Zechariah 14:1-21, Revelation 20:1-15, Psalm 148:1-14, Proverbs 31:8-9
Today is the 29th day of the December, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is a joy and an honor to be here with you today around the Global Campfire, as we settle into this peaceful oasis that we create for ourselves every day and take the next step forward together, regardless of what time of year it is. It just so happens that there’s only a couple of steps left in the year that we are in. So, we are in that in between week, between Christmas and New Year’s where we contemplate, quite a bit, about what the new year may look like and what we may achieve in it. We’re looking into the Scriptures to be a voice in that process, today and every day. So, let’s dive in and take the next step forward together. Our next step leads us back into the book of Zechariah. Today we will read Zechariah chapter 14.
Okay, so as we continue this journey through this week, the week between the holidays and every day that goes by it’s like, Christmas was just a few days ago but now we’re starting to feel like we’re moving in the direction toward the new year and a fresh start. And we’re thinking about what that starts looks like and what we’re going to do to improve ourselves in the coming year. Things that we’re gonna let go and leave in this year and not carryforward and things that we’re going to develop in the coming year, that weren’t a part of this year. We’re starting to think about all that kind of stuff. So, as we move through this week, we’re just looking into the Scriptures for the Bible to inform us, to speak and aim and direct us. And once again the Proverbs leap off the page, as they are prone to do so. And so, we have two sentences out of the Proverbs today that speak a lot more than two sentences. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy. This of course isn’t a brand-new concept and it’s not only a concept found in these couple of verses, this permeates through the Bible. How we take care of one another is a major theme. And we probably all agree with what the Proverb is saying, it’s just that the Proverb isn’t there to be agreed with and that’s it. Like, yes, I agree with that and now I step away from the Proverb and remain passive completely. The Proverb isn’t making suggestions about how to think about things, it is actually suggesting action. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. So, speak UP for those who cannot speak for themselves. Speak UP for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak UP and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Speaking up and defending aren’t ways to think about things, they’re things to do. And the thing that I hate, is that all I’m doing is reading the Bible and it’s so quickly that we can begin to run all this through the political nature of the day. But can we at least acknowledge like, this Proverb is older than any of those issues. Like the issues of injustice aren’t recent, they didn’t come with in the last century. For this Proverb to be written and to be preserved from thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago, mean that this was going on then, too. And it’s easy for us to absolve ourselves and go well, I voted a certain way and I have a certain set of convictions and that’s what I do and I’m absolved because I go to the polls. The Proverb isn’t speaking into any of the political structures of our day. This is thousands of years old. It’s saying speak up, speak up, defend, defend the poor, defend the needy. So, we have to pay attention to it. There may be any, any number of thousands of ways that we engage in observing what this Proverb is saying. And however, we feel like were being led to address or engage is fine, but it is really important that we don’t sidestep, or that we don’t turn a blind eye. This is really important. Especially maybe even as we think about that the coming new year in a few days, because what we think, like our sense of justice shapes our convictions and shapes who we are. And we have read nearly all of the Bible now, and we have watched prophets come to God’s people over and over and over again, telling them that they are oppressing people, that they were once oppressed, and God came and rescued them and now they are oppressing others. And we have, like I said, just about read the entire Bible. And so, we’ve seen the stories of how the bottom falls out, the erosion in the culture takes place, and eventually a downfall. And so, Proverbs isn’t really just giving us things to think about or a posture of heart to kind of carry around inside of ourselves. Justice is a defining characteristic of the people of God. And so, our sense of it will shape our new year. Whether we’re paying attention or not, but not wrestling with it and ignoring it, is ignoring one of the deepest understandings we have about God. That He is just, that He is good, that His heart is for the downtrodden, that His heart is for the outsider. We could be like, well then maybe you should do something, maybe you should bring justice to the poor. He did do something, He rescued you, He rescued me, so that we can participate in His work in this world and be a light in the darkness, the salt of the earth, the city on a hill, the hands and feet of Jesus, the body of Christ. The bearers of good news and participants in bringing God’s blessings upon the earth. And we have read this. One of the blessings is that no one is marginalized, the voiceless have voice, the poor and helpless are treated with justice. And so, I just, like even saying these things, I know that there’s nothing that I can do that will…will allow this to run through a nonpolitical filter. But it is indeed…indeed time to rise above it. We are the body of Christ, ambassadors of the most-high God. So, it’s not really about trying to win some sort of political victory. It’s about us getting out into the world and writing what is wrong and participating in putting back together what is broken, whatever that looks like, however that looks like, wherever that leads us, wherever God’s Holy Spirit leads us. And so, may we, well, may we get before the Lord and ask Him to begin to show us how we get to be apart, a participant in His ongoing and unstoppable work in this world.
