From Mark Copeland... "FAITH IS THE VICTORY!" Introduction

                        "FAITH IS THE VICTORY!"



1. In his first epistle, John writes of victory in overcoming the 

   For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the
   victory that has overcome the world; our faith.  Who is he who
   overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son
   of God?  (1Jn 5:4-5)

2. The "world" to which John refers are those things in the world that
   would separate us from God - cf. 1Jn 2:15-17
   a. The lust of the flesh (immorality, inordinate emotions)
   b. The lust of the eyes (materialism, greed, covetousness)
   c. The pride of life (vainglory, boasting, arrogance)
   -- These things can be summarized in one word:  SIN

3. There are other things in the world which can hinder our 
   relationship with God, such as...
   a. Anxiety           e. Discontentment
   b. Boredom           f. Fear
   c. Depression        g. Grief
   d. Despair           h. Loneliness
   -- These emotional states of mind, when not caused by some organic 
      condition, are often the results of SIN as well (perhaps not 
      sinful action, per se, but sinful thinking)

4. For whatever is in the world that might hinder our relationship with God...
   a. There can be victory in overcoming the world!
   b. Such victory comes to those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God
   -- Yes, "Faith Is The Victory!"

5. In this series, I would like to examine how faith in Jesus enables
   one to overcome the world...
   a. With this lesson, we will define faith, and especially faith in
      Jesus as the Son of God
   b. In succeeding lessons, consider how faith in Jesus can provide 
      victory over such things as those mentioned above that can hinder
      our relationship with God

[According to John, victory in overcoming the world requires faith in
Jesus; it is important then to know exactly what faith is...]


      1. As defined by Easton's Bible Dictionary:
         a. Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a 
            certain statement is true
         b. Its primary idea is trust
      2. It is a strong conviction or trust in something; as the NIV 
         translates He 11:1...
         a. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for..."
         b. "...and certain of what we do not see."
      3. E.g., you have faith that your parents are indeed your parents
         a. Based upon your trust or conviction in the reliability of
            their word
         b. Such trust prompts you to respond accordingly

      1. It is a strong conviction or trust in Jesus:
         a. Who Jesus is
            1) That He is what He claimed
            2) That He is truly the Son of the living God
         b. What Jesus did and is doing
            1) That He died on the cross for our sins
            2) That His death is truly a sufficient propitiation or
               sacrifice for our sins
            3) That He interceeds for us in heaven
         c. What Jesus said
            1) That He alone provides the way to eternal life
            2) That He alone is the way to God, the Father - Jn 14:6-7
      2. Peter professed this faith in Jesus - Jn 6:68-69
         a. That Jesus has the words of eternal life
         b. That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God - cf. Mt 16:15-16
      3. When a person has such faith in Jesus...
         a. They look to Jesus for the solution to any problem they face
         b. They have trust and conviction that what He says is the
            right answer or solution
         c. They are willing to act with trust and conviction on His
            word - cf. Lk 6:46
      4. For those with an active faith in Jesus, their lives are built
         on a solid foundation...
         a. Like a wise man who builds his house on a rock - Lk 6:47-49
         b. They are able to weather the storms of life, because their
            faith in Jesus has prompted them to prepare for whatever 
            comes their way!

[This is the kind of faith that overcomes the world!  The problem is 
that while many have a degree of faith to "hear" (listen) what Jesus 
said, most don't have sufficient faith to "do" (obey) what He says!

If we desire to have the kind of faith in Jesus that will help us 
overcome the world, how is it developed?  It is not as difficult as you
might think...]


      1. Many people believe that faith is something blind, that you 
         "just gotta believe"
         a. It is true that faith is often a strong conviction in 
            "things unseen" - cf. He 11:1
         b. But there are solid reasons for believing in what you 
            cannot see
            1) Just as you believe in George Washington, though you 
               have never seen him
            2) Just as you believe in who your parents are, though you
               can't remember who was there at your birth
      2. Other people believe that faith is some gift from God for a 
         select few
         a. It is true that in one sense faith is a "gift" from God 
            - cf. Ep 2:8; Ro 12:3
         b. But while faith owes its ultimate source to God, it is 
            available to all
            1) For God desires all men to be saved - 1Ti 2:3-6
            2) And He desires that which produces saving faith to be 
               proclaimed to all the nations - Ro 1:16; 16:25-26
      3. Faith comes from evidence provided by God Himself!
         a. God provided signs and wonders so that people might believe
            in His Son - Jn 5:36; 10:37-38; 14:10-11
         b. And so the apostles recorded these signs that we might 
            believe - Jn 20:30-31
            1) Believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God
            2) Through such faith to have "life" (i.e., victory over 
               the world!) in His name
         -- This leads us to the primary source of faith..

