Daily Encouragement

December 31 – The Curse of the Old Testament, No Curse in the New Testament!


Malachi 3:1-4:6
Revelation 22:1-21
Psalm 150:1-6
Proverbs 31:25-31

Malachi 3:1 — A messenger who shall prepare the way of the LORD? Not preparing the way of a mere prophet but the way of Yahweh Elohim, the LORD God! This is the same promise that Isaiah 40:3 shares and was fulfilled by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:3, 11:10; Mark 1:2-3; John 1:23).

Malachi 3:5 — Who will He judge? Interesting that its similar to Revelation 21:8 and Revelation 22:15.

Malachi 3:11 — Why was Israel beset with famine? As a judgment for sin (Deuteronomy 28:3-4). Malachi reminds us of the lesson from Elijah in 1 Kings 17:13 – if you will trust God with your resources that came from Him, He will provide all that you need!

Malachi 3:14 — Ever get depressed and wonder what benefit there is to serving God? Demas did (2 Timothy 4:10). It’s okay to be depressed, but don’t let Satan change your beliefs. True, serving the Lord is not the highest dollar return on your time, but are you laying up treasure here or in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)?

Malachi 4:2 — ”Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings!

Malachi 4:5-6 — Elijah would come. John denied that he was Elijah (John 1:21), but the angel sent to Zacharias declared that he would go before the Messiah “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17). Jesus Himself confirmed that John was the very messenger (Matthew 11:10) prophesied by Malachi. The Old Testament ends by warning us that without repentance, we will be cursed (Malachi 4:6).

Revelation 22:3 — The Old Testament ends with a curse, but the New Testament ends declaring “there shall be no more curse!”

Revelation 22:10 — Notice four promises of the unsealed prophecy:

  1. Reward (Revelation 22:12) – 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us that we will give an account of ourselves to God, and He will reward us (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).
  2. Reception (Revelation 22:14) – Jesus went to prepare a place for us (John 14:2-3), and He gave us power to become Sons of God (John 1:12) so that we have the right to enter into the gates!
  3. Restrictions (Revelation 22:15) – Not everyone is going to heaven. Sin keeps all of us from heaven – even just one sin (James 2:10)!
  4. Return (Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:20) – Jesus is coming!

Yes – the Wonderful word of the King is that Jesus is coming again!

Revelation 22:16 — Only Jesus can be the root, the offspring, and the father of David (Luke 3:38)! He is the only One Who can also be his son (Luke 3:23)! He is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13)!

Revelation 22:17 — The final invitation of the Bible is for you to come. Take of the water of life freely! Jesus told the woman at the well that He gives living water (John 4:10). If you haven’t come to Jesus yet, come to Jesus before Jesus comes again!

Psalm 150:6 — As we end this year, I don’t know if you’ve been as blessed reading Revelation 22 as I have. I’m extremely glad we finish the year with Psalm 150 – Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Proverbs 31:30 — Beauty pageants focus on the wrong aspects of womanhood. Praise is for those women who fear the LORD!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 30 – Any Ol’ Thing or Only My Best?


Malachi 1:1-2:17
Revelation 21:1-27
Psalm 149:1-9
Proverbs 31:10-24

Welcome to the last book of the Old Testament – Malachi! We’re just one day away from the end of the year! Thank you for joining with us this year!

Malachi 1:2 – Stop and appreciate the first phrase of this declaration: “I have loved you!” God loves Israel, and God loves us!!

Malachi 1:13 – Have we ever thought going to church was “weariness”? Have we brought our best gifts to the LORD or have we brought our leftovers? As the satirical Patch the Pirate song reminds us, sometimes we say, “Any old thing will do for you“.

Our attitude should be, “Only my best will do for you“!

Malachi 1:14 – What does the LORD say about vows? Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 warns us that “better is it that thou shouldest not vow.”

Malachi 2:7-8 – We see a strong warning for religious leaders. In the New Testament, we have similar warnings (James 3:1 – leaders will receive greater punishment, Luke 12:47 – shall be beaten with many stripes, Matthew 23:13 – problem with the scribes and Pharisees, 1 Corinthians 11:29 – “damnation to himself”).

Malachi 2:13 – Why won’t God receive our offerings? Peter tells us that if I am not “giving honor unto [my] wife,” my prayers will be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). Malachi elaborates on God’s hatred of divorce. Jesus Himself reiterated this as well (Matthew 19:8). As we saw earlier, God’s treatment of us depends on how we treat our wives.

