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Dec 31, 2022

As I finish this podcast series, I am really thankful for this year-long experience. If you are one of the faithful ones who have listened through a year’s worth of daily podcasts— and no matter whether this has taken longer than a year, I say Way to go! I sincerely hope these podcasts have been a blessing for you— as they have been for me. I hope that nothing that I have said has caused you to stumble or decreased your desire to study God’s Word. I started this project in the hope that my four grandchildren would— in some future year, listen to this series of recordings. Now we have five grandchildren. If you are Luke Fields, Laura Fields, Ava Baughn, Joel Baughn, or Devan Baughn, know that Grampa loves you and that I desired to share spiritual treasures with you. I am proud of you and wish that we could have shared these readings in person. I urge you to stay centered upon God’s Word. And to ALL of you in the family of Christ Jesus our Savior, I send warm greetings and love. May the Lord bless you as you continue your journey with Him!

As people like Simeon and Anna (Luke 2) waited for the Messiah to come, I am sure that they were thinking of verses like Malachi 3:1:

Mal. 3:1 NLT “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

Re-reading ISAIAH 66:
Isaiah ends with blessings and promises  that foreshadow Revelation, such as these:

Is. 66:12 GNT The Lord says, “I will bring you lasting prosperity; the wealth of the nations will flow to you like a river that never goes dry. …
22 “Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure.

In stark contrast to the promises and blessings, Isaiah also ends with vivid warnings against judgments and punishments that are like those in Revelation. Jesus himself quoted that final verse about the worms and the unquenchable fire. (Mark 9:48) You can take that as Jesus’ stamp of approval on all that Isaiah said!

In chapter 21 we heard the invitation to receive free life-giving water for anyone who is thirsty, and that invitation is repeated in today’s chapter. The culmination of everything promised and the healing of everything sick and broken occur here. God says, “Look, I am making all things new.” There is again symbolism in every aspect of the New Jerusalem— including even the shape of a huge cube. As noted above at the end of Isaiah, in stark contrast to the eternal blessings for God’s people are the vivid ending warnings of eternal judgment in the last two chapters of Revelation.

In Rev. 22:8-9, most translations make it sound that John made the same mistake twice— bowing down again to the angel that was showing everything to him. But the Greek in those verse in chapter 22 can be understood to be retelling that event that happened in chapter 19, and I think that makes better sense. The probable reason that John included the story twice was to emphasize that angels should not be worshipped. Let’s beware of such heresy! Because such false teaching keeps on resurfacing and some forms of Gnosticism remain to the present day.

Congratulations on finishing the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan!

GNT Translation notes:
Rev. 22:8 I, John, have heard and seen all these things. And when I finished hearing and seeing them, (as I told you before) I fell down at the feet of the angel who had shown me these things, and I was about to worship him.
14-15 [It makes better sense to me to include verses 14-15 in Jesus’ quote, which means I did not read those verse the way I would if they were John’s narration.]