OYB December 22
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Dec 24
3:1-10 This is a fascinating picture of Jesus. The name of the high priest was even, "Jeshua," or the OT version of Jesus!
3:8 "Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest, and all you other priests. You are symbols of things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. Now look at the jewel I have set before Jeshua, a single stone with seven facets." Here we have the high priest with his "other priests," as symbols of things to come! The jewel with the seven facets might be the seven churches, I don't know for sure.
13:8 (NAS) All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. It is hard to imagine everyone worshiping the Beast, but perhaps it is nothing more than the anti-Christ—anything that is not truth. I will point out that NAS does not translate the latter half of the verse correctly. Here is a correct translation more true to Greek:
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (KJV)
13:10 Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God's holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful. Looks like there's no getting out of it for many. Gulp. Suffer in prison or get run through by a sword. Good thing it's not our choice. When I read the stories of the martyrs in places like China and N. Korea, I am amazed at their courage. It has to be DIVINE courage given only in the moment! Who could endure being run over by a steamroller feet first? Think I'm exaggerating?
The New York Sun headline reads: Korean Reds Targeting Christians . A woman in her 20s executed by a firing squad after being caught with a Bible. Five Christian church leaders punished by being run over by a steamroller before a crowd of spectators who "cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed."
These and other "horrifying" violations of human rights and religious freedom in North Korea are reported in a new study by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, titled "'Thank You, Father Kim Il Sung': Eyewitness Accounts of Severe Violations of Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion in North Korea."
13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform... It will be a crazy time, seeing the whole world deceived! But perhaps it has already happened, save the overcomers! I don't know if it will come on a greater level than it already is, but it seems like the world is largely deceived now!
13:15 He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die. NAS gives a more believable picture of this:
And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Here the "Beast" could easily be a person or an institution. Perhaps a religious system!
13:18 Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666. There surely are a lot of explanations of 666 on Google. Good luck! But we do know the number of man is 6, for man was created on the 6th day. Also, we assume these things will happen at the end of the 6th Millennium. Hence we have 2 sixes. I don't know what the third six might represent. And I'm sure there's a more complex and better explanation than mine but some of them looked pretty complicated!