Rev 10:9                   John Must Eat the Little Book                            10/9/2005      ßà   

  • The Little Book Which Is Open in the Hand of the Angel (Rev 10:1-11)

 

 

 

 

#1.       What Is the Little Book? (Rev 5:1, 10:8)

 

 

 

 

  • The Contents of the Little Book (Rev 10:7-8, Isa 57:21)

 

 

 

 

#2.       John Must Eat the Little Book (Rev 10:8-9, Ezek 2:7-3:7,14, Jer 5:15)

 

 

 

 

  • What Must We Do With the Testimony of Scripture? (Rev 10:10, Jer 15:16)

 

 

 

 

#3.       Thou Must Prophesy Again (Rev 10:11, John 8:34, 6:65-66, 17:9, 10:27-30)

 

 

 

 

  • Sweeter Than Honey and the Honeycomb (Psalm 19:10, 119:103, Luke 9:24)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 10:1 (2X). We have already started in this chapter last week, but we did not finish this chapter. I did not spend any time speaking about:

  • The Little Book Which Is Open in the Hand of the Angel (Rev 10:1-11)

And yet this is a very important subject, which we should not miss. It is such an important Book that John was commanded to eat it. And thus the title of this sermon is, John Must Eat the Little Book (2X). As you may have noticed, I never call the Prophecy of Revelation the “Book of Revelation”, for I have shown you 6 years ago in two sermons titled “One Book” and “One God” that actually the Bible is the One Book that God has written over a period of about 1500 years. Therefore it is a mistake to call the 66 documents of the Bible 66 books. Books as we know them did not exist in the OT time. At that time they were heavy scrolls, quite klutzy compared with the books we have today. The OT scrolls should be called “Prophecies”. The NT documents are nowhere called “books”, but they should be called “Gospels”, or “Epistles”, or in the case of Revelation it should be called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”, or “The Prophecy of Revelation”. Let us read again this Prophecy of Revelation from the start:

Re 10:1  And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

Re 10:2-4  And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,         And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.                And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

Re 10:5-6  And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,       And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

Re 10:7  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

When the last trumpet sounds, the Mystery of God shall be finished, and it shall be finished in such a way that it corresponds with what His servants the prophets have declared already. We will get into “the Mystery of God” in the present sermon. This is how far we have come last week. Then we read

Re 10:8  And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

Re 10:9  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

Re 10:10-11, And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.        And he said unto me, Thou

must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

First of all we saw last week that this vision in chapter 10 is an interlude. It is not part of the seven trumpets, for God intended it to be for our comfort in the midst of our troubles in the FTP. Secondly, the Angel of verse 1 is not an angel, but it is the Lord Jesus Christ. Thirdly, the voice of the seven thunders told us that Joh may not receive the revelation of the mystery of the Kingdom of God in plain language. Instead, in the passage we are studying today we will see in what form John may receive this revelation, and how he must be a prophet in the midst of the world of the things which are still to be revealed. And thus the first question we have to answer is this:

#1.       What Is this Little Book? (Rev 5:1, 10:8)

What does it represent? It is obvious that this entire scene is not meant to be understood literally. It is entirely symbolic in nature. John did not literally swallow a book. No one derives any benefit from swallowing a book, but rather from appropriating its contents by reading it. John did not experience this entire scene in the flesh, but in the spirit. This scene was shown to John in a vision, not in the flesh. And thus the Little Book represents something else than a book. Besides, this is not a book as we know it, like we have in our hand, but it is a scroll. It is much larger than a little book, and it contains two wooden rods within it. What does this Little Book represent? First of all we have to agree that it does not represent the Book that was sealed with 7 seals. Please put a sticker here in Rev 10, and turn for a moment to Rev 5:1 (2X). There we saw a Book that God has written, and that Only God knows.

