Hosea 5; Hosea 6; Hosea 7; Hosea 8; Revelation 2

1 "Listen to this, you priests! Pay attention, people of Israel! Listen, you that belong to the royal family! You are supposed to judge with justice - so judgment will fall on you! You have become a trap at Mizpah, a net spread on Mount Tabor, 2 a deep pit at Acacia City, and I will punish all of you. 3 I know what Israel is like - she cannot hide from me. She has been unfaithful, and her people are unfit to worship me." 4 The evil that the people have done keeps them from returning to their God. Idolatry has a powerful hold on them, and they do not acknowledge the Lord. 5 The arrogance of the people of Israel cries out against them. Their sins make them stumble and fall, and the people of Judah fall with them. 6 They take their sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices to the Lord, but it does them no good. They cannot find him, for he has left them. 7 They have been unfaithful to the Lord; their children do not belong to him. So now they and their lands will soon be destroyed. 8 Blow the war trumpets in Gibeah! Sound the alarm in Ramah! Raise the war cry at Bethaven! Into battle, men of Benjamin! 9 The day of punishment is coming, and Israel will be ruined. People of Israel, this will surely happen! 10 The Lord says, "I am angry because the leaders of Judah have invaded Israel and stolen land from her. So I will pour out punishment on them like a flood. 11 Israel is suffering oppression; she has lost land that was rightfully hers, because she insisted on going for help to those who had none to give. 12 I will bring destruction on Israel and ruin on the people of Judah. 13 "When Israel saw how sick she was and when Judah saw her own wounds, then Israel went to Assyria to ask the great emperor for help, but he could not cure them or heal their wounds. 14 I will attack the people of Israel and Judah like a lion. I myself will tear them to pieces and then leave them. When I drag them off, no one will be able to save them. 15 "I will abandon my people until they have suffered enough for their sins and come looking for me. Perhaps in their suffering they will try to find me."
1 The people say, "Let's return to the Lord! He has hurt us, but he will be sure to heal us; he has wounded us, but he will bandage our wounds, won't he? 2 In two or three days he will revive us, and we will live in his presence. 3 Let us try to know the Lord. He will come to us as surely as the day dawns, as surely as the spring rains fall upon the earth." 4 But the Lord says, "Israel and Judah, what am I going to do with you? Your love for me disappears as quickly as morning mist; it is like dew, that vanishes early in the day. 5 That is why I have sent my prophets to you with my message of judgment and destruction. What I want from you is plain and clear: 6 I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me. 7 "But as soon as they entered the land at Adam, they broke the covenant I had made with them. 8 Gilead is a city full of evil people and murderers. 9 The priests are like a gang of robbers who wait in ambush for someone. Even on the road to the holy place at Shechem they commit murder. And they do all this evil deliberately! 10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel: my people have defiled themselves by worshiping idols. 11 "And as for you, people of Judah, I have set a time to punish you also for what you are doing.
1 "Whenever I want to heal my people Israel and make them prosperous again, all I can see is their wickedness and the evil they do. They cheat one another; they break into houses and steal; they rob people in the streets. 2 It never enters their heads that I will remember all this evil; but their sins surround them, and I cannot avoid seeing them." 3 The Lord says, "People deceive the king and his officers by their evil plots. 4 They are all treacherous and disloyal. Their hatred smolders like the fire in an oven, which is not stirred by the baker until the dough is ready to bake. 5 On the day of the king's celebration they made the king and his officials drunk and foolish with wine. 6 Yes, they burned like an oven with their plotting. All night their anger smoldered, and in the morning it burst into flames. 7 "In the heat of their anger they murdered their rulers. Their kings have been assassinated one after another, but no one prays to me for help." 8 The Lord says, "The people of Israel are like a half-baked loaf of bread. They rely on the nations around them 9 and do not realize that this reliance on foreigners has robbed them of their strength. Their days are numbered, but they don't even know it. 10 The arrogance of the people of Israel cries out against them. In spite of everything that has happened, they have not returned to me, the Lord their God. 11 Israel flits around like a silly pigeon; first her people call on Egypt for help, and then they run to Assyria! 12 But I will spread out a net and catch them like birds as they go by. I will punish them for the evil they have done. 13 "They are doomed! They have left me and rebelled against me. They will be destroyed. I wanted to save them, but their worship of me was false. 14 They have not prayed to me sincerely, but instead they throw themselves down and wail as the heathen do. When they pray for grain and wine, they gash themselves like pagans. What rebels they are! 15 Even though I was the one who brought them up and made them strong, they plotted against me. 16 They keep on turning away from me to a god that is powerless. They are as unreliable as a crooked bow. Because their leaders talk arrogantly, they will die a violent death, and the Egyptians will laugh."
