My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It is finished!

Dear all who have read this over the years,

It is finished!

I started this blog in November 2004 and have been doing it until today, February 18th 2008. That's about 3.5 years. This blog never saw a large readership, however if you read my first introduction post on November 16, 2004 you'll find that that was never it's purpose.

Firstly, I want to thank all the people who have read along with me or have commented on my posts. In recognition of my appreciation, I am delighted to give you all a free car* each.

Please keep commenting on chapters as you read them, and I'll still reply. All chapters are complete and can be found using our little device on the top right on the page.

I'm happy that I managed to achieve a ridiculous plan I set out 1189 days ago. I've done it in a relatively consistent way, and generally kept to my timeframe. I have, at times, been up to a month and half behind, but I'll always managed to catch up, and I finished on the right day without breaking my rule of only doing a maximum of two chapters per day.

So what has happened in my life over the last 1189 years? Well, I have moved back to New Zealand, moved to Dunedin and had a whole new life down here. I've completed my first 24 papers at University without getting a degree. I've gone from being a newbie at Elim in Dunedin to being a lifegroup leader to being the Student Pastor. I've received a nephew and a niece to add to the one nephew I already had. I'm pretty sure I had both my brothers-in-law before I started this. No-one close to me has died. I've had one girlfriend and fallen in love at least once, yet am still desirably single. I've learnt Hebrew. I've been on a missions trip to Thailand. I've started crying occasionally again. I've kept and shared my faith.

To be honest, I'm happy this blog is over. It forced me to it in front of the computer every day, which meant I wasted time on the computer doing other stuff because I'm ill-disciplined. I'm happy to have achieved what I have, but I will actually have a significant chunk of time back each day, and I can actually go days without finding a computer because I don't have an excuse anymore. I'll be more diligent at work because I won't have an ulterior motive to do my blog!

The question now is, what will my daily countdown programme do once it reaches zero? Only time will tell.

On to the Apocrypha!

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Revelation 22

World without an end

Then I saw the river of life flowing from God's throne. The tree of life was on the banks bearing crops every month. The leaves heal the nations. We, God's servants, will see God's face. This is all true.

"I'm coming soon! Do what this book says!". I, John, saw all of this and was told to tell the world.

"I'm coming soon! I'm the beginning and the end! Wash yourself clean. This message is from me, Jesus."

"Come if you're thirsty" says the Church and the Spirit. Don't add to this book nor take away.


Key verses:
2. the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
17. "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

My thoughts:
This is it! The end of the Bible. And it's all good. I love the first key verse. The nations are now healing. Human history, a history of suffering, is over. This is the way our world ends.

The curses and plagues associated with subtracting and adding to this book is clearly referring to Revelation and not to the whole Bible.

Revelation is written with a point, and the point is this: "Come". Come, whoever is thirsty and take from God's water. As I finish this blog I encourage you to come drink from God's water.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Revelation 21

The new-maker

Then there was a new heaven and earth replacing the old. There was a new Jerusalem, the bride. God now lived with people and makes everything sweet. It's all new! Life to the overcomers, and second death to the sinners.

Jerusalem was Jesus' bride. It was like a beautiful jewel. There was one gate for each tribe, and one foundation for each apostle. It was a cube of 2,200km with thick walls. It was made of very expensive jewels and gold. There is no temple nor sun nor moon, because God's presence was there and he's shiny enough himself! There is no night. Only those in the book cane enter. Nothing impure will be there.

Key verse:
5. He who was on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"

My thoughts:
John/God paints a pretty sweet picture here. It is utter perfection in way unimaginable to us. God's presence would be undeniably present. I'd assume there'd be no tiredness, because there's no night and probably no sleep. It's all very cool.

Here it connected the second death with a lake of sulfur which connects it closer to the final destination of the unholy trinity, but it's certainly not conclusive.

The apostles are highly elated here with the tribes of Israel. It makes clear the priority of the initial apostles as having a special role over all those who would follow. They are eye-witnesses of Jesus. It also shows how the church is the new Israel, God's new people, his new Jerusalem. Very cool.

So Jerusalem is the bride, though often we think of the church as the bride, but I reckon there will be no distinction between the church and Jerusalem.

I love God's desire to make things new. He's the creator! Yay!

There is an implication here that there will be those living outside the holy city, but I think a too literal reading is unhelpful. This is a vision and needs to be interpreted thus. Notice that there is no night in the city, but presumably there is elsewhere. Clearly this isn't really speaking to reality as we see it.

The city is the size of a small moon.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Revelation 20


Then an angel locked up Satan in the Abyss for a thousand years during which the martyrs came back to life and reigned with Jesus. This is the first of two resurrections.