And so, Father, that is our prayer, that You would lead and direct us. We have asked so many times this year that You would lead us into all truth, that is the same prayer today, that is what we seek, that we see clearly the truth and see clearly the path that You are marking for us to walk, that we my walk together with You and find the joy of restoration and participating in restoration, instead of hiding out and trying to duck all the destruction that’s around us. We can get out and be a part of what restores and puts things back together and brings good news. Help us, Holy Spirit to be available to You whenever, however You might lead us along these lines. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that’s all for today, I’m Brian and I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.
Prayer and Encouragements:
Hi, Daily Audio Bible, this message, I believe, you know what, I didn’t get your name, so forgive me, but maybe, I think your son’s name is Mitchell. And you said you live in Huber Heights. Okay, so you will know where this is, I live, right now, right off of Little York Road. So, I think you know exactly where I live, so amazing. So, I’m just here until March, just helping my dad, my other siblings are helping. But I just felt that I needed to call and just pray for your son. You were saying, you know, he hopes he stays in, they make him stay in. Because yeah, the freezing weather, yeah for sure. But I’m just asking for encounter for your son. And I am asking for encounter for you, your wife or ex-wife, I didn’t get you quite, you know, which one. But God can encounter her, God would you do it. We ask for reconciliation for this family. We ask for miracles, and I thank You that the husband is giving it to God, yes. Thank You God. That’s what we should do every day, all of our situations, do we do that, yeah. Yeah, it can be hard, for sure. Yes, God but I just thank You God, we’re asking. This is a season of miracles, God. We ask for miracles for this man, for his son and for his wife/ex-wife, God, that You would reconcile. We just thank You for reconciliation. And sometimes it looks different than what we think. But we thank you God. We commit this situation into Your hand, and we ask You for this wisdom and mercy. Yeah, thank You God, deliverance, for his son. Yeah, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.
Hi DAB family, this is Jonathan from Denver. I’m calling on December 23rd at about 10 o’clock, Christmas eve eve. I hope you’re all having a good holiday season. I wanted to call and just ask for some prayer. I am really struggling. The Lord says that we are being made new and I just do not feel new at all right now. I feel like my old self is just hanging on to me for dear life, hanging onto me like rags, and it’s just stealing my joy, making it hard to function. And I’m just really worried as I go into this Christmas break, not really having anything to do for a few weeks that I’m gonna kinda spiral. So, I just humbly ask for all of your prayers. I’m catching up. I’m on track to be there with you all on December 31st, listening to the December 31st episode, which I’m very happy about. I was about a month and half behind a couple of weeks ago. I also wanted to real quick, pray for People on the Water. I heard his prayer just a few days ago about feeling lost and confused. You know, I’m coming through my senior year of college and I, I understand. Know that I’m praying for you. And know that it’s okay to feel heavy and it’s okay to feel confused. But as you feel heavy, as you feel confused, I hope somewhere in there you can know and find that Jesus see’s you and loves you and forgives you and is there. I’m praying for you bud. Thanks.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible community. This is Diane Olive and Jeff Brown from Newberg, Indiana. Shalom, Shalom, nothing is missing, and nothing is broken. And I want to respond to someone Junk to Treasure prayed for and she prayed that the Lord would help him to bridle his tongue. And I love horses. I have a passion for horses and believing for a 100-acre farm sometime. And the Lord showed me, and I want to give you this picture, because I learn from pictures. Picture one of the most, one of the best dressage horses in the world. And picture how the rider rides that horse. He bridles his tongue. He bridles his tongue. And he communicates with his…his beautiful dressage horse that could be a stallion or any kind of thoroughbred, with his tip of his toes. And maybe a nudge from his knees or his thighs. Or his heal. And he will slightly move and it. Think about Jesus. He wants us to be so in tune with Him that we bridle our tongues. We hear every whisper. We hear every nudge. We listen when he talks to us and we’re quick to hear, slow to ….
