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ESV: Read through the Bible
<h2>Just Read</h2> <p>In this online version of the <a href="https://www.crossway.org/tracts/through-the-bible-in-a-year-2656/">popular tract</a>, each day includes a reading from the Old Testament and New Testament. Starting in Genesis and Matthew, the readings continue sequentially. Over the course of a year, you will never read the same passage twice.</p> <p>© 2005 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.</p>

  • December 16: Amos 7–9; Revelation 7

    Morning: Amos 7–9

    Amos 7–9 (Listen)

    Warning Visions

    This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, he was forming locusts when the latter growth was just beginning to sprout, and behold, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings. When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,

      “O Lord GOD, please forgive!
        How can Jacob stand?
        He is so small!”
      The LORD relented concerning this:
        “It shall not be,” said the LORD.

    This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, the Lord GOD was calling for a judgment by fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said,

      “O Lord GOD, please cease!
        How can Jacob stand?
        He is so small!”
      The LORD relented concerning this:
        “This also shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.

    This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

      “Behold, I am setting a plumb line
        in the midst of my people Israel;
        I will never again pass by them;
      the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
        and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
        and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

    Amos Accused

    10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said,

      “‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
        and Israel must go into exile
        away from his land.’”

    12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

    14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was1 no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the LORD.

      “You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
        and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’

    17 Therefore thus says the LORD:

      “‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city,
        and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
        and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line;
      you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
        and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”

    The Coming Day of Bitter Mourning

    This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me,

      “The end2 has come upon my people Israel;
        I will never again pass by them.
      The songs of the temple3 shall become wailings4 in that day,”
          declares the Lord GOD.
      “So many dead bodies!”
      “They are thrown everywhere!”
      Hear this, you who trample on the needy
        and bring the poor of the land to an end,
      saying, “When will the new moon be over,
        that we may sell grain?
      And the Sabbath,
        that we may offer wheat for sale,
      that we may make the ephah small and the shekel5 great
        and deal deceitfully with false balances,
      that we may buy the poor for silver
        and the needy for a pair of sandals
        and sell the chaff of the wheat?”
      The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
      “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
      Shall not the land tremble on this account,
        and everyone mourn who dwells in it,
      and all of it rise like the Nile,
        and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”
      “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD,
        “I will make the sun go down at noon
        and darken the earth in broad daylight.
    10   I will turn your feasts into mourning
        and all your songs into lamentation;
      I will bring sackcloth on every waist
        and baldness on every head;
      I will make it like the mourning for an only son
        and the end of it like a bitter day.
    11   “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
        “when I will send a famine on the land—
      not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
        but of hearing the words of the LORD.
    12   They shall wander from sea to sea,
        and from north to east;
      they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD,
        but they shall not find it.
    13   “In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
        shall faint for thirst.
    14   Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria,
        and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
      and, ‘As the Way of Beersheba lives,’
        they shall fall, and never rise again.”

    The Destruction of Israel

    I saw the Lord standing beside6 the altar, and he said:

      “Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
        and shatter them on the heads of all the people;7
      and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
        not one of them shall flee away;
        not one of them shall escape.
      “If they dig into Sheol,
        from there shall my hand take them;
      if they climb up to heaven,
        from there I will bring them down.
      If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
        from there I will search them out and take them;
      and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
        there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
      And if they go into captivity before their enemies,
        there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
      and I will fix my eyes upon them
        for evil and not for good.”
      The Lord GOD of hosts,
      he who touches the earth and it melts,
        and all who dwell in it mourn,
      and all of it rises like the Nile,
        and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
      who builds his upper chambers in the heavens
        and founds his vault upon the earth;
      who calls for the waters of the sea
        and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
      the LORD is his name.
      “Are you not like the Cushites to me,
        O people of Israel?” declares the LORD.
      “Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
        and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?
      Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom,
        and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
        except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
          declares the LORD.
      “For behold, I will command,
        and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
      as one shakes with a sieve,
        but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
    10   All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
        who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’

