Joel 1:1-3:21, Revelations 1:1-20, Psalm 128:1-6, Proverbs 29:18
Today is the ninth day of December, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is great to be here with you around the Global Campfire today, as we gather together, take the next step forward. I’m so glad to be here today. It, this time year is hectic time of year, isn’t it? It’s so easy to be distracted instead of having this anchor, this place around the Global Campfire. Is awesome and that so, I’m grateful that I could have a place around this Global Campfire together with everybody else and that we can move forward together. Our moving forward today, essentially has us moving into completely new territory both in Old and New Testaments. And so, in the Old Testament we will actually read an entire book, today. Another one of the minor prophets. This will be the book of Joel. And then, when we get to the New Testament today, we will be moving into completely different territory, but we will also be embarking on the final journey in the New Testament, and that will be the book of Revelation, which will take us to the end of the year. So, we’ll talk about both of them as we get to them.
Introduction to the Book of Joel:
And as it turns out, we are at the threshold of the book of Joel, which is another one of the books that are grouped together, known as the minor prophets. And nobody really knows definitively, with super clear clarity who Joel even was. There’s other people in the Bible with the name Joel but scholars don’t believe any of those people are the author of this prophetic book and there aren’t a ton of clues. Joel has a similar language style with some of the other prophets. For example, like Ezekiel or Jeremiah or Amos or Micah or Zephaniah, which leads some scholars to conclude that maybe Joel isn’t the…the work of a person name Joel, a single work by a single person, but more of a collection of different prophetic works. But there is other’s that say no, the similarities with the other prophets are because there was like a prophetic culture and there was training and so, there were prophets and kind of like schools of prophets. So, they learn how to write this way. And so, they, there are similarities because they were trained similarly. We don’t know. Like, none of that, those are plausible things, we just don’t know. And Joel doesn’t have any historical clues to guide the way in the search, which then makes dating the book really difficult and dating…dating these books becomes important just in situating them in history where they happened so that then, the context around what was going on at that time can be known. Loosely, Joel has been dated between 500 and 800 BC. But that’s a pretty good spread. But scholars have held that dating this book isn’t necessary to understand what its impact would’ve been and what its message is. Joel writes of a vast horde of locusts that invade the land and ate all the vegetation, everything green, and destroy the crops, which brought on a fantastic famine in the land. And Joel uses that disaster basically, as a backdrop to call the children of Israel back to God, to repent, which is customary in the prophets. And Old Testament scholars generally believe that the…the locusts were real, like this…this was a real natural disaster being used in prophetic form. As opposed to the locusts being a metaphor for something else, a great plague of locusts as an allegory. Most believe no, this really happened and became the backdrop for Joel. And as we were saying, with so many of the other prophets, Joel’s words reveal a fork in the road, and that a choice must be made, and that there are paths that can be chosen, and the correct path would be the path of repentance, and that will lead to restoration and blessing or the alternative path is to continue and rebellion which would lead to the great and terrible day of the Lord. And some of that is described and it would be great and terrible but there’s a different path. The path of repentance. Following that path would be even greater, the restoration would be even greater, than the destruction. And so even as we’re just kind of laying this out and talking about a little bit, we can see like this mimic’s life so well. Like so many of the other stories in the Bible that we’ve read. But we’ll also find some beautiful, very famous passages in the book of Joel. Joel tells us, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people and your sons and daughters will prophesy and your old men will dream dreams and your young men will see visions. And so, we’ll get to hear that today, as we move in and through in its entirety, the book of Joel, which has three chapters. And we’ll read them all. We’re reading from the New Living Translation today, Joel 1 through 3.
