Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Friday Church News Notes
Volume 22, Issue 49 - December 3, 2021
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.
 
Eilat Mazar

Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar in Jerusalem’s Old City in 2010.(photo credit: ABIR SULTAN/FLASH90)

DEATH OF “THE QUEEN OF JERUSALEM ARCHAEOLOGY” (Friday Church News Notes, December 3, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Eilat Mazar (pronounced Elaat MAY-zur) died in May of this year at age 64. Described in various reports as “kind and gracious,” “an indomitable woman of strength and determination,” Mazar made groundbreaking discoveries, including David’s palace, part of Nehemiah’s wall, one of Solomon’s Jerusalem gates, and seals belonging to biblical figures. Her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University focused on ancient Phoenicia. She had a daughter and three sons by two marriages. Her second husband, archaeologist Yair Shoham, died in 1997 at age 44. Eilat was the granddaughter of Benjamin Mazar, the first archaeologist appointed after the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Born in Russia, Benjamin studied archaeology in Germany before immigrating to British-controlled “Palestine” in 1929. He was one of the founders of modern Israel. After Israel won control of the Temple Mount following the Six Day War in 1973, Benjamin excavated the southern end of the Mount and made wonderful discoveries that have thrilled Bible believers ever since. He found the ancient street along the western wall from the time of Christ and the giant stones thrown down by Titus’ army in 70 AD, including the trumpeting stone which marked the place where the priest blew the trumpet to announce the sabbaths and the feasts. He found the southern steps and the remnants of the southern gates to the temple and many other things. Fascinated with archaeology at an early age, Eilat worked with her grandfather from the time she was eleven years old (1968). Beginning in 2005, she led the excavation of what she believed to be the ruins of David’s palace and found many evidences to support this conclusion. Today those ruins are an integral part of the City of David Visitors Center, which preserves the archaeological strata of that important part of Jerusalem. Eilat Mazar wasn’t a Bible believer in a Christian sense or even an orthodox Jewish sense. She was “non-religious” and did not hold to the infallible inspiration of Scripture. But unlike most Jewish archaeologists today, she believed that the Bible describes real history. She was taught by her grandfather to “pore over the biblical text again and again ... for it contains within it descriptions of genuine historical reality ... concealed within the biblical text are grains of detailed historical truth” (“Fearless pioneering biblical archaeologist,” The Times of Israel, May 26, 2021). Eilat was blasted by skeptical archaeologists such as Israel Finkelstein for putting too much credence on the Bible, but she was unbending in the face of criticism. She said, “To ignore the written sources, especially the Bible--I don’t believe any serious scholar anywhere would do this. It doesn’t make any sense” (“Eilat Mazar,” Christianity Today, May 26, 2021), and, “Today it’s become fashionable to say there was no David, no Solomon, no Temple, no prophets. But suddenly the facts on the ground are speaking, and those outspoken voices are stammering” (“The Best of Archaeology in the Holy Land in 2005,” BibleResearchers.com, Jan-Feb. 2006). I was very saddened to hear of Eilat Mazar’s death. Oh, that she and her grandfather would have understood that the Old Testament was given by divine inspiration to prepare the way for, and point the way to, Jesus the Christ, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world! For a description of Eilat Mazar’s discoveries, including a pictorial study, see Bible Times & Ancient Kingdoms, “David and His Palace,” www.wayoflife.org.

EILAT MAZAR’S DISCOVERY OF DAVID’S PALACE (Friday Church News Notes, December 3, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In one of the most exciting archaeological events of recent times, Eilat Mazar announced the discovery of David’s palace in 2005. In her final conversation with her grandfather, renowned archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, before his death in 1995, they discussed the location of David’s palace. He encouraged her to pursue her instinct in the matter based on her reading of the Bible and previous excavations. (She had assisted Yigal Shiloh in City of David excavations in the 1980s.) After raising the large funds necessary for the excavation, work began and evidences of the palace came to light one after the other. These include the following: (1) The situation is right according to the Bible’s description. (2) The building was constructed above the stepped-stone wall that is probably the “millo” mentioned in Scripture in connection with David’s palace (2 Sa. 5:9; 2 Ki. 12:20). (3) The building is a large, complex structure of engineering excellence “that would have required immense resources.” One wall was more than 100 feet long. (4) Remnants of the palace were found down the hill. (5) Bullae (clay document seals) were found in the area bearing the names of people mentioned in the Bible who lived or worked in or near the palace just before it was burned by Nebuchadnezzar. These include Jehucal the son of Shelemiah (Jer. 37:3), Gedaliah the son of Pashur (Jer. 38:1), Gemariah the son of Shaphan (Jer. 36:10, 11, 12, 25), Azariah the son of Hilkiah (1 Ch. 9:11), and Nathanmelech (2 Ki. 23:11). On the Ophel between the Temple Mount and the City of David, Eilat discovered a seal inscribed with “Belonging to Hezekiah (son of) Ahaz king of Judah” and a seal probably bearing the name of the prophet Isaiah. These were groundbreaking discoveries right out of the pages of the Bible. For a description of Eilat Mazar’s discoveries, including a pictorial study, see Bible Times & Ancient Kingdoms, “David and His Palace,” www.wayoflife.org.