Re 5:1  And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

And then Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the spotless Lamb of God, came and took the Book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. This Book with seven seals was not a copy of something to be read by mortal man. This Book was a symbol of the decree of God. It was God’s plan for His creation, and only Christ was privileged to open the seals thereof and read it. This is not the same book as the Little Book in Rev 10. First of all, this Book with seven seals is called a Book, whereas in Rev 10 it is called a Little Book. Secondly, the Book with seven seals was closed and sealed, whereas the Little Book was open in the hand of Christ. Thirdly, the Book with seven seals was not a copy of the decree of God, but it represents the decree itself. We cannot believe that the decree of God is given to John in order that he should swallow it. Fourthly, the Book with seven seals is the property and can only be in the possession of the Lamb that was slain, since there was no one else worthy to open the Book except the Lamb of God. Therefore it is out of the question that this could be the same book as the one in Rev 10. Please turn back again to Rev 10:8 (2X). But is this open Little Book in Rev 10 related to the closed Book in Rev 5? And yes it is. First of all this Little Book is found in the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is here portrayed as a mighty Messenger come down from heaven, to bring a message to His servants of whom John is the first; it is a message by His mighty appearance as well as by a written message in a Little Book. Secondly, we see that when John eats this Little Book, the effect of it is that he must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. On the other hand the Book with the seven seals was the decree of God regarding the fate of peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. It was the decree itself regarding them, with a view to the bringing of the Kingdom of God. Thirdly, therefore the Little Book reveals to John something from the Book with the seven seals. It is a partial copy out of that Great Big Book, a copy in human form, so that John and the church can understand it. It must be a partial copy, because the decree of God is infinite, and cannot be completely revealed. It must be a partial copy also because much that is contained in the Book with the seven seals has already been revealed to John at this point in time. No, this Little Book is not the Bible, for John is already familiar with most of the Bible, including the OT and most of the NT. Therefore, this Little Book that is open in the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ is the symbol of all that John still has to prophesy. He did prophesy already, and that was the reason why he was exiled to the island of Patmos. And all that he has prophesied thus far has already been read and discussed by us. But in verse 11 Christ says to him, “Thou must prophesy again”. It means that there is more to be revealed to John and to the church. And this Little Book is the symbol of all that John must still witness in regard to the future of the Kingdom of God. He must reveal the Mystery of God. And the scene that is pictured before us shows us HOW John must become prepared to be a prophet to the utmost: a prophet who not merely reveals things, who not merely informs the church and the world of things to come, but who himself is a living witness in the midst of a wicked world. And so, what is:

  • The Contents of the Little Book (Rev 10:7-8, Isa 57:21)

This Little Book contains the message of the 7th Trumpet. Six seals have already been opened and six trumpets have already blown. They revealed that the Kingdom of God would come on the one hand through the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, but on the other hand also through judgments of war and famine and pestilence and earthquakes and hurricanes, and so on. This is the surprising other side of God’s decree of the history of the world. But now the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet are in progress. One more trumpet has to be blown. And then, as Christ has sworn with an oath, the Mystery of God shall have been fulfilled. Therefore, what has to be revealed to John is the process of things with a view to the end of all things. How shall the Kingdom come, and what will be the course of history that will destroy the power of the kingdom of Darkness, and establish the glorious Kingdom of God? Shall it be a gradual victory of the power of the Gospel, like the postmillennial doctrines try to make us believe? But then we remember the words of the Lord Jesus in Rev 22:20 when He said, “Surely I come quickly”. The end of this wicked world shall come quickly. It will not be a gradual victory of the spreading of the Gospel. No way! Nevertheless, John must read and hear and see the process of things with a view to the end of all things. And it is for the prophesying of these things that for John a special preparation is required and it is symbolically pictured in the words of this passage.

