A light-filled tunnel

This must be a wonderful experience; imagine, being a watery tunnel, headed for the light!!!  Eager expectation, wonder, apprehension and excitement coupled with concentration on maneuvering your surfboard all at the same time.  But, many, many people have experienced something similar... at or near death.  So, in a way this is not-so-uncommon after all.  Yet, there is another sort of experience that is quite similar, but less talked about today.  It comes from events recounted in the book of John...

John Chapter 8
  1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them.  3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst, 4 they told him, “Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such.   What then do you say about her?”  6 They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of.

But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger.  7 But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, 
"“He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.”"  8 Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.

  9 They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle.  10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "“Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?”"

  11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

Jesus said, "“Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”"

  12 Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, "“I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”"

Adultery, now that is a word that is not used much today.  Sex outside of the marriage bond destroys lives.  People use words like "an affair" or a "dalliance" or a "love affair" to soften the blow of what this action does a marriage, but no matter how you attempt to assuage it, it still does horrible things.  To the situation, Jesus comes and shows a way out... the light of the wisdom of following God; of following the way that Jesus shows is correct.  Get on the path to this light and never, ever, look back.  Jesus is waiting for you to start today and also waiting for your final day when you take that last tunnel journey to the eternal light in heaven.  Why wait????

May 17 Joshua 15, 16

May 17
Joshua 15, 16

Jos 15:1 The lot for the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families was to the border of Edom, even to the wilderness of Zin southward, at the uttermost part of the south.
Jos 15:2 Their south border was from the uttermost part of the Salt Sea, from the bay that looks southward;
Jos 15:3 and it went out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and went up by the south of Kadesh Barnea, and passed along by Hezron, went up to Addar, and turned about to Karka;
Jos 15:4 and it passed along to Azmon, went out at the brook of Egypt; and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your south border.
Jos 15:5 The east border was the Salt Sea, even to the end of the Jordan. The border of the north quarter was from the bay of the sea at the end of the Jordan.
Jos 15:6 The border went up to Beth Hoglah, and passed along by the north of Beth Arabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben.
Jos 15:7 The border went up to Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is over against the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south side of the river. The border passed along to the waters of En Shemesh, and ended at En Rogel.
Jos 15:8 The border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom to the side of the Jebusite southward (the same is Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the farthest part of the valley of Rephaim northward.
Jos 15:9 The border extended from the top of the mountain to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of Mount Ephron; and the border extended to Baalah (the same is Kiriath Jearim);
Jos 15:10 and the border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and passed along to the side of Mount Jearim on the north (the same is Chesalon), and went down to Beth Shemesh, and passed along by Timnah;
Jos 15:11 and the border went out to the side of Ekron northward; and the border extended to Shikkeron, and passed along to Mount Baalah, and went out at Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were at the sea.
Jos 15:12 The west border was to the shore of the great sea. This is the border of the children of Judah according to their families.
Jos 15:13 To Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a portion among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of Yahweh to Joshua, even Kiriath Arba, named after the father of Anak (the same is Hebron).
Jos 15:14 Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak: Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.
Jos 15:15 He went up against the inhabitants of Debir: now the name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher.
Jos 15:16 Caleb said, "He who strikes Kiriath Sepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife."
Jos 15:17 Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.
Jos 15:18 It happened, when she came, that she had him ask her father fore a field. She got off of her donkey, and Caleb said, "What do you want?"
Jos 15:19 She said, "Give me a blessing. Because you have set me in the land of the South, give me also springs of water." He gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
Jos 15:20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families.
Jos 15:21 The farthest cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the border of Edom in the South were Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur,
Jos 15:22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah,
Jos 15:23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan,
Jos 15:24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth,
Jos 15:25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (the same is Hazor),
Jos 15:26 Amam, Shema, Moladah,
Jos 15:27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet,
Jos 15:28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah,
Jos 15:29 Baalah, Iim, Ezem,
Jos 15:30 Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah,
Jos 15:31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah,
Jos 15:32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon. All the cities are twenty-nine, with their villages.
Jos 15:33 In the lowland, Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah,
Jos 15:34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam,
Jos 15:35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah,
Jos 15:36 Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim); fourteen cities with their villages.
Jos 15:37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad,
Jos 15:38 Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel,
Jos 15:39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon,
Jos 15:40 Cabbon, Lahmam, Chitlish,
Jos 15:41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages.
Jos 15:42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan,
Jos 15:43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib,
Jos 15:44 Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages.
Jos 15:45 Ekron, with its towns and its villages;
Jos 15:46 from Ekron even to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, with their villages.
Jos 15:47 Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; to the brook of Egypt, and the great sea with its coastline.
Jos 15:48 In the hill country, Shamir, Jattir, Socoh,
Jos 15:49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (which is Debir),
Jos 15:50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim,
Jos 15:51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages.
Jos 15:52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan,
Jos 15:53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah,
Jos 15:54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron), and Zior; nine cities with their villages.
Jos 15:55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Jutah,
Jos 15:56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah,
Jos 15:57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities with their villages.
Jos 15:58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor,
Jos 15:59 Maarath, Beth Anoth, and Eltekon; six cities with their villages.
Jos 15:60 Kiriath Baal (the same is Kiriath Jearim), and Rabbah; two cities with their villages.
Jos 15:61 In the wilderness, Beth Arabah, Middin, Secacah,
Jos 15:62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En Gedi; six cities with their villages.
Jos 15:63 As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah couldn't drive them out; but the Jebusites live with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.
Jos 16:1 The lot came out for the children of Joseph from the Jordan at Jericho, at the waters of Jericho on the east, even the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel.
Jos 16:2 It went out from Bethel to Luz, and passed along to the border of the Archites to Ataroth;
Jos 16:3 and it went down westward to the border of the Japhletites, to the border of Beth Horon the lower, even to Gezer; and ended at the sea.
Jos 16:4 The children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.
Jos 16:5 This was the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families. The border of their inheritance eastward was Ataroth Addar, to Beth Horon the upper.
Jos 16:6 The border went out westward at Michmethath on the north. The border turned about eastward to Taanath Shiloh, and passed along it on the east of Janoah.
Jos 16:7 It went down from Janoah to Ataroth, to Naarah, reached to Jericho, and went out at the Jordan.
Jos 16:8 From Tappuah the border went along westward to the brook of Kanah; and ended at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim according to their families;
Jos 16:9 together with the cities which were set apart for the children of Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.
Jos 16:10 They didn't drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell in the midst of Ephraim to this day, and have become servants to do forced labor.

