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First Reading: Ezekiel Chapter 15 and 16
15:1 The Outcast Vine
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 2 "Son of man, how is the
wood of the vine better than any other wood, the vine branch which is among
the trees of the forest? 3 Is wood taken from it to make any object? Or can
men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on? 4 Instead, it is thrown into the
fire for fuel; the fire devours both ends of it, and its middle is burned. Is
it useful for any work? 5 Indeed, when it was whole, no object could be made
from it. How much less will it be useful for any work when the fire has devoured
it, and it is burned?
6 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 7 and I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I set My face against them. 8 Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,' says the Lord GOD."
16:1 God's Love for Jerusalem
Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, cause Jerusalem
to know her abominations, 3 and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: "Your
birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite
and your mother a Hittite. 4 As for your nativity, on the day you were born
your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you
were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. 5 No eye pitied you,
to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown
out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were
6 "And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' Yes, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' 7 I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare.
8 "When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD.
9 "Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. 14 Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord GOD.
15 Jerusalem's Harlotry
"But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your
fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.
16 You took some of your garments and adorned multicolored high places for yourself,
and played the harlot on them. Such things should not happen, nor be. 17 You
have also taken your beautiful jewelry from My gold and My silver, which I had
given you, and made for yourself male images and played the harlot with them.
18 You took your embroidered garments and covered them, and you set My oil and
My incense before them. 19 Also My food which I gave you the pastry of
fine flour, oil, and honey which I fed you you set it before them as
sweet incense; and so it was," says the Lord GOD.
20 "Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, 21 that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire? 22 And in all your abominations and acts of harlotry you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, struggling in your blood.
23 "Then it was so, after all your wickedness 'Woe, woe to you!' says the Lord GOD 24 that you also built for yourself a shrine, and made a high place for yourself in every street. 25 You built your high places at the head of every road, and made your beauty to be abhorred. You offered yourself to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your acts of harlotry. 26 You also committed harlotry with the Egyptians, your very fleshly neighbors, and increased your acts of harlotry to provoke Me to anger.
27 "Behold, therefore, I stretched out My hand against you, diminished your allotment, and gave you up to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior. 28 You also played the harlot with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; indeed you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied. 29 Moreover you multiplied your acts of harlotry as far as the land of the trader, Chaldea; and even then you were not satisfied.
30 "How degenerate is your heart!" says the Lord GOD, "seeing you do all these things, the deeds of a brazen harlot.
31 Jerusalem's Adultery
"You erected your shrine at the head of every road, and built your high
place in every street. Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned payment.
32 You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband. 33
Men make payment to all harlots, but you made your payments to all your lovers,
and hired them to come to you from all around for your harlotry. 34 You are
the opposite of other women in your harlotry, because no one solicited you to
be a harlot. In that you gave payment but no payment was given you, therefore
you are the opposite."
35 Jerusalem's Lovers Will Abuse Her
'Now then, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD! 36 Thus says the Lord GOD:
"Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in
your harlotry with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because
of the blood of your children which you gave to them, 37 surely, therefore,
I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved,
and all those you hated; I will gather them from all around against you and
will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38
And I will judge you as women who break wedlock or shed blood are judged; I
will bring blood upon you in fury and jealousy. 39 I will also give you into
their hand, and they shall throw down your shrines and break down your high
places. They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry,
and leave you naked and bare.
40 "They shall also bring up an assembly against you, and they shall stone you with stones and thrust you through with their swords. 41 They shall burn your houses with fire, and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; and I will make you cease playing the harlot, and you shall no longer hire lovers. 42 So I will lay to rest My fury toward you, and My jealousy shall depart from you. I will be quiet, and be angry no more. 43 Because you did not remember the days of your youth, but agitated Me with all these things, surely I will also recompense your deeds on your own head," says the Lord GOD. "And you shall not commit lewdness in addition to all your abominations.
44 More Wicked than Samaria and Sodom
"Indeed everyone who quotes proverbs will use this proverb against you:
'Like mother, like daughter!' 45 You are your mother's daughter, loathing husband
and children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands
and children; your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
46 "Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who dwells to the south of you, is Sodom and her daughters. 47 You did not walk in their ways nor act according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you became more corrupt than they in all your ways.
48 "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.
51 "Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done. 52 You who judged your sisters, bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you. Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame, because you justified your sisters.
53 "When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, 54 that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. 55 When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state. 56 For your sister Sodom was not a byword in your mouth in the days of your pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered. It was like the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and of the daughters of the Philistines, who despise you everywhere. 58 You have paid for your lewdness and your abominations," says the LORD. 59 For thus says the Lord GOD: "I will deal with you as you have done, who despised the oath by breaking the covenant.
60 An Everlasting Covenant
"Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed, when you receive your older and your younger sisters; for I will give them to you for daughters, but not because of My covenant with you. 62 And I will establish My covenant with you. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, 63 that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done," says the Lord GOD.'"Second Reading: Revelation Chapter 1
1:1 Introduction and Benediction
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants
things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel
to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony
of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those
who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written
in it; for the time is near.
4 Greeting the Seven Churches
John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
9 Vision of the Son of Man
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and
patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word
of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the
Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying,
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What
you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia:
to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia,
and to Laodicea."
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 4 of 4
The last section of Ezekiel is found in chapters 40 to 48
VISION OF THE RESTORED COMMUNITY: THE NEW TEMPLE AND THE NEW LAW
1. Description of the new Temple - Ch 40-43
2. A new service of worship with an ideal ministry and sacrificial system - Ch 44-46
3. Israel reorganized according to tribal divisions - Ch 47-48
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