When will you judge the inhabitants of the earth? (Rev 6:10)

“They cried

With a loud voice,

Saying,

‘Sovereign Lord,

Holy

And true,

How long will we be

Before you judge

And avenge

Our blood

On the inhabitants

Of the earth?’”

καὶ ἔκραξαν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγοντες Ἕως πότε, ὁ Δεσπότης ὁ ἅγιος καὶ ἀληθινός, οὐ κρίνεις καὶ ἐκδικεῖς τὸ αἷμα ἡμῶν ἐκ τῶν κατοικούντων ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς;

John said, “They cried (καὶ ἔκραξαν) with a loud voice (φωνῇ μεγάλῃ), saying (λέγοντες), ‘Sovereign Lord (ὁ Δεσπότης), holy (ὁ ἅγιος) and true (καὶ ἀληθινός), how long (Ἕως πότε) will we be before you judge (οὐ κρίνεις) and avenge (καὶ ἐκδικεῖς) our blood (τὸ αἷμα ἡμῶν) on the inhabitants (ἐκ τῶν κατοικούντων) of the earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς)?’”  These martyred Christians under the heavenly altar cried out to God.  They called him their sovereign Lord, holy, and true.  They wanted to know how long they would have to wait until God pronounced his judgment and avenged their blood on the wicked ones living on earth.  Are you expecting the final judgment day?

You are wretched (Rev 3:17)

“You say,

‘I am rich.

I have prospered.

I need nothing.’

You do not realize

That you are wretched,

Pitiable,

Poor,

Blind,

And naked.”

ὅτι λέγεις ὅτι Πλούσιός εἰμι καὶ πεπλούτηκα καὶ οὐδὲν χρείαν ἔχω, καὶ οὐκ οἶδας ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ ταλαίπωρος καὶ ἐλεεινὸς καὶ πτωχὸς καὶ τυφλὸς καὶ γυμνός,

John indicated that the Son of Man said, “You say (ὅτι λέγεις), ‘I am rich (ὅτι Πλούσιός εἰμι).  I have prospered (καὶ πεπλούτηκα).  I need nothing (καὶ οὐδὲν χρείαν ἔχω).’  You do not realize (καὶ οὐκ οἶδας) that you are (ὅτι σὺ εἶ) wretched (ὁ ταλαίπωρος), pitiable (καὶ ἐλεεινὸς), poor (καὶ πτωχὸς), blind (καὶ τυφλὸς), and naked (καὶ γυμνός).”  The Son of Man was mad about their pretentious wealth.  They claimed to be rich and not needing anything.  They did not realize the real situation that they were in.  They were really wretched, miserable, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked in the sight of God.  They thought that their wealth was a shield from all human problems.  They were wrong.  Just the opposite.  They were all the things that they thought that they were avoiding.  Do you think that wealth will solve your personal problems?

I will make you a pillar in the temple of God (Rev 3:12)

“If they prevail,

I will make them

A pillar

In the temple

Of my God.

They will never go out

Of it.

I will write

On them

The name of my God,

And the name

Of the city of my God,

The new Jerusalem

That comes down

From my God

Out of heaven,

And my own name.”

Ὁ νικῶν, ποιήσω αὐτὸν στῦλον ἐν τῷ ναῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ μου, καὶ ἔξω οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃ ἔτι, καὶ γράψω ἐπ’ αὐτὸν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Θεοῦ μου καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς πόλεως τοῦ Θεοῦ μου, τῆς καινῆς Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἡ καταβαίνουσα ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ μου, καὶ τὸ ὄνομά μου τὸ καινόν