Introduction to the Book of Revelation:
Okay so, we’re covering quite a bit of ground today as we move into new territory in the Old and New Testaments. And now that we’re here at the New Testament, we have brand-new territory, but we have also reached the final book that we will move into this year because we’re going through the Bible and that is the book of Revelation. And there really isn’t another book in all of the Bible that has been so intriguing to people and fascinated readers in ways that nothing else does. It’s been interpreted in a myriad of ways, over thousands of years, some of them like science-fiction sort of interpretations others are pragmatic and scholarly. Revelation itself will identify the author as John. And that brings up all kinds of questions, which John are we talking about and that isn’t clearly articulated. Traditionally the author is John the apostle of Jesus, who wrote the gospel of John as well as first, second and third John, although there’s scholarly debate about all that. But whether John the apostle of Jesus was the author of the book of Revelation has been debated since at least the third century and continues to be debated until today. Most scholars, based on the evidence that we have, hold with tradition, the apostle John was probably the author of the book of Revelation. Although there are biblical scholars that would vigorously debate that. Regardless, if the apostle John is the author of the book of Revelation, then John was banished to the island of Patmos where this revelation was given and written down. And it’s believed that Patmos at this time was a Roman penal colony, like where political prisoners would be exiled, or criminals would be sent. Sort of this island that nobody can escape off of, an island prison as it were. And the island of Patmos sits in the Aegean Sea. It is between modern-day Greece and Turkey. It’s not all that far from Ephesus, where it’s believed that John spent the latter part of his life. The book of Revelation itself is considered to be a work of apocalyptic literature and that is one of the reasons why there are so many widely, varied interpretations about every aspect of the book of Revelation. Apocalyptic literature, as a genre, is a highly symbolic form of writing and the reader then has to wrestle with and discern what is, what everything means. What’s to be taken literally, what is to be considered symbolic, what is being said as an allegory, what is being said as actual events to come. And since we’re dealing with perhaps the end of the world as we know it and of new era beginning for humanity, then obviously there would be a lot of consideration and intrigue around interpreting the book of Revelation. And so, there has been a lot of intrigue and interpretation of the book of Revelation leading to very, very different and diverse conclusions, and this has been going on for thousands of years. Some look at the work in Revelation from an entirely first century perspective and interpret it and conclude that the events in Revelation, that that Revelation was speaking to specific things that were happening at that time and those things have taken place. Others look at the book of Revelation as beginning in the first century but lasting all the way until the end of the world. And so, we’re in the thick of it right now. Others believe that the symbolism in Revelation has no time, it's…it, it’s like a timeless discussion about the cosmic struggle between good and evil. Then any of these views can be legitimate, but if we get overly swept away in the details, trying to match up things and make them fit the time that we are currently in well, we would be the first ones to ever be right by that method. And so, we can get ourselves whipped into a frenzy very, very easily but in the end, we may not find the fulfillment of what we thought was going to happen. That has been happening with every generation since this has been written and nobody’s been correct yet. One thing we’ll notice, no matter how are trying to interpret the book of Revelation, the theme that we have been, that has been escalating as we continue further and further into the New Testament, the theme of endurance is a foundational theme in the book of Revelation. I almost to the point that all of the references to enduring and persevering that we have encountered all the way of led us to this point, where this is the major theme in the book of Revelation. And we begin to see that enduring is an irreplaceable thing in the ultimate battle between darkness and light. Revelation tells us that those who stay faithful to the testimony of Jesus and endure until the end will be eternally victorious. John says, they have defeated him by the blood of the lamb and by their testimony and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. And as we read Revelation, we’ll discover that endurance isn’t like hiding, just trying to wait something out in a passive sort of way, just trying to stay hidden. Enduring isn’t a defensive thing, staying true and enduring with the truth when the whole world is turned against you is a strong aggressive statement against deception. And deception is one of the greatest forces ever set against mankind, as we’ll see in Revelation. And we’ll see that the reader is instructed to remain true, hold to the truth, be a witness to the truth, be a light in the darkness to the very end. And as Revelation teaches us, the very end is actually a new beginning.
And so, with that, let’s dive into the book of Revelation. But before we do, one little thing that we can try this year. I have been reading through the Bible well, this is the 17th time in a row. And so, this be the 17th time through Revelation in a row. And what I have learned is because of what we’re doing in the Old Testament, moving through the minor prophets very, very rapidly as we move toward the end of the year. We have a lot to talk about just in giving an overview of what it is were reading in the Old Testament and the minor prophets. And it’s really, really difficult to do that and try to decipher or present all of the different ways that Revelation has been interpreted, all at the same time. And so, I try to keep us moving forward with the material that we are moving through but a couple years ago I was like, let’s take the Revelation path. Cause like, you really can’t take both of them without every day being really, really, really, really long and complicated, really intensely complicated. But a few years ago, I was like, let’s just do it. And we kind of stuck to the path of Revelation, not from an interpretive perspective where it’s like here’s what it means and here’s what you have to believe. Like I was just saying that people have come to all kinds of conclusions about every nuance of the book of Revelation, but I did go through and try to present some of the problems, some of the challenges in interpreting it. Some of the different ways, some of the major ways the different sections of Revelation have been looked at. And I went back and kind of reviewed that a little bit thinking how do we incorporate all of this. And so, here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna continue through the Daily Audio Bible like we do and cover every one of the minor prophets as we encounter them, and we’ll talk about whatever we talk about each and every day, but we won’t be talking about Revelation, because at the end of the program each day so we do the Daily Audio Bible. We talk about it. We pray. We talk about anything is going on in the community and things to keep us connected and then there are the prayers of the people that we hear and pray for them. And then that’s typically the end of the day of the Daily Audio Bible. After the prayers from now until the end of the year, I’m going to insert those discussions from the book of Revelation, so that if you want to take a deep dive and really kind of swim in the intricacies there, that’ll come after the prayers. It’s not every single day but it’s most days between now and the end of the year. And so that will, I guess that’ll give us some bonus content each day as we move toward the end of the year and through the book of Revelation. And if that is life-giving and a good thing then maybe we’ll continue that in years to come, but this will be first time we’ve ever tried this. So, I’m just making you aware of that, that’s not going to happen today. We have covered a lot of ground today moving into and through Joel. And now, kind of setting up Revelation. So, we’ll just kind of stick to where we are but tomorrow after the prayers, that’s when we’ll kind of start this Revelation exploration. And I’ll just continue to remind us, when there is bonus stuff at the very, very end about the book of Revelation. But for now, let’s get into the text itself, Revelation chapter 1.