Revelation 21:4 No more night, no more pain. No more tears, no more crying again!

Revelation 21:7 – Not all are God’s children; only those who overcome can legitimately claim to be a child of God. Who are the overcomers? Those who believe (Revelation 21:8).

Revelation 21:12-14 – Notice how God is uniting Israel (Revelation 21:12) and the Church (Revelation 21:14) for eternity in the eternal New Jerusalem!

Apocalypse 42. A new heaven and new earth. Revelation 21 v 29.
Petrus van der Borcht. . Phillip Medhurst Collection

Revelation 21:23 – Yes, in the New Jerusalem there is “no need of moon or stars by night, or sun to shine by day.”

Revelation 21:27 – God can’t let any sin into His heaven, and you must have an RSVP to enter. If you don’t know for sure that your name is in the Book of Life, make sure of that today! We saw yesterday what happens to those whose names are not found in the book (Revelation 20:15).

Psalm 149:5 – Yes, it’s okay to sing alone and aloud! Praise ye the LORD!

Proverbs 31:10 – The Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat Burmese ruby sold at Sotheby’s in May 2015 for $30.42 million. I’m so thankful for my wife!

Proverbs 31:11 – We read earlier about the condemnation of men who cheat on their wives, and here we see praise for the woman who is safely trusted in by her husband. Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding in Cana (John 2). He loves Christian marriages!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 29 – Zechariah Prophesied What the Angel Said in Acts?

Zechariah 14:1-21
Revelation 20:1-15
Psalm 148:1-14
Proverbs 31:8-9

Zechariah 14:3 — Some think that the prophetic events were fulfilled in AD 70, but in AD 70, half the city wasn’t delivered by the LORD. No, there’s coming a time when Jerusalem will again be under attack, and the LORD will defend her!

Zechariah 14:4 — Who will return to the Mount of Olives? Acts 1:11-12 recounts the angels telling the disciples that Jesus who rose from the Mount would one day return to the Mount!

Author’s Photo of the Mount of Olives

Zechariah 14:9 — Jesus began His ministry preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, but not until He returns will the King reign on earth! And when the King reigns, there will be no more war (Zechariah 14:11).

Zechariah 14:12 — Calvary Chapel Jonesboro notes the similarities between this verse and a neutron bomb:

When this bomb blows the release of the neutrons are lethal to humans and any other animal life around it. If you are within the radius of a neutron bomb you will be killed almost instantly. If you are within the blast radius what will happen to you is eerily similar to what Zechariah describes in chapter 14 of his prophecy. Any kind of flesh is destroyed by a kind of melting process as all the atoms are destroyed within it. Thus Zechariah’s description of something that rots flesh, eyes, and the tongue are often compared to what happens at the detonation of a neutron bomb.


Zechariah 14:21 — No more Canaanites in the house of the LORD? StackExchange.com says:

The reason there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord is: if he be of a Canaanite heart, then his refusal to come will see him destroyed by the plagues and panic and drought of the day of the Lord. If, however, his Canaanite heart were converted and he come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, then he would no longer be of a Canaanite heart, i.e. not a Canaanite.


Revelation 20:4 — Many people hold to amillennialism, the view that there is not a literal “thousand year reign” of Christ. However, six times in this one chapter we see recorded exactly one thousand years. And as we look around, it’s hard to argue that Satan is bound today. BibleStudyTools.com has a great chart of the attributes of the Millennium.

Revelation 20:8 — Notice that even though the Millennium is populated by faithful Jews and Gentiles, their offspring will not all be faithful. God will allow Satan one last attempt to organize before the last judgment.

Revelation 20:10 — Hell is not forever. It will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14). God didn’t make the Lake of Fire to burn man in – it was made for the devil (Revelation 20:10). But if your name is not found written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15), you’ll be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Psalm 148:8 — Just like in Jonah, the stormy wind fulfills His Word! Why can’t we?

Psalm 148:14 — Let’s bring glory to His name!