If we glance over the rest of this Prophecy of Revelation we can see what things John must still prophesy concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings, and that it is not a pleasing message. It is not a message of peace and gradual development, but it is a message of Judgment and battle and destruction and vengeance. He speaks of the holy city and of the temple and of the two witnesses who are killed in the city and taken to heaven on account of the testimony which they give. He speaks of an awful conflict between the woman who brings forth the man-child, and the dragon who tries to destroy the child but fails. He speaks of the beast which comes out of the sea and the beast which comes out of the earth, and of the terrible things they do on the earth. He speaks of the power of Antichrist and his war upon the people of God, of tribulation and oppression for the sake of the cause of Christ and His Kingdom. He speaks of the effect of the outpouring of the seven vials of wrath and of the complete drying up of the great river Euphrates, so that the nations rise up against the camp of the saints. He speaks of Babylon, the great harlot, describes her greatness among the nations of the world, but also pictures her final destruction. He speaks of the binding, but also of the loosing of the Devil and of all that follows. And only after all this has happened, and all these terrible things have been predicted, he pictures the heavenly Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and of the NH&NE in which righteousness shall dwell. In other words, the message which John the prophet must still bring is a tremendous message, but it is also a terrible message. It is a message which involves many peoples and nations and tongues and kings. It is a message which is awful for all who do not belong to the people of the Kingdom. Isa 57:21, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked”. No peace till the end of the world, for Satan and his kingdom are still waging war against the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. But what peace is this speaking about? There is no peace with God for the wicked. And for all the people of God it is also a message of affliction and tribulation and persecution and sacrifice, but they will have peace with God even in the midst of all their troubles. This is the Mystery of God, that He works out His decree through the Gospel of Christ judged and crucified for His elect, but also through judgments on the non-elect. And through all these things, awful and dark for the world, it finally appears as a message of joy for all who love the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. And of all these things John must be a witness, a living witness together with all those who can be called the Bride of Christ, who love His appearing. And therefore John must be prepared, and not only he but also all those in the church of God who have received the knowledge of the truth. How must John be prepared?

#2.       John Must Eat the Little Book (Rev 10:8-9, Ezek 2:7-3:7,14, Jer 5:15)

Re 10:8  And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

Re 10:9  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

John tells us that he heard the same voice from heaven which he heard before. It is the voice which

spoke to him, commanded him, not to write down when the seven thunders uttered their voices. These seven thunders apparently spoke very plainly. But John must not just be informed of the prophecy that the seven thunders uttered, but something else must take place. John must approach the Angel who stands upon the sea and upon the earth and who holds the Little Book in His hand, and John must ask for the Little Book. John does so, and the Angel gives him the Little Book. The Book is open, and it can simply be read. But John must not read it, he must eat it, and swallow it, and thus make it part of himself. Here we have the symbolic sign of the preparation of John as a prophet, as well as every other true witness of Christ in the world. John must be a living witness of the truth of God. And the message he must bring is not one that will be sweet to the taste of the world, but one of woe and judgment. Therefore the message he must deliver will meet with hatred and with opposition in the world. It will be opposed by a wicked world that hates the truth and that persecute the church. It is a world that speaks of “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. But the message that John must bring will also be opposed by the church as it exits now, in the present dispensation. For there are many in the church of our days who do not truly belong to Christ and His Kingdom, and who will hate this message of tribulation and judgment. They too will shout, “Peace, peace”, when there is no inner peace for them. And thus the true church of God, the church militant, must expect tribulation and persecution from all sides, so that the Kingdom of God may come. To bring such a message requires spiritual courage, the courage of faith. And in order that the prophet of this message may stand firm in spite of this opposition, he receives the command to take and eat the Book of this prophecy to make it part of himself.

Put a sticker here in Rev 10 and please turn to the prophecy of Ezekiel, Ezek 2:7 (2X). You find the prophecy of Ezekiel in the middle of your Bible, right after Jeremiah and Lamentations of Jeremiah. We are drawn here to a scene that is similar to what we read in Rev 10. In Eze 1 the prophet Ezekiel receives a vision of God and in chapter 2 God speaks with him. Look how parallel God’s instructions to Ezekiel are  to God’s instructions to John as we have read in Rev 10. We read in Eze 2:7,

Eze 2:7-8  And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.                        But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

Eze 2:9  And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;

Eze 2:10  And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

Remember the timing of this vision to Ezekiel. It was shortly before Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Babylonian armies, which was a picture of the church being overrun by “people whose language they do not understand” (Jer 5:15). Why is it that the church of today does not want to hear of God’s messages of lamentations, and mourning, and woe, even though that is in the Bible? It is because they are accustomed to hearing about “Peace, peace”, and hey do not want to hear any other message.

Eze 3:1-2  Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.    So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.

Eze 3:3  And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

The truth must be thoroughly appropriated by Ezekiel. He must eat the scroll. He must take it into his very system. It must become part of his flesh and blood, and of his spirit. It must transform him, change him, make a different man of him, and so strengthen him to bear the testimony which he must give in the midst of a crooked world. More importantly, he must bring the message to his own church,

Eze 3:4-5  And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.     For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

Eze 3:6  Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.

