December 28, 2021


Zechariah 12:1–13:9

Zechariah 12 catapults us all the way to the Battle of Armageddon, when the nations of the world gather together in the Valley of Megiddo, to attack Jerusalem and, in essence, fight against God (Revelation 16:12-16; 19:11-21). This takes place at the end of the Tribulation Period. It won’t be much of a battle; Jesus will return and all the redeemed with Him – Jesus will strike the world with the sword of the Word that proceeds out of His mouth, (He will speak the slaughter) and protect His people living in the land of Jerusalem. We read in:

Zechariah 12:4 (NLT) “On that day,” says the LORD, “I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies.”

This is Bible language for Divine intervention! Divine judgment.

Zechariah 12:9 (NKJV) “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

And then the day comes, when the Jews clearly see the sacrifice of their Messiah. It will require the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus returns, He still bears the scars…they will see Him and mourn (Zechariah 12:10-11). 

We read in Zechariah 13 how idolatry will finally be finished, and a fountain of forgiveness will be provided by God.

Zechariah 13:1 (NLT) “On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity.”

Of course we know there’s only one fountain of forgiveness, none other than Jesus Christ, who loves us so much, that He’s willing to wash us from all our sins in His own blood…it’s there we’re made as white as snow. Not only are we forgiven initially, but in one sense we’re forgiven continually. I’m reminded of that passage in:

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Not only will the idolatry of the Tribulation period and worship of the beast be extinguished but every false prophet will be judged. Zechariah may be referring to the time of the Millennial kingdom at this point (Zechariah13:3-5), when every false prophet will be swiftly dealt with by King Jesus and those who rule with a rod of iron. 

Some say Zechariah 13:6 refers to the claim of the false prophets, but I have a hunch that Zechariah abruptly shifts gears, and speaks of Jesus, as the Jews see Him, with His scars, they ask Him, “Where did you get those wounds?”

Zechariah 13:6b (NKJV) “…Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’”

Zechariah continues – more prophecies about Jesus and the Jews. As a matter of fact, Jesus quoted Zechariah 13:7 in:

Matthew 26:31 (NKJV) “Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’’”

The remainder of the chapter (Zechariah 13:8-9) speaks of the surviving Jews (1/3) protected by God at the end of the Tribulation Period. What a beautiful but painful experience when we’re refined in the fire.

Zechariah 13:9 (NKJV) “I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

Job and Peter said something similar (Job23:10; 1 Peter 1:6-7).


Revelation 19:1-21

Revelation 19 begins with a great multitude in heaven praising God for His just judgment. This is the first time we see the word Alleluia in the New Testament. This is a Hebrew word that has been transliterated universally, it means, “Praise the Lord!” Once we’re in heaven, we’ll be able to understand even more so, the necessity of judgment upon those who reject God’s righteousness provided in His Son, and not just a temporary punishment. We read something interesting in:

Revelation 19:3 (NKJV) “Again they said, ‘Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!’”

The next “Alleluia” is due to that glorious wedding day and Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Jesus is the Bridegroom (John 3:29), the church is the bride, and this is the Day we’ve all been waiting for – a formal, finalized, and forever “outward” expression of an inward reality. We belong to Jesus, as a chaste virgin, dressed in white, clean and bright (2 Corinthians 11:2). He bought us by dying for us and takes personal care of us as His bride (see Ephesians 5:25-33).

In Revelation 19:10 we’re reminded that we are NOT to worship angels (Colossians 2:18), we are forbidden to bow down before anyone but God (see Matthew 4:8-10).

Next – what a glorious scene, Jesus returns on a white horse, finally coming to conquer the world, and to literally, physically rule and reign from Jerusalem – the King returns. He has many names (Faithful and True, the Word of God, King of kings, Lord of lords, and one that only He knows) are glorious. His description (eyes like fire, many crowns on His head, a sharp sword proceeding from His mouth) wow! He comes to conquer, He returns to reign and He will do so with a rod of iron, meaning that if anyone gets out of line, He will deal with it immediately – there will be no nonsense when Jesus rules.

This is the battle of Armageddon, and all the rebel soldiers who marched to war as described in Revelation 16:12-16 will foolishly fight God and be massacred on the battlefield with a simple word from the lips of the Lord.

Sandy Adams has some helpful words, “Revelation chapter 19 describes the climactic conclusion to a galactic battle. Waged in heaven, resumed on earth, won at the cross, resisted through the ages – the war between God and Satan winds up for its grand finale’ in the Valley of Megiddo. It has been a long time since this wicked world has seen the Lamb. What a surprise to hear Him roar like a lion. He came the first time to save. He comes the second time to slaughter.”

Revelation 19:14 reveals the fact that we will be with Him, but I’m pretty sure that Jesus does most – if not all of the fighting, we’re just following Him on white horses. If you were to travel to Israel today you would see this battlefield that will one day be swirling 4-feet high in blood. In Revelation 19:19 we read of the capture of the beast (antichrist), as well as the false prophet who are both cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone, while the rest of the resistance were killed by the “sword” of our Savior. What a glorious day that will be! It’s not the absolute end of evil, but we’re getting there…and from this point forward it only gets better – next is the Millennial Kingdom, one final fight a thousand years later, followed by the everlasting, unending Kingdom of God.


Psalm 147:1-20

As Christians we know – there are innumerable/infinite reasons to praise the LORD. We also know – how good, pleasant, and beautiful it is to praise Him.

Consider how God has regathered Israel to her land, numerous times! (The outcasts regathered – Psalm 147:2)

Consider how God is so personal and powerful – that He’s able to heal the broken hearts of any person individually, but He also knows every star by name and makes sure that not one is missing (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26).

He lifts up the humble; He casts down the proud. Psalm 147:6 states it in dramatic fashion.

Psalm 147:6 (NKJV) “The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.”

He gives rain for grain for food for people; He’s even responsible for feeding the young raven. He’s not impressed with the strength of man, but He is impressed when men and women fear Him.

Throughout the ages God has protected His people. Some may question this, but we need to know, that if it weren’t for God’s gates (Psalm 147:13) all of God’s people would have been wiped out – instantly.

God blesses us with a wide range of benefits from peace, to meat, to the finest wheat; by His word we get snow and then water, as He melts the snow, and by His Word we receive direction.

And then there’s His Word of Words, so to speak – the Bible! Spiritual insight, truth, revelations of things pertaining to the Kingdom.

Psalm 147:19–20 (NKJV) “He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. 20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!”

We have His Word, where would we be without it? Left to ourselves, we’d be lost, and without a clue.

I’m so blessed to think that those of you who are reading this blog are first reading His Word. God will bless you my friend!

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” – President Theodore Roosevelt


Proverbs 31:1-7

Proverbs 31:1-2

The name Lemuel means “for God” or “belonging to God.” It is not at all certain, but some believe this to be King Solomon…Lemuel perhaps being another name given to him by his mother (Bathsheba) (any of you moms have multiple names for your kids?)

Here we read that Lemuel relays the counsel that his mother had given to him, to which Pastor Chuck Smith said, “Much of the book of Proverbs contains advice passed down from father to son. But this last chapter is the advice a mother gave to her son.”

Bathsheba warns her son, beware of the wrong type of woman!

Proverbs 31:3

The first thing she says, we read there in Proverbs 31:3, “Do not give your strength to women…” (some people have the potential to weaken us) (we’ll see later that the virtuous woman is a complete contrast, she strengthens her husband).


If Lemuel is Solomon, he completely ignored his mother’s advice on this point.  As a matter of fact, women were probably the primary cause for Solomon’s failure in the end.
We read about Solomon in: 

1 Kings 11:3 (NKJV) “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.”


An later in:

Nehemiah 13:25-26 (NKJV)  “…Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things…who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, pagan women caused even him to sin.”


Mom tells Solomon, “be careful…” as a king there’s a heavy crown to wear, be sure to take your responsibility seriously, God is the one who’s given you this authority…be careful you don’t get weakened by a woman, who has the potential to reduce a man to a crust of bread. (Proverbs 6:26)

Son – if you’re a womanizer, they’ll take your time, your attention, your money; you won’t be able to fulfill your responsibility as king…you’ll lose your family

Bathsheba also warns her son to beware of wine.

Proverbs 31:4-7

Another thing you must beware of as a leader is wine and intoxicating drink.  Those who are dying need their senses dulled…but not you my son.  You must be sober and sharp, always have your full faculties.

Intoxicating drink – most likely refers to barley beer. We have even stronger drinks now – not to boast, it’s actually something we should be ashamed of.

We read something similar in:

Ecclesiastes 10:17 (NKJV) “Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time–for strength and not for drunkenness!”

Notice again, the reasoning we read there in:

Proverbs 31:5 (NKJV) “…lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted.” 

(See also Deuteronomy 17:18-19)

Drinking and drunkenness are bad for many reasons. The alcohol will master you.  It’s addictive, and destructive to the person who drinks. They bring themselves to a place where they need a drink to think, to calm their nerves, to have fun, and eventually, just to function.