Proverbs 31:8-9 — Today, there are poor and needy unborn children that are appointed to destruction. Let’s open our mouth for them!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 28 – The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

Zechariah 12:1-13:9
Revelation 19:1-21
Psalm 147:1-20
Proverbs 31:1-7

Zechariah 12:1 — This thought dawned on me the other day: why would the God who “stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth” care about man? Why would the King of eternity care about temporal man? He cares so much that He became a man (John 1:14) and is still a man (1 Timothy 2:5)! The “transcendence” of God is an easy concept (for me at least) – but His “imminence” is more of a puzzle (again, for me at least). Don’t miss the message of the Old Testament, though – the great God has a word for Israel, and He has this message for you and me as well!

Zechariah 12:4 — Revelation 9:16 talks about an army of 200,000,000 horsemen. What will stop them when they attack Jerusalem? The LORD will smite the horse and his rider!

Zechariah 12:10 — The word “pierced” actually does mean “pierced,” by the way, at least according to the Englishman’s Concordance. When has the LORD been pierced? At the crucifixion of Jesus by His own people!

In John 19:34, Jesus was pierced by the spear of the soldier. In the very next verse, John can’t believe what he saw, but he soon realized that it was what Zechariah talked about almost 500 years earlier (John 19:37).

Currently, all Israel isn’t saved as Paul prays (Romans 10:1), but they will be (Romans 11:26).

After Babylon has warred with the saints (Revelation 18:24) and attempted to war with Israel (Revelation 12:6), but the LORD protects Israel (Zechariah 12:7), then He will reveal Himself to them as He revealed Himself to Paul (Acts 9:5).

He will pour out “the spirit of grace and of supplications.” And they reference the “only son” – the “only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

Zechariah 13:6 — All of a sudden we see a shift from the false prophets that are thrust through by their own parents (Zechariah 13:3) to the shepherd that is smitten and the sheep scattered (Zechariah 13:7). The meaning of this verse is much debated. John MacArthur thinks it talks about the false prophet covering up the marks of cultism. Most commentators agree, but some see an allusion to the Messiah.

Zechariah 13:9 — As Hosea 2:23 declares, God will reach out and say “It is my people!” God will reconcile His people to Himself! His people will declare “The LORD is my God!” Watch how this ties into the New Testament reading!

Revelation 19:1 — What will they say? Alleluia or praise ye the Lord (Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:3, Revelation 19:4, Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:6)!

Revelation 19:6 — George Frederick Handel wrote the “Hallelujah Chorus” using the words from this verse, and when it was played, King George II stood. The King stood for the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16)!

Revelation 19:7 — This passage talks about us! We are invited as the spouse of the Lamb – this is our wedding feast that John the Baptist alluded to in John 3:29 and that Paul talked about in Ephesians 5:22-23.

Revelation 19:16 — See the Hallelujah Chorus above!

Psalm 147:1 — Our friend, Earl Martin, has put this verse to music!

Psalm 147:6 — The Great LORD (Psalm 147:5) Who knows the name of every star (Psalm 147:4), identifies not with the “great” but with the meek (Psalm 147:6). Compared to Him, nobody is great. Yes, He loves us, not because of anything good in ourselves (Titus 3:5).

Proverbs 31:4 — As Billy Sunday said, “I am the sworn, eternal, and uncompromising enemy of the liquor traffic.”

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 27 – What Is the “Latter Rain”?

Zechariah 10:1-11:17
Revelation 18:1-24
Psalm 146:1-10
Proverbs 30:33

Zechariah 10:1 — David Wilkerson believes the “latter rain” is spiritual, talking about a revival movement of the Holy Spirit. While the timing of the “latter rain” is a matter of eschatological dispute, Wilkerson adds a helpful caution to his desire for Holy Spirit revival: “Many so-called Holy-Ghost movements vanished quickly because they were man-centered, focusing on gifts, blessings, self-improvement, happiness.”

However, we’re probably safer taking a narrower interpretation. Within the context of the chapter, it’s referring to God’s future dealing with Israel and not the Church. Note the frequency of the word “again”:

  • “I will bring them again … they shall be as though I had not cast them off” (Zechariah 10:6)
  • “they shall remember me … turn again” (Zechariah 10:9)
  • “I will bring them again” (Zechariah 10:10)

Zechariah 10:4 — John MacArthur identifies this as a Messianic prophecy:

  • He notes “the corner” is the “precious cornerstone” in Isaiah 28:16, the “stumbling stone” of Romans 9:32, and described in 1 Corinthians 1:23, Ephesians 2:20, Daniel 2:34, and Matthew 21:44.
  • He compares “the nail” to Eliakim in Isaiah 22:23, where “the Eliakim nail will be cut off, not the nail that is referring to Christ.”
  • He argues that the “battle bow” is identified with Zechariah 9:13 and Revelation 19:11.

