Friday Church News Notes

Friday Church News Notes, May 6, 2022,, 866-295-4143

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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STATUE OF GODDESS ANAT DISCOVERED IN GAZA  – A Palestinian farmer in southern Gaza recently discovered the head of a statue of Anat, a Canaanite goddess. The head is 8.6 inches high and is crowned with a serpent (Ancient Origins, Apr. 26, 2022). A sister of Baal, Anat was one of the fertility mother-goddesses that were worshipped by orgies. She was also the goddess of war against Baal’s enemies. “Anat appears as a fierce, wild and furious warrior in a battle, wading knee-deep in blood, striking off heads, cutting off hands, binding the heads to her torso and the hands in her sash” (Wikipedia). Anat was worshipped in various places under manifold names and myths, including Inanna, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Isis, Venus, Nerthus, and Freyja.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S ATTACK ON JESUS AND THE BIBLE – Over the past century, mainstream media has launched a relentless attack on the deity of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible. The latest example is National Geographic’s special publication Jesus: An Illustrated Life. The false Christ presented therein did not come as the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, was not the eternal Son of God, was not infallible, did not die as the Lamb of God by a vicarious, substitutionary atonement, and might or might not have been born of a virgin and risen from the dead. According to this report, the Gospel of Luke was written in about 80 AD; Daniel was written in about BC 200 (after the fulfillment of many of his prophecies); Jesus learned His skill with the Scriptures from the rabbis; Jesus’ baptism was His anointing as the Christ; Jesus “may have been inspired by prophets such as Amos, Micah, and Hosea”; Jesus thought the kingdom of God “would come about as a grassroots movement”; Jesus’ healings “involved some exchange of energy” which is “a core concept of various schools of non-Western or holistic medicine”; the recording of the miracles in the Gospels might be the product of “oral transmission and redaction”; Jesus probably could not read Hebrew; the Pharisees “genuinely welcomed” Jesus’ opinions, ”believed his ideas had merit,” and “had considerable sympathy for what Jesus was trying to accomplish”; Jesus was “in many ways a man of His time”; Jesus “developed a quite different view of God” from the Old Testament view; there are “discrepancies between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John” and “perhaps the most trustworthy account is that of Mark” which “may have been based on a separate Passion tradition known as the ‘Cross Gospel’”; Jesus “was not aware” that the money changers had been relocated from the Mt. of Olives to the temple; Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13-14 are not Messianic prophecies but are “beautiful, rousing poetry”; Mark’s description of Christ’s trial “is probably more accurate than the fully developed trial described in the later Gospels”; Jesus “died of asphyxiation, compounded by shock and loss of blood.” These tired liberal views have been refuted, but the fundamental issue is not evidence, but unbelieving skepticism. In fact, the unyielding skepticism of this age is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy and is therefore further evidence of the Bible’s supernatural inspiration. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming…” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

TEMPLE INSTITUTE PRACTICES BURNING THE RED HEIFER  – The Temple Institute has burnt a red heifer in its preparations toward building Israel’s Third Temple (Israel Today, May 2, 2022). Under the Levitical system, a red heifer was sacrificed and its ashes were used to make the water of separation. “And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin” (Nu. 19:9). The water of separation was required for ritual cleansing whenever someone came into contact with anything pertaining to the dead (Nu. 19:11, 14-16). The Temple Institute confuses ritual with spiritual reality and misapplies Bible prophecy. In its report of the burning of the red heifer, Israel Today states, “[A]ccording to Ezekiel 36 [verses 25-26], only the sprinkling of the Red Heifer water allows for the complete change of heart and spirit (‘then I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you, and you shall be clean, from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. I will also give you a new heart, and I will place within you a new spirit’).” It should be obvious that the sprinkling of water cannot change the heart or impart a new spirit. This can only be done by a supernatural act of the Spirit of God, and it will be done when Israel repents of her sin against God. This is described a few verses later in Ezekiel 36:31, “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” This refers to the New Covenant that God will make with Israel, which is yet the future. There will be great repentance, including repentance of rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). In that day, God will write His law on the hearts and all of redeemed Israel shall know the Lord. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34). The entire Levitical system, including the water of purification, pointed to the coming of Christ as the Lamb of God, and Jesus was identified as such by John the Baptist. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