      1. Even as Paul declared:  "So then faith comes by hearing, and 
         hearing by the word of God" - Ro 10:17
         a. Faith (trust and conviction) is founded upon what the Word
            of God reveals
         b. This is especially true regarding faith in Jesus! - again 
            cf. Jn 20:30-31
      2. The Word of God produces faith in Jesus by the evidence it 
         provides; for example...
         a. The Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament
         b. His signs and wonders recorded in the Gospels
         c. The testimony of eyewitnesses in the Acts and epistles
         -- As one meditates upon the Word of God regarding Jesus, 
            faith is developed!
      3. Faith in Jesus that leads to victory must come from the Word 
         of God!
         a. The reason many people do not live victorious lives is a 
            lack of faith
         b. They have a weak faith because they do not read and study
            the Word of God!
         c. Not only is their faith weak, but they often don't even 
            know the teachings of Jesus that can help them to overcome
            the world!


1. I contend that faith in Jesus gives one the victory in overcoming
   the world...
   a. Whether it is overcoming sin which separates us from God
   b. Or it is overcoming sinful thinking that hinders our relationship
      with God

2. Victorious faith in Jesus comes from the Word of God...
   a. Which is why I cannot overemphasize the importance of feeding 
      upon it daily
      1) A lack of knowledge concerning God's word was Israel's 
         downfall - Hos 4:6
      2) When people do not have access to His word, they are very weak
         - Am 8:11-14
      3) Even Jesus resorted to the Word of God to overcome temptation 
         - Mt 4:4,7,11
   b. Why deprive yourself of the means that God has given to produce 
      saving faith? - Jm 1:21

In our next lesson, we shall consider how faith in Jesus provides the 
victory in overcoming SIN...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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God’s Soap Recipe by Kyle Butt, M.A.


God’s Soap Recipe

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

When Old Testament instructions are compared to the New Testament explanations for those actions, it becomes clear that many of the ancient injunctions were primarily symbolic in nature. For instance, when the Passover Lamb was eaten, none of its bones was to be broken. This symbolized the sacrifice of Christ, Whose side was pierced, yet even in death escaped the usual practice of having His legs broken (John 19:31-37).
With all the symbolism in the Old Testament, it is important that we do not overlook the Old Testament instructions that were pragmatic in value and that testify to a Master Mind behind the writing of the Law. One such directive is found in Numbers 19, where the Israelites were instructed to prepare the “water of purification” that was to be used to wash any person who had touched a dead body.
At first glance, the water of purification sounds like a hodge-podge of superstitious potion-making that included the ashes of a red heifer, hyssop, cedar wood, and scarlet wool. But this formula was the farthest thing from a symbolic potion intended to “ward off evil spirits.” On the contrary, the recipe for the water of purification stands today as a wonderful example of God’s brilliance, since the recipe is nothing less than a procedure to produce an antibacterial soap.
When we look at the ingredients individually, we begin to see the value of each. First, consider the ashes of a red heifer. As most school children know, the pioneers in this country could not go to the nearest supermarket and buy their favorite personal-hygiene products. If they needed soap or shampoo, they made it themselves. Under such situations, they concocted various recipes for soap. One of the most oft’-produced types of soap was lye soap. Practically anyone today can easily obtain a recipe for lye soap via a quick search of the Internet. The various lye-soap recipes reveal that, to obtain lye, water was poured through ashes. The water retrieved from pouring it through the ashes contained a concentration of lye. Lye, in high concentrations, is very caustic and irritating to the skin. It is, in fact, one of the main ingredients in many modern chemical mixtures used to unclog drains. In more diluted concentrations, it can be used as an excellent exfoliate and cleansing agent. Many companies today still produce lye soaps. Amazingly, through God’s inspiration, Moses instructed the Israelites to prepare a mixture that would have included lye mixed in a diluted solution.
Furthermore, consider that hyssop also was added to the “water of purification.” Hyssop contains the antiseptic thymol, the same ingredient that we find today in some brands of mouthwash (McMillen and Stern, 2000, p. 24). Hyssop oil continues to be a popular “healing oil,” and actually is quite expensive. In listing the benefits of Hyssop, one Web site noted: “Once used for purifying temples and cleansing lepers, the leaves contain an antiseptic, antiviral oil. A mold that produces penicillin grows on the leaves. An infusion is taken as a sedative expectorant for flue, bronchitis, and phlegm” (see “Hyssop”).
Two other ingredients stand out as having cleansing properties. The oil from the cedar wood in the mixture provided a minor skin irritant that would have encouraged scrubbing. And the scarlet wool (see Hebrews 9:19) added wool fibers to the concoction, making it the “ancient equivalent of Lava®soap” (McMillen and Stern, 2000, p. 25).
Thousands of years before any formal studies were done to see what type of cleaning methods were the most effective; millennia before American pioneers concocted their lye solutions; and ages before our most advanced medical students knew a thing about germ theory, God gave the Israelites an award-winning recipe for soap.


McMillen, S.I. and David Stern (2000), None of These Diseases (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell), third edition.
“Hyssop” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.taoherbfarm.com/herbs/herbs/hyssop.htm.

Did the Laws of Science Apply in the Beginning? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Did the Laws of Science Apply in the Beginning?

