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Friday Church News Notes, Volume 15, Issue 16

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
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FOLLOW UP ON LIBERTY UNIVERSITY AND BENNY HINN (Friday Church News Notes, April 18, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In last week’s Friday Church News Notes we reported on a video clip posted at Benny Hinn’s web site featuring Hinn and two men identified with Liberty University: Dan Reber, Director of Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies, and Ronald Godwin, Liberty University Provost. The three men announced an alliance between Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies and Hinn’s World Healing Fellowship. I wrote a report about the alliance, queued it up to go out last week, and then left on a two-week preaching trip to the States. The day we published the report, Liberty University’s President, Jerry Falwell, Jr., posted a statement denying that the school is partnering with Hinn. The statement says that Dr. Godwin made a mistake in appearing with Hinn and that though Liberty “transferred the operations of Liberty Home Bible Institute ... to Mr. Dan Reber in 2011,” he wasn’t authorized to form an alliance with Hinn. I find this move by Liberty curious for a number of reasons. Reber and Godwin are long-time employees of Liberty, going back to the time of Liberty’s founder, Jerry Falwell, Sr., and they learned their compromise directly from him. Is Jerry Falwell, Jr., now renouncing what his father did when he tried to rescue Jim Baker’s PTL Club? Or what Falwell, Sr., did in 2004 when he praised Pat Robertson and Rod Parsley as “courageous and brilliant evangelical mega-leaders” (fundraiser mailer for the Faith and Values Coalition, “a 21st Century Moral Majority,” Nov. 16, 2004). These men are as heretical as Benny Hinn. In fact, does this mean that Falwell, Jr., is renouncing Falwell, Sr.’s close association with Roman Catholics and Mormons and with cult leader Sun Myung Moon who helped rescue Liberty University from bankruptcy in the early 1990s? (“The GOP’s Own Asian Connection,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 16, 1997, articles.latimes.com/1997/nov/16/opinion/op-54375). Why draw the line with Benny Hinn, Liberty? (For further documentation of Liberty’s compromise see “Jerry Falwell: Should We Warn or Praise” at the Way of Life web site.)

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The Hatred of God

April 17, 2014 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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The following is from M.R. DeHaan, M.D., The Tabernacle, chapter 20, “The Hatred of God.” 1955:

Because God is infinitely holy, He cannot condone the smallest sin (although there are no small sins, for all sins are great sins).

To emphasize the awfulness of sin in the sight of a holy God, we have but to go back to the first sin of the human race. You will recall the story. Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree which God had prohibited. Now that, of course, seems in itself but a little thing. We would call it mere petty larceny, eating one fruit from a forbidden tree. In the estimate of men, and according to our moral standards, that was only a little sin. We would hardly inflict the death penalty upon an individual for taking one fruit from a tree which had been forbidden. But God did not consider it as such, for God knows nothing about ‘little’ sins.

Listen, friend, so great was that sin in the sight of God that He not only cursed man from the garden, imposed the penalty of death upon him and upon all his offspring, but God even cursed the entire creation, the earth, the birds, the animals, and every creature over which Adam was placed as the federal head. God did not wait until man had committed murder before He cursed him, but this so-called ‘LITTLE SIN’ was the occasion for God’s awful penalty and judgment. Sin is never a little thing, even though men may belittle it and call it by any other name.

Has it ever struck you, as it has me, that the world has tried desperately hard to rid itself of even the very mention of the word sin? It has almost entirely disappeared from the world’s vocabulary. We can pick up our newspaper or magazine and read all the accounts of violence and atrocity and murder and dishonesty, but seldom are these things called ‘sin.’ Writers talk about crime and violence and death and murder and immorality, but the word SIN is carefully avoided.

Now all of this becomes very significant, for we believe it to be an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to get rid of the idea of sin. But sin is still sin, and until there is a revival of preaching against sin in all of its awfulness, as a filthy damning rebellion against God, which it is there cannot be a revival, but the world will continue getting worse and more rotten and more sinful than ever.

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Pagan Flood Myths: Cube Arks, Round Arks, and Cowering Gods

April 16, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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Ever since the discovery of the Babylonian Gilgamish Epic in the 19th century, skeptics have attempted to use ancient pagan flood accounts to discredit the Bible. Yet like every other attempt to disprove Scripture, this one is found to have feet of clay.

The first Gilgamish tablet was found in the 1850s by Henry Layard in the ruins of Nineveh and translated in 1872 by George Smith at the British Museum. It purports to be the account that Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh of how he survived the flood and gained immortality. Several versions of the story have since been discovered.

In contrast to the Bible’s majestic account, the Gilgamesh Epic is a ridiculous pagan myth on its very face.

The Gilgamesh ark is
A CUBE 200 feet square, which would have been incredibly unstable even on a calm sea!

More recently, Irving Finkel of the British Museum translated another ancient Mesopotamian flood account (“British Museum: Prototype of Noah’s Ark Was Round,”
The Times of Israel, Jan. 24, 2014). This tablet describes A CIRCULAR ARK as large as a football field made of a wood frame walled in with ROPE and open to the elements. Now, that would be a great ship for an ocean voyage through the worst weather this world has ever seen!