In Proverbs 31:7 we see, it only numbs the pain and hides the problems – it doesn’t heal or help. But the main reason not to drink, as stated in this context, is the way it affects others.  The King might forget the law and therefore pervert justice towards the afflicted. One shouldn’t take that chance! As we’ve seen so often in the Proverbs, justice is first, fundamental, foremost for Godly leaders, in God’s eyes…may we never forget that the poor and afflicted have a special place in His heart.

December 27, 2021


Zechariah 10:1–11:17

Zechariah 10 speaks of the restoration of the nation of Israel. 

The chapter begins with the word “Ask.” Sometimes we don’t have simply because we don’t ask (James 4:2). Jesus commands us to keep on asking.

Luke 11:9 (NKJV) “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

God promised, that the time would come when He would answer their prayer for rain, He would “rain” down blessings from above. He’s not like the lifeless idols which the people looked to because of their lifeless leaders. God’s anger was kindled against the leaders of the day; He promised to punish them and to bless the house of Judah.

Zechariah 10:3 (NKJV) “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the goatherds. For the LORD of hosts will visit His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as His royal horse in the battle.”

Zechariah 10:4 tells us that from Judah would come the Cornerstone…another prophecy of Jesus Christ the Chief Cornerstone who would come to their rescue (Psalm 118:22; Luke 20:17).

Warren Wiersbe, “The flock was in trouble because it had no shepherd to care for it. But the Lord will return and be the Shepherd. He will rescue the people, strengthen them, and establish them in peace.”

In this restoration the nation of Israel, the LORD would be with them and  strengthen them to fight and prevail, to be regathered to the land and increase as they once had. The amazing thing about this prophecy is that this has happened numerous times, even in our generation, Israel was born-again as a nation in 1948 after close to 1,900 years of being without a land scattered throughout the world. God’s blessed them to fight, God’s blessed with fruit (rain). Prophecies fulfilled right before our eyes – ultimately pointing to Jesus’ actual return and reign from Jerusalem forever and ever.

Zechariah 11 begins by speaking of something that would happen in 70 A.D., when the Roman armies would invade Israel traveling through Lebanon and down into the upper Galilee region. God then spends the bulk of the chapter indicting the leaders of the land, the worthless shepherds in the days of Jesus.

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “The passage focuses attention on Israel’s spiritual condition at the time of Christ’s ministry and the consequences of her rejection of Christ, the True Shepherd.”

The Jewish leaders were a mixture of civil and sacred leaders, and they miserably failed the people in both areas. They were not in it for God or the people of God, they were in it for themselves, they were rich as they fleeced the flock and led them to the slaughter.

Zechariah 11:10 is a prophecy of Jesus (Beauty) who was broken on the cross in order to establish a New Covenant.

Zechariah 11:10 (NKJV) “And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it in two, that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples.”

Zechariah 11:12-13 is a detailed prophecy of the actions of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and afterwards regretted it, casting down the money in the Temple . The priests then used the silver to purchase a potter’s field (Matthew 26:15; 27:3-10).

One fascinating thing before we leave this chapter – Zechariah 11:16 is a picture of the antichrist. Having rejected Jesus the Jews would tragically accept the false (John 5:43).

Zechariah 11:16 (NKJV) “For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.”

Did you notice the 4 types of people (sheep)?

1. Sheep who are cut off (lost)

2. Sheep who are young (children and new believers)

3. Sheep who are broken (hurting)

4. Sheep who still stand (healthy)

The antichrist is the epitome of a wicked and worthless shepherds who cares nothing for the flock. Tragically there are many “shepherds” who are more like the antichrist than they are Jesus Christ. God will one day judge the worthless shepherds.


Revelation 18:1-24

We come now to the judgment of what many call “Commercial Babylon.” There have been and will be many people committing spiritual adultery and idolatry through the worship of money and the things that money can buy. It’s okay to have possessions, but it’s not okay when those possessions possess us. It’s okay to have what we need, but God knows that oftentimes we go far beyond our necessities and live in lavish luxuries. Jesus said in:

Matthew 6:24, (NKJV) “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” 

But the kings, leaders, movers and shakers of this world worship at this altar, and get rich at the same time, through the seduction of society – people get caught in culture (especially in the United States of America).

I appreciate the way Warren Wiersbe describes this it, “John certainly had Rome in mind when he wrote this chapter, but his imagery means much more. Babylon symbolizes the whole godless world system that caters to the appetites of sinful men and women (1 John 2: 15–17). True believers have nothing in common with the harlot and her city and should be separated from them (Revelation 18:4; Jeremiah 50:8; 51:6; 2 Corinthians 6:14–18). In every age, the church has had to identify its Babylon and separate from it.”

For that reason the warning is issued in:

Revelation 18:4 (NKJV) “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” 

Reminds me of the warning in 2 Corinthians 6:17. It’s so easy to get sucked into the things of this world, the latest and greatest, to where it consumes us – even as Christians. Paul wrote in: 

1 Timothy 6:8 (NKJV) “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”

He also wrote in: 

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 

God will supply all our needs, not all our “greeds.” How we need to be careful – for as we see in this chapter, the citizens of Babylon will be judged by God…yes it’s true what we’ve heard all of our lives, “It’s all gonna burn!”

I was captured by the concept that it will happen not only in one day (Revelation 18:8), but in one hour (Revelation 18:10, 17). Some say the future city may be a literal place such as New York, or Los Angeles, or maybe even a rebuilt Babylon in modern-day Iraq. Somehow the judgment is connected to a specific place where materialism is mainstream. The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her.

The list of merchandise includes jewelry, clothing, things made of wood, metal, and other materials, there was food and drink, stock, horses, chariots (cars?) and even people were for sale – I think of the sex-trafficking throughout the world – our hearts ache for them. Revelation 18:14 is so sad – to think that sometimes our soul “longs” for these things, we’re told and sold through the endless advertising that bombards us. I need to be careful that my heart doesn’t go after these things, I wouldn’t be the first servant of God who sold out for money (Achan, Gehazi, and Judas did).

The day is coming when this entire entity, this world system, the Babylonian spirits will be judged. I thought it was interesting how in verse 2 the demons are all captured, imprisoned, and caged. Revelation 18:22 mentions the music – what a powerful tool of the enemy much of the worldly music has been…can’t help but think of Romans 12:2.


Psalm 146:1-10

Hallelujah is transliterated from Hebrew – it means, “Praise the LORD.”

We will praise Him in heaven, but then it won’t be by faith – then, it will be by sight. It’s only here, “while I live,” on this side of time that I can praise Him by faith.

May we praise God from the heart, with our whole being.

We love all people and honor our leaders but we must not put our trust in them. Our trust and happiness come only from God.

Psalm 146:5 (NKJV) “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.”

Our hope and helper is the same One who made the heavens and the earth, who keeps truth and justice, who gives food to the hungry and freedom to the prisoner.

The latter is a literal truth, but it’s also a deeper truth. Before I was a Christian, I was a prisoner to drugs, alcohol, and so much more, I was in bondage to sin. I was headed for an eternal prison, a home forever in hell. But Jesus set me free from every prison I was in – this is who He is, and this is why we praise Him.

He gives sight to the blind. He lifts up the lowly, He loves us and watches over us all. He takes special care of the orphans and widows.

He will bring justice to the wicked…on that day when He makes every wrong right and reigns, forever and ever.


Proverbs 30:33

Proverbs 30:33 (NKJV) “For as the churning of milk produces butter, and wringing the nose produces blood, so the forcing of wrath produces strife.”

Agur advises and God commands that we stop the strife and the things that lead to it…like loose lips and unbridled anger.

‘Cuz stirring it up like that, makes butter from milk, blood from a beating…and strife for life (James 3:5-10).

December 26, 2021


Zechariah 9:1-17

Zechariah 9 begins with the declaration of Israel’s ultimate victory over all her enemies – mentioned nations like Syria, Tyre, Sidon, the Philistines, Greece, and even the whole wide world who will oppose Israel under the leadership of the Antichrist, at the end of the age.

Nations that have money, might, wisdom and wealth will not escape the judgment and justice of God! The LORD will destroy, devour, cut-off their pride and defend His people.

Zechariah 9:16 (NKJV) “The LORD their God will save them in that day, as the flock of His people. For they shall be like the jewels of a crown, liffted like a banner over His land.”

God will not only spare Israel, He will restore to them “double” – He will open the windows of heaven and lavish blessings that make-up for all of their losses. It’s a word to all the prisoners who may have still been in Babylon, it’s time to come home!

Zechariah 9:12 (NKJV) “Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.”

All this is made possible, because of Jesus Christ! We read that amazing prophecy of His entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey. We commonly refer to it as Palm Sunday – that was the Day Jesus publicly revealed Himself as Messiah to the people.

Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV) “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

When a king rode into town on a donkey it meant He was coming in peace. This day was not only prophesied here, but also in Daniel 9:24-27. Daniel said it would be 62 “sevens” plus 7 “sevens” for a total of 69 seven-year periods from the issue to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the King. The issue went forth on March 14, 445 B.C.. If you calculate the days involved it equals 173,880 days, which brings you to April 6, 32 A.D. – the VERY DAY Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a Donkey…according to Zechariah 9:9.