Zechariah 11:12-13 — 1 Peter 1:11 comes to mind. Zechariah must have wondered why God included this, and it wasn’t until Matthew 27:9-10 that it was identified as a Messianic prophecy. The New Testament attributes it to Jeremiah, the first of the prophets in the Hebrew Bible.

Zechariah 11:16 — God is raising up a bad shepherd? Similar to the lying spirit of 1 Kings 22:23, in order to bring judgment upon His people.

Revelation 18:4 — In 2 Corinthians 6:17, God says to come out from unbelievers; if you lose your father, He will be a father to you.

Revelation 18:24 — Many people wonder why God doesn’t judge the wicked. The problem is that their timetable isn’t God’s. God will judge the wicked – He keeps track of every wrong.

Psalm 146:4 — Note the contrast – man returns to his earth (dirt), as opposed to the Maker of the earth (Psalm 146:6). Trust in the LORD!

Proverbs 30:33 — As James 1:20 tells us, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 26 – The Woman Rides the Beast!

Zechariah 9:1-17
Revelation 17:1-18
Psalm 145:1-21
Proverbs 30:32


Zechariah 9:5 — Ashkelon was finally destroyed in 1270 by the Mamluk sultan Baybars and is now an archaeological site.

Zechariah 9:7 — Modern Ashkelon and Ashdod are now Jewish cities under the sovereignty of the State of Israel.

Jesus enters Jerusalem and the crowds welcome him, by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320

Zechariah 9:9 — Notice: a) Rejoicing b) by Jews c) of Jerusalem d) the King e) having salvation f) riding upon the colt of an ass.

This verse is quoted verbatim in Matthew 21:5. Let’s see how it was fulfilled! Salvation was coming that very week!

And brought the ass, and the colt (f), and put on them their clothes, and they set him (d) thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes (b) that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna (a) to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem (c), all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

Matthew 21:7-9

Zechariah 9:10 — This goes back to Balaam’s prophecy of one having dominion (Numbers 24:19), and the praise of Bildad the Shuhite who knew that “dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace” (Job 25:2).

Specifically, this is the promise of Psalm 72:8, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” David wished that of his son, Solomon, but Zechariah says that it hasn’t been fulfilled at the start of the post-exilic time period. Jesus the Peace has come and will return for His Kingdom (Mark 1:15, Revelation 19:16).

Zechariah 9:16 — The LORD will save His people! In Romans 11:26, we see all Israel shall be saved. Later on in Zechariah 12:10 we’ll see how it will happen in an incredible prophecy!

Revelation 17:3 — Where do we find a woman riding a beast today?

The founding myth of Europa and the bull has frequently been alluded to in relation to the continent and by the modern European Union, and can thus be considered not only a piece of toponymy, but also as a semi-official symbol or supranational personification of the European region.

2 Euro Coin, Europa Riding the Bull

Revelation 17:6 — From John Walvoord:

Many expositors refer this to Rome. Seven hills formed the nucleus of the ancient city on the left bank of the Tiber. These hills received the names of Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, and Capitoline.

Revelation 17:10 — Also from John Walvoord:

What regal mountain, then, was in power at the time John wrote? There can be no question on that point; it was the Roman empire. Thus, then, we ascertain and identify the sixth in the list, which shows what sort of kings the angel meant. Of the same class with this, and belonging to the same category, there are five others—five which had then already run their course and passed away. But what five imperial mountains like Rome had been and gone, up to that time? Is history so obscure as not to tell us with unmistakable certainty? Preceding Rome the world had but five great names or nationalities answering to imperial Rome, and those scarce a schoolboy ought to miss. They are Greece, Persia, Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt; no more, and no less. And these all were imperial powers like Rome. Here, then, are six of these regal mountains; the seventh is not yet come. When it comes it is to endure but a short time.


Revelation 17:14 — The Lamb shall overcome! He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings! From our friend Patch the Pirate:

Psalm 145:3 — Earl Martin sings, “Great Is the Lord!

Psalm 145:11 — While it’s considered a Christmas song, this song actually talks about the Second Coming of Jesus!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing


Proverbs 30:32 — Avoid pride, seek humility!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 25 – Prophecies of Jerusalem

Zechariah 8:1-23
Revelation 16:1-21
Psalm 144:1-15
Proverbs 30:29-31

On this day that many people celebrate the birth of Jesus, feel free to go back and read Luke 2 or Matthew 2 with your family!

