Can you believe it?

Do you believe this?  I don't, and its not because of the "ahajokes.com" label either.  The asteroid hitting the Earth sounds like the best idea, but since I wasn't there, I guess I will never REALLY KNOW!!!  Doubting what people tell you is a good thing... unless you have proof!!!  Here is something from the New Testament that illustrates what I am referring to...

John, Chapter 20
  17 Jesus said to her, "“Don’t hold me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”"

  18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her.  19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them,"“Peace be to you.”"

  20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord.  21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "“Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”"  22 When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "“Receive the Holy Spirit!  23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If you retain anyone’s sins, they have been retained.”"

  24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus came.  25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

  26 After eight days again his disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst, and said, "“Peace be to you.”"  27 Then he said to Thomas, "“Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don’t be unbelieving, but believing.”"

  28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

  29 Jesus said to him, "“Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed.”"

Question: What does it take for you to believe in something you have not personally witnessed?  Is it absolutely necessary to have someone actually show you to believe?  If that is the case, then you probably are a skeptic and I understand where you are coming from because I was once that way myself.  I didn't believe anything that I couldn't see, feel, or comprehend.  If I couldn't scientifically analyze it, it was myth.  I suppose a remnant of that thinking remains in me, but only a very small amount.  While it seems ridiculous to me that dinosaurs died from smoking, I wasn't there, so I don't really, really know.  Could an asteroid have eliminated them?  Possibly, but again, it is only theory.  Even when they existed is up for grabs to me, because carbon dating is based on the assumption that the atmosphere contained a relatively constant amount of that element over the eons.  To me, short of seeing with my own eyes, the reliable testimony of witnesses is what will convince me that propositions are really facts.  Most of the time I am a bit like Thomas, but with enough evidence from others, I can believe something I haven't seen.  The Scriptures have almost limitless witnesses and that's good enough for me.  You may or may not be where I am on this, but just let me add my two cents here.  I know the teachings of the Bible are true, because I have proved them over and over again.  If even as stubborn a person as myself can believe, I have hope for you as well.  Just think about it, OK???

Bible Reading, Nov. 10

Nov. 10
Isaiah 57-60

Isa 57:1 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
Isa 57:2 He enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walks in his uprightness.
Isa 57:3 "But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the prostitute.
Isa 57:4 Against whom do you sport yourselves? against whom make you a wide mouth, and put out the tongue? Aren't you children of disobedience, a seed of falsehood,
Isa 57:5 you who inflame yourselves among the oaks, under every green tree; who kill the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?
Isa 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they are your lot; even to them have you poured a drink offering, you have offered an offering. Shall I be appeased for these things?
Isa 57:7 On a high and lofty mountain have you set your bed; there also you went up to offer sacrifice.
Isa 57:8 Behind the doors and the posts have you set up your memorial: for you have uncovered yourself to another than me, and have gone up; you have enlarged your bed, and made you a covenant with them: you loved their bed where you saw it.
Isa 57:9 You went to the king with oil, and did increase your perfumes, and did send your ambassadors far off, and did debase yourself even to Sheol.
Isa 57:10 You were wearied with the length of your way; yet you didn't say, It is in vain: you found a reviving of your strength; therefore you weren't faint.
Isa 57:11 "Of whom have you been afraid and in fear, that you lie, and have not remembered me, nor laid it to your heart? Haven't I held my peace even of long time, and you don't fear me?
Isa 57:12 I will declare your righteousness; and as for your works, they shall not profit you.
Isa 57:13 When you cry, let those who you have gathered deliver you; but the wind shall take them, a breath shall carry them all away: but he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain."
Isa 57:14 He will say, "Cast up, cast up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people."
Isa 57:15 For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isa 57:16 For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always angry; for the spirit would faint before me, and the souls who I have made.
Isa 57:17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and struck him; I hid my face and was angry; and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
Isa 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
Isa 57:19 I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace, to him who is far off and to him who is near," says Yahweh; "and I will heal them."
Isa 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea; for it can't rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt.
Isa 57:21 "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."


Isa 58:1 "Cry aloud, don't spare, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and declare to my people their disobedience, and to the house of Jacob their sins.
Isa 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: as a nation that did righteousness, and didn't forsake the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.
Isa 58:3 'Why have we fasted,' say they, 'and you don't see? why have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge?' "Behold, in the day of your fast you find your own pleasure, and exact all your labors.
Isa 58:4 Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you don't fast this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high.
Isa 58:5 Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh?
Isa 58:6 "Isn't this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Isn't it to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Yahweh shall be your rear guard.
Isa 58:9 Then you shall call, and Yahweh will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' "If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly;
Isa 58:10 and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then your light shall rise in darkness, and your obscurity be as the noonday;
Isa 58:11 and Yahweh will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters don't fail.
Isa 58:12 Those who shall be of you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Isa 58:13 "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy of Yahweh honorable; and shall honor it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words:
Isa 58:14 then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father:" for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.

