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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.

Continue reading this article……

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)

Portrait of Christ
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.

Continue reading this article……

Jehovah God

Updated April 1, 2014 (first published September 10, 2013) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)

The following study is part of the new edition of the Advanced Bible Studies Series course Give Attendance to Doctrine that we plan to publish later this year.

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attendancetodoctrine
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”(Gen. 2:4).


Jehovah is the personal name by which God is revealed in the Old Testament. In the King James Bible, Jehovah is translated by LORD in all caps and it appears more than 6,500 times.

Jehovah is both Saviour and Judge. He is the covenant-keeping Redeemer to the believer as well as the holy God of judgment to the unbeliever (Deut. 7:9-10).

The book of Psalms is a book of praise to Jehovah God. Forty-one times the Psalmist says, “Praise the LORD” or “Praise ye the LORD.”

Jehovah is to be praised because of His goodness and mercy (Psa. 106:1; 103:8-14). Sixteen times we are told that Jehovah is good (1 Ch. 16:34; 2 Ch. 5:3; 7:3; Ezr. 3:11; Psa. 34:8; 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1, 29; 135:3; 136:1; 145:9; Jer. 33:11; Lam. 3:25; Nah. 1:7).

Jehovah’s mercies are great (1 Ch. 21:13), manifold (Ne. 9:19), tender (Psa. 25:6), plentious (Psa. 86:15), multitudinous (Psa. 5:7; 51:1; 69:16; 106:7, 45; lam. 3:32), everlasting (Psa 100:5; 118:1, 2, 3, 4, 29; 136; 138:8). The believer is compassed with Jehovah’s mercy (Psa. 32:10). His mercies are as high as the heaven is above the earth (Psa. 103:11). He is full of compassion (Psa. 145:8).

Jehovah is the Redeemer. Jehovah sought Adam after the fall and clothed him in coats, which signified the salvation provided by Jesus (Genesis 3:8-9, 21). The believer is clothed in Christ’s righteousness (Rom. 3:21-22; 2 Cor. 5:21).

The greatness of Jehovah’s mercy and salvation can only be understood in light of His terrible holiness (Lev. 11:45; 19:1-2; Psa. 11:4-5; Isa. 6:3; Hag. 1:12-13). Jehovah is the lawgiver and the punisher of lawbreakers (Ex. 20:1-18).

Continue reading this article……

Balaam the Mad Prophet

March 12, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet” (2 Peter 2:15-16).

The long narrative about Balaam in Numbers 22-24 is given to show Jehovah God’s preeminence over the heathen gods. He alone is God. He is the holy, Almighty Creator. He cannot be defeated with arms and he cannot be defeated with magic. His plans cannot be thwarted.

The account of Balaam is a dramatic illustration of the truth of Isaiah 44:6-11 --

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“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.”

As the event unfolds, Israel was camped on the east side of the Jordan River across from Jericho (Nu. 22:1).

After Israel defeated Sihon and Og farther north (Numbers 21), Balak king of Moab saw that he could not defeat Israel militarily, so he called a famous diviner named Balaam to curse Israel.

Continue reading this article……

Is Revelation 2-3 an Overview of Church History?

February 4, 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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Recently a preacher friend publicly took me to task for teaching that Christ’s messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 can be seen as sort of a parable describing the general timeline of church history.

No one really likes to be on the receiving end of reproof, especially when the exhortation seems to be more of an unkind tongue lashing, but nothing is perfect in this world and we have to take the reproof as it is given rather than as we would like it to be given. This godly Bible-believing gentleman has every right to express his view, both privately and publicly. I have long said that public ministry can and should be critiqued publicly, and my course on Revelation (part of the
Advanced Bible Studies Series) is a matter of public record. I have also said that no preacher is above godly reproof, and that certainly applies to me.

At the same time, being reproved does not mean that a man is wrong. Some people who write to correct me and then reprove me further for not agreeing with their reproof! They even charge me with pride because I don’t agree with their thinking. But I am under no obligation before God to agree with my reprovers. I am only under obligation to consider the reproof and to “prove all things” from God’s Word.

I have considered this man’s challenge, and I stand by my position. In fact, there is no doubt in my mind that it is a true one for the reasons I have given in my
Advanced Bible Studies Series course on Revelation.

There is a four-fold application of Christ’s messages to the churches.

1.
The messages were given to instruct the particular churches to which they are addressed.

2.
The messages were given to instruct all churches. The instruction given to the seven churches of Asia in the first century applies to every church of every century (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). Each church that has ever existed is similar to one of these seven.

Continue reading this article……

Can Genesis 1-11 Be Interpreted Poetically?

December 17, 2013 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)--

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Some professing Christians try to hold to evolution and the Bible by interpreting the early chapters of Genesis as poetical or allegorical, but this is an impossible position because these chapters are presented in the Bible as literal history.

1. The first 11 chapters of Genesis are written as literal history, not as poetry.

“There are 64 geographical terms, 88 personal names, 48 generic names and at least 21 identifiable cultural items (such as gold, bdellium, onyx, brass, iron, gopher wood, bitumen, mortar brick, stone, harp, pipe, cities, towers) in those opening chapters. The significance of this list may be seen by comparing it, for example, with ‘the paucity of references in the Koran. The single tenth chapter of Genesis has five times more geographical data of importance than the whole of the Koran.’ Every one of these items presents us with the possibility of establishing the reliability of our author. The content runs head on into a description of the real world rather than recounting events belonging to another world or level of reality” (Walter Kaiser, Jr., “The Literary Form of Genesis 1-11,”
New Perspectives on the Old Testament, ed. by J. Barton Payne, 1970, p. 59).

Continue reading this article……

Iron Sharpening Iron: A Review of Dr. Strouse’s Critique


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Pictured: David Cloud receiving "Defense of the Faith" award from Dr. Strouse

This response to Dr. Strouse’s critique replaces an edition I sent out privately to a few men and that was inadvertently posted to Dr. Waite’s mailing list on October 19. I’m glad that Dr. Waite sent it out, because I was leaning toward not publishing this at all. I simply wanted to get some feedback from a few men, particularly my own pastor and Dr. Strouse, but I believe that these things need to be aired and discussed.

A lot of men seem to be deeply fearful of doctrinal controversy, but it is a necessary thing in this fallen world.

The Bible says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27:17).

Iron sharpening iron produces heat and sparks, but it can be very profitable in keeping our Swords sharp. If done in a right spirit and if received in a right spirit it doesn’t have to make us enemies. Of course, sometimes controversy does divide, and sometimes it should divide. But not always.

The type of controversy I am referring to is not a matter of trying to get men to take sides. That is the carnal Corinthian spirit. Rather, it is a matter of trying to get men to think seriously and prayerfully and biblically about the issues that face us.

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An excerpt from “Are You a Baptist Brider or Local Church Only?” September 17, 2013:

“In my experience, many proponents of the ‘local church only’ doctrine try to bully people similar to the way that many Calvinists do. They want to force you into an either-or position. You are either a Calvinist or an Arminian. You are either ‘local church only’ or ‘universal church.’ But I won’t be bullied in this way. I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian, local church only nor universal church by the standard definitions. I am just a Biblicist. That has been my passionate objective since the first day I was saved, and I have held to promises such as John 7:17 and 8:31-32 for encouragement that I
can know the truth. I don't believe in a Protestant universal church composed of all denominations or all churches or all professing Christians or the churches in a country or region. I don’t believe in a ‘Protestant church’ or an ‘evangelical church’ or a ‘fundamentalist church.’ But I do believe that there is a full aspect of the church that goes beyond any local church and that this entity exists today and not just in prospect. It exists spiritually; it exists in God’s mind; and is described in Scripture, and that’s enough for me” (Cloud, “Are You a Baptist Brider?").

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IRON SHARPENING IRON: A REVIEW OF DR. STROUSE’S CRITIQUE

The following is a reply to Dr. Thomas Strouse’s report entitled “Dr. David Cloud’s Ecclesiology.” Having long considered him a friend and having received various high honors from him in the past, I was surprised at the tone. I suppose that he justifies this as a zeal for church truth, but am I suddenly a dangerous heretic because I interpret a couple of verses differently than he does on this issue, even though I am so nearly “local church only” that many people have charged me with being a “Brider”?

Dr. Strouse says that a “dark cloud” is now over my ministry. If it is, I haven’t seen it. Maybe the “dark cloud” that Dr. Strouse sees is merely the view through his own dark glasses. In fact, I have never experienced more evidence of the Lord’s pleasure and of His blessing on our work, both on Way of Life and on the church planting in South Asia.


Continue reading this article……

Genesis is Literal History

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It is popular today even in “evangelical” circles to deny the historicity of Genesis 1-11. For example, Charles E. Hummel, director of faculty ministries for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, says: “The Genesis 1 account of creation was not intended to teach how or when God created the universe” (The Galileo Connection: Resolving Conflicts Between Science and the Bible, InterVarsity Press, 1986).

Howard J. Van Till, professor of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says: “[The early chapters of Genesis] were never intended to answer questions about precisely what happened. ... The seven-day chronology that we find in Genesis 1 has no connection with the actual chronology of the Creator’s continuous dynamic action in the cosmos. The creation-week motif is a literary device ... [containing] imaginative illustrations of the way in which God and the Creation are related” (Van Till,
The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us About the Creation, Eerdmans, 1986, pp. 83-85).

The New Bible Commentary, published by InterVarsity Press, takes the same position. (The consulting editors include D.A. Carson, who is influential in fundamentalist circles through his book The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism. I have seen this book for sale in the Bob Jones University bookstore as well as in many other fundamentalist bookstores.) The fourth edition (1994) of the New Bible Commentary says: “Most of these stories [in Genesis 1-11] deal with periods long before writing was invented, so they cannot be ‘history’ in the strict sense of the term or be verified by evidence from outside the Bible. ... T. Jacobsen has coined the term ‘mytho-historical’ to describe such literature ... ‘Myth’ has negative overtones, so ‘proto-history’ is probably a better way to describe Genesis 1-11. In the present state of knowledge it is difficult to know how to relate these chapters to modern scientific discovery. ... In that these are days of God’s activity not human work, it is unlikely that they are supposed to last twenty-four hours.”

It is impossible to integrate such statements with the Bible’s own testimony, and the chief reason for denying the historical nature of Genesis is the capitulation to evolution.

Continue reading this article……

Are You a Baptist Brider or Local Church Only?

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From time to time I receive inquiries from people asking me if I am a “Baptist Brider” and inquiring further about my views on the church. Let me say in the strongest terms that, no, I am not a Baptist Brider and I have no sympathy with it.
I have published my position on the church in the
Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity, which is available to anyone who is interested and has been available since its publication in 1993, and there is not a hint of Briderism in it.


There are issues that I did not raise in the Encyclopedia, though, and I have decided to publish my reply to a letter from a Bible college student in which he asked me five questions in relation to church matters. This was first published in 1999. Since then I have extended and edited the original reply so that it more thoroughly and clearly explains my position, as I have had more time to consider the issue and have come to what I believe to be a better understanding from Scripture.


Concerning my position on the church, I can say that I don’t exactly fit in anywhere.

During the early part of our missionary work in South Asia, I determined to research the issue of the church for myself. We arrived on the mission field in 1979 and a year or so later I came to the conclusion that I did not understand the church and missionary work properly. At the time I had not been ordained by a church. Rather, I had been commissioned by a mission board. My home church at the time was totally mission board oriented and there was an emphasis at Tennessee Temple in those days on a “universal church” position. Highland Park Baptist Church, the home of Tennessee Temple, was so large that it didn’t really function as a New Testament church. In fact, massive numbers of its members were “invisible” because of the practice of Quick Prayerism and lack of discipline!

The issue that brought the matter of the church to the fore in my thinking as a young missionary was a Bible School. After we had been on the mission field for about a year (and had not yet started a church plant) I was asked by some national men to start a Bible School to train preachers from the various churches that already existed in the country. I was excited because the need for training was great and I love to teach. But as I worked on writing out the government and discipline of the school, I was struck by the fact that everything pertaining to discipline in the New Testament is in the context of the church. There is no pattern for the government of an entity other than the church, so I determined to study the issue of the church and missionary work for myself before the Lord.

Continue reading this article……

God's Omnipotence

The following study is part of new edition of the Advanced Bible Studies Series course Give Attendance to Doctrine that we plan to publish later this year. --

God's Omnipotence
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Rev. 19:6)

“I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2).

“Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm,
and there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jer. 32:17).

“But Jesus beheld
them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Mat. 19:26).

“For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
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We are so thankful for God’s omnipotence. If God were good but not omnipotent, He could be overthrown by some power at some point in time. Some Satan could pull God from His throne and replace God’s righteous rule with unrighteous chaos. At the present time there is unrighteousness and chaos in creation, but it is temporary and limited in scope; it is under God’s control and will result in the working out of His ultimate purposes. God’s omnipotence guarantees this.

God is called “Almighty” 57 times in Scripture, beginning with God’s revelation to Abraham in Genesis 17:1. This is from the Hebrew word
Shaddai, which means “to be burly, i.e. (figuratively) powerful (passively, impregnable)” (Strong). 

a. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He can do anything (Job 42:6; Jer. 32:17; Mat. 19:26; Luke 1:37). We cannot begin to understand this, but we can believe it and we can rejoice in it, because the God who can do anything is a good God who will only do that which is right. The only limit on God’s power is His moral character. For example, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13).

b. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He created the universe from nothing by His spoken Word (Gen. 1; Heb. 11:3). The universe is so large and complex that it is incomprehensible to man, yet it did not tax God’s power to create it. He does not faint nor grow weary (Isa. 40:28). This is omnipotence.

