Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 214

Revelation 19–22, Psalms 85–86, Isaiah 60

Bible text(s)

1After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a large crowd of people in heaven, saying, “Praise God! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God! 2True and just are his judgements! He has condemned the prostitute who was corrupting the earth with her immorality. God has punished her because she killed his servants.” 3Again they shouted, “Praise God! The smoke from the flames that consume the great city goes up for ever and ever!” 4The 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. They said, “Amen! Praise God!”

The Wedding Feast of the Lamb

5Then there came from the throne the sound of a voice, saying, “Praise our God, all his servants and all people, both great and small, who have reverence for him!” 6Then I heard what sounded like a large crowd, like the sound of a roaring waterfall, like loud peals of thunder. I heard them say, “Praise God! For the Lord, our Almighty God, is King! 7Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it. 8She has been given clean shining linen to wear.” (The linen is the good deeds of God's people.)

9Then the angel said to me, “Write this: happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And the angel added, “These are the true words of God.”

10I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don't do it! I am a servant together with you and with your fellow-believers, all those who hold to the truth that Jesus revealed. Worship God!”

For the truth that Jesus revealed is what inspires the prophets.

The Rider on the White Horse

11Then I saw heaven open, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True; it is with justice that he judges and fights his battles. 12His eyes were like a flame of fire, and he wore many crowns on his head. He had a name written on him, but no one except himself knows what it is. 13The robe he wore was covered with blood. His name is “The Word of God”. 14The armies of heaven followed him, riding on white horses and dressed in clean white linen. 15Out of his mouth came a sharp sword, with which he will defeat the nations. He will rule over them with a rod of iron, and he will trample out the wine in the winepress of the furious anger of the Almighty God. 16On his robe and on his thigh was written the name: “King of kings and Lord of lords”.

17Then I saw an angel standing on the sun. He shouted in a loud voice to all the birds flying in mid air: “Come and gather together for God's great feast! 18Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and soldiers, the flesh of horses and their riders, the flesh of all people, slave and free, great and small!”

19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to fight against the one who was riding the horse and against his army. 20The beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had performed miracles in his presence. (It was by those miracles that he had deceived those who had the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped the image of the beast.) The beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. 21Their armies were killed by the sword that comes out of the mouth of the one who was riding the horse; and all the birds ate all they could of their flesh.

Revelation 19GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Thousand Years

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a heavy chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent — that is, the Devil, or Satan — and chained him up for a thousand years. 3The angel threw him into the abyss, locked it, and sealed it, so that he could not deceive the nations any more until the thousand years were over. After that he must be let loose for a little while.

4Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given the power to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been executed because they had proclaimed the truth that Jesus revealed and the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or its image, nor had they received the mark of the beast on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and ruled as kings with Christ for a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.) This is the first raising of the dead. 6Happy and greatly blessed are those who are included in this first raising of the dead. The second death has no power over them; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they will rule with him for a thousand years.

The Defeat of Satan

7After the thousand years are over, Satan will be let loose from his prison, 8and he will go out to deceive the nations scattered over the whole world, that is, Gog and Magog. Satan will bring them all together for battle, as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. 9They spread out over the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people and the city that he loves. But fire came down from heaven and destroyed them. 10Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The Final Judgement

11Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sits on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence and were seen no more. 12And I saw the dead, great and small alike, standing before the throne. Books were opened, and then another book was opened, the book of the living. The dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13Then the sea gave up its dead. Death and the world of the dead also gave up the dead they held. And all were judged according to what they had done. 14Then death and the world of the dead were thrown into the lake of fire. (This lake of fire is the second death.) 15Whoever did not have their names written in the book of the living were thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20GNBOpen in Bible reader

The New Heaven and the New Earth

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. 2And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband. 3I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne: “Now God's home is with human beings! He will live with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. 4He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.”