Revelation 17:1-18

One of the seven angels spoke with John in order to show him some details about the judgment of God on the “great harlot.” Many Bible teachers refer to Revelation 17 as the judgment of God on “Religious Babylon,” while Revelation 18 is the judgment of God on “Commercial Babylon.” Warren Wiersbe explains the harlot, “The woman represents the ultimate in godless world religion. She is joined with government (carried by the Beast) and corrupts everything she touches.”

As John is carried away in the Spirit he sees this woman sitting on (riding) a scarlet beast which has blasphemous names, seven heads, and ten horns (an obvious reference to the antichrist). We believe that in the last days there will be a dominant one-world religion that will “marry” (work hand in hand) with the antichrist. Revelation 17:5 associates her with Babylon the Great, the mother of all harlots, because it was there at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) that man tried to reach heaven by his own works (religion). This is the heart and soul of every other belief system known to mankind – they’re all trying to earn their way to heaven through good works, they’re all trying to climb “up” the mountain. Christianity is the only belief system in the world where God has come down the mountain, we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, all other “religions” are descendants of, and bonded to Babylon.

In the last days this religion will ride the advantages of the government, something to be wary of. Again, Warren Wiersbe comments on this, “Though Christians must be good citizens and seek to influence government for the Lord, the church must not marry political systems. The systems will only use the church to promote their own plans and then abandon it.” Which is exactly what the antichrist does, in the end (see Revelation 17:16) once the antichrist is done using the religion of the day he devours it and creates his own, where he presents himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

Together the antichrist and the harlot are responsible for the death and blood of many, many martyrs of Jesus (Revelation 17:6). But it’s better to die for Christ, than to live for the devil. The only way a person can make sure he or she is not swept away by the antichrist (who will be the epitome of evil deception) is to have their names written in the Book of Life (found 7 times in the Book of Revelation). This principle is true of all our challenges and temptations in life – the only way to “overcome” is to place our faith in Jesus Christ – this is how we “win” against the antichrist.

John goes on to give us details on the 7 heads and 7 mountains (Revelation 17:9-11). Some might point to the 7 mountains as a reference merely to Rome, which is often described as a “city built on 7 hills,” – this same school of thought points largely to the Roman Catholic church as the harlot. That may be true, but as I read the description in Revelation 17:10 (…five have fallen…one is {present tense} the beast is of the seven but will be the eighth) it seems to refer to world powers, 1-Egypt, 2-Assyria, 3-Babylon, 4-Medo-Persia, 5-Greece, 6-Rome, 7-the Revived Roman Empire (European Community), 8-the antichrist will rise out of the Revived Roman Empire. The ten horns are the 10 districts this Empire will be divided into (these are the toes of Daniel 2:41-42). 

With all this on the horizon, let us flee mere religion and make sure we are those who are “…called chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)


Psalm 145:1-21

Another absolutely beautiful Psalm of David – speaking of the fact that we are called to bless the LORD – to praise the LORD, every single day of our lives!

May we praise Him. May our children praise Him, their children, and their children.

Psalm 145:4 (NKJV) “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”

As we honestly meditate upon God and His mighty acts, we blessed that He is gracious and compassionate; He’s slow to anger. He’s good to all and tender over all His works. We are God’s work and at the same time we are called to work for God, to spread the Word of His coming Kingdom, and our coming King.

If you find yourself down or burdened, it’s good to know:

Psalm 145:14 (NLT) “The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”

There will be times when we fail and fall (many times) – but God will be there to lift us up, to encourage us when we’re down.

Let’s just do our best to walk with God and seek Him in all sincerity, if we do, we’ll find Him and be close to Him.

Psalm 145:18 (NKJV) “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”


Proverbs 30:32

Proverbs 30:32 (NKJV) “If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth.”

As the Proverb talks to all of us, I’m talking to myself:

If you’ve exalted yourself in any way, you might want to humble yourself right away. If you’ve talked smack and devised any evil, you might want to do whatever you can to stop such foolish talk, put your hand over your mouth, use duct-tape, if necessary – because God sees and hears everything, and He will deal accordingly.

December 25, 2021


Zechariah 8:1-23

What a wonderful chapter that prophecies – not only the return of Israel to her land (Zechariah 8:8), but the return of Jesus to His land (Zechariah 8:3).

The bulk of this chapter describes events that take place during the Millennial Reign of Christ…but there are other things mingled in…for example, the completion of the Temple in the days of Zechariah, Zerubbabel, and Joshua.

We all need that encouragement to be strong and finish the work God has for us. Family things, ministry things, it’s all our part in the Great work within the Kingdom of God. Zechariah’s words are applicable to all of us!

Zechariah 8:9 (NKJV) “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Let your hands be strong, you who have been hearing in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, who spoke in the day the foundation was laid for the house of the LORD of hosts, that the temple might be built.”

(See also 1 Corinthians 3:5-16)

Zechariah repeats that message in 8:13b, “…so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong.”

God had determined to punish Jerusalem (which He did), but God also determined to bless Jerusalem, and He would (Zechariah 8:14-15). He had certain expectations for the people – that they’d love their neighbors. It’s a word for us as well!

Zechariah 8:16–17 (NKJV) “These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; 17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; and do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ says the LORD.”

Friend, one day the fasting will turn to feasting. One day Jesus will reign as King in Jerusalem and all the nations will flow to seek Him and pray before Him (Zechariah 8:20-22). Isn’t that awesome! So, even though life is hard, and you may be going through tremendous trials today, I pray that these words of the hope of heaven found in Him would encourage you and carry you through.


Revelation 16:1-21

7 bowls of wrath will be poured out on the earth and take us even closer to the end – something painful to read, and yet joyful to realize. As I hear of – and see so much evil taking place today, mindless murder, widespread war, mass-shootings of random lives – abortion, sexual perversion, confusion (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), I see ever so clearly that the only hope for evil to end, is for Jesus to come. That’s what this is all about! You might remember the very first words of this, the final book of the Bible, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:1). These bowls make the message loud and clear that God is holy, and He really will judge sin.

Imagine – scores of sores on all unbelievers, the ocean turns to blood, the fresh water springs and rivers do too, the sun-screen is gone and the world is scorched with its heat. You would figure that the people of this planet would fear God, but they refuse to repent and give Him the glory He deserves. So God’s “outreach” of judgment continues with darkness and pain, and yet they still refuse to repent of their deeds!

The 6th bowl is interesting in that it allows the nations of the world to be deceived by devilish demons, the unholy trinity of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet – they somehow seduce the world into thinking that if they unite, they can actually fight Jesus Christ.

God’s judgment is seen in the drying up of the Euphrates river, which opens the door for the armies of the world to march to their death. This is the battle of Armageddon.

Warren Wiersbe comments, “Armageddon (Rev. 16:16) is Hebrew for “the hill of Megiddo”; and Megiddo means “place of slaughter.” It is the plain in the Holy Land where Barak defeated the Canaanites (Judges 5:19) and Gideon the Midianites (Judges 7). King Saul fought his last battle there (1 Samuel 31). One of the greatest natural battlefields in the world, it is where the Antichrist will gather the world’s armies to fight against Jesus Christ (Isaiah 24; Joel 3; Zechariah 12–14). Revelation 19:11–21 records the outcome.”

Revelation 16:15 is another one of those straight-out reminders – I need to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ. I need to be living in the light of His eminent return. We can sense the season, but we don’t know the day or the hour, He’s coming unexpectedly, I need to always be watching and wearing the righteousness of Christ.

Revelation 16:15 (NKJV) “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

The 7th bowl ushers in an earthquake infinitely beyond any other on the Richter scale, it rocks the world to the point that no island or mountain is found on the planet. Our prayers are answered, Babylon is judged, the hail falls from heaven weighing-in somewhere between 75 to 100 pounds! Wow!


Psalm 144:1-15

David praises God before the battle, during the battle, and after the battle.

Before the battle God trains us for war (Psalm 144:1).

During the battle God is everything to us and for us. He’s our lovingkindness, our fortress, our high tower, our deliverer. Even though we’re nothing but bad, small, and insignificant in comparison to God, He values us and is mindful of us individually (Psalm 144:2-3).

David cares about Israel nationally and it’s reflected in his prayers.

David knows the difference it makes upon our children for good – a godly nation, leading to a godly generation.

Psalm 144:12 (NKJV) “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style.”

David even cares about the health of the nation financially, its economy (Psalm 144:13-14).

It’s all dependent upon how we’re doing spiritually. Is our God the LORD? The God of the Bible? If so, we will be blessed beyond measure!

Psalm 144:15 (NKJV) “Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!”


Proverbs 30:29-31

Proverbs 30:29-31 (NKJV) “There are three things which are majestic in pace, yes, four which are stately in walk: 30 A lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn away from any; 31 A greyhound, a male goat also, and a king whose troops are with him.”

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “In contrast with lowly creatures like the four in verses 25–28 are those that appear noble in their bearing and walk.”

Agur mentions four things that are stately in stride and strut:

1. In contrast to smaller or lowly creatures we have the majestic lion – king of the jungle, who never backs down.

2. Most other translations speak of a strutting rooster, rather than a greyhound. In the Hebrew language it literally says, “girded of waist.”

3. A male goat – arrogant in appearance.

4. A king whose troops are with him – seemingly invincible with his supportive army (I think of David and his mighty men).