    The Restoration of Israel

    11   “In that day I will raise up
        the booth of David that is fallen
      and repair its breaches,
        and raise up its ruins
        and rebuild it as in the days of old,
    12   that they may possess the remnant of Edom
        and all the nations who are called by my name,”8
        declares the LORD who does this.
    13   “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
        “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper
        and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed;
      the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
        and all the hills shall flow with it.
    14   I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
        and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
      they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
        and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
    15   I will plant them on their land,
        and they shall never again be uprooted
        out of the land that I have given them,”
          says the LORD your God.


    [1] 7:14 Or am; twice in this verse
    [2] 8:2 The Hebrew words for end and summer fruit sound alike
    [3] 8:3 Or palace
    [4] 8:3 Or The singing women of the palace shall wail
    [5] 8:5 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters; a shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
    [6] 9:1 Or on
    [7] 9:1 Hebrew all of them
    [8] 9:12 Hebrew; Septuagint (compare Acts 15:17) that the remnant of mankind and all the nations who are called by my name may seek the Lord


    Evening: Revelation 7

    Revelation 7 (Listen)

    The 144,000 of Israel Sealed

    After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

      12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
      12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
      12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
      12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
      12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
      12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
      12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
      12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
      12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
      12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
      12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
      12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

    A Great Multitude from Every Nation

    After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

    13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    15   “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
        and serve him day and night in his temple;
        and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
    16   They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
        the sun shall not strike them,
        nor any scorching heat.
    17   For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
        and he will guide them to springs of living water,
      and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


  • December 15: Amos 4–6; Revelation 6

    Morning: Amos 4–6

    Amos 4–6 (Listen)

      “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan,
        who are on the mountain of Samaria,
      who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
        who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
      The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness
        that, behold, the days are coming upon you,
      when they shall take you away with hooks,
        even the last of you with fishhooks.
      And you shall go out through the breaches,
        each one straight ahead;
        and you shall be cast out into Harmon,”
          declares the LORD.
      “Come to Bethel, and transgress;
        to Gilgal, and multiply transgression;
      bring your sacrifices every morning,
        your tithes every three days;
      offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened,
        and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
        for so you love to do, O people of Israel!”
          declares the Lord GOD.

    Israel Has Not Returned to the Lord

      “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
        and lack of bread in all your places,
      yet you did not return to me,”
          declares the LORD.
      “I also withheld the rain from you
        when there were yet three months to the harvest;
      I would send rain on one city,
        and send no rain on another city;
      one field would have rain,
        and the field on which it did not rain would wither;
      so two or three cities would wander to another city
        to drink water, and would not be satisfied;
      yet you did not return to me,”
          declares the LORD.
      “I struck you with blight and mildew;
        your many gardens and your vineyards,
        your fig trees and your olive trees the locust devoured;
      yet you did not return to me,”
          declares the LORD.
    10   “I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
        I killed your young men with the sword,
      and carried away your horses,1
        and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
      yet you did not return to me,”
          declares the LORD.
    11   “I overthrew some of you,
        as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
        and you were as a brand2 plucked out of the burning;
      yet you did not return to me,”
          declares the LORD.
    12   “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
        because I will do this to you,
        prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
    13   For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind,
        and declares to man what is his thought,
      who makes the morning darkness,
        and treads on the heights of the earth—
        the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!

    Seek the Lord and Live

    Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

      “Fallen, no more to rise,
        is the virgin Israel;
      forsaken on her land,
        with none to raise her up.”

    For thus says the Lord GOD:

      “The city that went out a thousand
        shall have a hundred left,
      and that which went out a hundred
        shall have ten left
        to the house of Israel.”