5Then the one who sits on the throne said, “And now I make all things new!” He also said to me, “Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.” 6And he said, “It is done! I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the spring of the water of life without paying for it. 7Those who win the victory will receive this from me: I will be their God, and they will be my children. 8But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the immoral, those who practise magic, those who worship idols, and all liars — the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

9One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came to me and said, “Come, and I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10The Spirit took control of me, and the angel carried me to the top of a very high mountain. He showed me Jerusalem, the Holy City, coming down out of heaven from God 11and shining with the glory of God. The city shone like a precious stone, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates and with twelve angels in charge of the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of the people of Israel. 13There were three gates on each side: three on the east, three on the south, three on the north, and three on the west. 14The city's wall was built on twelve foundation stones, on which were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15The angel who spoke to me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16The city was perfectly square, as wide as it was long. The angel measured the city with his measuring rod: it was 2,400 kilometres long and was as wide and as high as it was long. 17The angel also measured the wall, and it was sixty metres high, according to the standard unit of measure which he was using. 18The wall was made of jasper, and the city itself was made of pure gold, as clear as glass. 19The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation stone was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh yellow quartz, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chalcedony, the eleventh turquoise, the twelfth amethyst. 21The twelve gates were twelve pearls; each gate was made from a single pearl. The street of the city was of pure gold, transparent as glass.

22I did not see a temple in the city, because its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. 23The city has no need of the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God shines on it, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The peoples of the world will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their wealth into it. 25The gates of the city will stand open all day; they will never be closed, because there will be no night there. 26The greatness and the wealth of the nations will be brought into the city. 27But nothing that is impure will enter the city, nor anyone who does shameful things or tells lies. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of the living will enter the city.

Revelation 21GNBOpen in Bible reader

1The angel also showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, and coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2and flowing down the middle of the city's street. On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bears fruit twelve times a year, once each month; and its leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing that is under God's curse will be found in the city.

The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5There shall be no more night, and they will not need lamps or sunlight, because the Lord God will be their light, and they will rule as kings for ever and ever.

The Coming of Jesus

6Then the angel said to me, “These words are true and can be trusted. And the Lord God, who gives his Spirit to the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must happen very soon.”

7“Listen!” says Jesus. “I am coming soon! Happy are those who obey the prophetic words in this book!”

8I, John, have heard and seen all these things. And when I finished hearing and seeing them, I fell down at the feet of the angel who had shown me these things, and I was about to worship him. 9But he said to me, “Don't do it! I am a servant together with you and with your brothers the prophets and with all those who obey the words in this book. Worship God!” 10And he said to me, “Do not keep the prophetic words of this book a secret, because the time is near when all this will happen. 11Whoever is evil must go on doing evil, and whoever is filthy must go on being filthy; whoever is good must go on doing good, and whoever is holy must go on being holy.”

12“Listen!” says Jesus. “I am coming soon! I will bring my rewards with me, to give to each one according to what he has done. 13I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14Happy are those who wash their robes clean and so have the right to eat the fruit from the tree of life and to go through the gates into the city. 15But outside the city are the perverts and those who practise magic, the immoral and the murderers, those who worship idols and those who are liars both in words and deeds.

16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to announce these things to you in the churches. I am descended from the family of David; I am the bright morning star.”

17The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”

Everyone who hears this must also say, “Come!”

Come, whoever is thirsty; accept the water of life as a gift, whoever wants it.

Conclusion

18I, John, solemnly warn everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to his or her punishment the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes anything away from the prophetic words of this book, God will take away from them their share of the fruit of the tree of life and of the Holy City, which are described in this book.

20He who gives his testimony to all this says, “Yes indeed! I am coming soon!”

So be it. Come, Lord Jesus!

21May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone.

Revelation 22GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Prayer for the Nation's Welfare

1LORD, you have been merciful to your land;

you have made Israel prosperous again.

2You have forgiven your people's sins

and pardoned all their wrongs.

3You stopped being angry with them

and held back your furious rage.

4Bring us back, O God our saviour,

and stop being displeased with us!

5Will you be angry with us for ever?

Will your anger never cease?

6Make us strong again,

and we, your people, will praise you.

7Show us your constant love, O LORD,

and give us your saving help.

8I am listening to what the LORD God is saying;

he promises peace to us, his own people,

if we do not go back to our foolish ways.

9Surely he is ready to save those who honour him,

and his saving presence will remain in our land.

10Love and faithfulness will meet;

righteousness and peace will embrace.

11Human loyalty will reach up from the earth,

and God's righteousness will look down from heaven.

12The LORD will make us prosperous,

and our land will produce rich harvests.

13Righteousness will go before the LORD

and prepare the path for him.