Continue reading this article……

Jehovah and Yahweh?

The following report by Thomas Ross is re-published by permission of the author. (Photo is a page from The Aleppo Cedex and not a part of original article.)

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The vowels of the Tetragrammaton, that is, Yehowah or Jehovah (Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4) are not a late addition, but represent the original and true pronunciation of the profoundly significant Divine Name.  The commonly repeated modern idea that the pronunciation Jehovah is a late and incorrect invention, while Yahweh is the true pronunciation of the Name, is false. No known Hebrew manuscript on earth contains the vocalization Yahweh. On the other hand, the form Jehovah is found in a variety of locations in the oldest Hebrew copies, such as the Aleppo codex and a variety of Biblical fragments dated between 700 and 900, as well as being the universal pointing in the Old Testament Textus Receptus. Jewish scholars such as Maimonides (1138-1204) affirmed that the Tetragrammaton was pronounced according to its letters as YeHoWaH

Were, as the common modern notion affirms, the vowels of the Divine Name simply lifted from
Adonai, the yod of the Tetragram would have a hateph pathach underneath it, not a shewa. Furthermore, all the names in Scripture that begin with portions of the Tetragrammaton possess the vowels of Jehovah, not of Yahweh

If one wanted to maintain that the vocalization of God’s Name had been corrupted in Scripture, contrary to His declarations that nothing of the kind would happen (Psalm 12:6-7; Matthew 5:18), one would also need to maintain that every name in the Bible that begins with part of the Tetragrammaton has also been corrupted. Jehoadah would really be something like Yahwadah;  Jehoahaz would be Yahwahaz; Jehoash would be Yahwahash, and so on. 

Furthermore, no theophoric names anywhere in Scripture end with an
eh, the expected ending were the Name pronounced Yahweh. Similarly, the word Hallelujah and the Greek Alleluia validate the ah at the end of the Divine Name. 

Furthermore, the Mishna states that the Name was pronounced as it was written, that is, as
Jehovah.This pronunciation is also consistent with Talmudic evidence. 

The plain facts concerning what the vowels on the Name actually are in the Hebrew text, other theophoric names, the Mishna, and a variety of other evidences demonstrate that the Tetragrammaton is correctly pronounced
Jehovah.

In contrast to the strong evidence in favor of the pronunciation
Jehovah, very little favors the pronunciation Yahweh. Since this latter pronunciation is not favored by any evidence in the Hebrew of the Bible, nor in other ancient Jewish documents, its advocates must look outside of Scripture and Jewish texts for evidence in its favor. This they find in the late patristic writers Theodoret and Epiphanius, who give Iabe as the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, although the former distinguishes this vocalization as the pronunciation of the Samaritans. 

These statements constitute the most substantive and strongest argument in favor of the pronunciation
Yahweh. Also, papyri involving pagan magic, and in which every possible and impossible designation of deities, Greek, Egyptian and Semitic, is found in profuse variety, contain invocations that sound like the word Yahweh

To use the speculations of two patristic writers—one of whom even specifies that
Yahweh was a Samaritan pronunciation, and that the Jews used something else—to overthrow the vocalization of the Name in the OT Textus Receptus, Jehovah, is entirely unjustifiable. 

To use a name found in some pagan papyri that are invoking numberless idols and demons to reject
Jehovah is even worse. 

The evidence for the pronunciation
Yahweh is very poor, and totally insufficient to overthrow the powerful and numerous evidences in favor of the pronunciation Jehovah.

Thus, it is evident that
Jehovah is the correct pronunciation of the Name of God. Jehovah has not allowed the pronunciation of His Name to be lost.

The error that Yahweh is the correct pronunciation of the Divine Name is connected to the error that only the consonants of the Hebrew text are inspired, while the vowels were invented by a class of Jewish scribes around the tenth century A. D.  On the contrary, Scripture and solid evidence demonstrates that the words of the Hebrew text—including the vowels—are inspired and were recorded by the Biblical authors.  Extensive evidence for the inspiration of the Hebrew vowels is provided in my essay “Evidences for the Inspiration of the Hebrew Vowel Points” in the Bibliology section of my website (
http://faithsaves.net/bibliology/). The evidence for the pronunciation Jehovah above is a summary of Appendix 1 of the same essay on my website, where extensive documentation and a more detailed discussion is provided.  The question is also discussed in lecture #1 of my class on Trinitarianism (http://faithsaves.net/trinitarianism/). My essay "The Debate over the Inspiration of the Hebrew Vowel Points" should also be mentioned.

Furthermore, the fact that
Jehovah is the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton is one of a number of strong reasons to reject the critical Hebrew text (the Leningrad MS) underlying the generality of modern English Bible versions.  While the Old Testament Received Text that underlies the Authorized Version properly and fully vocalizes the Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew critical text corrupts the Divine Name by omitting one of its vowels in thousands of passages.  Other serious corruptions are also present in the Leningrad MS.

Finally, the King James Bible is found to be correct in its vocalization of the Divine Name as
Jehovah, while it properly omits the modern fictitious pronunciation Yahweh.  God’s people should do the same, and call, not on Yahweh, but on the Triune Jehovah.

The previous report by Thomas Ross is re-published by permission of the author.
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Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing 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 IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

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Who is the 12th Apostle?

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ACTS 1:26 — “And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”

Revelation 21:14 says there are 12 apostles whose names are in the foundations of the eternal city of God, the New Jerusalem. Also Matthew 19:28 says there are apostles who will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.  

Who is the 12th apostle that takes Judas’ place? Matthias or Paul? 

Sixteen times Paul said that he was an apostle. He was personally called of God for this (2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1). 

The argument that Paul took the place of Judas as the 12th apostle is made as follows by George Sayles Bishop: 

“The one who takes Judas’ vacant place is Paul, not Matthias. Matthias was the suggestion of Peter, and Peter made mistakes. He made a mistake when he said: ‘Be it far from Thee, Lord.’ He made a mistake when he denied his Master. He made a mistake at Antioch when he overturned the Gospel and taught circumcision: ‘Building again the things which he had destroyed.’ ‘I withstood him to the face,’ says Paul ‘because he was to be blamed.’ Impetuous Peter steps forward to make an apostle. He gives the Lord, so to say, a choice between two, Matthias and Justus. The lot falls on Matthias and they number him with the twelve and that is the last that is heard of him. The Lord keeps silent. By and by, He comes down from heaven and, Himself in Person, adds to the original eleven, another twelfth apostle, ‘one born out of due time.’ ... The twelfth name on the ‘twelve foundations’ of the New Jerusalem will not be that of Matthias but that of Paul: not only an apostle but ‘not a whit behind the very Chiefest apostles’ though in himself, nothing” (
The Doctrines of Grace, New York: Gospel Publishing House, 1910, p. 373).

We disagree with this for the following reasons:

First, the Bible specifically says that Matthew was “numbered with the eleven” (Acts 1:26). Twelve verses are devoted to this scene. While it is true that Peter made mistakes, the Bible plainly identifies the mistakes. The situation in Acts 1 is different. It is not merely Peter acting on some personal whim, it is the entire 11 acting in one accord with the other brethren assembled together. Twelve verses of Scripture are devoted to this scene and there is no hint that they are acting contrary to God’s will. In fact, they are acting in accordance with prophecy (Acts 1:20; Psalm 109:8). And they were acting prayerfully (Acts 1:24-25). 

Second, while it is true that Matthias is not mentioned by name again in Scripture, it is also true that most of the apostles are not mentioned again by name. When the apostles are mentioned thereafter in Acts 2:37, 42, 43; 4:33, 35, 36, 37; 5:12, 18; 11:1; 15:2, etc., Matthias was doubtless one of them because he had been elected to that position. 

Continue reading this article……

Christ's Bodily Resurrection


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The tomb was empty; and the foes of Christ were unable to deny it” (Ernest Kevan, The Resurrection of Christ, 1961, p. 14).

“I know pretty well what evidence is; and I tell you, such evidence as that for the resurrection has never been broken down yet” (Lord Lyndhurst or John Singleton Copley, Attorney General of Great Britain, Lord Chancellor of England, High Steward of the University of Cambridge, original source probably from Theodore Martin,
A Life of Lord Lyndhurst). 

“Let it simply be said that we know more about the details of the hours immediately before and the actual death of Jesus, in and near Jerusalem, than we know about the death of any other one man in all the ancient world” (Wilbur Smith,
Therefore Stand, p. 360).

“Non-miraculous explanations of what happened at the empty tomb have to face a cruel choice: either they have to rewrite the evidence in order to suit themselves or they have to accept the fact that they are not consistent with the present evidence. The only hypothesis that fits the evidence is that Jesus was really resurrected. Could the Man who predicted His death and resurrection, only to have it come to pass exactly as He had said, be anything but God?” (Winfred Corduan,
No Doubt about It: The Case for Christianity, p. 227).

Introduction

1. The Bible says there are “many infallible proofs” of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 1:3). In fact, it is one of the best documented events of ancient history. Bible-believing Christianity is not BLIND RELIGIOUS FAITH! 

2. Jesus and the Bible and Christianity rise or fall on Christ’s resurrection!

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Proper Confession of Sin

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The following is by the late Harry Ironside, from his commentary on John’s First Epistle.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

In the Old Testament men were to come to God with an offering and confess that they had sinned in that thing. This implies definiteness in confession. I am afraid many of us really never get to God in confession because we are so indefinite. Somebody prays and says, "If Thou hast seen any sin, anything amiss in me, forgive me." Hold on a minute!
Is there anything amiss; do you know of anything amiss? 

The proper way to make confession is to come to God acknowledging the wrong I have done. 

Oh, dear friends, if you want blessing, get into the presence of God and tell Him all about it, about that bad temper, about that scandalous tongue, about all the things that grieve His Holy Spirit. 

Some of you say, “I Pray for my husband, I would like him to be converted.”

He is more likely to be converted if you will say, “O God, I confess that my bad temper is hindering my husband from being saved, it is alienating my children; I am not surprised that my friends are not converted.”

Then go to them, too, and make confession. 

If you have been saying it was nervousness when it was really bad temper, confess that it is temper, and stop trying to excuse sin.

He will cleanse us by the washing of the Word, and give victory in our lives, and enable us to
live here to His praise and glory. 

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copyright 2013 - Way of Life Literature

Plain Clothing

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Some independent Baptists and fundamentalists in general seem to be reacting to the worldliness of many churches by adopting a “plain clothes” style that is akin to the old Mennonite fashion. I can understand the rejection of worldliness, but I question the plain clothes position and fear for its end result. We should not establish doctrine and practice on the basis of “reactionism,” but upon solid Bible teaching. 

I know of dozens of families and churches in five states that are moving in this direction.
The Charity Fellowship (which I have written about elsewhere) has had considerable influence in popularizing the plain clothes position among some independent Baptists. 

Following are some comments I would like to make about the “plain clothes” position:

1. I believe in liberty.

The believer is free to dress as he or she pleases before the Lord within the bounds of biblical modesty. When Romans 14:4 says, “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?” it is talking about judging others on the basis of the Bible’s silence. When the Bible is silent on a matter, there is personal liberty before God, and to make laws that go beyond Scripture is legalism. This is obvious from the context. Paul used the example of diet to illustrate his principle (Romans 14:2-3). There is no divinely-ordained New Testament diet, so this is a matter of liberty.

Immodest and unisex styles of clothing aside, there is individual liberty in dress. As far as I am concerned, you can wear a 1930s B.C. Ur of the Chaldees pleated robe or a 1930s A.D. Zoot suit! 

Please understand that nothing I intend to say here is with the objective of taking away your freedom in Christ or discouraging earnest people who are seeking to please God. If you want to dress in some kind of plain uniform, that is your business at the end of the day. 

You say, “It is my choice; I don’t make it a law for others.” Well and good. I’m not here to condemn godly people who want to do right before the Lord, but I would challenge you to examine why you have chosen a particular style and its possible repercussions. 

Continue reading this article……

Comments on the Trinity

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Definition of the Trinity from the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, 1742:

“In this Divine and Infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word (or Son), and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided; the Father is of none neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and our comfortable dependence on him.”

The following is adapted from a message entitled “The Trinity” by the late fundamental Baptist preacher I.M. Haldeman, pastor of First Baptist Church, New York City, 1884-1933. 

Scripture always speaks of God as One God.

“There is none other God but one...” (1 Cor. 8:4).

The Son of God, our Lord, defines God essentially as spirit (John 4:24). The Holy Ghost defines God as person (“the express image of his person,” Hebrews 1:3). But this word “person” in the Greek is
hupostasis--which signifies “substance,” “essence,” and, in final analysis, ‘Being.”

So that, speaking correctly, we should say: “God is One Substance--One Essence--One Being--The Supreme Being.”

In this one and indivisible Being there is a plurality of persons--subsisting. 

“God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness” (Gen. 1:26). The Hebrew word for God here is
Elohim. It is a plural noun and is always joined to a verb in the singular, indicating that the act of this plurality of persons--is always as the act of ONE. 

Scripture reveals that in this One Being, this One Substance--Spirit--there subsist three distinct persons. They are known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Scripture teaches that these three persons constitute what is called the Godhead (Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9).   

Each person of this Divine Being is God. And each of them is all that God is.

The Father is God (John 6:27). The Son is God (Heb. 1:8; Titus 2:13; John 20:28). The Spirit is God (Acts 5:1-4). 

Each one of these persons is entirely God, but the three persons are not in any sense three Gods.