I appreciate the application of Expositor’s commentary, “The lion, greyhound, and male goat are regal because God made them that way. The dog is not a lion and the goat is not a beautiful dog, but each has its own kind of honor. The king is regal because of his office and his official trappings (such as an army). If you exalt yourself (Proverbs 30:32), you will have only artificial honor. If you let God fulfill in you the purpose for which He made you, you will have true honor.”

December 24, 2021


Zechariah 6:1–7:14

Zechariah 6 resembles Zechariah 1:7-11 where we saw angels patrolling the earth. Here we see these blessed beings patrolling, protecting and providing peace in the north, a direction from where Israel had been invaded many times.

Zechariah then commanded Judah to receive the gifts and crown Joshua both priest and king. Priest and King? This was something unprecedented in Israel and no-doubt points to the coming Messiah who would be the only Priest-King they would ever have – it’s a prophecy of Jesus! 

The building of the Temple ultimately speaks of Jesus building the church (Matthew 16:18). Isn’t it wonderful that we’re also blessed to join in this building commission, by co-laboring with Him? (Zechariah 6:15; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

Regarding the Branch (Zechariah 6:12), Warren Wiersbe shares something interesting: “The BRANCH is an important messianic title, signifying our Lord’s coming from the stock of David (Isaiah 11:1). As Branch, He is King (Jerermiah 23:5; 33:15), God’s Servant (Zechariah 3:8), “the Man whose name is the BRANCH” (Zecheriah 6:12), and “the Branch of the LORD” (Isaiah 4:2). Some see in these 4 titles a parallel to the 4 Gospels. Matthew presents the Branch of David, the King; Mark, the Servant; Luke, the Man; and John, “the Branch of the Lord” who is God come in human flesh (John 20:30–31).

In Zechariah 7 we find the Jews who had a practice and pattern of fasting in the 5th and 7th month during the captivity, approach the priests in Jerusalem and ask them if they should continue to fast as they had in the past. By this time (in the 4th year of Darius) the rebuilt temple is only half-way done (518 B.C.). 

The word of the LORD came to Zechariah, to question the question, to press the matter, to ask these men to search their hearts, “…during these 70 years, did you really fast for Me – for Me?” (Zechariah 7:5). It wasn’t a random accusation, for God went on to reveal that the things they did, they did for themselves (Zechariah 7:6). We must always check our hearts, check our motives in all things, as Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV) “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Obedience is always better than fasting. Zechariah goes on to explain to the people that DISobedience is the reason the people were carried away into captivity in the first place. It’s important for us (for me) to realize that a genuine walk and relationship with the LORD is not found in mere religion. Are we doing this for God? How do we treat the least?

Zechariah 7:9–10 (NKJV) “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’”

Tragically, the people did not heed the message, they shrugged their shoulders, it was no big deal, they did not know (or care) that the prophets were speaking God’s Word to them. So God’s chastening hand fell hard and God dispersed them throughout the world.

Will we learn these lessons God lays before us, over and over again?


Revelation 15:1-8

The number 7 is found 32 times in the book of Revelation. It’s the number of completion. The Tribulation Period is 7 years long, John writes his letters to 7 churches, there were 7 seals, followed by 7 trumpets, and now 7 bowls that will be poured out by 7 angels with the 7 last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is “complete.”

This scene, in one sense, takes us to the heavenly temple, and before the temple there is this sea of glass mingled with fire. Some compare this to what was called the “brazen sea,” the large laver of water that stood outside the Jewish tabernacle and temple where the priests washed. Of course, there’s no washing taking place in heaven, but it may represent the fact that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 1:5). Other’s simply see the sea as the mass of humanity from which the people rise. In either case these are people who have won the battle. Victory over the beast, over his image, over his mark, and over the number of his name!

They sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb; it’s a song where-in the people rejoice over the victory God has granted! We read in:

Exodus 15:1 (NKJV) “Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying: ‘I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!’” 

You’ll notice when you read Revelation 16 there is quite a parallel between the plagues of Exodus and the plagues of Revelation. God is clearly making that connection as He triumphs over the enemy.

This song gives praise to God for His ultimate victory, but it also emphasizes His justice. In Revelation 15:3b we read those words, “…just and true are Your ways O King of the saints!” There are those who question God’s ways, even His judgments; but it’s only because we are a sin-sick people who aren’t able to understand the severity of our sinfulness. When we get a glimpse of God’s majesty and holiness, when we’re home in heaven, we will all join in with that declaration, “…just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints.” The seals, the trumpets, the bowls of wrath – the non-believer sees it as only painful judgment…the believer sees it as pure justice.

There were those times in the Old Testament where the Jewish tabernacle or temple was filled with so much smoke, representing God’s glory, that no person was able to enter in –  we see the same thing here. This is not a man-thing, this is a God-thing, God Himself will judge the world and complete what He has started.

Although it’s bittersweet, I look forward to that day, when there’s no more sin, when evil is eradicated…when it’s time for God to go “bowling” with the final 7 bowls.


Psalm 143:1-12

Again David is down. Again David prays. That God would hear and answer and save, even though he’s not worthy. When we survey David’s situation with Saul, David was blameless – but still it’s true what he says, that in God’s sight, “…no one living is righteous.”

David was not just down, he was way down. Notice what he wrote:

Psalm 143:3–4 (NKJV) “For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness, like those who have long been dead. 4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is distressed.”

Depression, anxiety, suicide, and suicidal thoughts have been around for a long time. Even the “best,” and the “blessed,” suffer from it. Covid-19 seems to have amplified it. Our hearts go out to those in this state, crushed, in darkness, overwhelmed, and distressed. David was there – and somehow from that place he lifted his eyes, his voice and he prayed to God:

“Answer me…”

“Cause me to hear You…”

“Cause me to know,” what to do

“Teach me…”

“Lead me…”

Revive me…”

“In Your mercy LORD, cut off all my enemies, because I know who I am…”

“…I am Your servant.”

It helps to know who we are – created in His image. It helps to know who we are in Christ, we are children of God and servants of God – may we never forget, may we always look up to our Lord who loves us.


Proverbs 30:24-28

Proverbs 30:24-28 (NKJV) “There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; 26 The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags; 27 The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks; 28 The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces.”

Agur magnifies the Maker in a brief observation of creatures that are small but both strong and wise.

Ants are wise in many ways, especially in the way they – together, prepare for the future. They are extremely strong for their size with necks able to hold 5,000 times their weight, that would be around 750,000 pounds for most of us in the human realm. Leafcutter ants are able to lift 50 times their body weight – with their jaws – that would be like us lifting a car with our teeth!

Rock Badgers, or hyraxes – make their homes in the rocks, they’re very durable animals still around today in Israel.

Locusts are able to advance because of their cooperation and teamwork. They don’t need someone pushing them, their work ethic is strong and inherent.

Spiders use little hairs called scopulae (millions and billions of them) on their legs to act like an adhesive. This scopulae combined with lighter body weight, make it is possible for them to climb the walls and ceilings without falling…and there they are in king’s palaces.

December 23, 2021


Zechariah 4:1–5:11

Zechariah was given another amazing vision, ultimately of a perpetual supply of oil – symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the vision was to communicate to Zerubbabel (the governor) and Joshua (the High Priest) that God would anoint them to finish the work of building the temple. It was a huge task, like moving a mountain, something that couldn’t be done by human resources, but it COULD be done by the Spirit and grace of God…and so we read:

Zechariah 4:6–7 (NKJV) “So he answered and said to me: ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.’ 7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’’”

Zerubbabel had laid the foundation and he would finish the work as well.

More details are offered by Holman Bible Dictionary, “According to Ezra 3, Zerubbabel and Jeshua (or Joshua, the high priest) rebuilt the altar and in their second year (538?) laid the foundation of the temple, but their work was halted by opposition from persons who had remained in Palestine during the exile (4:1–6, 24). Darius (Persian emperor, 522–486 B.C.) granted the Jews permission to continue rebuilding the temple (6:1–12). Under the urging of Haggai (1:1, 12–15; 2:1, 20) and Zechariah (4:6–10a), Zerubbabel, now governor (Hag. 1:1) in place of Sheshbazzar (Ezra 5:14), resumed the task (Ezra 5:1–2), completed in 515 B.C.”

Zechariah 4:6 has always been a foundational passage for the Calvary Chapel movement. Pastor Chuck Smith emphasized the fact that it’s not to be perspiration, but inspiration. Just as Jesus told the disciples in Luke 24:49 and Acs 1:8, wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. When we’re saved we have the Holy Spirit IN us, but as we serve we need the Holy Spirit UPON us. Something even seen, to a certain extent, in the Old Testament. As we now live in the last of the last days, let’s pray for a double-portion, of the Holy Spirit upon our lives (2 Kings 2:9; Luke 11:9-13).

Zechariah 5 begins with the vision of a flying scroll 30’ x 15’ – it was abnormally large and therefore easy to read. The fact that it was flying reveals the swift judgment it carried. The violations cited, ie swearing falsely in God’s name, and stealing are the two middle commandments on the two tablets of the law and therefore, most likely represent the entirety of the law. This vision is a warning of judgment upon those whose lives are summarized as a violation of God’s Word. No one escapes as we see the curse entering every house. All are guilty. We all need Jesus.

