Today's Bible Commentary

  REVELATION Daily Bible Readings
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John 1,2,3 & Jude | Job | REVELATION | Psalms | Matthew

DateScriptureDaily devotional commentary
July 1-10: Job
July 11:Revelation 1-2 * Revealed: Instructions To His Churches, N Sween
July 12:Revelation 3-5 * Churches and Heaven Prepare For Battle, D Sween
July 13:Revelation 6-8 * The End of God's Longsuffering Patience, N Sween
July 14:Revelation 9-11 * Angels, The Sealed, The Unsealed, and 2 Witnesses, D Sween
July 15:Revelation 12-14 * Satan's Hatred Unleashes Tribulation, D Sween
July 16:Revelation 15-17 * Seven Judgements and Political Prostitution, N Sween
July 17:Revelation 18-20 * The Fall of Babylon and Satan Chained, D Sween
July 18:Revelation 21-22 * New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem, N Sween
July 19-Aug 14: Psalms

Revealed: Instructions to His Churches
July 11 reading
Revelation 1-2
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* Nicolaitans
* Daniel * Maps
PROMISE: "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near." (1:3)
When God revealed to Jesus Christ what needed to happen soon among his servants in their churches, the Lord had the message sent as a revelation to John, the apostle. John wrote the Lord's current instructions, plus what he was shown of the future, in a letter to seven city churches in Asia Minor (now Turkey). This letter is the last book of the New Testament Bible. Interestingly enough, we just finished reading the book of Job, with a conclusion that revelation, not information, is what transforms the Lord's believers.

John begins by greeting the churches and praising what the Lord has done for believers. The letter often quotes the earlier book of Daniel. John describes his relationship with other believers and how the vision came to him. What he saw overwhelmed him until the Living One encouraged him and explained what he was seeing. He writes to the angels of each church.

To Ephesus: John describes the Lord who knows the hard work and perseverance of this church, not tolerating wicked men and testing for authentic apostles. But they have forsaken their first love. Remember, repent, and redo what you did when you first believed. Keep on hating the practices of the Nicolaitans. Hear and overcome for a reward.

To Smyrna: John describes the Lord who sees afflictions, physical poverty, spiritual wealth, slander by false Jews who follow Satan, and the suffering and persecution tests to come. Even if you die for faith to overcome, there is a later reward.

To Pergamum: John describes the sharp words of the Lord who knows that they live where Satan has his throne and yet remain faithful to the Name. Even when faithful Antipas was executed, they didn't renounce Christ. But some believe Balaam's teaching to entice Jews to sin, and some believe the Nicolaitan teachings. Repent and overcome for rewards, or the Lord will come to verbally fight Balaamites.

To Thyatira: John describes the Lord who knows their love, faith, increasing service, and perseverance. But they tolerate that Jezebel claiming to be a prophetess, misleading with Balaam's condoning sexual immorality and eating idol-sacrificed food. (see Acts 15:20) Her time to repent is over and she will suffer. Anyone learning her "deep secrets" is learning from Satan, and is unfaithful to God. They will suffer intensely unless they repent. Do they think God doesn't know the secrets of their hearts and minds, or see their deeds? If you haven't accepted that teaching and practice of sexual immorality, then don't, and hold on until the Lord returns. If you have, repent and change. Continue doing the Lord's will to the end to overcome for rewards.

Churches and Heaven Prepare For Battle
July 12 reading
Revelation 3-5
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* Revelation Study,
Ray Stedman
PROMISE: "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth." (3:10)
Jesus says to the church in Sardis, “ what you have received and heard, obey it and repent. “ He also says to the church in Sardis, people will follow me dressed in white, for they are worthy.

He then writes the church in Philadelphia, saying “ I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown."

To the church in Lacedia, “ I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the another“. He also says “ Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

After this John was taken up to heaven. While there, he saw the four living creatures. Each of the four living creatures were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

Then, John saw a scroll. He wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll. Jesus came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. They all surrounded him, who was given the ability to read the scroll. They said to him, "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

The End of God's Longsuffering Patience
July 13 reading
Revelation 6-8
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* Another interpretation:
7 seals overview
PROMISE: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (7:10)
The Lamb opened the first of seven seals which released (after one of the 4 living creatures said "Come" ) a white horse whose rider, given a crown, rode out to conquer. The Lamb opened the second seal, another animal said "Come!", and a fiery red horse was released whose rider was given power for make war. The Lamb opened the third seal, a creature said "Come!", and a black horse appeared with the rider holding a pair of scales to measure grain when the cost of food soars. The Lamb opened the fourth seal, the 4th creature said "Come!", and a pale horse whose rider was Death, with Hades following close behind him. They were allowed to kill a fourth of the people on earth by sword, famine, plague, and wild beasts. The Lamb opened the fifth seal which allowed John to see the souls of people who had been killed because of the word of God and that they had testified to what they had witnessed of the word of God. How long until judgment and avenging our blood, they shouted. Each given a white robe, they were told to be patient. There are more of the Lord's servants to be honored with death for the word of God. The Lamb opened the sixth seal which released a great earthquake moving every mountain and island, and turned the sun black, the moon blood red, and the stars fell to earth. Everyone, rich or poor, tried to hide in caves to avoid the wrath of the Lamb.