    For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel:

      “Seek me and live;
        but do not seek Bethel,
      and do not enter into Gilgal
        or cross over to Beersheba;
      for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
        and Bethel shall come to nothing.”
      Seek the LORD and live,
        lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
        and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
      O you who turn justice to wormwood3
        and cast down righteousness to the earth!
      He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
        and turns deep darkness into the morning
        and darkens the day into night,
      who calls for the waters of the sea
        and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
      the LORD is his name;
      who makes destruction flash forth against the strong,
        so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
    10   They hate him who reproves in the gate,
        and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
    11   Therefore because you trample on4 the poor
        and you exact taxes of grain from him,
      you have built houses of hewn stone,
        but you shall not dwell in them;
      you have planted pleasant vineyards,
        but you shall not drink their wine.
    12   For I know how many are your transgressions
        and how great are your sins—
      you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
        and turn aside the needy in the gate.
    13   Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time,
        for it is an evil time.
    14   Seek good, and not evil,
        that you may live;
      and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,
        as you have said.
    15   Hate evil, and love good,
        and establish justice in the gate;
      it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
        will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

    16 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord:

      “In all the squares there shall be wailing,
        and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
      They shall call the farmers to mourning
        and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
    17   and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,
        for I will pass through your midst,”
          says the LORD.

    Let Justice Roll Down

    18   Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!
        Why would you have the day of the LORD?
      It is darkness, and not light,
    19     as if a man fled from a lion,
        and a bear met him,
      or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
        and a serpent bit him.
    20   Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light,
        and gloom with no brightness in it?
    21   “I hate, I despise your feasts,
        and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
    22   Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
        I will not accept them;
      and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
        I will not look upon them.
    23   Take away from me the noise of your songs;
        to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
    24   But let justice roll down like waters,
        and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

    25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 You shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god—your images that you made for yourselves, 27 and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.

    Woe to Those at Ease in Zion

      “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
        and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
      the notable men of the first of the nations,
        to whom the house of Israel comes!
      Pass over to Calneh, and see,
        and from there go to Hamath the great;
        then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
      Are you better than these kingdoms?
        Or is their territory greater than your territory,
      O you who put far away the day of disaster
        and bring near the seat of violence?
      “Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
        and stretch themselves out on their couches,
      and eat lambs from the flock
        and calves from the midst of the stall,
      who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
        and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
      who drink wine in bowls
        and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
        but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
      Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile,
        and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away.”

    The Lord GOD has sworn by himself, declares the LORD, the God of hosts:

      “I abhor the pride of Jacob
        and hate his strongholds,
        and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”

    And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when one's relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, “Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, “No”; and he shall say, “Silence! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”

    11   For behold, the LORD commands,
        and the great house shall be struck down into fragments,
        and the little house into bits.
    12   Do horses run on rocks?
        Does one plow there5 with oxen?
      But you have turned justice into poison
        and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood6
    13   you who rejoice in Lo-debar,7
        who say, “Have we not by our own strength
        captured Karnaim8 for ourselves?”
    14   “For behold, I will raise up against you a nation,
        O house of Israel,” declares the LORD, the God of hosts;
      “and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
        to the Brook of the Arabah.”


    [1] 4:10 Hebrew along with the captivity of your horses
    [2] 4:11 That is, a burning stick
    [3] 5:7 Or to bitter fruit
    [4] 5:11 Or you tax
    [5] 6:12 Or the sea
    [6] 6:12 Or into bitter fruit
    [7] 6:13 Lo-debar means nothing
    [8] 6:13 Karnaim means horns (a symbol of strength)


    Evening: Revelation 6

    Revelation 6 (Listen)

    The Seven Seals

    Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.

    When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

    When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart1 of wheat for a denarius,2 and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”

    When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

    When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers3 should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

    12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave4 and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”


    [1] 6:6 Greek choinix, a dry measure equal to about a quart
    [2] 6:6 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
    [3] 6:11 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
    [4] 6:15 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface


  • December 14: Amos 1–3; Revelation 5

    Morning: Amos 1–3

    Amos 1–3 (Listen)

    The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds1 of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years2 before the earthquake.

