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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 18, Issue 35 - September 1, 2017
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
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ISRAEL’S PRIME MINISTER SEEKS RUSSIA’S HELP AGAINST IRAN (Friday Church News Notes, September 1, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In his meeting with Vladimir Putin on August 23, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought Russia’s help in resisting Iran’s growing influence. Netanyahu told Putin that Iran’s growing presence in Syria is deeply concerning because it has vowed Israel’s destruction. Netanyahu said, “Mr. President, with joint efforts we are defeating Islamic State, and this is a very important thing, but the bad thing is that where the defeated Islamic State group vanishes, Iran is stepping in. We cannot forget for a single minute that Iran threatens every day to annihilate Israel. It arms terrorist organizations, it sponsors and initiates terror” (“Netanyahu to Putin: Iran Seeks to ‘Annihilate Israel,’” Israel Today, Aug. 24, 2017). Netanyahu needs to read his Hebrew Bible more carefully. Russia will lead a military alliance against Israel in the battle of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38-39. Ezekiel tells us exactly where this Gog lives, and that is in the “north parts” relative to Israel (Eze. 38:6, 15; 39:2). Netanyahu does well to see Iran as a threat, as Iran (the biblical Persia) is listed as one of Gog’s associates (Eze. 38:4-7). Russia has a long history of anti-Semitism, stemming back to ancient times. The Czars stirred up programs against the Jews by spreading lies about them. In 1984, the U.S. ambassador dealing with human rights under the Helsinki Accords said, “Berlin was once the world capital of anti-Semitism; I am afraid that today it is Moscow.” Russia has been arming Israel’s enemies since the early 1950s. When Israel entered the Sinai Peninsula in 1956 to force Egypt to allow free movement for its ships, Russia threatened her with annihilation (Moshe Dayan, Diary of the Sinai Campaign, 1966, p. 185). Russia armed Syria and Egypt for the 1973 Yom Kippur War with some of its most advanced weapons systems and provided Soviet technicians to help operate the equipment (Jerry Asher, Duel for the Golan, Kindle location 520). By the early 1970s, 15,000 Soviet military experts were shaping the Egyptian armed forces into a modern army (Abraham Rabinovich, The Yom Kippur War, Kindle Loc 255). Russia supplied Israel’s enemies with fighter jets, tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft missile batteries, and portable anti-tank weapons. Russia airlifted 15,000 tons of armaments to Syria and Egypt during the war. Russia is also providing Iran with nuclear technology and high-tech armaments. In September 2008, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor, warned that Russian arms sales to Iran and Syria are “destabilizing and dangerous for Israel” (“Israel Irked by Iran-Russia Military Ties,” PressTV.ir, Sept. 13, 2008). “Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 39:1-2).

POPE AND WORLD COUNCIL MEET TO PROMOTE UNITY AND TO SAVE THE WORLD (Friday Church News Notes, September 1, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - On August 23-24, leaders of the World Council of Churches had a private audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican Palace to discuss ecumenical unity and the salvation of the world. WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit called the meeting fruitful and said that the “the unity of the church and the unity of humankind are interconnected” (“Pope Francis, WCC leadership meet in Rome, WCC News, Aug. 24, 2017). Tveit said that ecumenical unity is necessary to save the world, and he doesn’t mean the salvation of souls. Addressing the pope, the WCC leader said, “The future of humanity is threatened; the poorest among us are already feeling the worst consequences of them. We encourage you and the Roman Catholic Church to be with us in mobilizing a real change of mind, heart and priorities.” They want to save the world from such things as poverty, racial and religious division, nuclear armament, and climate change. “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, WHO MIND EARTHLY THINGS.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:17-20).

