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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 17, Issue 53 -December 30, 2016
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature. 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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OBAMA WHITE HOUSE ALLOWS LYING UN RESOLUTION TO PASS (Friday Church News Notes, December 30, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In what has been called Obama’s parting shot at Israel, the White House allowed a UN Security Council resolution to pass last Friday that refers to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory occupied since 1967” and demands a halt to Israel’s construction in those places. The Temple Mount, including the Western Wall and the Temple Mount plaza, are located in eastern Jerusalem. “In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authority in those areas. Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967 after Arab countries used the territories to launch attacks against the Jewish state. In 1988 Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. ... The Committee for Accuracy for Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) pointed out [that] international law does not make Israeli settlements illegal: ‘Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which is relied upon by those who claim the settlements are illegal, does not apply in the case of the West Bank. This is because the West Bank was never under self-rule by a nation that was a party to the Convention, and therefore there is no “partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party,” as Article 2 of the Convention specifies. Moreover, even if it did apply, by its plain terms, it applies only to forcible transfers and not to voluntary movement. Therefore, it can’t prohibit Jews from choosing to move to areas of great historical and religious significance to them’” (Breitbart, Dec. 23, 2016). “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Genesis 13:14-15). “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called” (Romans 9:7).

AMERICA’S NEXT AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL (Friday Church News Notes, December 30, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Israel MKs Hail Incoming ‘Bible Believing’ US Ambassador,” Israel Today, Dec. 18, 2016: “Many Israeli politicians were excited over the weekend by US President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of David Friedman as America’s next ambassador to the Jewish state. Some went so far as to hail his reliance on the Bible in making policy decisions. ... Friedman visited Israel a number of times in recent months. Just after Trump’s victory, he told Israel Radio that Jerusalem should consider annexing the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. Those positions have liberals in the US fuming over Friedman’s appointment and what it means for the ‘land-for-peace’ process. But most Israelis already view the the peace process as dead, and so see new hope in both Trump and Friedman. ‘Friedman is an enthusiastic supporter of the people of Israel in the Land of Israel according to the Torah of Israel, and I wish him and us luck,’ said Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home). Friedman’s ‘positions reflect the desire to strengthen the status of Israel’s capital Jerusalem at this time and an understanding that settlements were never the real problem in the region,’ noted Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud).”

ANDY STANLEY MINIMIZES THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST (Friday Church News Notes, December 30, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from Matt Costella, Fundamental Evangelistic Association, Dec. 23, 2016: “Andy Stanley, pastor of North Pointe Ministries in the Atlanta area, is no stranger to controversy. Stanley has made numerous statements just this past year that have generated controversy and resulted in backlash from conservative evangelicals. But Stanley’s December 3, 2016, sermon may be the most controversial yet. In his sermon, Stanley minimized the importance—if not the reality—of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. ‘A lot of people don’t believe it, and I understand that,’ Stanley said. He added, ‘Maybe the thought is they had to come up with some kind of myth about the birth of Jesus to give him street cred later on. Maybe that’s where that came from’ (Baptist News Global, ‘Virgin Birth Debate Interrupts Regular ‘War on Christmas’ Program,’ 12-21-16). Stanley then noted that it is interesting that only 2 of the 4 gospels mention the virgin birth, and said ‘Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories around the birth of Jesus … It really hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.’ Earlier this year, Stanley minimized the importance of the role Scripture plays in the life of the believer, and minimizing the importance of the virgin birth of Christ is simply the next step in this downward trajectory. The virgin birth of Christ is vitally important, for without the virgin birth, mankind would not have a Savior (the God-man) and no resurrection could have occurred! Despite what Stanley says, Christianity does hinge on the truth surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. Stanley’s statements are dangerous and his conclusions are completely unbiblical. Discerning believers must beware of those who minimize vital doctrinal truths in an attempt to relate to those who reject such truths in the first place.”