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

It is relatively easy to disprove the idea that matter can spontaneously generate. Of course, even intuition does not back spontaneous generation. It matters not how long you sit in your chair and stare at an empty desk. A pencil will not eventually materialize on the desk before you. Things—no matter how simplistic—do not pop into existence from nothing.
The idea of ordered, physical law-abiding matter (i.e., like that which we see all around us in the created order) coming into being from nothing is even more far-fetched. Beyond intuition, this matter is laid to rest when we consider the implications of the First Law of Thermodynamics and the Law of Conservation of Matter. To paraphrase, the amount of energy and matter in a system will remain constant unless there is input from some outside source. In other words, it does not matter how long you stare at the table, unless someone comes by your table and puts an already existing pencil on it, or you put the pencil on it yourself, or it falls on the table from some other place, a pencil will not appear on the table. This idea, applied to the origin of the Universe, indicates that the Universe has either always existed (an idea which violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics) or Someone put it here (see Miller, 2007 for a more in depth discussion of the Laws of Thermodynamics and their application to the Creation/Evolution controversy).

In response, some scientists boldly make the claim that, concerning the origin of matter, “one usually assumes that the current laws of physics did not apply then” (Linde, 1994). Granted—certain assumptions are often necessary in science. Granted—no one was around to make scientific observations about the origin of matter. But wait…that’s the point. How is it scientific to make such a claim when all empirical evidence that has ever been observed by scientists leads to the conclusion that the laws of physics are and always have been immutable? Scientific assumptions must carry the quality of being reasonable in order for them to be permissible in scientific discussion. The only way the claim that the laws of science did not apply in the beginning can be made and considered to be reasonable is if the person has made another equally unscientific assumption upon which that claim is based. The person would have to assume that there was no One here at the beginning that could have organized matter in keeping with the Laws that that Being set in motion. The creation model in no way contradicts the laws of physics. On the other hand, the atheistic evolutionary model contradicts the laws of physics in a myriad of ways. Yet, creationists are the ones who are somehow branded as unscientific.


Linde, Andrei (1994), “The Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, 271[5]:48, November.

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,”Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

Assumption-Based Rejection of Design by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Assumption-Based Rejection of Design

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In a recent New Scientist article titled “Evolution: A Guide for the Not-Yet Perplexed,” Michael Le Page expressed great confidence in The General Theory of Evolution, even going so far as to declare, “Evolution is as firmly established a scientific fact as the roundness of the Earth” (2008, 198[2652]:25). Le Page then proceeded to suggest various reasons why evolutionists reject Intelligent Design. After alleging the Earth is 4.5 billion years old (see DeYoung, 2005 and Thompson, 2001 for refutations of this idea), Le Page wrote:
Suppose for a moment that life was designed rather than having evolved. In that case organisms that appear similar might have very different internal workings, just as an LCDscreen has a quite different mechanism to a plasma screen. The explosion of genomic research, however, has revealed that all living creatures work in essentially the same way: they store and translate information using the same genetic code, with only a few minor variations in the most primitive organisms (p. 26, emp. added).
Le Page continued: “[I]f organisms had been designed for particular roles, they might be unable to adapt to changing conditions. Instead, countless experiments...show that organisms of all kinds evolve when their environment is altered, provided the changes are not too abrupt” (p. 26, emp. added).
Notice Le Page’s reasons for rejecting Intelligent Design: (1) if life was designed, “organisms...might have very different internal workings,” and (2) designed organisms “might be unable to adapt” to changing environments (p. 26, emp. added). As should be obvious to anyone reading this recent issue of New Scientist, Le Page’s arguments are pure speculation. Neither the similarities in the genetic make-up of living organisms nor the ability of living things to adapt to their environments are reasons to reject design and accept evolution.
Creationists have long recognized similarities among animals and humans. In fact, such similarities (even on a cellular level) should be expected among creatures that drink the same water, eat the same food, breathe the same air, live on the same terrain, etc. But, similarities are just that—similarities. Evolutionists interpret these similarities to mean we all share common ancestors, but they cannot prove it. Likewise, the ability of animals to adapt to their surroundings could just as easily be explained as the product of an omniscient Designer programming life long ago with the ability to adapt to its environment.
New Scientist’s assumption-based rejection of design is completely unsubstantiated. Neither homology nor organisms’ adaptation abilities are proof of The General Theory of Evolution.


DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Le Page, Michael (2008), “Evolution: A Guide for the Not-Yet Perplexed,” New Scientist, 198[2652]:24-33, April 19.
Thompson, Bert (2001), “The Young Earth,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1991.

California Supreme Court Upholds “Marriage” Constitutional Amendment by Kevin Cain, J.D.