    Judgment on Israel's Neighbors

    And he said:

      “The LORD roars from Zion
        and utters his voice from Jerusalem;
      the pastures of the shepherds mourn,
        and the top of Carmel withers.”

    Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of Damascus,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,3
      because they have threshed Gilead
        with threshing sledges of iron.
      So I will send a fire upon the house of Hazael,
        and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.
      I will break the gate-bar of Damascus,
        and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven,4
      and him who holds the scepter from Beth-eden;
        and the people of Syria shall go into exile to Kir,”
          says the LORD.

    Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of Gaza,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
      because they carried into exile a whole people
        to deliver them up to Edom.
      So I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza,
        and it shall devour her strongholds.
      I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,
        and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
      I will turn my hand against Ekron,
        and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,”
          says the Lord GOD.

    Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of Tyre,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
      because they delivered up a whole people to Edom,
        and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
    10   So I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre,
        and it shall devour her strongholds.”

    11 Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of Edom,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
      because he pursued his brother with the sword
        and cast off all pity,
      and his anger tore perpetually,
        and he kept his wrath forever.
    12   So I will send a fire upon Teman,
        and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.”

    13 Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of the Ammonites,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
      because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead,
        that they might enlarge their border.
    14   So I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,
        and it shall devour her strongholds,
      with shouting on the day of battle,
        with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind;
    15   and their king shall go into exile,
        he and his princes5 together,”
          says the LORD.

    Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of Moab,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,6
      because he burned to lime
        the bones of the king of Edom.
      So I will send a fire upon Moab,
        and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,
      and Moab shall die amid uproar,
        amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;
      I will cut off the ruler from its midst,
        and will kill all its princes7 with him,”
          says the LORD.

    Judgment on Judah

    Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of Judah,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
      because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
        and have not kept his statutes,
      but their lies have led them astray,
        those after which their fathers walked.
      So I will send a fire upon Judah,
        and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.”

    Judgment on Israel

    Thus says the LORD:

      “For three transgressions of Israel,
        and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
      because they sell the righteous for silver,
        and the needy for a pair of sandals—
      those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth
        and turn aside the way of the afflicted;
      a man and his father go in to the same girl,
        so that my holy name is profaned;
      they lay themselves down beside every altar
        on garments taken in pledge,
      and in the house of their God they drink
        the wine of those who have been fined.
      “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
        whose height was like the height of the cedars
        and who was as strong as the oaks;
      I destroyed his fruit above
        and his roots beneath.
    10   Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
        and led you forty years in the wilderness,
        to possess the land of the Amorite.
    11   And I raised up some of your sons for prophets,
        and some of your young men for Nazirites.
        Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?”
          declares the LORD.
    12   “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
        and commanded the prophets,
        saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’
    13   “Behold, I will press you down in your place,
        as a cart full of sheaves presses down.
    14   Flight shall perish from the swift,
        and the strong shall not retain his strength,
        nor shall the mighty save his life;
    15   he who handles the bow shall not stand,
        and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself,
        nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;
    16   and he who is stout of heart among the mighty
        shall flee away naked in that day,”
          declares the LORD.

    Israel's Guilt and Punishment

    Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:

      “You only have I known
        of all the families of the earth;
      therefore I will punish you
        for all your iniquities.
      “Do two walk together,
        unless they have agreed to meet?
      Does a lion roar in the forest,
        when he has no prey?
      Does a young lion cry out from his den,
        if he has taken nothing?
      Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth,
        when there is no trap for it?
      Does a snare spring up from the ground,
        when it has taken nothing?
      Is a trumpet blown in a city,
        and the people are not afraid?
      Does disaster come to a city,
        unless the LORD has done it?
      “For the Lord GOD does nothing
        without revealing his secret
        to his servants the prophets.
      The lion has roared;
        who will not fear?
      The Lord GOD has spoken;
        who can but prophesy?”
      Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod
        and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
      and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria,
        and see the great tumults within her,
        and the oppressed in her midst.”
    10   “They do not know how to do right,” declares the LORD,
        “those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.”

