Hosea 9; Hosea 10; Hosea 11; Revelation 3

1 People of Israel, stop celebrating your festivals like pagans. You have turned away from your God and have been unfaithful to him. All over the land you have sold yourselves like prostitutes to the god Baal and have loved the grain you thought he paid you with! 2 But soon you will not have enough grain and olive oil, and there will be no wine. 3 The people of Israel will not remain in the Lord's land, but will have to go back to Egypt and will have to eat forbidden food in Assyria. 4 In those foreign lands they will not be able to make wine offerings to the Lord or bring their sacrifices to him. Their food will defile everyone who eats it, like food eaten at funerals. It will be used only to satisfy their hunger; none of it will be taken as an offering to the Lord's Temple. 5 And when the time comes for the appointed festivals in honor of the Lord, what will they do then? 6 When the disaster comes and the people are scattered, the Egyptians will gather them up - gather them for burial there at Memphis! Their treasures of silver and the places where their homes once stood will be overgrown with weeds and thorn bushes. 7 The time for punishment has come, the time when people will get what they deserve. When that happens, Israel will know it! "This prophet," you say, "is a fool. This inspired man is insane." You people hate me so much because your sin is so great. 8 God has sent me as a prophet to warn his people Israel. Yet wherever I go, you try to trap me like a bird. Even in God's Temple the people are the prophet's enemies. 9 They are hopelessly evil in what they do, just as they were at Gibeah. God will remember their sin and punish them for it. 10 The Lord says, "When I first found Israel, it was like finding grapes growing in the desert. When I first saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But when they came to Mount Peor, they began to worship Baal and soon became as disgusting as the gods they loved. 11 Israel's greatness will fly away like a bird, and there will be no more children born to them, no more women pregnant, no more children conceived. 12 But even if they did bring up children, I would take them away and not leave one alive. When I abandon these people, terrible things will happen to them." 13 Lord, I can see their children being hunted down and killed. 14 What shall I ask you to do to these people? Make their women barren! Make them unable to nurse their babies! 15 The Lord says, "All their evildoing began in Gilgal. It was there that I began to hate them. And because of the evil they have done, I will drive them out of my land. I will not love them any more; all their leaders have rebelled against me. 16 The people of Israel are like a plant whose roots have dried up and which bears no fruit. They will have no children, but even if they did, I would kill the children so dear to them." 17 The God I serve will reject his people, because they have not listened to him. They will become wanderers among the nations.
1 The people of Israel were like a grapevine that was full of grapes. The more prosperous they were, the more altars they built. The more productive their land was, the more beautiful they made the sacred stone pillars they worship. 2 The people whose hearts are deceitful must now suffer for their sins. God will break down their altars and destroy their sacred pillars. 3 These people will soon be saying, "We have no king because we did not fear the Lord. But what could a king do for us anyway?" 4 They utter empty words and make false promises and useless treaties. Justice has become injustice, growing like poisonous weeds in a plowed field. 5 The people who live in the city of Samaria will be afraid and will mourn the loss of the gold bull at Bethaven. They and the priests who serve the idol will weep over it. They will wail when it is stripped of its golden splendor. 6 The idol will be carried off to Assyria as tribute to the great emperor. The people of Israel will be disgraced and put to shame because of the advice they followed. 7 Their king will be carried off, like a chip of wood on water. 8 The hilltop shrines of Aven, where the people of Israel worship idols, will be destroyed. Thorns and weeds will grow up over their altars. The people will call out to the mountains, "Hide us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" 9 The Lord says, "The people of Israel have not stopped sinning against me since the time of their sin at Gibeah. So at Gibeah war will catch up with them. 10 I will attack this sinful people and punish them. Nations will join together against them, and they will be punished for their many sins. 11 "Israel was once like a well-trained young cow, ready and willing to thresh grain. But I decided to put a yoke on her beautiful neck and to harness her for harder work. I made Judah pull the plow and Israel pull the harrow. 12 I said, "Plow new ground for yourselves, plant righteousness, and reap the blessings that your devotion to me will produce. It is time for you to turn to me, your Lord, and I will come and pour out blessings upon you.' 13 But instead you planted evil and reaped its harvest. You have eaten the fruit produced by your lies. "Because you trusted in your chariots and in the large number of your soldiers, 14 war will come to your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed. It will be like the day when King Shalman destroyed the city of Betharbel in battle, and mothers and their children were crushed to death. 15 That is what will happen to you, people of Bethel, because of the terrible evil that you have done. As soon as the battle begins, the king of Israel will die."
1 The Lord says, "When Israel was a child, I loved him and called him out of Egypt as my son. 2 But the more I called to him, the more he turned away from me. My people sacrificed to Baal; they burned incense to idols. 3 Yet I was the one who taught Israel to walk. I took my people up in my arms, but they did not acknowledge that I took care of them. 4 I drew them to me with affection and love. I picked them up and held them to my cheek; I bent down to them and fed them. 5 "They refuse to return to me, and so they must return to Egypt, and Assyria will rule them. 6 War will sweep through their cities and break down the city gates. It will destroy my people because they do what they themselves think best. 7 They insist on turning away from me. They will cry out because of the yoke that is on them, but no one will lift it from them. 8 "How can I give you up, Israel? How can I abandon you? Could I ever destroy you as I did Admah, or treat you as I did Zeboiim? My heart will not let me do it! My love for you is too strong. 9 I will not punish you in my anger; I will not destroy Israel again. For I am God and not a mere human being. I, the Holy One, am with you. I will not come to you in anger. 10 "My people will follow me when I roar like a lion at their enemies. They will hurry to me from the west. 11 They will come from Egypt, as swiftly as birds, and from Assyria, like doves. I will bring them to their homes again. I, the Lord, have spoken." 12 The Lord says, "The people of Israel have surrounded me with lies and deceit, and the people of Judah are still rebelling against me, the faithful and holy God.
1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: "This is the message from the one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know what you are doing; I know that you have the reputation of being alive, even though you are dead! 2 So wake up, and strengthen what you still have before it dies completely. For I find that what you have done is not yet perfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you were taught and what you heard; obey it and turn from your sins. If you do not wake up, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not even know the time when I will come. 4 But a few of you there in Sardis have kept your clothes clean. You will walk with me, clothed in white, because you are worthy to do so. 5 Those who win the victory will be clothed like this in white, and I will not remove their names from the book of the living. In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that they belong to me. 6 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches! 7 "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: "This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and when he opens a door, no one can close it, and when he closes it, no one can open it. 8 I know what you do; I know that you have a little power; you have followed my teaching and have been faithful to me. I have opened a door in front of you, which no one can close. 9 Listen! As for that group that belongs to Satan, those liars who claim that they are Jews but are not, I will make them come and bow down at your feet. They will all know that I love you. 10 Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you safe from the time of trouble which is coming upon the world to test all the people on earth. 11 I am coming soon. Keep safe what you have, so that no one will rob you of your victory prize. 12 I will make those who are victorious pillars in the temple of my God, and they will never leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from my God. I will also write on them my new name. 13 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches! 14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: "This is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the origin of all that God has created. 15 I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! 16 But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, "I am rich and well off; I have all I need.' But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind. 18 I advise you, then, to buy gold from me, pure gold, in order to be rich. Buy also white clothing to dress yourself and cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy also some ointment to put on your eyes, so that you may see. 19 I rebuke and punish all whom I love. Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins. 20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear my voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me. 21 To those who win the victory I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on his throne. 22 "If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!"
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