Watching Daily At My Gates

August 17 Read Revelation 6:1-8.

As Christ reveals to us the contents of God’s counsel found in the book, we must pay attention to it. For in it are signs of our Lord’s return. The first four seals reveal to us things that have happened and will continue to happen throughout history. Even now we see the results of the riding of the four horsemen. If you pay attention to news of happenings not only in our country but also in the world at-large, you will definitely see these results. The white horse continues to conquer for the gospel. There are wars, financial problems, and death caused by all manner of diseases. What should our reaction be? Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly and rescue us from this place of woe. Sing Psalter 246.

August 18 Read Revelation 6:9-17

Even persecution against the church must be fulfilled before the coming of Christ. Men like John Wycliffe, Stephan, and James wonder how much longer before their deaths are to be avenged by God’s hands. The answer is that they must wait for others to die for the cause of the gospel. Will it be one of us? Do we have what it takes to proclaim the gospel in the face of ultimate persecution? But the comfort for them and for us is that the end will come, and God the judge of heaven and earth will come and avenge those who have fought the good fight of faith even unto death. May we be ready for the day of his coming. May we watch and pray for that day. Sing Psalter 224.

August 19 Read Revelation 7:1-10

God’s church is made up of an exact number and is a church drawn from all nations of the earth. That exact number is known only by our covenant God. It is not some multiple of the 153 as represented by the miraculous catch of fish during Jesus’ last days on earth. It is not 144,000. But it is a number known only by God. That those members are drawn from every nation and tongue is testified of in Scripture and throughout history. The day will come when we will all join together in a loud and unified chorus of praise to our God and his Son. Let us anxiously await that day and include in our prayers, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Sing Psalter 166.

August 20 Read Revelation 7:11-17

The promise of what awaits us in heaven is great. Reread verse 15 and 16. First of all we will enjoy being in the presence of almighty God. What a blessing that will be! Think of all those who throng to see some celebrity on this earth. That cannot be compared to the experience that awaits us in heaven. Then all earthly pains and sorrows will be taken away. What is the reason for all of these blessings? It is not our work. The merit is only the work of the Lamb. That, too, should provide to us great comfort. Let us live lives on this earth awaiting that day. Sing Psalter 53.

August 21 Read Revelation 8:1-6

In Psalter 247 we have the phrase “Time like an ever rolling stream bears all its sons away…” There is also the coming phrase “time marches on.” But as we see in this portion of Scripture, time belongs to God. He instituted time during creation week. As we see the seven seals running into the seven trumpets, we understand that this only happens at God’s behest. These prayers that are offered are the prayers of the child of God that ask that Christ return. They are the prayers that ask for deliverance from this world of wickedness. Are they our prayers? Do we pray to leave this world which is not our home? As we wait for and watch for the signs of the time, let us pray often for our Lord Jesus Christ to take us on the clouds of heaven to our heavenly abode. Sing Psalter 247.

August 22 Read Revelation 8:7-13

The opening of the seals gave way to the sounding of the trumpets. While each of them shows forth history, they do it from a differing perspective and a differing intensity. Each of these trumpets signals a different sign of the end or a different happening which is a prelude to the end. We must watch for these signs. We should not be shocked at their effects, but they should help us to be ready for the joyous return of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. While the first four trumpets signal a momentous happening, the pause and the announcing of the triple woe tells us that more is coming. Are we watching prayerfully? Are we living lives that show that we are listening for the trumpets? Each of us, no matter what our ages, no matter our station and calling, must watch and wait for the great and terrible day of the Lord. Sing Psalter 198.

August 23 Read Revelation 9:1-12

Can we conceive of more wickedness around us than there is now? But yet that is the message of this portion of Scripture. Satan will unleash a horde of wickedness that will torment men unbelievably. Our comfort is that they will not be unleashed upon the church. But yet these effects will be felt by the church. We see the wickedness and some of it will be enticing. We must constantly pray to be kept from temptation and to be delivered from the evil one. May we fight the fight of faith today and each day in our lives. Sing Psalter 188.