Not one of them can be God without the other two. The Father cannot be God without the Son and the Spirit. The Son cannot be God without the Father and the Spirit. The Spirit cannot be God without the Father and the Son. 

Each is God only as each is in the one Being of the Godhead. 

As this Godhead cannot be divided, there cannot be three Gods. 

As this indivisible Being constitutes One God and no one of the persons can take any degree of Being from the other, then, the Three, being in and of the one substance, constitute one indivisible Being, or God. 

Correctly and theologically speaking we are to say, concerning God, that “we neither confound the persons nor divide the substance.” 

And therefore, God is a Triunity of Being in One Godhead. He is three Persons in a unity of Being. 

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copyright 2013 - Way of Life Literature

Early Revelaton Among Men Before Before the Scriptures

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The following is excerpted from the 2012 edition of the Advanced Bible Studies Series course “Bible Geography and History” by D.W. Cloud:

In Genesis we learn that man has had revelation from God since the very dawn of his history. Luke 1:70 and Acts 3:21 say that God has spoken “by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.” 

1. The details of the revelation God has given man from the beginning

a. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God directly in the Garden of Eden. After they sinned, God personally taught them about the coming Saviour through direct prophecy (Genesis 3:15) and through the typology of clothing them in the skins that were required through the slaying of innocent animals (Gen. 3:21).

b. Abel, Adam’s second son, was a prophet who preached salvation by grace without works through the death of an innocent substitute (Lk. 11:50-51). Abel offered by faith (Heb. 11:4), meaning he offered according to God's Word, because "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17).

c. Enoch was a prophet who proclaimed the Second Coming of Christ and the end-time judgment of mankind (Jude 14-15). He was Noah's great grandfather (Gen. 5:21-32).

d. Noah was a preacher of righteousness and probably preached for 120 years as he was building the Ark (2 Peter 2:5).

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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture

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The following is from the Advanced Bible Studies course Understanding Bible Prophecy (fourth edition, rewritten and enlarged, August 2012). This thorough and practical course enables the student to understand and enjoy Bible prophecy. It deals with the interpretation of prophecy, dispensationalism, the covenants, the nations in prophecy, and Messianic prophecy. Large sections are devoted to “prophecies being fulfilled today” and “the great prophetic events of the future.” 297 pages, 7 x 8 inch format, $14.95 (Also available as a .pdf eBook)


The next major event on God’s prophetic calendar is the Rapture of church-age believers. 

The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible, but it describes the catching away of the church-age saints at the end of the age. 

There are two major passages that describe the Rapture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13 -- 5:11 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.

The Greek word translated “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is used in Acts 8:39 of the Spirit of God snatching away Philip after the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. 

1 Thessalonians 4:13 -- 5:11

1. The Rapture is an event in which the dead in Christ will be raised (1 Th. 4:14-16) and the living New Testament saints will be changed and glorified (1 Th. 4:17).

2. The dead in Christ are presently with Him in heaven (1 Th. 4:14). The dead in Christ do not “sleep in the grave” as some false teachers claim.

3. The Rapture is the believer’s hope and comfort (1 Th. 4:13, 18). This is what we are waiting for. We are not looking for the antichrist and the Great Tribulation. If the Rapture did not occur until the end of the Great Tribulation, it could not produce hope and comfort for the Christian. 

4. The Rapture occurs before the Day of the Lord’s wrath (1 Th. 5:1-10).

a. The “Day of the Lord” is the time of Tribulation when God will judge the world for its sin and idolatry. In that “day,” God will be exalted and rebellious men will be humbled. See Isaiah 2:10-21. 

b. Note the change in pronouns in this passage. In verse 3 the pronoun “they” is used, because the Day of the Lord will come upon the unsaved world. But in verses 4-5 the pronoun “ye” is used, referring to believers. That day will not overtake us. 

c. The Rapture will occur as a thief in the night (1 Th. 5:2), but this is not how the Lord’s return in glory will occur. It will come with unmistakeable signs in the heavens and will be seen by all (Mat. 24:27-31). The Rapture pertains to the church, whereas Christ’s Second Coming pertains to Israel and the world.

d. The believer is to be watching for the Lord’s return at all times (1 Th. 5:6). We do not know when it will happen. It is imminent. 

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1 Corinthians 13

The following is excerpted from the Advanced Bible Studies Series course on 1 Corinthians, which is available from Way of Life Literature.

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Introduction

a. In 1 Corinthians 12:31, Paul tells the church at Corinth to covet the best gifts “
and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” That way is the way of charity. He is saying that the chief thing that the churches and individual believers should seek is charity. 

b. This chapter vividly exposes the carnality at the church at Corinth. Walking carnally, after the flesh instead of the Spirit, they were impatient, unkind, envying, puffed up, acting unseemly, seeking their own, easily provoked, thinking evil toward one another, and rejoicing in iniquity. This chapter, therefore, exposes the error of the old nature that is in every man, including every true believer. 

c. This chapter expresses the highest will of Christ for His people. “
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35). 

d. Question: Is “charity” an accurate translation? Should it not rather be translated “love” as in the modern English versions? 

ANSWER

(1) The Greek word translated “charity” in the KJV is “agape.” Strong defines it as “love, i.e. affection or benevolence.” It appears 106 times in the New Testament and the King James Bible usually translates it “love” but also translates it “charity” 27 times, “charitably” one time (Rom. 14:15), and “dear” one time (Col. 1:13).
Agape love is God’s love (1 Jn. 4:8).

(2) Either word (whether “charity” or “love”) must be interpreted by its context and by comparing Scripture with Scripture. The Bible is a self-interpreting book. If we take the context of 1 Corinthians 13, we are given a clear definition of the Greek word “agape.” 

(3) “Charity” is an excellent translation of “agape” when it is not allowed to assume its more narrow 20th century definition of benevolence to the poor and needy (e.g., giving to social organizations such as the Red Cross). Webster’s 1828 dictionary defined “charity” thusly: “In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. ... In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.” That is the meaning of the Greek word “agape.” 

(4) The term “love” has changed even more in meaning since the 17th century (when the King James Bible was first published) than “charity,” having assumed a more emotional, sensual definition. In the 21st century rock & roll culture, love means lust. It refers more often to “eros” love rather than “agape” love.

e. This is one of the most lovely passages that has ever been written in the English language and it shows off the literary glory of the King James Bible. Well has the KJV been called -- 

“unquestionably the most beautiful book in the world” (Leland Ryken,
The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation, 2002, p. 267)

“a well of English undefiled” (William Muir,
Our Grand Old Bible, 1911, p. 192)

“the noblest monument to English prose” (John Livingston Lowes,
Essays in Appreciation, 1936)

“a piece of literature without parallel in modern times” (Arthur Clutton-Brock, “The English Bible,”
The English Bible: Essays by Various Writers, Vernon Storr, editor, 1938)

“probably the most beautiful piece of writing in all the literature of the world” (Henry Louis Mencken, cited by
Gustavas Paine, The Learned Men, preface)

“the greatest work ever written in the English language, period” (Jonathan Yardley,
Washington Post, quoted in Adam Nicholson, God’s Secretaries, “Praise for God’s Secretaries,” which follows the table of contents).

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The Bible Critics Were Wrong

The following is excerpted from AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH: A CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS COURSE. ISBN 978-1-58318-119-5. The course is built upon nearly 40 years of serious Bible study and apologetics writing. Research was done in the author’s personal 6,000-volume library plus in major museums and other locations in America, England, Europe, Australia, Asia, Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East. The package consists of an apologetics course entitled AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH (both print and eBook editions are supplied) plus 1,800 Keynote/PowerPoint slides dealing with archaeology, evolution/creation science, and the prophecies pertaining to Israel’s history. (Keynote is the Apple version of PowerPoint.) The majority of the photos were taken at location with Nikon D700 pro digital SLRs. The material in the 360-page course is extensive, and the teacher can decide whether to use all of it or to select only some portion of it for his particular class and situation. There are review questions and a summary of the course, which emphasizes the major points that the students should master. The course can be used for private study as well as for a classroom setting. Sections include The Bible’s Nature, The Bible’s Proof, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Bible’s Difficulties, Historical Evidence for Jesus, Evidence for Christ’s Resurrection, Archaeological Treasures Confirming the Bible, A History of Evolution, Icons of Evolution, Icons of Creation, Noah’s Ark and the Global Flood. The course is printed on 8.5x11-inch stock with coated color cover and is spiral-bound so the book can be laid flat.

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It is the early 20th century, and the Bible is under attack as never before.

It is under attack by theological modernists with impressive credentials. They say that the Bible is filled with myths. They claim that Ur of the Chaldees, the Hittites, Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylon, Belshazzar, Sargon, King David, and Solomon were mythical. They say that Moses couldn’t have written the first five books of the Bible since writing was unknown in his day. They say there were no ancient complex law codes and no Babylonian captivity. They say that parts of the New Testament were not written until at least 100 years after the events and were based on mythical stories passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. They say that the book of Acts is filled with historical inaccuracies. A chorus of voices have joined that of the infidel Thomas Paine who wrote in his popular book
The Age of Reason that Genesis is “an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.”

The Bible is also under attack by Darwinists. Charles Darwin claims that his doctrine of natural selection explains the origin of species. Thomas Huxley claims that
Archaeopteryx is evidence that birds evolved from small dinosaurs. Ernst Haeckel, one of the world’s most influential scientists, claims that the doctrine of recapitulation proves that evolution is true and he has impressive embryo charts to demonstrate it. He says that life is continually formed at the bottom of the sea through simple lifeforms called monera and that these primitive lifeforms are the foundation of the “tree of life.” He has even given monera a scientific name and has drawings of them in his books. Othniel Marsh at Yale’s Peabody Museum claims that his horse chart proves evolution. Evidence is growing for the doctrine that man ascended from apes. There is Neanderthal Man, Java Man, Piltdown Man, Peking Man, and Nebraska Man. Why, we even have drawings and models of them and their families and entire books describing their culture and habits! Percival Lowell is publishing books describing the canals he has observed on Mars through his 24-inch telescope near the Grand Canyon. He is even deducing many fascinating details about the lives of the Martians who built these canals.  

What would you do in such a time as this, confronted with such an onslaught of apparent evidence against the Bible’s authenticity?

Those who held fast to their faith in God and in the Bible as God’s Word were vindicated, while the skeptics and the Darwinists were proven wrong. 

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Don't All Religions Lead to God?

The following is from Your Questions Answered on the Bible & Christianity, a free eBook available from Way of Life Literature -- www.wayoflife.org

There is a Hindu saying, “The truth is One, but different sages call it by different names.” 

This is a common misconception that is held by many non-Hindus, as well. 

But it can’t be true that “all paths lead to God” for the simple reason that they point in different directions! 

If I said to you that I am planning to go to Washington D.C. tomorrow from Nepal and that to get there I am just going to board any airplane and start flying in any direction I please, you would think I am crazy. We all know that you have to follow the right path or you will never arrive at your intended destination. 

Likewise, the only way to get to heaven is to follow the right road, and Jesus Christ claims to be that Road. If He is not, he was either a liar, a lunatic, or a deceived man. 

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Consider four ways that the major religions teach different doctrines about the most important things:

The religions do not teach the same morality

For example, Hinduism has a caste system that locks men into a certain status from birth, and the low caste are considered inferior to the high. In places where Hinduism is still followed in its purest forms, such as Nepal and rural India, the caste system is very strong. In Nepal, low castes are not even allowed into the homes of high castes. In many villages, the low castes are not allowed to drink out of the same wells and fountains as the high caste. In parts of India there is even an “unseeable caste” whose members are required to work at night. Though some Hindu scholars claim that the caste system is not an integral part of Hinduism, it has been practiced by Hindus for thousands of years and has support from the Hindu scriptures. 

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that all men are the same “caste.” We came from the same original father and mother, and God commands us to treat all men alike. God’s law as given in the Bible is, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14). If I love my neighbor as myself, I will not treat him as an inferior and try to “keep him down.” The Bible commands men to treat one another with perfect justice. “Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's” (Deuteronomy 1:17).

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Darby on the Judgment Seat of Christ

The following is from J. N. Darby’s (1800-82) Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, which was written between 1857-1862. Darby’s five-volume Synopsis with the complete index volume is available as part of the Treasure of Dispensational Commentaries in the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library from Way of Life Literature:

We must all be manifested before the tribunal of Christ, in order that each may receive according to that which he shall have done in the body, be it good or evil. A happy and precious thought, after all, solemn as it may be; for, if we have really understood grace, if we are standing in grace, if we know what God is, all love for us, all light for us, we shall like to be in the full light. It is a blessed deliverance to be in it. It is a burden, an encumbrance, to have anything concealed, and although we have had much sin in us that no one knows (perhaps even some that we have committed, and which it would be no profit for any one to know), it is a comfort--if we know the perfect love of God--that all should be in perfect light since He is there. This is the case by faith and for faith, wherever there is solid peace: we are before God as He is, and as we are--all sin in ourselves alas! except so far as He has wrought in us by quickening us; and He is all love in this light in which we are placed; for God is light, and He reveals Himself. Without the knowledge of grace, we fear the light: it cannot be otherwise. But knowing grace, knowing that sin has been put away as regards the glory of God, and that the offence is no longer before His eyes, we like to be in the light, it is joy to us, it is that which the heart needs, without which it cannot be satisfied, when there is the life of the new man. Its nature is to love the light, to love purity in all that perfection which does not admit the evil of darkness, which shuts out all that is not itself. Now to be thus in the light, and to be manifested, is the same thing, for the light makes everything manifest.

