"CONVERSIONS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS" The 2000 At Solomon's Porch (3:1-4:4) INTRODUCTION 1. In our previous lesson, we considered the conversion of "The 3000 On Pentecost"... a. Precipitated by the outpouring of the Spirit - Ac 2:1-21 b. Where Peter proclaimed the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus - Ac 2:22-36 c. In which 3000 souls responded to the gospel commands to repent and be baptized - Ac 2:37-41 2. The next example of conversion in Acts is one often overlooked... a. Many charts listing examples of conversions in the Book of Acts do not include it b. Perhaps because little is said about those converted, other than "many of those who heard the word believed" - cf. Ac 4:4 3. But since our purpose includes looking at the sermons which led people to Christ, we should certainly consider... a. Peter's second gospel sermon, proclaimed on Solomon's Porch in the temple court b. A sermon that led 2000 more people to believe in Jesus Christ! - cf. Ac 4:4 [As we did in the previous study, let's begin with...] I. THE BACKGROUND OF THE CONVERSION A. PETER AND JOHN HAD GONE TO THE TEMPLE - Ac 3:1 1. Christians had been gathering daily in the temple - Ac 2:46 2. Peter and John arrived at the "hour of prayer, the ninth hour"(3 p.m.) B. A MAN LAME FROM BIRTH HAD BEEN HEALED - Ac 3:2-8 1. Who was left daily at the gate of the temple called "Beautiful" - Ac 3:2-3 a. To ask alms from the people entering the temple b. Who asked Peter and John for alms 2. Peter healed him in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth - Ac 3:4-8 a. The lame man expected alms b. But Peter offered him something much better than silver or gold! c. The miracle was immediate and total! C. A CROWD HAD GATHERED - Ac 3:9-11 1. Drawn by the scene of the man walking, praising God; one they knew had been lame from birth - Ac 3:9-10 2. Amazed and wondering, they gathered in the porch called Solomon's - Ac 3:11 [The similarity to the events in Acts 2 are apparent. A miraculous event occurs, it attracts the attention of the people. As before, Peter uses the opportunity to proclaim Jesus...] II. THE SERMON AND ITS RESPONSE A. JESUS IS PROCLAIMED, AS THE MIRACLE IS EXPLAINED... 1. Peter explains the true source of the miracle - Ac 3:12-16 a. It was not by the power or godliness of Peter and John themselves b. It was through faith in the One whom the people killed! 1) God's Servant, Jesus... a) Whom the God of their fathers had glorified! b) Whom they had delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate! -- Calling Jesus God's "Servant" may be an allusion to Isa 52:13-53:12 2) The Holy One, The Just, The Prince of Life... a) Whom they denied, asking for a murderer to be released in his stead! b) Whom God raised from the dead, as seen by witnesses! -- Calling Jesus by these terms emphasized His true person and power c. It was through faith in His name that the lame man was healed; note, however... 1) It was Peter and John's faith in Jesus, not the lame man's faith 2) For the lame man had not expected a miracle, but silver or gold 2. Peter acknowledges their ignorance, but still calls upon them to repent - Ac 3:17-26 a. He recognizes that they and their rulers acted in ignorance b. That what happened was... 1) Foretold through God's prophets 2) Fulfilling God's predetermined plan - cf. Ac 2:23 c. Yet ignorance is no excuse, so they must "repent and be converted" - Ac 3:19 d. Several reasons to so respond are given - Ac 3:19-26 1) That "your sins may be blotted out" a) Alluding to the ancient practice of erasing mistakes made on papyrus b) I.e., another way to describe the remission of sins through Jesus' blood 2) That "times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" a) Here is a positive counterpart to the remission of sins (Stott) b) God provides more than just remission of sins, but refreshment for our spirits (Stott) 3) That God "may send Jesus Christ" (a reference to His second coming) a) Who was preached to them before (via the prophets) b) Whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things (of which the prophets of God had also spoken) 1] As an example of the prophets who had spoken, Moses is quoted 2] Others since Samuel have likewise told of these days 4) They were "sons of the prophets, and of the covenant" God made with their fathers a) A covenant made with Abraham, to bless the world in his seed b) A promise fulfilled by God through His Servant Jesus, Whom He raised 1] Who was sent by God to bless them 2] To bless them by turning them away from their sins B. THE RESPONSE TO PETER'S SERMON... 1. A negative response by the religious leaders - Ac 4:1-3 a. They were greatly disturbed, because in preaching Jesus, Peter preached the resurrection of the dead b. The Sadducees in particular denied the idea of a bodily resurrection - Ac 23:6-9 c. So they had Peter and John placed in custody for trial the next day 2. A positive response by many who heard - Ac 4:4 a. Many who heard the word "believed" b. As many as two thousand men accepted the preaching of Peter! [The power of the gospel to convict the hearts of men continues to be seen, though with some the effect appears to be a hardening of their hearts. As we focus on the sermon and its response, what can we glean from this example of conversion?] III. AN ANALYSIS OF THE CONVERSION A. OBSERVATIONS REGARDING PETER'S SERMON... 1. Again we note the Christ-centeredness of Peter's preaching a. As in his sermon on Pentecost b. While explaining the miracle, he directs their attention to Jesus, not the sign 2. Again Peter's main theme is the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus - Ac 3:13-15 a. The One they killed, God raised from the dead b. The One they killed, God has glorified 3. Yet Peter also introduces a new element... a. The coming of Jesus from heaven! b. Jesus is coming again! - Ac 3:20-21 4. The sermon's climax is the call to "repent therefore, and be converted" - Ac 3:19 a. From this we learn that repentance and conversion are not same thing 1) Otherwise, Peter was redundant 2) I.e., he would have been saying "repent and repent" b. Repent (metanoeo) means "a change of mind" 1) True repentance is brought on by "godly sorrow" - 2 Co 7:9 2) Such repentance then leads one to "salvation" - 2Co 7:10 -- Thus they were being called to change their minds regarding Jesus and their sinful ways c. What is meant by "be converted"? 