    11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:

      “An adversary shall surround the land
        and bring down8 your defenses from you,
        and your strongholds shall be plundered.”

    12 Thus says the LORD: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part9 of a bed.

    13   “Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,”
        declares the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
    14   “that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions,
        I will punish the altars of Bethel,
      and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
        and fall to the ground.
    15   I will strike the winter house along with the summer house,
        and the houses of ivory shall perish,
      and the great houses10 shall come to an end,”
          declares the LORD.


    [1] 1:1 Or sheep breeders
    [2] 1:1 Or during two years
    [3] 1:3 Hebrew I will not turn it back; also verses 6, 9, 11, 13
    [4] 1:5 Or On
    [5] 1:15 Or officials
    [6] 2:1 Hebrew I will not turn it back; also verses 4, 6
    [7] 2:3 Or officials
    [8] 3:11 Hebrew An adversary, one who surrounds the land—he shall bring down
    [9] 3:12 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
    [10] 3:15 Or and many houses


    Evening: Revelation 5

    Revelation 5 (Listen)

    The Scroll and the Lamb

    Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

    And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

      “Worthy are you to take the scroll
        and to open its seals,
      for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
        from every tribe and language and people and nation,
    10   and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
        and they shall reign on the earth.”

    11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

      “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
      to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
      and honor and glory and blessing!”

    13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

      “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
      be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

    14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.


  • December 13: Joel 1–3; Revelation 4

    Morning: Joel 1–3

    Joel 1–3 (Listen)

    The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:

    An Invasion of Locusts

      Hear this, you elders;
        give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
      Has such a thing happened in your days,
        or in the days of your fathers?
      Tell your children of it,
        and let your children tell their children,
        and their children to another generation.
      What the cutting locust left,
        the swarming locust has eaten.
      What the swarming locust left,
        the hopping locust has eaten,
      and what the hopping locust left,
        the destroying locust has eaten.
      Awake, you drunkards, and weep,
        and wail, all you drinkers of wine,
      because of the sweet wine,
        for it is cut off from your mouth.
      For a nation has come up against my land,
        powerful and beyond number;
      its teeth are lions' teeth,
        and it has the fangs of a lioness.
      It has laid waste my vine
        and splintered my fig tree;
      it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
        their branches are made white.
      Lament like a virgin1 wearing sackcloth
        for the bridegroom of her youth.
      The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off
        from the house of the LORD.
      The priests mourn,
        the ministers of the LORD.
    10   The fields are destroyed,
        the ground mourns,
      because the grain is destroyed,
        the wine dries up,
        the oil languishes.
    11   Be ashamed,2 O tillers of the soil;
        wail, O vinedressers,
      for the wheat and the barley,
        because the harvest of the field has perished.
    12   The vine dries up;
        the fig tree languishes.
      Pomegranate, palm, and apple,
        all the trees of the field are dried up,
      and gladness dries up
        from the children of man.

    A Call to Repentance

    13   Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests;
        wail, O ministers of the altar.
      Go in, pass the night in sackcloth,
        O ministers of my God!
      Because grain offering and drink offering
        are withheld from the house of your God.
    14   Consecrate a fast;
        call a solemn assembly.
      Gather the elders
        and all the inhabitants of the land
      to the house of the LORD your God,
        and cry out to the LORD.
    15   Alas for the day!
      For the day of the LORD is near,
        and as destruction from the Almighty3 it comes.
    16   Is not the food cut off
        before our eyes,
      joy and gladness
        from the house of our God?
    17   The seed shrivels under the clods;4
        the storehouses are desolate;
      the granaries are torn down
        because the grain has dried up.
    18   How the beasts groan!
        The herds of cattle are perplexed
      because there is no pasture for them;
        even the flocks of sheep suffer.5
    19   To you, O LORD, I call.
      For fire has devoured
        the pastures of the wilderness,
      and flame has burned
        all the trees of the field.
    20   Even the beasts of the field pant for you
        because the water brooks are dried up,
      and fire has devoured
        the pastures of the wilderness.

