II Peter 2
” The Millennial priests must be circumcised in both body and heart (Ezekiel 44:9). The idolatrous Levites that led them in to captivity will not qualify then (verses 10–14). Sin has long-ranging consequences.
“Jesus didn’t die for just a preselected set of those who are “”elect.”” He “”bought”” those who “”bring in damnable heresies”” and deny Him
(II Peter 2:1). He is the propitiation for the sins of the world (I John 2:2).”
II Peter 3
“In the Tribulation, the sea becomes blood and everything in it dies (Rev. 16:3). But “the waters shall be healed” in the Millennium (Ezek. 47:8), and all will be restored to life. Nature too has a “resurrection.”
False teachers not only twist Scriptures that are “hard to be understood” (II Peter 3:16) but also “the other scriptures.” It’s not God’s fault but their own instability that makes them teach false doctrine.
” In the midst of Israel in the Millennium will live both the prince and the priests to govern the civil and religious life of the nation. But Ezekiel closes with what really matters: “The LORD is there” (48:35).
See Solomon’s problem: “I made me” (Eccles. 2:4–6); “I got me” (verse 7); “I gathered me” (verse 8)—nothing for the Lord! A life lived wholly for self leads to the kind of depression Solomon suffered.
I John 1
“As a young man from a defeated people, Daniel’s faithfulness brought him quick prominence (Daniel 2:46–48). Ezekiel, his contemporary, shows just how widespread this was (Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3).
John reveals what a true witness is to do (I John 1:3). He is to tell the things that he has “seen and heard,” and he is to do so with the motive of bringing others into fellowship with themselves and God.
I John 2
” They knew God could (Dan. 3:17), but they didn’t know God would (v. 18). Either way, they knew what was the right thing and would do it.
Our Defense Attorney (I John 2:1) is not so we can “get by with” what we’re not supposed to do, but to help against our accuser (Rev. 12:10).
If you think God is waiting too long to answer your prayer, remember that it may not be time yet (Ecclesiastes 3:1). He’s a great Timekeeper!
I John 3-4
“Even a heathen king knew enough to testify to God’s great works in his life (Daniel 4:2). Surely His children ought to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them (I Peter 3:15).
The fact that we can be called God’s son demonstrates a love beyond what the world understands (I John 3:1), but even we haven’t begun to see what all His love means (verse 2).
I John 5
“Belshazzar wasn’t the first or last one to decide to do something stupid while tasting wine (Dan. 5:2). It’s best no to even look at it (Prov. 23:31).
All Christians are born again (John 3:3, begotten of God (I John 5:1). Therefore, we don’t really love God unless we love our brothers.
“Under the sun” the oppressed may have no comforter, but God sent His people a Comforter from above the sun (John 14:16).
The presidents wanted to find a fault in Daniel but found it difficult (Dan. 6:4). We should strive for such a testimony. Finally, what they decided was a weakness (v. 5), they found to be his greatest strength.
The command is to love other Christians (II John 5) within the framework of obeying His commands (verse 6). Those teaching another Christ fall outside that and are not to be helped (verses 9–10).
“If you seek the secret of Daniel’s greatness, you will find it to be as simple as what your pastor encourages you to do. He knew His Bible (Daniel 9:2), and he prayed (verse 3).
John wished that Gaius could be as healthy physically as he was spiritually (III John 2). The body inevitably weakens, but the soul can continually get stronger. Try some “deep knee bends.”
“One who will spend three weeks in prayer (Daniel 10:3, 12) can expect to see and hear what others will not see and hear (verses 7–9)
False teachers (Jude 3) are compared to “clouds…without water” (v. 12) —giving beauty and comforting shade, but no life. That requires water!
Have you even noticed the inverse relationship between the amount of talking and the amount of working? Solomon did (Ecclesiastes 5:3)
“The tragic ends to the lives of many of this world’s “stars” show how temporary earthly fame can be. God’s stars have not yet begun to shine (Daniel 12:3), but once they start, they will shine forever.