Finkel observes that there were circular boats known as coracles that were used on rivers. This is true, but a river craft is not an ocean-going craft!

By contrast, the ark described in Genesis was 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 30 feet high, similar to the proportion of modern sea-going vessels such as oil tankers and cargo containers.

(Finkel’s tablet is of unknown origin or “provenance.” He got it from “a man whose father acquired it in the Middle East after World War II.” Thus no one knows where it came from, who wrote it, or when it was written. Yet this tablet and its silly story, with no solid history older than the mid-20th century, is a major international news item in the most recent attempt to overthrow the Old Testament. This sin-cursed world will accept the testimony of a silly Babylonian fable over that of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who attested that the Bible is divinely inspired.)

Don’t be deceived by willfully blind skeptics. The British Museum has a peerless collection of artifacts, and I have spent many days exploring its treasures on multiple trips to England, but its interpretation of those artifacts can be misguided and prejudiced. The Museum has been proven wrong many times (e.g., the Piltdown Man hoax), but the Bible has never been proven wrong.

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What Was Not in the Tabernacle

April 15, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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The following is excerpted from our new book A PORTRAIT OF CHRIST: THE TABERNACLE, THE PRIESTHOOD, AND THE OFFERINGS. ISBN 978-1-58318-178-2. This book is an extensive study on the Old Testament tabernacle and its priestly system, which has been called “God’s masterpiece of typology.” Whereas the record of the creation of the universe takes up two chapters of the Bible and the fall of man takes up one chapter, the tabernacle, with its priesthood and offerings, takes up 50 chapters. It is obvious that God has many important lessons for us in this portion of His Word. Speaking personally, nothing has helped me better understand the Triune God and the salvation that He has purchased for man, and I believe that I can guarantee that the reader will be taken to new heights in his understanding of these things. Everything about the tabernacle points to Jesus Christ: the design, the materials, the colors, the court walls and pillars, the door into the court, the sacrificial altar, the laver, the tabernacle tent itself with its boards and curtains and silver sockets, the tabernacle gate, and veil before the holy of holies, the candlestick, the table of shewbread, the incense altar, the ark of the covenant, the high priest, and the offerings. All is Christ. The tabernacle system offers brilliant, unforgettable lessons on Christ’s person, offices and work: His eternal Sonship, His sinless manhood, His anointing, His atonement, His resurrection glory, His work as the life and sustainer and light of creation, His eternal high priesthood and intercession, and His kingdom. In addition to the studies on every aspect of the tabernacle, A Portrait of Christ features studies on the high priest, the Levitical priests, the five offerings of Leviticus, the day of atonement, the ransom money, the red heifer, the cherubims, strange fire, the golden calf, leprosy, the Nazarite vow, the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire, and the transportation of the tabernacle through the wilderness. The tabernacle is very practical in its teaching, as it also depicts believer priests carrying Christ through this world (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). Like the Israelites in the wilderness, believers today are on a pilgrimage through a foreign land on the way to our eternal home (1 Pet. 2:11).
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It is instructive to think about what wasn’t in the tabernacle.

There was no chair.

This reminds us that the work of the Levitical priests was never finished. Those sacrifices could not bring salvation; they only pointed to the salvation that would come by Christ. Salvation wasn’t complete until Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished” just before He surrendered His spirit in death (John 19:30).

Hebrews 10:11-12 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.

The fact that there was no chair in the tabernacle also reminds us that the believer priest should always be busy in the service of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Life is too short to be lazy or to retire from the Lord’s business. Slumber produces both physical and spiritual poverty.

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Friday Church News Notes, Volume 15, Issue 15

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.

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IN OMINOUS MOVE, SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO REVIEW RULING AGAINST CHRISTIAN PHOTOGRAPHER (Friday Church News Notes, April 11, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In an ominous move against First Amendment rights, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal by a Christian photographer who was charged with human rights violation for refusing to photograph a private “commitment ceremony” for two lesbians. In 2006, Elane Photography was fined nearly $7000 by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission for refusing to photograph the ceremony. Owners Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin are Christians who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The Huguenins took the matter to court, but they have lost at every level. In August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court “ruled that Christian photographers cannot decline to participate in gay-marriage commitment ceremonies” (“New Mexico Court,” Breitbart, Aug, 22, 2013). The state’s highest judges went so far to say that forcing Christians to act contrary to their religious faith is the price of citizenship. Justice Richard Bosson said, “The Huguenins are free to ... pray to the God of their choice ... But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.” Even though eight state attorneys general filed briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Huguenins, the judges refused to hear the appeal, thus letting the lower court’s anti-First Amendment decision stand. Legal pundits say that it is probable that the Supreme Court will wait until a federal appeals court rules on this issue before taking it into consideration, but it is ominous that the judges had no interest in giving immediate relief to Christians who are being oppressed by homosexual activists and by a government bent on advancing a “new morality.” This will create a climate in which it will be nearly impossible for a Bible-believing Christian to own a business or hold a job, particularly in government and education, if he or she is not willing to accept the government’s view of morality.

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