Revelation 18 - Key


How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Babylon makes me think of all the pleasures of sin. It says she lived deliciously, but would be given so much sadness and torture. It makes me think of the deceitfulness of the sins that we know we should repent from, but we don't want the discomfort. The truth is that if we don't repent, we'll get discomfort, alright!


2 Timothy 3:4
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

When I don't feel like repenting from a sin, because of the deceitful pleasure of it, I'll remember the judgment of Babylon and be willing to suffer discomfort to repent.


Genesis 46 - Outline

Jacob sacrificed to the Lord
the Lord gave promises to Jacob about going to Egypt
Jacob and all of his people came into Egypt with all their stuff
the names of Jacob's descendants who came into Egypt
Joseph was reunited with his father
Joseph worked it out to get his family the best land, because they were shepherds

Revelation 18 - Outline

the angel describing the fall of Babylon
the angel warning the Lord's people against her sin, and the severity of her judgment
the kings mourning for her
the merchants mourning for her
the sailors mourning for her
the call for the Lord's people to rejoice over her
the greatness of the violence that she did, and the greatness of the violence of her judgment


must we keep His commandments?

John 14


If ye love me, keep my commandments.

I've heard a gospel from this verse, along these lines:

  1. You can't be saved unless you love God
  2. You can't love God unless you obey His commandments
  3. His commandments consist of the whole law, to do this action, and to not do that action
  4. (Therefore, you can't be saved unless you do this or that good work, and keep the letter of the law)

So you can see how people have sneaked in the same age-old false gospel of salvation by doing good works and keeping the letter of the law. In fact, that's not what the Lord is saying in this verse at all.

I think it's a grave danger that plays on the ignorance of novice believers, to assume that this verse refers to any written commandments of do this, but don't do that, commandments whether in the Old or New Testament, or even invented by men. The Scripture clearly, undeniably, emphatically, and repeatedly, shouts that is not the gospel or the way of salvation.

Now, no doubt, this verse is a call to keep Christ's commandments. This begs the question, What are His commandments, that He asks us to keep, then?

1 John 3:23
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

So we see that, once again, the way to be saved and to receive eternal life is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and, the way to live our live pleasing to God is by the spiritual law of love.


2 Timothy 2 - Key


Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

The word lusts in this translation can also apply to any kind of sinful desires. The passage warns us to run fast and far from the enticements of sin, and to have a pure heart.


I'll do what I should, when I should, instead of spending too much time, at the wrong time, on things like entertaining myself, or working on my car.


2 Timothy 2 - Outline

be strong, endure
if we suffer with Christ we'll also reign with Him (v12)
don't argue about worthless babbling, but be a workman of the Word
purge yourself from iniquity
flee youthful lusts
the servant of the Lord must not strive (v24)


Genesis 45 - Key


Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt [is] yours.

In the journey of our lives, we're part of Christ's kingdom, and we have great, promised rewards in heaven. The Lord gives us provision (v21) for along the way, but in the grand scheme of things, our worldly possessions don't really matter. We shouldn't get distracted or worry about our stuff.


Like the wagons Joseph sent in this chapter, I just got my own car. The first morning I had it, I got up and started working on it without realizing what I was doing. I ended up working on it for hours, and getting my breakfast and Bible time really late.

I always used to spend time with the Lord first in the morning, and I still should. I'll make sure my car doesn't turn into an idol like that any more, because of what v20 says.


Revelation 17 - Key


These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

It says the Lamb will overcome the 10 kings and the beast because, for one thing, the people who are with the Lamb are faithful. So, it's very important for us to be faithful to the Lord.


I recently bought my own car, and I prayed to dedicate it to the Lord. Of course, I don't know everything that will happen to it, or all of the ways that I'll use it, but I'll be committed to be be faithful with it, for the Lord.


Genesis 45 - Outline

Joseph told his brothers who he was, and invited them to be close to him
Joseph forgave his brothers and told them not be angry at themselves for what they had done
God caused Joseph's troubles to work together for greater good
Like Jesus does for us, Joseph told of his greatness, and the greatness of his plans for his brothers
Joseph proved that it was really him, because he no longer spoke through an interpretor
like our calling to preach the gospel, Joseph asked his brothers to tell somebody else and bring him too
Joseph loved his brothers, and they had tears of joy because they were so happy to be reunited
the Lord gives us provision for the journey, and warns us not to focus on our stuff, because we have more important rewards in His kingdom (v20)
the Lord abundantly blesses us with even more than we need
a calling to guard our walk with the Lord
sometimes the Lord's goodness in His Word and the gospel is so good that it seems too hard to believe, but He also sends us a token for good, things we can see that reassure us of Himself


Revelation 17 - Outline

the vision of the judgment of Babylon
the woman sitting on the beast
'I will tell you the mystery'
who the beast is
the 7 heads are 7 mountains, and there are 7 kings
the 10 horns are 10 kings who will receive power for one hour
the waters are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues
the Lord will use the beast to judge the whore
the woman is that great city


boldly come to pray

Ephesians 3


Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

We should have boldness to come to the Lord by prayer, because He is able to do way more than we ask, or can even imagine.