We are in the light by faith when the conscience is in the presence of God. We shall be according to the perfection of that light when we appear before the tribunal of Christ. I have said that it i a solemn thing--and so it is, for everything is judged according to that light; but it is that which the heart loves, because--thanks to our God!--we are light in Christ.

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Heresies Pertaining to John's First Epistle

In recent months I have become aware of some heresies pertaining to John’s first epistle that are spreading among fundamental Baptist churches.

Though there are difficulties in 1 John, these can be resolved by applying sound principles of Bible interpretation. The first two of these are to interpret Scripture according to context and to compare Scripture with Scripture.

Applying these principles we find that there are two “keys” to the proper understanding of John’s first Epistle.

First, the epistle was WRITTEN TO BELIEVERS that their fellowship with God might be perfected and their joy might be full.

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:3-4).

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

The word “fellowship” is used four times in 1 John 1:3-7.

The epistle is clearly and definitely
not written to unbelievers. It is not about how to be saved; it is about how to stay in fellowship with God after you are saved.

There is a heresy that 1 John 1:9 is for the unbeliever and that the believer cannot be out of fellowship with God.

This is taught, for example, by Guided By Truth Ministries, as follows.

“For the believer, verbally ‘confessing’ our sins through prayer does not cause us to be forgiven. We may ask God to forgive us but He has told us through His word that He
already has. We can certainly thank Him for forgiving our sin, but to keep asking for it means we are ignoring Him and His Word. He teaches us to rest in forgiveness, not keep seeking it. ... With this truth in mind, we must ask, what does 1 John 1:9 actually mean? Can we actually break fellowship with God and not be in His good graces if we have un-confessed sin? ... Those who admit their sin will be saved. Those who already have are already forgiven. There is no teaching here to the contrary. This passage is referring to the one time event that happens to those who are saved. It is not teaching how a Christian should receive forgiveness but rather how those who admitted they had sin became Christians. ... Knowing that it is impossible to be in darkness after accepting the light of the world we can further understand that in 1 John 1:6, 8, & 10 John is speaking of those who have never accepted Christ. ... GOD NEVER DECLARES A ‘BREAK IN FELLOWSHIP’ WITH US. This concept is not found in Scripture. ... The Bible tells us that we will still sin, but when we accept Christ as our Savior, we are referred to as saints. He has forgiven all of our sins. There is no need for us to keep dwelling on our sin. He took them away to be remembered no more. This confession idea is out of sync with the truth of Salvation and only keeps our mind on sin rather than on the forgiveness already imputed to us” (“Forgiveness and 1 John 1:9,” Guided By Truth Ministries, n.d.).

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Denominational Divisions are Doctrinal

(first published March 29, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

One of the theme songs of the ecumenical movement is “God is destroying denominational lines.”

This was one of the goals of the Promise Keepers movement. At the Promise Keepers Clergy Conference in Atlanta in February 1996, the more than 39,000 pastors were urged to commit themselves to the “Atlanta Covenant,” one of the points of which urges pastors to reach beyond racial and DENOMINATIONAL barriers.” Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney made the following statement at this conference: “Contention between denominations has gone on long enough. If the church ever stood together, Almighty God would have his way.”

This is a gross error that ignores the apostasy of our time and the reason for such divisions, as well as the Bible’s commands to separate from error.

The “Breaking Down Denominational Walls” Mentality Ignores Apostasy


This thinking sounds good to this itching-ear generation (2 Timothy 4:3-4), but it ignores the wretchedly apostate condition of a great many of the denominations.

Evangelical leader Harold Lindsell gave this testimony in regard to the mainline denominations:

“It is not unfair to allege that among denominations like Episcopal, United Methodist, United Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, the Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY THAT TAKES A STAND IN FAVOR OF BIBLICAL INFALLIBILITY. AND THERE IS NOT A SINGLE SEMINARY WHERE THERE ARE NOT FACULTY MEMBERS WHO DISAVOW ONE OR MORE OF THE MAJOR TEACHINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH” (Harold Lindsell, Battle for the Bible, Zondervan, 1976, pp. 145-146.)

“Apostasy” refers to the falling away from the true New Testament faith, and it is not a figment of a “fundamentalist’s” imagination; it is a Bible doctrine. The New Testament describes two separate streams of “Christianity” operating side by side throughout the church age.

Continue reading this article……

Liberty and Fun

(first published October 5, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article)-

In the name of “freedom,” people frequently leave good Bible-believing churches to join one of the looser, easy-going congregations that abound in these apostate times. Commonly, they are lackadaisical about church attendance, putting more emphasis upon personal and family relaxation and recreation, upon sports and the great outdoors and an endless variety of fun. They exchange their feminine dresses for pants and shorts and other immodest attire, even joining the near-naked crowd at the poolside and on the beaches. They trade the sacred hymns of the faith for jazzy charismatic “praise” music and Christian rock. They develop a more tolerant attitude toward doctrine, emphasizing, instead, “love” and “unity,” fellowshipping with anyone who “loves Jesus.” As they pursue this new path, their ecumenical sympathies and appetite for “liberty” increases, as does their aversion to biblical separation.

When asked about the change, they say: “I feel more
liberty now, more love; I am having fun; I am glad to be free of legalism; I don’t hear criticism at my church; no one judges what others do. It’s a breath of fresh air. We’re finally free of Pharisaical bondage.”

Through the years, I have witnessed with sorrow a number of Christian friends who were captured in this fleshly trap.

They are confused about the nature of biblical Christianity, having been willfully enticed by the siren song of the “live according to your own lusts” philosophy of apostasy (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

Consider the following Bible preachers whose sermons were recorded by divine inspiration. Would a person who focuses on liberty and fun be comfortable under such preaching?

Continue reading this article……

Loving What Jesus?

(first published September 15, 1996) The unity movements claim that all those who “love Jesus” and “believe the gospel” should be able to fellowship and work together, but there is a serious problem with this principle. It ignores the fact that there are false christs and false gospels. Almost 2,000 years ago the apostle Paul warned of this danger:


“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

The Corinthian church was careless and carnal and tolerant of error, and Paul was afraid that if false teachers came to them with “another spirit” and preached “another Jesus” or “another gospel,” they would put up with them instead of separating from them. It was not that they would necessarily follow or accept the error; it was that they would be tolerant of it.

This is a perfect description of those who are committed to the unity principle today. Instead of testing everything carefully by the Word of God and plainly exposing false christs and false gospels, they glory in their “unity in diversity.”

A perfect example of this is the March for Jesus rallies which are held annually in many countries and which seek to draw together all professing Christians for a united “testimony for Jesus.”

Marty Klein, the national coordinator for March for Jesus in Canada in 1996, testified that Mormons were welcome to participate.

Alan Sharpe of Ottawa wrote to Klein on May 2 of that year and asked, “I am interested in the March for Jesus. Can a devout Mormon who loves Jesus march in the march?”

Klein replied: “ALL are welcome to join us. However, we make it clear that this is a march FOR Jesus. It is not a protest--we are not promoting anything, but a person (Jesus) and we will not allow Christians or otherwise to parade their various causes.”

Continue reading this article……

Biblical Application, A Case for Standards

The following is by Pastor Graham West, Tamworth Bible Baptist Church in Australia. He is the director of Music Education Ministries. His video series “The Rhythm of Rock” can be downloaded from the eVideo section of the online bookstore at the Way of Life web site -- http://wayoflife.org/publications/evideo.html

“‘Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men…. ……And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition’
(Mar 7:7 & 9). Jesus clearly denounced and rebuked those who taught a man-made tradition (a commandment of men) as if it was a divine truth (a commandment of God)” (M Tossell, ‘Bible truth or Baptist tradition’, Biblical Builder, July-Aug 2011, p. 14-15).

“… I am thankful that I saw the error of these religious customs. I was encouraged that our Independent Baptist churches are free from such traditions because we adhere to the principle of
Sola Scriptura -- Scripture only. That is, we believe and teach that the Bible is our sole authority for faith and practice” (ibid., p. 14).

After making this statement, the author of this article makes the point that he believes that in some cases Fundamental churches are guilty of teaching the commandments of men as if they were inspired Scripture. He finishes by warning that some such churches have exchanged liberty for bondage (ibid., p. 18).

I will be the first one to concede that the believer who is in earnest about living a holy life is in a far greater danger of legalism than a believer who is not so intent on pleasing God, (see sermons from Romans series
The Law of God and the Heart of Man Part B and especially Part C, Rom. 7:7-25) (The Law of God and the Heart of Man, audio recording, Tamworth Bible Baptist Church, Tamworth, 2008, www.tbbc.org.au).Continue reading this article……

Biblical Repentance is Important

(first published April 3, 2008) (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following is by Pastor Buddy Smith, Malanda, Queensland --

My study is a small room at the end of our garage, but I have a “window on the world” that lets me browse libraries around the world and study the works of wise men. My window is the good websites on the internet that offer sermon downloads, study helps, or books I have longed for.

I recently stumbled across two intersecting lines of Divine Providence. A book I had wanted to buy for forty years was reprinted and is now available at a good price, and the same day I saw the ad for the book I found a website that offered the book as a free download. The book is by Harry Ironside and is titled Except Ye Repent. You can download it or read it at http://www.wholesomewords.org/siteindex.html (a good website to bookmark.)

The doctrine of repentance has fallen on hard times in many churches. We preach much about faith, but are strangely silent on the subject of repentance. These two essential doctrines, repentance and faith, are the femurs of the body of Christ. By that I mean that they are the longest and strongest bones in our doctrinal skeleton. They are the load bearing framework of truth in our preaching that makes the long strides of evangelistic work possible. They provide the balance we need to stand against the wiles of the Devil. On these we run the race with patience. By these we bear one another's burdens. This is not to make light of the glorious gospel of Christ. Surely that is the heart of the body. Nor is it intended to ignore the authority of Christ as head of the church, But the femurs must be repentance and faith. Dr. Paul Brand once told of a man he examined who had no tibia in one of his legs. His foot was held in place by a brace he wore over the outside of his leg. So it is in the body of Christ, the loss of any part of our doctrinal skeleton will require us to replace it with an invention of man, and will impede our walk, our warnings, and our warfare. Fundamental churches are in dire need of sound, doctrinal preaching. In a world that resembles Ezekiel's valley of dry bones with all its scattered and lifeless philosophies, pastors who are committed to preaching the whole counsel of God display to men the skeletal framework of sound doctrine. There is a tendency, as Tom Malone once said, for modern churches to be composed mostly of jawbone and wishbone and lacking in backbone. It is only when we assemble the whole “skeleton” together, including the femurs of repentance and faith, that the life of the body of Christ can be what God intended.
Continue reading this article……

Is Love Contrary to Judging?

(first published March 2, 2003) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

I receive many e-mails from people who tell me that I have no love because I judge other professing Christians and I warn plainly of sin and error. The following is typical of these:

“And to question the faith of both Jim Cymbala and Billy Graham? Do you not know God? Do you not know how He works? You can spend your whole life debating over issues as such, but until you receive the gift of genuine love in your heart, you’ll never understand or gain anything” (Letter from a student at Cedarville Christian College, Oct. 7, 2002).

(Note: I have NOT questioned these men’s faith; I have questioned their doctrine and practice. There is a significant difference.)

The writer is convinced that my preaching against the errors of men such as Cymbala and Graham is evidence that I have no love in my heart. By this philosophy, which is popular and dominant today, one who loves will not judge doctrine or rebuke those who are perceived to be false.

Those who write in this manner will quote verses such as John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, If ye have love one to another.”
Continue reading this article……

Was Paul the Last One to See Christ?

August 19, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

Was Paul the last one to see the resurrected Christ? In “Heaven Is For Real: A Dangerous Book for an Apostate Age” (August 18, 2011) I stated the following:

“The book is contrary to the testimony of the Apostle Paul, who said that he was the last to see the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15:8). This experience is described in the book of Acts and there is no further mention of Christ appearing to anyone.”

This statement is not accurate, and I appreciate those who wrote to challenge me on this.

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul was not saying that he was the last one ever to see the resurrected Christ, he was saying, rather that he had seen Christ after the other apostles had seen Him. Seeing the resurrected Christ was a sign of apostleship (Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:7). The last apostle to see Christ was John on the island of Patmos as described in Revelation 1.

We are publishing a corrected edition of the “Heaven Is For Real” critique today.

Continue reading this article……

Hating the Rapture

June 7, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

Evangelical bookstores typically feature many writers who hate the doctrine of an imminent Rapture of the saints, in spite of the fact that it is plainly described in Paul’s writings and the early saints were living in expectation of it.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

James and Peter and John also taught that the Lord is at hand (James 5:9; 1 Peter 4:7; Revelation 1:3).

In contrast, consider the following heretical statements against the imminent return of Christ:

Tony Campolo hates dispensationalism and rejects the doctrine of Christ’s imminent return. He calls it “a weird little form of fundamentalism.” Speaking at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s annual meeting in June 2003, Campolo said: “That whole sense of the rapture, which may occur at any moment, is used as a device to oppose engagement with the principalities, the powers, the political and economic structures of our age” (“Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence,” Baptist Press, June 27, 2003).

Continue reading this article……

Divine Healing

March 31, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

1. The issue of divine healing has been confused by the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement.

The absolute promise of healing has always been a part of this movement. Following are a few examples:

John Alexander Dowie (1847-1907)

Dowie was the father of modern healing movement. In 1901 founded Zion City north of Chicago as a place of healing. His magazine
Leaves of Healing had a worldwide distribution and a vast influence. He taught that healing is promised because of Christ’s atonement. He did not believe in seeking medical care and taught that doctors are of the devil. Three of the original eight members of the Assemblies of God general council were from Zion City.