Jimmy DeYoung Jr. teaching on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem (author’s photo)

Zechariah 8:3 — Over 2,000 years after Zechariah wrote these words about Jerusalem, it is still a controversial city!

  • The LORD is jealous for Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:2)
  • The LORD will dwell in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:3)
  • Old men and young boys will dwell there (Zechariah 8:4-5)
  • Jews will return to Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:8)
  • The Temple will be built (Zechariah 8:9)
  • God will bless the people of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:12)
  • The Jews in Jerusalem will be a blessing (Zechariah 8:13)
  • Fasting will be joy (Zechariah 8:19)
  • Gentiles will seek the LORD in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:22)

Zechariah 8:16 — Truth and Peace! As we’ve shown for the last few days, Jesus is the peace, and Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6)!

Zechariah 8:22 — In John 12:21, certain of the Greeks approached Philip and said, “We would see Jesus!” Yes, many people came to seek the LORD in Jerusalem, and once again they will come!

Zechariah 8:23 — We haven’t seen that happen yet – antisemitism is on the rise globally.

Revelation 16:1 — Sores, blood seas, blood rivers, scorching fire, darkness – notice the similarities between the Ten Plagues of Egypt: sores/boils (Plagues 5 & 6), water to blood (Plague 1), fire – fiery hail (Plague 7), darkness (Plague 9).

Revelation 16:12 — The way of the kings of the East. Some commentaries discuss whether or not it refers to the 200-million-man army of Revelation 9:16. If so, the Chinese army is rumored to be around 200 million men. Others believe that it’s a demonic army.

Revelation 16:15 — This is the fifth time that the LORD describes His coming as a thief. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 3:3, Revelation 16:15, the coming is described as a thief, yet even some pre-tribulational experts say this refers to the Second Coming, not the Rapture.

Revelation 16:21 — Instead of repenting, the men blaspheme God. It’s been said that the same sun that melts butter, hardens clay.

Psalm 144:1 — The Psalmist is thankful to the LORD for His offensive capability. In the next verse, he’s thankful for His defensive protection (fortress, tower, deliverer, shield).

Psalm 144:8 — We just read in Revelation 16:21 that God will be judging those who blaspheme.

Psalm 144:15 — Are you happy?

Proverbs 30:31 — A king without insurrection … ahhh … Rehoboam would have longed for that (1 Kings 12:16)!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 24 – The Branch Is King & Priest?

Zechariah 6:1-7:14
Revelation 15:1-8
Psalm 143:1-12
Proverbs 30:24-28

On this day that many spend meditating on the coming of the Messiah – we’ll see an important truth about His Second Coming!

Zechariah 6:1 — Sometimes in Zechariah we notice similar motifs in Revelation, but they have different meanings. In Zechariah, the horses were designated for directions, while in Revelation 6:1-8, they are seen visualizing consequences (conquest, war, famine, death).

Zechariah 6:12 — Jimmy DeYoung sees this passage as talking about the Millennium:

Messiah’s Temple is the “House of Worship” that will stand in Jerusalem in the Kingdom, a physical Kingdom yet to come, in the 1,000 year period following the return of Jesus Christ back to earth. Verse 12 reveals that Jesus Christ, the “Branch”, is the one who will build this Millennial Temple.

The “Branch” is the name for Jesus in the Old Testament, which can be found in Isaiah 4:2, Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 3:8 and here in our key verse for our devotional reading today, verse 12.


The key to this passage is noticing that the Branch will have a throne, will be a priest, and will be peace (Zechariah 6:13). A throne means a civil ruler like Zerubbabel (in Zechariah’s day), a type of David. A king was forbidden from being a priest (StackExchange.com notes the priesthood was restricted to Levi, while the kingship was restricted to Judah). Uzziah as king attempted to offer a sacrifice (2 Chronicles 26:16), and was cursed with leprosy (2 Chronicles 26:19-21).

What man could be both King and Priest? The Branch is The Peace, and as we showed earlier, that man is Jesus! In the Millennium He will build the Ezekiel Temple.

Zechariah 7:9 — What is the message that the LORD sent? Quite similar to the message in Micah 6:8 – do justice, love mercy, walk humbly.

