The Black Kite

[Photo of Black Kite, by David Cloud]
The Black Kite (Milvus migrans) is another of the wonderful creatures that God made for His glory and man’s pleasure. It is a medium-size bird of prey that occupies a wide range of territory throughout the temperate and tropical parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Oceania.

The name would suggest that it is black in color, but actually it is predominantly various shades of brown, with dark brown or black feathers toward the edges of its wings, a black beak, yellow legs, and black talons. There are some white markings under its wings and on its belly, and its head and neck tend to be paler than its body.

It glides effortlessly on air thermals searching for food with its excellent eyesight, soaring 1,000 feet and more above the ground.

Its magnificent eyes set into a head that can swivel 180 degrees gives it full awareness of its environment.

The Black Kite is an aerial acrobat, maneuvering quickly and easily in any direction, soaring, wheeling, diving. It swoops down on its prey with legs lowered, grabbing it with its powerful talons.

It eats fish, rodents, insects, reptiles, and other small creatures, as well as household refuse and carrion. It likes to fly above garbage dumps and along the edges of fires to catch escaping prey. The natives of Australia believed that the bird would start fires for this purpose by transporting burning branches and dropping them on dry brush.

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Testimonies of Christ’s Sinlessness

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Two thousand years ago a man walked this earth who was like no other man who. His birthplace was a stable in the tiny town of Bethlehem in Israel. He lived on this earth for about 33 years and was crucified by the Roman government as a criminal. He life was under the microscope of human observation. He did not live in secret. His ministry was public, and his every word and deed was examined by those who lived at that time. And the record of His life has been examined by the world ever since. No man has been as intensely examined as Jesus of Nazareth.

Before His death Jesus issued an amazing challenge that has never been answered, a challenge that only an insane or a sinless man could offer. He said, “Which of you convinceth me of sin” (John 8:46). The word “convince” means to bring an accusation that can be proven, a charge that can stand.

Though He was accused of wrongdoing by those who hated him, the accusations were blatant and obvious lies. The Roman governor himself said that Jesus was innocent of all charges. He wasn’t crucified because of any sin He had committed. He was crucified because of the jealously of false Jewish teachers and the idolatry of the Roman Empire with its Caesar worship. But far more than that, He was crucified because He came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He came as the Son of God to make atonement for man’s sins so that men might be reconciled to God.

The fact of Jesus’ sinlessness proves that He was the Son of God. Every man since Adam has been a sinner by nature, by thought, and by deed. Children don’t have to be taught how to sin. We don’t need schools to educate children in how to lie and cheat and dishonor their parents and disobey authority.

I believe that the Bible is the Word of God for many reasons, and one of those is that what it says rings true to what can be observed in life. The Bible says, for example, that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I can observe that in my own life, and I can see it everywhere in the world today and everywhere in human history.

Everywhere except in Jesus.

Following are some of the testimonies to Jesus’ sinlessness:

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Christ's Intercession

The following is excerpted from The Tabernacle, the Priesthood, the Offerings by I.M. (Isaac Massey) Haldeman, 1925. Haldeman [pictured below] was the pastor of First Baptist Church of New York City for nearly 50 years, from 1884-1933. Though Haldeman did not have advanced formal theological training, he made up for this with a high native intellect, excellent gifts, a passion for Jesus Christ, a love for God’s Word, diligent study habits, and a broad appetite for learning under the Headship of Christ. In recognition of this he was awarded an honorary D.D. from William Jewel College in 1909. He was a theological warrior who did not draw back from the public reproof of modernists and other false teachers, speaking against fellow Baptists such as Harry Emerson Fosdick and against Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah Witness cult. He was a crusader against worldliness in the churches. Bible teacher James M. Gray called him “the greatest prophet of the Lord now standing in any pulpit in this country.” Said to be “the most influential preacher of prophetic themes in his generation,” he interpreted Bible prophecy literally and emphasized the imminent return of Christ.


Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:25-27).

What an amazing fact it is, that He who is the Master of Heaven and earth prays for us--and prays in Heaven on the throne of the Highest.

It may not be that He is praying for just the things we wish, nor even such we dream we need, but the fact that He is praying for us is beyond definition of all it demonstrates of interest in, of grace and care for us.

Believe He is praying for us, and what matter the cloud-covered sky, the tempest swirling and uprooting all things we hold dear, leaving us neither root nor ranch in those things; what matter though we stand with hands folded, hands of helplessness, and the fragments of shattered plans scattered at our feet; what matter though our soul be filled with darkness and our lips be dumb and faith shivers and begins to grope and at times stops and listens to subtle questions filled with a hiss, the hiss of the serpent; what matter that at its worst if, through it all and at the last, we can believe, and will believe in spite of every increeping fear, that He is yonder back of storm or woe praying for us, interceding for us?