After this, Satan will be released to bring an army against God, but God will whomp them sending Satan with the rest of his trinity to suffer eternal torment.

Then a massive throne came, causing all things to recede, and books of everyone's lives were there. All the dead came back and were judged. If they weren't on the list, then they were thrown into fire with death itself.

Key verse:
15. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

My thoughts:
Okay, so there is a passage here which quite clearly refers to a place of eternal torment, but it's also quite clear that that place is only for the unholy trinity. The general resurrected who are judged go to a separate place; the lake of fire. It is unclear whether that is eternal torment or simply second death.

Actually, it's entirely clear. It says "The lake of fire is the second death".

Anywho... somewhat disturbingly it says we are judged by what we had done, and not by our faith. It doesn't actually specify what constitutes getting your name in the book of life however, so it's theoretically possible that people are judged for their actions, but that that doesn't stop their names from being in the book of life. Hmmm...

So yea... has the millenium of Christ happened yet? Will it ever happen? Is it coming? People disagree on these points. I would contend that they are yet to happen, because they seem to occur after Armageddon and all the plagues and Jesus' return, and the don't seem to have happened yet. If they have happened, then it was pretty on the sly...

The two resurrections is an idea I hadn't really picked up yet.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Revelation 19

Jesus riding on a white horse!

Then a crowd praised God for condemning the prostitute. The elders worshipped, and there was a call for worship from the throne. The crowd praised God again, and sang that the Lamb's bride was ready. Those who get to go to the wedding will be stoked!

I worshipped the angel, but he didn't let me.

Then a powerful figure came on a white horse. We was dipped in blood and was at the front of heaven's army. He is the King of all Kings.

The angel called on the birds to dine on the bodies of the fallen sinners. The beast and his army fought against Jesus. The beast and the second prophet beast were captured and thrown into the lake of the fire, and the rest were just killed. The birds ate their flesh.

Key verse:
11. I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.

My thoughts:
So the beast beat the prostitute, and now heaven's wrapping up the job. In the midst of heaven's full army, there's no hint that they might lose. Yay Jesus! This is quite a cool image here!

So the second beast from before is the miraculous prophet in the unholy trinity. It's now deaded.

So here there are two fates for sinful things. Some are thrown alive into the lake, others are simply killed with the sword. Does this imply an annihilation for all but the worst? Or perhaps humans get annihilated but demons go to hell? Just believe whatever is most convenient. That's what everyone else does.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Revelation 18

Ode to a city's doom

Then someone sang of the fall of the woman 'Babylon', where so many had come to sin. Another voice called people to leave her and give her her due punishment. Though some of her fellow sinning kings mourned her, and merchants who could no longer trade all their things, including souls. The wealth has gone! The sailors will mourn at her sudden demise.

But you, God's saints, will rejoice. She was thrown down like a massive rock into water. Nothing will happen there again.

Key verse:
20. Rejoice over her, O heaven!
Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!
God has judged her for the way she treated you.

My thoughts:
This is a big triumph over a city's doom. Some are happy about it, some aren't. Sounds reasonably realistic!

I don't know what sort of chronology this is supposed to happen in with regard to the beast's demise. It seems to be a different plot thread and much more relevant to John's present situation, especially if the city is Rome.

This reminds me more of Old Testament prophecy. Good times.

Hear that? That's the sound of being up-to-date! That's the first time since, like, last September. Might be the longest I've been behind for, but anyway, I am now up-to-date with a couple of days to spare! And I've kept to my rule of only doing 2 chapters per day maximum. Go Pete!

The 18th of Feb will be the last day. For ages I thought it was the 19th, and I think my counter thing on the right is one day off, or I somehow missed a chapter which would be more disturbing! Anyway... it gets confusing with inclusive and exclusive counting etc. Getting close!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Revelation 17


Then an angel showed me the punishment of the prostitute. In the desert there was a women on the beast. The women, like the beast, wore royal purple, and she held a cup of filth. She is the great abomination and was drunk on Christians' blood.

The beast will come up from the Abyss to his destruction. He will amaze some because he died but came back. The beast's heads are seven hills and seven kings. The beast is an eighth king. The ten horns are ten kingdoms to come who will submit to the beast and fight Jesus, but Jesus will win.

The beast will ruin the prostitute, because the God has given the beast and his followers authority to do his will until his word is fulfilled.

Key verse:
17. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled.

My thoughts:
The woman is probably Rome because it is a great ruling city on seven hills who has killed many Christians. The fact that this has a relatively clear interpretation makes me feel more inadequate for not really being able to think what is meant on the previous call for wisdom, when John declares the beast's number.