1) The NKJV and KJV suggest a passive act, but the Greek is aorist active imperative, implying there is something we must do a) The key idea is to "turn" or "return" b) The NIV has "turn to God" and the NASB has "return" -- But how does one turn to God? 2) Compare Peter's word's Ac 3:19 with Ac 2:38 a) "Repent" (Ac 2:38) and "Repent" (Ac 3:19) b) "Be baptized" (Ac 2:38) and "Be converted" (Ac 3:19) 3) Could Peter be referring to baptism when he says "be converted"? a) When one submits to baptism, they so do with an appeal for a clear conscience - cf. 1Pe 3:21 b) In baptism they are calling upon the name of the Lord - Ac 22:16 -- Therefore I believe the call to "turn" likely involved baptism 5. The blessings promised are similar to those found in the first sermon a. There is the forgiveness of sins... 1) Described as the "remission of sins" in the first sermon - Ac 2:38 2) Described now as having one's sins "blotted out" - Ac 3:19 b. There is the positive counterpart to the remission of sins... 1) Described as "the gift of the Holy Spirit" in the first sermon - Ac 2:38-39 2) Described now as "the times of refreshing...from the presence of the Lord" - Ac 3:19 3) I understand Peter to refer to the same thing... a) I.e., the Spirit as a gift to the Christian - Ac 5: 32; Ga 4:6; Ep 1:13-14 b) Whom Jesus promised as a refreshing blessing - Jn 7: 37-39; cf. also Jn 4:10-14 6. In this sermon we find a warning a. In the first sermon Peter pleaded with the people to "be saved from this perverse generation" - Ac 2:40 b. Now we find a reason why, with Moses' prophecy: "every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people" - Ac 3:23 B. OBSERVATIONS REGARDING THE RESPONSE... 1. As mentioned in the introduction, little is said, other than many "believed" - Ac 4:4 2. Are we to conclude from this that was all they did? a. Did they not also "repent"? b. Did they not also "turn"? 3. I think it fair to conclude that the term "believed" encompassed more than simply an acceptance of the facts that had been proclaimed a. That it involved a complete reception of the message preached b. That it included an obedience to whatever conditions had been proclaimed by the apostles (such as repentance, turning, baptism) c. That just as faith was not explicitly mentioned in the first sermon, but is fairly inferred, so also with baptism here C. LESSONS FOR TODAY... 1. When preaching the gospel... a. We must not lose the Christ-centeredness of our focus 1) That includes preaching his death, resurrection and glorification 2) That Jesus provides more than just the forgiveness of sin; but as the Prince of Life, He is the source of every spiritual blessing from above - cf. Ep 1:3 3) That preaching Christ includes preaching His return from heaven, for He is coming again! b. The clarion call of the gospel is one of repentance! 1) Faith and baptism are certainly important even essential 2) Yet repentance was an important theme of preaching by: a) John the Baptist - Mt 3:1-2 b) Jesus - Mt 4:17; Lk 13:3,5 -- And now by the apostles - Ac 2:38; 3:19; cf. Lk 24:47; Ac 20:21 2. When people respond to the gospel, we should expect to see... a. A change of mind (repentance), brought about by "godly sorrow" - cf. 2Co 7:9-10 b. A change of life, as they "turn" from their sins and "turn" to God - cf. 2Co 7:11 1) Implied by the word "converted" (turn) 2) A process that involves their baptism into Christ, in which they die to sin and rise to walk in newness of life - cf. Ro 6:3-7 -- All of which can be summarized as having "believed"! CONCLUSION 1. With this example of conversion, Peter continues to fulfill the commission of his Lord... a. To preach the gospel - Mk 16:15-16 b. To preach repentance and remission of sins in His name - Lk 24:47 2. We saw that not all responded in the same way... a. Yes, 2000 heard the word and believed b. But some religious people with their preconceived ideas were resistant to the gospel -- Sadly, many people today reject the apostolic preaching of the gospel for similar reasons I pray that such is not the case with you; that as we study the preaching of the apostles and responses to it, your heart will be open to the Word of God. Especially to this key verse in our study: "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Ac 3:19)
The Quran and Forgiveness
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
The Quran forthrightly rejects the crucial role occupied by the death and resurrection of Jesus (Surah4:157-158; 3:55). Consequently, the Quran of necessity must leave the impression that God can simply forgive people if they will repent and submit (i.e., become Muslims). To “believe” means to accept Allah as the one and only God, and to accept Muhammad as Allah’s ultimate and final messenger. Resignation and submission of one’s will to this foundational principle (the shahadas), accompanied by good deeds in life, is the means of forgiveness in the Quran. Consider the following passages (from the celebrated translation by Muslim scholar Mohammed Pickthall):
And as for those who believe and do good works, He will pay them their wages in full (Surah 3:57, emp. added).Then, as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will He pay their wages in full, adding unto them of His bounty; and as for those who were scornful and proud, them will He punish with a painful doom (Surah 4:173, emp. added).O ye who believe! If ye keep your duty to Allah, He will give you discrimination (between right and wrong) and will rid you of your evil thoughts and deeds, and will forgive you. Allah is of infinite bounty (Surah 8:29, emp. added).And those who believed and did good works are made to enter the Gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein abiding by permission of their Lord, their greeting therein: Peace! (Surah 14:23, emp. added).Say: O My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgiveth all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. Turn unto Him repentant, and surrender unto Him, before there come unto you the doom, when ye cannot be helped (Surah 39:53-54, emp. added).
These verses spotlight the Quran’s formula for salvation. Turning from unbelief to Allah is the specific grounds upon which Allah can forgive past sin and extend continuing forgiveness to the believer (cf.Surah 11:3; 26:51; 45:30; 46:31). Not only does the Quran nowhere offer a deeper explanation by which forgiveness may be divinely bestowed (i.e., blood atonement), it states explicitly that it is genuine (i.e., non-hypocritical) belief and good deeds that rectify sin:
And those who believe and do good works and believe in that which is revealed unto Muhammad—and it is the truth from their Lord—He riddeth them of their ill-deeds and improveth their state (Surah 47:2, emp. added).And whosoever striveth, striveth only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether Independent of (His) creatures. And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall remit from them their evil deeds and shall repay them the best that they did.... And as for those who believe and do good works, We verily shall make them enter in among the righteous (Surah 29:6-7,9, emp. added).
