"CONVERSIONS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS" Saul Of Tarsus (9:1-19; 22:6-16; 26:12-18) INTRODUCTION 1. From the conversion of "The Ethiopian Eunuch", we now turn our attention to what is perhaps the most famous of conversions in the New Testament... a. The conversion of Saul of Tarsus, chief persecutor of the early church - Ac 8:1,3; 9:1-2 b. Who became Paul the apostle (Ac 13:9), a recipient himself of much persecution for the cause of Christ - cf. 2Co 11:23-28 -- Whose conversion stands as a powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ 2. There are actually three records of his conversion in The Book of Acts... a. Ac 9:1-19 - where Luke describes it as it happened b. Ac 22:6-16 - where Paul recounts his conversion before a large crowd c. Ac 26:12-18 - where Paul defends himself before King Agrippa 3. From the example of the conversion of "Saul of Tarsus"... a. We find not only a powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ b. But also more evidence concerning the nature of conversions as they are revealed in The Book of Acts 4. For example... a. When was Saul (Paul) saved? 1) Was it on the road to Damascus, when the Lord appeared to him? 2) Or was it in Damascus, at some point after he arrived there? b. How was Saul (Paul) saved? 1) Through saying a sinner's prayer? 2) Or by being baptized? [Such questions can be answered by a careful consideration of Biblical evidence. Let's begin with a review of the evidence provided by all three accounts of Saul's conversion...] I. A HARMONY OF THE CONVERSION OF SAUL A. SAUL WAS ON HIS WAY TO DAMASCUS... 1. To persecute more Christians - Ac 9:1-2; 22:4-5; 26:9-11 2. When a light shone around him from heaven - Ac 9:3; 22:6;26:12-13 3. When a voice began to speak to him in Hebrew... a. Identifying itself as the voice of Jesus - Ac 9:4-5; 22:7-9; 26:14-15 b. Jesus then tells Saul... 1) Why He has appeared to him - Ac 26:16-18 2) To go on to Damascus, where... a) He will be told "what you must do" - Ac 9:6 b) He will be told "all things which are appointed for you to do" - Ac 22:10 B. SAUL ARRIVES IN DAMASCUS... 1. Led by the hand, having been blinded by the light - Ac 9:8;22:11 2. For three days, he neither eats nor drinks - Ac 9:9 C. THE LORD SENDS ANANIAS TO SAUL... 1. The Lord appears to Ananias in a vision, and tells him to go to Saul - Ac 9:10-16 2. Ananias goes to Saul, and... a. Has his sight restored - Ac 9:17-18a; 22:12-13 b. Is told why the Lord appeared to him and how he will be a witness of what he has seen - Ac 22:14-15 c. Is told to be baptized and wash away his sins, calling upon the name of the Lord - Ac 22:16; cf. 9:18b D. HIS CONVERSION COMPLETE, SAUL BEGINS HIS WORK... 1. Preaching immediately in Damascus - Ac 9:20 2. And later in Jerusalem, Judea, and to the Gentiles - Ac 26:19-20 [As mentioned previously, the conversion of Saul is a powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What other reasonable explanation can be given for the drastic change from "chief persecutor" of the Christian faith to "chief proclamator" of the Christian faith? But the conversion of Saul is also valuable for the insights we can glean into the process of conversion. With that in mind, allow me to share...] II. SOME OBSERVATIONS A. CONCERNING "WHEN" SAUL WAS SAVED... 1. It is often stated that Saul was saved on the road to Damascus a. When the Lord appeared to him b. That his conversion took place at that moment 2. Saul was not saved until after he arrived in Damascus a. Note that while on the road, the Lord said it would be in Damascus where he would be told "what you must do" - Ac 9:6 b. In Damascus, Ananias told him to "wash away your sins" - Ac 22:16 1) At that point, Saul was still in his sins! 2) I.e., he was still not saved! -- While in one sense he was indeed "converted" on the road (his view of Jesus certainly changed), conversion in the sense of salvation did not occur until after he arrived in Damascus B. CONCERNING "HOW" SAUL WAS SAVED... 1. From the statement of Ananias in Ac 22:16 (to wash away his sins), we learn that: a. Saul was not saved by virtue of the vision on the road b. Saul was not saved by virtue of the prayers and fasting he had offered for three days - cf. Ac 9:9,11 2. Saul was saved when his sins were "washed away" - Ac 22:16 a. Which occurred after spending three days in Damascus b. Which occurred when he was baptized to wash away his sins! -- This concurs with what Peter said about the purpose of baptism in Ac 2:38 C. CONCERNING BAPTISM AND CALLING UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD... 1. After quoting Joel who wrote of calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Ac 2:21), Peter told his crowd to be baptized - Ac 2:38 2. Now Ananias commands Saul to be baptized, "calling upon the name of the Lord" - Ac 22:16 3. As Peter wrote, baptism saves us, and is an appeal for a clear conscience - 1Pe 3:21 4. In baptism, then... a. We are "calling upon the name of the Lord" b. We are appealing to God by the authority of His Son Jesus to forgive our sins 5. While we can certainly pray as we are being baptized, baptism itself is a prayer (an appeal) to God for a clear conscience! CONCLUSION 1. From the conversion of Saul we learn that one is not saved by... a. Visions of the Lord (who could have a vision more impressive than Saul's?) b. Saying the sinner's prayer (Saul had been praying and fasting for three days!) 2. In keeping with what we have seen already, one is saved when... a. They are baptized for the remission of their sins - Ac 2:38 b. They are baptized to have their sins "washed away" - Ac 22:16 3. Of course, we learn from Paul's discourse in Romans 6 that the simple rite of baptism is efficacious because in baptism... a. We are baptized into Christ's death - Ro 6:3-4 b. We are united with Christ in the likeness of His death - Ro 6:5 c. We are crucified with Christ, and our body of sin is done away - Ro 6:6 d. We die to sin, and are therefore freed from sin - Ro 6:7 -- Of course, such baptism is conditioned upon faith and God's working - Ac 8:36-37; Col 2:12 4. In his commentary on Ro 6:3, Martin Luther wrote: "Baptism has been instituted that it should lead us to the blessings (of this death) and through such death to eternal life. Therefore IT IS NECESSARY that we should be baptized into Jesus Christ and His death." (Commentary On Romans, Kregel Publications, p. 101) And so we say, as did Ananias, to anyone who has yet to be baptized for the remission of their sins... "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
The Quran and the Person of Jesus
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Christianity and Islam are in hopeless contradiction with each other regarding several significant concepts and core doctrines—contradictions that strike at the very heart of their respective approaches to religion, life, spirituality, and human existence. The most crucial contention—the greatest tension between the two religions—pertains to the person of Christ. On this solitary point, Islam and Christianity, the Bible and the Quran, can never agree. This disagreement is of such momentous import, and of such great magnitude, as to make the inexorable incompatibility permanent.