SOME OF BRITAIN’S TOP UNIVERSITIES BECOMING NO-GO ZONES FOR JEWS (Friday Church News Notes, December 30, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “No-Go Zones,” The Telegraph, Dec. 23, 2016: “Some of Britain's leading universities are becoming no-go zones for Jewish students because anti-Semitism is so rife, the first ever higher education adjudicator has warned. Baroness Ruth Deech, a cross-bench peer who formerly held the highest office dealing with student complaints, said that institutions may be failing to combat hatred against Jews as they are ‘afraid of offending’ their potential benefactors from Gulf states. Her comments come after a series of high profile incidents at top universities where Jewish students claim they were verbally abused or physically attacked. The academic community is at the forefront of calls to boycott Israel. ... ‘Amongst Jewish students, there is gradually a feeling that there are  certain universities that you should avoid,’ Baroness Deech said.  ‘Definitely SOAS, Manchester I think is now not so popular because of  things that have happened there, Southampton, Exeter and so on.’”

SCIENTISTS LEARNING FROM “NATURE” (Friday Church News Notes, December 30, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The field of biomimicry--“nature-inspired solutions to complex human challenges”--is exploding. A recent example is the discovery of how
cellulose and xylan stick together to make strong cell walls in plants. The molecules, which are 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair, were imaged by solid state nuclear magnetic resonance to reveal the secret of the marvelous way they slot together. This knowledge “could help scientists make wood strong enough to support skyscrapers” (“Cell wall ‘glue’ could make wooden skyscrapers possible,” UPI, Dec. 21, 2016). Paul Depree, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, says, “We knew the answer must be elegant and simple. And in fact, it was.” But if you believe in mindless, chance evolution, why would you assume that cellular workings are “elegant and simple”? The very fact that living things
are elegant and simple, yet so complex that man can learn from them only through brilliant research, disproves evolution and points to a Creator. The living cell witnesses to a mighty, very wise Creator, but it does not tell us who this Creator is and how I can know Him. For that we need a revelation greater than the creation, and God, in His mercy, has given this revelation in the Bible. “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:24-27).

LOVE IS THE STUFF OF ETERNITY (Friday Church News Notes, January 6, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from John Phillips’ commentary on the Gospel of John: “‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). It is love from beginning to end. Love conceived the plan of our redemption. Love set it in motion and carried it through. Love flowing ever and eternally between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; love embracing us, saving us, changing us, filling us, flowing back from us in Christ through the Spirit to the Father. Love is the stuff of which eternity is made.”

DANCING INFRARED SQUIRRELS (Friday Church News Notes, December 30, 2016, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, December 12, 2016: “The last creature a rattlesnake wants to see is the California ground squirrel. When an adult ground squirrel finds a rattlesnake, it begins to taunt the snake. The squirrel dashes into striking range, whips its tail about, bites the snake's tail and kicks sand on it. While a rattlesnake can strike with lightening speed, the little ground squirrel is even faster and well able to dart out of the way. Even if it was bitten, the venom wouldn't kill it since these squirrels have proteins in their blood that detoxify the poison. Frustrated snakes have been known to simply retreat when faced with this treatment. Researchers have learned that the squirrels' bag of tricks is even deeper. Rattlesnakes can see heat as infrared light. When the ground squirrel is taunting the rattlesnake, it sends additional blood to its tail, causing it to heat up, producing a very obvious infrared image for the snake, further confusing it. Interestingly enough, when the ground squirrel taunts a gopher snake, which cannot detect the infrared, it does not heat its tail. How does the squirrel know that the rattlesnake can be confused with an infrared show while the gopher snake cannot? The only explanation is that the Creator, Who made them both and calls us to saving faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, designed the ground squirrels' unique display.”

CONCLUSION: 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, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32; Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).

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Distributed by Way of Life Literature., publisher of Bible Study Materials and reports for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY (REPORTS AND FRIDAY NEWS) IS NOT DEVOTIONAL. IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

The Way of Life Literature preaching and publishing ministry is based at Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.

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