California Supreme Court Upholds “Marriage” Constitutional Amendment

by Kevin Cain, J.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by one of A.P.’s auxiliary staff writers who holds a M.Min from Freed-Hardeman University and a J.D. from the South Texas College of Law.]
In Strauss v. Horton, a controversial and highly publicized case, the California Supreme Court recently handed down a surprising decision upholding a California constitutional amendment that states, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” This case involved a constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, the subject of considerable news coverage during the election in November 2008. The 6-1 decision written by Chief Justice Ron George was issued on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. However, upon closer examination of the court’s opinion, the purported victory may be a victory only in semantics.
This high-profile case is the product of legal wrangling and posturing that has been going on in California for some time now. In 2004, the California Supreme Court ruled in Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco that public officials in San Francisco acted unlawfully when they issued marriage licenses to homosexual couples. However, the court emphasized that the question of the constitutional validity of California’s current marriage statutes (which limited marriage to a man and a woman) was not before the court at that time (Lockyer v. City..., 2004). In other words, the court was politely soliciting a constitutional challenge to the California statute limiting marriage to a union between a man and woman.
Not surprisingly, the issue of the constitutionality of California’s marriage law was addressed in In re Marriage Cases in 2008. In that case, the court held that homosexual couples are entitled to the protection of the constitutional right to marry contained in the privacy and due process provisions of the Constitution of California. The California Supreme Court reasoned that by granting access to the designation or title of “marriage” to opposite-sex couples and denying such access to same-sex couples, the California marriage statutes violated the privacy and due process rights of same-sex couples and violated their right to the equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution of California (In re Marriage Cases, 2008).
In response to the Marriage Cases, Proposition 8 was passed by a majority of California voters (52.3%) on November 4, 2008 (Strauss v. Horton, 2009). This proposition, which is now a part of theConstitution of California, states in its entirety, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” (Article I, Section7.5). There is no doubt but that Proposition 8 was a legitimate attempt to constitutionally overturn the holding in the Marriage Cases. However, the reach of that effort was significantly curtailed by the court’s recent holding in Strauss v. Horton.
In the March 2000 California election, the California Family Code was revised by Proposition 22 to include the following limitation on marriage: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” (Section 308.5). This is the identical language adopted in Proposition 8. The difference between Proposition 22 in 2000 and Proposition 8 in 2008 is that Proposition 22 amended a California statute, while Proposition 8 amended the Constitution of California. The California Supreme Court held in the Marriage Cases that the California Family Code (amended by Proposition 22), which granted access to the designation “marriage” to only heterosexual couples, but not homosexual couples, was unconstitutional as it violated homosexual couples’ state constitutional rights of privacy, due process, and equal protection (In re Marriage Cases, 2008). The table was now set for Proposition 8, which upon being passed on November 4, 2008, was challenged in court the following day, November 5, 2008, in Strauss v. Horton (2009).
In Strauss v. Horton, the California Supreme Court went to great lengths to reaffirm its holding in theMarriage Cases, and described its holding in the present case as a mere narrow exception to the rule in the Marriage Cases that it is unconstitutional to limit marriage to heterosexual couples. The court went to great lengths to emphasize that the new constitutional amendment “refers only to ‘marriage’ and does not address the right to establish an officially recognized family relationship, which may bear a name or designation other than ‘marriage.’” This was based on the conclusion that “the language of [Proposition 8], on its face, does not purport to alter or affect the more general holding in the Marriage Cases that same-sex couples, enjoy the constitutional right, under the privacy and due process clauses of the California Constitution, to establish an officially recognized family relationship” (Strauss v. Horton). Simply put, Proposition 8 only eliminated the right of homosexual couples to the designation of “marriage” without “otherwise affecting the constitutional right of those couples to establish an officially recognized family relationship” (Strauss v. Horton).
The issue then remained as to what to do with those homosexual “marriages” that took place in California after Proposition 8 was passed. The court estimated that 18,000 “marriages” were entered into by homosexual couples after Proposition 8 was passed until this court’s opinion was released on May 26, 2009. The court held that the amendment, without explicit language to the contrary, must be applied prospectively and not retroactively. That is, the amendment would only be applied as of May 26, 2009, and all homosexual “marriages” after November 4, 2008 and before May 26, 2009 would be recognized as “marriages” in the state of California.
To say that Proposition 8 was a controversial and high-profile matter in California is putting it lightly. The violence that stemmed from this election over Proposition 8 was a matter of public record, although it was somewhat difficult for some to discover these facts due to the limited and biased media coverage. The legal interest in this case was overwhelming. First, the opinion generated by the California Supreme Court was 185 pages. The list of attorneys, special-interest groups, and law firms representing the pro-homosexual agenda in this suit was remarkable (373 attorneys, 153 organizations, and 33 law firms representing the pro-homosexual position; compared with 40 attorneys, 20 organizations, and 5 law firms representing the pro-Proposition 8 position). In other words, this was a highly anticipated and hard-fought legal battle, although somewhat lopsided.
The problem here is not that this purported “victory” for conservative groups appears to be a matter of semantics over the use of the term “marriage.” The problem here is not that the attorneys, special interest groups, and law firms representing the homosexual agenda far outnumber their opponents. The real problem is the fundamental way this battle is being fought. There are numerous legal arguments over the constitutionality of statutes, propositions, equal rights, due process, strict scrutiny, and other terms of legalese. For the moment, the majority of the people support the biblical definition of marriage. History shows that the majority may soon dwindle and marriage laws could be reversed. So the pressing question is where is the call to morality, ethics, godliness, Christianity, and Scripture? In the midst of all this debate about a homosexual lifestyle, there appears to be little to no attention given to these spiritual matters that really count—the very matters that the Framers of the Constitution shared and defended (cf. Miller, 2003). If we continue to fight worldly battles with worldly weapons, worldly arguments, and worldly wisdom, we may occasionally win a battle, but we will ultimately lose the war. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NASB). Paul did not use the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified so that the Corinthians’ faith would not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
This lawsuit is evidence of the culture war that is escalating around us. It is taking place in our capitals, in our legislatures, in our courts, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes and churches. A Christian has four choices: (1) fight on the wrong side; (2) remain neutral (which means you are lending unwitting support to the wrong side whether you realize it or not [Matthew 27:24]); (3) fight with the wrong weapons; or (4) fight with the right weapons. I have often heard the phrase, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” If you are fighting in the culture war that is raging, are you fighting with a proverbial knife when those around you wield superior fire-power?
We must fight, but not physically. Those who resort to physical violence when purportedly taking the “Christian” perspective are clearly in error and do great harm to the cause of Christ. The Bible teaches us not only to correct those in error, but to do so lovingly (Ephesians 4:15). Jesus told Peter to put up his sword because Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and because those who live by the sword will die by the sword (Matthew 26:52; John 18:36). Moreover, we are commanded to love and pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44; Romans 12: 17-21). In light of these admonitions, are you fighting in the battle, and are you fighting with the right weapons?
It is time to rally the troops and prepare for war. So, love your enemies and pray for them. Pray for their souls; pray for their hearts to be softened; pray for doors of opportunity to be opened so that God may be glorified. Therefore...
Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:11-20,NASB).
May we use these weapons boldly and fearlessly, use them with love, but most important, use them.