Compare Ali’s translation of these same verses:
And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creation. Those who believe and work righteous deeds, from them Weshall blot out all evil (that may be) in them, and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds.... And those who believe and work righteous deeds, them We shall admit to the company of the Righteous (emp. added).
Another example is seen in the following Quranic utterance:
Thou seest the wrong-doers fearful of that which they have earned, and it will surely befall them; while those who believe and do good works (will be) in flowering meadows of the Gardens, having what they wish from their Lord. This is the great preferment. This it is which Allah announceth unto His bondmen who believe and do good works. Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I ask of you no fee therefore, save lovingkindness among kinsfolk. And whoso scoreth a good deed We add unto its good for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Responsive. Or say they: He hath invented a lie concerning Allah? If Allah willed, He could have sealed thy heart (against them). And Allah will wipe out the lie and will vindicate the truth by His words. Lo! He is aware of what is hidden in the breasts (of men). And He it is Who accepteth repentance from his bondmen, and pardoneth the evil deeds, and knoweth what ye do. And accepteth those who do good works, and giveth increase unto them of His bounty. And as for disbelievers, theirs will be an awful doom (Surah 42:22-26, emp. added).
Where Pickthall has “whoso scoreth a good deed,” Ali renders it: “if any one earns any good We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof” (vs. 23). The Quran explains that when Allah’s warnings and signs eventually come to pass, “no good will it do to a soul to believe in them then, if it believed not before nor earned righteousness through its faith....He that does good shall have ten times as much to his credit” (Ali’s translation of Surah 6:159,161, emp. added). Such verses underscore the fact that the means by which Allah can forgive sins is the Muslim’s commission of good deeds (cf. Surah 25:70; 39:35; 64:9).
In fact, the good deeds must outweigh the bad deeds on the Day of Judgment: “Then, he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) heavy, will be in a Life of good pleasure and satisfaction. But he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) light, will have his home in a (bottomless) Pit. And what will explain to you what this is? (It is) a Fire blazing fiercely!” (Surah 101:6-11, Ali’s translation). The Quran even states explicitly that good deeds drive away evil deeds:
And lo! unto each thy Lord will verily repay his works in full. Lo! He is informed of what they do. So tread thou the straight path as thou art commanded, and those who turn (unto Allah) with thee, and transgress not. Lo! He is Seer of what ye do.... Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo! good deeds annul ill deeds. This is a reminder for the mindful. And have patience, (O Muhammad), for lo! Allah loseth not the wages of the good (Surah 11:111-112,114-115, emp. added).
Allah will, in fact, simply overlook the evil deeds of those who become Muslims: “Those are they from whom We accept the best of what they do, and overlook their evil deeds. (They are) among the owners of the Garden. This is the true promise which they were promised (in the world)” (Surah 46:16, emp. added). Ali renders “overlook” as “pass by.” So according to the Quran, forgiveness from Allah is grounded in and dependent upon the act of becoming a Muslim and maintaining that status with good deeds. No wonder the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorists could visit a strip bar just prior to their suicidal mission (Farrington, 2001). They understood the Quran’s teaching that good deeds enable God to overlook the bad.
In contrast, the Bible certainly teaches that good deeds are necessary to salvation (Acts 10:35; Romans 2:6). In fact, faith itself is a “work”—a deed that the individual must do (John 6:29). Repentance, confession of the deity of Jesus with the mouth, and water baptism are likewise all necessary prerequisites to the reception of forgiveness from God (Acts 2:38; 17:30; Romans 10:9-10). However, the New Testament teaches that obedience to divinely specified deeds does not make those deeds meritorious, i.e., they do not earn salvation for the individual. They are conditions of salvation—but not the grounds of salvation. They do not erase or rectify past sin. Atonement must still be made for all sins previously committed (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Much of Christendom has gone awry on this point. Especially since the Protestant Reformation, the pendulum shifted to the extreme, unbiblical contention that all one need do is “believe,” what Martin Luther labeled “sola fide” (faith alone) (cf. Lewis, 1991, pp. 353-358; Butt, 2004). The Quran advocates the equally incorrect opposite extreme of earning forgiveness by human works of merit. The New Testament actually steers a middle course between these two extremes by insisting that no sin can be forgiven without the shed blood of Jesus. Here is the grace of Christianity—God doing for humanity what humanity is powerless to do for itself, i.e., atone for its own sin. This gracious act of God is unmerited, undeserved, and unearned (Ephesians 2:8-9). Nothing humans do can repay God for this indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). Nevertheless, in order for the alien sinner to access the rich blessing of forgiveness based on the blood of Christ, he or she must render obedience to the Gospel of Christ (Romans 6:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 5:9) through faith, repentance, confession, and baptism (Hebrews 11:6; Luke 13:3; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Peter 3:21). This obedient response to Christ does not earn forgiveness for the sinner, or counteract past misdeeds. Rather, it represents compliance with the divinely (not humanly) mandated prerequisites by which one receives and accepts the gift of salvation that God offers to those who will respond appropriately. [NOTE: The New Testament term that is translated “Gospel,” meaning “good news” (Bruce, 1977, pp. 1ff.), refers specifically to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as the sole means by which sin may be forgiven. Incredibly, the Quran is silent on the need for atonement and Christ’s death on the cross, and yet it speaks approvingly of “Injil” (or “Injeel”), i.e., the Gospel, apparently referring to the revelation that Muhammad thought was revealed to Jesus.]
Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1934), The Qur’an (Elmhurst, NY: Tahrike Tarsile Quran), ninth edition.
Bruce, F.F. (1977), The Defense of the Gospel in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), revised edition.
Butt, Kyle (2004), “Martin Luther Speaks on ‘Faith Only’ and Baptism,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/1858.
Farrington, Brendan (2001), “FBI Investigates Possible Fla. Links,” [On-line]: URL: http://newsmine.org/archive/9-11/questions/stripbar.htm.
Lewis, Jack (1991), Questions You’ve Asked About Bible Translations (Searcy, AR: Resource Publications).