Charles Parham (1873-1929)

He founded the Bethel Healing Home in Topeka, Kansas, in January 1901. He, too, believed that healing is promised because of Christ’s atonement. Continue reading this article……

The Churches of Revelation, Then and Now

March 23, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

In May 2008 we made a tour of each of the sites of the seven churches addressed in Revelation 2-3. Accompanying me on the tour were Pastor David Brown of Milwaukee and Brian Snider of Alabama.

Our genial tour guide, Kemal Capar, is a very knowledgeable professional who spends part of each year in archaeological excavations.

In the apostle John’s day the seven cities were located in a province of the Roman Empire called Asia, but today they are located in western Turkey. This part of the world is also called Asia Minor. The seven cities are situated in a rough crescent about 400 miles in length, beginning with Ephesus on the coast by the Aegean Sea. About 60 miles north is Smyrna, and about 100 miles further north is Pergamum. From Pergamum you go southeast about 100 miles to Thyatira, then another 50 miles southeast to Sardis, then 40 miles southeast to Philadelphia, and finally 50 more miles southeast to Laodicea.

Asia Minor was part of the Byzantine Empire, with its headquarters in Constantinople. The ruins of churches that exist today are from that period and represent the Greek Orthodox faith.

In the 15th century the Muslims conquered Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul. It was the headquarters for the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Today Turkey is a democracy but the vast majority of the people are Muslim and Christians are often persecuted if they attempt to evangelize.

Continue reading this article……

Jesus Christ is God

Enlarged March 15, 2011 (first published via FBIS May 13, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following study is from the
Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity:

The fact that Jesus Christ is fully God is proven by the following Bible passages:

1. EVERYTHING SAID ABOUT GOD IN THE O.T. IS ALSO SAID ABOUT JESUS CHRIST IN THE N.T.

O.T. Titles for God Applied to Jesus Christ

The first reference refers to Jehovah God, the second to Jesus Christ.
Stone of stumbling
Is. 8:13-15
1 Pe. 2:6-8

Creator
Is. 44:24
Col. 1:16

Only Savior
Is. 43:11
2 Ti. 1:10

King of kings
Ps. 95:3
1 Ti. 6:14-15
Continue reading this article……

Knowing God's Will

Enlarged December 28, 2010 (first published December 8, 2009) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article)

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:1-8).

We see in Romans 12 that God has a great work in this world and He has called on His people to participate. There is a perfect will of God for each believer. If you are saved, you are called.

We see that the will of God must be proven. Salvation is a gift but God’s will is a prize to be sought.

Further, the will of God is not a future possibility but a present reality. If you don’t do the will of God today you won’t know the will of God tomorrow.

Following salvation, there are five steps that are emphasized in Romans 12 for those who want to know God’s will.

Continue reading this article……

Most Baptist Churches Do Not Exercise Discipline

Updated August 11, 2010 (first published May 29, 2000) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

One of the root problems with the lack of spiritual power and zeal in Baptist churches today is the neglect of discipline. This affects the nation as a whole. When President Bill Clinton committed adultery and lied to the country about it and tried to pervert the judicial system to cover himself, there was a call for his home church to exercise discipline. Bill Clinton is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. At that time, an Associated Press article quoted Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University (Southern Baptist) as follows: “Church discipline was common among Baptists until early this century, when it faded as people abused the system to carry out vendettas” (AP, Sept. 12, 1998). Dean Register, president of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, confirmed this, saying: “It’s very unusual for Southern Baptist churches to take disciplinary action against an individual” (The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Mississippi, Sept. 13, 1998). Continue reading this article……

Christ's Great Commission

July 22, 2010 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The Great Commission is a name for the work of world evangelism that Christ preached after He rose from the dead. It is called Great because it is repeated five times in the New Testament (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8). Repetition in the Bible has two very important purposes. First, repetition is for emphasis. By repeating this command so many times, God is saying it is important. Second, repetition is for instruction. Each mention of the Great Commission adds more instruction. We will examine four of the passages:

MATTHEW 28:18-20

1. We see the authority for the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has all authority, and when we preach the gospel we do so in His authority. Thus, we have the authority to go to
any nation and to speak to any person in His name. Many people have the idea that “religion” is a private matter, but Jesus has made it our business to proclaim the gospel. The Bible says that every born again person is an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We go in His name and authority.

2. We also see the work that is involved in doing the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

Continue reading this article……

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

March 31, 2010 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

Many wonder why God allows suffering and catastrophes.

To answer this we would say, first, that the trouble in this world is man’s fault, not God’s. When God made man in the beginning, there was no suffering. God made a perfect world for man to live in and provided for man’s every need. God placed the first man and woman in a paradise called the Garden of Eden and gave them only one commandment. But they were not satisfied with God’s provision and they disobeyed God’s commandment and fell into sin. As a result, the world became a place of evil and suffering. This is man’s fault. It is men that lie and cheat and steal and rape and kidnap and bully and kill.

Second, God is holy and judges sin. He is not only a Saviour, He is also a Judge. God warned the first man and woman, that if they disobeyed His law they would be punished, and that is what happened. Because of sin, the world came under God’s curse. This is described in Genesis chapter 3. It is God’s curse that is the cause of sickness and death and many other troubles that men suffer. Men are not innocent before God. All men have sinned and broken His laws; and all men, therefore, deserve to be punished.

Continue reading this article……

Cremation, What Does God Think?

Updated March 9, 2010 (first published via the FBIS January 10, 1998) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

In a book on the subject of Christian funerals, a writer gives the following advice regarding cremation:

“Personally, the minister may or may not approve of such proceedings. Privately, he is free to hold any opinion that he will. But officially he should keep an open mind. In the Christian religion there is nothing that frowns upon cremation or requires burial.”

Is this sound advice? Is cremation a matter of Christian liberty? In certain places land space is so crowded that burial plots are very expensive and in some cases there are efforts by the governments to discourage burial in preference to cremation. That this problem has become acute in Singapore is referred to in the following official statement made by the Bible Presbyterian Church of Singapore in May, 1987--

Continue reading this article……

The Garden of Eden

October 29, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following is excerpted from the new Sunday School course “Fundamental Lessons in the Old Testament,” which is available from Way of Life Literature.

It is impossible for us to imagine in a precise manner man’s condition in the Garden of Eden before the fall, but a little sanctified thinking can doubtless give us a vague idea. This world, though fallen, contains the basic elements of paradise lost.

There was a perfect environment

There would have been an ideal climate, not too hot or too cold, gentle breezes, sparkling sunlight, the clear moon reflected through the earth’s firmament.

Continue reading this article……

The Spirit of Niceness

August 19, 2009 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org) -

The following is excerpted from
The Tragedy of Compromise: The Origin and Impact of the New Evangelicalism by Dr. Ernest D. Pickering (Bob Jones University Press, 1994, Greenville, SC 29614) --

Franky Schaeffer put it this way: "The clear, loud call for accommodation comes wrapped in the name of the Gospel of Niceness. Sin as the source of all human problems is banished and a call for repentance is rarely made" (Schaeffer, Bad News for Modern Man, p. 45).

Evangelicalism today is consumed with relationalism, the fine art of getting along with people. Bruce Larson, a leading New Evangelical author himself, advises us that "the quality and scope of relationships and the ability and willingness to relate are marks of orthodoxy rather than doctrine" (Larson, The Relational Revolution, p. 32). In other words, the emphasis in theology becomes relational and not conceptual. This tendency, by the way, accounts for a major shift in expectations of the average church member toward the ministry of the pastor. Many want the pastor to center his preaching around "how to" themes rather than doctrinal themes. More will be said about this later.
Continue reading this article……

The Creeping Kudzu of Compromise

Reprinted August 11, 2009 (first published February 14, 1998) (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org) -

The following discerning message by Jack Stephens is from the Ohio Bible Fellowship (OBF)
Visitor (3865 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214-3797, 614-262-2006). We do not agree with the OBF in some matters, church polity and the Bible text issue among others, but we do appreciate their willingness to take a bold and unpopular stand against the all-pervasive new evangelical spirit. Pastor Stephens demonstrates a clear understanding of a damnable phenomenon that is occurring widely among fundamentalist churches, including fundamental Baptists.

THE CREEPING KUDZU OF COMPROMISE
By Jack Stephens

A few decades ago, an Oriental creeping vine called "kudzu" was introduced into the Southeast of our country for the purpose of providing ground cover and erosion control. Any Southerner can tell you the result. This vine gradually encroached on the land and, where it was not constantly kept in check, it choked out all other plant life, climbing utility poles and following the connecting lines to span roadways and other obstacles in its steady onslaught to take over every inch of available land. In short, from its innocent beginnings, it has become a bane and a pest to the land.
Continue reading this article……

Dread of Controversy

July 14, 2009 (Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following was written by Robert Haldane in 1874 --

Many religious persons have a dread of controversy and wish truth to be stated without any reference to those who hold the opposite errors. Controversy and a bad spirit are, in their estimation, synonymous terms. And strenuously to oppose what is wrong is considered as contrary to Christian meekness. Those who hold this opinion seem to overlook what every page of the New Testament lays before us. In all the history of our Lord Jesus Christ, we never find Him out of controversy. From the moment He entered on the discharge of His office in the synagogue of Nazareth till He expired on the cross, it was an uninterrupted scene of controversy. Nor did He, with all the heavenly meekness which in Him shone so brightly, treat truth and error without reference to those who held them or study to avoid giving its proper appellation to those corruptions in doctrine or practice that endangered the interests of immortal souls. His censures were not confined to doctrine but included the abettors of false principles themselves.Continue reading this article……

The Woman's Hair and Head Coverings

Updated and enlarged April 22, 2009 (first published July 23, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

1 Corinthians 11:3-16
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
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Is God Giving Dreams and Visions Today?

March 10, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The SharperIron blog ran a post on January 7, 2009, entitled “Dreams and Visions: Confessions of a Soft Cessationist” by Steve Davis. SharperIron is a forum for “younger fundamentalists” who are, in my opinion, moving rapidly in the direction of New Evangelicalism (e.g., Davis is a graduate of The Evangelical Divinity School).

The post begins as follows:

“Recently, I had a conversation with a Muslim-background Christian. He shared the story of his childhood in a Muslim village in a North African country. There were no Christians, there were no Bibles, there was no testimony to the gospel, and there had been no missionaries. He had a dream in which Jesus spoke to him and told him that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The dream did not lead to an immediate salvation response, but it led him to acquire a New Testament, and he began a journey that eventually led to his conversion and transformation. What would you say to this man?
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The Virtuous Woman

January 8, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following is an excerpt from the Advanced Bible Studies Series “PROVERBS,” which is available from Way of Life Literature.

THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN (Proverbs 31:10-31)

This book, which has warned frequently of the danger of the strange woman and the foolish wife (e.g. Prov. 2:16-19; 5:3-14; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 9:13-18; 11:22; 14:1; 21:9; 23:27-28; 25:24), concludes with the glory of the virtuous wife.

It is a wonderful token of grace that this description of the virtuous woman was written by Bathsheba (assuming, as we do, that it was). She writes that the husband of the virtuous woman can safely trust in her, yet she betrayed the trust of her first husband by responding to David’s sinful invitation. Of course she might have put herself and her husband in jeopardy by refusing David’s lust, but she would have kept God’s Law and maintained her honor. Yet God forgave her sin and she became a prophetess of truth and righteousness and a spokeswoman for virtue!

Bathsheba exhorts her son to find a virtuous woman. This was probably taught to him as he was growing up. That he disobeyed his mother’s counsel resulted in his terrible backsliding and the loss of most of the kingdom (1 Kings 11:1-13).

This lengthy description of the virtuous woman teaches us the immense importance of the godly wife. She is mentioned in many passages of the New Testament as well (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 3:11; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-6). “And with good reason is so much stress laid upon it, since it contributes as much as any one thing to the keeping up of religion in families, and the entail of it upon posterity, that the mothers be wise and good; and of what consequence it is to the wealth and outward prosperity of a house every one is sensible. He that will thrive must ask his wife leave” (Matthew Henry). “In choosing a wife, fools will follow their fancy, and the wise will act according to reason and the word of God” (George Lawson).

In the Hebrew language Proverbs 31:10-31 is an acrostic. Each verse begins with a different character in the Hebrew alphabet, beginning with Aleph and ending with Tau. This facilitated memorization by Jewish children.

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Is it Possible to be Saved Trough Christ Without Believing in Christ?

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE SAVED THROUGH CHRIST WITHOUT BELIEVING IN CHRIST?

October 16, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

A popular doctrine among evangelicals, emergents, and contemplatives today is the idea that a sinner can be saved through Christ without actually believing in him.

In January 2007 Tony Campolo told the
Edmonton Journal (Alberta, Canada) that he is not sure who will go to heaven. Asked by the paper, “Do you believe non-Christians can go to heaven?” Campolo replied:

“That’s a good question to ask because the way we stand is we contend that trusting in Jesus is the way to heaven. However, we do not know who Jesus will bring into the kingdom and who He will not. We are very, very careful about pronouncing judgment on anybody. We leave judgment in the hands of God and we are saying Jesus is the way. We preach Jesus, but we have no way of knowing to whom the grace of God is extended” (“Canada’s Different Evangelicals,” Edmonton Journal, Jan. 27, 2007).

