Time to be thankful

When I visited my wife in the hospital today, she looked much better and I was so very thankful. I have a lot to be thankful for and I was reminded of this hymn...

Amazing Grace Lyrics
John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

 Today, anything I could say has already been said in the words of the hymn, so just read it one more time and thank God for your blessings.

PS.  The graphic is a picture of Linda and me taken at the National watch and clock museum in Pennsylvania

Bible Reading, Nov. 11

Nov 11
Isaiah 61-63
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is on me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the humble. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to those who are bound;
Isa 61:2 to proclaim the year of Yahweh's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
Isa 61:3 to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give to them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that he may be glorified.
Isa 61:4 They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
Isa 61:5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
Isa 61:6 But you shall be named the priests of Yahweh; men will call you the ministers of our God: you will eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you will boast yourselves.
Isa 61:7 Instead of your shame you shall have double; and instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be to them.
Isa 61:8 "For I, Yahweh, love justice, I hate robbery with iniquity; and I will give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Isa 61:9 Their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which Yahweh has blessed."
Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isa 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord Yahweh will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Isa 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.
Isa 62:2 The nations shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yahweh shall name.
Isa 62:3 You shall also be a crown of beauty in the hand of Yahweh, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
Isa 62:4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall your land any more be termed Desolate: but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for Yahweh delights in you, and your land shall be married.
Isa 62:5 For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons shall marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.
Isa 62:6 I have set watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: you who call on Yahweh, take no rest,
Isa 62:7 and give him no rest, until he establishes, and until he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Isa 62:8 Yahweh has sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, "Surely I will no more give your grain to be food for your enemies; and foreigners shall not drink your new wine, for which you have labored:
Isa 62:9 but those who have garnered it shall eat it, and praise Yahweh; and those who have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary."
Isa 62:10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare you the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a banner for the peoples.
Isa 62:11 Behold, Yahweh has proclaimed to the end of the earth, "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your salvation comes. Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.' "
Isa 62:12 They shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of Yahweh: and you shall be called Sought out, A city not forsaken.

Isa 63:1 Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this who is glorious in his clothing, marching in the greatness of his strength? "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
Isa 63:2 Why are you red in your clothing, and your garments like him who treads in the wine vat?
Isa 63:3 "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples there was no man with me: yes, I trod them in my anger, and trampled them in my wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on my garments, and I have stained all my clothing.
Isa 63:4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
Isa 63:5 I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore my own arm brought salvation to me; and my wrath, it upheld me.
Isa 63:6 I trod down the peoples in my anger, and made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."
Isa 63:7 I will make mention of the loving kindnesses of Yahweh, and the praises of Yahweh, according to all that Yahweh has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he has bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.
Isa 63:8 For he said, "Surely, they are my people, children who will not deal falsely:" so he was their Savior.
Isa 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
Isa 63:10 But they rebelled, and grieved his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.
Isa 63:11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying, Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? where is he who put his holy Spirit in the midst of them?
Isa 63:12 who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses? who divided the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name?
Isa 63:13 who led them through the depths, as a horse in the wilderness, so that they didn't stumble?
Isa 63:14 As the livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of Yahweh caused them to rest; so did you lead your people, to make yourself a glorious name.
Isa 63:15 Look down from heaven, and see from the habitation of your holiness and of your glory: where are your zeal and your mighty acts? the yearning of your heart and your compassion is restrained toward me.
Isa 63:16 For you are our Father, though Abraham doesn't know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us: you, Yahweh, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name.
Isa 63:17 O Yahweh, why do you make us to err from your ways, and harden our heart from your fear? Return for your servants' sake, the tribes of your inheritance.
Isa 63:18 Your holy people possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down your sanctuary.
Isa 63:19 We are become as they over whom you never bear rule, as those who were not called by your name.

Nov. 11
Titus 1

Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's chosen ones, and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,
Tit 1:2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who can't lie, promised before time began;
Tit 1:3 but in his own time revealed his word in the message with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior;
Tit 1:4 to Titus, my true child according to a common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Tit 1:5 I left you in Crete for this reason, that you would set in order the things that were lacking, and appoint elders in every city, as I directed you;
Tit 1:6 if anyone is blameless, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, who are not accused of loose or unruly behavior.
Tit 1:7 For the overseer must be blameless, as God's steward; not self-pleasing, not easily angered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain;
Tit 1:8 but given to hospitality, as a lover of good, sober minded, fair, holy, self-controlled;
Tit 1:9 holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict those who contradict him.
Tit 1:10 For there are also many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
Tit 1:11 whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain's sake.
Tit 1:12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons."
Tit 1:13 This testimony is true. For this cause, reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
Tit 1:14 not paying attention to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.
Tit 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God, but by their works they deny him, being abominable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.

Revelation, Chapter 7, Mark Copeland

                        "THE BOOK OF REVELATION"

                             Chapter Seven


1) To identify the two groups in the two visions seen in this chapter

2) To note how these visions would comfort those who must pass through
   the great tribulation


Between the sixth and seventh seals, there is an interlude in which
John sees two visions.  They may be designed to answer the question
raised at the end of the previous chapter:  "For the great day of His
wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (6:17)  Yes, who WILL be
able to stand?