"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" Introduction by Mark Copeland

                         "ACTS OF THE APOSTLES"



Commonly called "The Acts Of The Apostles", it is simply titled "Acts"
in some of the oldest manuscripts.  It might appropriately be called
"Some Of The Acts Of Some Of The Apostles" since it does not try to
describe all of the acts of all the apostles.  Rather, the focus is
clearly on some of the acts or deeds of mostly Peter (the key figure in
the first half) and Paul (the key figure in the second).  It might also
be called "The Acts Of The Holy Spirit", as that Person of the Godhead
is very much an active participant throughout the book.


Though he does not mention himself by name, the author is undoubtedly
Luke, physician and frequent traveling companion of the apostle Paul.
From 1:1-3, we learn Acts is the second historical account to Theophilus
(see below), the first being the gospel universally attributed to Luke
(cf. Lk 1:1-4).

Luke is described as "the beloved Physician" (Col 4:14), and the
vocabulary of both the gospel and Acts shows evidence of a medical mind.
Mentioned as a "fellow laborer" (Phm 24) who was with Paul in his last
days (2Ti 4:11), Luke often accompanied Paul on his travels beginning
with his second journey.  By carefully noting the use of "we" and "they"
in the book of Acts, we glean that Luke joined Paul at Troas (16:10-11),
and remained at Philippi (17:1) until Paul later picked him up on his
way to Troas (20:1-6).  The book ends with Luke accompanying Paul to his
imprisonment in Rome (28:16).