Isa 59:1 Behold, Yahweh's hand is not shortened, that it can't save; neither his ear heavy, that it can't hear:
Isa 59:2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Isa 59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness.
Isa 59:4 None sues in righteousness, and none pleads in truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Isa 59:5 They hatch adders' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he who eats of their eggs dies; and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper.
Isa 59:6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
Isa 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their paths.
Isa 59:8 The way of peace they don't know; and there is no justice in their goings: they have made them crooked paths; whoever goes therein does not know peace.
Isa 59:9 Therefore is justice far from us, neither does righteousness overtake us: we look for light, but, behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity.
Isa 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind; yes, we grope as those who have no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the twilight; among those who are lusty we are as dead men.
Isa 59:11 We roar all like bears, and moan sore like doves: we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
Isa 59:12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them:
Isa 59:13 transgressing and denying Yahweh, and turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
Isa 59:14 Justice is turned away backward, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and uprightness can't enter.
Isa 59:15 Yes, truth is lacking; and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Yahweh saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
Isa 59:16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his own arm brought salvation to him; and his righteousness, it upheld him.
Isa 59:17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; and he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a mantle.
Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.
Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of Yahweh from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come as a rushing stream, which the breath of Yahweh drives.
Isa 59:20 "A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from disobedience in Jacob," says Yahweh.
Isa 59:21 "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says Yahweh: "my Spirit who is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed's seed," says Yahweh, "from henceforth and forever."

Isa 60:1 "Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of Yahweh is risen on you.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Yahweh will arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you.
Isa 60:3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isa 60:4 "Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather themselves together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms.
Isa 60:5 Then you shall see and be radiant, and your heart shall thrill and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
Isa 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of Yahweh.
Isa 60:7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar; and I will glorify the house of my glory.
Isa 60:8 "Who are these who fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
Isa 60:9 Surely the islands shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of Yahweh your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you.
Isa 60:10 "Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you: for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor have I had mercy on you.
Isa 60:11 Your gates also shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, and their kings led captive.
Isa 60:12 For that nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
Isa 60:13 "The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
Isa 60:14 The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending to you; and all those who despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you The city of Yahweh, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 60:15 "Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no man passed through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
Isa 60:16 You shall also suck the milk of the nations, and shall suck the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, Yahweh, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
Isa 60:17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron. I will also make your officers peace, and righteousness your ruler.
Isa 60:18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, desolation nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
Isa 60:19 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light to you: but Yahweh will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.
Isa 60:20 Your sun shall no more go down, neither shall your moon withdraw itself; for Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
Isa 60:21 Your people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
Isa 60:22 The little one shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation; I, Yahweh, will hasten it in its time."

Nov. 10
2 Timothy 4

2Ti 4:1 I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom:
2Ti 4:2 preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts;
2Ti 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables.
2Ti 4:5 But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry.
2Ti 4:6 For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure has come.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.
2Ti 4:8 From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing.
2Ti 4:9 Be diligent to come to me soon,
2Ti 4:10 for Demas left me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.
2Ti 4:12 But I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
2Ti 4:13 Bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus when you come, and the books, especially the parchments.
2Ti 4:14 Alexander, the coppersmith, did much evil to me. The Lord will repay him according to his works,
2Ti 4:15 of whom you also must beware; for he greatly opposed our words.
2Ti 4:16 At my first defense, no one came to help me, but all left me. May it not be held against them.
2Ti 4:17 But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
2Ti 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me for his heavenly Kingdom; to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
2Ti 4:19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus.
2Ti 4:20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but I left Trophimus at Miletus sick.
2Ti 4:21 Be diligent to come before winter. Eubulus salutes you, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers.
2Ti 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Revelation, Chapter 6, Mark Copeland

                        "THE BOOK OF REVELATION"

                              Chapter Six


1) To consider what may be the meaning of the different seals and their


In this chapter the Lamb looses six of the seven seals on the scroll.
I view the first four seals as revealing forces God would use to bring
judgment upon the oppressors of His people (1-8).  Notice what is said
about the different riders:

   "...a crown was given to him..." (the rider on the white horse)

   "...it was granted to the one...there was given to him..." (the
   rider on the red horse)

   "...a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying" (the
   rider on the black horse)

   "...power was given to them..." (riders on the pale horse - Death
   and Hades)

Who had the power to give a crown, or to grant such authority?  Who in
the midst of the four living creatures might have spoken?  Who had the
power to give to Death and Hades?  When we consider that Jesus is the
ruler of the kings of the earth (1:5), that He has the keys of Hades
and of Death (1:18), and that He was in the midst of the four living
creatures (5:6), it seems apparent that the answer is Christ!  I.e.,
the horses and their riders were acting upon the authority and power 
given them by Christ.  Therefore I suggest the following explanations 
for the first four seals:

   The white horse and its rider - Represents military conquest, such
   as God used to bring judgment upon Assyria (Isa 10:5-7,12-13,15-16)
   and Babylon (Isa 13:17-20).  Here, the rider with the bow depicts a
   Parthian warrior, renown for their use of the bow as a weapon, and
   who were dreaded enemies of the Romans.