The vision of the woman in the basket has to do with corrupt commercialism, revealed by the fact that the basket in question was used for weights and measurements. Apparently Israel had learned bad business practices in Babylon. They learned to make money, but often times it was done dishonestly, wickedly. The vision is given to remove such wicked idolatry out of the land of Israel, and transport it back to “Babylon”. Many Bible teachers see this as a rebuilt Babylon in the last of the last days…only to be destroyed by Jesus (see Revelation 17-18).

Warren Wiersbe, “Wickedness confined (Zechariah 5:5–11). In the end times, there will be a concentration of evil at Babylon, that last expression of the evil world system (Rev. 17–18). The word wickedness is feminine in Hebrew, which explains why a woman was used as the illustration.”


Revelation 14:1-20

The scene returns to the 144,000 Jews we saw back in chapter 7. There we read that they were sealed on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3), here we read that the seal consists of the Father’s name. During the Tribulation Period these “Jews for Jesus” witnessed to the world and as we read a description of their lives here in chapter 14, their love for the Lord overflows, it’s both unique and inspirational.

We should all have worship songs that resonate within us because they describe our individual experiences. Such is the case of this song the 144,000 sing – it consists of an expression of worship unique to their lives and love for the Lord. When we read of their virginity in v. 4, it’s not to be taken literally, this group was pure in that they did not commit spiritual adultery (Exodus 34:15; James 4:4). But I love the way they followed Jesus wherever He led them, they were redeemed as firstfruits to God, they spoke only the truth, blameless before Him.

After the 144,000, we have 3 messages from 3 angels. The first angel has a message of salvation as he flies throughout the whole world, to every nation, tribe, tongue and people – the message spoken in 6,500 languages is so simple, fear God, obey God, and give glory to God, the one who made you.

The second angel makes a proclamation about Babylon, which is representative of all the false religions of the world – the day has come for their fall. It all started with the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) when men tried to reach heaven in their own way and efforts – in doing so they caused the world to fall into idolatry and spiritual adultery, but the day will come when all manmade religion will be destroyed (see also Revelation 17).

The third angel warns the people, ever so clearly, not to take the mark of the beast; there is absolutely no hope for anyone who does so. This angel takes some time to describe the wrath of God, the cup of His indignation, the torment, fire, and brimstone, ascending forever and ever – there is no rest, no relief, in all eternity for those who worship the beast, by taking his mark. There will be that pressure to take the mark, but John gives that Godly counsel to those facing that temptation then, and really at any time:

Revelation 14:12 (NLT) “This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.” 

Many will be martyred for their faith in Christ. Revelation 14:13 reminds us that although the suffering of such death may be excruciating, it’s only temporary, the rest and reward are eternal.

Revelation 14:14-16 speaks of the harvest of grain and emphasizes the sifting in the harvest. As Jesus raptures His church and separates the sheep from the goat and the wheat from the tares – the Lord knows those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19).

Revelation 14:17-20 speaks of the harvest grapes and emphasizes the severity of the harvest, culminating in the Battle of Armageddon, where the blood of rebellious man stretches 184 miles, 4-feet high. Our God is a Lamb, but He’s also a lion; He’s our loving Savior, but He’s also the righteous Judge – when you have a moment read Isaiah 63:1-6. How important it is to fear the Lord!


Psalm 142:1-7

Can you imagine living in a cave? That’s where David lived at the time of writing this Psalm, it’s a prayer when he was in the cave. He was on the run from King Saul and the army of Israel, and yet he’d done nothing wrong. So he prays.

He cried out. He made supplication. He poured out his complaint before the LORD. He made a declaration to God of all His troubles. It reminds me of what Peter wrote in:

1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV) “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

David was going through it…he was overwhelmed (understandably so). The good thing is, David knew that God knew all about it (Psalm 142:3), and God knew the path David should take (apparently for now, God wanted him to live in a cave).

Psalm 142:4 tells us that David had no one – other than God. He looked to the right, to the left, but no one acknowledged him, no one was willing to give him refuge, no one cared. Forgive me for saying it a million times, but, “Sometimes we don’t realize God is all we need, until He’s all we have.”

David ends the Psalm, as he does almost every Psalm, on a high note. He knows God will answer his prayer and deliver him from his persecutors. He knows that God will set his soul free from this prison he’s in – that one day he’d be surrounded by the righteous…that God would deal bountifully with him. And God did, he would one day be king, God heard his cry and blessed his life.

I hope we know the same is true for us. May we never give up…just keep looking up, continue to pray and do our best to obey. We’ll watch God work, even though it may take some quality quantity time.


Proverbs 30:21-23

Proverbs 30:21-23 (NKJV) “For three things the earth is perturbed, yes, for four it cannot bear up: 22 For a servant when he reigns, a fool when he is filled with food, 23 A hateful woman when she is married, and a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.”

These four things make the earth tremble – we can hardly endure it! 

1. A servant who’s not ready or equipped to lead, but has been placed in that position. An upstart, or one who has the mentality that others should serve him, rather than a servant-leader. This person is oppressive, success has gone to his head. (see also Proverbs 19:10; and Jesus’ words in Mark 10:35-45) 

2. A rich foolish glutton; such people are a harm to society, rather than a help, being both indulgent and ungrateful.

3. A contentious and hateful woman brings much grief to her husband and everyone around her.

4. The maidservant who succeeds her mistress – success has gone to her head. I don’t think it has to do with a lack of royal blood or nobility, it has to do with the a prideful heart, and a lack of humility.

December 22, 2021


Zechariah 2:1–3:10

In Zechariah 2 he sees a man measuring Jerusalem, its width and its length, as a sign of ownership. He sees no need for walls in Jerusalem for the LORD Himself will be the wall of fiery protection all around her, the glory in her midst (Zechariah 2:4-5). What a beautiful picture.

God had disciplined and dispersed His people, but He had also regathered them, calling them back to the land, out of Babylon (Zechariah 2:7). Some of the Jews had settled in Babylon and were content to stay there…and yet judgment was on its way to Babylon.

 Zion is described as the “apple of His eye,” which carries a couple of connotations. First of all it points to the sensitive and vital part of God’s eye, His pupil, if anyone touches God’s pupil, it’s no small thing. Secondly, if one were to look into God’s eye, one would see the reflection of Jerusalem, His eyes are always upon Jerusalem, and it’s for that reason Babylon and all other nations who oppose Israel, will face God’s wrath.

And yet…even in wrath He remembers mercy, a mercy not only extended to Israel, but to any and all who would turn to God. Zechariah reveals that many nations would turn to God one day – especially during the Millennial Kingdom when He reigns in their midst.

Zechariah 2:11–12 (NKJV) “Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”

In Zechariah 3 we have a fascinating scene. Joshua the High Priest was standing before the Angel of the LORD who is none other than Jesus Christ. But there’s Satan at his right hand, accusing Joshua of sin and guilt. We read something similar in Revelation 12:10, where Satan is identified as the accuser of the brethren, who accuses them day and night!

But in this vision we see Jesus as our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Jesus stands up for Joshua and rebukes Satan – “No, Joshua is saved, he’s a brand (a piece of smoldering wood) taken from the fire. Yes Joshua has sinned, but Joshua is forgiven.” Even though Satan sees him as carnal and sinful, clothed in his own filthy flesh, God sees Joshua differently, he’s clean, covered, and clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Revelation 3:5, 18).

At this point the Angel of the LORD (Jesus) admonishes Joshua to walk in His ways and keep God’s judgments, in order to be faithful in his position as judge and as a spiritual leader in the nation of Israel. They were to be encouraged in the truth of their coming the Messiah, the Branch who would rule one day. Make no mistake about it, King Jesus is the only Branch of Government that will ever work, He’s all we ever need!

Zechariah 3:8 (NKJV) “Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.”

This lines up with other prophecies about the coming Christ and the Branch!

Isaiah 11:1 (NKJV) “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

Jeremiah 23:5 (NKJV) “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.”

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “The Lord next affirmed the point of the vision—that Joshua and his priestly companions were symbolic of things to come. In their official priestly cleansing from sin they prefigured the future cleansing of the nation Israel. This future cleansing was linked with the coming of the Sin-Remover who was given three messianic titles—My Servant, the Branch, and the Stone.”

The Servant does the will of the Father. The Stone crushes all opposition (7 eyes probably in reference to the fact that Jesus sees everything). And the Branch connects Him to King David – He’s in David’s family tree twice, as the root and offspring. When David reigned, Israel enjoyed its place of peace and prosperity wherein everyone had his own vine and fig tree. A picture of the Millennial Kingdom.


Revelation 13:1–13:18

The enemy always counterfeits the work of God and even God Himself. In this chapter we have the unholy trinity – the rise of the Antichrist, who is empowered by the Dragon, and promoted by the False Prophet.

The antichrist, or “beast” as he is called, rises from the sea, which symbolizes the mass of humanity. The reason he is called a beast is because he is not domesticated, he is not tame, he is a wild, savage, vicious monster (his true colors of hate, murder, and destruction will eventually be exposed). This is the fourth beast spoken of in Daniel 7 (it would be helpful to read that chapter). We read about this beast back in Revelation 11:7 and will find him mentioned 29 times in the book of Revelation.