Hey, this is Jerry calling from Duluth, Minnesota. Happy New Year almost, we’ve made it another year 2022. And I think back when I first started the Daily Audio Bible in 2008 or nine and how many blessings and how many prayers have been answered as a result of the Daily Audio Bible in my life. When I got laid off in 2012 and started my own social media company and so many prayers for that. And today, I’ve had the best year ever. Not just financially but spiritually, grown so much with the Daily Audio Bible. And I found an incredible church, which I had the opportunity, by the way. I asked the pastor if I could share their video that’s on the website, introducing the Daily Audio Bible and share a brief word of what it’s meant in my life to our church. And he’s gonna let me do it on January 1st, perfect day. In front of hundreds and hundreds of people, it’s quite a large church. And so, would you pray about that. That God would lead many, many to join the family and become a part of the Global Campfire. Daniel Johnson Junior, Slave of Jesus and many more that I remember from many, many years ago, we’ve kind of grown up together spiritual in the Daily Audio Bible family. And just again, thank you for a great year, God and what You’re gonna do in 2023. Amen. God bless.
Hey DABers, it’s Valiant Val in Vegas. I just wanna say I love you. And I just have a need right now on my heart to pray for people that might be feeling lonely right now or might be feeling grief. I want you to know that God is with you, He loves you, He’s right there in the middle of the pain that you might be experiencing. And He cares for you. So, right now, Heavenly Father, please, Lord, go be a healing touch to anyone that might be feeling lonely or sad or having a sense of grief at this time of year, Lord, when so many others are so happy, God. Let them know, God, that they’re not alone. That this is not something to be ashamed of. I ask that right now, Lord, You help them to walk in it and to just be in it, God. And Lord, touch them and hold them and let them know that it won’t always be this way. That joy does come. Thank You, Heavenly Father. God, thank You for holding us up and for loving us, Lord. I love you all so much. And I pray that the God of peace gives you peace that surpasses all understanding. In the name of Jesus. Muah. I love you.
Howdy DAB family, this is Darren from College Station, Texas. I was just wanting to call upon my extending family to pray for understanding and a miracle in my marriage. My wife is…is Vietnamese and was raised Buddhist. We’ve been married for almost 15 years. And I finally reached out to my wife’s mother and asked her to release my wife from the chains that she’s in right now, of serving Buddha. And release her to seek and search for Jesus. So, if ya’ll can pray in agreement with me that the Holy Spirit will take over now that I have requested this of her mother, I appreciate it. Thank you, family.
Revelation Deep Dive - Part 11
Okay, so we have come to a point in the book of Revelation, where Satan meets his end and then there’s a thousand years, we gotta talk about, this millennial reign and then the final judgment. And over, over the course of church history, this section of Revelation has been hotly debated by biblical scholars, which means that it has been viewed and taught differently by different segments of the church, all who support their views by the Scriptures. And the problem of time, of sequence of chronology that…that is apparent throughout the book of Revelation, comes into play, as does the problem of whether to look figuratively or literally, come into play. So, we read from Revelation chapter 20 today, but we were just continuing a longer segment about the final judgment, the fall of Babylon. We talked about all of that and as the world system comes unglued and its foundations shaking, it falls apart. We saw some of the repercussions and implications of that, in light of Jesus judgment of the dark, ungodly forces of the world at the end of time, at the end of history as we know it. So, as we begin today, there’s an angel that comes from heaven, holding the key to the… the pit, the bottomless pit and he’s got a large chain. And he finds and overpowers the serpent, the devil, Satan and so, Satan is thrown into the pit for a thousand years. And this thousand years, is traditionally known as the millennium. There are so many views about the millennium that I’m not sure there’s any way to catalog them all in one place. But most of the thoughts about the millennium boil down to when will the millennium happen and is the millennium literally 1000 years. So, at its core, there are three ways of looking at the millennium, from which all of the other views spring. And they all seek to place the millennium in time, so that the order of events can be understood. So, some take what is known as a premillennial view and this is the view that the millennium begins at the second coming of Christ. Then there are those who take a post-millennial view, that is basically the view that when Jesus came, he inaugurated what we would call the church age. The church sprang up after Christ came and we are now in that age, the church age. And the millennium will be at the end of the church age and Jesus second coming will be at the end of the millennium. And then the third line of scholarship would take an a millennial view, which is basically to say that the millennium began at the moment of Christ’s resurrection and will then conclude at his second Advent, at his final coming. Part of the reason for these differing views, comes from trying to figure out what is to be taken literally and what is symbolic and then applying that discernment to the 1000 years. And this is certainly not the first or second time we’ve encountered this. So, basically you start with the author, John, who was exiled on an island in the Roman empire at a specific time in history. And since he’s living at a certain point in history, that…that’s his influence, it’s what he knows. But all of the things that he is seeing in the