Way of Life Literature

 

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Friday Church News Notes
Volume 20, Issue 10 - March 8, 2019
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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SOUTH AFRICAN PENTECOSTAL PASTOR FAKES A RESURRECTION (Friday Church News Notes, March 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - A Pentecostal pastor in South Africa has been caught faking a resurrection (“South Africa funeral firm to sue pastor, for ‘resurrection stunt,’” BBC News, Feb. 26, 2019). A video of Pastor Alph Lukau raising a man from the dead “went viral,” but it turns out, not surprisingly, to be a hoax. In the video, the pastor, whose church is near Johannesburg, is standing beside a man lying in a coffin, pretending to be dead. To add authenticity, Lukau introduces the “dead man’s” family and friends. He then passes his hands over the man’s body, pauses dramatically, and shouts, “Rise up!” The man instantly sits up but has a bug-eyed look as if he is in a daze. A group of funeral directors who were manipulated by the scheme are suing the pastor. This is only the latest in more than 100 years of heresies, hoaxes, scandals, and nonsense emanating from the Pentecostal-Charismatic movements. It began with the students of Charles Parham’s Bible school in Kansas who claimed to speak and write in “tongues” that they claimed were Chinese but which turned out to be nothing at all, and the Azusa Street “holy choir” which was actually mass confusion. See “Azusa Street and the Birth of Pentecostalism,” www.wayoflife.org/azusa/. Jesus raised the dead as a sign that He is the Messiah. And Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-42) as the “sign of an apostle” (2 Corinthians 12:12). There are no apostles today; only deceivers pretending to be apostles. The apostles laid the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20), completed the canon of Scripture, and went to be with the Lord. At Christ’s return, they will sit on 12 thrones (only 12) judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Luke 22:30). Their 12 names (only 12) are inscribed in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:14). We believe in a miracle-working God and we have experienced miracles for nearly a half century of walking with Him, but we don’t believe in sign miracles for today. And we believe in healing according to James 5, but we don’t believe in the gift of healing today because that pertained to the apostles. Though we have attended the “healing crusades” of some the most prominent Pentecostal faith healers of our lifetime, we have seen nothing but heresy, nonsense, and fakery. They claim to live in the power of Pentecost and to have special Holy Spirit baptisms and apostolic power, but they can’t heal like the apostles, they can’t raise the dead like the apostles, they can’t speak in tongues like the apostles, they can’t prophesy like the apostles, and they don’t have the spiritual wisdom of the apostles.

HOLOGRAPHIC POP SUPERSTARS (Friday Church News Notes, March 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The entire field of pop idols, from Elvis to Justin Bieber, is largely fantasy, but the ultimate fantasy pop idols are Hatsune Miku of Japan and Luo Tianyi of China. They are non-existent holograms, one hundred percent fiction. First there was Hatsune Miku. She performed sold-out concerts attended by tens of thousands of screaming fans and opened for Lady Gaga. An avatar created by the Japanese company Crypton Future Media, Hatsune is projected onstage as a dancing hologram. She is the ultimate scantily-clothed pop singer of youthful fantasy with an unrealistically proportioned figure and a hyper-cute, Manga-influenced face. Girls fantasize that they are Hatsune, and boys fantasize that she is their girlfriend. One fan said, “She’s rather more like a goddess: She has human parts, but she transcends human limitations. She’s the great post-human pop star” (“Hatsune Miku: The world’s fakest pop star,” CBNNews, Nov. 9, 2012). Now China has its own superstar avatar named Luo Tianyi with a fan base of millions. The holograph performed before thousands of fans at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz arena on March 2, 2019, accompanied by world famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang. Tickets to the show cost as much as US$235. “Fans waved blue glow sticks to the rhythm and yelled Luo’s name, with some even bursting into tears” (“China’s virtual idols meet their fans,” South China Morning Post, Mar. 2, 2019). Kit Cheung Jie, a 17-year-old high school student in Hong Kong, said, “She is not a real person so she can be whatever you want her to be. It’s like a customized idol that only belongs to you.” University student Gao Yu shouted, “Tiani, my lover, I love you!” Luo is supposed to be an angel sent to bring happiness to the world by music. Her name is from an ancient river goddess, and she wears a green jade charm with occultic significance. The Chinese government sees the power of these avatars to manipulate the minds of youth. Luo has been recruited by the Chinese Communist Youth League to be its youth ambassador, because she is easier to manage than people, who “make their own decisions” and may choose to contradict the Chinese government (“China programs virtual youth icons to instill correct thinking into millennials,” Global Times, Dec. 7, 2017). The heart and soul of pop idol fantasy is sex, as with pop music as a whole. The boys and girls of idol bands and the virtual idols like Hatsune Miku and Luo Tianyi are carefully crafted to fit within the current definition of cute and sexy, and the unisex aspect appeals both to “straights” and homosexuals. (For more on the theme of technology-driven fantasy, see the free eBook Fantasy Dangers, www.wayoflife.org.) “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