California Family Code, [On-line], URL: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fam&group=00001-01000&file=300-310.
Constitution of California, [On-line], URL: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_1.
In re Marriage Cases, 43 Cal.4th 757 (Cal. 2008).
Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco, 33 Cal.4th 1055 (Cal. 2004).
Miller, Dave (2003), “The Founders on Homosexuality,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3769.
Strauss v. Horton, (Cal. May 26, 2009), [On-line], URL:http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S168047.PDF.

From Jim McGuiggan... Book of Revelation (2)

Book of Revelation (2)

 The central message of the book of Revelation
The central message is that God alone is to be worshiped and served and that that truth is to be maintained when the Roman beast rises against the people of God. The central message of the book is that the Roman Empire is the expression of the world spirit (the Dragon, Satan) that opposes God’s kingdom purpose as it shows itself in Jesus Christ and his followers. The central message is that when the smoke clear it’s the followers of the Lord Christ that are triumphant and that his Lordship is made concrete and local here on the earth. The Roman Empire claims dominion but it’s a satanic claim. They "prove" it by brutality and cruelty. The church insists that Jesus has dominion and they prove it (as followers of Christ) by outliving, out-suffering and out-lasting Rome. Let’s meet some of the leading characters in the book of Revelation
The central character
The central character is every Bible book (even Esther) is God himself. He’s the central character in the book of Revelation. This is what we would expect. We read of him functioning as the Creator and Sustainer of that creation, the Eternal One, the Sovereign, the Judge, the Defender and Vindicator of his people. He’s portrayed as the only one deserving of praise and devotion.
The Roman Empire (under three images)
The sea beast (13:1-10).
This image presents Rome as a savage military and civil power. This is one of the beasts in Daniel 7 that comes out of the sea. Waters are used in apocalyptic and prophetic writings as a symbol for the restless nations that clash against each other. Be sure to see Revelation 17:1,15 and Isaiah 17:12-13.
As a military power Rome is unbeatable (Revelation 13:4). She is described as part bear, part leopard and part lion (13:2). The three world powers before her (Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece) were likened to these animals in Daniel 7:2-6. They had passed away but Rome, like them was an anti-God power and as long as Rome lived their spirit lived on (see Daniel 7:12). That’s why Rome is described as being made up of these three beasts—as long as Rome lives they live.
The sea beast has seven heads (13:1) which represent seven emperors (17:9) but they also represent the seven hills on which Rome was built (17:9). In 17:11 we will hear of an eighth emperor and we’ll say something about the identity of these kings later. Look for a brief comment on the number "eight".
The beast also has ten horns (13:1) that represent Rome's allies who will later turn against her and destroy her (17:12,13,16). You’ll notice in these verses that the horns are kings that give their authority to the sea-beast.
The power behind Rome is satanic (13:2,4) so we aren’t surprised when we read that the beast persecuted the people of God (13:7).
Remember: The Sea-Beast is Rome presented under the image as a destroying civil and military power.
The Earth-Beast (13:11-18)
The earth-beast is also the Roman Empire—looked at from a religious angle. It looks like a lamb but it has the voice of a dragon (13:11). He looks innocent but he is profoundly dangerous. The work of Richard Horsley and his colleagues really brings this home. (See, for example, Paul and Empire.)
The earth-beast’s job is to make all the nations worship Rome (13:4,12-14). He is called "the false prophet" in 16:13 and 19:20. He does signs that lead people to see Rome as the divine kingdom (see 13:13-14 and 19:20). The Roman Empire had its own priesthood, temples, sacrificial system of course and the "concilium" (the priestly fraternity) went around the heads of states and urged the worship of Rome as the goddess Roma and the Roman ambassadors and emperors as her visible representatives. The emperor was the high priest.
Remember: The earth-beast and sea-beast are both Rome. They portray Rome from two different angles. They present her as a false religious system and a ruthless military power whose kingdom was of this world. (Be sure to see Daniel 7 and note that the beasts arise from the sea and are yet called kingdoms of the "earth" (as distinct from the kingdom of heaven).
The Prostitute & the City (17:1,18)
The prostitute who is also a great city is also Rome—looked at as a vast commercial power. Every nation wants to make alliances with her (go to bed with her, so to speak—see 17:2 and 18:3). She is the city built on seven hills and rules the world while John writes his book (17:18). She is the great city with whom all the merchants of the earth trade in both buying and selling. Read the whole of chapter 18 and see how this is spelled out in great detail.