The ten kingdoms could be barbarians who destroy Rome. I dunno. There probably a lot of specific mention here of present kings and rulers for John, as he seems to be speaking here to the present situation of Rome.

I dunno if this is the same beast of chapter 13. I think it's the same because it looks the same, and I think the description of it being in the past, and coming in the future is another description of his fatal wound.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Revelation 16

It is done

The first bowl gave people sores. The second turned the sea into blood. The third turned the rivers into blood, so that those with the beasts mark could drink the blood they shed. God is just. The fourth made the sun scorching. The fifth was poured on the beast's throne, and his world went dark, but people still didn't repent.

The sixth dried up the Euphrates for a battle. Frog-demons left the unholy trinity to go to the kings of the east to summon them for the final battle at Armageddon. Jesus comes like a thief.

Then the final bowl was poured. The very foundations of the earth shook. Cities were destroyed. Jerusalem split in three. The island and mountains were gone. It was done.

Key verse:
17. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!"

My thoughts:
This is way the world ends. From here on in it's just tying up the loose ends, punishment and re-creation.

So obviously the concept of Armageddon is well cemented in the popular understanding of the end times, yet it is only a side note to this all. In case you weren't aware, Armageddon is a real identifiable place in Palestine.

God, in theory, could've made the world simply disappear with the click of his fingers, yet for some reason he chooses to go through this big nasty sequence. I guess it's to teach someone a lesson! I love the bitter justice of making those with the mark to drink the blood they spilt.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Revelation 15

The end of wrath is nigh!

There were seven angels to give the seven final plagues before God was done. There was a sea of fire, by which those who had remained faithful sang of the great things God had done.

The seven angels came out from the temple and were given a bowl of wrath each. Whilst the bowls were being poured, no-one could enter the temple due to God's glory.

Key verse:
4. For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.

My thoughts:
I love how in this verse it doesn't just say that God has been righteous, but also implies that God will be seen to be righteous. Sometimes we might feel like we're being told that God is righteous, but we're secretly not sure, but I think we can be confident that when all is said and done that it will be clear that God is good. We can't expect to completely understand it at all times.

I think it's important to notice that God's wrath is finite, but his love is infinite. There is a definite end to his judgement. It is an unfortunate but necessary aberration from what God wants to be doing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Revelation 14

The anti-beast

And then the Lamb was on Zion with the 144,000 from before. They sang a new secret song with tremendous sound. The 144,000 were absolutely pure man-virgins.

Then an angel called on people to fear God. Another angel proclaimed Babylon's fall. A third angel made it clear that following the beast meant punishment. Those who die is Jesus are blessed.

Then a shiny son of man with a sickle came on a cloud to harvest the earth. Another angels will a sickle came, and was told to reap, and many people were squashed in a massive winepress.

Key verse:
1. Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.

My thoughts:
This is, of course, the declaration of victory for God and Heaven over the events of chapter 13.

I'm not convinced that the son of man of verse 14 is Jesus. He doesn't seem to do much, and as far as I can tell, the Lamb is still present.

The warning of the angels imply to me that it won't be too late for the followers of the beast.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Revelation 13


The dragon stood by the shore, and a beast came out of the water. It had seven heads, each with a name cursing God on it. He was freaky, and the dragon gave him his authority. One head looked as if it had been slain, but it had healed. The world followed the beast, worshipping him and therefore the dragon. The beast spoke against God, warred against his people, and ruled for 3.5 years. Anyone who isn't God's will worship him. Pay attention! We need to have endurance.

Then there was another beast, with the authority of the first, and pointed for people to worship the beast. This second beast could do miracles before people in plain sight. People trusted him, and he set up an idol for the first beast. The idol was given life, and people were killed if they didn't worship it. Everyone had to wear the mark of the beast, or else they couldn't buy or sell anything.

Think about this. The beast's number is a man's number. It's 666.

Key verse:
18. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

My thoughts:
Yea, this is kinda weird, but that's kinda expected.

So here we have a kinda Satanic trinity of the dragon and two beasts. It's not too hard to derive some interpretations of this. The dragon is Satan, and the beasts appear to be two leaders who will ride up, but there's something about the horns representing kingdoms or nations or something. The horns might be leaders, so maybe the beast is an amalgamation of leaders. The beasts will woo the world, but openly oppose Jesus Christ.

There are actually quite a few specifics in this passage, but I have to admit that I would be suspicious of someone being the anti-christ if they are an amazingly popular leader who seems to have survived a fatal wound!

