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Duddingston Kirk, Edinburgh

Sunday Services are at 10.30 am

Wednesday Stillness Services are at 10 am

Bible Reading Notes

These notes were compiled by the Reverend Dr James A P Jack. You will find reading the Bible rewarding and encouraging, but reading the Bible is not always easy!

These guidelines may help you.

November 2019

The Book of Revelation

November 1      Revelation 16:1–16

Six of the seven angels pour out the contents of the golden bowls. Here are the last judgements before the end of time. The majesty of God will prevail in the larger picture of history. There is a great parallel here with the plagues mentioned in Exodus. Here is the wrath of God on those who fail to repent and change their ways.

November 2      Revelation 16:17–21

The seventh bowl brings utter destruction. These judgements are universal. Many today see our treatment of God’s creation resulting in these natural reactions..

November 3      Revelation 17:1–6

The whore is identified as Babylon and stands for civilized human beings who stand apart from God. The whore lives in earthly luxury but opposed all that God stands for and, as a result, her inhabitants live lives that are not godly.

November 4      Revelation 17:7–18

This is rich with imagery which makes interpretation very difficult. It is thought that the woman sitting on the seven heads of the beast represented the seven hills of Rome and therefore the heart of the Roman Empire was the henchman of Satan. Every generation reassembles those who gather earthly power but do not show any godly grace.

November 5      Revelation 18:1–8

John takes the so-called Doom Songs of his time to incorporate their verse into his vision. The city of Babylon falls, representing the fall of those who have lived their lives and organised themselves in a DIY culture without God..

November 6      Revelation 18:9–19

Those who lament the fall of Babylon do not grieve for the city but for themselves and the way they will no longer be able to selfishly get out of it what has made them rich.

November 7      Revelation 18:20–19:4

The focus changes from the wicked to the righteous. The righteous are encouraged to rejoice in the destruction of Babylon. The rule of God is shining through and the long-awaited justice has arrived.

November 8      Revelation 19:5–10

The triumph of God’s people is equated to a heavenly wedding where the Church is seen as arriving as the bride of Christ.

November 9      Revelation 19:11–21

With God’s victory comes a welcome into heaven of the faithful and God’s dealing with the wicked. The risen Christ appears but John introduces him as a warrior – of someone who has been in battle.

November 10      Revelation 20:1–6

We are introduced to a period of time (1,000 years) that symbolically stands for the time that Christ will reign and those who have died in the faith will be brought into eternal life with Christ. Again we see the final vindication God shining through.

November 11      Revelation 20:7–15

The triumph of God is speedy and certain. God deals once and for all with Satan and all the evil and wickedness that has been. All people are then brought before God and judged by how they have behaved and lived out their lives. Eternal destruction awaits the wicked.

November 12      Revelation 21:1–8

As John’s vision nears its end, he sees a new way; a new earth and a new heaven. He describes it in physical terms but the focus is on the spiritual. These beautiful verses are well known because they speak to us of God’s eternal love.

November 13      Revelation 21:9–21

The New Jerusalem symbolises the new order with God at the centre of everyone’s lives. The bride, the wife of the Lamb, is the church and the people of God. We are promised by God this new life.

November 14      Revelation 21:22–27

There is no need for light here because God is Light. There are no dark places here. This is a glorious vision and one that is never boring, dull or dead, but filled with life.

November 15      Revelation 22:1–5

The water of life now flows in abundance. The tree of life resembles the tree in the Garden of Eden. If so, God has restored the fallen state of humanity and recreated the perfect relationship that God intended all along for God’s people.

November 16      Revelation 22:6–17

This epilogue to the book is reassuring us that Christ will come again soon and that Jesus himself commends the importance of these scriptures.

November 17      Revelation 22:18–21

And so the book and vision are complete; neither to be subtracted from nor added to. The Bible that starts with ‘In the beginning …’ now ends with things that are yet to be at the end of time. The final greeting in verse 21 is a reminder to us that all Christians, not just some, rely on God’s grace.