And what makes her so seductive and appealing? Why is she (as chapter 18 shows) the leading market place of the world? Why does every nation want to trade with her? Because she is supported by the most powerful military engine on earth. The Prostitute rides on (is supported by) the sea-beast (17:3). The most powerful nation was also the greatest buyer of goods and if you wanted to do business you "got in bed" with her. It’s important that you take time to read chapter 18 because it makes it crystal clear that the great Whore is a vast commercial center, supported by unstoppable military power.
Late in chapter 17 the sea-beast along with the allies turn against the Whore and tear her to shreds. Some think that that means they both can’t be Rome but this is shortsighted indeed. Not only do the historians tell us that Rome destroyed itself (see any good history of the Roman Empire and whatever its limitations The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbons) and we can see it all around us. Nations ceaselessly destroy themselves. Do I need to mention Ireland, Russia, China, America and the rest, nations that have torn themselves apart down the years? Rome was no exception.
Remember: The Prostitute is Rome presented as the world’s leading commercial power and to "fornicate with her made the nations rich" (18:3,9,11,15).
Summary: Rome is presented in the book of Revelation from three distinct perspectives. She was a powerful military power (sea-beast), a false religious system that wooed the nations from worship to the true God (earth-beast) and the marketplace for the world (a Prostitute/City)! As with all the major characters in the book we get more than one picture of her and each angle tells its own story.
The People of God (under four images)
The 144,00 that are sealed (7:3-17)
Be sure to see the brief comments later on the significance of numbers in prophetic and apocalyptic literature. See particularly the numbers twelve and one thousand. The 144,000 are said to be God’s servants (7:3). They have the name of Jesus and his Father written on their foreheads (14:1 and see 3:12). They follow the Lamb, keep themselves pure and speak the truth (14:4). They are those that are redeemed from the earth and purchased from among men (14:3-4).
The 144,000 represent the followers of God in Jesus Christ in their totality. They make up the whole people of God (the full twelve tribes).
They aren’t literal Jews nor are they literal virgins (which is what they’re called in 14:4). They are called Jews in this book of symbols and images because "Jew" was the name for the elect of God down the centuries and in the biblical record. An Old Testament name is applied to New Covenant people. This might also be the case with "circumcision" in Philippians 3:3. But in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 John makes it clear there are Jews who don’t have the heart that the name Jew speaks of. (Jew, from Judah, which speaks of giving praise to Yahweh.) Notice that in 3:12 non-Jewish believers are said to have Christ’s name written on them.
These 144,000 are said to be sealed. It is protection in the face of the judgement of the Lamb mentioned in 6:12-17. The judgement is not to fall until the servants of God are sealed (7:3). Will the awful judgement of 6:12-17 sweep everyone away? No! The judgement there is against the ungodly and so the faithful followers of God are not subjected to it.
This image of marking out the faithful is borrowed from Ezekiel 9:4-6. You need to read that whole section in Ezekiel for yourself. This is all visionary. Nobody here or in Ezekiel literally puts a mark on anybody. It was a vision Ezekiel saw (8:3) and when the judgement took place in actual fact there wasn’t a mark on anybody. John is seeing the same thing happening in Revelation 7. It’s the visionary way of saying that the followers of God are under his protection during the judgement. Under his protection because they are his.
But—and this is an important but—while the wrath of God is not directed at his people this does not mean they don’t suffer. But does this assurance mean anything since the saints are going to suffer? Yes, because there's a profound difference betweenpunishment and suffering. When God poured out his 586 BC judgement on wicked Israel many of the righteous suffered along with the guilty but no matter what appearances said the prophet’s vision told the truth. So it is in Revelation. The assurance that the people of God have nothing to fear from God’s judgement is spelled out in 7:9-17.
See in your mind’s eye angels putting a mark on the 144,000. Is it worth it to be sealed or marked? Now read 7:14 where we’re told that the great multitude are those who have successfully come out of the great tribulation against which the 144,000 are sealed. It’s the 144,000 that are sealed against the judgement (7:2-3) but it’s the great multitude that comes out of the tribulation. What does that tell you? It tells you that the two groups are the same and that the sealing works!
Remember: The 144,000 are God’s people under the Old Testament name of Israel.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary... Bible Reading June 24

