Sunday, May 24, 2020

THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, DRUNK WITH BLOOD

Today’s Reading: Revelation 17 

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is a spectacular view of the Colosseum in Rome as you walk on the Via Sacra Road from the Agora and Arch of Titus. The Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world. It is thought that the early Christians, who were under intense persecution from the Roman authorities, considered “The mother of harlots” to be the city of Rome (Rev. 17:5).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Revelation 17:17

For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.

 

Jim and Kathy Cantelon write today’s 100 Words segment (originally published in Crossroads’ Day Unto Day devotional series)…

I think it should be pretty clear to you by now that apocalyptic literature with its “picture language” is not too concerned about logic, consistency, and precision. This shouldn’t trouble us – rather, it should challenge us. Literally thousands of authors have taken up the challenge, and no two agree totally on every point of interpretation.

This chapter, however, begins a section dealing with the fall of “Babylon the Great” (concluding in 19:10). There are seven visions, and each refers to the fall of the cult of Roma, the deified personification of Rome (verse 18). “Babylon” is the proto-type for Rome, an empire that, in John’s day, had extended to Asia and the East. The “worship” of Roma was introduced to these areas so that the Empire became, in fact, a state cult. The Roman ruler Octavian, for example, built temples to “Dea Roma” and “Dious Julius” at Ephesus and Nicea, and to Roma and himself in Pergamum and Nicomedia. The belief in “Roma aeterna” (eternal Rome) was cultivated so that “Roma” became a living, breathing deity in the eyes of the world at that time.

John’s vision reaches far beyond the historical realities of his day, however, and chapter 17 is the first chapter where we see a clear attempt on the part of the angelic guide to “explain” what is going on (verse 7). Even though a lot of room is still left for interpretation, we at least see beyond the physical incongruities of multi-headed beasts, horns, bowls, and cups.

John sees a “great prostitute” sitting “on many waters” (verse 1), “on seven hills” (verse 9), and on a “scarlet beast” (verse 3). So, she “sits” on three things at the same time, is dressed elegantly (verse 4a), but is full of “abominable things” and “adulteries” (verse 4c). She is guilty of martyring “the saints” (verse 6).

The beast on which she sits “once was, and now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss” (verse 8), and has seven heads, one of which is himself (verse 11). These heads are all “kings” (who are at the same time “hills” – verse 9). Five of them have already “fallen” (verse 10a), one is “presently” alive (in John’s time), and the remaining king is to come at some future day but will reign only “for a little while” (verse 10c).

The beast also has ten horns, and these are future kings “who have not yet received a kingdom” (verse 12a) but eventually will reign “for an hour” (verse 12b). They work in conjunction with the beast and will do so at the very end of history, when they will “make war against the Lamb” (verse 14a). After losing to the Lamb, their final act will be to “ruin” the prostitute and “leave her naked” (verse 16).

There are two encouraging things to notice: 1. Those whose names are “written in the book of life” (verse 8 ) will not be “astonished” nor will they be conquered by the beast (verse 14c); and 2. Even while these last-day, evil forces do their foul deeds, they will be accomplishing God’s purposes (verse 17a). God is Sovereign. Everything is under His control.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for those today who are suffering torture and death at the hands of people who are possessed by the spirit of anti-Christ. Please give Your people great grace. Fill them with love for their tormenters, the same love demonstrated by Jesus for those who nailed Him to the Cross. Bring deliverance as You did for Peter in prison in Jerusalem, and for Paul and Silas in prison in Philippi. I pray for grace to stand firm in the face of any threats I may face in my lifetime. In Jesus’ Name! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Several years ago I travelled to Kosovo to spend time with Canadian troops who were there on a peace-keeping mission. I was so very proud of our men and women. After their regular shift of doing such tasks as clearing explosives from the roads, they would go out into the community to volunteer in rebuilding homes, schools, etc., which had been destroyed in war. On Sunday I travelled with a van load of soldiers to church in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital city. We did not film the following in case we would further complicate this tragic yet wonderful happening. I saw tears in soldiers’ eyes as a girl of about 19 gave her testimony. Her face was black and blue and had obviously bled from facial wounds. But her face was also shining with joy as she told the story of her Muslim father beating her because she had insisted that she believed in Jesus as her Saviour and God. He said that if she went back to that church he would beat her again. Here she was, boldly confessing Jesus! (click here for a video from the Kosovo trip). It’s long so please watch even a part of it. You may want to fast forward from time to time. This was sent to the troops in Kosovo and to every military base in Canada.

The Apostle Peter, who was put to death by crucifixion in Rome, wrote some words about persecution. Read 1 Peter 4:12-19.

Yours for experiencing the courage and strength found in daily reading of the Bible,

David

This is one of the walking paths inside Rome’s Colosseum.

10 thoughts on “Sunday, May 24, 2020

  1. It is interesting how the Scripture interprets itself when it come to various symbols in the Book of Revelation. Though it reflects on the past and projects to the future… the words of Revelation has it’s challenging message today as we strive to honor Christ in our lives and lift our hearts in a crescendo of praise:
    “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
    To receive power and riches and wisdom,
    And strength and honor and glory and blessings”
    (Rev.6:11-14)

    Linking hearts and minds through this blog. Blessings to all. Have a great day!

  2. The video of the mission trip to Kosovo was very touching, and filled my heart with joy. Thank you to all the missionaries around the world.. GOD bless you and keep you safe.

  3. Right now we are going through a very severe plague called covid-19 and it’s amazing how right now we are reading the book of Revelation and the last words of the 16 chapter says because it’s plague was extremely severe and yes this plague that we are now experiencing as a modern-day plague is really severe and as we know has been quite deadly so it’s really unique that we are studying Revelations when this plague covid-19 comes right out of the book of Revelation so be blessed Saints yeah I know but have a blessed day anyways God bless you all love you bye

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