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (n.d.), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
David Has Been Found
|by||Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.|
Last summer, archaeologists excavating at Tel Dan (biblical Dan) found a fragment of a stela (inscribed stone) in the remains of a city wall that scholars acclaim as “one of the most important discoveries in the annals of Biblical archaeology” (Wood, 1993, 6:121). The stone fragment seems to have been from a victory stela erected at Dan by a conquering Aramean (Syrian) army. When the Israelites eventually reclaimed the city, they destroyed the stela and used its fragments in various structures (Shanks, 1994, 20:39). Professor Avraham Biran, the archaeologist heading the excavation, has dated the stela to the first half of the ninth century B.C. (Shanks, 1994, 20:38).
Though only thirteen partial lines remain of this once-impressive monument, they contain an unparalleled literary jewel. Lines 8 and 9 explicitly mention the “king of Israel” and the “House of David,” which the conquering army defeated [The drawing on the left depicts the lower portion of the basalt stela from Tel Dan. The engraved inscription is written in paleo-Hebrew. The two highlighted areas are translated “king of Isreal” and “House of David,” respectively.] These statements are important for several reasons. First, this is the only extant, extrabiblical document that unquestionably mentions the name David (perhaps it also appears in the Mesha stela, better known as the Moabite stone; see Lemaire, 1994). Even more remarkable is the fact that his name appears in the familiar phrase “House of David.” Given the date of the stela, this serves to confirm the biblical usage of this designation (cf. 1 Kings 12:19, 14:8, Isaiah 7:2, et al.).
Second, though critical scholars have tended to minimize the importance of Israel and Judah during this historical period, the inscription supports the significance that the Bible attaches to these two kingdoms. Third, the tentative date of this discovery corresponds historically with 1 Kings 15:9-20 in which Ben-Hadad, King of Syria (Aram), attacked several Israelite cities including Dan. Some scholars argue that the stela is an exact parallel to this sacred account.
However, there seem to be some differences between the details of 1 Kings 15:9-20 and the ancient stela fragment. Most conspicuously, the stela suggests (if accurately translated) that the Syrian army destroyed both Israel and Judah, but the biblical text indicates that Syria and Judah were alliesagainst Israel. These discrepancies do not necessarily mean that either account is inaccurate. It may be that the stela refers to another battle not mentioned in the Bible, and it is very likely that there were several skirmishes involving Syria. But the stela does demonstrate that Syria (Aram) had military conflicts with Israel, lending corroborative testimony to the historical reliability of the biblical text.
No doubt, analysis of and debate over the stela will continue for some time. We can be certain, however, that the name “David” has been found in a ninth-century B.C. text other than the Bible. That incontrovertible fact is yet another ancient witness to biblical credibility.
Lemaire, Andre (1994), “ ‘House of David’ Restored in Moabite Inscription,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20:30-37, May/June.
Shanks, Hershel (1994a), “ ‘David’ Found at Dan,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20:26-39, March/April.
Shanks, Hershel (1994b), “New Inscription May Illuminate Biblical Events,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20:38, March/April.
Wood, Bryant (1993), “New Inscription Mentions House of David,” Bible and Spade, 6:119-121, Autumn.
Atheist Finally “Sobers Up”
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Nearly 30 years ago, a debate of significant proportions took place. It was September 20-23, 1976. The place was the campus of North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. The disputants were two longtime professors of philosophy—Thomas B. Warren (whose Ph.D. in philosophy was from Vanderbilt) and Antony G.N. Flew (who was teaching in the University of Reading near London, England). The propositions they debated juxtaposed succinctly the real issue between thorough-going (positive) atheism and thorough-going (biblical) theism. Dr. Flew affirmed, “I know that God does not exist,” and Dr. Warren affirmed, “I know that God does exist.”
Dr. Warren once explained why he selected Antony Flew as his opponent in the debate. His rationale was simple: if those who are on the cutting edge of philosophical thought and who are considered to be the leaders in their chosen area of expertise—the “best of the best” if you will—are unable to defend their position when confronted by a fair and accurate defense of the truth, their error will be exposed. Those who were influenced by these leading men would be forced (like the “domino effect”) to recognize the sterility of the viewpoint they had embraced. Antony Flew had been a leading champion of atheism for decades. His writings dominated philosophical journals, and he was a prolific author [his books included Hume’s Philosophy of Belief (1961), God and Philosophy (1966),Evolutionary Ethics (1967), An Introduction to Western Philosophy (1971), and even a book on logic—Thinking Straight (1975)]. Having taught at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, Flew also served as a visiting professor in many American universities, and conducted numerous debates in the process of defending his atheism.
For the first two nights of the Warren-Flew debate, Flew assumed the affirmative position in an attempt to prove that God does not exist. However, Warren’s kind-but-relentless assault in the negative position seemed to leave Flew battered, bewildered, and disoriented—so much so that when Dr. Warren assumed the affirmative position on the third night of the debate, he spent a few minutes attempting to ascertain the reason for Dr. Flew’s failure, while in the affirmative, to present a sound argument for his atheistic contention in a precise logical way:
It has been suggested that his failure is due to the fact that he is in a foreign country, but such could have little or nothing to do with this proposition. That he is out of his own country has nothing to do with how he handles intellectual material. Neither is his failure due to his not being accustomed to this style of debating. I have heard him in discussion before, and he seemed not to be bothered at all by the kind of format that was involved. Perhaps he did not know the responsibility of an affirmative speaker? But that cannot be so because, in his writings, he constantly chides a man who does not recognize his responsibility as an affirmant. Perhaps because he does not know the arguments? I deny that emphatically. In reading the works of Dr. Flew, I am convinced that he knows the arguments that are involved as well as anybody in the world. Perhaps because he does not understand or accept the law of rationality? The truth of the matter is: he has written very strongly and frequently in defense of it! But he has not acted in harmony with it in thisdiscussion. Ordinarily, when he is writing in the affirmative, and he writes almost constantly of matters that are concerned with God or very closely related to God—at least subjects that are peripheral to the subject of God. In fact, it is the case that he is almost God-intoxicated. He constantly emphasizes in his books that the onus of proof is on the affirmative writer or speaker! But I am afraid that he has not recognized that truth in this discussion (1977, pp. 131-132, emp. in orig.).
