Micah 6; Micah 7; Revelation 13

1 Listen to the Lord's case against Israel. Arise, O Lord, and present your case; let the mountains and the hills hear what you say. 2 You mountains, you everlasting foundations of the earth, listen to the Lord's case! The Lord has a case against his people. He is going to bring an accusation against Israel. 3 The Lord says, "My people, what have I done to you? How have I been a burden to you? Answer me. 4 I brought you out of Egypt; I rescued you from slavery; I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you. 5 My people, remember what King Balak of Moab planned to do to you and how Balaam son of Beor answered him. Remember the things that happened on the way from the camp at Acacia to Gilgal. Remember these things and you will realize what I did in order to save you." 6 What shall I bring to the Lord, the God of heaven, when I come to worship him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to him? 7 Will the Lord be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my first-born child to pay for my sins? 8 No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. 9 It is wise to fear the Lord. He calls to the city, "Listen, you people who assemble in the city! 10 In the houses of evil people are treasures which they got dishonestly. They use false measures, a thing that I hate. 11 How can I forgive those who use false scales and weights? 12 Your rich people exploit the poor, and all of you are liars. 13 So I have already begun your ruin and destruction because of your sins. 14 You will eat, but not be satisfied - in fact you will still be hungry. You will carry things off, but you will not be able to save them; anything you do save I will destroy in war. 15 You will sow grain, but not harvest the crop. You will press oil from olives, but never get to use it. You will make wine, but never drink it. 16 This will happen because you have followed the evil practices of King Omri and of his son, King Ahab. You have continued their policies, and so I will bring you to ruin, and everyone will despise you. People everywhere will treat you with contempt."
1 It's hopeless! I am like a hungry person who finds no fruit left on the trees and no grapes on the vines. All the grapes and all the tasty figs have been picked. 2 There is not an honest person left in the land, no one loyal to God. Everyone is waiting for a chance to commit murder. Everyone hunts down their own people. 3 They are all experts at doing evil. Officials and judges ask for bribes. The influential people tell them what they want, and so they scheme together. 4 Even the best and most honest of them are as worthless as weeds. The day has come when God will punish the people, as he warned them through their watchmen, the prophets. Now they are in confusion. 5 Don't believe your neighbor or trust your friend. Be careful what you say even to your husband or wife. 6 In these times sons treat their fathers like fools, daughters oppose their mothers, and young women quarrel with their mothers-in-law; your enemies are the members of your own family. 7 But I will watch for the Lord; I will wait confidently for God, who will save me. My God will hear me. 8 Our enemies have no reason to gloat over us. We have fallen, but we will rise again. We are in darkness now, but the Lord will give us light. 9 We have sinned against the Lord, so now we must endure his anger for a while. But in the end he will defend us and right the wrongs that have been done to us. He will bring us out to the light; we will live to see him save us. 10 Then our enemies will see this and be disgraced - the same enemies who taunted us by asking, "Where is the Lord your God?" We will see them defeated, trampled down like mud in the streets. 11 People of Jerusalem, the time to rebuild the city walls is coming. At that time your territory will be enlarged. 12 Your people will return to you from everywhere - from Assyria in the east, from Egypt in the south, from the region of the Euphrates River, from distant seas and far-off mountains. 13 But the earth will become a desert because of the wickedness of those who live on it. 14 Be a shepherd to your people, Lord, the people you have chosen. Although they live apart in the wilderness, there is fertile land around them. Let them go and feed in the rich pastures of Bashan and Gilead, as they did long ago. 15 Work miracles for us, Lord, as you did in the days when you brought us out of Egypt. 16 The nations will see this and be frustrated in spite of all their strength. In dismay they will close their mouths and cover their ears. 17 They will crawl in the dust like snakes; they will come from their fortresses, trembling and afraid. They will turn in fear to the Lord our God. 18 There is no other god like you, O Lord; you forgive the sins of your people who have survived. You do not stay angry forever, but you take pleasure in showing us your constant love. 19 You will be merciful to us once again. You will trample our sins underfoot and send them to the bottom of the sea! 20 You will show your faithfulness and constant love to your people, the descendants of Abraham and of Jacob, as you promised our ancestors long ago.
1 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads; on each of its horns there was a crown, and on each of its heads there was a name that was insulting to God. 2 The beast looked like a leopard, with feet like a bear's feet and a mouth like a lion's mouth. The dragon gave the beast his own power, his throne, and his vast authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have been fatally wounded, but the wound had healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. 4 Everyone worshiped the dragon because he had given his authority to the beast. They worshiped the beast also, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?" 5 The beast was allowed to make proud claims which were insulting to God, and it was permitted to have authority for forty-two months. 6 It began to curse God, his name, the place where he lives, and all those who live in heaven. 7 It was allowed to fight against God's people and to defeat them, and it was given authority over every tribe, nation, language, and race. 8 All people living on earth will worship it, except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to the Lamb that was killed. 9 "Listen, then, if you have ears! 10 Whoever is meant to be captured will surely be captured; whoever is meant to be killed by the sword will surely be killed by the sword. This calls for endurance and faith on the part of God's people." 11 Then I saw another beast, which came up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb's horns, and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It used the vast authority of the first beast in its presence. It forced the earth and all who live on it to worship the first beast, whose wound had healed. 13 This second beast performed great miracles; it made fire come down out of heaven to earth in the sight of everyone. 14 And it deceived all the people living on earth by means of the miracles which it was allowed to perform in the presence of the first beast. The beast told them to build an image in honor of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was allowed to breathe life into the image of the first beast, so that the image could talk and put to death all those who would not worship it. 16 The beast forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, slave and free, to have a mark placed on their right hands or on their foreheads. 17 No one could buy or sell without this mark, that is, the beast's name or the number that stands for the name. 18 This calls for wisdom. Whoever is intelligent can figure out the meaning of the number of the beast, because the number stands for the name of someone. Its number is 666.
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