Father, we thank You for Your word and we thank You that it is it’s coming at us faster now and we thank You for that because it forces us to very much pay attention to what is being said. And we ask that Your Holy Spirit, lead us to what we need to hear, whether that be in the thick of the book of Revelation or whether that be in any of the minor prophets that we are moving through, as we move toward the end of the year. We love You and it would be so easy for us to start checking out and just kind of feeling and realizing that were close to the end of the year and it’s really, really busy when there is so much left for us. So much left to help us set up and begin strong, what comes next which is a new year. And so, Holy Spirit, come, as we continue to move forward step-by-step, day-by-day, even as things have accelerated in our lives in the world and in the Bible. Help us to retain and understand what it is that You are showing us. Lead us into all truth we pray, in the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com, that’s home base and that is where you find out what’s going on around here. The Daily Audio Bible app will do that as well, in the palm of your hand and you can get that from the App Store that connects to your device.
And we all know it’s Christmas time around here, everywhere, and that includes around the Global Campfire. So, a couple of…of Christmas oriented things. First, the Annual Daily Audio Bible Christmas party that we have each year, this is the last call that you, for you to call in your holiday greetings to the community here. And you can do that by pressing the Hotline button in the app or by dialing 877-942-4253. And obviously that’s the prayer and encouragements lines and so, they’re just doubling right now as our holiday greeting line. The only thing is, if you, if you have a prayer request or encouragement, call that in like you would, call your holiday greeting in the separate, so that we can keep them separate. And again, last call, last call if you want to get in for the party this year. So that’s going on. There is also some holiday music from the community here for your holiday playlists. Let’s see, Jill my wife Jill Parr, you can look for her O Holy Night single. We also have a Christmas single that she released a few years back with Do You Hear What I Hear and Oh Come All Ye Faithful on it. And that goes back a little, little ways. I listened to it last night and I was like okay, I gotta remind everybody this exist. If you want your face ripped off by the mighty power of my wife’s voice, then you’ll have to hear her rendition of Do You Hear What I Hear. But then I was listening to Oh Come All Ye Faithful and just remembering when we recorded that because China was a lot littler, she was doing Daily Audio Bible Kids then. She certainly wasn’t grown and married and have a child of her own. But one year, Jill was out on a Christmas tour with Nicole Mullen and channels out on the road and was singing every night in front of thousands of people. And so, we recorded this and it came on and it took my breath away because it was China as a little girl singing a little bit of a duet with her mommy at the end of the song. And so, anyway, that’s all available for your playlists for Christmas. There is the Family Christmas album. So, you can look for family Christmas and my name and you should be able to find that. And then there is the Christmas Time album, so you can look for Christmas Time and Maxwell Hardin, my son’s name. And enjoy, place all of that into the rotation of your holiday season and it’ll be Christmas around the Global Campfire all the time. So, check that out. And then lastly the Daily Audio Bible Family Christmas box for 2022 is available. Next week will, we will reach the cutoff point, at least for shipping for Christmas. And so, if that’s kind on your list and you’ve been thinking about that, then don’t delay there. Go ahead and order while you can. And we have packed the Christmas box this year full of all kinds of goodies. A fantastic box full of resources, things that you want to keep, things that you may want to give away, it's…it’s all full. And so, you can check that out at dailyaudiobible.com or in the app, just go to the Shop and in the Shop, you’ll find the Christmas category and the Christmas box is in the Christmas category.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, as we approach the end of another year together. Thank you, humbly and profoundly, thank you for your partnership as we move day-by-day, step-by-step through the Scriptures. There is a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com using the app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner, or the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996 Springhill, Tennessee 37174.
And as always, if ever prayer request or encouragement, you can hit the Hotline button in the app or you can dial 877-942-4253.
And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.