He’s coming, and “every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7). Some eyes will twinkle with delight at that time (verse 6), but some will wail with tears. What you do now with Christ makes the difference.”
“Some of God’s children pursue worldly ways for gain (Hos. 2:5), thinking that is where their blessings come from. God chastises (vv. 6–7) so we will learn that good gifts come from Him (v. 8; James 1:17).
God had “a few things” against three of four churches in this chapter. The exception was the persecuted church in Smyrna (Rev. 2:8–11). Be patient in persecution and God counts you “blessed” (Matt. 5:10).
“Israel’s loss of their kingdom and place of worship were foretold by God (Hosea 3:4), and so it continues today centuries later. But His promise of their restoration follows (verse 5). Jesus is coming!
Some with a name for being alive before men were really dead before God (Rev. 3:1). Others had good names for not defiling their garments (v. 4). Jesus will confess their name before God in Heaven (v. 5).
” God’s law of sowing and reaping includes the fact that we reap more than we sow. That is how farmers prosper. So if we sow the wind of carnal living (Hosea 8:7), we had better have a good storm shelter!
God opened a door in Heaven for John, a picture of the rapture (Rev. 4:1). The important Door to Heaven was opened on Calvary (John 10:9). Enter through that Door, and you will go through this other one too. ”
“God called the infant Israel from Egypt (Hosea 11:1) and taught them to walk (verse 3). He still teaches His children how to walk daily with Him.
Those teaching soul sleep need to explain Revelation 6:9. Those souls seem to be wide awake before the resurrection.
Patience is better than pride (Eccl. 7:8). The proud pushes through his will, but then the fall comes (Prov. 16:18), and the patient has his way.
“Workers cleaning up Gatlinburg from the fire found a partly burned page of the Bible with Joel 1:19–20 on it. God said that was reason to “blow the trumpet” of alarm (2:1). God needs a trumpet section!
Revelation 6 ends with a question—who will be able to stand in the day of God’s wrath? The answer is in chapter 7: those with God’s seal (verse 2) because they were washed in the blood of the Lamb (verse 14).
“At Armageddon, the Gentiles will ‘beat their plowshares into swords’ (Joel 3:10), but God will rescue Israel (verse 16). That is why Israel in the Kingdom can beat their swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4).
When a crowd witnesses a horrible event, all voices gasp and fall silent in an instant. When the seventh seal is opened, the judgment causes all of Heaven to be silent for half an hour (Revelation 8:1).
” Two can walk together only when they are agreed (Amos 3:3). Not in every opinion because that is rarely the case—they agree on walking together. God wants to walk with you. He waits only for you to agree.
Why should we obey the law (“the king’s commandment”–Ecclesiastes 8:2)? Because that is God’s will (“the oath of God”-see I Peter 2:13). Otherwise you will ‘feel the evil thing’ (verse 5).
” It is the One who made “the seven stars and Orion” (Amos 5:8) whom we are trusting that “the shadow of death” will be turned “into the morning,” not into mourning. The same One will defend us here when we are wrongly treated (verse 9). As a child of God, I can have assurance during the trials of this life as well as when the end of life comes.
” God said He would bless or curse nations depending upon how they treated Israel (Gen. 12:3). Edom learned this the hard way (Obad. 10). They didn’t defeat Israel, but they helped those who did (vv. 11–14).
God wraps up earth’s history in three verses (Rev. 12:4–6). The problem: Satan’s fall in Heaven (v. 4); the remedy: Christ’s ministry on earth (v. 5); the conclusion: Israel is preserved for Christ’s Kingdom (v. 6).
“God sent Jonah to do a job, but he ran the other way (Jonah 1:2–3). God prepared a fish and sent him to do a job (verse 17). Jonah should be glad the fish obeyed and did not go somewhere else like he had done!