August 24 Read Revelation 9:13-21

Once again we come to the end of a cycle in the book of Revelation. We saw the cycle of the seven seals; now we have the cycle of the seven trumpets. As we said before, each cycle examines the coming of the end. Each cycle gives to us a little different picture of what will happen. Here we see that before Christ will come will be a time when many will die. For the reprobate world it will be a time of great torture, but it will have no effect upon their spiritual state. They will not repent because they cannot. For the elect it should be a time of comfort. Not that we will escape the effects of the trumpet, but by watching and waiting in prayer we will know that our Savior will be coming to take us upon the clouds of heaven. Are we watching? Are we waiting faithfully? Are we praying? Sing Psalter 190.

August 25 Read Revelation 10:1-7

Once again there is an interlude in the sequence of events as shown to John. John is once more on earth in his vision. The sixth trumpet has sounded. He then sees an angel. From its description it seems to be Christ. There are many interpretations of its identification. The seven thunders reveal more calamities to John. He understands the voices and is about to write what they said. Thunder is usually used to signify judgment. It was not and is not time to learn of what further judgment God will have upon the wicked. Because Christ appears with the covenant-signifying rainbow, there is peace and comfort for the child of God. That is for us in this part of the prophecy. Sing Psalter 165.

August 26 Read Revelation 10: 8-11

John is a prophet, and he must prophesy. What must he prophesy? He must prophesy that which must come to pass yet. He has to prophesy to all the effects of the blowing of the seventh trumpet. He must bring that message to many and to all kinds of people. It is the truth because it is sweet in his mouth. But it has woeful effects as we see by the bitter result of digestion. Yes, the end has a glorious ending, but there are the woes to come. May God give to us the grace to live in these final days of wickedness, which announce the coming of Christ. Sing Psalter 193.

August 27 Read Revelation 11:1-2

We come to a very important section in the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is a section of much symbolism. We must be careful to treat it as symbolism, or we will do like many and miss Christ and his coming. John and we are shown that the church is not all that calls itself church. The church is only the place that God dwells, and he only dwells within his people. We must realize that there are those who act like they are true believers but they are the false church. We know them because they do not have the marks of the true church as we confess in the Belgic Confession of Faith. This period is obviously between the first and second comings of Christ as the church is battered by the forces of evil. Let us remain faithful and pray, “Even so come, Lord Jesus.” Sing Psalter 368.

August 28 Read Revelation 11:3-13

In the period of apostasy and tribulation, Christ sends his two witnesses. These typify the church in the new dispensation. Their message is none other than the preaching of the Word. To the wicked world and the false church, the witnesses must preach. As we find in other parts of Scripture, that preaching has power. This part of the prophecy also makes a mention of antichrist. The beast shall arise and silence these witnesses. But there is comfort found here as well. The beast only works a short time, Christ will return, and his witnesses will live again. Yes, we have the tribulation through which we must go, but we have the comfort of Christ’s return. Thanks be to God! Sing Psalter 334.

August 29 Read Revelation 11:14-19

We come to the end of the trumpets. The seventh trumpet signals the events that will culminate in the coming of Christ. Again we see only part of those events; the rest will be revealed in later chapters of Revelation. But the summary is glorious and comforting. The enemies of the Christ and his church will be destroyed, and Christ will receive all glory due to his name. Judgment will be meted out upon Satan and his hosts, and Christ’s church will receive the reward merited by Christ’s death on the cross. As we await that day and the sounding of the seventh trumpet, let us watch and pray for the coming of our Savior on the clouds of heaven. Sing Psalter 327.

August 30 Read Revelation 12:1-6

John and the church of all ages get a glimpse into the churches’ lot during the time before the end. The church portrayed by the woman will live on this earth but will be persecuted by Satan-the red dragon. Since the mother promise of Genesis 3, Satan has been trying to destroy the church of Christ. God has preserved his church as shown in verse 6. Notice that the number of days here correspond to one-half of seven years. The time that Satan rages is cut short by the sovereign God. The church will be preserved and cared for. This is our hope and our comfort. Sing Psalter 348.

August 31 Read Revelation 12:7-12

Again we have words of great comfort for the church of Christ. The war that was fought between the angels of light and the angels of darkness came to a victorious conclusion when Christ finished his work on the cross. This was not a physical battle but a spiritual one. The objects were the souls of all the saints who died in the old dispensation. Because of Christ’s victory over death and the grave, we have a sure place in heaven. As we fight the battle of faith on earth, let us pray for the confidence to face Satan and all his wiles. Let us fight knowing that the victory is sure because we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. The time is short but the battle will rage. Pray for strength to stand each and every day. Sing Psalter 352.