   The red horse and its rider - Represents civil war, in which people
   would kill one another, such as God used in His judgment against 
   Egypt (Isa 19:1-4).

   The black horse and its rider - Represents famine, where necessities
   (wheat and barley) would be scarce, while luxuries (oil and wine) 
   might be in abundance but of little interest to the hungry.  God had
   used famine in His judgment upon Israel (cf. Jer 14:11-12).

   The pale horse and its riders (Death and Hades) - Represents death
   brought about by the sword, hunger, death (pestilence), and beasts
   of the earth.  Such severe judgments God had brought upon Jerusalem
   in the past (cf. Ezek 5:17; 6:12; 14:21).

With the fifth seal, we are told WHY God would bring such judgments.
Souls have been slain for the word of God and their testimony, and when
the time is right the judgments will begin.  In the meantime, the souls
of the slain are comforted with white robes and told to rest (9-11).

The sixth seal describes cosmic disturbances and the despair of those
trying to hide from God's wrath.  Is this scene depicting the end of 
time (cf. 2Pe 3:7-12)?  The language is reminiscent of that used to
describe God's judgment upon Babylon (Isa 13:1-22) and Samaria (Hos
10:7-8).  Jesus used similar language to warn the people of His day of
the impending destruction of Jerusalem (Lk 23:28-30).  Therefore I tend
to view it as referring to the judgment coming (perhaps in the form of
natural calamities) upon those who persecuted God's people in the first
century, and how the guilty will not be able to escape in the day of 
the Lamb's wrath (12-17).



      1. The Lamb opens the first seal
      2. One of the four living creatures says "Come"
      3. John sees a white horse and its rider
         a. The man had a bow
         b. A crown was given to him
         c. The man went out conquering and to conquer

      1. The Lamb opens the second seal
      2. The second living creature says "Come"
      3. John sees a fiery red horse and its rider
         a. The rider was granted to take peace from the earth, and for
            people to kill one another
         b. A great sword was given to him

      1. The Lamb opens the third seal
      2. The third living creature says "Come"
      3. John sees a black horse and its rider
         a. A pair of scales is in the hand of the rider
         b. A voice in the midst of the four living creatures says "A 
            quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley
            for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."

      1. The Lamb opens the fourth seal
      2. The fourth living creature says "Come"
      3. John sees a pale horse and its rider
         a. On the horse sits Death, and Hades followed with him
         b. Power was given to them over a fourth of the earth
         c. Power to kill with the sword, with death, and by beasts


      1. The Lamb opens the fifth seal
      2. John sees under the altar those who had been slain
         a. For the word of God
         b. For the testimony they held
      3. They cried with a loud voice:
         a. "How long, O Lord, holy and true"
         b. "Until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on
            the earth?"

      1. A white robe was given to each of them
      2. They were told to rest a little while longer, until both their
         fellow servants and brethren would be killed

      1. The Lamb opens the sixth seal
      2. Cataclysmic events occur:
         a. A great earthquake
         b. Sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair
         c. Moon became like blood
         d. Stars fall to the earth, like ripe figs shaken from a tree
            by a mighty wind
         e. Sky receded as a scroll when rolled up
         f. Every mountain and island moved out of its place

      1. Great and small, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves
         and rocks of the mountains
      2. They cry out to the mountains and rocks:
         a. "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on
            the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!"
         b. "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able
            to stand?"


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The four horses and their riders (1-8)
   - The souls under the altar (9-11)
   - Cosmic disruptions in the day of the Lamb's wrath (12-17)

2) Who opens each of the seals in this chapter? (1,3,5,7,9,12)
   - The Lamb

3) What is seen when the first seal is opened?  What was given to him?
   - A rider with a bow on a white horse
   - A crown, who then goes forth conquering

4) What is seen when the second seal is opened? What was given to him?
   - A rider on a red horse
   - Authority to take peace from the earth, that people should kill
     one another
   - A great sword
5) What is seen when the third seal is opened?  What is heard?  (5-6)
   - A rider with a pair of scales in his hand on a black horse
   - "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a
     denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."

6) What is seen when the fourth seal is opened?  What was given to 
   them? (7-8)
   - Death riding on a pale horse, followed by Hades
   - Power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with
     hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth

7) What is seen when the fifth seal is opened?  What are they saying?
   - Souls under the altar who had been slain for the word of God and
     for their testimony
   - "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our
     blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

8) How are they consoled? (11)
   - A white robe to each of them
   - Told to rest a little while longer, until the number of their 
     fellow servants and brethren who will be killed was completed

9) What is seen when the sixth seal is completed? (12-14)
   - A great earthquake, sun becomes black, the moon becomes like 
     blood, the stars of heaven fall to the earth, the sky is receded
     as a scroll, every mountain and island moved out of their

10) What do the people on earth try to do?  What do they say? (15-17)
   - Hide themselves in the caves and rocks of the mountains
   - "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the
     throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!"
   - "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to