Friday Church News Notes
Volume 19, Issue 15 - April 13, 2018
Graphical Edition
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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Stovall and Kerri Weems

MEGACHURCH PASTOR SAYS HE SAW JESUS (Friday Church News Notes, April 13, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Stovall Weems, pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, claims that he saw Jesus on “Good Friday,” March 30. He told his church, “I heard His voice ... the cadence of His voice. I can sense His mood. I can sense His presence like He has a personality. ... I felt like I’ve known Him forever. I can’t describe the closeness that I felt with Jesus. He didn’t look at me, I never saw the front of his face. He was wearing a white garment. He had brown hair” (Pastor of Jacksonville Florida MegaChurch Claims Face to Face Meeting with Jesus Christ,” YouTube, April 1, 2018). Weems says that after he saw Jesus, “emotionally I was a wreck ... I was just kinda sobbing. I couldn’t sleep.” Weems asked his wife, Kerri, the church’s co-pastor, to help him describe the “visitation” and called her “the other Holy Spirit in my life.” At that statement, the 12,000-member church cheered. When we search the Scripture on this matter, it is clear that what Weems saw was a demonic deception. The last recorded appearance of the resurrected, ascended Christ was to John on the Isle of Patmos, and his hair is not brown. “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow” (Revelation 1:14). When John saw the ascended Jesus, he didn’t sob and lose sleep; he “fell at his feet as dead” (John 1:17). And this is the same John who had lain on Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper (John 21:20). This pastor has been deceived, and there is no telling what further deception will come because he has believed a lie. Beware! Those who are committed to following the Bible as the sole authority for faith and practice, not in lip service only, will not be deceived.

FORTNITE: THE LATEST VIDEO GAME FRENZY (Friday Church News Notes, April 13, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Fortnite, a co-operative video game (played by multiple partners), is the latest “phenomenon” that has captured the hearts and minds of children. Taylor Kaar, a teacher at an all girls school in Ohio, says Fortnite is “the topic of conversation ... about how the game has utterly taken over the lives of every single boy they know” (“Teachers and Parents Share Stories from Inside the ‘Fortnite’ Phenomenon,” Waypoint, Mar. 29, 2018). This report says further, “This isn’t a fad that they deal with tangentially, this has intruded into the very center of their lives. ... when kids aren’t playing Fortnite, they’re thinking about Fortnite.” Though “cartoonish and bloodless,” it’s about shooting people with a variety of guns. One father said his son “came running to me and declared that he had headshot someone who dropped a legendary assault rifle and then picked it up and killed everyone.” It couldn’t possibly lead to violent behavior, could it? These are elementary school kids! Most parents, even Christians, don’t have any idea about how to raise children.

A TESTIMONY ABOUT QUICK PRAYERISM (Friday Church News Notes, April 13, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - “Thank you for Way of Life. The article today (‘The History of How Evangelism was Corrupted Among Independent Baptists’) was excellent - so true and a great blessing. The article really hit home with me. For many years, I attended a church pastored by a Hyles-Anderson College grad, and it fits so perfectly what was described in the article. There WAS a ‘frenzy for bigness.’ ‘Soul winning’ was ALL and the pastor's opinions were placed on the same level as Scripture. We were taught to be good ‘heaven salesmen’ - selling heaven like some cheap reward for saying a prayer. It was always, ‘If you died today, are you 100% sure you'd go to heaven?’ And we didn’t take ‘yes’ for an answer. We were basically taught that anyone who didn’t attend our church probably really didn’t know, so we should go through ‘the plan’ with them. And then the manipulation: we were told not to let our converts drive themselves to church. We were to pick them up. And call them Sat. night to remind them, and also call the Sunday morning. We were to sit with them, and, at the invitation, tell them that WE wanted to go forward and ask them to go with us. Then we would tell men at the front that this person was saved last week, and they would be told that they needed to get baptized. Thus, we had good numbers, but very, very few had the results spoken of in Acts 2:42. So few had any real change in their lives, so the next time we went by, they still weren’t 100% sure, and they went through ‘the plan’ again. Questioning any of this [allegedly] revealed a rebel’s criticizing heart. The so-called spiritual members didn’t want to discuss the Bible or blessings from their Bible study ... they wanted to talk about how many hours they put in ‘soul-winning’ or how many they saw ‘saved.’ We also heavily went after children because they were so much easier to manipulate into saying prayers. We had scores of children ‘saved.’ Criticizing this brought sharp rebuke because ‘a child has as much of a soul and needs salvation as much as an adult.’ It is to the Lord’s glory and honor that he opened my eyes to the man worship and cult-like atmosphere there. Our family left some years back and are part of a far more Biblical church. It’s not perfect, but we don’t have the ‘Heil Pastor’ attitude that was so prevalent before. The articles in Way of Life were a big help.” (For more on this see Fundamental Baptists and Quick Prayerism, available as a free eBook at www.wayoflife.org.)