In the very next speech—the first negative—Dr. Flew responded to Dr. Warren’s comments in the following words: “Dr. Warren may be assured that I am sobering up from God intoxication. I shall be writing considerably less, if anything, in this area in the future” (p. 143, emp. added). Now, 28 years later, Dr. Flew appears, indeed, to finally have sobered up. At the age of 81, he has announced to the world that, based upon the scientific evidence, he now believes in some type of God (“Famous Atheist…,” 2004). However, do not jump to any premature conclusions. One interviewer spoke with Dr. Flew about his recent adjustments in his thinking, and concluded:
The fact of the matter is: Flew hasn’t really decided what to believe. He affirms that he is not a Christian—he is still quite certain that the Gods of Christianity or Islam do not exist, that there is no revealed religion, and definitely no afterlife of any kind. But he is increasingly persuaded that some sort of Deity brought about this universe, though it does not intervene in human affairs, nor does it provide any postmortem salvation. He says he has in mind something like the God of Aristotle, a distant, impersonal “prime mover.” It might not even be conscious, but a mere force. In formal terms, he regards the existence of this minimal God as a hypothesis that, at present, is perhaps the best explanation for why a universe exists that can produce complex life. But he is still unsure. In fact, he asked that I not directly quote him yet, until he finally composes his new introduction to a final edition of his book God and Philosophy, due out next year. He hasn’t completed it yet, precisely because he is still examining the evidence and thinking things over. Anything he says now, could change tomorrow (Carrier, 2004).
Here is what Flew has stated about whether he believes in God in the biblical sense:
I do not think I will ever make that assertion, precisely because any assertion which I am prepared to make about God would not be about a God in that sense ... I think we need here a fundamental distinction between the God of Aristotle or Spinoza and the Gods of the Christian and the Islamic Revelations…. My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing species... [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms (as quoted in Carrier, italics in orig., emp. added).
It’s a step. But Dr. Flew has a long way to go to arrive at the truth concerning God’s existence. Observe that even when an atheist is forced to recognize that the evidence demands that a purposive, intelligent Being lies behind the Creation, he still endeavors to relegate this intelligence to an impersonal force that does not “provide a postmortem salvation.” Why? Because the same Being also would provide a “postmortem condemnation” in which humans will rightly and justly receive punishment for their sinful behavior on Earth. Can’t have that, can we?! It would mean adjusting one’s daily life choices and relegating one’s stubborn pride beneath the will of God.
Flew also stated: “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads” (“Famous Atheist…,” emp. added). If that were true, he would have already been led to the truth that the God of the Bible exists (just read the Warren-Flew debate!). Indeed, all the available evidence leads to that singular conclusion. The very evidence that Flew now believes indicates the existence of some sort of God, is the same evidence that he once insisted supported atheism! It took him 66 years to arrive at this most recent conclusion (Flew has been a self-avowed atheist since he was 15). But given the current human lifespan, he does not have another 66 years to follow the evidence to where it leads.
Carrier, Richard (2004), “Antony Flew Considers God—Sort Of,” [On-line], URL: http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=369.
“Famous Atheist Now Believes in God” (2004), The Associated Press, December 9, [On-line], URL: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=315976.
Flew, Antony G.N. and Thomas B. Warren (1977), Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
A Crater of Consensus, or False Assurance?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
According to a litany of recent news reports, “the mystery has been solved.” The riddle has been unraveled. A “dream team” of scientists now knows the answer. After much debate over the last several decades, the matter of the great dinosaur demise reportedly has been confirmed, reaffirmed, and settled. At least, that is what the main stream, pro-atheistic, evolutionary media has reported.
On what did a group of evolutionary scientists come to an agreement? The volcano theory? The hay fever theory? The poisonous plant theory? None of these. Forty-one researchers from across the globe believe that everyone can now rest assured that, as many evolutionists had previously thought, dinosaurs became extinct as a result of an asteroid that hit Mexico 65 million years ago (Watson, 2010). According to Kirk Johnson of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, “We assessed the whole picture.... The answer is quite simple.... The Chicxulub crater really is the culprit” (as quoted in Watson). Due to the impact of this seven-mile-wide asteroid and its subsequent effects, including earthquakes, tsunamis, and darkness (as a result of dust and debris), all of the dinosaurs died out.
As with the General Theory of Evolution, these scientists would like us to think that the debate is over. But the debate is far from over, as even some evolutionary scientists are unconvinced by the asteroid theory. For example, Princeton University professor Gerta Keller still believes that the crater at Chicxulub was formed long before dinosaurs became extinct. What’s more, as many creationists have been asking ever since this theory was first proposed (see Lyons and Butt, 2008, p. 210), evolutionist Norman MacLeod of the Museum of Natural History in London, “wonders why, if the asteroid strike was such a doomsday event, some classes of species survived and even thrived” (Watson, 2010).
The truth is, no one knows for sure why the last of the dinosaurs died out. The Noahic Flood certainly would have destroyed countless thousands (or millions) of dinosaurs around the world. Those that survived the Flood (on Noah’s ark) eventually became extinct for unknown reasons. Creationists have proposed logical reasons why they may have died out (see Lyons and Butt, pp. 220-223), but no one can be absolutely certain.
There is one thing that we can know for sure: dinosaur extinction in no way disproves Creation.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2008), The Dinosaur Delusion (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Watson, Traci (2010), “‘Dream Team’ Agrees Huge Asteroid Killed Dinosaurs,” March 4, [On-line],URL: http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/scientists-reaffirm-asteroid-theory-in-dinosaur-deaths/19383600?icid=main|aim|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fscience%2Farticle%2Fscientists-reaffirm-asteroid-theory-in-dinosaur-deaths%2F19383600.
America’s “Sudden Catastrophe”
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Scanning the social landscape of America, one is struck by a number of cultural factors that characterize the present condition of society. Consider the following four. First, Americans have shifted dramatically away from instruction in the Christian religion and respect for the authority of the Bible. The public school system and the scientific community are thoroughly ensconced in an anti-religion, evolutionist posture. Statistics show that fewer Americans attend church, read their Bibles, or retain commitment to the precepts of Jesus Christ. Even among those who maintain an affiliation with the “formal” aspects of religion, churches have become “seeker sensitive” in their thrust, providing centers of entertainment and strictly positive, “feel good,” anecdotal talks in place of Bible-based, soul-strengthening sermons. Sermons that stir the soul and convict the conscience are decried as “too negative” and “hell-fire and brimstone preaching.” Yes, Americans are rejecting religious instruction and authority.