The Tribulation Period will see two beasts—the Antichrist and his false prophet (Rev. 13:1, 11). The power behind both is a dragon (Satan). To worshiping the beast is really to worship the dragon (v. 4)
” Israel told their prophets not to preach so they would not feel shame (Mic. 2:6). They wanted prophets to approve their loose living (v. 11). They didn’t understand now preaching benefits the righteous (v. 7).
It takes patience to keep the commandments of God (Revelation 14:12). But realizing that death in the Lord brings rest from our labors (verse 13) should enable the patience that we need.
“In Micah 5:1–3, God covers Jesus’ ministry. He would be crucified (v. 1), but He was born in Bethlehem to be a Ruler (v. 2), so He will return to regather and rule over Israel (v. 3). It was all planned from the start!
While men are blaspheming God for His judgments (Revelation 16:11, 21), the voices from Heaven testify to their justness (verses 5, 7). They shed blood and got blood (verse 6). We sow; we reap. God is just!
“Nahum 1:11 predicts the coming of the Antichrist, and the following verses tell of the blessedness of Israel in the Millennium after his defeat. It will all be because of the coming of Christ (verse 15).
Words have power to bless or harm, not just others but also ourselves. That is never more true than of the fool (Eccl. 10:12). What often begins as foolish talking tends to become destructive behavior (v. 13).
“When we see the wickedness around us, we cry to God, but it can seem that He doesn’t hear us (Habakkuk 1:2). But God is at work, even when it is not on our timetable (2:3). We are to live by faith, not sight (verse 4).
The end-time confederation contains ten kings who made a terrible choice. They sided with the beast (Rev. 17:12–13) against the Lamb (v. 14). Choose carefully what side you take; it means defeat or victory!
“We have reason enough to sing and shout (Zephaniah 3:14) when the Lord is in our midst (verse 15). But when we are rejoicing, God rejoices too (verse 17)—what will it sound like when He sings!
God’s call for separation from the world is not just so we will feel like we are better than other people. It is to spare us participation in their sins and their consequences (Revelation 18:4)
” Israel didn’t need to be homeless to build the Temple (Hag. 1:4); “ceiled houses” were luxuries. Don’t get rich by not supporting God’s work.
A bride’s wedding dress is of utmost importance to her. The church is a bride, and the Groom wants her dressed in righteousness (Rev. 19:7–8).
Don’t let unfavorable looking circumstances keep you from doing what you need to do (Ecclesiastes 11:4).
” The world seeks greatness, but God says not to despise small things (Zechariah 4:10). Little is much when God is in it, because it is “not by might, nor by power,” but by His Spirit that His work succeeds (verse 6).
Lucifer wanted to be exalted “above the stars of God” (Isa. 14:13) but will be cast into a bottomless pit (Rev. 20:2–3) before being cast into a lake of fire (v. 10). Exalting yourself will get you abased (Luke 14:11).
“Jesus came as Zechariah had prophesied (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4–5), but their rejoicing at that time turned to rejection in a week. The next time, He will be riding on a different animal (Revelation 19:11)!
The choice was never clearer nor the difference so stark. The two possibilities are to be God’s son and inherit all things (Revelation 21:7), or to reject him for whatever reason and lose all forever (verse 8).
“God chastened Israel, but His promise is that they will be restored in the land in the Kingdom. God’s grace restores in such a way as to make it like there was never any need for restoration (Zechariah 10:6)—grace!
What God requires of us isn’t that complicated (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Do what’s right out of respect for God. In the end, we will be glad we did (verse 14).
“Of all the things we have to be grateful for, one of the greatest is that God never changes (Malachi 3:6). Any change in perfection would be an imperfection—and only perfect grace prevents our destruction.
We have finished reading the Bible this year. He will never add anything to what we have read (Revelation 22:18), but He does expect us to read and heed all that is in this Book (verse 19).
Notations and thoughts by Terry Frala