Observe a few of the Quran’s declarations concerning the person of Jesus (taken from the translation by Muslim scholar Mohammed Pickthall [n.d.]):
Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah (Surah 3:64).And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Knower of Things Hidden. I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things (Surah 5:116-117).Praise be to Allah Who hath revealed the Scripture unto His slave…to give warning of stern punishment from Him…and to warn those who say: Allah hath chosen a son, (A thing) whereof they have no knowledge, nor (had) their fathers. Dreadful is the word that cometh out of their mouths. They speak naught but a lie (Surah 18:1-5).And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins, that ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, when it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficient as a slave (Surah 19:88-93).Allah hath not chosen any son, nor is there any God along with Him; else would each God have assuredly championed that which he created, and some of them would assuredly have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above all that they allege (Surah 23:91).He unto Whom belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, He hath chosen no son nor hath He any partner in the sovereignty. He hath created everything and hath meted out for it a measure (Surah 25:2).
These references, and others (e.g., 2:116; 6:101; 17:111; 19:35; 39:3-6; 43:14,59,81; 72:3-4), demonstrate that the Quran depicts Jesus as a mere man—a prophet like Muhammad—who was created by God like all other created beings: “The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him” (Surah 5:75; cf. 42:9,13,21). Indeed, when Jesus is compared to any of the prophets (listed as Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob), Allah is represented as stating: “We make no distinction between any of them” (Surah 2:136; 3:84). Though the Quran seems to accept the notion of the virgin conception (Surah21:91), to attribute divinity to Jesus, or to assign to Jesus equal rank with God, is to utter a “dreadful” and “disastrous” thing—to formulate “nothing but a lie”!
Here, indeed, is the number one conflict between Islam and Christianity—–the deity, person, and redemptive role of Christ. If Christ is Who the Bible represents Him to be, then Islam and the Quran are completely fictitious. If Jesus Christ is Who the Quran represents Him to be, then Christianity is baseless and blasphemous. On this point alone, these two religions can never achieve harmony. But the New Testament is very, very clear: the heart, core, and soul of the Christian religion is allegiance to Jesus Christ as God, Lord, and Savior.
To exhaust what the New Testament has to say on this subject would require volumes (cf. John 21:25). However, it takes only a few verses to establish the clarity with which the New Testament affirms the divine nature of Jesus. The entire book of John is devoted to defending the divine identity of Christ, articulated in its thematic statement: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 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” (20:30-31, emp. added). The book of John pinpoints seven “signs,” i.e., miraculous acts, performed by Jesus while He was on Earth that proved His divine person—beginning with the very first verse that forthrightly affirms: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (1:1-4). The “Word” is Jesus (1:14). This thesis reaches its climactic pinnacle when Thomas was forced to arrive at the only possible conclusion regarding the person of Jesus, when he exclaimed: “My Lord and My God!” (20:28). To the Muslim and the Quran, such a declaration is preposterous, horrifying, blasphemous, and absolutely unacceptable. But it is the clear teaching of the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, when Moses encountered God at the burning bush, he asked God to clarify His name so that Moses would be able to respond appropriately to the Israelites when he went to them in Egypt on God’s mission. God answered: “ ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you’ ” (Exodus 3:14). “I AM” is a reference to the eternality of God. Being God, He is eternal with no beginning and no end. He is self-existent and has always existed. Yet in the book of John, Jesus repeatedly identifies His own person with this same appellation (4:26; 8:24,28,58; 13:19). For example, when Jesus explained to the hostile Jews that Abraham had rejoiced to see His day, they responded, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus retorted: “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (8:58). The Jews unquestionably understood Jesus’ remark to be a claim to divinity, and promptly took up stones to kill Him (vs. 59).
Another Bible text where the deity of Jesus is set forth in unmistakable terms is the book of Colossians. Paul forcefully affirmed regarding Jesus: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (1:15-17). “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (2:9).
Such depictions of Jesus are frequent in the New Testament. Jesus was certainly a prophet, as the Quran itself affirms (Surah 4:163); but Jesus was not just a prophet. He was God in the flesh. In fact, oral confession of the deity of Christ is prerequisite to becoming a Christian (Romans 10:9-10). This singular point makes Christianity and Islam forever incompatible. One must be a Christian to be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and yet one cannot be a Christian without believing in, and verbally confessing, the deity of Christ. The Bible declares that Jesus was the final revelation of God to man (Hebrews 1:1-3). There have been no others.
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (n.d.), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
Did God Order the Killing of Babies?
