Wednesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, 24 Jun 2020 – Revelation 20, Psalm 100 (101) ~ The Final Judgement!

Wednesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, 24 Jun 2020

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name, increase in us true godliness, nourish us with all goodness, and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Each was judged according to his deeds….
And if anyone’s name was not found recorded in the Book of Life,
he was thrown into the Lake of Fire.”

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The Book of Revelation: Chapter 20 (TLB)

20 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the Dragon—that old Serpent, the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years, and threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so that he could not fool the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterwards he would be released again for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those who had been given the right to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus, for proclaiming the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the Creature or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They had come to life again and now they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

This is the First Resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Blessed and holy are those who share in the First Resurrection. For them the Second Death holds no terrors, for they will be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

When the thousand years end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations of the world and gather them together, with Gog and Magog, for battle—a mighty host, numberless as sand along the shore. They will go up across the broad plain of the earth and surround God’s people and the beloved city of Jerusalem on every side. But fire from God in heaven will flash down on the attacking armies and consume them.

Then the devil who had betrayed them will again be thrown into the Lake of Fire burning with sulfur where the Creature and False Prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

And I saw a great white throne and the one who sat upon it, from whose face the earth and sky fled away, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, great and small, standing before God; and The Books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to the things written in The Books, each according to the deeds he had done. The oceans surrendered the bodies buried in them; and the earth and the underworld gave up the dead in them. Each was judged according to his deeds. And Death and Hell were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death—the Lake of Fire. And if anyone’s name was not found recorded in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire.
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Judgement Day – Stealth

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Morning Prayer – Psalm 100 (101)

Shout with joy before the Lord, O earth! Obey him gladly; come before him and sing his praises!

+ Try to realize what this means—the Lord is God! He made us—we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
+ The Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation.

Sing about his loving-kindness and his justice, Lord; teach us to obey you gladly!

+ Help us, Lord, to walk a blameless path, especially in our own homes, where we long to act as we should.
+ Help us, Lord, to refuse the low and vulgar things; and to have no part in crooked deals of every kind.
+ Help us, Lord, to reject all selfishness and stay away from every evil,  avoiding anyone who slanders his neighbors.

Shout with joy before the Lord, O earth! Sing about his loving-kindness and his justice.

+ Raise the godly in our land, Lord, that we may follow their leadership.
+ Surround us with godly people who can help us walk  in your ways.
+ Ferret out criminals, liars, and deceivers;  and free our land from their grip.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.
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My Weapon – Natalie Grant

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Closing Revelation 20:4 (TLB)

Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those who had been given the right to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus, for proclaiming the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the Creature or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They had come to life again and now they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, 23 Jun 2020 – Revelation 19 ~ “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Tuesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, 23 Jun 2020

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name, increase in us true godliness, nourish us with all goodness, and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him;
for the time has come for the wedding banquet of the Lamb,
and his bride has prepared herself.

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The Book of Revelation: Chapters 19 (TLB)

19 After this I heard the shouting of a vast crowd in heaven, “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Salvation is from our God. Honor and authority belong to him alone; for his judgments are just and true. He has punished the Great Prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sin; and he has avenged the murder of his servants.”

Again and again their voices rang, “Praise the Lord! The smoke from her burning ascends forever and forever!”

Then the twenty-four Elders and four Living Beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting upon the throne, and said, “Amen! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!”

And out of the throne came a voice that said, “Praise our God, all you his servants, small and great, who fear him.”

Then I heard again what sounded like the shouting of a huge crowd, or like the waves of a hundred oceans crashing on the shore, or like the mighty rolling of great thunder, “Praise the Lord. For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him; for the time has come for the wedding banquet of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She is permitted to wear the cleanest and whitest and finest of linens.” (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.)

And the angel dictated this sentence to me: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “God himself has stated this.”

Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No! Don’t! For I am a servant of God just as you are, and as your brother Christians are, who testify of their faith in Jesus. Worship God. The purpose of all prophecy and of all I have shown you is to tell about Jesus.”

Then I saw heaven opened and a white horse standing there; and the one sitting on the horse was named Faithful and True—the one who justly punishes and makes war. His eyes were like flames, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on his forehead, and only he knew its meaning. He was clothed with garments dipped in blood, and his title was “The Word of God.” The armies of heaven, dressed in finest linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses.