Second, Americans have distorted the notion of justice. In many ways, the criminal justice system has become a laughing stock, earning the distrust and dismay of large segments of the population. Since the 1960s shift from the rights of the victim to the rights of the criminal, America’s laws and sense of justice have been gradually restructured and redefined. Prisons are full to overflowing, resulting in unjust early release programs. Having committed crimes “deserving of death” (Acts 25:11; Romans 1:32), inmates continue to live on death row for years and years. “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). On one hand, criminals commit multiple heinous crimes, inflicting injury and death on law-abiding citizens, only to be released on technicalities to continue their vile rampage on the security and well-being of the innocent. On the other hand, Christian parents can apply proper discipline to their children and be brought before authorities for child abuse and imprisoned. Yes, Americans are violating the rules of eternal justice.
Third, for over 150 years, Americans shared a common and virtually universal moral framework. As political sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville observed of America in the 1830s: “Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, as I have before observed, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate” (1835, 1:304-305, emp. added). Since World War II, Americans have steadily relaxed the moral sensibilities that once governed society, providing citizens with certainty and stability in their daily behavioral choices. The rigid parameters that once gave society cohesion, defining what is right or wrong, moral or immoral, have all but evaporated. From abortion and embryonic stem-cell research to same-sex relations, clear cut moral distinctions have become blurred in the minds of many people. Yes, Americans are trifling with the injunctions of morality.
Fourth, liberal politicians and activist judges are running amok throughout the country. Foolish, ungodly decisions have been perpetrated on the public—from the removal of Ten Commandment monuments from public places and the banning of prayers in city council and school board meetings, to the redefinition of marriage and accommodation of easy divorce. Even Supreme Court justices are looking to foreign courts to guide their judicial decisions and thwart the intentions of the Framers. Their reinterpretation of the Constitution that results in the expulsion of God from the public square constitutes an illicit tampering with the foundations of the nation. Yes, Americans are recklessly destroying the political constitution that holds us together.
In view of these most unfortunate circumstances, consider the words from a speech delivered on February 23, 1852 by second generation American, Daniel Webster, who offered the following chilling prophecy:
[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity (1903, 13:492-493, emp. added).
This uncanny, prophetic anticipation of America’s current condition is being fulfilled before our very eyes. All that remains to happen is the judgment that is inevitable—since God remains consistent with His actions throughout world history (Genesis 19:13; Psalm 9:17; cf. “calamity” in 2 Chronicles 7:22).
Tocqueville, Alexis de (1835), Democracy in America (New York, NY: Alfred Knopf, 1994 reprint).
Webster, Daniel (1903), The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, & Company).
What should we mean by "a leader"?
By a 'leader' I mean one who guides, who shapes the actions and opinions of others. He is one who represents the views and feelings of others. He is someone 'out in front' showing the way or embodying the principles he shares with others. He is one who has 'authority'. The word 'leader' is elastic enough to embrace all these ideas and more like them. Depending on context, leadership stresses one or more aspects of this complex of ideas. Like so many other rich words, 'leader' insists on having a definite meaning but it resists verbal imprisonment.
Sometimes a leader leads simply by repeating the mind of the community as a spokesman of the community. At other times he shapes and moulds the vision and practice of that community. In this he is 'leading'. Characteristically the leader embodies and/or promotes the principles on which a group is founded to a 'better than average' degree. He would be acknowledged as a leader precisely because he stands for and lives out those esteemed principles to a marked degree. It's because we recognize others as more capable or devoted than ourselves that we are pleased to acknowledge them as our leaders. Our convictions are important to us so we want our wisest and most articulate people to lead us in this area. There's nothing strange or sinister about any of this. As C.H. Dodd put it, "Truly religious people recognize their betters." (Even truly non-religious people can recognize their betters. Christians have no monopoly on humility and honesty.)
I will we dealing mainly with religious leaders. I will be dealing mainly with 'good' leaders. 'Bad' leadership will, now and then, serve as a backdrop for the discussion of good leaders. And anyone who has thought about it for a moment recognizes that there are good leaders who don't profess the Christian faith. Being a Christian, however, I would propose that good leadership is a gift of God to humanity and that wherever or in whoever goodness or giftedness is manifested, it is the work of God. It is Christian imperialism in one of its most degenerate forms to claim that God only blesses Christians with moral grandeur, wisdom and insight. It's also nonsense. But I will be speaking in terms of biblical leadership even when I don't use that adjective.
Precisely how God equips the various leaders is a very complex question and is certainly beyond my competence. There are some things we can say that are no doubt sensible and biblical but they don't explain the mechanics of how God does what he does in equipping leaders. That he does it, the Bible insists. When we see such giftedness, we acknowledge that he has done it. One thing we're sure of and it's this, that the basis of all biblical leadership and authority is God's blessing of the person; God's enabling and empowering of that person. Was Deborah recognized as a prophetess? It was God who enabled her. Was Samuel recognized as a judge, priest and prophet? It was God who enabled him. Did Bezalel work at and teach others how to work in metals and other materials? God had equipped him to do so. The OT is filled with this truth and these few instances only bring into focus what permeates the OT scriptures. The NT proclaims the same truth. 1 Cor 12 (in pursuit of loving unity) develops the thought that all those who lead the congregation have been equipped by God. Eph 4 says with grand simplicity that the leaders are 'gifts' of God (to the Body).
Whether the leader's 'equipment' consists of moral grandeur in character or expertise in some specific area, he has been equipped by God to lead. The existence of his equipment is the mark God has placed on him and that's why people receive him as a leader given by God. The basis of a good man's authority is his goodness. The basis of a great teacher's authority is the greatness of his teaching. In both cases, these are the gifts of God and that's the basis of his leadership and authority.