September 1 Read Revelation 12:13-17

Do we expect persecution? Do we live lives that invite it? According to these verses, persecution will come to the members of Christ’s church. Satan hates us and will do all that he can to make us fall away from the truth. We must live in that truth and out of that truth. This is not easy to do. It is easier, much easier, to hide our faith and not confess that we belong to our faithful Savior. The comfort that we have is that the time of persecution is short. Our bridegroom will come and deliver us to the eternal feast in heaven. Let us wait patiently but watchfully for his return. Sing Psalter 351.

September 2 Read Revelation 13:1-10

John is given a vision which concerns antichrist and the antichristian kingdom. We see various symbolic features in the beast. He has seven heads. He attempts to take the covenant number as part of his power. He has ten horns and crowns. He attempts to use the number of completeness in his antichristian demeanor. He blasphemes God and his church. We read in verse 10 that we cannot wage a physical warfare against him. We must listen to our king Christ. He tells us to be spiritual in all our battles. There is one comforting detail. He only has power for a limited time. He is not an eternal king like our king. Let us hear and heed the words of our king. Sing Psalter 356.

September 3 Read Revelation 13:11-18

Like all religions, the antichristian religion has its prophet or prophets. The prophet is this second beast. Notice the power and influence that he has. His power is so great that he marks all the followers of antichrist. As members of Christ’s church we may not receive that mark, and without that mark our very livelihood and lives will be in danger. Without that mark we will be noticed and shunned by all those around us. What is our only comfort in those perilous times? Our comfort is that we belong to our faithful Savior Christ Jesus. We do not belong to him whose number is incomplete. We will need to be on our guard that we do not become entranced with the prophet’s activities. We must be watching, waiting, and praying for the return of our Savior. Sing Psalter 4.

September 4 Read Revelation 14:1-5

From the darkness of the antichristian kingdom, John now shows to us the beauty of the kingdom of Christ. We see the victorious Christ and his church, the one hundred and forty four thousand, who also have a mark. That mark is the name of God written on them. When Christ will appear victorious over antichrist, there will be great rejoicing. The inhabitants of heaven and earth who look for his return will break out in a beautiful song of praise. This is our comfort as we await his coming. He will come; we are redeemed; the victory is sure. Thanks be to God. Sing Psalter 413.

September 5 Read Revelation 14:6-13

John continues to report on the happenings that signal the end of the antichristian kingdom and the victorious end for the kingdom of Christ. As we await that day we must draw our comfort for the present perilous days from verses 12 and 13. As we listen for the three angels, we must be patient until the coming of the Lord. How do we do this? We must keep God’s commandments and the faith wrought for us by Christ. This is not an easy task, but it is one with a glorious end. We have work to do in this fight. This work may cost us our physical lives, but there is the promise and reward of the eternal rest in heaven. Let us fight the battle of faith as we await the vanquishing of the antichristian kingdom and the establishment of the eternal kingdom of Christ. Sing Psalter 108.

September 6 Read Revelation 14:14-20

We see a view of the culmination of the world’s history. As the angels carry out their work, we see that they, too, are waiting for this final day when all of the church will be gathered together. Christ takes from the earth all those who are his. Those who are not defiled by the beast’s mark are gathered into his barns. Then, an angel is commanded to gather the wicked for they have filled their cup of iniquity. The answer to the souls under the altar is given, and their period of waiting is over. What a day that will be! Are we watching and waiting? Are we praying daily, “Thy kingdom come”? Sing Psalter 150.

September 7 Read Revelation 15:1-4

Chapter 15 is an introduction to what comes in the next chapter. John sees a beautiful and awe-inspiring scene. He sees seven angels holding the last seven plagues. Before these plagues are dashed upon the earth and its wicked inhabitants, the church sings a beautiful song of praise to God. It is a song that we may sing, and we must sing it. God’s works and ways are great and marvelous. They are just. We may not understand them all now, but we will when we take our place by the sea of crystal. Even as Israel stood by the Red Sea so shall the church watch as the wicked are destroyed by these plagues. Let us continue to watch, pray, and sing as the day of the Lord is surely coming. Sing Psalter 86.