Zechariah 7:10 — Why is God concerned about the widow, fatherless, stranger, and the poor? God commands protection of the widow and fatherless (Exodus 22:22), states that He executes judgment for the fatherless and widow (Deuteronomy 10:18), and curses those who pervert the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow (Deuteronomy 27:19). God is a “father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows” (Psalm 68:5). “He relieveth the fatherless and widow” (Psalm 146:9).

The widow, fatherless, stranger, and poor are often taken advantage of, especially by those who use “false balances” (Proverbs 11:1). God demonstrates His power not by helping the rich get richer but by making the weak strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Zechariah 7:12 — As we read in Hebrews 3:8, “Harden not your hearts!”

Revelation 15:3-4 — Patch the Pirate’s song “Great and Marvelous” is based on these verses!

Revelation 15:7-8 — God’s wrath is tied to God’s glory.

Psalm 143:10 — We need God to teach us to do His will! Let’s pray for God’s instruction!

Proverbs 30:25 — Solomon talked about the ant back in Proverbs 6:6 as a wise creature. What’s the lesson from these four creatures?

Are you as smart as a coney? Wise Agur used four small creatures to teach his students great wisdom (Pr 30:1,24). The ants prudently save for the future (Pr 30:25). The locusts know the power of numbers (Pr 30:27). The spider by diligence goes where most cannot (Pr 30:28). The conies wisely avoid risk and loss by choosing safe and strong protection.


Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 23 – Candlesticks, Olive Trees, Ephahs and More!

Zechariah 4:1-5:11
Revelation 14:1-20
Psalm 142:1-7
Proverbs 30:21-23

This menorah built for the Temple by the Temple Institute, is similar to the Menorah Zechariah saw.

Zechariah 4:6 — Joshua was the religious leader, a high priest, and is known for his robes, but they were dirty. Zerubbabel was the civil leader, a military general, and is told that “not by might nor by power, but by my spirit.” The man with beautiful robes can’t trust in his robes. The leader of a great military force can’t trust in his might.

Zechariah 4:10 — ”The day of small things,” especially as we see lampstands referring to churches in Revelation 1:20. This verse has a great challenge to every new church that starts with just a handful of people, in a rented storefront, and/or with a tentmaker/part-time pastor. Maybe to outsiders it looks like God is doing greater things at the church down the road, but God’s reward to those new ministries is not based on “might” or “power” but on faithfulness!

Zechariah 4:14 — Who are the anointed ones? We read about them in Revelation 11:4 – Moses & Elijah who represent the Law and the Prophets. What does the New Testament tell us about the Law and the Prophets?

  • The Golden Rule is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12)
  • On the Two Great Commandments hang the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:40)
  • The Law and the Prophets were until John the Baptist (Luke 16:16)
  • The Law and the Prophets did write of Jesus (John 1:45)
  • The righteousness of God without the law is witnessed by the Law and the Prophets (Romans 3:21)

Zechariah 5:3 — What is cursed? The violators of the Eighth Commandment and the Third Commandment. Some commentators think this 450 square foot flying scroll is the Ten Commandments (1 command from each side of the Tablets). At those dimensions (30’x15′), it is larger than the average hotel room (13’x25′) – the Law will overwhelm the house of the sinner (Zechariah 5:4).

Hebrew dry measures, Hebrew liquid measures – Matson Photograph Collection – Library of Congress

Zechariah 5:6 — What’s going on here? The Law has gone forth, and the ephah (a container holding about 9 gallons) has a woman in it symbolizing wickedness (a Proverbs 7-type woman, not a Proverbs 31-type woman). A lead lid was put on the ephah, keeping the wickedness in. Two women take the ephah away to Shinar/Babylon (Genesis 10:10) – land of Nimrod (Genesis 11:2) – tower of Babel (Daniel 1:2) – palace of Nebuchadnezzar. Yes, a land of wickedness will be based in Babylon (Revelation 17:5).

Matthias Gerung, The Triumph of the Lamb, the Fall of Babylon

Revelation 14:7 — Why should God be worshipped? He is the Creator. If God created us, then we are responsible to Him. That is why people in modern times try to flip that reality and argue that we created God. Their whole objective is to avoid any responsibility before Him.

Revelation 14:8 — The angel is proclaiming judgment against Babylon (the land of Shinar) that we just read about (Zechariah 5:11).