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.


2 Timothy 1 - Key


For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We shouldn't ashamed or afraid of what other people will think of us or what will happen to us if we preach the gospel. We should be willing to suffer to keep the faith and serve the Lord like he has called us to.


I'll look for opportunities to preach the gospel while I'm working on buying a car.


2 Timothy 1 - Outline

remember and pray for people
have unfeigned faith and stir up the gift of God which is in you
don't be ashamed, God hasn't given us fear
He has given us something lasting, and worth suffering for
hold fast sound words
many people had turned away from Paul
Onesiphorus was a good example, and often refreshed Paul


Genesis 44 - Key


Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou [art] even as Pharaoh.

When we need to entreat somebody in authority, we should take Judah's example of doing it gently and humbly.


Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

We should be selfless when we entreat people. If I have to talk to somebody about a problem in their life, I'll stop to make sure I'm thinking about their good, not my own.


Revelation 16 - Key


And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

I think that this is a period between when the beast has come to power, and when Jesus will return. I think the beast and his deceived have martyred all of the Lord's faithful servants who were left on earth. The Lord's people are now in heaven, and the Lord is free to pour out His wrath on the beast and the beast's deceived on the earth.

What stuck out to me in this verse was that the wicked didn't repent, and they spoke against God instead of giving Him glory. When we go through hard times, we should take them as the Lord's goodness, take the opportunity to examine our lives for sin, and be zealous to repent.


Revelation 3:19
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

When I go through a hard time, I'll consider that it could be chastisement from the Lord, and be zealous to repent in any way I need to.


Genesis 44 - Outline

Joseph had evidence planted to frame Benjamin
the brothers spoke presumptuously of their own judgment
the cup was found, and they all returned to Joseph
Judah volunteered all the brothers to be punished together, but Joseph just wanted Benjamin
Judah humbly entreated Joseph, retelling how Jacob would be heartbroken without Benjamin
Judah interceded for Benjamin and offered the sacrifice of himself as a slave in Benjamin's place


Revelation 16 - Outline

the first plague: annoying sores of grief on the people deceived by the beast
the second plague: the sea turned to blood and death for every living soul in it
the third plague, on the people who had killed the martyrs: the freshwater turned to blood
the fourth plague: people were scorched with fire and heat from the sun, and blasphemed, and didn't repent
the fifth plague: darkness and pain on the seat of the beast
the sixth plague: the Euphrates river dried up, unclean spirits, and the kings of the whole world gathered to the battle of Armageddon
the seventh plague, on the air: voices, thunder, lighting, the world's greatest earthquake, and hail


are you proud you sinned before?

Ephesians 2


Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

We used to follow the same route of the world itself and most of the people in it. The world is going to be burnt up with fire, and so are the people who don't receive Jesus.

However, even as Jesus people, if we're not careful, we can sometimes fall back into these things. Just consider a bit for a second how you used to follow the momentary pleasures of sin into regret, misery, and despair. Let's realize that we don't want to have anything to with those sins any more.


1 Timothy 6 - Key


But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

We're supposed to flee the desire to be rich, the love of money, and the temptations that come with prosperity. We should run away from those things, and pursue holiness and good works.


I'm getting ready to go back to college, and I think it's very important to keep this perspective in mind:

Why am I going?

If I'm going and getting a degree so I can get rich and have the successes of this world, then I'm going to be sorry. I'll keep the purpose in mind there, to be following after righteousness instead.


1 Timothy 6 - Outline

servants should honor their masters
stay away from proud people who argue about words and think that prosperity is godliness
we should be content
run away from wanting to be rich
fight the good fight of faith
the Lord Jesus Christ is the blessed and only Potentate
the willingness to give, shows faith in the giver, instead of trusting in the riches of this world
avoid useless and unclean blabbering


Genesis 43 - Key

v18-22, especially v19

And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,

We should settle everything that we can, before the day of judgment comes. You might have heard of "keeping short accounts with the Lord," (which means repenting from sin quickly after you've committed it). We should also "keep short accounts" with other people.


Matthew 5:23-26, especially v25
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

I'll be quick to humble myself, when I have a conflict with family members.


Revelation 15 - Key


And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints.