The person's willingness to do it
1 Pet 5:2 reminds shepherds that they are to exercise leadership willingly. Phillips translates it like this: "Accept the responsibility of looking after them willingly and not because you feel you can't get out of it..."
Only the ignorant think that genuine leaders have it easy! Leadership involves lots of work, disappointment, frustration and loss of comforts as well as satisfaction, joy and other perks. Giftedness must be developed by involvement whether one is a concert pianist, a business man or a religious leader. Good leadership (religious or otherwise) means the individual must make a genuine commitment. It must be his/her commitment. When times get tough and they aren't willing to continue to pay the price it won't impress anyone if they say: "I never wanted to do it anyway. They talked me into it." A leader worth the name doesn't have to be endlessly entreated to do his business. Giving room for human frailty, weariness and emotional lows, a leader ought to be willing to face the demands that his place of leadership makes on him. If he doesn't want to lead then he shouldn't allow himself to be placed in that position. If he's going to do it he must personally commit to it.
The person's unwillingness to do it
The previous point needs to be made but this point balances it. We see it everywhere we look. School-teachers who are under-paid, unappreciated and over-burdened but who can't leave the job alone. We see it in decent and powerful business women who have made more money than they can spend and who have no greed for predatory wealth. They thrill to the challenge of building another thriving business which makes life easier for employees and needy families. We see it in business men who have (despite their honest and diligent efforts) failed in the market. They can hardly wait to raise more money to have another shot at it. We see it in over-worked doctors and nurses who could have an easier time in some other job but who won't turn from medicine or patient-care. We see it in a few genuine statesmen who, without being smug or 'too sweet to be wholesome', fight corruption and work for 'the people'. All the people! And this they do this despite the daily harassment by political jackals and self-serving foxes. When they are feeling the strain and you urge people like these to change their jobs, they tell you they can't. It's in their blood. They'd be unhappy at anything else. It isn't so much that they have chosen the vocation; the vocation holds them prisoner. This is biblical-style leadership. In this Christian leaders and non-Christian leaders often share a common experience.Yes! They do!
Jeremiah was a glorious prophet! At times he whimpered under the pressure. At times he complained that his service to God had brought him nothing but pain. He felt deeply for his people but he had his moments when he felt more deeply for himself and he plainly said so to God. He sometimes wished he had a wilderness house where he could go and have a good cry and on more than one occasion he wasn't sure about the message God had given him to deliver. If he found it so tough and complained so much, why didn't he quit? He couldn't! He thought about it (20:9) but the message wouldn't stay inside. He told himself he wouldn't speak any more but as he walked around silent and fuming the message began to eat at his bones until he could keep it in no longer and off he went again. He was really a prisoner to the vocation. About six centuries later another Jewish prophet, another very human human, confessed he had no choice but to speak for God (1 Cor 9:16-18). Here's how he put it: "For I take no special pride that I preach the gospel. I feel compelled to do so; I should be utterly miserable if I failed to preach it. If I do this work because I choose to do so then I am entitled to a reward. But if it is no choice of mine, but a sacred responsibility put upon me, what can I expect in the way of reward?" (Phillips)
These two illustrations are typical. This is the norm for outstanding biblical leaders. From Moses to Gideon to Elijah to Amos to Nehemiah to Peter. Despite the moments of balking and protest, of discouragement and disillusionment, of self-pity and 'burn-out' they couldn't help themselves. They had been touched by God for a noble endeavour and there was no turning back. Wasn't it Caruso, the famous tenor, who said he didn't have a voice, the voice had him? Moses and some unknown modern school-teacher would have a lot to share, wouldn't they? Daniel and some modern noble statesman could get well acquainted. Deborah and some honourable lady judge or lawyer would have plenty in common. All good leaders, in the Bible or out of it, religious or non-religious, prominent or coming up in the rear have this in common: they feel a sense of vocation so deeply that their commitment has gone beyond willingness into the realm of healthy impulsion. (And to see a school-teacher leaving for home at the end of the day, weary after wrestling for the minds of mainly hard to inspire studentsto see him leave with a satisfied look because of some hard-won victory is gorgeous. To see the joy in the faces of a poorly-paid preacher and his wife when their life and message have finally begun to show fruit in the growing selflessness of some of the disciples that's contagious. To hear the excitement in a Sunday-school teacher's voice as she rehearses the bravery of some of her young students in the face of awful family situations is humbling. To share the joy of a successful business woman who has created an honest stall in the marketplace where people see an island of cheerful fairness operate in a sea of shoddy goods and sharp practicesto share that joy is inspiring.)
The people's willingness to follow
This point can easily be overstated but it does need to be made. In a democratic society (and in a world which is careering toward democratization) and in a culture shaped by such a society, it is necessary to deal with the desire of the people. In societies and cultures where democracy is unknown, leaders are appointed in ways unacceptable to western standards. In some structures (such as some privately owned businesses), the situation is clear the owner is the leader. If you don't like that, you indicate your disagreement by clearing out your desk on your way to another job.
In theory, in non-religious structures, the difficulties in harmonizing leadership and 'people power' should be greater since Bible believers are given clear guidelines about leadership and 'followership'. But everyone with even a little insight knows that guidelines aren't what leadership/followership problems are about. It would be pleasing to be able to say that Christian people need only to be told how to handle such challenges and it would be done. But it would be untrue! Non-Christians have no monopoly on arrogance or excessive self-interest. Christians are very capable of division, pride and unhealthy self-determination. There are men in religious communities who want to call the shots and crack the whips as there are those who will follow no one however gifted or qualified they are.
Nevertheless, in a religious community, those who are the gifted and more than willing to serve as leaders, will have the support of the people in general. They will be acknowledged as leaders even before any public or formal appointment takes place. (I'll say more about this shortly.) So, despite the possible problem situations, common sense usually prevails and people are glad to follow leaders of the calibre we've sketched in the previous paragraphs. Just the same, the man who is not wanted as a leader by the community cannot serve the community as a leader no matter how qualified he is (or thinks he is)!