It is evident Luke was very careful to provide a historically accurate
account in the both the gospel and Acts (cf. Lk 1:1-4,5; 2:1-3; 3:1-2).
Sir William Ramsay, archaeologist who started his career to prove Luke
to be in error, offered this testimony as a result of his research:
"Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of
fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense...in short,
this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians."  In
fact, Luke provides the only record of the first thirty years of the
early church.


Both the gospel and Acts were written to one man:  Theophilus (Lk 1:3;
Ac 1:1), whose name means "God lover".  Ramsay suggests the use of "most
excellent" (Lk 1:3) was a title like "Your Excellency" (cf. 23:26;
26:25) and that Theophilus was a government official of high rank.  It
is not used in Acts (1:1), and one intriguing possibility is that he
became a believer in between receiving the gospel and Acts.  Some have
entertained the possibility that Theophilus was a Roman official in
charge of administering Paul's case before Caesar, and that the gospel
and Acts were written to help him understand the facts of Jesus Christ
and Paul's role in the history of the church.


The book ends abruptly with Paul under house arrest awaiting trial in
Rome (28:16,30-31).  This may indicate that the book was written before
Paul's trial and eventual release.  The dates for Paul's first
imprisonment in Rome are 60-62 A.D.  If the book was just before or
after Paul's release, then it was likely written around 63 A.D. from


As indicated previously, the original purpose of both the gospel and
Acts may have been to assist Theophilus in some official capacity in
learning about Jesus and His apostles.  Yet the inspiration and
preservation of the book would indicate an important future role in the
providence of God.  Based on its content, I would offer the following
purpose of this book:

   * To record the establishment and early growth of the church

Other reasons could be given for why this book was written.  The detail
given to conversions and the involvement of the Holy Spirit would
certainly suggest the book is designed to reveal:

   * Examples of conversions to the gospel of Christ

   * The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the apostles and the early

The value of Acts is also seen in that it provides the historical
framework for the epistles found in the New Testament.  From Romans to
Revelation, names, places, and events are mentioned upon which light is
shown by the historical account of Acts.  Without Acts, the gospels of
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John would be left without a satisfying answer
to the question, "What happened next?"


The book begins in Jerusalem and ends at Rome.  It describes the
establishment and growth of the Lord's church throughout the
Mediterranean world through the work of the apostles and other
Christians under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  We read their
sermons and see the conversions which resulted as they carried out the
Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16).  We learn how local
churches were established, and much of their work, worship and
organization.  But mostly we see the faith and efforts of those charged
to be witnesses of the Lord and of His resurrection from the dead.  An
appropriate theme of this book might therefore be:


KEY VERSE:  Acts 1:8

   "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
   you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all
   Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."



   A. PREPARATION (1:1-26)
      1. Introduction to the book (1:1-3)
      2. The promise of the Spirit (1:4-8)
      3. The ascension of Jesus (1:9-11)
      4. The waiting for the Spirit (1:12-14)
      5. The selection of Matthias (1:16-26)

      1. The outpouring of the Spirit (2:1-4)
      2. The reaction of the crowd (2:5-13)
      3. The explanation by Peter (2:14-21)
      4. The first gospel sermon by Peter (2:22-36)
      5. The conversion of 3000 souls (2:37-41)
      6. The beginning of the church (2:42-47)

      1. The healing of the lame man; Peter's second sermon (3:1-26)
      2. The first persecution against the church; the liberality of the
         church (4:1-37)
      3. The first trouble within; increasing persecution without
      4. The disturbance within resolved; intensifying persecution
         without (6:1-15)
      6. The address and martyrdom of Stephen (7:1-60)
      7. The persecution involving Saul against the church (8:1-3)


      1. The conversion of the Samaritans (8:4-25)
      2. The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch (8:26-40)

      1. The appearance of the Lord on the road to Damascus (9:1-8)
      2. The baptism of Saul by Ananias (9:9-19)
      3. The initial ministry and persecution of Saul (9:20-31)