    The Day of the Lord

      Blow a trumpet in Zion;
        sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
      Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
        for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near,
      a day of darkness and gloom,
        a day of clouds and thick darkness!
      Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
        a great and powerful people;
      their like has never been before,
        nor will be again after them
        through the years of all generations.
      Fire devours before them,
        and behind them a flame burns.
      The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
        but behind them a desolate wilderness,
        and nothing escapes them.
      Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
        and like war horses they run.
      As with the rumbling of chariots,
        they leap on the tops of the mountains,
      like the crackling of a flame of fire
        devouring the stubble,
      like a powerful army
        drawn up for battle.
      Before them peoples are in anguish;
        all faces grow pale.
      Like warriors they charge;
        like soldiers they scale the wall.
      They march each on his way;
        they do not swerve from their paths.
      They do not jostle one another;
        each marches in his path;
      they burst through the weapons
        and are not halted.
      They leap upon the city,
        they run upon the walls,
      they climb up into the houses,
        they enter through the windows like a thief.
    10   The earth quakes before them;
        the heavens tremble.
      The sun and the moon are darkened,
        and the stars withdraw their shining.
    11   The LORD utters his voice
        before his army,
      for his camp is exceedingly great;
        he who executes his word is powerful.
      For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome;
        who can endure it?

    Return to the Lord

    12   “Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
        “return to me with all your heart,
      with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
    13     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
      Return to the LORD your God,
        for he is gracious and merciful,
      slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
        and he relents over disaster.
    14   Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
        and leave a blessing behind him,
      a grain offering and a drink offering
        for the LORD your God?
    15   Blow the trumpet in Zion;
        consecrate a fast;
      call a solemn assembly;
    16     gather the people.
      Consecrate the congregation;
        assemble the elders;
      gather the children,
        even nursing infants.
      Let the bridegroom leave his room,
        and the bride her chamber.
    17   Between the vestibule and the altar
        let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep
      and say, “Spare your people, O LORD,
        and make not your heritage a reproach,
        a byword among the nations.6
      Why should they say among the peoples,
        ‘Where is their God?’”

    The Lord Had Pity

    18   Then the LORD became jealous for his land
        and had pity on his people.
    19   The LORD answered and said to his people,
      “Behold, I am sending to you
        grain, wine, and oil,
        and you will be satisfied;
      and I will no more make you
        a reproach among the nations.
    20   “I will remove the northerner far from you,
        and drive him into a parched and desolate land,
      his vanguard7 into the eastern sea,
        and his rear guard8 into the western sea;
      the stench and foul smell of him will rise,
        for he has done great things.
    21   “Fear not, O land;
        be glad and rejoice,
        for the LORD has done great things!
    22   Fear not, you beasts of the field,
        for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
      the tree bears its fruit;
        the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
    23   “Be glad, O children of Zion,
        and rejoice in the LORD your God,
      for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
        he has poured down for you abundant rain,
        the early and the latter rain, as before.
    24   “The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
        the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
    25   I will restore9 to you the years
        that the swarming locust has eaten,
      the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
        my great army, which I sent among you.
    26   “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
        and praise the name of the LORD your God,
        who has dealt wondrously with you.
      And my people shall never again be put to shame.
    27   You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
        and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else.
      And my people shall never again be put to shame.

    The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit

    28   10 “And it shall come to pass afterward,
        that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
      your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
        your old men shall dream dreams,
        and your young men shall see visions.
    29   Even on the male and female servants
        in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

    30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

    The Lord Judges the Nations

    “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

    “What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily. For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples.11 You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border. Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will return your payment on your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away, for the LORD has spoken.”