To believe that, gives assurance He will meet us in the blessing such as never could have come had the answer been in response to our own poor, blind, unthinking an wholly selfish prayer.

How often we escape sickness, disease, the assault of circumstance and sudden death because He has prayed, has interceded on our behalf and caused the special providences to be swung over us and along our path, we shall never know till the record of it is read to us when we stand face to face with Him in the glory hour.

If there are times when faith would sink and sink as in the anguish of a drowning soul and then suddenly rises as on a swelling tide which lifts us out of the deeps of dark distress till we find firm footing on the shore of peace and rest again in His Word and truth, it is because He prays for us, because He neither slumbers nor sleeps nor closes His eyelids, but open-eyed and watchful bears us on His heart and lifts us in unfailing petition before the Father’s throne” (I.M. Haldeman).

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Friday Church News Notes, Volume 15, Issue 16

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.

FOLLOW UP ON LIBERTY UNIVERSITY AND BENNY HINN (Friday Church News Notes, April 18, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In last week’s Friday Church News Notes we reported on a video clip posted at Benny Hinn’s web site featuring Hinn and two men identified with Liberty University: Dan Reber, Director of Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies, and Ronald Godwin, Liberty University Provost. The three men announced an alliance between Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies and Hinn’s World Healing Fellowship. I wrote a report about the alliance, queued it up to go out last week, and then left on a two-week preaching trip to the States. The day we published the report, Liberty University’s President, Jerry Falwell, Jr., posted a statement denying that the school is partnering with Hinn. The statement says that Dr. Godwin made a mistake in appearing with Hinn and that though Liberty “transferred the operations of Liberty Home Bible Institute ... to Mr. Dan Reber in 2011,” he wasn’t authorized to form an alliance with Hinn. I find this move by Liberty curious for a number of reasons. Reber and Godwin are long-time employees of Liberty, going back to the time of Liberty’s founder, Jerry Falwell, Sr., and they learned their compromise directly from him. Is Jerry Falwell, Jr., now renouncing what his father did when he tried to rescue Jim Baker’s PTL Club? Or what Falwell, Sr., did in 2004 when he praised Pat Robertson and Rod Parsley as “courageous and brilliant evangelical mega-leaders” (fundraiser mailer for the Faith and Values Coalition, “a 21st Century Moral Majority,” Nov. 16, 2004). These men are as heretical as Benny Hinn. In fact, does this mean that Falwell, Jr., is renouncing Falwell, Sr.’s close association with Roman Catholics and Mormons and with cult leader Sun Myung Moon who helped rescue Liberty University from bankruptcy in the early 1990s? (“The GOP’s Own Asian Connection,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 16, 1997, articles.latimes.com/1997/nov/16/opinion/op-54375). Why draw the line with Benny Hinn, Liberty? (For further documentation of Liberty’s compromise see “Jerry Falwell: Should We Warn or Praise” at the Way of Life web site.)

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The Hatred of God

April 17, 2014 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

The following is from M.R. DeHaan, M.D., The Tabernacle, chapter 20, “The Hatred of God.” 1955:

Because God is infinitely holy, He cannot condone the smallest sin (although there are no small sins, for all sins are great sins).

To emphasize the awfulness of sin in the sight of a holy God, we have but to go back to the first sin of the human race. You will recall the story. Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree which God had prohibited. Now that, of course, seems in itself but a little thing. We would call it mere petty larceny, eating one fruit from a forbidden tree. In the estimate of men, and according to our moral standards, that was only a little sin. We would hardly inflict the death penalty upon an individual for taking one fruit from a tree which had been forbidden. But God did not consider it as such, for God knows nothing about ‘little’ sins.

Listen, friend, so great was that sin in the sight of God that He not only cursed man from the garden, imposed the penalty of death upon him and upon all his offspring, but God even cursed the entire creation, the earth, the birds, the animals, and every creature over which Adam was placed as the federal head. God did not wait until man had committed murder before He cursed him, but this so-called ‘LITTLE SIN’ was the occasion for God’s awful penalty and judgment. Sin is never a little thing, even though men may belittle it and call it by any other name.

Has it ever struck you, as it has me, that the world has tried desperately hard to rid itself of even the very mention of the word sin? It has almost entirely disappeared from the world’s vocabulary. We can pick up our newspaper or magazine and read all the accounts of violence and atrocity and murder and dishonesty, but seldom are these things called ‘sin.’ Writers talk about crime and violence and death and murder and immorality, but the word SIN is carefully avoided.

Now all of this becomes very significant, for we believe it to be an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to get rid of the idea of sin. But sin is still sin, and until there is a revival of preaching against sin in all of its awfulness, as a filthy damning rebellion against God, which it is there cannot be a revival, but the world will continue getting worse and more rotten and more sinful than ever.

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