Daily Scripture Reading December 31st
King James Bible – The Holy Bible
31 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? 15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. 16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
41 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. 4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Malachi 3:1 - 4:6 KJV
221 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Revelation 22:1-21 KJV
1501 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalms 150:1-6 KJV
3125 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:25-31 KJV
A Forerunner Shall Come
The prophet announces the appeasing of a forerunner of Christ, which was fulfilled in John the Baptist. He should go before the Lord in the Spirit and power of Elijah. Isa 40; 41; 42; 43, and Mt 3:3. He should not come unprophesied or unsent, even it to a careless generation he was unexpected. He should prepare the way of the Lord by taking away their confidence in their relation to Abraham, Mt 3:9, by calling them to repentance, and by proclaiming that Christ was at hand, Mt 3:2.
LESSON–God in this way gave Jews a sign. For thirty-six hundred years He had been telling them that the Messiah should come and here he adds that a little while before Christ should appeal a great prophet would arise, and call to the everlasting gates of their hearts to lift up their heads and receive the King. It is one of the marvels of the ages, that after a prophetic silence of 400 years, that when John the Baptist did appear, his witness to Christ was not accepted.
Here the prophet tells the people that they have not only run away from the Master but have run away with the Master’s goods. “Ye are gone away from my ordinances. Return unto me.” “Ye have robbed me.” They had brought some tithes but like Ananias and Sapphira, they had kept back part of the price. They had robbed Him from Whom all blessings come! Had robbed Him of themselves and their service, of Sabbath-time and the tithes which were for the spread of His religion. God, therefore,
punished them through unseasonable weather or insects that ate up the fruits of the earth, and through short crops and famine. He also earnestly exhorts them to bring all the tithes into the storehouse, which was the temple, and then He would not only give an abundance of rain but a superabundance of Heavenly blessings so that there should not be room enough to receive them.
LESSON–Christians die spiritually and lack God’s favour when they covetously withhold from God His dues. A robber cannot be happy! Some of the advantages of tithing are:–
1. It is founded on scripture.
2. The tither has the satisfaction of giving systematically.
3. He generally has money on hand for the Lord’s work.
4. Appeals for funds never evoke from him the comment, “Too much talk about money in the church.”
5. Tithers almost without exception, are joyful Christians, informed on missions and benevolences, and delighting to help every good object.
6. They inherit the great and exceedingly precious promises of God, both temporal and spiritual. Let every Christian earner dedicate one-tenth of his earnings to the Lord!
Return of Elijah
It is very significant that in the last words of Malachi, and of the Old Testament, the people are called upon to remember the law of Moses, and to treasure the hope of the return of Elijah before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.” That this does not refer to the coming of John the Baptist in the spirit of Elijah as some think but is seen in the fact that Christ’s first coming was not a great and dreadful day, but a day of grace and of salvation. Neither did John the Baptist do the work set forth here of reconciling the hearts of the nation to one another. On the other hand, the second coming of the Lord will indeed be a great and dreadful day of judgement and of wrath, and as seen in Re 11:3-7, Elijah will be one of the witnesses who will prepare the way for the Lord’s second coming, as John the Baptist did for the first.
LESSON–In a day when men are falsely calling themselves Elijahs, we should remember that when the true Elijah comes, he will be a Jew and that he will testify for the Lord, not in America or in Europe, as many have sought to do, but in Palestine, and that, after the churches have been caught up to meet their Lord, 1 Thessalonians 4-17. At the Passover feasts of the Jews, they still set a place for him at the table and leave the door wide open in case he should appear. Let us be such Christians, and live such lives, that if all Christians were like us, the world would be ready and watching for the King!
“Unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.” A man scoffingly asked, “What advantage has a Christian over any one like myself? Does not the sun shine on me as on him, this fine day?” “Yes,” replied the devout friend, “but the Christian has two suns shining on him at the same time–one on his body and the other on his soul!”
Malachi is the last prophet of the Old Testament. Four centuries were to elapse before the next prophet, John the Baptist, should speak for God. He startled the world with the thrilling message that the Divine Son of God had become flesh, that we might behold His glory, the glory of the Only Begotten Son sent from the Father!