As anti-christ, he opposes Christ, and claims to be the Christ. We see in verse 1 that he has 7 heads and 10 horns, something we read about the Dragon back in Revelation 12:3 (the Dragon gives him his power – see Matthew 4:8-9). The 7 heads are explained in Revelation 17. As the 7th and 8th head the Antichrist will follow after Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, the Revived Roman Empire out of which the Anti-Christ will rise. The anti-christ will rise to power with the same evil spirit of the past who hungered to rule the world, many of those rulers elevating themselves as deities, explaining the blasphemies. As you read through Daniel 7 you’ll find these beasts mentioned there as well (leopard, bear, and lion). The 10 horns correspond to the 10 toes spoken of in Daniel 2:41-42 and refer to the organization of the world’s powers in the last days – some say specifically speaking of sections within the Revived Roman Empire, but it may even be the world.

The counterfeits continue in many lying signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9) even counterfeiting a resurrection from the dead, which leads the world to worship the beast, all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life (Revelation 13:8). At this point John issues a warning, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear.” He wants us to stop and examine our lives, if a person’s name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that person will bow down to the beast.

John then mentions the false prophet (another beast) (he is called the false prophet in Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). He performs great signs with an agenda to woo the entire world to worship the first beast. The antichrist is a political figure, the false prophet is a spiritual figure, and together they figure out a way to convince the world that this is now a religious rule as the antichrist claims to be god (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

As his power grows, he causes everyone to receive a mark in the right hand or forehead, without which they cannot buy or sell. People must sell their soul to buy a loaf of bread. Some say this is in reference to a microchip that can easily be inserted under the skin. If you rewind 50 years ago, such technology would have been scoffed at, but now with the astronomical advances in technology, chips the size of a grain of rice (or smaller) can contain all the information necessary for such transactions. These chips are already used all over the world.

John challenges us to calculate the number of the beast – 666. Is this the numerical value of his name? Is it the pinnacle of man’s creation (the computer)? There will be some sort of calculaton revelation. 7 is the number of God, while 6 is the number of man


Psalm 141:1-10

Another Psalm (prayer, song) of David.

Our prayers rise as incense before the Lord. May they be a sweet smelling aroma to Him. Prayer is one of the weapons we have for the war we’re in (Ephesians 6:18) and here we see David once again “fighting on his knees.”

He not only prays that God would defeat his enemies, he even prays that God would help him with the words that he speaks (it’s one of my favorite prayers).

Psalm 141:3 (NKJV) “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

We often mess everything up by careless words spoken to others. How wonderful it would be if we only spoke those words approved by God – if we prayed this prayer and He answered…as the watchman of our words, as the guard of our gab, as the doorkeeper of our every dialogue and discussion.

David also prays something we might consider to be rather outlandish:

Psalm 141:5 (NKJV) “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.”

David is asking for it! He’s asking to be rebuked, even “struck” by the righteous. If there’s any area of his life that’s not right, he wants to know about it and he figures the godly and caring people in his life should have the freedom to point things out. It’s all part of winning the war against the wicked.

David (and Israel at that time) was going through it – he counsels us to stay focused. He shows us the power of prayer.

Psalm 141:8 (NKJV) “But my eyes are upon You, O GOD the Lord; in You I take refuge; do not leave my soul destitute.”

Are my eyes truly on the LORD?

Keep in mind this Psalm is a song.  May we pray and even sing these types of songs that bring victory in our lives.


Proverbs 30:18-20

Proverbs 30:18-19 (NKJV) “There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yes, four which I do not understand: 19 The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a virgin.”

Too wonderful…for me!

The way an eagle can fly up to a mile high during migration, at which time they seldom flap their wings. They use thermal updrafts to gain altitude, and can easily reach anywhere from 50 to 70 MPH (wow, too wonderful).

Snakes have 4 ways of moving. They can throw themselves forward, they can lift the middle of their body up and then push the rest along. They can use bumps or surfaces with friction to slither from, or they can use the scales of their body to grip the ground to move forward. Amazing!

The ship in the midst of the water is a vessel that’s man-made, but yielding and cooperating with the sea, which is God-made. In the big picture it turns out to be just a speck in the ocean, and yet is able to carry us to our desired haven.

The last thing that is too wonderful is the wonderful union between husband and wife. Such a lovely gift from God, and through such intimacy…children are conceived. If only the world would see, this intimacy is exclusively for marriage!

Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV) “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

Tragically, our society has taken something so beautiful, and stripped it of its wonder. I’ve read stories of young women auctioning off their virginity! May it never be among us!

Proverbs 30:20, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wickedness.’”

And of course this is true of both men and women – not adults, but adulterous, whose conscience is seared and hearts are hard. There are many wolves out there whose only desire is to increase the number of unfaithful men and women. They have no conscience or conviction.

December 21, 2021


Zechariah 1:1-21

Zechariah’s name means, “Yahweh remembers.” Writing to the Jews who had returned from captivity, Zechariah reminds the people that God has not forgotten them. Zechariah who was both a priest and a prophet calls the people back to God, and encourages them to finish the Temple. He’s a contemporary of Haggai, but his book is not as simple and straightforward – Zechariah is filled with heavenly visions and prophecies not only about Israel, but about their Coming King.

He opens with an invitation to return:

Zechariah 1:2–3 (NLT) “I, the LORD, was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore, say to the people, ‘This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.’”

It’s not complicated or sophisticated, it’s a simple message…simply return to God. Is He first in my life? Am I seeking Him? If we have that heart, God promises to return to us…He will bless our lives for good.

Unfortunately most people DON’T return – such was the case for the majority of Jews AND Gentiles.

Zechariah has a vision of angels on horses whose responsibility it was to patrol the earth (Zechariah 1:7-11). This may be Jesus whom Zechariah is speaking with in this section.

As the Father and Son have a discussion about Israel in the hearing of Zechariah, the words of her future are good and comforting. The LORD was zealous for Jerusalem and Zion (heavenly Jerusalem)…and their Temple would be rebuilt, fellowship would be restored.

Zechariah 1:16 (NKJV) “Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.’”

God was angry and would therefore judge the nations who had scattered Israel (those nations are the 4 horns in Zechariah 1:18-21). 

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “Some writers understand these four horns to be the four Gentile empires envisioned in Daniel 2 and 7 (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome).”

Others point to Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, and Medo-Persia, while there are those who simply see the number 4 as a number pointing to the entirety of the earth (north, south, east, and west).

Regardless of what view we take on these 4 horns, one thing we know, it is not wise to oppose Israel. It’s all rooted in and returns to Genesis 12:3.


Revelation 12:1-17

The first sign John sees at this point is the woman – who is representative of the nation of Israel. Some would say that the woman is the church, or even worse, that’s it’s Mary the mother of Jesus, but this is one of those cases where the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible, and back in:

Genesis 37:9-10, we read of Joseph’s dreams, “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’ So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ‘What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?’”

Jacob, interpreted Joseph’s dream of the sun, the moon, and the stars to be his family, the nation of Israel. Here we see she’s pregnant and ready to give birth – the child is Jesus, the Messiah would come through Israel.

The second sign John sees at this point is Satan, this fiery red dragon with many crowns and horns, speaking of his political and spiritual power on earth. We read in Revelation 12:4 that his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven to earth. This is in reference to the fact that when Satan fell from heaven, he drew 1/3 of the angels with him – these angels are now demons.

This chapter speaks of the fact that Satan opposes the woman who represents Israel – but God protects her; God protects Israel to give birth to the Messiah, and we see in Revelation 12:5 that Jesus finished His work, ascended into heaven, and that Jesus will one day rule the world with a rod of iron.

Revelation 12:7 describes a war in heaven between the good angels, led by Michael, and the bad angels (demons) wherein Satan is completely kicked out of heaven and no longer has any type of access to God. Up to this point, Satan somehow is able to present himself before the Lord to oppose and accuse the brethren (see Job 1:6; Zechariah 3:1). Not anymore. The end is near – we’re starting to hear it more and more as we read through the Revelation, “…salvation and strength, and the kingdom of God, and the power of His Christ have come…” (Revelation 12:10). The accuser has been cast down.

Just as a quick side-note, the enemy doesn’t just accuse us to God, he lies and accuses us in our own minds, or to others, it’s his task and title. He’s the king of condemnation. But the Bible tells us there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Don’t allow the accuser to condemn you as a Christian, thank God for His grace and His blood that really does wash away all of our sins (Romans 5:20; Revelation 1:5).

It’s important for us to understand that the devil knows his time is short, so he will persecute us with a passion if we endeavor to keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Christ. We read in this chapter of God’s supernatural protection of the children of Israel, and the same is true for us (Psalm 91:1). God will do His part, but I also need to do my part. I love what we read in:

Revelation 12:11 (NKJV) “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” 

Revelation 2-3 speaks of overcomers in the church – how? Of course it all starts with the blood of Jesus and our salvation. But then it’s an issue of the words we speak – the witness – if it’s in our hearts it will be on our lips and we will share with others. And then our love. Do I love God more than my own life? This is the only way to overcome.