Revelation 14:10 — For those who believe the God of the New Testament is all about love as compared to the God of the Old Testament, they should have a problem with this verse. God IS love, but God is also just. Let’s warn people to avoid the wrath of God!

Psalm 142:3 — When I’m overwhelmed, I can trust the LORD! As Job says in Job 23:10, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Not only that, but He prays for us when we don’t know what to pray (Romans 8:26)! “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Proverbs 30:22 — Is the Bible promoting class separation? No. Solomon says a man that isn’t diligent should not be ruling (Proverbs 22:29).

The odious woman seems analogous to the contentious woman of Proverbs 27:15 … for a man who had 700 wives (1 Kings 11:3), he probably had some good advice on what women to avoid!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

December 22 – The Mark of the Beast Is Coming!

Zechariah 2:1-3:10
Revelation 13:1-18
Psalm 141:1-10
Proverbs 30:18-20

Zechariah 2:5 — It seems that the man with the measuring line in Zechariah 2:1 is measuring to build a wall around the city in order to keep out invaders. Zechariah is sent to tell the defense contractor that you can’t build a wall as good as the wall of fire the LORD will build!

Zechariah 2:8 — From Jimmy DeYoung:

The city of Jerusalem is mentioned 37 times in this prophetic book and here in the second chapter the prophet refers to the holy city as the “apple of his eye”. That phrase is speaking of the “pupil” of the eye, the most sensitive spot on the entire body. This is a warning to those who might consider “touching” – attacking – the city of Jerusalem.


Zechariah 3:2 — We saw in Revelation 12:10 that Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and what is he doing here in this passage? Attacking Joshua the high priest. But the Lord defends Joshua.

Notice the interesting phrase “a brand plucked from the fire.” John Wesley identified as such.

At the age of five the Wesleys’ home caught on fire in the night. All the children were removed safely from the house, but when they were counted, John was missing. A farmer from nearby spotted little John looking out of an upstairs window amid the leaping flames. Several neighbors climbed on each other’s shoulders, ‘till the man on top was able to put his arms around the boy and pull him out of the flames to safety. Only moments after he was rescued, the entire house exploded in flames. Ever after, for the rest of his life, John Wesley referred to himself “as a brand plucked from the burning,” quoting Zechariah 3:2.


Zechariah 3:5 — ”New garments” is a theme throughout Scripture. See Joseph in Genesis 41:42, the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:22, and the guest without a wedding garment in Matthew 22:10-12. In each case – Joseph/the son/the guest/Joshua – these men could not earn new garments. Joseph was in prison; the Prodigal Son was broke; the wedding guest was probably either poor, maimed, halt, or blind (Luke 14:21); and Joshua, despite being high priest, “was clothed with filthy garments” (Zechariah 3:3). But why should we be surprised? As Isaiah said, “… all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags …” (Isaiah 64:6).

Joseph, the son, the guest (if he chose otherwise), and Joshua all could obtain new brilliantly white garments only because they were washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14)!

Zechariah 3:10 — Again we find George Washington’s favorite expression: “under the vine and under the fig tree.” God will give Israel rest!

Revelation 13:3 — Many Bible scholars see this as a “fake resurrection,” i.e. an attempt to imitate Jesus’ resurrection.

Revelation 13:8 — There’s only two choices – worshiping the Lamb or worshiping the Beast.

Revelation 13:17 — You may have seen the movie “A Thief in the Night” – it discusses the mark of the beast.

While the mark of the beast won’t be released until the tribulation, there have been efforts to pave the way in technology and social support. People in past decades have noted that 666 appears to be embedded within UPC codes.


Former Wisconsin Governor and US Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson was advocating for a company that implants microchips into humans.

And most recently, China is implementing a “social credit system” that places people on a blacklist resulting in their inability to travel and exclusion from prestigious schools.

Revelation 13:18 — People must have the mark, the name, or the number (Revelation 13:17) in either their right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16). Beale suggests that 666 refers to “completeness of sinful incompleteness.”

Psalm 141:3 — The psalmist is asking God to keep him from sin. What’s the first area that he asks for help in? Controlling his mouth! Let’s pray for help to control our tongue as well!

Proverbs 30:20 — The writer contrasts the honest, legitimate romance of a man with a maid and the denials of an adulteress. Avoid the way of the Proverbs 7 woman, avoid even her house – it is the way to hell (Proverbs 7:27)!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.