This is contradictory emerging church gobbly-gook! If we believe that “trusting Jesus is the way to heaven,” then we most definitely DO know who Jesus will bring into the kingdom. He will bring those that trust Him and He will not bring those that do not trust Him. As for pronouncing judgment on people, it is not our judgment; it is God’s.

Brian McLaren says, “I don’t think it’s our business to prognosticate the eternal destinies of anyone else” (
A New Kind of Christian, p. 92) and offers a quote from a C.S. Lewis novel as his authority. In this novel Lewis’s character was a soldier who served a false god named Tash all his life, but he was accepted nonetheless by Aslan, who represents Christ.

“Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou has done to Tash, I account as service done to me. ... Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him.”

According to C.S. Lewis, who is deeply loved by all branches of the emerging church, an individual might be saved even if he follows a false religion in this life and makes no personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

Karen Ward XE "Ward, Karen" says:

“I affirm no other Savior than Jesus Christ, yet at the same time, I feel no need to know with certainty the final destination of those of other faiths who either have no knowledge of Christ or who do not accept the Christian claims of the atonement” (Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, p. 46).

This is typical emerging church gibberish. Ward thinks she can hold these contradictions in perfect harmony, but it is impossible. If Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, then we CAN know with certainty the final destination of those who do not receive Him, and that destination is Hell! This is not our judgment; it is Almighty God’s as revealed plainly to us in Scripture!

Leonard Sweet XE "Sweet, Leonard" says:

“One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 130).

What does this mean? Have those “flickers of the sacred” put their adherents into saving relationship with Almighty God and take them to heaven?

Henri Nouwen XE "Nouwen, Henri" , whose writings are constantly referenced by the emerging church and the contemplative movement, said:

“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, ALL HUMAN BEINGS CAN WALK THROUGH THAT DOOR, WHETHER THEY KNOW ABOUT JESUS OR NOT. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God” (Sabbatical Journey, New York: Crossroad, 1998, p. 51).

Dallas Willard also holds this heresy. In an interview he was presented with the following question:

“I still struggle with how I should view those who have other beliefs. I’m not sure I am ready to condemn them as wrong. I know some very good Buddhists. What is their destiny?”

To this he replied XE "Universalism" :

“I am not going to stand in the way of anyone whom God wants to save. I am not going to say he can’t save them. I am happy for God to save anyone he wants in any way he can. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW JESUS TO BE SAVED. But anyone who is going to be saved is going to be saved by Jesus” (“Apologetics in Action,” Cutting Edge magazine, winter 2001, vol. 5 no. 1, Vineyard USA, http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artID=14).

REFUTATION OF THIS HERESY

The idea that someone might be saved who doesn’t know Jesus might sound wise and compassionate, but it is plainly refuted by Scripture and is therefore a fool’s dream.

Jesus said, “
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The new birth is a very real spiritual event, and it happens only when a sinner consciously puts his faith in Christ. In the same passage Jesus explained how to be born again. “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). He plainly stated, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Therefore, if a person does not consciously believe in Jesus Christ he is condemned. Jesus concluded that sermon by saying, “
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Words could not be clearer.

Jesus said further:

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).

A man can enter in through Christ and find acceptance with God, but any other door leads to destruction. And to say that an individual could enter into salvation through Christ and not know it is as ridiculous as it is unscriptural.

John said:

“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:10-12).

The person that “hath the Son” is the person who believes on him, and the person that “hath not the son” is the one that does not believe. There is no such thing as “unconscious saving faith.”

There is simply no other way of salvation than to put one’s faith in Jesus Christ and to receive Him in such a manner that one is born anew.

Beware of those who refuse to accept the plain teaching of God’s Word. They are heretics, regardless of how cleverly they cloak their unbelief.


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James 3 and Church Splits

JAMES 3 AND CHURCH SPLITS

September 16, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:13-18).

THE WISDOM FROM BELOW IS DESCRIBED IN VERSES 14-16.

1. The fruit of evil wisdom is bitter envying and strife.

Envy is jealousy. One can be envious because another person has more money or has a better position or is better looking or is better gifted or is perceived to be better liked or more popular or whatever. Envy does not have to have a basis in reality; it can be the mere product of one’s imagination.

Envy is a trait of the old fallen flesh (Rom. 1:29; Titus 3:13). It means that I am not content with what God has given me. Instead, it bothers me when others prosper and when they advance and when they have things and positions that I do not have. To envy means I am unwisely comparing myself with others. It means I am selfish. It means I am lacking in compassion and that I do not love others as myself. (1 Cor. 13:4).

Envying embitters. “Though these may not be expressed by words, or actions: envy at the happiness of others ... is a root of bitterness in the heart, which bears wormwood and gall, and produces bitter effects in the persons in whom it is; it embitters their minds against their neighbours and friends; it is rottenness in their bones, and slays and destroys those who are so silly as to be governed by it” (John Gill).

Strife is the opposite of peace. It refers to quarreling and stirring up trouble. It refers to backbiting and gossiping, talking against the brethren because I don’t like them and I don’t like what they do. Such strife is not caused because I love the truth but because I care more for my own selfish interests and my own desire to injure others than I do for the work of God. Even if the church splits apart, that will not bother be greatly. There is a hardness of heart caused by the sin of envy. It is the opposite of gentleness and compassion and longsuffering.

Observe that envy and strife are intimately associated. Burkitt says, “Envy is the mother of strife.” If I have envy toward others I will eventually cause trouble among my brethren. The Philistines envied Isaac and stopped up his wells (Gen. 26:14-15). Rachel was envious of Leah and caused strife in her own home (Gen. 30:1-2). Korah and his followers envied Moses and Aaron and stirred up opposition against them (Psa. 106:16-18; Num. 16:1-4). Joseph’s brothers were envious of him and sold him into slavery (Acts 7:9). The Jewish religious leaders envied Jesus and stirred up the people and the government against Him and caused His death (Mark 15:10). They also envied the crowds that followed the preaching of the gospel and stirred up strife against it (Acts 17:5).

2. Envying and strife produce confusion and every evil work.

When envy is nurtured instead of confessed and rejected, and when strife begins to run its course, there is no telling where it will lead. It led Joseph’s brothers to disregard their father’s feelings and the great love he had for Joseph and to dishonor their father by kidnapping their younger brother and to harden their hearts against his crying and even to contemplate murdering him. All of this started when they envied Joseph and nurtured this envy in their hearts month after month instead of renouncing it to God (Gen. 37:11). This led to hatred, strife, kidnapping, and lying.

3. James is emphatic that this type of thing is not of God but is of the earth or the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Worldliness does not consist merely of external things such as drinking and smoking and wearing immodest clothing. It is also a matter of one’s heart condition. One can be impressively clean on the outside and worldly on the inside. This was the condition of the Pharisees (Mat. 23:25). Worldliness consists of “
the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16), and those are sins of the heart that have external fruits.

The world, the flesh, and the devil are closely associated. If I walk according to the evil ways of the world and the flesh, then I am walking according to the devil, because he is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) and the one that “
worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).

The devil is the father of envy and strife and of the selfish pride and lack of compassion that produces it (1 Tim. 3:6). When we commit these sins, we are walking in the devil’s own footsteps.

4. James warns us not to be deceived and to lie against the truth. This describes many professing Christians. They live in carnal strife and gossiping and backbiting and envy and hatred and other sins, but they claim to be right with God. Some judge themselves only by the externals. They even think of themselves as wiser and more spiritual than others. They refuse to heed reproof and repent, even though they fail the test of true wisdom.

5. Those who say they are walking in light and wisdom but live like this are liars (v. 14). They deceive themselves (Jer. 17:9), and they try to deceive others, which is hypocrisy.

6. The first step toward true wisdom is to acknowledge one’s actual condition. If I agree with God’s Word and confess my sin of walking according to the world, the flesh, and the devil, I can obtain God’s mercy and life-changing power. But if I pretend that everything is fine and refuse to acknowledge my sin, there is no spiritual progress, because I am walking in the darkness rather than in the light (1 John 1:5-9).

7. In this context, confession of sin is not a once-for-all thing but a continual, day-by-day process. Spiritual victory in the Christian life is a matter of growing in grace (1 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18).

THE WISDOM FROM ABOVE IS ALSO DESCRIBED IN THIS PASSAGE.

This is a description of Christ, whereas the wisdom from below is a description of the devil.

It is
FIRST PURE (Jam. 3:17). This refers to being pure from sin; it refers to holiness (1 Tim. 5:22). The same Greek word is translated “chaste” in 2 Corinthians 11:2; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:2. God is first and foremost holy, and if He is effectively working in a person’s life, then that person will pursue holiness. This shows the error of “rock & roll Christianity” which emphasizes the love of God and tolerance of sin more than moral purity and holy separation.

It is
PEACEABLE (Jam. 3:17).

True wisdom always inclines toward peace if there is any godly possibility of it. It desires peace, and will not cause strife based on its own selfish and sinful purposes.

This does not mean that true wisdom keeps peace at any cost. It does not care more for peace than for truth and righteousness. The Lord Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace to the earth but a sword (Mat. 10:34). This is because this world is at war with the truth. Peace at the expense of truth is carnal and cowardly compromise. The apostle Paul did not pursue peace with false teachers. Rather, he confronted them (Acts 13:7-11), exposed them (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-18), and warned the churches of them (e.g., Acts 20:28-30; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 15:33-36; 2 Cor. 11:1-4; Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Tim. 4:1-5).

It is
GENTLE AND EASY TO BE INTREATED (Jam. 3:17). True wisdom is willing to listen to others and to submit to the truth. It is not self-opinionated. It doesn’t reject good counsel. It is willing to answer questions and try to explain itself. It is eager to solve difficulties. This is a picture of Jesus. He was easily approachable. He allowed men to ask questions. He was gentle and easy to be intreated. He explained Himself clearly.

It is
FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS (Jam. 3:17).

True wisdom is merciful and patient and kind. This is what is required of peacemakers.

True wisdom is full of good fruits. It is not content to excel in only one or two spiritual things. It wants to add to “
faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brother kindness; and to brother kindness charity” (2 Pet. 1:5-7). It is full of “compassion and beneficence to the poor; feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the widows and fatherless in their affliction; and doing all other good works and duties, both with respect to God and man, as fruits of grace, and of the Spirit” (John Gill).

It is
WITHOUT PARTIALITY (Jam. 3:17). True wisdom does not play favorites. It doesn’t show respect to persons. It applies the truth equally to all men. Compare 1 Timothy 5:21. “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” True wisdom does not treat the rich church member differently than the poor. It does not exercise discipline against some members while ignoring the same kind of sins of others. It does not require some workers and leaders to meet the Bible’s standards and the church’s covenant while allowing others to get by with things. It does not allow some to get away with gossip and strife while coming down hard on others for the same thing.

It is
WITHOUT HYPOCRISY (Jam. 3:17). True wisdom does not preach one thing to others while living contrary to the preaching with no repentance and no intent of changing. It does not make a show of being what it is not. It does not condemn others for things that it is guilty of. It does not condemn relatively small sins in others while allowing more serious sins in itself. It does not condemn a new church member for something like wearing a modern fashion that is not exactly modest or for wearing too much makeup or such things, while allowing envy and hatred and pride and strife to rule in his own heart.

It is
MEEK (Jam. 3:13). It is pride that stirs up carnal strife in churches, but true wisdom is meek. It is not self-willed. It does not think of itself more highly than it ought to think (Rom. 12:3).

THIS PASSAGE IS A TEST FOR THOSE WHO LEAVE CHURCHES.

There is a proper time to leave a church, if it is not following God’s Word, but there is a proper way to leave and many times people leave churches for carnal reasons and in a carnal manner. If someone leaves a church for biblical and spiritual reasons, the fruit will be characterized by the description in James 3:17-18--purity, peaceableness, gentleness, easy to be entreated, mercy, without partiality, without hypocrisy. Someone leaving in this mode will speak the truth in love. He leaves because he is convinced it is God’s will, but he does so in a peaceable and godly manner. He is respectful of the leaders even if he doesn’t agree with them, and he harbors no ill will toward the leaders or the church.

But if someone leaves a church for carnal reasons the fruit will be characterized by the description in James 3:14-16--bitterness, envy, strife, confusion, and other evil works. This is not of God! Many times I have observed this. People get upset at something and they leave a church, but they do not do so in a godly manner. They cause all sorts of trouble and try to hurt the church, both before they leave and after. Many times they won’t even talk about the matter with the leaders in a gracious, open manner. They are not “easy to be entreated.” All of the love they once had for the church and its leaders disappears. They deal deceitfully. They go behind the pastor’s back and despise his position.


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ISP Pulls Plug on Aplogetics Ministry After Complaint by Anti_Fundamentalist

ISP PULLS PLUG ON APOLOGETICS MINISTRY AFTER COMPLAINT BY ANTI-FUNDAMENTALIST

July 27, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The commercial Internet service provider IPowerweb has shut down the Apprising Ministries web site because of an unsubstantiated complaint.

Richard Abanes, who claims to be an “established apologist” and a “best-selling author,” wrote to IPowerweb, charging that Ken Silva, director of Apprising Ministries, had posted an article about him that was slanderous and demanding that they terminate Silva’s website. (Silva is an exceedingly rare animal, a Southern Baptist pastor with a warning ministry.)

Apparently without investigating whether Silva had actually slandered Abanes, IPowerweb wrote to Apprising Ministries on July 24 demanding that it remove the article in question or its web site would be terminated within 48 hours. They then carried out this action based on one man’s unsubstantiated complaint and his threat to “turn this situation over to my attorneys.”

Had they investigated properly, they would have learned that the article in question had been posted since 2005 and Abanes has
never contacted Ken Silva about the matter.