The scariest thing in my opinion is John's call for wisdom to figure out what this is about. It kinda goes against my statement that it's not really worth really trying to figure our Revelation in specifics. It also implies to me that Revelation is talking about John's present reality, or very near future, or else this specific message to the Asian churches is pointless.

Obviously 666 is a very well known Satanic number, and it comes from here, and pretty much here only.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Revelation 12

Woman sees dragon, runs

A big amazing pregnant woman was in labour, then a maddive 7-headed red dragon appeared who caused a third of all the stars to fall. The dragon waited to eat the child, who was to rule the world, but God kept the child safe and the woman hid. After battling with Michael and the angels, the dragon, or the devil, was cast down to earth.

Be happy and rejoice because the devil has been beaten by Jesus' blood. Now the kingdom of God can start.

The dragon chased the woman and threw rivers at her, but she got away. The devil went to chase other prey.

Key verse:
9. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

My thoughts:
So my first thought is that the woman is pretty much Mary and the child is then Jesus. But, even though Revelation isn't exactly chronological, it would be weird for Satan to be thrown from heaven after Jesus was born. There's also kinda the implication that Michael and the angels may not've won, which is a little dualistic.

It may be talking of some other random future event.

Here's a weird thought. Perhaps Jesus came into the world when he did because it was only at that point that Satan was defeated so that God could get his ultimate victory through Jesus. That's why he didn't do it early. That would kinda take power away from God though!

What's the implication of Satan being thrown to earth? How does that affect us?

Ah, Revelation is weird.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Revelation 11

The two witnesses

I was told to measure the temple and count the people in it, except for the part the Gentiles have taken over. They will trample the temple for 3.5 years.

Two witnesses will prophesy for 3.5 years, and they will destroy anyone who attacks them. They'll have super-powers like Elijah and Moses. Then the beast from the Abyss will kill them, and their bodies will lie in Jerusalem for 3.5 days. Everyone will be stoked because they were scary. After that, they'll be taken up to heaven in plain sight of others. And an earthquake will kill thousands.

The seventh trumpet blew.

The angels proclaimed Jesus' reign. The elders worshipped, thanking God for bringing his judgement. God's heavenly temple opened, revealing the Ark of the Covenant, and there was a pretty fireworks display.

Key verse:
15. The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign for ever and ever.

My thoughts:
As we will see, the seventh trumpet is less explicit than the previous ones, and it kinda just goes onto more big bizarre illustrations and images.

Anyway, so yea, the witnesses aren't explicitly connected to Moses and Elijah, but many have interpreted it thus given the description of the miracles they will be able to achieve.

So yea, the implication is that this is Jerusalem, but it's all secretive, probably because this was written at a time when all Jews were exiled from Jerusalem. However it is clear from the reference to the city being the place where the Lord was crucified.

This book, Revelation, is really very Jewish when you think about it, which implies to me a relatively early date. The Gentiles are almost spoke of in contempt.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Revelation 10

Bitter words

Then a massive awesome angel came and he had a little scroll. He spoke in thunder, but I wasn't allowed to write it down.

He announced that upon the seventh trumpet, God's mission would be complete.

I was told to eat the small scroll. As I was told, it tasted good, but made my stomach sour. I was told I had to prophesy

to the world.

Key verse:
9. So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your

stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey."

My thoughts:
This is very like Old Testament prophets and their call. By eating the scroll, the Word is inside John to prophesy. On

first glance it appears that the Word sounds all nice and good but has some serious implications.

Again, this is all build up to the final woe of the final trumpet.

If this is all imagery language used by the author, and not a simple recording of a vision, then why are there words spoken

which are secret and aren't recorded? Any answers to this I can think of seem a bit contrived. I genuinely believe that

John had this vision and Revelation is simply him relating his vision.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Revelation 9

From the Abyss

The fifth trumpet allowed a star (angel) to open the Abyss. Smoke came up and darkened the world, and locusts ravaged all

those who didn't follow God for five months. They'll want to die. They were really freaky and the Destroyer, Apollyon, was

their king.

The sixth trumpet released four angels who would kill a third of the world. There was an army of 200 million. Smoke and

sulfur came from the mouths of the horse-riding angels which killed the people. The survivors still didn't repent of their


Key verse:
20. The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands

My thoughts:
So these are three frightening woes, and the text is really building them up as horrible. The author keeps stopping to

remind us that these are woes. There are great descriptions of how terrifying the beasts involved are. I wouldn't take the

pictures too literally, like some pictures on the internet, they more are just trying to communicate how terrifying these

things are.

So I don't think the angel of the Abyss, Apollyon, is Satan. The angel is simply part of God's death squad. This is all

God's will and plan, remember!