Eze 3:7  But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.

Like John Ezekiel was sent to people who do not want to listen to him. Ezekiel was sent to his the people of his own church. Was there bitterness within him like in the case of John? Drop down to V.14,

Eze 3:14  So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

You see, the message is the same in the OT and in the NT. People are the same, in the OT time as well as in the NT time. Please turn again to the prophecy of Revelation 10:10 (2X).

  • What Must We Do With the Testimony of Scripture? (Rev 10:10, Jer 15:16)

Re 10:10  And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

John must assimilate the contents of this prophecy unto himself. He must understand it, labor with it, believe it, be convinced of its truth, and he must be absolutely convinced that this truth is from God. He must love it, and embrace it. But still stronger: the truth of this prophecy must take hold of him. He must first take it, and eat it and appropriate it by faith. And after he has thus assimilated the contents of this Little Book, he must come under its power and influence, so that the truth of this prophecy so impresses and dominates him that he can never be silenced, but boldly testifies of all that it reveals in opposition to the world of wickedness, and in spite of all that the world might do to him to silence the testimony of the prophet. This is the meaning of John eating the Little Book.

But this was not just revealed to John so that the passage would have no significance to us at the present time. On the contrary! Today the church of God is the prophet, the living witness of the name of Christ and of His truth, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. This passage teaches us what WE must do with the testimony of the Word of God, and especially what WE must do with the Prophecy of Revelation. We must always keep in mind that the latest revelation carries the greater weight, and thus these studies in Revelation are of the utmost importance in getting to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can study the Bible and consider it very interesting and challenging. We can enjoy studying the Bible because it gives us wisdom in knowing what our church believes. We can even believe all the doctrines our church believes. But all this is not sufficient to our salvation, because all this does not change us on the inside. The message of the Bible demands a more positive stand. The question is whether we believe all these things, and whether we believe it to the extent that we have swallowed it, and have it enter our soul, and made it our own. When we read in the Prophecy of Revelation of the development of the world of sin and iniquity, and how the world will fight to the last against Christ and His Kingdom, the question is: do we actually take these things to be the truth? When we read in the Prophecy of Revelation that the church will go apostate, and that the church will have an alliance with the Antichrist, the question is: will we actually believe that it will be so? When this prophecy speaks of wars and judgments and tribulations, will we accept that through them all Christ brings His Kingdom, and that His Kingdom will not and cannot come any other way? We cannot sit on the fence and claim that we believe all that is written in this Prophecy of Revelation, and at the same time cry along with the false gospels for “Peace, peace”, when there is no peace. And if the churches around us continue to deny the truth and claim that the glorious Kingdom of Christ will come upon the world by gradual development, will we condemn it uncompromisingly, because that is not what the Bible teaches? The Lord Jesus said, “Behold I come quickly”. You see, it is not sufficient just to listen to the sound of this Book. We must eat it, and appropriate it. It must become part of our entire system and control our life, so that we know only of one life, the life of the Kingdom of God. This is not a new doctrine. This has been known all throughout the OT time. For example, we read in Jer 15:16,

Jer 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts (2X).

And what was the result from partaking of this spiritual food? God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them”. And God said to John:

#3.       Thou Must Prophesy Again (Rev 10:11, John 8:34, 6:65-66, 17:9, 10:27-30)

