, 12 and 18 of the church in EphesusS Ac 18:19 write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right handRev 1:16 and walks among the seven golden lampstands.Rev 1:12, 13I know your deeds,ver 19; Rev 3:1, 8, 15 your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested1Jn 4:1 those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.2Co 11:13You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name,S Jn 15:21 and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.Jer 2:2; Mt 24:12Consider how far you have fallen! Repentver 16, 22; Rev 3:3, 19 and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstandRev 1:20 from its place.But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans,ver 15 which I also hate.

Whoever has ears, let them hearS Mt 11:15; ver 11, 17, 29; Rev 3:6, 13, 22; 13:9 what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious,S Jn 16:33 I will give the right to eat from the tree of life,Ge 2:9; 3:22-24; Rev 22:2, 14, 19 which is in the paradiseLk 23:43 of God.

To the Church in Smyrna

“To the angel of the church in SmyrnaRev 1:11 write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last,S Rev 1:17 who died and came to life again.Rev 1:18I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!2Co 6:10; Jas 2:5 I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not,Rev 3:9 but are a synagogue of Satan.ver 13, 24; S Mt 4:1010 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you,Rev 3:10 and you will suffer persecution for ten days.Da 1:12, 14 Be faithful,ver 13; Rev 17:14 even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.S Mt 10:22; S 1Co 9:25

11 Whoever has ears, let them hearS ver 7 what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.Rev 20:6, 14; 21:8

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “To the angel of the church in PergamumRev 1:11 write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.ver 16; S Rev 1:1613 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me,Rev 14:12 not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness,Rev 1:5; 11:3 who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.ver 9, 24; S Mt 4:10

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you:ver 20 There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam,S 2Pe 2:15 who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idolsS Ac 15:20 and committed sexual immorality.1Co 6:1315 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.ver 616 RepentS ver 5 therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.2Th 2:8; S Rev 1:16

17 Whoever has ears, let them hearS ver 7 what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious,S Jn 16:33 I will give some of the hidden manna.Jn 6:49, 50 I will also give that person a white stone with a new nameIsa 56:5; 62:2; 65:15 written on it, known only to the one who receives it.Rev 19:12

The Message to the Church in Ephesus

“Write this letter to the angelOr the messenger; also in 2:8, 12, 18. of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:

“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars.You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!Greek You have lost your first love.Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

The Message to the Church in Smyrna

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:

“I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan.10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.

11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.

The Message to the Church in Pergamum

12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:

13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.

14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin.15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching.16 Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Psalm 129:1-8

Psalm 129

A song of ascents.

“They have greatly oppressedS Ex 1:13 me from my youth,”S Ps 88:15

let Israel say;Ps 124:1

“they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,

but they have not gained the victoryJer 1:19; 15:20; 20:11; Mt 16:18 over me.

Plowmen have plowed my back

and made their furrows long.

But the Lord is righteous;S Ex 9:27

he has cut me freePs 37:9 from the cords of the wicked.”Ps 140:5

May all who hate ZionMic 4:11

be turned back in shame.S Ps 70:2

May they be like grass on the roof,Isa 37:27

which withersS 2Ki 19:26; Ps 102:11 before it can grow;

a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,S Dt 28:38; Ps 79:12

nor one who gathers fill his arms.

May those who pass by not say to them,

“The blessing of the Lord be on you;

we bless youPs 118:26 in the name of the Lord.”

Psalm 129

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me.

Let all Israel repeat this:

From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me,

but they have never defeated me.

My back is covered with cuts,

as if a farmer had plowed long furrows.

But the Lord is good;

he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.

May all who hate JerusalemHebrew Zion.

be turned back in shameful defeat.

May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop,

turning yellow when only half grown,

ignored by the harvester,

despised by the binder.

And may those who pass by

refuse to give them this blessing:

“The Lord bless you;

we bless you in the Lord’s name.”

129 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.

The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.

The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.

Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.

Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:

Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.

Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord.

Proverbs 29:19-20

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;

though they understand, they will not respond.

20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste?

There is more hope for a fool than for them.Pr 19:2; 26:12

19 Words alone will not discipline a servant;

the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.

20 There is more hope for a fool

than for someone who speaks without thinking.

19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Dec 9 Dec 11
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