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Skeptics and atheists have been critical of the Bible’s portrayal of God ordering the death of entire populations—including women and children. For example, God instructed Saul through the prophet Samuel to “go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Samuel 15:3-4, emp. added). Other examples include the period of the Israelite conquest of Canaan in which God instructed the people to exterminate the Canaanite populations that occupied Palestine at the time. However, if one cares to examine the circumstances and assess the rationale, the Bible consistently exonerates itself by offering legitimate clarification and explanation to satisfy the honest searcher of truth.
The Hebrew term herem found, for instance, in Joshua 6:17, refers to the total dedication or giving over of the enemy to God as a sacrifice involving the extermination of the populace. It is alleged that the God of the Bible is as barbaric and cruel as any of the pagan gods. But this assessment is simply not true.
If the critic would take the time to study the Bible and make an honest evaluation of the principles of God’s justice, wrath, and love, he would see the perfect and harmonious interplay between them. God’s vengeance is not like the impulsive, irrational, emotional outbursts of pagan deities or human beings. He is infinite in all His attributes and thus perfect in justice, love, and anger. Just as God’s ultimate and final condemnation of sinners to eternal punishment will be just and appropriate, so the temporal judgment of wicked people in the Old Testament was ethical and fair. We human beings do not have an accurate handle on the gravity of sin and the deplorable nature of evil and wickedness. Human sentimentality is hardly a qualified measuring stick for divine truth and spiritual reality.
How incredibly ironic that the atheist, the agnostic, the skeptic, and the liberal all attempt to stand in judgment upon the ethical behavior of God when, if one embraces their position, there is no such thing as an absolute, objective, authoritative standard by which to pronounce anything right or wrong. As the French existentialist philosopher, Sartre, admitted: “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist.... Nor...are we provided with any values or commands that could legitimize our behavior” (1961, p. 485). The atheist and agnostic have absolutely no platform on which to stand to make moral or ethical distinctions—except as the result of purely personal taste. The mere fact that they concede the existence of objective evil is an unwitting concession there is a God Who has established an absolute framework of moral judgments.
The facts of the matter are that the Canaanites, whom God’s people were to destroy, were destroyed for their wickedness (Deuteronomy 9:4; 18:9-12; Leviticus 18:24-25,27-28). Canaanite culture and religion in the second millennium B.C. were polluted, corrupt, and perverted. No doubt the people were physically diseased from their illicit behavior. There simply was no viable solution to their condition except destruction. Their moral depravity was “full” (Genesis 15:16). They had slumped to such an immoral, depraved state, with no hope of recovery, that their existence on this Earth had to be terminated—just like in Noah’s day when God waited while Noah preached for years, but was unable to turn the world’s population from its wickedness (Genesis 6:3,5-7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:5-9). Including the children in the destruction of such populations actually spared them from a worse condition—that of being reared to be as wicked as their parents and thus face eternal punishment. All persons who die in childhood, according to the Bible, are ushered to Paradise and will ultimately reside in Heaven. Children who have parents who are evil must naturally suffer innocently while on Earth (e.g., Numbers 14:33).
Those who disagree with God’s annihilation of the wicked in the Old Testament have the same liberal attitude that has come to prevail in America just in the last half century. That attitude has typically opposed capital punishment, as well as the corporal punishment of children. Such people simply cannot see the rightness of evildoers being punished by execution or physical pain. Nevertheless, their view is skewed—and the rest of us are being forced to live with the results of their warped thinking: undisciplined, out-of-control children are wreaking havoc on our society by perpetrating crime to historically, all-time high levels.
Those who reject the ethics of God’s destructive activity in the Old Testament, to be consistent, must reject Jesus and the New Testament. Over and over again, Jesus and the New Testament writers endorsed and defended such activity (e.g., Luke 13:1-9; 12:5; 17:29-32; 10:12; Hebrews 10:26-31). The Bible provides the only logical, sensible, meaningful, consistent explanation regarding the principles of retribution, punishment, and the conditions under which physical life may be extinguished.
Sartre, Jean Paul, (1961), “Existentialism and Humanism,” French Philosophers from Descartes to Sartre, ed. Leonard M. Marsak (New York: Meridian).
Autonomous Control of Creation
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
AUTONOMOUS CONTROL AND "MOTHER NATURE"
Engineers regularly work with control systems. Autonomous control is a step beyond remote control. Remote control applications allow manual issuing of commands through some sort of transmission device (i.e., a remote controller) that controls something else (e.g., a robot or television) located some distance away from the controller. Autonomous control, on the other hand, uses a computer program to issue the commands. The computer becomes the controller, instead of a human being. It is common knowledge in the engineering community that autonomous control is a subject that is of particular interest today. From autonomous control of ground vehicles (Naranjo, et al., 2006), to autonomous missile guidance systems (Lin, et al., 2004) and aerial vehicles (Oosterom and Babuska, 2006), to autonomous aquatic vehicles (Loebis, et al., 2004) and satellites (Cheng, et al., 2009), and even to autonomous farming equipment (Omid, et al., 2010), notable success is being made in this area of technology.
The amazing thing from a Christian perspective, however, is that many engineers—the designers of the scientific community—are becoming aware of the fact that the world around us is already replete with fully functional, superior designs in comparison to what the engineering community has been able to develop to date. Biomimicry (i.e., engineering design using something from nature as the blueprint) is becoming a prevalent engineering pursuit. However, some engineers are not interested in copying creation in their designs since they simply cannot replicate many of the features that the natural world has to offer. They are realizing that the created order oftentimes comes equipped with natural “sensor suites” whose designs surpass the capability of engineering knowledge to date. Animals possess amazing detection, tracking, and maneuvering capabilities which are far beyond the knowledge of today’s engineering minds, and likely will be for many decades, if not forever. An insect neurobiologist, John Hildebrand, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, admitted, “There’s a long history of trying to develop microrobots that could be sent out as autonomous devices, but I think many engineers have realised [sic] that they can’t improve on Mother Nature” (Marshall, 2008, p. 41). Of course, “Mother Nature” is not capable of designing anything, since “she” is mindless. The Chief Engineer, the God of the Bible, on the other hand, can be counted on to have the best possible engineering designs. Who, after all, could out-design the Grand Designer? In spite of the deterioration of the world and the entrance of disease and mutations into the created order, after some six millennia, His designs still stand out as the best—unsurpassed by human wisdom.