      1. The healing of Aeneas (9:32-35)
      2. The raising of Dorcas from the dead (9:36-43)

      1. The account recorded by Luke (10:1-48)
      2. The account retold by Peter (11:1-18)

      1. The work of Barnabas and Saul in Antioch (11:19-26)
      2. The work of Barnabas and Saul in Judea (11:27-30; 12:25)
      3. The persecution by Herod; James beheaded, Peter arrested
      4. The release of Peter from prison by an angel; Herod's death


      1. The departure from Antioch of Syria (13:1-3)
      2. The ministry on the island of Cyprus (13:4-12)
      3. The preaching in Antioch of Pisidia (13:13-52)
      4. The work and persecution in Iconium, Lystra and Derbe (14:1-20)
      5. The confirmation of churches and appointment of elders
      6. The return trip to Antioch (14:24-28)

      1. The problem surfaces in Antioch (15:1-3)
      2. The problem resolved in Jerusalem (15:4-29)
      3. The letter delivered to Antioch (15:30-35)

      1. The separation of Paul and Barnabas (15:36-41)
      2. The addition of Timothy to Paul and Silas (16:1-5)
      3. The call to come to Macedonia (16:6-10)
      4. The conversion of Lydia in Philippi (16:11-15)
      5. The conversion of the Philippian jailor (16:16-40)
      6. The proclamation of Christ in Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens
      7. The year and a half at Corinth (18:1-17)
      8. The quick trip back to Antioch (18:18-22)

      1. The strengthening of disciples in Galatia and Phrygia (18:23)
      2. The conversion of Apollos by Aquila and Priscilla (18:24-28)
      3. The three years at Ephesus, ending with a riot (19:1-41)
      4. The trip through Macedonia, three months in Greece, and return
         through Macedonia (20:1-5)
      5. The breaking of bread and miracle at Troas; heading toward
         Jerusalem (20:7-16)
      6. The meeting with the Ephesian elders at Miletus (20:17-38)
      7. The warnings on the way to Jerusalem; brief stays in Tyre and
         Caesarea (21:1-14)
      8. The arrival in Jerusalem (21:15-17)

      1. The counsel of James and elders of the church in Jerusalem
      2. The arrest of Paul in the temple (21:26-40)
      3. The defense by Paul to the Jewish mob (22:1-30)
      4. The defense by Paul before the Sanhedrin council (23:1-10)
      5. The plot against Paul and deliverance to Felix (23:11-35)
      6. The trial before Felix; procrastination by Felix (24:1-27)
      7. The appearance before Festus and appeal to Caesar (25:1-12)
      8. The defense before Festus and King Agrippa (25:13-26:32)
      9. The journey to Rome; shipwreck along the way (27:1-28:16)
     10. The explanation of Paul to the leaders of the Jews in Rome
     11. The waiting in Rome for two years, yet preaching and teaching


1) Who is the author of the book of Acts?  What was his profession?
   - Luke
   - Physician

2) To whom was this book written?  What other book is addressed to this
   - Theophilus (Ac 1:1)
   - The gospel of Luke (Lk 1:3)

3) What might indicate that this person was an official of high rank?
   - Being addressed as "most excellent" (Lk 1:3)

4) When was this book likely written?  From where?  What may be
   indicative of this?
   - 63 A.D.; Rome
   - It is when and where the book abruptly ends (Ac 28:30-31)

5) What is proposed as the primary purpose of the book of Acts?
   - To record the establishment and early growth of the church

6) Based on content, what else does the book appear designed to reveal?
   - Examples of conversions to the gospel of Christ
   - The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the apostles and the early

7) What is offered as the theme of the book of Acts?
   - Witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ

8) What is the key verse?
   - "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
     you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all
     Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." - Ac 1:8

9) What are the main divisions of the book as suggested by the key verse
   and the outline in the introduction?
   - Their witness in Jerusalem (1:1-8:3)
   - Their witness in Judea and Samaria (8:4-12:25)
   - Their witness to the end of the earth (13:1-28:31)