DOGGY YOGA (Friday Church News Notes, April 13, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Dog Yoga Classes,” Fox News, Apr. 4, 2018: “A Rochester-area [New York] veterinarian is teaching a dog-and-human class called doga (DOH'-guh). Dr. Danni Shemanski of the Hilton Veterinary Hospital tells WHEC that doga can improve dogs’ posture. It also provides people-pet bonding time and a chance for dogs to socialize. Shemanski says a doga session leaves dogs feeling happy and ‘important.’ She says that can help resolve attention-seeking behavioral issues.” Concluding note: Without doubt, happy dogs are high on the list of the things America needs more of.

TAMWORTH BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH ONLINE MUSIC RESOURCES (Friday Church News Notes, April 13, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Tamworth Bible Baptist Church of Tamworth New South Wales (Australia) has some excellent and unique resources on the music issue. This church was pastored by the late Graham West from 1995 and carries on under the leadership of his son, James. I thank the Lord for these men. Graham West, who died in 2014, helped me personally with the music issue, particularly on the matter of beat anticipation and the addictive nature of sensual rhythm (“the slippery slide”). He had an excellent Christian spirit and a sterling reputation. His son, who told me that his father was his best friend and greatest mentor, is following in those good footsteps. This is one of the rare Independent Baptist churches that is not content with the weak, traditional philosophy and model and is moving in a stronger, wiser, more biblical direction. http://tbbc.org.au/media/videos/

ROSEANNE: TRUMP SUPPORTER PROMOTING CULTURAL LIBERALISM (Friday Church News Notes, April 13, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “‘Roseanne’ ... One Really Big Problem for Conservatives,” DailyWire, Mar. 28, 2018: “On Tuesday night, Roseanne’s reboot premiered--and it blew up in the ratings. Fully 18.2 million Americans between the ages of 18-49 watched the show. It received a 5.1 rating. It was the best Tuesday night premier for ABC since 2006. ... Many conservatives are overjoyed at this--they see it as a cultural moment of great import, because Roseanne’s character is a Trump supporter. ... But there’s something else going on in Roseanne that should disturb conservatives: the redefinition of Trump supporters as blue collar leftists rather than conservatives. Roseanne’s character is pro-gay-marriage, pro-abortion, feminist, and pro-transgenderism--and the implication is that she is a good person because of these views. ... The first two episodes make this absolutely clear. First, Roseanne’s grandson is a cross-dressing seven-year-old--and every character accepts this as no problem in and of itself. ... Roseanne is still preaching Hillary’s message, even if it pretends to hat-tip Trump supporters.” Note from Bro. Cloud: Regardless of her political views, Roseanne Barr is a foul-mouthed woman, and Christians have no business listening to such filth. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:29-31). “Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not” (Proverbs 29:24).

SAMSON’S STRENGTH (Friday Church News Notes, April 13, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Samson is a strange case. He was called of God from the womb; he was a Nazarite; he was a judge of Israel; he won mighty victories over Israel’s pagan enemies. Four times the Bible says the Spirit came upon Samson (Jud. 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14). Yet he was a spiritually weak man who followed his flesh to terrible shipwreck. At the same time, Samson is mentioned in Hebrews 11 as a hero of the faith, and four chapters of the Bible are devoted to his life. Samson’s physical strength was amazing. He killed a lion with his bare hands as if it were a little lamb (Jud. 14:6). He killed 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass (Jud. 15:15). He removed an entire city gate (Jud. 16:1-3). Gaza was the Philistine’s chief city and was fortified with high walls and a large gate at least 10 feet high and 10 feet wide that was strong enough to withstand an attacking army. It would have consisted of two very thick wooden doors and was probably covered with metal or at the least was reinforced with wide metal bands. The side posts probably turned in stone sockets. The gate at Ashdod, a smaller Philistine city, was 10 feet wide (M. Dothan, “The Foundation of Tel More and of Ashdod,” Israel Exploration Journal, 23, 1973, I, pp. 10-11). Samson pulled up the gate with the massive side posts attached and carried the whole thing off. It was as if he pulled a flower out of the ground, yet Dr. William Barrick has computed the weight of the gate and posts to have been between five and ten tons (“Samson’s Removal of Gaza’s Gates,” Baptist Bible College and Seminary, Denver, n.d.). Samson carried the gate to Hebron, which was 36 miles away and 3,200 feet higher in altitude! In other words, he carried the gate up a little mountain. In 2015, the top of the ruins of the actual city gate at the Philistine city of Gath was unearthed by archaeologists, and it was massive, the largest yet found in ancient Israel. The excavation of the gate is expected to continue for several seasons. (For more about Samson and Dagon and photos of the Dagon temples, including the pillar bases, see Bible Times & Ancient Kingdoms, PowerPoint #09 “Baal Worship.”)

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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