CONTROLLING THE LIVING
Recognizing the superiority of the natural world, the scientific community has become interested in learning how to remotely control living creatures instead of developing robotic versions. This line of thinking certainly adds new meaning to God’s command to mankind to “subdue” and “have dominion” over the created order (Genesis 1:28). One of the ways in which animal remote control is being done is by implanting electronics in animal bodies that are subsequently used to manipulate the movements and behaviors of the creature. Hybrid creatures such as these are known as bio-robots or cyborgs. Cyborg research has been conducted since the 1950s, when Jose Delgado of Yale University implanted electrodes into the brains of bulls to stimulate the hypothalamus for control purposes (Marshall, 2008). Since then, the list of remotely controlled animals using electrode implantation has grown to include:
- sharks (i.e., spiny dogfish; Gomes, et al., 2006; Brown, 2006)
- rats (Talwar, et al., 2002; Li and Panwar, 2006; Song, et al., 2006)
- monkeys (Brown, 2006; Horgon, 2005)
- mice (“SDUST Created…,” 2007)
- chimpanzees (Horgon, 2005)
- frogs (Song, et al., 2006)
- pigeons (“SDUST Created…,” 2007)
- cats (Horgon, 2005)
- gibbons (Horgon, 2005)
- cockroaches (Holzer, et al., 1997; “Researchers Develop ‘Robo-roach,’” 2001)
Cornell University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and Arizona State University at Tempe are working on developing flying insect cyborgs, including hawkmoths and green June beetles (Ray, 2010; Sato, et al., 2008; Sato, et al., 2009; Bozkurt, et al., 2008). The University of Florida in Gainesville used electrodes to remotely control rats specifically for detection of humans (for search and rescue scenarios) and explosives (Marshall, 2008). Non-invasive remote creature control projects are underway as well. M.I.T. used virtual fencing coupled with Global Positioning System (GPS) for tracking and autonomously herding cows by implementing auditory cues and shock reinforcement to keep cows within a desirable area (Correll, et al., 2008; Schwager, et al., 2008).
There is beginning to be more interest in the prospect of remotely controlling canines as well (“Grand Challenge…,” 2010). Engineers realize that dogs can traverse a variety of terrains more efficiently than humans or robots and are effective at guarding territories, carrying out search and rescue missions, as well as providing guidance for the visually impaired. They also have an amazing sense of smell that makes them capable of detecting explosives, narcotics, tobacco, pipeline leaks, retail contraband, and even cell phones and bed bugs (“Detection Services,” 2010). Since engineers have not developed a device that can compare with a canine’s ability to detect odors, the use of canines for these applications is attractive. Although other creatures, such as rats (Marshall, 2008), have a keen sense of smell, canines are more appealing, especially due to their innate ability to interact with humans. Thus, using canines for these purposes is attractive to engineers, and the ability to remotely control a canine for many of these purposes is an even more attractive goal. Many scenarios could be envisioned to illustrate cases where the presence of a dog handler alongside a canine could be an impossibility (e.g., tight areas in search and rescue operations) or undesirable (e.g., scenarios where the handler should not be visible or in harm’s way). In a recent event in Afghanistan, a bomb detection canine detected an explosive a moment too late. The canine handler lost his left leg and received other serious injuries (“Grand Challenge…,” 2010). Remote control capability or autonomous guidance likely would have significantly altered the outcome of this unfortunate event, as well as many others.
Since engineers cannot yet develop an adequate robotic solution to this problem, the Office of Naval Research funded a research project to develop such a solution—a research project I was heavily involved in at Auburn University while engaged in doctoral studies. The Canine Detection and Research Institute (CDRI) at Auburn University demonstrated that detection canines can be remotely controlled using a canine vest we developed that was equipped with a tone and vibration generator (Britt, et al., 2010). However, many cases could easily be envisioned where the canine would be out of sight from the handler (e.g., moving behind a distant building), at which time remote control capability becomes useless. Therefore, the next natural step was to automate that remote control capacity (i.e., autonomous control of the canine).
Since canines can traverse a variety of terrains more efficiently than humans, and possess a natural array of “sensors” used to detect and locate items of interest that robots are not readily equipped with, many aspects that pose problems to unmanned ground vehicles are inherently removed with the canine. Canines can execute the low-level decision making that is necessary for rerouting their local path to avoid obstacles or unfavorable terrain. We proved with notable success that canines can be tracked using GPS, inertial sensors, and magnetometers (Miller and Bevly, 2007; Miller and Bevly, 2009a; Miller and Bevly, 2009b), as well as be autonomously guided along desired paths to distant end points (Miller, 2010; Britt, 2009). More important, this system was designed without having to develop the technology that would be required for a complete robotic solution. Instead, a pre-designed creature, already developed by the Chief Engineer, was utilized. In the interest of not plagiarizing Him, I happily reference His incomprehensible work, although, unfortunately I cannot speak for all of my doctoral colleagues.