Bible Reading  

June 24

The World English Bible

June 24
2 Samuel 13-15

2Sa 13:1 It happened after this, that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
2Sa 13:2 Amnon was so troubled that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.
2Sa 13:3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very subtle man.
2Sa 13:4 He said to him, Why, son of the king, are you so sad from day to day? Won't you tell me? Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
2Sa 13:5 Jonadab said to him, Lay down on your bed, and pretend to be sick: and when your father comes to see you, tell him, Please let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and dress the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.
2Sa 13:6 So Amnon lay down, and feigned himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said to the king, Please let her sister Tamar come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.
2Sa 13:7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and dress him food.
2Sa 13:8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. She took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
2Sa 13:9 She took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. Amnon said, Have out all men from me. They went out every man from him.
2Sa 13:10 Amnon said to Tamar, Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand. Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
2Sa 13:11 When she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, Come, lie with me, my sister.
2Sa 13:12 She answered him, No, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Don't you do this folly.
2Sa 13:13 I, where shall I carry my shame? and as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.
2Sa 13:14 However he would not listen to her voice; but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.
2Sa 13:15 Then Amnon hated her with exceeding great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. Amnon said to her, Arise, be gone.
2Sa 13:16 She said to him, Not so, because this great wrong in putting me forth is worse than the other that you did to me. But he would not listen to her.
2Sa 13:17 Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.
2Sa 13:18 She had a garment of various colors on her; for with such robes were the king's daughters who were virgins dressed. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.
2Sa 13:19 Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her garment of various colors that was on her; and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went.
2Sa 13:20 Absalom her brother said to her, Has Amnon your brother been with you? but now hold your peace, my sister: he is your brother; don't take this thing to heart. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
2Sa 13:21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
2Sa 13:22 Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
2Sa 13:23 It happened after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
2Sa 13:24 Absalom came to the king, and said, See now, your servant has sheepshearers; please let the king and his servants go with your servant.
2Sa 13:25 The king said to Absalom, No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you. He pressed him: however he would not go, but blessed him.
2Sa 13:26 Then said Absalom, If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us. The king said to him, Why should he go with you?
2Sa 13:27 But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
2Sa 13:28 Absalom commanded his servants, saying, Mark now, when Amnon's heart is merry with wine; and when I tell you, Smite Amnon, then kill him; don't be afraid; haven't I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
2Sa 13:29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man got him up on his mule, and fled.
2Sa 13:30 It happened, while they were in the way, that the news came to David, saying, Absalom has slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
2Sa 13:31 Then the king arose, and tore his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.
2Sa 13:32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother, answered, Don't let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead; for by the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
2Sa 13:33 Now therefore don't let my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead; for Amnon only is dead.
2Sa 13:34 But Absalom fled. The young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, many people were coming by way of the hillside behind him.
2Sa 13:35 Jonadab said to the king, Behold, the king's sons are come: as your servant said, so it is.
2Sa 13:36 It happened, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.
2Sa 13:37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day.
2Sa 13:38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
2Sa 13:39 the soul of king David longed to go forth to Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.
2Sa 14:1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
2Sa 14:2 Joab sent to Tekoa, and fetched there a wise woman, and said to her, please act like a mourner, and put on mourning clothing, Please, and don't anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has a long time mourned for the dead:
2Sa 14:3 and go in to the king, and speak on this manner to him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
2Sa 14:4 When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.
2Sa 14:5 The king said to her, What ails you? She answered, Of a truth I am a widow, and my husband is dead.
2Sa 14:6 Your handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him.
2Sa 14:7 Behold, the whole family has risen against your handmaid, and they say, Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he killed, and so destroy the heir also. Thus will they quench my coal which is left, and will leave to my husband neither name nor remainder on the surface of the earth.
2Sa 14:8 The king said to the woman, Go to your house, and I will give a command concerning you.
2Sa 14:9 The woman of Tekoa said to the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house; and the king and his throne be guiltless.
2Sa 14:10 The king said, Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you any more.
2Sa 14:11 Then said she, Please let the king remember Yahweh your God, that the avenger of blood destroy not any more, lest they destroy my son. He said, As Yahweh lives, there shall not one hair of your son fall to the earth.
2Sa 14:12 Then the woman said, Please let your handmaid speak a word to my lord the king. He said, Say on.
2Sa 14:13 The woman said, Why then have you devised such a thing against the people of God? for in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring home again his banished one.
2Sa 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water split on the ground, which can't be gathered up again; neither does God take away life, but devises means, that he who is banished not be an outcast from him.
2Sa 14:15 Now therefore seeing that I have come to speak this word to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and your handmaid said, I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant.
2Sa 14:16 For the king will hear, to deliver his servant out of the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.
2Sa 14:17 Then your handmaid said, Please let the word of my lord the king be comfortable; for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: and Yahweh your God be with you.
2Sa 14:18 Then the king answered the woman, Please don't hide anything from me that I shall ask you. The woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
2Sa 14:19 The king said, Is the hand of Joab with you in all this? The woman answered, As your soul lives, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken; for your servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your handmaid;
2Sa 14:20 to change the face of the matter has your servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.
2Sa 14:21 The king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom back.
2Sa 14:22 Joab fell to the ground on his face, and did obeisance, and blessed the king: and Joab said, Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant.
2Sa 14:23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
2Sa 14:24 The king said, Let him turn to his own house, but let him not see my face. So Absalom turned to his own house, and didn't see the king's face.
2Sa 14:25 Now in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
2Sa 14:26 When he cut the hair of his head (now it was at every year's end that he cut it; because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it); he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king's weight.
2Sa 14:27 To Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a beautiful face.
2Sa 14:28 Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem; and he didn't see the king's face.
2Sa 14:29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king; but he would not come to him: and he sent again a second time, but he would not come.
2Sa 14:30 Therefore he said to his servants, Behold, Joab's field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire. Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
2Sa 14:31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said to him, Why have your servants set my field on fire?
2Sa 14:32 Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent to you, saying, Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, Why am I come from Geshur? it were better for me to be there still. Now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be iniquity in me, let him kill me.
2Sa 14:33 So Joab came to the king, and told him; and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.