A Prayer for Help

1Listen to me, LORD, and answer me,

for I am helpless and weak.

2Save me from death, because I am loyal to you;

save me, for I am your servant and I trust in you.

3You are my God, so be merciful to me;

I pray to you all day long.

4Make your servant glad, O Lord,

because my prayers go up to you.

5You are good to us and forgiving,

full of constant love for all who pray to you.

6Listen, LORD, to my prayer;

hear my cries for help.

7I call to you in times of trouble,

because you answer my prayers.

8There is no god like you, O Lord,

not one has done what you have done.

9All the nations that you have created

will come and bow down to you;

they will praise your greatness.

10You are mighty and do wonderful things;

you alone are God.

11Teach me, LORD, what you want me to do,

and I will obey you faithfully;

teach me to serve you with complete devotion.

12I will praise you with all my heart, O Lord my God;

I will proclaim your greatness for ever.

13How great is your constant love for me!

You have saved me from the grave itself.

14The proud are coming against me, O God;

a cruel gang is trying to kill me —

people who pay no attention to you.

15But you, O Lord, are a merciful and loving God,

always patient, always kind and faithful.

16Turn to me and have mercy on me;

strengthen me and save me,

because I serve you, just as my mother did.

17Show me proof of your goodness, LORD;

those who hate me will be ashamed

when they see that you have given me comfort and help.

The Future Glory of Jerusalem

1Arise, Jerusalem, and shine like the sun;

The glory of the LORD is shining on you!

2Other nations will be covered by darkness,

But on you the light of the LORD will shine;

The brightness of his presence will be with you.

3Nations will be drawn to your light,

And kings to the dawning of your new day.

4Look around you and see what is happening:

Your people are gathering to come home!

Your sons will come from far away;

Your daughters will be carried like children.

5You will see this and be filled with joy;

You will tremble with excitement.

The wealth of the nations will be brought to you;

From across the sea their riches will come.

6Great caravans of camels will come, from Midian and Ephah.

They will come from Sheba, bringing gold and incense.

People will tell the good news of what the LORD has done!

7All the sheep of Kedar and Nebaioth

Will be brought to you as sacrifices

And offered on the altar to please the LORD.

The LORD will make his Temple more glorious than ever.

8What are these ships that skim along like clouds,

Like doves returning home?

9They are ships coming from distant lands,

Bringing God's people home.

They bring with them silver and gold

To honour the name of the LORD,

The holy God of Israel,

Who has made all nations honour his people.

10The LORD says to Jerusalem,

“Foreigners will rebuild your walls,

And their kings will serve you.

In my anger I punished you,

But now I will show you my favour and mercy.

11Day and night your gates will be open,

So that the kings of the nations

May bring you their wealth.

12But nations that do not serve you

Will be completely destroyed.

13“The wood of the pine, the juniper, and the cypress,

The finest wood from the forests of Lebanon,

Will be brought to rebuild you, Jerusalem,

To make my Temple beautiful,

To make my city glorious.

14The descendants of those who oppressed you will come

And bow low to show their respect.

All who once despised you will worship at your feet.

They will call you ‘The City of the LORD’,

‘Zion, the City of Israel's Holy God’.

15“You will no longer be forsaken and hated,

A city deserted and desolate.

I will make you great and beautiful,

A place of joy for ever and ever.

16Nations and kings will care for you

As a mother nurses her child.

You will know that I, the LORD, have saved you,

That the mighty God of Israel sets you free.

17“I will bring you gold instead of bronze,

Silver and bronze instead of iron and wood,

And iron instead of stone.

Your rulers will no longer oppress you;

I will make them rule with justice and peace.

18The sounds of violence will be heard no more;

Destruction will not shatter your country again.

I will protect and defend you like a wall;

You will praise me because I have saved you.

19“No longer will the sun be your light by day

Or the moon be your light by night;

I, the LORD, will be your eternal light;

The light of my glory will shine on you.

20Your days of grief will come to an end.

I, the LORD, will be your eternal light,

More lasting than the sun and moon.

21Your people will all do what is right,

And will possess the land for ever.

I planted them, I made them,

To reveal my greatness to all.

22Even your smallest and humblest family

Will become as great as a powerful nation.

When the right time comes,

I will make this happen quickly.

I am the LORD!”

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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