INDIA’S ISLAMIC LEADERS DEFIANT AFTER SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST SHARIA DIVORCE (Friday Church News Notes, September 1, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from The Middle East Media Research Institute, Aug. 24, 2017: “On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of India delivered a landmark verdict invalidating the practice of instant triple talaq (divorce) among Indian Muslims. The verdict is a milestone in the journey of the Muslim women’s rights movement in India. Prior to this decision, a Muslim husband could divorce his wife by uttering ‘talaq’ three times in the presence of two witnesses in one sitting-- either informally or formally through a letter, email, WhatsApp, and so on. This instant form of divorce is called talaq-e-biddat, is irrevocable, and is valid in shari’a law. The other form of triple talaq is called talaq-e-hasan, whereby a husband delivers one talaq each over the course of three months. ... The practice of instant triple talaq, abolished by 22 Muslim nations, had emerged as a social disease in India in recent years. ... Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, which is a leading organization of Indian Islamic scholars, was defiant. Maulana Mahmood Madani, general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, warned: ‘Regardless of the court ruling, the practice of talaq, including instant triple talaq, will continue in the country and will be considered valid.’ ... Leading Islamic scholars at the Darul Uloom Deoband, the second largest Islamic seminary after Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, were disturbed by the verdict. As per a report in the Urdu Times, ‘the scholars of Deoband, while describing the court verdict as perplexing, warned that no interference in shari’a will be tolerated.’ Mufti Abdul Qasim Nomani, chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, said that ‘the triple talaq is purely a shari’a issue in which no amendment can be effected.’ ... Muhammad Saeed Noori, the general secretary of the Mumbai-based Raza Academy ... criticized the verdict, saying: ‘If a law is made which is against shari’a, then it will be unacceptable to us. And like such other laws, it too will meet the same fate that it will remain a law but will not be followed.’ Syed Parvez Qaisar, a leader of the Muslim League, condemned the verdict, calling it ‘interference’ in Muslim personal law. ... The practice of instant triple talaq affects only the Sunni Muslims who form the bulk of India’s Muslim population. The opinion of Shi’ite clerics, who welcomed the Supreme Court verdict, is inconsequential to the debate.”

FORMER AUSTRALIA PRIME MINISTER ADMITS HE WAS DRUNK DURING CRUCIAL FINANCE VOTE (Friday Church News Notes, September 1, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Australia’s former prime minister, Tony Abbott, recently admitted on a television program that he was passed out drunk during a crucial finance vote in 2009. He made the admission in an interview with Annabel Crabb (“Former Australian PM,” ZeroHedge.com, Aug. 26, 2017). This reminds us of the prophet Hosea’s description of Israel’s kings. “In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners” (Hosea 7:5). We think of the case of Benhadad (1 Ki. 20:16) and Belshazzar (Da. 5:1-4). Alexander the Great became ill after one of his prolonged drinking bouts and died 10 days later, at age 32. Drunkenness takes away the heart in the sense of enslavement; it takes away the heart in the sense of corrupting the thinking and the emotions. The wisest position toward alcoholic beverages is total abstinence, since we are told by the highest authority that wine is a mocker and deceiver (Pr. 20:1). One who partakes of it cannot know when and how it will deceive him. Proverbs further warns that those who tarry at the wine have woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, and wounds without cause; they love strange women and their hearts utter perverse things (Pr. 23:29-35). Further, those who drink “forget the law, and pervert judgment” (Pr. 31:4-5). Total abstinence is the only sure protection from all of these great evils.

UNBORN BABIES PROTECT THEMSELVES (Friday Church News Notes, September 1, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, August 7, 2017: “When someone receives a donated organ they must take powerful drugs to prevent rejection. That’s because the body’s immune system identifies the implanted organ as ‘not me.’ It then assumes that the invader is dangerous and must be destroyed. That brings us to a puzzling mystery that scientists have been trying to solve: Why doesn’t a mother’s body recognize her unborn baby as being foreign to her body? After all, carrying genetic information from the mother and father, the unborn baby is genetically unique. Some scientists theorize that the placenta is a physical barrier between the baby and the mother's immune system. Others believe that the unborn baby somehow hides from the mother's immune system. A third theory is that the mother’s immune system is somehow forced to tolerate the unborn child. New research from scientists at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia, supports this third alternative. Researchers have shown that the placenta produces an enzyme (IDO) that works to suppress immune cells. In effect, the unborn child puts together just the right enzyme to keep mom’s immune system from attacking it. Scientists say that this discovery may lead to new drugs to treat autoimmune diseases and organ rejection. This system or a similar system had to be fully operational in the first creature for successful pregnancies and births. It could not gradually evolve. This fact and the wisdom of this system provides more evidence of an all-wise, all powerful Creator of every form of life and all that exists. Notes: ‘Don’t reject me, fetus tells Mom,’ Science News, v. 154, p. 152, September 5, 1998.”

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

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

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

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

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