How ironic that those who are designed, design based on the Designer’s designs, while simultaneously claiming that those designs are not designed. How could mindless rocks, dirt, gas, or slime bring about the amazingly complex designs we see in the World? Personifying inanimate materials such as these with names like “Mother Nature” does nothing but tacitly admit that some Being is in control of the natural order. The frontlines of the engineering community today—bringing about unparalleled technology, more advanced than any society in the history of mankind—cannot come close to replicating the designs around us. Engineers are forced to borrow from God’s design portfolio (oftentimes plagiarizing Him—not giving Him due credit for His designs). What a testament to the greatness of the Chief Engineer’s created order! We may be able to try to fix some of the damage that has been done to the created order due to sin and entropy, but in the words of John Hildebrand, quoted earlier, we certainly “can’t improve on” God’s design. Rather than plagiarizing Him, let all engineers know, “He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4, emp. added).
Bozkurt, A., R. Gilmour, D. Stern, and A. Lal (2008), “MEMS Based Bioelectronic Neuromuscular Interfaces for Insect Cyborg Flight Control,” IEEEMEMS2008 Conference, pp. 160-163.
Britt, W. (2009), “A Software and Hardware System for the Autonomous Control and Navigation of a Trained Canine,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Auburn University, Summer.
Britt, W.R., J. Miller, P. Waggoner, D.M. Bevly, and J.A. Hamilton (2010), “An Embedded System for Real-time Navigation and Remote Command of a Trained Canine,” DOI 10.1007/s00779-010-0298-4.
Brown, S. (2006), “Stealth Sharks to Patrol the High Seas,” New Scientist, 2541:30-31, March 4.
Cheng, C., S. Shu, and P. Cheng (2009), “Attitude Control of a Satellite Using Fuzzy Controllers,”Expert Systems with Applications, 36:6613-6620.
Correll, N., M. Schwager, and D. Rus (2008), “Social Control of Herd Animals by Integration of Artificially Controlled Congeners,” Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, pp. 437-447.
“Detection Services” (2010), Amdetech: Protection Through Detection, http://www.amdetech.com.
Gomes, W.J., D. Perez, and J.A. Catipovic (2006), “Autonomous Shark Tag with Neural Reading and Stimulation Capability for Open-ocean Experiments,” Eos Trans. AGU, 87(36), Ocean Sci. Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS45Q-05.
“Grand Challenge: Smart Vest for Detector Dogs” (2010), National Aerospace & Electronics Conference, http://www.naecon.org/challenge.htm.
Holzer, R., I. Shimoyama, and H. Miura (1997), “Locomotion Control of a Bio-Robotic System via Electric Stimulation,” International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Grenoble, France.
Horgon, John (2005), “The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips,” Scientific American, 293:66-73.
Li, Y. and S. Panwar (2006), “A Wireless Biosensor Network Using Autonomously Controlled Animals,” IEEENetwork, 20:6-11.
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Marshall, J. (2008), “The Cyborg Animal Spies Hatching in the Lab,” New Scientist, 2646:40-43, March 6.
Miller, J. (2010), “A Maximum Effort Control System for the Tracking and Control of a Guided Canine,”Ph.D. Dissertation, Auburn University, Winter.
Miller, J. and D.M. Bevly (2007), “Position and Orientation Determination for a Guided K-9,”Proceedings of the IONGNSS, Ft. Worth, TX.
Miller, J. and D.M. Bevly (2009a), “Determination of Pitch Effects in Guided K-9 Tracking,”Proceedings of the JSDE/IONJNC, Orlando, FL.
Miller, J. and D.M. Bevly (2009b), “Guided K-9 Tracking Improvements Using GPS, INS, and Magnetometers,” Proceedings of the IONITM, Anaheim, CA.
Naranjo, J.E., C. Gonzalez, R. Garcia, and T. Pedro (2006), “ACC+Stop&Go Maneuvers With Throttle and Brake Fuzzy Control,” IEEETransactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 7:213-225.
Omid, M., M. Lashgari, H. Mobli, R. Alimardani, S. Mohtasebi, and R. Hesamifard (2010), “Design of Fuzzy Logic Control System Incorporating Human Expert Knowledge for Combine Harvester,” Expert Systems with Applications, 37:7080-7085.
Oosterom, M. and R. Babuska (2006), “Design of a Gain-Scheduling Mechanism for Flight Control Laws by Fuzzy Clustering,” Control Engineering Practice, 14:769-781.
Ray, Neil (2010), “The Cyborg Beetle: Progress or Ethical Deterioration?” The Triple Heliz, Issue 10.
“Researchers Develop ‘Robo-Roach’” (2001), VNUnet UK: UNU-MERIT—I&T Weekly, Issue 7, United Nations University, http://www.merit.unu.edu/i&tweekly/i&tweekly_previous.php?issue=0107&issue_show=7&year=2001.
Sato, H., C.W. Berry, B.E. Casey, G. Lavella, Y. Yao, J.M. Vandenbrooks, and M.M. Maharbiz (2008), “A Cyborg Beetle: Insect Flight Control Through an Implantable, Tetherless Microsystem,”IEEEMEMS2008 Conference, pp. 164-167.
Sato, H., Y. Peeri, E. Baghoomian, C.W. Berry, and M.M. Maharbiz (2009), “Radio-Controlled Cyborg Beetles: A Radio-frequency System for Insect Neural Flight Control,” IEEEMEMS2009 Conference, pp. 216-219.
Schwager, M., C. Detweiler, I. Vasilescu, D.M. Anderson, and D. Rus (2008), “Data-Driven Identification of Group Dynamics for Motion Prediction and Control,” Journal of Field Service Robotics, 25[6-7]:305-324.
“SDUST Created Remote-Controlled Pigeon” (2007), Shandong University of Science and Technology, http://www.sdkd.net.cn/en/news_show.php?id=65.
Song, W., J. Chai, T. Han, and K. Yuan (2006), “A Remote Controlled Multimode Microstimulator for Freely Moving Animals,” Acta Physiologica Sinica, 58:183-188.