book of Revelation, he is seeing by way of vision. So, he’s seeing things that he doesn’t have a reference point for, he’s never seen this kind of thing before, but he has to filter it back through what he does understand. And because we as the readers do understand that what he’s seeing is in a vision, we have to determine what is literal and what is symbolic. So, some interpreters begin with a literal view and then work their way towards the symbolism, while others say most of this book is symbolic and begin with symbolism and work their way toward literal. They don’t always end up in the same place. So, for example, when John talks about 1000 years, he also talks about an angel with a chain, he talks about the abyss, the Dragon, the serpent, the beast. And most commentators would say this is symbolic language, the same kind of symbolic language used throughout the entire book. There have been plenty of other numbers used in the book of Revelation that have been looked at both from a literal and a figurative view. So, you know, John has this vision that we’re talking about right now, when which thousand years is made mention of, along with a bunch of some symbolism. So, it has to be determined is the thousand years a symbol as well and what is it a symbol of, if it is a symbol. So, all kinds of divergent thoughts and problems arise in the midst of all of this. So, the angel captures the devil, throws him into this bottomless pit for thousand years and the Scriptures tell us why, the angel shut and sealed the pit over the serpent to keep it from deceiving the nations anymore, until the thousand years were over. So, the question becomes when, when is Satan bound and thrown into this pit. Some would say that this is not yet happened but is something that will happen in the future. While others would say this happened as a direct result of Christ’s resurrection. So, Jesus death, burial, and resurrection were a decisive defeat of Satan and the dark forces of evil. And Satan’s defeat at the cross is supported all throughout the Scriptures. So, if that is connected to what we’re seeing in Revelation 20, then Satan was restrained in this pit and Jesus triumphal resurrection. So, with that way of thinking then Satan is restrained currently and will be restrained between the first and second coming of Jesus. So, if you’re following that line of reasoning, the question becomes in what way is Satan bound? Revelation says that the angel shut and sealed the pit over the serpent to keep it from deceiving the nations anymore, until the thousand years were over. So, that would mean that its ability to completely deceive has been restrained. And some theologians have defended that, with many Scriptures but Jesus saying in the gospel of Mark, no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man, then indeed he may plunder his house, is one of them. So, if this view is correct and Satan was defeated at the cross and restrained in his ability to deceive. So why is deception still all over the place if that would be the case. This would take us all the way back to the first deception, where Adam and Eve made a choice. They had an uninhibited relationship with God but they believed a lie. So, in that case we could say that this the deceiver, the serpent was victorious and was able to dominate humanity through deception. But then Jesus came and defeated the evil one, restoring humanity and like Eden can only be successful at deception if we allow it. In other words, Satan has no dominion over us that we don’t give him or as Jesus says in Matthew 18, truly I tell you whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. So, following this forward, in the end Satan will be released for a short time from this restraint, right. So, in this pit. This is where you go like, this, is this is allegorical or is this literal, is Satan going to be or is he currently, actually in a bottomless pit that is actually locked with a key or will he no longer be restrained in his deceptions. If it’s the figurative view then this short time that the evil one is released or unrestrained in his deception will have a polarizing effect, the sheep and the goats will be clear because Satan will be doing everything that he possibly can to make life very, very trying for those who are true to Jesus, who are keeping their lampstands burning, who are holding true to their witness. So, that those who are not so deeply in love with Jesus that they’re willing to physically die because they know this isn’t the end of anything, will be clear. While those who have many nominal faith or you know, socially engaged in their faith or whatever, though, be unwilling to endure these difficulties and this is part of Jesus’s sovereign plan. Which could on the one hand look harsh and on the other hand, we’d have to say, Jesus is not asking anyone to do anything He didn’t do first. In other words, God is not asking anything of anyone that He wasn’t willing to do Himself. So, then this whole plan of restoration, of making all things new, starts to become apparent. Satan gained dominion over humanity because of his deception of Adam and Eve and their falling for it. God chose Abraham and raised up a people that were set apart to Him but because of Satan’s deception, they were unable to be a light to the nations. Through deception Israel had an on-again off-again relationship with God, whereby they broke the covenant, which led to spiritual and physical oppression. They were conquered and carried into exile by foreign nations and ruled over by foreign nations. As Satan continued his work of deception in the world and then Jesus came. Satan attacked Jesus and it looked like he was victorious because Jesus was put to death. But then Jesus was resurrected, taking dominion back from Satan. So, from this view then, Jesus is building His church, that began with His ministry. It is being built currently and the gates of hell will not prevail over it, because the keys of the kingdom have been given to the church and the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to