      Proclaim this among the nations:
      Consecrate for war;12
        stir up the mighty men.
      Let all the men of war draw near;
        let them come up.
    10   Beat your plowshares into swords,
        and your pruning hooks into spears;
        let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”
    11   Hasten and come,
        all you surrounding nations,
        and gather yourselves there.
      Bring down your warriors, O LORD.
    12   Let the nations stir themselves up
        and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
      for there I will sit to judge
        all the surrounding nations.
    13   Put in the sickle,
        for the harvest is ripe.
      Go in, tread,
        for the winepress is full.
      The vats overflow,
        for their evil is great.
    14   Multitudes, multitudes,
        in the valley of decision!
      For the day of the LORD is near
        in the valley of decision.
    15   The sun and the moon are darkened,
        and the stars withdraw their shining.
    16   The LORD roars from Zion,
        and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
        and the heavens and the earth quake.
      But the LORD is a refuge to his people,
        a stronghold to the people of Israel.

    The Glorious Future of Judah

    17   “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God,
        who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain.
      And Jerusalem shall be holy,
        and strangers shall never again pass through it.
    18   “And in that day
      the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
        and the hills shall flow with milk,
      and all the streambeds of Judah
        shall flow with water;
      and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD
        and water the Valley of Shittim.
    19   “Egypt shall become a desolation
        and Edom a desolate wilderness,
      for the violence done to the people of Judah,
        because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
    20   But Judah shall be inhabited forever,
        and Jerusalem to all generations.
    21   I will avenge their blood,
        blood I have not avenged,13
        for the LORD dwells in Zion.”


    [1] 1:8 Or young woman
    [2] 1:11 The Hebrew words for dry up and be ashamed in verses 10–12, 17 sound alike
    [3] 1:15 Destruction sounds like the Hebrew for Almighty
    [4] 1:17 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain
    [5] 1:18 Or are made desolate
    [6] 2:17 Or reproach, that the nations should rule over them
    [7] 2:20 Hebrew face
    [8] 2:20 Hebrew his end
    [9] 2:25 Or pay back
    [10] 2:28 Ch 3:1 in Hebrew
    [11] 3:5 Or palaces
    [12] 3:9 Or Consecrate a war
    [13] 3:21 Or I will acquit their bloodguilt that I have not acquitted


    Evening: Revelation 4

    Revelation 4 (Listen)

    The Throne in Heaven

    After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings1 and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

    And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

      “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
        who was and is and is to come!”

    And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

    11   “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
        to receive glory and honor and power,
      for you created all things,
        and by your will they existed and were created.”


    [1] 4:5 Or voices, or sounds


  • December 12: Hosea 12–14; Revelation 3

    Morning: Hosea 12–14

    Hosea 12–14 (Listen)

    12   Ephraim feeds on the wind
        and pursues the east wind all day long;
      they multiply falsehood and violence;
        they make a covenant with Assyria,
        and oil is carried to Egypt.

    The Lord's Indictment of Israel and Judah

      The LORD has an indictment against Judah
        and will punish Jacob according to his ways;
        he will repay him according to his deeds.
      In the womb he took his brother by the heel,
        and in his manhood he strove with God.
      He strove with the angel and prevailed;
        he wept and sought his favor.
      He met God1 at Bethel,
        and there God spoke with us—
      the LORD, the God of hosts,
        the LORD is his memorial name:
      “So you, by the help of your God, return,
        hold fast to love and justice,
        and wait continually for your God.”
      A merchant, in whose hands are false balances,
        he loves to oppress.
      Ephraim has said, “Ah, but I am rich;
        I have found wealth for myself;
      in all my labors they cannot find in me iniquity or sin.”
      I am the LORD your God
        from the land of Egypt;
      I will again make you dwell in tents,
        as in the days of the appointed feast.
    10   I spoke to the prophets;
        it was I who multiplied visions,
        and through the prophets gave parables.
    11   If there is iniquity in Gilead,
        they shall surely come to nothing:
      in Gilgal they sacrifice bulls;
        their altars also are like stone heaps
        on the furrows of the field.
    12   Jacob fled to the land of Aram;
        there Israel served for a wife,
        and for a wife he guarded sheep.
    13   By a prophet the LORD brought Israel up from Egypt,
        and by a prophet he was guarded.
    14   Ephraim has given bitter provocation;
        so his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him
        and will repay him for his disgraceful deeds.