1 The Lord says, "Sound the alarm! Enemies are swooping down on my land like eagles! My people have broken the covenant I made with them and have rebelled against my teaching. 2 Even though they call me their God and claim that they are my people and that they know me, 3 they have rejected what is good. Because of this their enemies will pursue them. 4 "My people chose kings, but they did it on their own. They appointed leaders, but without my approval. They took their silver and gold and made idols - for their own destruction. 5 I hate the gold bull worshiped by the people of the city of Samaria. I am furious with them. How long will it be before they give up their idolatry? 6 An Israelite craftsman made the idol, and it is not a god at all! The gold bull worshiped in Samaria will be smashed to pieces! 7 When they sow the wind, they will reap a storm! A field of grain that doesn't ripen can never produce any bread. But even if it did, foreigners would eat it up. 8 Israel has become like any other nation and is as useless as a broken pot. 9 Stubborn as wild donkeys, the people of Israel go their own way. They have gone off to seek help from Assyria and have paid other nations to protect them. 10 But now I am going to gather them together and punish them. Soon they will writhe in pain when the emperor of Assyria oppresses them. 11 "The more altars the people of Israel build for removing sin, the more places they have for sinning! 12 I write down countless teachings for the people, but they reject them as strange and foreign. 13 They offer sacrifices to me and eat the meat of the sacrifices. But I, the Lord, am not pleased with them, and now I will remember their sin and punish them for it; I will send them back to Egypt! 14 "The people of Israel have built palaces, but they have forgotten their own Maker. The people of Judah have built fortified cities. But I will send fire that will burn down their palaces and their cities."
1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: "This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who walks among the seven gold lampstands. 2 I know what you have done; I know how hard you have worked and how patient you have been. I know that you cannot tolerate evil people and that you have tested those who say they are apostles but are not, and have found out that they are liars. 3 You are patient, you have suffered for my sake, and you have not given up. 4 But this is what I have against you: you do not love me now as you did at first. 5 Think how far you have fallen! Turn from your sins and do what you did at first. If you don't turn from your sins, I will come to you and take your lampstand from its place. 6 But this is what you have in your favor: you hate what the Nicolaitans do, as much as I do. 7 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches! "To those who win the victory I will give the right to eat the fruit of the tree of life that grows in the Garden of God. 8 "To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: "This is the message from the one who is the first and the last, who died and lived again. 9 I know your troubles; I know that you are poor - but really you are rich! I know the evil things said against you by those who claim to be Jews but are not; they are a group that belongs to Satan! 10 Don't be afraid of anything you are about to suffer. Listen! The Devil will put you to the test by having some of you thrown into prison, and your troubles will last ten days. Be faithful to me, even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory. 11 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches! "Those who win the victory will not be hurt by the second death. 12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: "This is the message from the one who has the sharp two-edged sword. 13 I know where you live, there where Satan has his throne. You are true to me, and you did not abandon your faith in me even during the time when Antipas, my faithful witness, was killed there where Satan lives. 14 But there are a few things I have against you: there are some among you who follow the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak how to lead the people of Israel into sin by persuading them to eat food that had been offered to idols and to practice sexual immorality. 15 In the same way you have people among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Now turn from your sins! If you don't, I will come to you soon and fight against those people with the sword that comes out of my mouth. 17 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches! "To those who win the victory I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give each of them a white stone on which is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it. 18 "To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: "This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes blaze like fire, whose feet shine like polished brass. 19 I know what you do. I know your love, your faithfulness, your service, and your patience. I know that you are doing more now than you did at first. 20 But this is what I have against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a messenger of God. By her teaching she misleads my servants into practicing sexual immorality and eating food that has been offered to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her sins, but she does not want to turn from her immorality. 22 And so I will throw her on a bed where she and those who committed adultery with her will suffer terribly. I will do this now unless they repent of the wicked things they did with her. 23 I will also kill her followers, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who knows everyone's thoughts and wishes. I will repay each of you according to what you have done. 24 "But the rest of you in Thyatira have not followed this evil teaching; you have not learned what the others call "the deep secrets of Satan.' I say to you that I will not put any other burden on you. 25 But until I come, you must hold firmly to what you have. 26 To those who win the victory, who continue to the end to do what I want, I will give the same authority that I received from my Father: I will give them authority over the nations, to rule them with an iron rod and to break them to pieces like clay pots. I will also give them the morning star. 29 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!
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