John indicated that the Son of Man said, “If they prevail (Ὁ νικῶν), I will make them (ποιήσω αὐτὸν) a pillar (στῦλον) in the temple (ἐν τῷ ναῷ) of my God (τοῦ Θεοῦ μου).  They will never go out of it (καὶ ἔξω οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃ ἔτι).  I will write (καὶ γράψω) on them (ἐπ’ αὐτὸν) the name (τὸ ὄνομα) of my God (τοῦ Θεοῦ μου), and the name (καὶ τὸ ὄνομα) of the city (τῆς πόλεως) of my God (τοῦ Θεοῦ μου), the new Jerusalem (τῆς καινῆς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) that comes down (ἡ καταβαίνουσα) from my God (ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ μου) out of heaven (ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ), and my new name (καὶ τὸ ὄνομά μου τὸ καινόν).”  The Son of Man indicated that if they prevailed, he would make them a pillar in the eternal temple of God.  A pillar was a symbol of permanence.  They would be permanently in eternity.  They would be part of the living temple of God, as an honored person.  They would no longer be unstable.  There will be a lot of references to this heavenly temple throughout this work.  In fact, the Son of Man called this eternal temple the New Jerusalem Temple.  The prevailing Christians would never leave eternity.  The Son of Man was going to write on them the name of the New Jerusalem.  He referred to God as “my God”, not God the Father.  Thus, he was speaking from his human nature.  They would bear the name of God, the New Jerusalem, and the new name of Jesus Christ.  Clearly, this was meant for a Jewish Christian audience, but was open to all.  Would you want to be a pillar in the new heavenly Jerusalem Temple?

Born of God does not sin (1 John 5:18)

“We know

That all those

Who are born of God

Do not sin.

God protects

The ones who were born of God.

The evil one

Does not touch them.”

Οἴδαμεν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐχ ἁμαρτάνει, ἀλλ’ ὁ γεννηθεὶς ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ τηρεῖ αὐτόν, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς οὐχ ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ.

This author said, “We know (Οἴδαμεν) that all those who are born (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος) of God (ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ) do not sin (οὐχ ἁμαρτάνει).  God protects (τηρεῖ αὐτόν) the ones who were born (ἀλλ’ ὁ γεννηθεὶς) of God (ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  The evil one (καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς) does not touch them (οὐχ ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ).”  This author further elaborates that we know that anyone born of God does not sin.  This was the normal expectation of a new follower of Jesus Christ.  God then protected these newly born followers of the Son of God from the clutches of the evil one, the devil.  Only later in the fourth century with the infusion of many new Christians, did they allow for a second penance or reconciliation that was tied to the Lenten season with the catechumenates.  Are you born of God?

Righteous people do right things (1 John 2:29)

“If you know

That he is righteous,

You may be sure

That everyone who does right

Has been born

Of him.”

ἐὰν εἰδῆτε ὅτι δίκαιός ἐστιν, γινώσκετε ὅτι καὶ πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται.

This author said, “If you know (ἐὰν εἰδῆτε) that he is righteous (ὅτι δίκαιός ἐστιν), you may be sure (γινώσκετε) that everyone (ὅτι καὶ πᾶς) who does right (ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην) has been born (γεγέννηται) of him (ἐξ αὐτοῦ).”  This author indicated that one way that you can tell a righteous person is if he does right things.  The righteous people have been reborn in Jesus Christ.  Baptism has made people righteous, as long as they continue to do the right things.  Are you righteous?

Draw near to God (Jas 4:8)

“Draw near

To God!

He will draw near

To you.

Cleanse your hands!

You sinners!

Purify your hearts!

You double-minded!”

ἐγγίσατε τῷ Θεῷ, καὶ ἐγγισεῖ ὑμῖν. καθαρίσατε χεῖρας, ἁμαρτωλοί, καὶ ἁγνίσατε καρδίας, δίψυχοι.

James said, “Draw near (ἐγγίσατε) to God (τῷ Θεῷ)!  He will draw near (καὶ ἐγγισεῖ) to you (ὑμῖν).  Cleanse (καθαρίσατε) your hands (χεῖρας)!  You sinners (ἁμαρτωλοί)!  Purify (καὶ ἁγνίσατε) your hearts (καρδίας)!  You double-minded (δίψυχοι)!”  This is the only time that this word appears in the NT writings, here in the Letter of James, δίψυχοι, that means of two minds, wavering, or double-minded.  James had this wonderful saying that resonates so well today.  If you draw near to God, he will draw near to you.  However, there were some stipulations and warnings.  James went into a diatribe against his Jewish Christian readers.  They were sinners with dirty hands.  They had to purify their hearts.  This imagery is from Psalm 24:3-4, “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, those who do not lift up their soul to what is false, those who do not swear deceitfully” were the people who could enter the Temple.  However, his readers were double-minded, wishy-washy doubters who could not make up their minds.  The answer was simple.  Draw near to God.  Do not be a sinner with dirty hands and an impure heart.  Otherwise, they would never get near to God because of their lack of a strong faith.  Do you try to draw near to God?

