I am doing something different this year, something I have never done before; I am reading the Bible backwards. No, I am not reading it backwards word for word; what I am doing is taking the last chapter in Revelation and reading that chapter, then going to the previous chapter and reading that chapter, etc. In other words, I read Revelation 22, then Revelation 21, then Revelation 20, then 19 and so on. Why, you may ask; the answer, “I felt led by the Lord”. There I was sitting on my patio, which I do quite often, chatting with the Lord when the thought came to me, “Sandra, read the Bible backwards”. “Read the Bible backwards? Isn’t that a little backwards Lord; no pun intended”? “It will give you a different perspective”. Thus began the journey of reading the Bible backwards. The goal is to read one chapter a day. I’ve so enjoyed the discoveries, I am unable to stop with simply one chapter. I have read 23 chapters in a little more than a week. This is awesome stuff!
It has been interesting as I am seeing things I never saw before. It is giving me a new perspective and new insights. For instance, I’ve always known the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation would come from the 12 tribes of Israel. These 144,000 will receive a seal on their forehead signifying they are servants of God. (Revelation 7) In all the times I have read Revelation I somehow missed what is revealed in chapter 14, regarding the 144,000. In chapter 14 it talks of harpists playing their harps from heaven; they sang a new song before the throne and before the 4 living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the new song except the 144,000. The 144,000 who have been redeemed from the earth did not defile themselves with women; in other words, they will be virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were purchased from among men, and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb, no lie is found in their mouths; they are blameless.
I saw for the 1st time, Jesus has a new name in heaven. The passage does not reveal his name as it is known only to him. Those of us who believe, who overcome and are received in heaven, as I understand the passage, (Revelation 3:11-13) will all be given a new name. Revelation 2:17, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” In the Old Testament God was always giving new names to His followers. How exciting to know that one day, I too, will be given a new name written on a white stone, just for me!
Often in my reading I find myself with more questions than answers. If time permits, using God’s Word, I do a short study to see if I can discover the answer to my questions. If not, I simply make a note in my journal, with a ? signifying I’m not sure what this means. It is very likely, later in my reading, could be days, weeks, months even years, I will discover the answer. Today in my reading of Jude, verse 20-21 caught my attention, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” What does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to keep oneself in God’s love?
The saying, “God’s word is alive and active today” is so true. When I sit down and read from God’s word. I am never disappointed. There is always something there for me. I believe I could read the same chapter, in the same book, for 6 months and discover new things each time. Yes, God’s Word is alive and active today!
If you’ve never read the Bible backwards, give it a try; you never know what new discoveries await.
Until next time, Sandra