In the first vision John sees four angels standing at the four corners
of the earth, holding back the winds from blowing on the earth, sea, or
on any tree.  An angel arises from the east having the seal of the
living God, who cries out to the other four angels not to harm the
earth, etc., until the servants of God have been sealed on their
foreheads.  John then hears the number of those who are sealed.  They
are 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel, with 12,000
from each tribe.  Of interest is the fact that Ephraim and Dan are not
mentioned, while Levi and Joseph are counted as tribes.  This suggests
to many that the 144,000 of Israel is symbolic (1-8).

The second vision reveals a large innumerable multitude of all nations
standing before the throne and the Lamb.  Clothed with white robes and
palm branches in their hands, they cry out "Salvation belongs to our
God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  They are joined in their
praise by angels, the elders, and four living creatures.  John is then
told by one of the elders that those arrayed in white robes have come
out of the great tribulation, with their robes washed and made white in
the blood of the Lamb.  Before the throne of God, they serve Him day
and night in His temple.  Future blessings are then described:  God
will dwell among them, they shall be free from hunger, thirst, and the
heat of the sun.  The Lamb will shepherd them and lead them to
fountains of living waters, and God will wipe all tears from their eyes

What do the two visions represent?  I believe the 144,000 sealed on
earth represents the church "militant", i.e., the redeemed on earth.
While they may be on the earth when God's judgment and wrath is 
outpoured, they are sealed and thereby spared from God's wrath (cf.
Ezek 9:1-11).  This does not mean they will not suffer tribulation, for
while they may escape God's wrath they may still face the efforts of
Satan (12:17; 13:7ff).  But the second vision provides hope for those
who must pass through "the great tribulation".   Provided they have
washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, they are assured that they
will serve God in His temple in "the intermediate state" (between death
and the resurrection).  They are also promised future blessings in "the
eternal state" (after the resurrection and judgment, cf. 7:16-17 with
21:1-4).  Thus the great multitude in heaven represents the church
"triumphant", i.e., the redeemed in heaven.  It is the church militant
and then triumphant that will be able to stand in the day of God's


I. THE 144,000 SEALED ON EARTH (1-8)

      1. John saw four angels at the four corners of the earth
         a. Holding the four winds of the earth
         b. That the winds would not blow on the earth, sea, or any
      2. John saw another angel ascending from the east
         a. Crying with a loud voice to the four angels granted to harm
            the earth and sea
         b. Instructing them not to harm the earth, sea, or trees until
            the servants of God were sealed on their foreheads

   B. THE 144,000 SEALED (4-8)
      1. John "heard" the number of those sealed
      2. Those sealed were 12,000 each of the tribes of Israel:
         a. Judah       g. Simeon
         b. Reuben      h. Levi
         c. Gad         i. Issachar
         d. Asher       j. Zebulun
         e. Naphtali    k. Joseph
         f. Manasseh    l. Benjamin


      1. Which none could number, from all nations, tribes, peoples and
      2. Standing before the throne and before the Lamb
         a. Clothed with white robes
         b. With palm branches in their hands
      3. Crying with loud voices:  "Salvation belongs to our God who
         sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
      4. Angels, the elders, and the four living creatures also join in
         with praise
         a. Falling on their faces before the throne and worshipping
         b. Ascribing blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, 
            power, and might to God

      1. Asked by one of the elders, John puts the question back to him
      2. The elder identifies the great multitude:
         a. Those who come out of the great tribulation
         b. Who have washed their robes and made them white in the
            blood of the Lamb
         c. Who are before the throne of God and serve Him day and 
            night in His temple
      3. The elder describes their future blessedness:
         a. The One on the throne will dwell with them
         b. They shall not hunger nor thirst anymore; the sun nor any
            heat shall strike them
         c. The Lamb will shepherd them and lead them to living
            fountains of water
         d. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The 144,000 sealed on earth (1-8)
   - The great multitude in heaven (9-17)

2) What does John see next? (1)
   - Four angels at the four corners of the earth, holding back the
     four winds from harming the earth, sea and any tree

3) What did an angel ascending from the east cry out? (2-3)
   - "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed
     the servants of our God on their foreheads."

4) Who and how many were sealed? (4)
   - 144,000 of the tribes of Israel

5) In the list of those sealed, what two tribes of Israel are missing?
   - Ephraim and Dan

6) What two names are used for tribes which were not normally listed
   among the twelve tribes of Israel? (5-8)
   - Levi (the priestly tribe which did not receive a land inheritance)
   - Joseph (the father of Manasseh and Ephraim, whose two sons made up
     two tribes)

7) After the 144,000 are sealed, what does John see next? (9-10)
   - A great multitude of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues
   - Standing before the throne and the Lamb
   - Clothed with white robes and palm branches in their hands
   - Ascribing salvation to God on the throne and to the Lamb
8) Who else joins in with praise to God? (11-12)
   - Angels, the elders, the four living creatures

9) Who does the elder identify as the great multitude? (13-14)
   - Those who come out of the great tribulation, who have washed the
     robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb
   - Who are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in 
     His temple

10) What future blessings are they promised to receive? (15-17)
   - The One on the throne will dwell with them
   - They shall not hunger nor thirst anymore; neither the sun nor any
     heat shall strike them
   - The Lamb will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of
   - God will wipe away every tear from their eyes