IPowerweb’s policy prohibits the utilization of their ISP “for or in connection with any activities or content determined by IPOWER, in its sole discretion, to be related to ... harassment, defamation, libel and hate speech or other offensive speech or content...”

This is broad enough to prohibit anything that IPowerweb deems improper. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives to IPowerweb’s hosting services, but if the time comes when the entire Internet is government controlled, as it is already in China, or if “hate crimes” laws are enacted broadly, all Bible-believing Christians who try to warn about error could be shut down if God allows. (But that is a big
if!)

As for Abanes, it appears that he has it in for fundamentalists. SlideofLaodicea reports:

“Richard claims he never contacted Ken about it because he thinks Ken is arrogant and wouldn’t have changed any offending inaccuracies. This is the crux of the problem. The first step in any blog or website dispute over material is to contact the offender personally and ask for corrections or removal, based on what the issue is. That isn’t just Christianity 101, that’s common sense. Richard admits that Ken is a Christian brother. How much more important, then, that this step be followed. It was not, and now Ken’s site is in serious jeopardy because of Abanes’ bullying tactics.

“I want to address something related here. There is a vast difference between someone giving a theological critique or opinion even in a hostile and unfair way, and someone posting personal attack material that makes moral slurs on your character. ...

“Ken’s choice was to either knuckle under to Abanes’ demands that he censor his own website of an opinion article, about which he has never been contacted, or be deleted. What a dangerous precedent this is if Abanes succeeds. Every blog that expresses an honest opinion, even a harsh opinion which happens to be protected by the 1st Amendment, is put at risk by behavior like this. ...

“Abanes’ site has articles attacking a number of fellow Christians, and he concludes the attacks with the words, ‘You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting’” (“Attack on Apprising Ministries,” July 26, 2008, http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/?p=1246).

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The Heresy of Separation

THE HERESY OF SEPARATION

Updated and enlarged May 28, 2008 (first published December 11, 1996)
(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6).

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness ... from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5).

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort
you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

The entire world, secular and religious, is crying out today against separation. The Biblicist Christian who seeks to obey the Bible’s commands to separate from false teaching is mocked and slandered on every hand. With each passing year, the hue and cry against the doctrine of separation grows louder.

Let’s take a brief survey:

SEPARATION IS CALLED HERESY BY THE NEW AGERS AND BY THE WORLD

New Age is not merely a religious movement or cult; it is a spirit and philosophy that is permeating the secular and religious world in these end-times. New Age teaches that separation on the basis of religion, theology, etc., is an evil thing that hinders the evolution of the world. They teach that such separation is the opposite of love. Those who love will not practice separation, and those who separate are not loving. The December 1996 issue of “Emergence Online,” a publication of the Tara Center, Benjamin Creme’s New Age organization, contained the following statement:

“REMOVE THE WALL -- Each one of us has a wall around himself: a wall of resistance, of fear and anxiety. ... We know very well what takes place when there is a wall -- then we have resistance, conflict, everlasting battle and pain, because ANY SEPARATIVE MOVEMENT, ANY SELF-CENTERED ACTIVITY, DOES BREED CONFLICT AND PAIN. ... When we remove the division between the ‘me’ and the ‘you’, the ‘we’ and the ‘they’, what happens? ONLY THEN AND NOT BEFORE, CAN ONE PERHAPS USE THE WORD ‘LOVE’. And love is that most extraordinary thing that takes place when there is no ‘me’ with its circle or wall” (J. Krishnamurti, ‘You Are the World’, quoted in Emergence Online, December 1996).

Global oneness and breaking down every barrier that separates people is a theme that is repeatedly heard in the world today. Rock singers proclaim “We are the world.” Disney theme parks proclaim “It’s a small, small world.” The United Nations seeks to break down national barriers. International news organizations glorify global unity. All of this is a cry against separation.

SEPARATION IS CALLED HERESY BY ROME

The Pope, of course, has always considered separation heresy. The Waldenses, Albigenses, Lollards and other Anabaptist and separatist Christian groups through the centuries were charged as heretics. Force was frequently used to bring the separatists into the fold, and Rome’s attitude has not changed. It still considers itself the only true church in which the fullness of Christ and truth abide. It claims to be the “mother church.” Those who are separated from Rome are being wooed into the fold today through ecumenical gestures. In November 1964, during the Vatican II Council, Pope Paul VI issued the “Decree on Ecumenism,” which launched Rome’s direct and open participation in the modern ecumenical movement. Vatican II had also declared that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church:

“THIS IS THE SOLE CHURCH OF CHRIST which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care. ... This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, SUBSISTS IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, WHICH IS GOVERNED BY THE SUCCESSOR OF PETER AND BY THE BISHOPS IN COMMUNION WITH HIM” (Vatican II, “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” chap. 1, 8, p. 329).

Having reiterated its dogma that the Catholic Church is the sole church of Christ, Rome then stated its ecumenical policy:

“The Church established by Christ the Lord is, indeed, one and unique. Yet many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true heritage of Jesus Christ. To be sure, all proclaim themselves to be disciples of the Lord, but their convictions clash and their paths diverge, as though Christ himself were divided. WITHOUT DOUBT, THIS DISCORD OPENLY CONTRADICTS THE WILL OF CHRIST, PROVIDES A STUMBLING BLOCK TO THE WORLD, INFLICTS DAMAGE ON THE MOST HOLY CAUSE OF PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS TO EVERY CREATURE” (Vatican II, “Decree on Ecumenism”).

Rome has been very plain about its ecumenical position. It has only one goal, and that is to bring every church and denomination into its fold. It considers separation from itself to be contrary to the will of Christ. Pope John Paul II dedicated himself untiringly to the task of bringing the “separated brethren” back into his fold. He often spoke of “THE INTOLERABLE SCANDAL OF DIVISION BETWEEN CHRISTIANS.”

At an ecumenical service conducted at the Vatican in 1985, the Pope embraced the three non-Catholic observers and said, “DIVISIONS AMONG CHRISTIANS ARE CONTRARY TO THE PLAN OF GOD.”

SEPARATION IS CALLED HERESY BY THE LIBERAL PROTESTANT ECUMENISTS

The liberal ecumenical denominations (such as United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, United Methodist, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., United Church of Canada, The Church of England, the Uniting Church in Australia, and others associated with the World Council of Churches) boast of their broadmindedness. They can smile at practically any attack upon the Word of God or the Lord Jesus Christ. If a “clergyman” or “clergywoman” denies or questions Christ’s virgin birth or resurrection, that is tolerated. If he or she claims the Bible is filled with myths, that is tolerated. If he or she is an adulterer or a practicing homosexual, that is tolerated. There is one “heresy,” though, which is not tolerated, and that is the “heresy” of a dogmatic fundamentalist faith in the Word of God and the “heresy” of biblical separation.

In the early 1950s World Council of Churches’ leader Lesslie Newbigin (a bishop in the Church of South India who helped form the WCC) published
The Household of God (SCM, London, 1953). He divided Christianity into Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal. Newbigin called on Pentecostals to discard their separatist stance and join hands with the liberal ecumenical crowd:

“We must therefore assure our brethren of our willingness to learn from them in the fellowship of the ecumenical movement. ... We must tell them that in order to enter into the ecumenical conversation with us it is not necessary for them to abandon any of their distinctive convictions, but only to recognize us as fellow Christians sharing with them -- even though we be in error -- the same Spirit. WE MUST ASK THEM TO CONSIDER WHETHER BY DENYING ALL FELLOWSHIP WITH US, THEY DO NOT SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO IS IN THEM, AND WHETHER FAITHFULNESS TO THEIR LORD AND OURS DOES NOT ABSOLUTELY REQUIRE US TO SEEK UNITY WITH ONE ANOTHER.”

In June 1984, World Council of Churches leaders received Pope John Paul II to the WCC headquarters in Geneva. They conducted an “ACT OF PENITENCE,” SEEKING PARDON FOR “OUR DIVISIONS and for our failure to overcome them” (Evangelical Press Service, June 16-20, 1984). WCC General Secretary Philip Potter initiated the meeting with a prayer that it “be for all of us a step forward in our search for the unity of the church.”

In 1987 the National Council of Churches in America welcomed John Paul II to their nation with these words: “We join Pope John Paul’s conviction that CHRISTIAN DIVISIONS ARE “AN INTOLERABLE SCANDAL which hinders the proclamation of the Good News in Jesus Christ.”

This attitude toward separation among liberal ecumenists was illustrated when Episcopalians and Roman Catholics in Minnesota formed local ecumenical ties. A covenant was signed by representatives of both denominations, affirming the things they hold in common, and pledging members of the denominations to “ASK GOD’S FORGIVENESS FOR OUR SINFULNESS IN FOSTERING THE DIVISION OF THE CHURCH” (Episcopal News Service, Nov. 7, 1996). The covenant was signed by Episcopal Bishop James Jelinek and Roman Catholic Archbishop Harry Flynn in a solemn ceremony at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Minneapolis.

SEPARATION IS CALLED HERESY BY MANY EVANGELICALS

From our files we could pull hundreds of statements by Evangelical leaders who claim that biblical separation is wrong. The Promise Keepers movement was founded upon this philosophy. In an interview on the national radio program
Promise Keepers This Week (August 31, 1996), PK Founder Bill McCartney said:

“Promise Keepers is going to have to understand that more and more Catholics are going to participate. And what every guy needs to do is, STOP LOOKING AT PEOPLE’S LABELS, and ask this question: ‘Does this guy know Jesus? Does he love Jesus with all his heart? Has he been born of the Spirit of God?’ And if you see that fruit, then QUIT MAKING JUDGMENTS. ... So LET’S NOT START CATEGORIZING PEOPLE. Let’s just allow God to be God and he can bless who He chooses to bless. And that’s how Promise Keepers is going to grow.”

McCartney does not believe we should make judgments and separate on the basis of doctrine, at least that is what he repeatedly states. As long as someone “loves Jesus,” we are to accept him and work with and fellowship with him.

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) promotes the same philosophy. The 54th Annual NAE Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 3-5, 1996, had the theme: “Reaching America: ONE VOICE IN UNITY.” Speaking before this convention, Joseph Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, used John 17 as his text, “That they may be one.” Stowell said:

“GOD NEVER INTENDED THAT OUR DIFFERENCES WOULD DIVIDE US. We belong to Christ so our mission and purpose are the same. If you belong to Christ you are lifted above the differences, and all else becomes secondary. Promise Keepers Clergy Conference in Atlanta showed the unity that is possible. ... WE MUST REPENT OF OUR ATTITUDES as I did in Atlanta. I WENT TO A MAN WHO HELD DIFFERENT DOCTRINES THAN I HELD AND APOLOGIZED because I never cared about him. Our differences are not that big, and we must realize this is what will build trust. Revival happens when God’s people network together. The world shall know we are one by our love” (“A Report on the 54th Annual Convention of the NAE,” Ralph Colas, American Council of Christian Churches).

Robert Webber, long-time Wheaton College professor and influential voice in the contemplative movement and the emerging church, says:

“We evangelicals need to turn our backs on the old separatist model” (Ancient-Future Faith, p. 86).

SEPARATION IS CALLED HERESY BY MANY CHARISMATICS

The Charismatic movement is the neo-Pentecostal movement. Old-line Pentecostal denominations such as the Assemblies of God were separated from other groups on the basis of doctrine until recent decades. The Charismatic movement, on the other hand, has, from its inception in the 1960s, been extremely ecumenical and inter-denominational. It has been one of the chief instruments in these last days for breaking down doctrinal divisions and creating of a one-world church. The attitude toward doctrinal divisions that permeates the Charismatic movement was illustrated in 1975 at the Fifth International Lutheran Conference of the Holy Spirit. A Catholic cardinal and a Lutheran pastor publicly embraced before the 12,000 in attendance and asked for mutual forgiveness. Lutheran Pastor Donald Pfotenhauer asked Cardinal Leo Suenens to forgive Lutherans for their sins against Roman Catholics, “so the Lord may release His Spirit upon us” (
F.E.A. News & Views, Fundamental Evangelistic Association, November-December 1976).

At the 1975 Atlantic City Conference, a Roman Catholic charismatic meeting which included many non-Catholics, Catholic priest John Bertolucci led in prayers for the healing of church divisions. The scene that followed is described by a participant:

“Protestants were asked to stand and Catholics who were next to them were asked to seek forgiveness from their Protestant brothers and sisters for all the pain and hurt caused by their church’s office over the past 400 years. We Protestants did the same ... This night became, for all of us, the time when the Lord chose to heal 400 years of hurt, pain and division between the Catholic and Protestant churches” (Thomas Twitchell, That They May Be One, Logos, 1978, pp. 137-138).

Twitchell ended his book with the exhortation to “hold our leaders, shepherds and ourselves accountable to do all we can to bring together the body of Christ -- today” (Ibid., p. 216).”

Influential Episcopalian Charismatic leader Michael Harper, writing in 1978 of Christ’s return, stated: “THE CHURCH MUST FIRST BE UNITED. It is as inconceivable to think of Jesus returning for a disunited Church as it is to an unevangelized world” (
Christian Life, August 1978). In his book The Three Sisters, Harper called for the unity of Evangelicals, Charismatics, and Roman Catholics. “I must confess to a deep longing to see these sisters reconciled to each other; to see them openly united in Christ and the Spirit; learning from each other and humbly listening to each other” (The Three Sisters, p. 11).