The enemy continues to attack God’s people, but now with even MORE intensity.

Warren Wiersbe, “The war may be over in heaven, but it it getting more intense here on earth. Satan is angry and seeks to destroy the Jews and make war with anyone who trusts the Lord.”


Psalm 140:1-13

David once again, prays for God to protect him from those (there were many) who rose up against him; they were evil men, violent men, men who planned evil things in their hearts. They apparently spoke the language of Lucifer – lies!

Many wars start and are waged with words, aren’t they? It’s demonic and does so much damage!

Psalm 140:3 (NKJV) “They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; the poison of asps is under their lips.”

So David prayed:

Psalm 140:6-8 (NKJV) “I said to the LORD: ‘You are my God; hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. 7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. 8 Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted.’”

There were many who wanted to kill David because of the lies that were spoken about him. Under the leadership of King Saul there was an entire army hunting David down – but David prayed – and God protected him.

We need to do the same thing. One of the most difficult realities of life (even as a Christian) is people will “talk.” They want us to worry, or get enter into the mud-sling ring. Don’t even go there. Go to God. Notice what we read in:

Psalms 109:4 (NKJV) “In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer.”

Let’s give ourselves to prayer. Let’s trust the Lord. It can be “dangerous” as a true disciple of Christ, but as we pray and trust – we can know that God will maintain our cause; we will thank Him and dwell in His presence forever!

Psalm 140:12–13 (NKJV) “I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. 13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.”


Proverbs 30:17

Proverbs 30:17 (NKJV) “The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”

Here we have another Proverbs emphasizing the importance of children honoring their parents. Keep in mind this is a commandment with promise – a long life. It may mean God will punish a scornful and disobedient child, but it also carries the idea that not heeding the loving wisdom of one’s parents, often leads to premature and violent death.

NET Notes, “The “eye” as the organ that exhibits the inner feelings most clearly, here represents a look of scorn or disdain that speaks volumes (a metonymy of cause or of adjunct). It is comparable to the “evil eye” which is stinginess (28:22).”

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “This saying may have been placed here to point to the fact that disrespect for one’s parents is as bad as the insatiable greed mentioned in verses 15–16. An arrogant child who scorns (bûz, “to hold in contempt or ridicule”; see comments on 1:7) his or her parents (cf. v. 11) will die, and his corpse will remain unburied and be food for the birds of prey.”

December 20, 2021


Haggai 1:1–2:23

Haggai now takes us to the final stretch of the Old Testament. He is a post-exilic prophet used by God to challenge the people to complete the rebuilding of the Temple.

I appreciate the way Warren Wiersbe summarized the book:

“In 538 B.C., about fifty thousand Jews left Babylon and returned to their homeland to rebuild the temple and restore the nation. In 536, they laid the foundation of the temple; but the work was stopped by their enemies and was not resumed until 520 under the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah. (Review Ezra 1–6.) The book is comprised of four messages that Haggai gave during a period of four months. His purpose was to get the workers back on the job and to keep them working until the temple was completed. His first message called them to be honest (Haggai 1:1–15) and put God’s house ahead of their own houses. Then he appealed to them to be strong (Haggai 2:1–9), be clean (Haggai 2:10–19), and be encouraged (Haggai 2:20–23). Whenever God’s work is being neglected, the preaching of the Word gets things going again.”

“The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not ‘What a lovely sermon!’ but, ‘I will do something!’” – Francis de Sales

Twice Haggai challenges the people to consider their ways (Haggai 1:5, 7). A good thing to do in every area of our lives, including the ways of our wealth. Are we giving to God what belongs to God? Are we obedient in tithes and offerings? Or are we spending it all on ourselves? That’s what the Jews of that day were doing – living in fancy paneled houses. God rebuked them through Haggai, but also stirred them up. The governor, the priest, and the remnant of the people were stirred up to be strong…to give, and to work.

If put side-by-side with the Temple of Solomon, there was no  comparison, but they were not to be discouraged. The LORD was with them (Haggai 2:4) and that’s all that matters? Not only that, one day this temple would be greater than Solomon’s because one day Jesus would be there. This temple would be expanded by Herod the Great to a glorious “house.” May we never despise the days of “small things.” (Zechariah 4:10)

Haggai was not afraid to faithfully deliver God’s message – even the indicting ones. In Haggai 2:10-14 he informs and warns the people that they were unclean. What good is the work, the worship, the sacrifice, and service if it’s unacceptable to God? I thought of Paul’s words to Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:21 (NKJV) “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”

In Haggai 2:15 he transitions into a prophecy that has to do with a promised future blessing. If they carefully considered the way they did not prosper because of their mismanagement of God’s resources, pouring everything into themselves; if they carefully considered God’s chastening to bring them back to Him, how they didn’t return, but if they now returned, they were to “Consider from this day forward,” God’s blessing upon their lives because of a discovery of their priorities. It would now be God, first…notice the promise:

Haggai 2:19b (NKJV) “…but from this day I will bless you.’ ”

Haggai speaks of the blessings upon the people and the blessing upon Zerubbabel – the way God would used him in mighty ways, some teachers even saying that this final prophecy has to do with he Messiah-conquering King who would come as a descendant of Zerubbabel. Haggai’s contemporary, Zechariah, used the messianic title “Branch” to refer to Zerubbabel (Zechariah 3:8; 6:12).


Revelation 11:1-19

John was instructed to measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. This reveals a few things to us. For one, “ownership” – any time something is measured in a context like this, it is an indication of ownership. Secondly, the temple will be rebuilt.

In Israel today there is a great push for the rebuilding of the temple – we have all the articles, furnishings, and even the clothing necessary; the red heifer, the crimson dye for the garments, and even the necessary training is taking place. The following words from an interesting article in the Jewish Voice, explain:

“The Sanhedrin and the Temple Movement also hold reenactments of Temple ceremonies for the training of those who are from the priestly class known as Kohanim. This training involves special schooling on the duties of the priests, and the use of ritual vessels created for use in the Third Temple…” 

More information on the rebuilding of the temple can be found at http://www.templeinstitute.org

The third thing we notice in the measuring of the temple is that John was instructed not to measure the court which is outside that has been given to the Gentiles. On the Temple Mount today there is the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, both considered to be sacred Muslim sites. We believe that the Antichrist will be able to make some sort of covenant to rebuild the temple, and the location may be just north of the Dome of the Rock. For that reason, John is instructed to leave that out of the measurement.

There may be some sort of connection with the two witnesses and the new temple. Eventually as these two witnesses prophesy, they will need to defend themselves and are instruments of God’s judgment as fire proceeds from their mouth, they shut the heavens to withhold rain, turn water to blood, and strike the earth with plagues at will. I believe that the two witnesses will be Moses and Elijah. A strong case can be made for Elijah by the simple fact that he never died and there are two prophecies of his return in the last of the last days (Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:11). From there we remember that it was Moses and Elijah who appeared to Jesus in the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:3). Moses represents the law, and Elijah the prophets; and when we look at the nature of these miracles for ministry, it seems to fit the wonders done through the hands of Moses and Elijah.

Just as these men will be invincible – until they finish their testimony (Revelation 11:7) so are we. But then the Antichrist will be allowed to defeat them and the world will rejoice as their bodies lay in Jerusalem, which by this time has been reduced to a spiritual Sodom and Egypt (Sodom is known for homosexuality and Egypt is a “type” of the world).

As their dead bodies are on display for all the world to see through satellite television, after 3 ½ days God will raise them up and they will ascend (bodily) all the way to heaven. This will be followed by an earthquake; 7,000 people will die in Jerusalem and the others will be shaken up.

We’re getting closer. All the believers in heaven at this point will worship as we see the day drawing near, judgment and justice…King Jesus will reign forever and ever. What an answer to prayer! Revelation 11:19 mentions again the lightnings and thunder, similar to what we saw back in Revelation 8:1-5 – as prayer answered. Keep praying friend, it’s not in vain!


Psalm 139:1-24

This is one of most amazing Psalms of all! I almost feel bad trying to summarize it.

In this Psalm we see the Omniscience of God (He knows everything). He knows everything about us, individually, and personally. We read of God knowing my sitting down and rising up – in Hebrew poetry this is called a “merism.” It’s when the poet uses two extremes or opposites with the intention to include everything in between.

We also see God’s Omnipresence. There is nowhere we can go to escape the presence of God, even if we traveled the speed of light, and took the wings of the morning (186,000 miles per second), God would be right there – with us.

If I had to neatly outline this Psalm I would say it this way:

I. God knows you Perfectly

II. God’s with you Constantly

III. God made you Purposely

And that latter point is what we see in verses 13-18. God knit us together in our mother’s womb for a life He planned out for us even before we were born.

Psalm 139:16 (NKJV) “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

I wish the world could see this truth – that life begins at the moment of conception. That God Himself makes us all uniquely (there are no mistakes on His part). There are purposes for every child conceived and their lives should not be taken from them.

I’m in awe of the way that God loves us so much, that His thoughts toward us, are as the sand of the sea.

Apparently David (the writer of this Psalm) is going through some hard times, some fierce opposition. With all this understanding He prays for God’s intervention. He also prays for God to search his own heart. It’s a good prayer to pray, “Lord, if there’s anything wrong in me that I can’t see – please reveal it, that I might forsake it…and lead me in life.”