Talwar, S., S. Xu, E. Hawley, S. Weiss, K. Moxon, and J. Chapin (2002), “Rat Navigation Guided by Remote Control,” Nature, 417:37-38.
A New "Angle"—the Fish that Fishes
An impenetrable blackness enshrouds the angler fish as it floats near the sea floor. At a depth of 3,000 feet, none of the other fish can see the angler’s grotesque features. Its only appealing trait is a small lantern-like light resting on the top of a short stalk on its head. After having eaten a meal of shrimp or small fish, its stomach bulges out, resembling a basketball. Despite its gruesome features and intimidating appearance, it is only about the three inches long—roughly the length of a person’s index finger.
It is hard to imagine that nature could fashion such a fish in the midst of the darkest fathoms of the ocean. The angler’s framework is, for lack of a better word, weird. Ramsey Doran commented on the appearance of the angler fish.
Most deep sea anglers have soft, thin bones, jelly like flesh, and are either inky black or gray in color. It has been found that the red surfaces of deep sea prawns and the black surfaces of deep sea anglers reflect very little blue light. This means that if the other animals, the fish and prawns living at these depths, are giving out bluish lights, the black skin of the angler will render them invisible in the gloom, by absorbing any bluish light. Like many other fish in the deep, deep sea angler’s eyes are small. Most are shaped like a tennis ball with fins, and are not very fast. Unlike shallow water anglers, deep sea anglers do not have pectoral fins. Most don’t get very large and may grow to the size of a baby’s fist (2002).
One of the fish’s strangest identifying features is the bioluminescent “light bulb” on top of its head. Doran went on to make the following observation: “Millions of light producing bacteria cause the deep sea angler’s lure to light up. Only female anglers have the lure, and it is probably under her control. The female deep sea angler wiggles its lure from a long appendage on its forehead to attract its prey” (2002). This bobbing structure is, in essence, a fishing lure for catching prey.
The light that emanates from the appendage is produced by bacteria (Photobacterium luciferum) that, when congregated inside the angler’s “fishing pole,” produce a soft gleam. As the angler roves through the murky sea water, various fish—including dogfish, skates, cod, sprats, and flat fish—are attracted to the soft glow of its built-in death trap. Barbara Charton called this lure a “dorsal fin adaptation” (2001, p. 13, emp. added), as if it “somehow” had managed to come by the correct light-producing bacteria, while at the same time evolving an encasement for them.
When the angler manages to ensnare a fish, its inward-facing teeth will clamp down, ensuring that the victim does not escape. Its stomach is abnormally oversized and elastic, allowing it to ingest bigger fish. Imagine a large, spherical sac on the ventral surface of the angler, which can expand to accommodate fish nearly two times its size! What does evolution have to say to such prominent design as light-producing bacteria and elasticized stomachs?
The job of location a mate is difficult for sea life at the bottom of the ocean, because the lighting is so dim. Mark Norman explained how the male goes about finding the female: “She releases anglerfish-type perfumes into the water and he spends all his time swimming around looking and smelling for her” (2003). The angler fish counters this dilemma in a most unusual fashion. W.P. Armstrong put it like this:
Because angler fish are so sparsely populated throughout the vast millions of cubic miles of ocean, chance mating encounters between males and females would be unlikely. In fact, when deep-sea anglers were first brought up in trawls they puzzled scientists because they were all females. Then someone noticed small “growths” on the female that turned out to be the males. When a tiny male meets a female he bits [sic] into her flesh and literally fuses with her body. Like the linking together of web sites on the Internet, the two blood supplies also fuse together so that the male obtains nutrient and oxygen from the female. Without any need for most of his organ systems, such as eyes and digestive organs, the male’s body degenerates into essentially a pair of sperm-producing testicles. Thus the female essentially becomes a hermaphrodite with up to six or more of these tiny male parasites attached to various parts of her body. Although functionally bisexual, the eggs and sperm come from genetically distinct parents, thus providing genetic variability… (2004).
It is undeniable that the relationship between the male and female is extremely peculiar. From an evolutionary viewpoint, it is difficult to explain the relationship between these mating partners. According to evolution, at the supposed beginning of life on Earth, single-celled creatures utilized asexual reproduction as a means of continuing their species. In the depths of the ocean, where primitive life supposedly evolved into a larger populace of increasingly complex organisms such as fish, one would expect asexual reproduction to continue. It would be far easier to split in half, than to bring two different animals together in an inhospitable environment. This singularity would be emphasized to a greater degree near the dark ocean floor, where it is particularly problematic to find a mate. How, then, did the male and female angler fish survive without asexual characteristics? A male and female angler fish must be born; the male must find a female fish in total darkness; and the male fish must function as little more than a pair of testes. Evolution is obviously geared in reverse in this case!
The angler fish shows an idiosyncratic arrangement of parts that can only be explained by a Master Builder.
Armstrong, W.P. (2004), “Sexual Suicide,” Wayne’s Word, [On-line], URL: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0701.htm.
Charton, Barbara (2001), The Facts on File Dictionary of Marine Science (New York: CheckMark).
Doran, Ramsey (2002), “Deep Sea Anglerfish,” Ramsey’s Land, [On-line], URL: http://ramseydoran.com/anglerfish/deep_sea.htm.
Norman, Mark (2003), “Extra Features,” Norfanz Voyage, [On-line], URL: http://www.oceans.gov.au/norfanz/extracreatures.htm.
America’s Lost Invincibility
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
The rapid rate of moral decay that blankets America is shocking and frightening. Americans who lived for the first 150 years of the Republic would find it difficult and appalling if they were here to witness what is happening. Abortion, homosexuality, gambling, sexual promiscuity, greed—and the list goes on and on. The incredible level of prosperity and technological achievement has lulled many Americans into thinking that America is invincible and well able to sustain its standing among the nations of the world.