How do we respond when the Lord sends wrath and plagues? We should respond as His servants, in faith, and still give Him worship and praise.


I'll praise the Lord from my heart like this, when it's time to praise the Lord, despite suffering and hardship that there might be in life.


Genesis 43 - Outline

the famine continued, and Joseph's brothers needed to go buy grain again
Judah reminded Jacob that they couldn't return without Benjamin
Jacob sensed that it was his sons' fault that Joseph wanting them to bring Benjamin
Judah promised to protect Benjamin
finally, Jacob made a plan to find favor, and was resolute to take the risk
Joseph's brothers were afraid and tried to be diplomatic to Joseph's clerk, so he reassured them
Joseph got ready to serve his brothers a meal, and asked them how their father was doing
Joseph was especially nice to Benjamin


Revelation 15 - Outline

seven angels with the seven last plagues
those who had gotten the victory over the beast
no complaints and no regrets, just desiring to praise the Lord
the temple and the testimony was in heaven
the angels that were given the plagues wore pure clothing, as the Lord's judgments are just
people couldn't enter the temple until the plagues were finished


rejoice to be forgiven

Ephesians 1


In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

This is a great encouragement, that can cheer us up when we're feeling depressed about things going on in life. If we believe in Jesus, not only can we be forgiven of sins, but we have been forgiven. We have redemption and are clean in His sight, by His own power, which cannot be thwarted.

If we've come to God by faith, and are continuing to seek Him, we don't have to feel dark or dirty all the time and worry about whether we might have done something wrong that we don't know about or can't repent of. When we can realize that we have done something wrong, we do need to stop and make sure that we fully repent of it... But otherwise, we can like in the light, in joy and peace, realizing that our hearts are washed clean and we can be right in God's sight. Praise the Lord!


1 Timothy 5 - Key


Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

It's good behavior for widows to continue in supplications and prayers night and day, and that's a good example for all of us. When we pray, we shouldn't just repeat a few short things that we're used to saying every time, and then get on with our next thing to do. We should really take at least a little bit of time and serious consideration to pray to the Lord from our hearts.


When there are different times when I could just take a break and have fun, or think, or something like that, I'll pray some. I'll pray from my heart about the troubles I have in my life, and I'll take the time to think of other people besides myself and pray for them too.


1 Timothy 5 - Outline

treat each other like a family
provide for widows who live uprightly
first, it's very important for believers to take care of their own families
good behavior required to receive Church support
the danger of younger widows living off of charity and becoming busybodies
younger widows should stay busy getting married and running a home, to stay out of trouble
provide for elders who rule well
how to deal with accusations against elders, and their sins
don't show prejudice or favoritism
don't be hasty to accept and take part in other people's behaviors
use a little wine for your sicknesses
sins and good works: some are obvious right away, but even the ones that are hidden at first will become obvious later


Genesis 42 - Key


And they said one to another, We [are] verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

Maybe we're set in our ways and think that we're right, but when people entreat us we should still listen and consider it.


James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

One thing it says about this wisdom, is that it is easy to be intreated. Even when I wouldn't be inclined to listen to what other people have to say about my behavior, I'll give it some prayerful consideration anyway.


Revelation 14 - Key


And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

These 144,000 people had a special relationship with the Lord and they had privileges that nobody else had. One characteristic they had was that no guile was found in their mouth. (Guile means deceit.) If we want to be closer to the Lord, this is one thing we can work on.


I'll make sure I don't have any misleading or deceitful speech.


Genesis 42 - Outline

the famine reached Jacob's family in Canaan, so Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy corn... except he kept back Benjamin so nothing bad would happen to him
Joseph recognized his brothers and remembered his dream, but they didn't recognize him
Joseph got his brothers to tell him all about their family and Benjamin, by calling them spies
Joseph's first plan to send one brother back to get Benjamin
Joseph's second plan to send back all the brothers but one hostage
Joseph's brothers remembered and realized that they were guilty about what they had done to him
on their way home they discovered that Joseph had given them a sneaky refund
the brothers retold what happened to Jacob
they were afraid when they saw the refund
Reuben begged their father to let them take Benjamin and go back, but he wouldn't let them, and he realized that they were responsible for what happened to his other sons

Revelation 14 - Outline

the 144,000 were the firstfruits
the first angel, with the everlasting gospel to fear God and give Him glory
the second angel saying that Babylon is fallen
the third angel, warning of eternal torment for worshiping the beast and his image, or receiving his mark
in Christ, even death can be blessed
one like the Son of man, with a sharp sickle, harvesting the earth
an angel with a sickle threw the grapevine of the earth into the winepress of much blood
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