Four angels stopped the wind before their work began. They waited while another angel had the seal of God placed on the foreheads of 144,000 servants of God from the 12 tribes of Israel, with tribes of Levi and Joseph replacing Dan and Ephraim (Nu 13:4-15). Next John saw a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They praised the Lord as did all the angels, elders, and four animals. The multitude had come out of the great tribulation thanks to the blood of the Lamb.

The Lamb opened the seventh seal and after a half hour of silence, seven angels were given trumpets while another angel offered the prayers of all the saints with incense before God, and then smashed fire from the altar in heaven to earth with thunder, noise, lightning, and another earthquake. As the first four of the seven angels blew their trumpets, the earth was hit with specific kinds of damage in thirds. A flying eagle screeched "Woe, woe, woe" for what was coming from the other three angels.

Angels, The Sealed, The Unsealed, and 2 Witnesses
July 14 reading
Revelation 9-11
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* Four angels loosed
PROMISE: "During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them." (9:6)
The fifth angel opened the abyss, and scorpions came out upon the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and a voice from the altar before God gave orders about the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The survivors do not repent.

Then I saw another angel coming down from heaven. John was told not to write down what was said. He was then asked to eat the scroll that angel had, “which would appear to taste sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.”

The two witnesses appear. “ I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sack cloth.” They will be overpowered, die and be raised again and taken into heaven.

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven…

The Kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his
Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 11 : 15

Satan's Hatred Unleashes Tribulation
July 15 reading
Revelation 12-14
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* Matthew Henry
from APIBS.org
PROMISE: "For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." (12:10b-11)
The woman refers to the faithful of Israel through whom Jesus came into the world. The red dragon here is Satan. Satan continues to try to kill the Christ. This tribulation will occur both in heaven and in earth. The forces of God throw Satan back to earth. When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The dragon continued to be enraged and went off to fight the rest of her offspring.

The beast here, represents not only the end time Gentile world kingdom, but also the king of that kingdom. He apparently is given a fatal wound, but is brought back again by Satan’s supernatural power. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. The second beast will promote an ecumenical false church that will worship the anti-christ.

There will than be 144,000 outstanding believers appearing in heaven close to Christ. Three angels appear with a message. The first angel, fear God and give him great glory. The second angel appears, Fallen is Babylon the great. The third angel appears, and says those who worship the beast and receive his mark will seal their doom.

A great slaughter occurs during in the last days of the tribulation. This refers to the battle of Armageddon.

Seven Judgements and Political Prostitution
July 16 reading
Revelation 15-17
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* Revelation 17
David Guzik
PROMISE: "(The 10 kings) will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with him will be his called, chosen, and faithful followers ... For God has put into their hearts (the 10 kings) to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled." (17:14,17)
John sees the sign in heaven which will bring the completion of God's wrath against the earth: 7 angels with 7 plagues. As they appear, John sees something looking like a sea of glass surrounded by people who had been victorious over the beast, his image, and the number of his name. We again need to change our beliefs if "victorious" means anything but "those who die in the Lord." (14:13) These martyrs are given harps by God and sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. Next the 7 angels with 7 plagues come out of the temple (tabernacle of the Testimony) in heaven, and take 7 bowls filled with the wrath of God which one of the 4 living creatures gives each of the 7 angels. Thick smoke fills the temple until the angels have poured out all the wrath on earth commanded by a loud voice from within the temple.

The first attack will be on the land producing painful, ugly sores on people with the mark of the beast. The second attack kills everything in the sea, turning the water to blood. The third attack turns rivers and springs of water to blood. Do we need to change our beliefs about protecting the environment at this time? The angel in charge of the waters said God was just for this because now the people who delighted in drinking the blood of saints and prophets don't have anything BUT blood to drink. The martyred souls under the altar agree.

The fourth attack drastically increases the heat of the sun. In contrast to people and angels seeing God's justice, the people on earth blame God instead of repenting and glorifying him. Does there come a time when one's hatred or indifference to anyone but themselves becomes permanent? Who agrees with God?