The whole law (Jas 2:10)

“Whoever keeps

The whole law,

But fails

In one point

Has become accountable

For all of it.”

ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσῃ, πταίσῃ δὲ ἐν ἑνί, γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος.

James said, “Whoever (ὅστις) keeps (τηρήσῃ) the whole law (γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον), but fails (πταίσῃ) in one point (δὲ ἐν ἑνί) has become (γέγονεν) accountable (ἔνοχος) for all of it (πάντων).”  James pointed out that if you say that you are going to follow the whole Torah or the law of God, then if you fail in one point, you are liable for all of it.  Failure or a transgression against one law is denying the power of God in all the laws.  They were disrespecting God in failing to do one law.  It is all God’s will, so that they are like people who have stopped believing in God.  Do you believe that every sin is showing disrespect to God?

New covenant (chapter 8)

This author said that God indicated, via the prophet Jeremiah, that he would establish a new covenant with Israel and Judah.  It would be different than the first covenant made with their ancestors when he led them out of Egypt, since they did not continue in his covenant.  There would be a new covenant.  However, this time he would put the covenant in their minds and write it in their hearts.  They would be his people and know him without anyone teaching them about it.  God was going to be merciful towards them and their sins.  The old covenant would become obsolete and soon disappear.  What do you know about the old and new covenant?

The role of a high priest (Heb 5:1)

“Every high priest,

Chosen from among mortals,

Is put in charge

Of things

Pertaining to God

On their behalf,

To offer gifts

And sacrifices

For sins.”

Πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺς ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων καθίσταται τὰ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, ἵνα προσφέρῃ δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίας ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν,

This author said, “Every high priest (Πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺς), chosen (λαμβανόμενος) from among mortal men (ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), is put in charge (καθίσταται) of things pertaining to God (ὰ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν) on their behalf (ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων), to offer (ἵνα προσφέρῃ) gifts (δῶρά) and sacrifices (τε καὶ θυσίας) for sins (ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν).”  This author explained the role of a high priest.  First, he is chosen, elected, or appointed from other mortal men.  He then is put in charge of the divine things on behalf of all other humans.  Thus, he offers gifts and sacrifices to God for human sins.  He is the mediator between humans and God.  Originally, he was called by God, but by the time of Jesus Christ, it was a political appointment.  Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the first Israelite high priest.  During the time of the kings, the high priest had only religious obligations.  However, during the late second Temple period, this high priest took on a political significance because there were no legal Jewish authorities in the occupied land of Judah.  Thus, the high priest was both a religious and political leader in the first century of the common era.  Have you ever met a high priest?

Paul (Titus 1:1)

“Paul,

A servant

Of God,

And an apostle

Of Jesus Christ,

For the sake

Of the faith

Of God’s elect

And the knowledge

Of the truth

That is in accordance

With godliness.”

Παῦλος δοῦλος Θεοῦ, ἀπόστολος δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ κατὰ πίστιν ἐκλεκτῶν Θεοῦ καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας τῆς κατ’ εὐσέβειαν

Paul said, “Paul (Παῦλος), a servant of God (δοῦλος Θεοῦ), and an apostle (ἀπόστολος) of Jesus Christ (δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), for the sake of the faith (κατὰ πίστιν) of God’s elect (ἐκλεκτῶν Θεοῦ) and the knowledge (καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν) of the truth (ἀληθείας) that is in accordance with godliness (τῆς κατ’ εὐσέβειαν).”  This is a long introduction.  Paul called himself a servant or a slave of God.  He always called himself an apostle of Jesus Christ in all his other letters.  The followers of Jesus Christ were called the chosen or elected ones, just like the chosen ones of Israel.  This knowledge about truth pertains to Jesus Christ.  Godliness was to live according to the truth about Jesus Christ.  Thus, Paul gave a brief description of himself and his mission in life.  He was truly dedicated to Jesus Christ.  Are you dedicated to Jesus Christ?