SEPARATION IS CALLED HERESY BY MANY NEO-FUNDAMENTALISTS

A new generation of fundamentalists has arisen which has rejected the militancy of its forebears. These neo-fundamentalists still claim to be fundamentalists but they sound like and they act like New-Evangelicals. Two key examples of this phenomenon are Jerry Falwell and his Liberty University among independent Baptists and Cornerstone College and many of the other schools and missions associated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

Interestingly, the belligerence of the Neo-Fundamentalist toward the old-line fundamental separatist is even more vicious than that of some of the other groups. Consider a statement that appeared in Jerry Falwell’s now defunct and misnamed publication “The Fundamentalist Journal.” The author labels the old-line fundamentalist who seeks to practice separation from error and compromise a “pseudo-fundamentalist” --

“Pseudo-Fundamentalists craft their doctrines and rules carefully. THEY BUILD MASSIVE WALLS OF SEPARATION AROUND THEMSELVES and take great pride in standing ‘all alone,’ besieged by wickedness from without and compromise from within. They set themselves as the ultimate standard of orthodoxy and stand prepared to cross swords with any who attempt to breach the walls. ... What should we do? We must take the whole armor of God, and IN HIS MIGHT COMMAND THAT THE WALLS BE BROKEN DOWN, and walk through into the light of day. Fundamental Christianity, strong and robust as ever, must not succumb to these modern-day Pharisees who find contentment only when they effectively mute God’s church” (Daniel R. Mitchell, “The Siege Mentality of Pseudo-Fundamentalism,” The Fundamentalist Journal, February 1987, p. 59).

The hour is very late. The end-times spirit that will produce the one-world Harlot church described in Revelation 17 is moving powerfully. The pressure to “give up and join in” with the ecumenical movement is increasing with each passing year. Great numbers of men who once stood firm against ecumenism are weakening. There is less forthrightness in the preaching, less clarity in the identification of error.

May God give us boldness to stand! The man who has the mindset and testimony of the sweet Psalmist of Israel will not be able to join hands with anyone who errs from the Word of God: “Therefore I esteem ALL thy precepts concerning ALL things to be right; and I hate EVERY false way” (Psalm 119:128). Biblical love requires biblical hate. Biblical unity requires biblical separation. A wise pastor once said, “I you refuse to limit your message, you will be required to limit your fellowship.”

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The End Result of Immorality

THE END RESULT OF IMMORALITY

May 27, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following is from the new Advanced Bible Studies Series course on the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs warns frequently of the danger of the “strange woman,” referring to all forms of immorality. It also teaches us that one important way of victory over the strange woman is to ponder her end. Hollywood, as Satan’s instrument, commonly fails to show the end of sin, tending to make it appear glamorous and exciting and rarely showing its awful consequences. God’s Word, on the other hand, shows the end of sin in the plainest manner as a warning to men. Proverbs 5:4-23 describes six results of immorality. Though the deeds of the strange woman appeal to the flesh and there are pleasures in her sin for a season, her end is what we must consider, and her end is fearful in the extreme.

(1)
The strange woman leads to hell (Prov. 5:4-5). The Bible warns often about hell. Jesus preached about it many times and warned people not to go there (e.g., Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:22-31). In Proverbs 5:4-5 hell is likened to the bitterness of wormwood and the pain of a sharp sword. In fact, it is far worse because the pain of hell has no end.

(2)
The strange woman leads to the loss of honor (Prov. 5:9). Consider David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, and how that his honor is stained to this very day by his dalliance with immorality. I think of many preachers who have committed adultery during my lifetime and they are out of the ministry and their dishonor remains in spite of the good that they accomplished.

(3)
The strange woman leads to the loss of wealth (Prov. 5:10). Samson lost everything to immorality. An article in the Baptist Press that described two ministers who became addicted to pornography concluded with these words: “Both of the guys I’m dealing with right now, here’s what they’ve lost: They’ve lost their marriage. They’ve lost their job. They lost a lot of friends in the sense it will never be the same. They’ve lost custody of their children and now they are both doing something that they don’t really want to do or feel called to do, and they’re just trying to get by” (“Flood of Pornography Breaching the Church,” Baptist Press, Jul. 6, 2007).

(4)
The strange woman leads to the loss of health (Prov. 5:11). God has loosed special diseases into the realm of immorality. There are many venereal diseases that a person will never catch if he remains morally pure and faithful to his marital spouse. There is also often loss of health through the drunkenness and drug abuse that often accompanies immoral living. This has resulted in the early death of tens of thousands of rock & rollers. We think of Elvis Presley, who died at age 42 because of his debauched lifestyle. We also think of Hollywood movie stars such as Errol Flynn, who died at age 50 from his “kamikaze lifestyle” and lost much of his money to multiple divorces and careless sexual relationships.

(5)
The strange woman leads to remorse (Prov. 5:12-14). Those who follow the strange woman are temporarily blinded by lust, but they wake up one day to find that they have lost much. They are filled with remorse that they did not listen to the voice of wisdom. They hated instruction and despised reproof and obeyed not the voice of their teachers, but it is too late to go back. What is done is done and cannot be undone. We must understand that remorse is not the same as repentance unto salvation. Paul contrasted these two things in 2 Corinthians 7:10. He mentioned the sorrow of the world as opposed to godly sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation. The sorrow of the world is to be sorry for the consequences of sin, but it is not to be sorry toward God in the sense of repenting of breaking His laws and being ready to change direction in life and submit to Him. The sorrow of the world is centered upon this world, whereas repentance is centered upon God. While working in a county jail ministry for a few years I met many men who had the sorrow of the world. They were sorry that their actions had gotten them into a lot of trouble and had brought dishonor upon them and had hurt their loved ones, but they were not repentant toward God and were not ready to be saved.

(6)
The strange woman leads to slavery (Prov. 5:22-23). Solomon ends with this warning because it explains why the sinner cannot easily walk away from the strange woman after once entertaining her. There are strong cords associated with sin, and those cords grow tighter with time, and few cords are stronger than the cords of immorality. Those who are addicted to pornography can testify to this. Compare John 8:34 and 2 Timothy 2:26.

In light of these warnings we need to thank the Lord that He offers salvation to sinners, and that salvation brings cleansing from all sin. When Proverbs says the sinner “
shall die without instruction” (Prov. 5:23), it is speaking from the standpoint of the Law of Moses rather than the grace of the gospel. The Bible’s Good News is that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His blood to make atonement for our sins, and by faith in Him we can be forgiven and converted. See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.


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The Kingdom of God

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Updated and enlarged May 6, 2008 (first published December 18, 2007) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” -- Jesus Christ to Pilate just before His crucifixion, John 18:36

There are many heretical teachings on the kingdom of God today. There is, for example, the charismatic “kingdom now” theology with its pathetic attempt to exercise apostolic miracles in this present time. And there is the Emerging Church with its equally pathetic attempt to build the kingdom of God through social-justice and artistic endeavors.

By surveying the Old and New Testaments we can see exactly what the Bible means by the term kingdom of God.

1. In the Old Testament the kingdom of God was God’s rule over all creation (Psa. 103:19) and on earth it referred to His kingdom in Israel (1 Chron. 28:5; 2 Chron. 13:8).

That kingdom was destroyed because of Israel’s disobedience, but Old Testament prophecies predicted that the kingdom would be re-established on earth by Christ, David’s greater Son, and that He will reign in truth and righteousness (Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:44; 7:14).

2. Christ came to Israel and preached the kingdom.

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Beware of Hyper Dispensationalism

BEWARE OF HYPER DISPENSATIONALISM

Updated and enlarged March 12, 2008 (Updated July 10, 2003; first published February 7, 2002) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

The following is an excerpt from our book “How to Study the Bible.” For more about Dispensationalism, see the article “Study the Bible Dispensationally.”

“Hyper-dispensationalism” is characterized by making a sharp division between the ministry of Christ and that of the Apostles, and of further dividing Paul’s teaching from that of Peter and the other apostles. Some of the well-known teachers of hyper- or ultra-dispensationalism are E.W. Bullinger, Cornelius Stam, J.C. O’Hair, Charles Welch, Otis Sellers, A.E. Knoch, and Charles Baker. There are many varieties of hyper-dispensationalism, but the following are some of the characteristics:

(1) The four Gospels are entirely Jewish and contain no direct teaching for the churches. Yet, the writer of Hebrews said that the same gospel of salvation that was preached by the apostles was preached by Christ (Heb. 2:3-4). Though we know that Christ presented Himself to the Jewish nation and we do understand that there are differences between the gospels and the epistles, yet in Hebrews 2 we do not see a sharp delineation between the gospel preached by Christ and that preached by the apostles who followed. In fact, the Gospel of John presents exactly the same gospel as that preached by Paul. Further, 1 Timothy 6:3 shows that Christ spoke directly to the church age.

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The Great White Throne Judgment

THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT

February 14, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following is from the
Advanced Bible Studies Series course on the book of Revelation (457 pages), which is available from Way of Life Literature. (It is best to order them by phone at 866-295-4143, but they can also be ordered from the newly redesigned online order form.)

There are currently 19 titles in the series, and any of them can be special ordered in large print and in ring coil binding. We don’t believe that you will find better quality, more truly life-changing Bible courses from any other source. They are based strictly upon the King James Bible and the powerful word studies assist in the understanding of the KJV but never cast doubt upon it. They are thorough and comprehensive. They are very practical and have the objective of producing well-equipped Christian soldiers that have a solid understanding of the Bible. They stress holy and obedient Christian living and separation from worldliness and error, exalt evangelism and the New Testament church, and promote world missions. They emphasize the crucial differences between law and grace and positional and practical sanctification, and they continually fortify the student’s understanding of the life-changing doctrines such as justification, substitutionary atonement, and eternal security. The courses are non-Calvinistic and interpret Bible prophecy literally. The student will be prepared to stand against the wiles of the Devil and to refute the major theological heresies of our day. One pastor said the books “are extremely helpful for any Christian, no matter where they are spiritually; the practical application is extremely helpful and edifying.”
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I Believe in Miracles

I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

Updated February 6, 2008 (first published March 19, 2002) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

When we warn that God does not promise always to heal and when we teach that certain sign gifts ceased with the apostles, we are consistently charged with not believing in God’s miracle working power. I can’t speak for others, but I know that for me that accusation is not true. I believe in a miracle-working God.

My God can do anything He pleases. He created the world in six days. He destroyed the ancient world by a great flood. He parted the Red Sea so the millions of the children of Israel marched through on dry ground. He brought Jesus into this world through the womb of a virgin. He died on the cross for my sins, and He rose from the dead the third day! He poured out the Holy Spirit on Pentecost with mighty signs and wonders.

My God can do ANYTHING, but my God also does what He wants when He wants! And He isn’t flooding the world today, nor is He parting the Red Sea, nor is He dying on a cross or rising from the dead. And He is not giving a new Pentecost today. That part of His glorious plan has been accomplished, and He is marching on gloriously toward the End.

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Since God Looks on the Heart, Why Be Concerned About Appearance?

The following is excerpted from the book CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED AND SOME WARNINGS GIVEN. This book begins with the author’s own experience of living the rock & roll lifestyle before he was saved and of how the Lord dealt with him about music in the early months of his Christian life. The next section of the book expounds on four REASONS WHY WE ARE OPPOSED TO CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC and the contemporary praise music. The third section answers 27 QUESTIONS THAT ARE COMMONLY ASKED ON THIS SUBJECT. These include the following: Isn’t music neutral? Isn’t the sincerity of the musicians the important thing? Isn’t some of the contemporary Christian music acceptable? Didn’t Luther and the Wesleys use tavern music? Isn’t the issue of music just a matter of taste? Doesn’t the Bible encourage us to use cymbals and stringed and loud sounding instruments? Since God looks on the heart, why are you concerned about appearance? The final sections contain TIPS FOR KEEPING CONTEMPORARY MUSIC OUT OF THE CHURCHES and SUGGESTED RESOURCES FOR SACRED MUSIC. 177 pages. $5.95. Available from Way of Life Literature, 866-295-4143, http://wayoflife.org

One of the challenges of the contemporary Christian movement is that we shouldn’t be concerned about appearance since God looks on the heart.
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Jesse Jackson's Works Salvation

Political activist Jesse Jackson, speaking at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi, told the 1,100 people in attendance that social, political and economic compassion and action must become a reality in their lives in order to get to heaven. An April 20, 1999, United Methodist News Service release stated, “Jackson told the crowd the church must lead the way in aiding the least among society. Only then, he said, will Christians meet the criteria Christ established to gain eternal life in heaven.” Jackson received a standing ovation at the church, his second stop in his series of meetings throughout the South urging ‘hope, healing and racial harmony.” Galloway’s senior pastor, Sam Morris, said, “It was a great celebration of worship. Anyone in the sanctuary felt the presence of God bringing us together.”

Two problems immediately emerge from Jackson’s statements: First, he presents a false gospel to the audience, and second, he completely misunderstands the role of the church in this present age. Jackson twists Scripture in an attempt to justify his social gospel, citing Luke 15:1-7 as society’s mandate to “feed the hungry” and aid the poor through welfare programs such as social security and government health care. However, the Word of God says the church is to proclaim the Gospel to all men and to contend for the faith. The mission of the church is to preach and defend God’s Word, not to reform society nor to provide for the material needs of the unsaved. While all believers should possess an attitude of compassion and live peaceably with all men, the focus and mission of the church must remain clear. To distort the mission of the church, and to pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is to propagate “damnable heresy” (2 Pet. 2:1). This is a grave error that only leads the unsaved to an eternity apart from Christ. (
Foundation, May-June 1999).Continue reading this article……