    The Lord's Relentless Judgment on Israel

    13   When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
        he was exalted in Israel,
        but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
      And now they sin more and more,
        and make for themselves metal images,
      idols skillfully made of their silver,
        all of them the work of craftsmen.
      It is said of them,
        “Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves!”
      Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
        or like the dew that goes early away,
      like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
        or like smoke from a window.
      But I am the LORD your God
        from the land of Egypt;
      you know no God but me,
        and besides me there is no savior.
      It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
        in the land of drought;
      but when they had grazed,2 they became full,
        they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
        therefore they forgot me.
      So I am to them like a lion;
        like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
      I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs;
        I will tear open their breast,
      and there I will devour them like a lion,
        as a wild beast would rip them open.
      He destroys3 you, O Israel,
        for you are against me, against your helper.
    10   Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities?
        Where are all your rulers—
      those of whom you said,
        “Give me a king and princes”?
    11   I gave you a king in my anger,
        and I took him away in my wrath.
    12   The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
        his sin is kept in store.
    13   The pangs of childbirth come for him,
        but he is an unwise son,
      for at the right time he does not present himself
        at the opening of the womb.
    14   I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;
        I shall redeem them from Death.4
      O Death, where are your plagues?
        O Sheol, where is your sting?
        Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
    15   Though he may flourish among his brothers,
        the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come,
        rising from the wilderness,
      and his fountain shall dry up;
        his spring shall be parched;
      it shall strip his treasury
        of every precious thing.
    16   5 Samaria shall bear her guilt,
        because she has rebelled against her God;
      they shall fall by the sword;
        their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
        and their pregnant women ripped open.

    A Plea to Return to the Lord

    14   Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
        for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
      Take with you words
        and return to the LORD;
      say to him,
        “Take away all iniquity;
      accept what is good,
        and we will pay with bulls
        the vows6 of our lips.
      Assyria shall not save us;
        we will not ride on horses;
      and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
        to the work of our hands.
      In you the orphan finds mercy.”
      I will heal their apostasy;
        I will love them freely,
        for my anger has turned from them.
      I will be like the dew to Israel;
        he shall blossom like the lily;
        he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
      his shoots shall spread out;
        his beauty shall be like the olive,
        and his fragrance like Lebanon.
      They shall return and dwell beneath my7 shadow;
        they shall flourish like the grain;
      they shall blossom like the vine;
        their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
      O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
        It is I who answer and look after you.8
      I am like an evergreen cypress;
        from me comes your fruit.
      Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
        whoever is discerning, let him know them;
      for the ways of the LORD are right,
        and the upright walk in them,
        but transgressors stumble in them.


    [1] 12:4 Hebrew him
    [2] 13:6 Hebrew according to their pasture
    [3] 13:9 Or I will destroy
    [4] 13:14 Or Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death?
    [5] 13:16 Ch 14:1 in Hebrew
    [6] 14:2 Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruit
    [7] 14:7 Hebrew his
    [8] 14:8 Hebrew him


    Evening: Revelation 3

    Revelation 3 (Listen)

    To the Church in Sardis

    “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

    “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

    To the Church in Philadelphia

    “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

    “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

    To the Church in Laodicea

    14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.

    15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”



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