David also prayed for God to help him with his anxiety.

Psalm 139:23–24 (NKJV) “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

This is such a beautiful Psalm, making clear, God is near…working out this amazing plan for our lives.


Proverbs 30:15-16

Proverbs 30:15a (NKJV) “The leech has two daughters— Give and Give!”

Although leeches are very fascinating in nature, they are mostly known for being blood-sucking, selfish, takers.

They say a leech’s body is composed of 34 segments. They all have an anterior, or oral sucker attached to 6 other segments of their body which is used to connect a host for feeding, and also to release an anesthetic to prevent the host from feeling the leech. They use a combination of mucus and suction, caused by the concentration of those 6 segments, to stay attached and secrete an anti-clotting enzyme into the host’s blood stream.

In other words, they are equipped to selfishly get! Once the process begins an average leech would drink blood weighing as much as itself in as little as 15 minutes.

Tragically some people are like that, and so are their children – their prodigies are tragedies.

Proverbs 30:15b-16 (NKJV) “There are three things that are never satisfied, four never say, “Enough!”: 16 The grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water— and the fire never says, “Enough!”

Four things that are never satisified:

1. The grave (Hebrew = sheol) refers to the underworld, hell, the abode of the dead. (we read the same truth in Proverbs 27:20)

2. The barren womb. In those days barrenness was seen as a curse from God. This made Sarah sin and Hannah weep. Nothing else on earth will satisfy (not Abraham, or Elkanah).

It can still be tough today, the barren womb, even with New Testament light that reveals more clearly that the righteous don’t always experience health, wealth, and prosperity; that the blessings are often invisible and more eternal. Contentment is challenging in such a place.

3. The 3rd thing mentioned is the earth, with it’s never ending water cycle.

4. The 4th thing mentioned is the fire – it never says no, it never says enough. Left to itself it will continue to burn as long as there’s fuel for the taking.

December 19, 2021


Zephaniah 1:1–3:20

Zephaniah was the great-grandson of Hezekiah and is the last of what we would call the “pre-exilic prophets.” He prophesied to the southern kingdom of Judah, during the days of Josiah. Some say he may have been instrumental in bringing about the revival at that time, but tragically it was a revival that was short-lived.

Judah would be consumed, God would cut off the Israelites from the face of the land. His people needed to be purified from the Baals and other idols such as Milcom who was an Ammonite god. The people were deceived into thinking they could serve the LORD AND other gods – they were wrong. The people had turned away from following the LORD, from seeking or inquiring of Him. It didn’t matter if they were princes or money-handlers – judgment was looming. 

Zephaniah 1:12 (NKJV) “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil.’”

Beware of complacency. Beware of thinking that God is indifferent, that God won’t get involved, that God doesn’t reward or judge – indeed, He does both. The Day of the Lord, the day God would judge was near.

In Zephaniah 2:3 the prophet invites the people to seek the LORD…perhaps God would show mercy, relent, or at least delay.

But it wasn’t just Judah who was in trouble. We see in Zephaniah 2 that God was also warning the Philistines, the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Ethiopians, and Assyrians. These nations felt secure in their sin…when they shouldn’t have.

Zephaniah 2:15 (NLT) “This is the boisterous city, once so secure. ‘I am the greatest!’ it boasted. ‘No other city can compare with me!’ But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a haven for wild animals. Everyone passing by will laugh in derision and shake a defiant fist.”

It’s so sad to see the opening indictments against Jerusalem in Zephaniah 3, especially the fact that, “She has not drawn near to her God.” The leaders in prominent places were like roaring lions and wolves. The same was true for priests and prophets who did violence to the law (they didn’t heed it or teach it accurately).

God would judge Jerusalem…but as we’ve seen time and time again, God would show mercy.

There’s always a remnant of Israel, now and in the future. Today God has restored the Hebrew language, something that had been previously lost (Zephaniah 3:9). Eventually the day will come when Israel will be completely restored – in the Millennial Kingdom, King Jesus will rule from Jerusalem. Notice how beautifully it’s expressed:

Zephaniah 3:14–15 (NKJV) “Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.”

Can you imagine the day that God SINGS over His people?

Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV) “The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

All this is ultimately fulfilled in the Kingdom age.

Zephaniah 3:20 (NLT) “On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the LORD, have spoken!”


Revelation 10:1-11

You may have noticed a pattern by now. 7 seals and then an interlude; 7 trumpets and then this interlude. We’ll see it again later, after the 7 bowls of judgment, an interlude.

In the Greek language the words “mighty angel” are literally “strong messenger.” I believe that this messenger is none other than Jesus Christ. Now, we must remember that Jesus is not an angel in our classic sense of the word, He is God the Son, second Person of the Trinity; but Jesus is a messenger, He’s the Divine Angel of the Lord.

Notice His clothing – He’s clothed with a cloud. Clouds are often connected with the glory of God. We read in:

Exodus 16:10, (NKJV) “Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.” 

It’s interesting, when Lucifer fell in his foolish pride, we read his words in:

Isaiah 14:14, (NKJV) “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”

Not only does He have the clothes of God, He has the crown of God, that of the rainbow, taking us back to John’s first vision of God and His throne in Revelation 4:3. His face like the sun, is similar to the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:16, and his feet take us back to Revelation 1:15. Most commentators believe the book He has in His hand is most likely the title deed to the earth, for this is a picture of Jesus’ literal, actual return to claim His property (He redeemed the world) which was purchased on Calvary.

Imagine the day when there’s no more delay.

The book is also somehow connected to the Scriptures, to prophecy, and even the book of Revelation itself, for John is commanded to take and eat the book. The voice from heaven tells him that the book will be bitter-sweet. So John took the book, ate it, and sure enough, it was bitter-sweet.

As John prophesied, he needed to take in the Word before he could distribute it; in many ways the message is bitter-sweet.

Warren Wiersbe put it this way, “…to share God’s message, we must take the Word, receive it inwardly like food, and let it become part of us (Jer. 15:16; Ezek. 3:1–11; 1 Thess. 2:13). The Word is sweet when you read it (Ps. 119:103) but bitter when it goes deeper and you digest it.”

On this side of time it’s hard to digest. We long for Jesus to come and claim His rightful throne, to reign from Jerusalem, to eradicate and end all evil. But many souls will suffer and perish forever and ever. On the other side of time we will have a better grasp of it all, and even now we know that God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked. We read in:

Ezekiel 33:11 (NKJV) “Say to them: ‘AsI live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’”

It’s bitter-sweet, there’s no way around it, but all of God’s messengers are required to eat and share God’s Word.


Psalm 138:1-8

This brief Psalm of David is packed with powerful truths to contemplate.

Do I praise God with my WHOLE HEART? (Psalm 138:1)

Do I praise Him for His love and truth?

Speaking of truth – do I realize that God has magnified His Word above His name? That speaks volumes! The Jews venerated the name of the LORD so much, that we don’t really know how to pronounce it because they were afraid to speak it, or even write it, and violate the third commandment which forbids us to take His name in vain. But here we read that God’s Word has been elevated above His name! Do I praise God for the Bible?

David shares how God answers prayer (Psalm 138:3) and David knows that one day every knee will bow, even the kings of the earth…to the King of kings.

Psalm 138:6 (NKJV) “Though the LORD is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar.”

Let’s humble ourselves. Let’s encourage ourselves in that God regards us, loves us, thinks of us, and is working out a wonderful plan for all of our lives. That’s what we read in v. 8

Psalm 138:8 (NKJV) “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.”

The Lord will finish what He’s started in all our lives. In His mercy He will not forsake us, the work of His hands…we know that and it’s just good to pray that…pray Bible.


Proverbs 30:11-14

Proverbs 30:11 (NKJV) “There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother.”

It is important to honor our parents. This is the 5th commandment of the 10, and it’s the first with promise.

Exodus 20:12 (NKJV) “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:1–3 (NKJV) “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

This is so important to God that it carried the death penalty in Israel’s civil law!

Exodus 21:17 (NKJV) “And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.”

Proverbs 30:12 (NKJV) “There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness.”

Often we’re blinded to our own sins because we’re looking at ourselves through the lenses of this “lower” land. This “generation” might be moral, stable citizens, educated, sophisticated, and dedicated to their cause, but if they have refused God and His provision for pardon, they are NOT washed from their filthiness. Everyone needs Jesus (Revelation 1:5)

Proverbs 30:13 (NKJV) “There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up.”

In Proverbs 6:16-17 we have a list of 7 things God hates, things that are an abomination to Him – the first on the list is a “Proud look.” That’s what lofty eyes are.

Isaiah 2:11–12 (NKJV) “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. 12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up—and it shall be brought low.”

David prayed on this:

Psalm 131:1 (NKJV) “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me.”

Proverbs 30:14 (NKJV) “There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”

According to the Scriptures, “cannibalism” is common, there is a generation that’ll eat you alive, that devours the poor.

We see it frequently in society, how the poor are swallowed up, treated like a piece of property , they’re denied justice, defrauded, undermined, and overtaxed.

I want to know Christ more, and make Him known…