The Founders thought otherwise. They insisted that America’s greatness does not lie in her achievements, material progress, or ability to protect herself by military means. Far from it. Instead, they repeatedly explained that America’s greatness and her ability to prolong her existence as a nation depend exclusively on the spiritual, religious, and moral condition of her people. Specifically, the Founders insisted that the citizens’ attachment to God, Christ, the Bible, and the Christian religion would determine the future of the nation. If a sizable percentage of the citizenry does not continue to maintain Christian virtue and morality, as defined by the Bible, the nation would lose its ability to survive.
Consider, for example, the remarks of Patrick Henry in his observations concerning the state of France after their bloody revolution:
But, as to France, I have no doubt in saying, that to her it will be calamitous. Her conduct has made it the interest of the great family of mankind to wish the downfall of her present government; because its existence is incompatible with that of all others within its reach. And, whilst I see the dangers that threaten ours from her intrigues and her arms, I am not so much alarmed as at the apprehension of her destroying the great pillars of all government and of social life; I mean virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed (as quoted in Henry, 1891, 2:591-592, emp. added).
John Witherspoon echoed precisely the same sentiment: “He who makes a people virtuous makes them invincible” (1815, 9:231, emp. added). And Declaration signer and “The Father of the American Revolution,” Samuel Adams, likewise issued a solemn warning in a letter to James Warren on February 12, 1779:
While the people are virtuous, they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader (1908, 4:124, emp. added).
These three Founders sound a sober warning to Americans in the 21st century. Our schools, courts, and centers of government continue to dismantle the Christian connections that have always characterized the nation. With the cleansing of our religious moorings is also the eradication of the virtue and morality that comes only from Christianity. As Americans continue to jettison Christian virtue and morality, the nation is brought closer and closer to the brink of destruction. Accordingly, the invincibility for which America has been known around the world is swiftly waning. Even now, we are in the process of surrendering our liberties to alternative ideologies (e.g., socialism), and our increasing vulnerability must inevitably result in America being conquered. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
Adams, Samuel (1904-1908), The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed. Harry Cushing, 4 vols. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons).
Henry, William (1891), Patrick Henry; Life, Correspondence and Speeches (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons), [On-line], URL: http://www.archive.org/details/pathenrylife01henrrich. See also George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 4. General Correspondence. 1697-1799, Image 1071, “Patrick Henry to Archibald Blair,” January 8, 1799, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mgw4&fileName=gwpage113.db&recNum=1070.
Witherspoon, John (1815), The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle).
God on the Jericho Road
One day God took a walk through his universe looking for something that was lost. It wasn’t "lost" in the sense that he didn’t know where it was—it was lost because it had run from him and lost itself among the numberless heavenly bodies. And it was so tiny that someone less than God couldn’t have found it with a search warrant and a torch as big as a constellation.
And he came across it, a little planet lying, bleeding, in a galactic ditch, dying of deep self-inflicted wounds that had been egged on, as Genesis tells us, by a liar and a thief. And he said to that little world (not as a silly teaching claims—only to a tiny segment of it), "I’ve come to save you, to bring you home to my heart for I have made you in my own image."
God’s seeking and finding the wayward human family wasn’t done in a moment. It was a structured search that was (and is) worked out in accordance with God’s eternal loving holiness and wisdom and it was developed over the ages in this way and that, through his person or that people. It came (and has come) to its completion in the person and work of Jesus Christ and is borne witness to by the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit) that indwells the body of Christ, the church.
God allowed the nations to follow their own ways even though this meant they dismissed him. But he didn’t wash his hands of the human family and continued to bless them with fruitful seasons and heart gladness (Acts 14:16). He insisted in staying near the human family down the ages, blessing them so that they might look for him and find him (Acts 17:25-28). Beyond all that, God entered the world in and as Jesus Christ. The ages prior to that event—in comparison to the brightness of the new self-revelation—were times of ignorance (Acts 17:30—the NIV is misleading here). Past judgements and prophetic messages to the nations called the nations to repentance but this new self-revelation of God was and is a more searching and incisive condemnation of the sins of the human family. Sodom and Gomorrah was a judgement on our evil but Jesus Christ and his cross was the fullest possible exposure of our sin.
But the coming of God in and as Jesus Christ was not simply to expose our sinfulness, it was to rescue and redeem. In Jesus Christ—who is the image of God—we see the love of God and neighbour as God views it. In Jesus Christ God was getting what he fully merited—he was loved without reservation. But in Jesus Christ the love of neighbour was also revealed as being in God’s image. As Jesus Christ has loved (and loves) humans we see the love of God for humans. God’s gift to all of sunshine and rain "hinted" (so the speak) what in the person and work of Jesus Christ is demonstrated (compare 1 John 3:16 and 4:14-16). In Jesus Christ we can see and say, "See how God loves all the fallen."
And is the love of God as it has expressed itself in and through the incarnate Jesus Christ the same love of God that the Godhead enjoyed in its fellowship prior to creation and the incarnation? If it is, then Edmond Jacob was right when he said that in creating us in his own image God was loving us as he loved himself. And if God has eternally purposed us to look like Jesus Christ who is his express image (charakter and eikon) how can Jacob be wrong? God cannot do otherwise than to love the highest he knows, and he is the highest he knows. He loves himself (not in that silly and vain way that we’re so capable of) and in making us and renewing in us his own image as it is seen in Jesus Christ he is loving us and he loves himself.
And if we love God as he has loved us and love our neighbours as he has loved them then the love of God for us shapes the whole loving enterprise.