I'm old enough to know that people have often followed bad leaders and that people have often rejected good leaders. Ultimate goodness lies only in God and that ultimate goodness was manifested in Jesus Christ. Apart from that qualifier, nobody is absolutely good or evil. No leader is without his flaws. Equally, no follower is without his flaws. For good or ill, people only follow leaders they judge to be good and sometimes their appraisal of what is 'good' is not good.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com
The World English Bible
Joshua 11, 12
Jos 11:1 It happened, when Jabin king of Hazor heard of it, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph,
Jos 11:2 and to the kings who were on the north, in the hill country, in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west,
Jos 11:3 to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the hill country, and the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
Jos 11:4 They went out, they and all their armies with them, many people, even as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots.
Jos 11:5 All these kings met together; and they came and encamped together at the waters of Merom, to fight with Israel.
Jos 11:6 Yahweh said to Joshua, "Don't be afraid because of them; for tomorrow at this time, I will deliver them up all slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire."
Jos 11:7 So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly, and fell on them.
Jos 11:8 Yahweh delivered them into the hand of Israel, and they struck them, and chased them to great Sidon, and to Misrephoth Maim, and to the valley of Mizpeh eastward. They struck them until they left them none remaining.
Jos 11:9 Joshua did to them as Yahweh told him. He hamstrung their horses and burnt their chariots with fire.
Jos 11:10 Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword: for Hazor used to be the head of all those kingdoms.
Jos 11:11 They struck all the souls who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them. There was no one left who breathed. He burnt Hazor with fire.
Jos 11:12 Joshua captured all the cities of those kings, with their kings, and he struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them; as Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded.
Jos 11:13 But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, except Hazor only. Joshua burned that.
Jos 11:14 The children of Israel took all the spoil of these cities, with the livestock, as spoils for themselves; but every man they struck with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them. They didn't leave any who breathed.
Jos 11:15 As Yahweh commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua. Joshua did so. He left nothing undone of all that Yahweh commanded Moses.
Jos 11:16 So Joshua captured all that land, the hill country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel, and the lowland of the same;
Jos 11:17 from Mount Halak, that goes up to Seir, even to Baal Gad in the valley of Lebanon under Mount Hermon. He took all their kings, struck them, and put them to death.
Jos 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.
Jos 11:19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took all in battle.
Jos 11:20 For it was of Yahweh to harden their hearts, to come against Israel in battle, that he might utterly destroy them, that they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Jos 11:21 Joshua came at that time, and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel: Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities.
Jos 11:22 There were none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, did some remain.
Jos 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that Yahweh spoke to Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. The land had rest from war.
Jos 12:1 Now these are the kings of the land, whom the children of Israel struck, and possessed their land beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, from the valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah eastward:
Jos 12:2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the middle of the valley, and half Gilead, even to the river Jabbok, the border of the children of Ammon;
Jos 12:3 and the Arabah to the sea of Chinneroth, eastward, and to the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, eastward, the way to Beth Jeshimoth; and on the south, under the slopes of Pisgah:
Jos 12:4 and the border of Og king of Bashan, of the remnant of the Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei,
Jos 12:5 and ruled in Mount Hermon, and in Salecah, and in all Bashan, to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.
Jos 12:6 Moses the servant of Yahweh and the children of Israel struck them. Moses the servant of Yahweh gave it for a possession to the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
Jos 12:7 These are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the children of Israel struck beyond the Jordan westward, from Baal Gad in the valley of Lebanon even to Mount Halak, that goes up to Seir. Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions;
Jos 12:8 in the hill country, and in the lowland, and in the Arabah, and in the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the South; the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
Jos 12:9 the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;
Jos 12:10 the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;
Jos 12:11 the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one;
Jos 12:12 the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;
Jos 12:13 the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one;
Jos 12:14 the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;
Jos 12:15 the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one;
Jos 12:16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;
Jos 12:17 the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one;
Jos 12:18 the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lassharon, one;
Jos 12:19 the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one;
Jos 12:20 the king of Shimron Meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one;
Jos 12:21 the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;
Jos 12:22 the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one;
Jos 12:23 the king of Dor in the height of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one;
Jos 12:24 the king of Tirzah, one: all the kings thirty-one.
May 14, 15
Luk 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.
Luk 24:2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
Luk 24:3 They entered in, and didn't find the Lord Jesus' body.
Luk 24:4 It happened, while they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing.
Luk 24:5 Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth. They said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Luk 24:6 He isn't here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee,
Luk 24:7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?"
Luk 24:8 They remembered his words,
Luk 24:9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest.
Luk 24:10 Now they were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them told these things to the apostles.
Luk 24:11 These words seemed to them to be nonsense, and they didn't believe them.
Luk 24:12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed to his home, wondering what had happened.
Luk 24:13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem.
Luk 24:14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened.
Luk 24:15 It happened, while they talked and questioned together, that Jesus himself came near, and went with them.
Luk 24:16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
Luk 24:17 He said to them, "What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?"
Luk 24:18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn't know the things which have happened there in these days?"
Luk 24:19 He said to them, "What things?" They said to him, "The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people;
Luk 24:20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.
Luk 24:22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb;
Luk 24:23 and when they didn't find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.
Luk 24:24 Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn't see him."
Luk 24:25 He said to them, "Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Luk 24:26 Didn't the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?"
Luk 24:27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luk 24:28 They drew near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further.
Luk 24:29 They urged him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over." He went in to stay with them.
Luk 24:30 It happened, that when he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them.
Luk 24:31 Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight.
Luk 24:32 They said one to another, "Weren't our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?"
Luk 24:33 They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them,
Luk 24:34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"
Luk 24:35 They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
Luk 24:36 As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace be to you."
Luk 24:37 But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Luk 24:38 He said to them, "Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts?
Luk 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn't have flesh and bones, as you see that I have."
Luk 24:40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
Luk 24:41 While they still didn't believe for joy, and wondered, he said to them, "Do you have anything here to eat?"
Luk 24:42 They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.
Luk 24:43 He took them, and ate in front of them.
Luk 24:44 He said to them, "This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled."
Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures.
Luk 24:46 He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
Luk 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.
Luk 24:49 Behold, I send forth the promise of my Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high."
Luk 24:50 He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
Luk 24:51 It happened, while he blessed them, that he withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven.
Luk 24:52 They worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
Luk 24:53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.