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The Red Sea and Mt. Sinai

August 27, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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Theological liberals and many of their “evangelical” friends say that Israel crossed north of the Red Sea in the Bitter lakes region. Consider the following statement from Halley’s Bible Handbook, which is reputed to be conservative: “The sea then would have flowed north into the depressions known today as the Bitter Lakes. If a steady wind pushed the shallow water north into the Bitter Lakes, it would have lowered the level of the water so that a land bridge would appear, which is not an uncommon phenomenon. The waters on the north and the south then were a ‘wall’ or ‘defense.’ There is no need to assume perpendicular heaps of water defying gravity--although there is no question that God could have done exactly that. ... The Egyptians followed through the exposed sea mud and were caught and tangled by the returning tide following the relaxed pressure of the wind.”

(1) The Hebrew word “suph,” which is translated “Red” in most Bibles, does mean “reed,” but this does not mean that the Bible is talking about a shallow reed lake. The Red Sea was called “Reed Sea” in ancient times, not because it was shallow, but because reeds grow in marshy areas along its shores in places. (The Hebrew word refers to water reeds in general and not to papyrus only.) Further, in the New Testament it is called the Red Sea and not the Reed Sea (Acts 7:36; Heb. 11:29). In ancient times the name Red Sea was given to the entire Arabian Sea, including the modern Red Sea and its arms and the Persian Gulf (Kenneth Kitchen,
On the Reliability of the Old Testament). In 1 Kings 9:26, the Gulf of Aqaba where Ezion Geber was located is called the Red Sea.

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Recent Pentecostal Scandals

Enlarged and updated August 26, 2014 (first published July 18, 2006) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)
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Scandals can be found in any group of Christians, sadly, but the reason that scandals among Pentecostals and Charismatics are even more significant is because they claim a special anointing of the Spirit of God. They claim double blessings and triple anointings and super Spirit baptisms. They claim to operate in the Spirit and flow in the Spirit and talk in the Spirit and prophesy in the Spirit and laugh in the Spirit and soak in the Spirit and even get drunk in the Spirit. They claim to have the “full gospel” and the “four square gospel” and to operate in the “five-fold ministry.”

I know from personal experience that not all Pentecostals or Charismatics live scandalous lives. I was led to Christ in 1973 by an old-line Pentecostal who was a godly man, and I thank the Lord for the compassion he showed to this former “hippy” and the Biblical wisdom that he exercised in dealing with me.

At the same time, from its inception at the turn of the 20th century, the Pentecostal movement has been absolutely rife with moral and doctrinal scandals and ridiculous claims among its prominent leaders (e.g., Oral Roberts’ conversation with a 900-foot-tall Jesus).

We have documented this extensively in our illustrated 317-page book The
Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements: Its History and Its Error, which is available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature -- wayoflife.org.

Following are some examples:

In 1977
ORAL ROBERTS claimed that God had appeared to him and instructed him to build a medical center called the CITY OF FAITH. In 1980 he claimed that he had a “face to face” conversation with a 900-foot-tall Jesus who told him that he was going to solve the City of Faith financial problems. Seven years later, Roberts said that God had appeared to him yet again and told him that he would die if he did not raise $8 million within 12 months. The wild-eyed visions and unrelenting appeals could not save the City of Faith. In 1989 Roberts closed it to pay off debts! Yet the Pentecostal world in general did not decry Roberts as a false prophet and a religious phony. Thousands continued to flock to ORU from Pentecostal churches across the country, and millions of dollars continued to flow into Roberts’ ministry from gullible supporters.