overcome the deception of the evil one. But at some point, Satan is unrestrained and does everything possible to stamp out God’s people on this earth. And without God’s intervention would be successful, but God intervenes and Satan is thrown into the lake of fire forever. Satan is restrained from deceiving the nations because we’re supposed to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. So, what about the millennium, what about the thousand years? This gets contentious depending on whether it’s a literal view you’re taking or figurative view. If we’re taking a straight up straight, literal view, those who had been beheaded for the cause of Christ will rule with him for a thousand years. The rest of the dead will live after the thousand years are over. So, even those taking a more literal view of this, don’t take it to mean literally only beheaded Christians, rather, they would look more figuratively and say martyrs. This view certainly has its place in church history. During times of open persecution, some longed for martyrdom, but they certainly were all martyred. They would certainly weren’t killed, all by beheading right, so some were stone, some were thrown to the wild beasts, while others were crucified, just to name a few. So, there have been those all along, including today, who would long for martyrdom because of the apparent promise in Revelation, which says this is the first time that people come back to life, blessed and holy are those who are included the first time that people come back to life. The second death has no power over them, they will continue to be priests of God and Christ and they will rule with him for 1000 years. So, the idea is that if you die a martyr’s death, you’ll be the first to rise, will reign with Christ and you have no fear of the second death, nothing can ever touch you again. If you’re taking a more figurative view than the thousand years isn’t a literal, chronological number. And the reason that many theologians and scholars think this, is because they believe that numbers are used figuratively elsewhere in the book of Revelation, the language like the bottomless pit etc., seems to be figurative. So, most of what John is talking about here, seems to be figurative. The book of Revelation itself, seems to be largely figurative. The number 1000 used in the Old Testament is used figuratively and in early Jewish and early Christian writings 1000 years was used as a metaphor for eternal blessing. So, if you take that figurative view and follow it out, in Christ defeated Satan at the cross, Satan was then restrained. Believers experience the first resurrection at the moment they believe, or some would say at the moment of their baptism right, so the person that you were before you knew Christ has died and you have been resurrected into new life with Christ, no longer dominated by the deception of the evil one and you are now reigning with Christ. The thrones then wouldn’t be literal pieces of furniture, but rather the status of believers who are in Christ, and if we’re continuing to look figuratively at the martyrs, then we’re not just talking about only those people who died by being beheaded. And for that matter, we’re not just talking about people who were martyred in any way, we’re talking about those who were obedient, to one of the main themes of this book. Those who endured to the end, no matter what, they will not experience the second death. So, in other words, those who are in Christ have already died to who they were without Jesus and were raised to new life in Him. The second death is eternal separation from God or the fiery lake or outer darkness or however you view that, but believers won’t experience it, because Jesus is the firstborn of this new family of God, and we have followed Him. We are in His kingdom. We are His kingdom.
Okay, so moving us forward, no matter how you view this, Satan is set free for a short time to deceive as many as possible, which results in an attempt to stamp out God’s people for good, fire falls from heaven, whether literally or figuratively. Satan loses the battle and is thrown into the fiery lake of sulfur forever and ever. And then we find ourselves before the great white throne of God. The first thing that we see is that the earth and the sky fled from his presence, but no place was found for them. So, this is striking imagery and most agree that this is the passing away of the world as we know it, making way for a new heaven and a new earth, all things being made new. This is the final judgment. The books are opened, whether literally or figuratively and the final judgment occurs. So, what we call the book of life is actually the book of life of the Lamb who was slain or the book of life of the Lamb. And those whose names are in that book are those who have been sealed in Christ. Right, they have the seal of God on their forehead. These people go through the judgment but do not suffer what they would otherwise deserve, because Jesus suffered that on their behalf. And that is about the best news I have ever heard. And pulling together all that we’ve read in Revelation, those are the ones who were true. Those are the ones who endured until the end, no matter what happened. Those who are willing or did lose their lives on account of the gospel. Those who kept their witness burning, those who are pure and true to Jesus.
And Jesus, we want this to be a description of who we are. And we are well aware of the deceptions we have fallen for and continue to fall for and yet clearly, it doesn’t have to be that way. You have promised that Your Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. And so, that’s what we ask for. You would lead us into all truth, every step we take, every thought we have, every word we speak, everything about us, may everything about us, radiate Your glory into this world. May our very lives be a living testimony to who You are and may we be true You no matter what happens, no matter what comes our way, may we endure. Come, Holy Spirit, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.