September 8 Read Revelation 15:5-8

After the beautiful song of Moses and the lamb, we see the utter terror being wrought upon antichrist and his followers. Notice the angels who carry out this destruction. They are pure. They did not fall away when Satan did but were preserved to carry out this task. Examine the description of God in verses 7 and 8. He is the eternal one. In contrast to all created beings, he is the one who lives forever. His glory is unapproachable by all men unless he permits them to come unto him. The end will come but only as directed by his sovereign hand. Sing Psalter 249.

September 9 Read Revelation 16:1-7

As the world comes to an end, God will make a final judgment upon Satan, antichrist, and their kingdom. The entire world must be affected by these plagues; and as in the last plagues of Egypt, the church is spared. We see in the vials or bowls destruction in its entirety. All men were affected, all the sea became blood, etc. Egypt was a type of the kingdom of Satan and so we see the similarity in the vials to the plagues that God through Moses rained upon it. All that we can say, in fact, all that we may say are the words of verse 5-7. Let us pray that prayer adding to it the words “Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” Sing Psalter 35.

September 10 Read Revelation 16:8-15

In Psalm 73 Asaph laments the prosperity of the wicked in the first part of the Psalm. Later on he begins to see what they really have. In verse 16 he says, “Then understood I their end.” We, too, might echo the thoughts of Asaph. Even as we read these words, the end of the wicked is hard to comprehend now, but the day is coming when we will see, like Asaph, the wicked’s end. The day will come when all will see the coming of Christ. His coming will be unannounced except for those who are watching and walking in a way pleasing to him. May this be our goal today and every day that God is pleased to give us on this earth. Sing Psalter 201.

September 11 Read Revelation 16:16-21

Three times a voice has uttered a variation of the words “It is done”. First of all when God created all things, he finished that work on the sixth day and rested on the seventh. The creation was complete at that point. There was no evolving among life. Secondly Christ said with a loud voice, “It is finished!” All the work of our salvation was completed. There was nothing left for anyone else to do. All was fully accomplished. And now, as the world is gathered at Armageddon, a voice says, “It is done.” No longer will God’s people suffer at the hands of the wicked. The wicked’s cup of iniquity is full. The elect’s prayer for Christ to come quickly is now answered. The day is not here yet, but the signs are there. Are we watching…waiting…praying? Sing Psalter 155.

September 12 Read Revelation 17:1-6

In the previous chapter we saw the end of Satan and his anti-Christian kingdom. History was finished when the voice announced, “It is done.” In the next chapters we see an explanation of what previously was described. John is allowed to see the anti-Christian kingdom and its destruction. He sees it for our benefit, comfort, and strengthening. We see in these six verses that this evil kingdom has both a religious and political arm. Being portrayed as a woman shows that she is the false church in all its deviltry. As a city sitting upon a beast with seven heads and ten horns, you see a creature that tries to appropriate God’s sovereignty. As people of God, we must identify the woman, the beast, and their wiles, and flee from them. Let us know that God will care for us even in the evil last days that are shortened for our sake. Sing Psalter 30.

September 13 Read Revelation 17:7-14

We continue with the description of the anti-Christian kingdom in these verses. This kingdom has been evident on earth since the time of the fall. At the Tower of Babel the beast was wounded grievously, but that wound has been healed as best as it could be. Throughout history the church has had to withstand various manifestations of the kingdom. The day will come when the beast will organize itself and make the final attack against the church. Against that day we have the beautiful promise of verse 14. Let us cling to that promise knowing that our eternal home is sure. Sing Psalter 31.

September 14 Revelation 17:15-18

Throughout history the false church and the wicked world have joined to make war against the true church of Christ. As the wicked world gets stronger and stronger, it will not need the false church any longer. That which calls itself Christian will be obliterated and a single false religion will grow up. We need not be afraid, however, because all of this is in God’s sovereign power. Reread verse 17 to see this truth. It is important that we stay away from the false church and only cleave to the true church that maintains the marks of that truth. This truth we will only find in Scripture. This is the only way to true peace. Sing Psalter 16.