DEMOCRATIC SENATORS SUPPORT INFANTICIDE (Friday Church News Notes, March 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Warren Confronted over Infanticide Position,” DailyWire.com, Mar. 1, 2019: “Presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was confronted over her infanticide position during an event in Dubuque, Iowa, on Wednesday. On Monday, the prominent Democrat went on record as pro-infanticide by voting against Republican Senator Ben Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would mandate that doctors perform medical care on infants born alive due to botched abortions. Only three Senate Democrats voted for the legislation. After Warren waxed poetic to an Iowa crowd about the importance of healthcare for all, a man attending the event bluntly asked her why infants born alive from botched abortions were denied healthcare. ‘What about the babies that survive abortion?’ he asked. ‘How come they can’t have healthcare?’ Warren responded, ‘Infanticide is illegal everywhere in America.’ ‘You voted against it,’ the man pushed back, referring to her no vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.”

CHINA’S SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM BARRED MILLIONS FROM TRAVELING IN 2018 (Friday Church News Notes, March 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - China’s draconian Social Credit System will punish those who do not submit to communist law, including religious laws. The following is excerpted from “China’s Social Credit System,” Futurism.com, Mar, 1, 2019: “As early as 2014, China began conceptualizing a Social Credit System (SCS), sort of like a credit score for citizen behavior where behaviors deemed good for society are rewarded with privileges and bad behaviors result in a poor score and loss of privileges. China has since been working to test its new method of population control and has been slowly conscripting citizens into the system. Now, a new report acquired by the Associated Press, suggests millions of would-be travelers had their plans canceled as a result of the SCS in 2018. According to the report obtained by the Associated Press, as many as 17.5 million ticket purchases were blocked last year for ‘social credit offenses’ such as unpaid taxes or fines. Other would-be travelers were barred from purchasing train tickets as many as 5.5 million times and according to an annual report from the National Public Credit Information Center, as many as 138 people were stopped from leaving the country. The ruling party hopes to fully establish the system within the nation by 2020. Although it isn’t completely clear yet how the system will be maintained, what the SCS will penalize, and what penalties there may be for having ‘poor social credit,’ offenses penalized last year included everything from false advertising to drug charges. In addition to travel restrictions, companies ousted from the nation’s good graces can lose out on government contracts, bank loans, and be restricted from importing goods. Employees can be prevented from representing companies or taking senior management roles, a penalty which was applied 290,000 times last year.”

HE MADE THE STARS ALSO (Friday Church News Notes, March 1, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from Creation Moments, Feb. 12, 2019: “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” “The Bible gives us a tiny hint in Psalm 19 that the universe is vast when the Psalmist says: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. The heavens must be vast indeed if they are there to declare the glory of God, because the glory of God is unlimited. Just as the builders of medieval cathedrals in Europe built vast structures to make a statement about how great God is, so our view of the universe, even from the surface of the Earth, shows us the sheer bigness of God. And yet, the whole creation of the universe is summed up (in the King James Version) in just five little words, in Genesis 1:16: ‘He made the stars also.’ Those who believe in God, whatever their view of Creation, are usually able to accept that the existence of the Sun was designed by God to give us heat and light. Creationists would suggest that these attributes were created before the Sun, but, nevertheless, the Sun’s purpose today, since the fourth day of creation, has been to shine down on the Earth. Yet somehow the sheer bigness of the universe causes us to think that the stars have far less of a purpose. The stars are just there. But God placed them for a reason—for signs and for seasons. So if the vastness of the universe points us to the worship of the Creator, then that is good. But apart from God, their importance is only that of five little words.”

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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