BENNY HINN’S REPENTANCE NOT LIKE THAT OF ZACCHAEUS – A little over two years ago, Pentecostal healing evangelist Benny Hinn said he was correcting his theology. “I’m sorry to say that prosperity has gone a little crazy and I’m correcting my own theology and you need to all know it. Because when I read the Bible now, I don’t see the Bible in the same eyes I saw 20 years ago. I think it’s an offense to the Lord, it’s an offense to say give $1,000. I think it’s an offense to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it. I will never again ask you to give $1,000 or whatever amount, because I think the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it” (Sept. 2, 2019). The prosperity gospel made Hinn and his family millions, as documented in his nephew’s book God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel. If Hinn were truly repentant, he would follow Zacchaeus’ example. “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Lu. 19:8). Millions have attended Hinn’s crusades, watched his television programs, and read his books, and the prosperity gospel is only one of his many heresies. The man is a lying false prophet. He allegedly had his first vision of Jesus at age 11 and had an eight-hour private conversation with the Holy Spirit (Hinn, Rise and Be Healed, pp. 1, 22). Hinn tosses the “anointing of the Holy Spirit” like a baseball and “slays people in the spirit” by blowing on them. He teaches the heresy that healing is promised in Christ’s atonement. “God is not going to heal you now–he healed you 2,000 years ago. All you have to do today is receive your healing by faith” (Hinn, Rise and Be Healed, p. 44). He said, “We must never say, ‘If it be thy will, Lord.’” Though Hinn claimed that one thousand people were healed at each of his “miracle services,” researchers were unable to verify any healings (Florida Magazine, Nov. 24, 1991). Hinn’s ministry sent Hank Hanegraaff three prime examples of the supposed thousands of healings that have occurred through his ministry, including the case of the healing of colon cancer, but when Dr. Preston Simpson investigated he found that the colon tumor had been surgically removed rather than miraculously healed and that the other two cases were also bogus (Hank Hanegraaff, What’s Wrong with the Faith Movement, Part 1, Anthony Thomas followed up on five of Hinn’s best healing cases for a year and concluded, “In my experience, there was nothing that we saw that in any way could qualify as a miracle” (“Documentary Questions Healing Miracles,” Christian News, April 30, 2001, p. 19). NBC television’s Dateline program asked Hinn’s ministry to provide confirmation of the 56 cases of healing that were claimed at one of his crusades. Hinn’s people could only come up with five cases of what they called “irrefutable and medically proven miracles,” but when Dateline researched these cases they found that only one of the people could provide medical records, and her doctor suspected that the woman never had the Lou Gehrig’s disease she claimed to have been healed of (Charisma Online, Feb. 20, 2003). On Sunday, April 30, 2000, four people died in Nairobi, Kenya, during a Benny Hinn “Miracle Crusade” (Reuters News Service, “Four Die Waiting for ‘Miracle’ Cures,” May 4, 2000). They had been released from a hospital to be cured at Hinn’s meeting.

GIVE UNCLEANNESS A WIDE BERTH  – The following is from Harry Ironside’s commentary on First Corinthians. It was first preached in 1934 at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago: “We are living in a day when uncleanness is everywhere. Our modern novels are reeking with it, our newspaper stands are filled with vile pornographic literature that came from hell, and men are enriching themselves by poisoning the minds of our young people. The pictures they see, the songs that come over the radio, many are filled with suggestions of impurity and uncleanness. How sternly the Christian Church needs to set its face against everything of this kind. We should have no compromise whatever with impurity. People see the pictures, read the books, listen to the songs, and they all have their effect upon the flesh, and before you know it men are drifting off into unholy, unclean things because of the constant incitation to them in the music and literature of the day. Let us give everything like that a wide berth.”

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. 12:32Mat. 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).