Prayer and Encouragements:
This is Timothy from Mexico and I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to express my appreciation for Maxwell Hardin, the son of Brian. His music, I bought his Christmas album a year ago. And I’ve listened to it from time to time but in this year, in this Advent Season, it’s been such a blessing. And I recommend it. It’s given me so much joy and comfort and tranquility as I listen to it. And I do other things as I listen to it, read the Bible and pray and thank you so much Maxwell Hardin, for your great talent and using it for the glory of God. You have a wonderful Advent Season and Christmas. In the name of Jesus. Goodbye.
Good morning DAB-C friends and family, this is Samantha from Tennessee. And I was just calling in to ask you guys to join me in prayer for my husband as well as all of our loved ones that might not be as passionate about the word as we are. So, Lord Jesus, I ask for a hunger for my husband and my family. I ask that they would desire your word. That they would wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about it and that your Holy Spirit would convict and bug the fire out of them until they get in Your word, Jesus. I pray that in 2023 every person that the DAB-C family cares about and loves and wants to have a relationship with you through your word, that they would desire it, Jesus. I just pray for a desire and a hunger and the obedience to be in the word. Not because we are better because we are but we are better off because we are because You are feeding us our daily spiritual bread, Jesus, and it is so important. Thanks guys. Amen.
Hey Daily Audio Bible family, this is Jeremiah, God Gives Good Gifts from Michigan. I’m a few weeks behind right now but I just heard Shawn from London call in about his alcohol and drug addiction. And I just want to stand in the gap and join him in prayer. So, would you join me as we go before the throne of grace and seek God’s help. Father God, we just come boldly into Your presence and thank You for Your grace and mercy, your love and forgiveness. We want to just stand in the gap for Shawn and for all those who are struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction. And Lord, we just as we come before You, we just want to repent, we want to repent of pride, repent of idolatry, repent of fear, repent of addiction. And Lord, I just pray that You would bind the hand of the enemy in Shawn’s heart and mind and body and life. We just pray Lord, that You would do battle in the heavenlies on his behalf and that Satan and his stronghold and the demons would flee before the name of Jesus, before the name of Yeshua and that You would set him free from this addiction. Lord, that You would give him a testimony of Your power and Your love and Your presence in his life. That he would be able to turn away each and every day. Take himself out of the center of his life and put You and Your glory first in his life. We thank You and we praise You in Jesus name. All God’s children said, Amen. Love you, bless you.
Hey DAB good morning, it’s Blessing’s Flow in Pennsylvania. I wanted to leave a quick praise report. Today is December 6th but over the weekend, like December 2nd, I was, I listened to that day’s podcast and I went back to August to one I hadn’t finished and it was very encouraging. And was in the Psalms and I paused it for a moment, my husband came in and he had given me this letter and asked if I could put it on our prayer board. It was one we had received that day from a lawyer, something from our business. Honestly, it was a threat that if we don’t do something you know, this person may come against us. And it’s about something that’s not true. But he wanted me to put the letter up on the prayer board so we could pray for it. And I said, okay, one second. And I pressed play again, on the Daily Audio Bible and don’t you know that the exact scripture was Psalm 27:12 and it was something like you know, don’t fret about your foes that come against you with malicious lies, or something like this. And I just thought, what in the world. I’ve read Psalm 27 many times and I guess there’s certain parts I paid attention to but it just really encouraged me that I had listened to that at that exact time and it was from August and now it’s December. Anyway, the word of God is always right on time and I just hope I can come across with the same amazement I had in that moment. I just want to give God glory. Merry Christmas everybody.
Hello, my name is Echo Hope. I love you and I would like to graciously invite you to please, pray with me. Papa, there are some situations and circumstances which have allowed us to entertain some thoughts that cause us to believe that You are not here, that you are not near and that You have forsaken us. We may be tempted to overcome our goodness in Your graces with doubt and unbelief. Fear be gone in the name of Jesus Christ. We have nothing to do with you and you have no right to entertain our vessels. We are a ship, plowing forward. The sails are being blown by the very word of God, spoken into our bones. Rebuke you, in the name of Jesus. Fear be gone now. Cut ties, we have nothing to do with you. The ax is laid to the root of the tree and the ax is you and me on that cross with Jesus Christ. And the tree is the satanic root and nature of sin we have no place in you, you have no place in us. Take back what you’ve given and leave nothing here that belongs to you, go. Papa, I thank You for giving me the opportunity to pray. You have lit a fire inside of me that is overwhelming and can hardly contain it. Please help me channel everything that You have taught me in a proper, decent and orderly fashion. Help me not to vomit and throw up all over everyone that I meet. Help me learn how to show them how much I love them so that way, you can be all things threw me to everyone in need. Jesus.