Re 10:11  And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to John, John 8:34 (2X). What does it mean that God commanded the Apostle John, “Thou must prophesy again”? It means that he must convey the message of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the churches. But he must bring that message to those who have already been saved, or else they will not understand. It means that with the message of the new revelation John must also preach the Gospel, so that those who have not been saved may become saved, if God wills. For “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”, from Rom 10:17. And is that not what every pastor must do when he preaches? And so, what texts would John have used to preach the Gospel of salvation? He would probably begin with John 8:34, where Jesus corrected the Jews in their view of themselves as children of Abraham. “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin”, and the word “servant” in this verse is actually the word “slave”. Only one sin makes you a slave of sin and Satan. Without question, the entire human race falls in this category. Even unborn babies fall in this category through Adam’s sin. And thus there is not one human being who does not need salvation, because all are sinners and thus all are condemned and are on the way to Hell. But is Christ saving every human being? Not at all! Please turn to John 6:65 (2X). In this chapter alone the Lord Jesus stated four times that there is a select group of people whom the Father draws to Jesus. No one else will of his own accord come to Jesus. John 6:65, “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father”. Is this a popular doctrine? O No! we read in the next verse, John 6:66, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him”. Today we have the same reaction from most people in churches that say that they are Bible believing churches. But they do not believe hundreds of verses that speak of the doctrine of election. Please turn to John 17:9 (2X). The sins of all those elect were on the mind of Christ when He atoned for their sins on the cross. No, He did not suffer and die for every human being in the world. The Bible does not teach that. We read in John 17:9, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine”. The Lord Jesus did not pray for the world, for most of the world would remain in the darkness of sin, even unto his day. Please turn to John 10:27 (2X). But those for whom the Lord Jesus paid their sins on the cross, He called “My sheep”. And the Father will make sure that His sheep will be drawn to Jesus. We read in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”. No ifs and buts, they shall follow Me. God will make sure that His irresistible grace will reach everyone for whom Christ suffered and died. And God’s irresistible grace will also ensure that His sheep will never wander off into someone else’s sheepfold. The Lord Jesus assured us of this in the following verses, John 10:28-30, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one”. This is what John must prophesy again, in addition to the messages of lamentation, and mourning and woe that ooze out of the Little Book that John had to eat and swallow. And why was this Little Book so sweet in John’s mouth? Please turn in your Bibles to Psalm 19:10 (2X). And there we read that the Word of God is:

  • Sweeter Than Honey and the Honeycomb (Psalm 19:10, 119:103, Luke 9:24)

When God extols the beauty of His Word, the Bible, He uses various synonyms such as the Law, the Testimony, the Statutes, the Commandment, the Fear of the Lord, and the Judgments of the Lord. The Ordinances of Jehovah are spoken of in Psalm 19:10 as, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb”. Also in Psalm 119:103 we read, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” And thus it is no surprise that when John eats the Little Book, or when Ezekiel eats the scroll he is given to eat, that the Word of God is sweet to their mouth. To the mouth of every child of God the Word is sweet, but never to the unbeliever. In fact, this is one of the signs that accompany salvation. Do we have an ongoing desire to do those things that are pleasing in the sight of God? And where do we find those things that are pleasing to God? In the Word of God! And thus we develop an ongoing desire to read and meditate on the Word of God. But this never occurs with an unbeliever. To him the Bible is nauseating from the beginning. But that is because his taste is corrupted. The Word does not even appeal to him, and therefore he does not swallow the Book, but spews it out. But in the case of the child of God it is quite different. He has been changed by the grace of God. He has been “Born Again”. He has received a new taste, the taste of faith. And to that taste of faith the Word of God always appeals, so that he takes it and eats it whenever that Word is given him. But then follow two types of battles, and that causes bitterness. The first is that the lust of sin still dwells in our hearts and minds. Then the Word of God has a battle against the influence of the flesh and the lusts thereof. And this battle of the Word, even though it was sweet when it was taken and swallowed by faith, causes bitterness and struggle until the medicine of the Word of God has done its work and has transformed us. The second battle is especially with the Prophecy of Revelation. This prophecy speaks of redemption, and of salvation, and of heavenly glory, and of a new creation, and of highest joy and eternal life. But the prophecy speaks of this only after it has pictured the battle of faithful witnessing, of self denial, and of suffering. The glory of the future comes only after a dark and terrible road to travel. It is the road of battle for the Kingdom of God. It is the road of persecution and mockery on the part of the world. It is the road of which Christ spoke when He said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it”, from Luke 9:24. And that is hard. That is not according to the flesh. That suffering causes bitterness of the soul. Moreover it causes struggles in our families, and struggles in our church, and struggles in the workplace, because mockery is everywhere. But for the love of Christ we gladly endure this pain. What He had to endure for us was of infinitely greater pain and suffering. May it be that the Word of God is indeed sweet to our taste, sweeter than honey to the taste of faith, so that we do not rebel but eat it, and swallow it, and hide it in our inmost parts. And may it be that when the Word of God begins its work of transformation, that it mortifies the old man more and more, and that it more and more leaves nothing but one desire, that the Kingdom of God may come.

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.