Thursday, November 22, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 45 and Revelation 13

Ezekiel 45 – In this chapter Ezekiel describes a division of the country into parallel strips. The note says this is he most hypothetical and unrealistic part of his “vision.” The idea is that the land is to be divided – a section devoted to the sanctuary (the sacred portion), a section for the priests to live in.

There is to be a portion for the prince as it was in Solomon’s time; he is exhorted to give up “violence and plundering, [to] practice justice and integrity, [and to] crush my people no more with taxation” (45:8-9). The prince is responsible for providing sacrifices for “sin, oblation, holocaust and communion” sacrifices, which will atone for the sins of the House of Israel (45:17).

On the first day of the first month a young bull without blemish is to be offered to purify the sanctuary. Blood is to be placed on the doorposts of the Temple, the corners of the altar and the doorposts of the gates of the inner court. The same offering is to be made on the seventh of the month for “anyone who has sinned through inadvertence or ignorance” (45:19).  This offering is for unintentional imperfections that we know everyone has.

On the fourteenth of the first month, the Passover offering is to be made. Everyone must eat unleavened loaves for seven days and a series of sacrifices are to be made daily. The Feast of the Tabernacles must have the same series of offerings.

Revelation 13 – John is standing by the sea and he sees a beast come out with seven heads and ten horns. It was like a leopard “with paws like a bear and a mouth like a lion” (13:2). The dragon gave its power to the beast, and the world followed him thinking he is invincible.

For 42 months, he wields power and curses God. Everyone whose name was not “written down since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the sacrificial Lamb” is destroyed.
Then a second beast comes out of the ground with two horns but making a dragon’s noise. It was the servant of the first beast and extended his authority everywhere. It was able to perform miracles and gave great power to the beast. “There is need for shrewdness here: if anyone is clever enough he may interpret the number of the beast: it is the number of a man, the number 666” (13:18).

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