In his mouth he held a sharp sword to strike down the nations; he ruled them with an iron grip; and he trod the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. On his robe and thigh was written this title: “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Then I saw an angel standing in the sunshine, shouting loudly to the birds, “Come! Gather together for the supper of the Great God! Come and eat the flesh of kings, and captains, and great generals; of horses and riders; and of all humanity, both great and small, slave and free.”

Then I saw the Evil Creature gathering the governments of the earth and their armies to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the Evil Creature was captured, and with him the False Prophet, who could do mighty miracles when the Evil Creature was present—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the Evil Creature’s mark, and who worshiped his statue. Both of them—the Evil Creature and his False Prophet—were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire that burns with sulfur.  And their entire army was killed with the sharp sword in the mouth of the one riding the white horse, and all the birds of heaven were gorged with their flesh.
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We Will Ride – (Andy Park)

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Morning Prayer

Our sufferings bring acceptance, acceptance brings hope: and our hope will not deceive us, for the Spirit has been poured into our hearts. It is through the same Spirit that we pray:
– Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.

Help us to realize that our troubles are slight and short-lived; they are as nothing compared with the joy we shall have when we reach our home with you.
– Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.

Come to the lonely, the unloved, those without friends; show them your love, and help them to care for their brothers and sisters.
– Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.

Take away our pride, temper our anger: may we follow you in your gentleness: may you make us humble of heart.
– Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.

Give us the fullness of your Spirit, the Spirit of sonship: make our love for each other generous and sincere.
– Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Increase in us, Lord, your gift of faith, so that the praise we offer you may ever yield its fruit from heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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All the Poor and Powerless – All Sons & Daughters

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Closing Revelation 19:4-5 (TLB)

“Praise the Lord. For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him; for the time has come for the wedding banquet of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself.”
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, 22 Jun 2020 – Revelation 18, Psalm 146 ~ the precipitous fall of Babylon

Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, 22 Jun 2020

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name, increase in us true godliness, nourish us with all goodness, and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

But you, O heaven, rejoice over [Babylon’s] fate;
and you, O children of God and the prophets and the apostles!
For at last God has given judgment against her for you.

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The Book of Revelation: Chapters 18 (TLB)

The Fall of Babylon

18 After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendor.

He gave a mighty shout, “Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen; she has become a den of demons, a haunt of devils and every kind of evil spirit. For all the nations have drunk the fatal wine of her intense immorality. The rulers of earth have enjoyed themselves with her, and businessmen throughout the world have grown rich from all her luxurious living.”

Then I heard another voice calling from heaven, “Come away from her, my people; do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her. For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God is ready to judge her for her crimes. Do to her as she has done to you, and more—give double penalty for all her evil deeds. She brewed many a cup of woe for others—give twice as much to her. She has lived in luxury and pleasure—match it now with torments and with sorrows. She boasts, ‘I am queen upon my throne. I am no helpless widow. I will not experience sorrow.’ Therefore the sorrows of death and mourning and famine shall overtake her in a single day, and she shall be utterly consumed by fire; for mighty is the Lord who judges her.”

And the world leaders who took part in her immoral acts and enjoyed her favors will mourn for her as they see the smoke rising from her charred remains. They will stand far off, trembling with fear and crying out, “Alas, Babylon, that mighty city! In one moment her judgment fell.”

The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods. She was their biggest customer for gold and silver, precious stones, pearls, finest linens, purple silks, and scarlet; and every kind of perfumed wood, and ivory goods, and most expensive wooden carvings, and brass, and iron, and marble; and spices, and perfumes, and incense, ointment, and frankincense, wine, olive oil, and fine flour; wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, chariots, and slaves—and even the souls of men.

“All the fancy things you loved so much are gone,” they cry. “The dainty luxuries and splendor that you prized so much will never be yours again. They are gone forever.”

And so the merchants who have become wealthy by selling her these things shall stand at a distance, fearing danger to themselves, weeping and crying, “Alas, that great city, so beautiful—like a woman clothed in finest purple and scarlet linens, decked out with gold and precious stones and pearls! In one moment, all the wealth of the city is gone!”

And all the shipowners and captains of the merchant ships and crews will stand a long way off, crying as they watch the smoke ascend, and saying, “Where in all the world is there another city such as this?” And they will throw dust on their heads in their sorrow and say, “Alas, alas, for that great city! She made us all rich from her great wealth. And now in a single hour all is gone. . . . ”

But you, O heaven, rejoice over her fate; and you, O children of God and the prophets and the apostles! For at last God has given judgment against her for you.

Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder shaped like a millstone and threw it into the ocean and shouted, “Babylon, that great city, shall be thrown away as I have thrown away this stone, and she shall disappear forever. Never again will the sound of music be there—no more pianos, saxophones, and trumpets. No industry of any kind will ever again exist there, and there will be no more milling of the grain. Dark, dark will be her nights; not even a lamp in a window will ever be seen again. No more joyous wedding bells and happy voices of the bridegrooms and the brides. Her businessmen were known around the world, and she deceived all nations with her sorceries. And she was responsible for the blood of all the martyred prophets and the saints.”
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Morning Prayer of Praise – Psalm 146 (TLB)

Praise the Lord! Yes, really praise him! I will praise him as long as I live, yes, even with my dying breath.

Don’t look to men for help; their greatest leaders fail; for every man must die. His breathing stops, life ends, and in a moment all he planned for himself is ended. But happy is the man who has the God of Jacob as his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God— the God who made both earth and heaven, the seas and everything in them. He is the God who keeps every promise, who gives justice to the poor and oppressed and food to the hungry. He frees the prisoners and opens the eyes of the blind; he lifts the burdens from those bent down beneath their loads. For the Lord loves good men. He protects the immigrants and cares for the orphans and widows. But he turns topsy-turvy the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever. O Jerusalem, your God is King in every generation! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
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Morning Prayer

Almighty Father, the heavens cannot hold your greatness: yet through your Son we have learned to say:
– Father, may your Kingdom come!

We praise you as your children; may your name be kept holy in the hearts of all mankind.
– Father, may your Kingdom come!

Help us to live in the hope of heaven today: make us ready to do your will on earth.
– Father, may your Kingdom come!

Give us this day the courage to forgive others: as you forgive us our trespasses.
– Father, may your Kingdom come!

Father, be with us in all our trials: do not allow us to fall away from you.
– Father, may your Kingdom come!

Lord God, who entrusted the earth to men to till it and care for it, and made the sun to serve their needs: give us grace this day to work faithfully for your glory and for our neighbors’ good. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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Let Your Kingdom Come – Sovereign Grace

Closing Revelation 18:4-5 (TLB)

“Come away from [Babylon], my people; do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her. For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God is ready to judge her for her crimes.”
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saturday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time, 20 Jun 2020 – Revelation 15-17, Psalm 145 &146 ~ “Judgements from The Holy One who is just and true.”

Saturday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time, 20 Jun 2020

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

O Lord, from whom all good proceeds: Grant us the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may always think those things that are good, and by your merciful guidance may accomplish the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me,
who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”

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The Book of Revelation: Chapters 15-17 (NLT)

The Song of Moses and of the Lamb

15 Then I saw in heaven another marvelous event of great significance. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues, which would bring God’s wrath to completion. I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name. They were all holding harps that God had given them. And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations.

Who will not fear you, Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you,
for your righteous deeds have been revealed.”
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Song of Moses – The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

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The Seven Bowls of the Seven Plagues

Then I looked and saw that the Temple in heaven, God’s Tabernacle, was thrown wide open. The seven angels who were holding the seven plagues came out of the Temple. They were clothed in spotless white linen with gold sashes across their chests. Then one of the four living beings handed each of the seven angels a gold bowl filled with the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. The Temple was filled with smoke from God’s glory and power. No one could enter the Temple until the seven angels had completed pouring out the seven plagues.

16 Then I heard a mighty voice from the Temple say to the seven angels, “Go your ways and pour out on the earth the seven bowls containing God’s wrath.”

So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl on the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.

Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died.

Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood. And I heard the angel who had authority over all water saying,

“You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was,
because you have sent these judgments.

Since they shed the blood
of your holy people and your prophets,
you have given them blood to drink.
It is their just reward.”

And I heard a voice from the altar, saying,

“Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty,
your judgments are true and just.”

Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. Everyone was burned by this blast of heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over all these plagues. They did not repent of their sins and turn to God and give him glory.

Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God.

Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance. And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They are demonic spirits who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God the Almighty.

“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”

And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon.
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Psalm 145: 17-21 – From the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter

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Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple, saying, “It is finished!” Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. The great city of Babylon split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble. So God remembered all of Babylon’s sins, and he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing as much as seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm.

The Great Prostitute

17 One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.”

So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it. The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality. A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.” I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement.