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Friday Church News Notes, Volume 15, Issue 34

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, though this does not imply an endorsement.
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ANOTHER CCM ARTIST “COMES OUT” (Friday Church News Notes, August 22, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - This month, Vicky Beeching, British CCM musician, announced that she is a lesbian. Beeching, who has led worship music at many North American churches and whose “lyrics are sung by millions in America’s Bible Belt,” says, “I’m gay; God loves me just the way I am.” She believes that God led her to “come out.” “I think God has very much walked me through this, hand in hand. I do not feel I left God in back there, in the evangelical church. I feel like he’s become closer and closer. I feel I was in the desert, making this decision, and he’s been in the desert with me, that this is something he’s led me towards, something I am supposed to do” (“Vicky Beeching on Coming Out,” Christian Today, Aug. 14, 2014). Beeching, who grew up Pentecostal and is now Anglican, says that she begged God to take away her sexual attraction to females beginning when she was 13 years old, made confession to a Catholic priest, and sought deliverance through a charismatic exorcism. The very fact that she sought help from priests and charismatic healers demonstrates that she has has looked in the wrong places for spiritual help. Spiritual victory doesn’t come by sacraments and priestcraft. And even for those who are truly born again, God doesn’t take away the old nature in this present life. Sinful thoughts come from the “old man,” but the believer doesn’t have to act on them. Paul says that those who continue to walk in sin as a way of life demonstrate that they haven’t been born again. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). The believer’s spiritual victory is described in the same passage: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:16-18).
 
ARE CHRISTIANS THE CAUSE OF HOMOSEXUALS’ PAIN? (Friday Church News Notes, August 22, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Many “Christian homosexuals” who “come out” blame Christian teaching on sexuality for their problems. They argue that the teaching that homosexuality is a sin forced them to try to suppress and hide their natural feelings and thus resulted in psychological problems. The British newspaper The Independent calls this...

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Reply to a Pastor About a Family That Left His Church

August 21, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

"the greatest need of the hour is for godly, biblically-qualified, well-informed, courageous church leaders, and no one can make such a man but God"Several weeks ago I received the following communication from a pastor in Florida:

“A few weeks ago a family started coming to my church and told me the reason they left their former church was because of the music standards falling. I am not a proponent of one leaving their church but I do understand that standards are very important and many are falling by the wayside. I feel that I am very conservative in music, dress, preaching, preachers,  etc so I figured that maybe this family would find a place to settle down. After a few weeks of them coming and saying how much they enjoyed everything we had a 3 day meeting with an evangelist we have used for years.

“All of a sudden this family flew the coop! They won't answer the phone or return a call so I said oh well, easy come easy go! Today I received a letter explaining that they would not be back because the evangelist sang ‘he touched me’ which he says was written by Bill Gaither. I don't know and don't really care;  it's not a song that I will defend or detract. As far as Bill Gaither is concerned I've never knowingly listened to him or his group, and never will, I don't listen to long haired hippies sing. I have gone over the song in my head and cannot find anything blatantly wrong with it other than it's a little vague.

“My biggest issue is that he says in his letter that I need to come to you so that I can learn about music. Now while I am no academic I do study and pray and think about issues like this and I see that this family will almost certainly be going the ‘home church’ route due to their stringent following of what they have read and seen on your website.

“Please don't misunderstand me, I agree with most of what I've seen, but if it is driving families away from the local church something is wrong!

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A Holy Wedding

August 20, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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We live in a day when many professing Bible-believing Christians follow the world rather than God’s Word. They profess to know and love Christ and they attend church (when it is convenient), but they live according to the dictates of society. They love the world’s fashions, cool attitude, music, movies, and video games. The worldliness is reflected on social media such as Facebook pages. And the worldliness is reflected in weddings.

Following are some simple biblical truths about weddings that are widely ignored today.

1. A believer’s wedding should be a holy occasion.

“Marriage
is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

A marriage is called holy matrimony because it is a divine ordinance. It was established by God at the dawn of man’s history. His plan is for one man and one woman to make a lifelong covenant together. When Jesus taught on marriage, He pointed back to the beginning:

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made
them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

We live in a brash society that thinks life is for self and that the individual has the right to determine his or her own way. But this is rebellion. No one has the right to change God’s laws, and every individual will ultimately be judged by God’s laws and God’s thinking.

The holiness of the wedding occasion should be reflected in the place. I know professing Christians who have been married at Las Vegas wedding chapels. That is far from a holy place. It doesn’t show respect for God and His holy laws. A believer in Jesus Christ should be married in a church in the midst of a holy congregation of saints.

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