2Sa 15:1 It happened after this, that Absalom prepared him a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2Sa 15:2 Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man had a suit which should come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him, and said, What city are you from? He said, Your servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.
2Sa 15:3 Absalom said to him, Behold, your matters are good and right; but there is no man deputized of the king to hear you.
2Sa 15:4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice!
2Sa 15:5 It was so, that when any man came near to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took hold of him, and kissed him.
2Sa 15:6 In this manner Absalom did to all Israel who came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
2Sa 15:7 It happened at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the king, please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to Yahweh, in Hebron.
2Sa 15:8 For your servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Yahweh shall indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Yahweh.
2Sa 15:9 The king said to him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.
2Sa 15:10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, Absalom is king in Hebron.
2Sa 15:11 With Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, who were invited, and went in their simplicity; and they didn't know anything.
2Sa 15:12 Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.
2Sa 15:13 There came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
2Sa 15:14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for else none of us shall escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down evil on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.
2Sa 15:15 The king's servants said to the king, Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king shall choose.
2Sa 15:16 The king went forth, and all his household after him. The king left ten women, who were concubines, to keep the house.
2Sa 15:17 The king went forth, and all the people after him; and they stayed in Beth Merhak.
2Sa 15:18 All his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.
2Sa 15:19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Why do you also go with us? return, and stay with the king: for you are a foreigner, and also an exile; return to your own place.
2Sa 15:20 Whereas you came but yesterday, should I this day make you go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may? return, and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.
2Sa 15:21 Ittai answered the king, and said, As Yahweh lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, even there also will your servant be.
2Sa 15:22 David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones who were with him.
2Sa 15:23 All the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
2Sa 15:24 Behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.
2Sa 15:25 The king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation:
2Sa 15:26 but if he say thus, I have no delight in you; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seems good to him.
2Sa 15:27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, "Aren't you a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
2Sa 15:28 Behold, I will stay at the fords of the wilderness, until word comes from you to inform me."
2Sa 15:29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they abode there.
2Sa 15:30 David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people who were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
2Sa 15:31 One told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. David said, Yahweh, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
2Sa 15:32 It happened that when David had come to the top of the ascent, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn, and earth on his head.
2Sa 15:33 David said to him, If you pass on with me, then you will be a burden to me:
2Sa 15:34 but if you return to the city, and tell Absalom, I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so will I now be your servant; then will you defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.
2Sa 15:35 Don't you have Zadok and Abiathar the priests there with you? therefore it shall be, that whatever thing you shall hear out of the king's house, you shall tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
2Sa 15:36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son; and by them you shall send to me everything that you shall hear.

2Sa 15:37 So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city; and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

Jun. 23, 24
John 20

Joh 20:1 Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went early, while it was still dark, to the tomb, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb.
Joh 20:2 Therefore she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have laid him!"
Joh 20:3 Therefore Peter and the other disciple went out, and they went toward the tomb.
Joh 20:4 They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter, and came to the tomb first.
Joh 20:5 Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn't enter in.
Joh 20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying,
Joh 20:7 and the cloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself.
Joh 20:8 So then the other disciple who came first to the tomb also entered in, and he saw and believed.
Joh 20:9 For as yet they didn't know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Joh 20:10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
Joh 20:11 But Mary was standing outside at the tomb weeping. So, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb,
Joh 20:12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
Joh 20:13 They told her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have laid him."
Joh 20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, and didn't know that it was Jesus.
Joh 20:15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?" She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."
Joh 20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him, "Rhabbouni!" which is to say, "Teacher!"
Joh 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Don't touch 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.' "
Joh 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her.
Joh 20:19 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."
Joh 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord.
Joh 20:21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
Joh 20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit!
Joh 20:23 Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven them. Whoever's sins you retain, they have been retained."
Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, wasn't with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 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."
Joh 20:26 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."
Joh 20:27 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."
Joh 20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
Joh 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed."
Joh 20:30 Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book;
Joh 20:31 but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.