Marvellous mystery—and though I don’t think we should allegorize the parable—it was God himself (so to speak) on the road to Jericho, having come a long way to rescue a little planet dying in a galactic ditch.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
The World English Bible
Joshua 19, 20
Jos 19:1 The second lot came out for Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. Their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Judah.
Jos 19:2 They had for their inheritance Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah,
Jos 19:3 Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem,
Jos 19:4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah,
Jos 19:5 Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susah,
Jos 19:6 Beth Lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities with their villages;
Jos 19:7 Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan; four cities with their villages;
Jos 19:8 and all the villages that were around these cities to Baalath Beer, Ramah of the South. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
Jos 19:9 Out of the part of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon; for the portion of the children of Judah was too much for them. Therefore the children of Simeon had inheritance in the midst of their inheritance.
Jos 19:10 The third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families. The border of their inheritance was to Sarid.
Jos 19:11 Their border went up westward, even to Maralah, and reached to Dabbesheth. It reached to the brook that is before Jokneam.
Jos 19:12 It turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrise to the border of Chisloth Tabor. It went out to Daberath, and went up to Japhia.
Jos 19:13 From there it passed along eastward to Gath Hepher, to Ethkazin; and it went out at Rimmon which stretches to Neah.
Jos 19:14 The border turned around it on the north to Hannathon; and it ended at the valley of Iphtah El;
Jos 19:15 Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
Jos 19:16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Jos 19:17 The fourth lot came out for Issachar, even for the children of Issachar according to their families.
Jos 19:18 Their border was to Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem,
Jos 19:19 Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath,
Jos 19:20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez,
Jos 19:21 Remeth, Engannim, En Haddah, and Beth Pazzez.
Jos 19:22 The border reached to Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth Shemesh. Their border ended at the Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.
Jos 19:23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages.
Jos 19:24 The fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.
Jos 19:25 Their border was Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph,
Jos 19:26 Allammelech, Amad, Mishal. It reached to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath.
Jos 19:27 It turned toward the sunrise to Beth Dagon, and reached to Zebulun, and to the valley of Iphtah El northward to Beth Emek and Neiel. It went out to Cabul on the left hand,
Jos 19:28 and Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, even to great Sidon.
Jos 19:29 The border turned to Ramah, to the fortified city of Tyre; and the border turned to Hosah. It ended at the sea by the region of Achzib;
Jos 19:30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty-two cities with their villages.
Jos 19:31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Jos 19:32 The sixth lot came out for the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.
Jos 19:33 Their border was from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim, Adaminekeb, and Jabneel, to Lakkum. It ended at the Jordan.
Jos 19:34 The border turned westward to Aznoth Tabor, and went out from there to Hukkok. It reached to Zebulun on the south, and reached to Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan toward the sunrise.
Jos 19:35 The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth,
Jos 19:36 Adamah, Ramah, Hazor,
Jos 19:37 Kedesh, Edrei, En Hazor,
Jos 19:38 Iron, Migdal El, Horem, Beth Anath, and Beth Shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.
Jos 19:39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages.
Jos 19:40 The seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.
Jos 19:41 The border of their inheritance was Zorah, Eshtaol, Irshemesh,
Jos 19:42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah,
Jos 19:43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron,
Jos 19:44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath,
Jos 19:45 Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon,
Jos 19:46 Me Jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border over against Joppa.
Jos 19:47 The border of the children of Dan went out beyond them; for the children of Dan went up and fought against Leshem, and took it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and lived therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.
Jos 19:48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Jos 19:49 So they made an end of distributing the land for inheritance by its borders. The children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun in the midst of them.
Jos 19:50 According to the commandment of Yahweh, they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in the hill country of Ephraim; and he built the city, and lived there.
Jos 19:51 These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance by lot in Shiloh before Yahweh, at the door of the Tent of Meeting. So they made an end of dividing the land.
Jos 20:1 Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying,
Jos 20:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'Assign the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you by Moses,
Jos 20:3 that the manslayer who kills any person accidentally or unintentionally may flee there. They shall be to you for a refuge from the avenger of blood.
Jos 20:4 He shall flee to one of those cities, and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city, and declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city. They shall take him into the city with them, and give him a place, that he may live among them.
Jos 20:5 If the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver up the manslayer into his hand; because he struck his neighbor unintentionally, and didn't hate him before.
Jos 20:6 He shall dwell in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment, until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days. Then the manslayer shall return, and come to his own city, and to his own house, to the city he fled from.' "
Jos 20:7 They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.
Jos 20:8 Beyond the Jordan at Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness in the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
Jos 20:9 These were the appointed cities for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger who sojourns among them, that whoever kills any person unintentionally might flee there, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stands before the congregation.
May 18, 19
Joh 2:1 The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus' mother was there.
Joh 2:2 Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage.
Joh 2:3 When the wine ran out, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no wine."
Joh 2:4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come."
Joh 2:5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever he says to you, do it."
Joh 2:6 Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece.
Joh 2:7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the water pots with water." They filled them up to the brim.
Joh 2:8 He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast." So they took it.
Joh 2:9 When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn't know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom,
Joh 2:10 and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!"
Joh 2:11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
Joh 2:12 After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
Joh 2:13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Joh 2:14 He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting.
Joh 2:15 He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money, and overthrew their tables.
Joh 2:16 To those who sold the doves, he said, "Take these things out of here! Don't make my Father's house a marketplace!"
Joh 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will eat me up."
Joh 2:18 The Jews therefore answered him, "What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?"
Joh 2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
Joh 2:20 The Jews therefore said, "Forty-six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days?"
Joh 2:21 But he spoke of the temple of his body.
Joh 2:22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
Joh 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did.
Joh 2:24 But Jesus didn't trust himself to them, because he knew everyone,
Joh 2:25 and because he didn't need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.