TALIBAN, KIM JONG-UN, NIGERIA TOP THREE CHRISTIAN PERSECUTORS OF 2021 (Friday Church News Notes, December 3, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from The Christian Post, Nov. 17, 2021: “The religious freedom advocacy group International Christian Concern has named the Taliban, Kim Jong un and Nigeria as the top persecutors of Christians at its first Persecutor of the Year Awards event. ICC ranked NIGERIA as the worst country for religious freedom in 2021. Jeff King, who has served as ICC’s president since 2003, explained that the African nation has been engaged in ‘a 20-year war against Christians,’ which he labeled genocide. ‘There’s a one-sided war against Christians; there are two guerrilla forces or factions fighting Christians,’ he added. The report elaborated on the unsafe environment Christians face in Nigeria: ‘Nigeria is one of the deadliest places on Earth for Christians, as 50,000 to 70,000 have been killed since 2000. Nigeria is home to the infamous Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, which has displaced millions of people and killed tens of thousands of others. Fulani militants killed more Christians in the past several years than Boko Haram and have displaced Christian farmers. ... There are 3-plus million Christians displaced, King asserted, adding: ‘Their homes have been stolen, their lands have been stolen, their farms have been stolen.’ ... The group identified by ICC as the Persecutor of the Year was THE TALIBAN. ... Since the Taliban has retaken control of Afghanistan, he said, they have gone door-to-door asking, ‘Do you know where the Christians are?’ King warned that these and many other Christians will ‘be tortured and given a chance to turn back to Islam. If you don’t, you’re going to be tortured more to find out what other Christians you know and then you’re killed.’ In the past two weeks, King reported that the Taliban murdered a Christian who was found with a Bible on his phone. ... ICC selected NORTH KOREAN DICTATOR KIM JONG UN as its individual Persecutor of the Year. According to the report, ‘The Kims have created a religious system modeled on the faith (God/Father/Son) with Kim Jong Un playing the part of the Son that is to be worshiped. Any threat to the Son and over-arching religious system is mercilessly crushed.’ ... King estimated that around 30,000 Christians in North Korea have been sent to prison camps, while more than a million have been killed.”

PRAYER FIRST OF ALL (Friday Church News Notes, December 3, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - There is a saying, “No prayer, no power; little prayer, little power; much prayer, much power,” and it is based on the Bible’s teaching. Prayer is one of the four foundational characteristics of the first church in Jerusalem (“they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread and prayers,” Acts 2:42). Prayer is the first ministry of church leaders (“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word,” Ac. 6:4). Note that prayer is to be continual. And note that prayer is put first, and that is because prayer is necessary for the ministry of the word to be most effectual. This is God’s plan. Paul plainly taught this. Prayer is to be “first of all” in the churches (1 Ti. 2:1-2).

THE HALF OUNCE MIGRATORY BIRD (Friday Church News Notes, December 3, 2021, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, November 17, 2021: “The Willow Warbler is a fascinating little bird. It weighs less than half an ounce and measures about four inches from its beak to the tip of its tail. It likes open woodland with small trees and is particularly happy in areas managed by humans, such as coppices and young plantations. An attractive little bird, it is greenish-brown from above, with a yellowish underside. Willow Warblers are part of the Leaf Warbler, or Phylloscopus baramin (or created kind). There are 77 species in this baramin, but we are interested here in the species Phylloscopus trochilu, especially the subspecies Phylloscopus trochilus yakutensi. This remarkable little bird has the most incredible migratory behavior, traveling about 7,500 miles. Between April and August, the birds live and breed in eastern Siberia. But as the breeding season ends, the birds begin their long, exhausting flight to sub Saharan Africa, where they will spend the winter, from October through March. Then they begin the 7,500-mile journey back to Siberia. The reason why these warblers migrate seems clear. They do not like the extremes of temperatures in either of their homes. But a more interesting question is: How do they know where to migrate? Scientists have speculated that migratory birds are able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. But those scientists who believe in evolution have to explain how the birds used trial and error to find their routes. A more logical explanation is that God designed them to achieve this remarkable feat. Author: Paul F. Taylor. Ref: Upchurch, J. (2017), Journey Home—Astonishing Animal Migrations, Answers in Genesis.”

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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