Some say that for the first time in history, and army of 200 million is feasible, especially when you consider China!

I love how the four angels from the Euphrates are released from their long-term captivity. I wonder if they're related to

the ones which guard Eden.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Revelation 8

Wikipedia Wormwood

Finally the seventh seal was opened and then it was absolutely silent for ages and seven angels were given a trumpet each. Another angel offered incense along with people's prayers, and then threw the incense holder, full of fire, onto the earth.

The first trumpet hailed hail and fire which burnt a third of the earth. The second threw a mountain into the sea, turning a third into blood. The third threw a star to earth, making a third of drinking water bitter. The fourth hit the sun and moon getting rid of a third of their light. Then an eagle cried out for the people on earth because it was only going to get worse.

Key verse:
1. When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

My thoughts:
The silence would probably be the most terrifying of all these things, methinks!

So the fallen mountain is called Wormwood (or bitterness). I just went to look up Wormwood in wikipedia and ended up reading about Sam Waterston and Stephen Colbert's speech to the president. Gotta love wikipedia! I went via Calvin and Hobbes somehow. Calvin's teacher is Miss Wormwood...

Anyway, so the mountain has become seen to be personified in some minor mythological sense. The apprentice demon in C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters is called Wormwood.

So yea... this is the destruction of the world.

I think that the chronology of the revelation is relatively easy to follow, but the chronology of the earthly events of the future it describes are vague and ambiguous, so I don't think it's worth truly trying to decide what it is. You just can't do it with any certainty!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Revelation 7

Multitudes on multitudes

Four angels were holding back the earth's wind, and before they were let loose to destroy, another angel sealed 12,000 from each tribe of Israel to be spared.

Then there were countless people in white robes who praised God and the lamb. I was told that they are those from the great tribulation who have been washed clean. They will never hunger or thirst, but will serve God forever and the lamb will provide for them.

Key verse:
9. there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.

My thoughts:
Some people believe that only a total of 144,000 will be saved, but it's clear from this that beyond those 144,000, there will be a multitude from all nations and tribes (cf. the 12 tribes of Israel) who are washed clean by the blood of the lamb. This multitude is countless, unlike the 144,000 which have clearly been counted.

Blood doesn't normally make you clean...

So my question here is, what is the great tribulation? Is it referring to some of the Roman persecutions, or is it talking about the destruction of the world which is seemingly imminent at the beginning of the chapter? Or is some coming suffering before that end? Who knows...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Revelation 6

Baby seals

The lamb opened the first of seven seals on the scroll, and there was a white horse who held a conquerer. The second seal revealed a red horse for war. The third was a black horse to destroy the economy. The fourth was a pale horse ridden by death and hades to kill a quarter of the earth.

The fifth produced the martyrs who were given white robes and told to wait just a little longer for justice. The sixth produced and earthquake and darkened the sun and the moon turn red. Everything was moved and removed. All the rulers ran and hid from God.

Key verse:
8. I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

My thoughts:
So the first four seals produce the four horsemen of the apocalypse, ending with death, who is here personified; a rare thing for biblical text.

So yea, we've had 6 seals of the 7 from tha scroll given to the lamb. Once the seventh gets opened in a couple of chapters we move onto the seven trumpets of the angels.

So what does this mean? Some would attribute these seals to events happening before the world is destroyed. I sorta believe that, but I think that the context and description of it is so vague that it's hard to say anything for certain. It's certainly quite frightening.

I think it's quite helpful whilst reading Revelation to keep a kinda chronology in your head of what's happening in the vision, and don't separate it too far from the vision John had. This needs to be interpreted as a vision.

So far John saw Jesus and heard 7 messages to 7 churches, and then saw the throne room, and the lamb came in to open the scroll, and we've seen in this chapter the results of opening the scroll.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Revelation 5

The Lamb

Then there was this scroll, and I cried because no-one could open it. But then an elder told me that the pride of Judah could.

Then there was a lamb, looking as if it had been slain.

It stood in the centre and had seven eyes and seven horns. He took the scroll and they all bowed and praised the lamb. Then there were millions of angels worshipping the lamb, and then everything in all creation that could praised the lamb and God.

Key verse:
6. Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne

My thoughts:
Ah, this is very cool. Jesus is the lamb who had been slain. He is on the throne with God, and is worthy of all praise. He is slain for us. He purchased people for God.

In this one picture of heaven, John sees all that is important in all of the Universe. By seeing it he understands the sacrifice the lamb made. He sees the praise God and the lamb deserve.

There are so many sweet Godsongs in this chapter. Good times.

Now we get to see what's going on in that scroll! w00t!

The lamb ain't so pretty when you think too hard about it.