Despite the sun, the fifth angel blocks all light around the headquarters of the beast. This darkness increases men's pains and sores, but they won't repent. The sixth attack dries up the Euphrates River. Meanwhile, the dragon, beast, and false prophet respond with their own miraculous signs. Then they call kings from all over the world to get ready to come fight a great battle (i.e., Armageddon). The tragedy of the Euphrates now appears to be an advantage for the beast, since kings from the East can easily cross it.

Evidence that some followers of Jesus are still alive is the Lord's encouragement in 16:15 to stay awake and prepared for His eminent return, like a thief. This implies to me that the Lord has not recruited people on a quest for prosperity or satisfaction through possession of things. A life of faith is most valuable.

The final attack in the air brings an electrical storm with the worst earthquake ever, flattening the earth. Jerusalem splits into 3 parts, and other cities collapse. Babylon is demolished. Hailstones flattening people cause cursing, not repentance.

Who is the great prostitute sitting on many waters (i.e., people [17:15])? Called the Mother of all prostitutes, she has loved drinking the blood of people who bore testimony to Jesus. She rides a beast who will astonish many when it comes back to life after dying, but destruction awaits it. The 7 heads of the beast are 7 hills and 7 kings. The beast will be an 8th king. The 10 horns are 10 short-term kings to war against the Lamb who, with His followers, will overcome them. The beast hates the prostitute riding it, and he leads the 10 kings to destroy her (i.e., "the great city that rules over the kings of the earth." [17:18]) Could "she" be the city wherever the United Nations is?

The Fall of Babylon and Satan Chained
July 17 reading
Revelation 18-20
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* Revelation 20, Fausset
* also see Isaiah and Daniel
PROMISE: "Then I heard another voice from heaven say: 'Come out of her (Babylon), 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. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done.'" (18:4b-6a)
The fall of Babylon. An angel comes from heaven to announce the fall of Babylon. The kings of the earth have committed adultery with her. Then another voice from heaven states, Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in her sins….vs. 18 : 4. Next the merchants of the earth mourn over her, because they will not make any more profit from here. “ In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin” 18 : 1. Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder and threw it into the sea. “ With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.” 18 : 21

In chapter 19, a great multitude in heaven give glory to God for his great judgment. Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fall down and worship God. Then a great multitude sounding like roaring waters shout and rejoice for the wedding of the Lamb.

Then a rider called Faithful and True calls the birds of the air to come and eat the flesh of those opposed to God.

Then an angel comes down out of heaven, puts a chain around Satan, and binds him for a thousand years. “ When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations… (20 : 7) ...only eventually to be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur ( 20 : 10 ).

Then the great white throne judgment will take place.

New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem
July 18 reading
Revelation 21-22
Bible Study Aids and
Revelation Commentary
* God's Invincible Purpose
by John Piper
PROMISE: "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. There will be no more night . They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever." (22:3-5)
After the war, what is familiar about heaven and earth to us now will be totally changed. There will be no sea. The New Jerusalem, beautiful as a bride, comes out of heaven from God, who will live with his people. The old order - including pain, death, mourning, crying - will be changed to the new order, which the Lord's overcomers are to inherit. The cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, practicers of magic arts, idolaters, and liars will not overcome, and will have no place here.

The New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb. In the Spirit, one of the 7 angels carried John to see the bejeweled new Jerusalem. The city didn't have a temple since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple. With no sun or moon, the glory of God is the only light needed. Kings of earth will come to it, and "only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life" can enter the city. (21:27)

The river of the water of life will flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of Jerusalem. The tree of life will grow on both sides of the river, bearing 12 crops of fruit. (A year will still be 12 months.) The tree leaves will be used to heal the nations. The curse of sin and night are both gone. The Lord's servants, with his name on their foreheads, will see Him - face to face - and they will reign with him for ever. You can believe this, said the angel to John.

Why did the Lord send instructions to his people, the churches, along with this revelation of the end times? The Lord - the God of the spirits of the prophets - wants His servants to know what must take place soon and to be ready. Jesus promised He was coming soon (but not when). When John attempted to worship the angel who delivered the message, the angel made him get up. "I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!" (22:9b)

You don't have to change what you are doing. But those who receive the right to the tree of life are blessed. The only rewards to outsiders are fleeting: their magic arts, sexual exploits, murders, idolatries, and lies will be turned back upon them.

The Spirit and the bride invite you: "Come". Have you heard this message? Say, "Come". Are you thirsty? "Come." The water of life is a free gift.

Don't add to this prophecy. Don't eliminate parts of this prophecy. Lord Jesus testifies to its truth. Come, Lord Jesus. His grace be with God's people.

Tomorrow's reading (July 19) Psalms 1-8 with Study Questions

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Today's Bible commentaries, mostly by Don and Nancy Sween, were first posted daily on the Today's Bible Commentary Blog from November 2003

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