“Why are you so amazed?” the angel asked. “I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world, whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died.

“This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules. They also represent seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief.

“The scarlet beast that was, but is no longer, is the eighth king. He is like the other seven, and he, too, is headed for destruction. The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast. They will all agree to give him their power and authority. Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”

Then the angel said to me, “The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language. The scarlet beast and his ten horns all hate the prostitute. They will strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her remains with fire. For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled. And this woman you saw in your vision represents the great city that rules over the kings of the world.”
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Morning Prayer of Praise – Psalm 146 (TLB)

Praise the Lord! Yes, really praise him! I will praise him as long as I live, yes, even with my dying breath.

Don’t look to men for help; their greatest leaders fail; for every man must die. His breathing stops, life ends, and in a moment all he planned for himself is ended.

But happy is the man who has the God of Jacob as his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God— the God who made both earth and heaven, the seas and everything in them.

He is the God who keeps every promise, who gives justice to the poor and oppressed and food to the hungry. He frees the prisoners and opens the eyes of the blind; he lifts the burdens from those bent down beneath their loads.

For the Lord loves good men. He protects the immigrants and cares for the orphans and widows. But he turns topsy-turvy the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever. O Jerusalem, your God is King in every generation! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
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What Joy (Psalm 146) – Sarah Emerson

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Closing Revelation 16:5, 7 (NLT)

“You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was,
because you have sent these judgments.

“Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty,
your judgments are true and just.”

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Friday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time, 19 Jun 2020 – Revelation 12-14, Psalm 143 & 144 ~ “God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.”

Friday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time, 19 Jun 2020

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

O Lord, from whom all good proceeds: Grant us the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may always think those things that are good, and by your merciful guidance may accomplish the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!
But terror will come on the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you in great anger,
knowing that he has little time.”

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The Book of Revelation: Chapters 12-14 (NLT)

The Woman and the Dragon

12 Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.

Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.

She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days.

Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,

“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters
has been thrown down to earth—
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.

And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die.

Therefore, rejoice, O heavens!
And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!
But terror will come on the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you in great anger,
knowing that he has little time.”

When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.

Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth. But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.

Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea.

The Beast out of the Sea

13 Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.

I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”

Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven. And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.

Anyone with ears to hear
should listen and understand.

Anyone who is destined for prison
will be taken to prison.
Anyone destined to die by the sword
will die by the sword.

This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.

The Beast out of the Earth

Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. He did astounding miracles, even making fire flash down to earth from the sky while everyone was watching. And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.

He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.

The Lamb and the 144,000

14 Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together.

This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. They have kept themselves as pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering to God and to the Lamb. They have told no lies; they are without blame.
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Ian White – Psalm 144 – “Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord”

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The Three Angels

And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.”

Then another angel followed him through the sky, shouting, “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen—because she made all the nations of the world drink the wine of her passionate immorality.”

Then a third angel followed them, shouting, “Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”

This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”

The Harvest of the Earth

Then I saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

Then another angel came from the Temple and shouted to the one sitting on the cloud, “Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe.” So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the whole earth was harvested.

After that, another angel came from the Temple in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, who had power to destroy with fire, came from the altar. He shouted to the angel with the sharp sickle, “Swing your sickle now to gather the clusters of grapes from the vines of the earth, for they are ripe for judgment.” So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and loaded the grapes into the great winepress of God’s wrath. The grapes were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 180 miles long and as high as a horse’s bridle.
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Morning Prayer – Psalm 143 (TLB) – A psalm of David

Hear my prayer, O Lord; answer my plea because you are faithful to your promises. Don’t bring me to trial! For as compared with you, no one is perfect.

My enemies chased and caught me. They have knocked me to the ground. They force me to live in the darkness like those in the grave. I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.

I remember the glorious miracles you did in days of long ago. I reach out for you. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens; don’t turn away from me or I shall die. Let me see your kindness to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for my prayer is sincere. Save me from my enemies. O Lord, I run to you to hide me. Help me to do your will, for you are my God. Lead me in good paths, for your Spirit is good.

Lord, saving me will bring glory to your name. Bring me out of all this trouble because you are true to your promises. And because you are loving and kind to me, cut off all my enemies and destroy those who are trying to harm me; for I am your servant.
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Mercy / Psalm 143 – Mark Baldwin

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Closing Revelation 14:7 (NLT)

“Fear God” “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.”
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.