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David W. Cloud
Cloud Without Water (Jude 12)
David Cloud is a false teacher (2 Peter 2:1-3) of the more "fundamental" sort. He edits a magazine entitled O Timothy (subscription cost of $20 a year) and directs a way of death publishing ministry called "Way of Life."
Way of Life Literature is a 29-year-old Fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based at Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario. Wilbert Unger is the Pastor of Bethel Baptist. David W. Cloud is the founder and director of Way of Life. (www.wayoflife.org/aboutus/whatis.htm, hard copy on file for all referrences in this report)
Cloud also has a web site (www.wayoflife.org).
THE WAY OF LIFE WEB SITE was one of the first fundamental Baptist sites on the Internet. It was launched in 1993 and has grown rapidly ever since. Today there are roughly 3,000 books and articles available for anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. (www.wayoflife.org/aboutus/whatis.htm)
Fundamental top 500 .com, on November 14, 2002, had Cloud's web site recorded as having over 5000 hits in one day. Baptist Top 1000 .com and Christian Top 1000 .com had over 3000 hits recorded for the same day. It is apparent that Mr. Cloud's influence is far reaching and quite active. The following documents a few examples of Cloud's error found on his web site.
I. Cloud's Ecumenism
In his article, "THE CALVINISM DEBATE: WHO IS THE ENEMY?" Cloud writes,
In late 2000, I was invited to preach at a conference on Calvinism at Heritage Baptist University in Greenwood, Indiana, that was subsequently held in April of 2001. The conference was opposed to Calvinism; and I agreed to speak, because I am in sympathy with such a position. Before I put together the message for the conference, though, I did many things. For one, I carefully studied Calvin's Institutes for myself. I also contacted Dr. Peter Masters in London, England, and he subsequently called me and we discussed the subject of Calvinism. He has distributed some of my books for many years. I told him that I love and respect him in Christ and I also love and respect his predecessor, Charles Spurgeon, though I do not agree in all points with either of them on Calvinism (or some issues, for that matter). (www.wayoflife.org/fbns/calvinismdebate.html)
Shortly thereafter in this same article Cloud writes,
Baptists must face the issue of Calvinism. It is a divisive subject, but it must be faced because it touches some of the most important points of biblical truth and affects how Christians perceive of the gospel and the very person of God.
So, Cloud admits that this issue of Calvinism "touches some of the most important points of biblical truth and affects how Christians perceive of the gospel and the very person of God," yet he respects those who, from his perspective, teach falsely on these matters.
Later in the article Cloud writes,
Dr. Ian Paisley, pastor of the Martyrs Memorial Presbyterian Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is another example. I have a high regard for him, though he is a staunch Calvinist.
In this same paragraph he calls Dr. Ian Paisley a "man of God." Psalm 40:4 does not describe Mr. Cloud.
Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Cloud respects those who turn aside to lies (see our report on Calvinism & Armininism). After his comment about Mr. Paisley, in Cloud's next paragraph he writes,
Dr. Timothy Tow, pastor of Life Bible Presbyterian Church, Dr. S.H. Tow (M.D.), pastor of Calvary Bible Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Jeffrey Khoo, Academic Dean of the Far Eastern Bible College, are other examples. These men are staunch Calvinists but they are also soul winning Calvinists and have great missionary zeal. They and other of their associates have been responsible for the gospel being preached into many dark corners of Asia, and for this I rejoice. They distribute my books in their bookstores and have communicated with me on various occasions, and I count them friends in the faith; though I do not agree with their Calvinism nor their position on baptism and I cannot, for the latter reason especially, speak in their churches. But I love them and do not count them as enemies. (If one of my Baptist readers thinks differently and thinks that men like this should be enemies, that is your privilege, but I would appreciate it if you not write and fuss at me about the matter.) [bold added]
Skipping a paragraph about Dr. Peter Masters (pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England) Cloud says,
In my estimation, Calvinists such as these are not enemies of the truth. Though I am in strong disagreement with them about their Calvinistic theology and I would not want to join their churches because of the difference in how we look at this issue, I also do not consider them enemies. The Calvinist who is the enemy of the truth is the Calvinist who allows Calvinistic theology to hinder or even kill evangelistic zeal and soul willing passion and missionary vision.
This is such hypocrisy! So, as long as they are zealous about evangelism, which, by necessity includes preaching their false Calvinistic gospel with its perverted theology, Cloud is friends with them. Scripture teaches against this.
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
Scripture says to "withdraw" from such people, not be friends with them (see also Romans 16:17-18; Galatians 1:8-9; 5:12; 1 Corinthians 16:22; 2 John 9).
II. Cloud's Ruckman Hypocrisy
In his article "What About Ruckman?" which is about Peter Ruckman, pastor of Bible Baptist Church and president of the Pensacola Bible Institute in Pensacola, Florida, Cloud bemoans Ruckman's evil ways citing "his multiple divorces, his angry spirit, his arrogance, his Alexandrian cult mentality, his extremism regarding the KJV being advanced revelation," and his "proud, cultish mindset." Cloud's proof of Ruckman's evil is quite condemning.
For example, in regards to his multiple divorces he quotes Ruckman's own words from his book The Last Grenade.
"I have had two wives desert me after fifteen years of marriage ... I have been in court custody cases, where seven children's futures were held in the balance; in situations where Gospel articles were being torn out of typewriters, Biblical artwork torn off the easels, women trying to throw themselves out of cars at fifty m.p.h., mailing wedding rings back in the middle of revival services, cutting their wrists, threatening to leave if I did not give my church to their kinfolk; deacons threatening to burn down my house and beat me up; children in split custody between two domiciles two hundred miles apart, and knock-down, drag-out arguments in the home sometimes running as long as three days" (The Last Grenade, p. 339). (www.wayoflife.org/articles/ruckman.htm)
It should be obvious from 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 that Ruckman's own testimony disqualifies him.
Furthermore, Cloud states that he rejects Ruckman's false teaching with these words:
I REJECT DR. RUCKMAN'S PECULIAR DOCTRINES AND CULTIC ATTITUDE
In The Unknown Bible, Ruckman claims to hold to 14 "biblical truths" which other Bible teachers have overlooked for 2,000 years. These include the following:
1. Angels as thirty-three year old males without wings; and all woman in the CHURCH AGE receiving thirty-three year old male bodies at the Rapture. ...
2. Faith and works as the plan of salvation for the Tribulation saints with WORKS ALONE in the Millennium. ...
3. The spiritual circumcision of the believer's soul literally cut loose from the inside of his fleshy body at the time of his new birth. ...
4. Demons as winged creatures ranging in size from those of flies and mosquitoes to eagles and vultures ...
A little later in Cloud's article he writes,
Consider a few of the other peculiar teachings held by Dr. Ruckman:
"God has ordained on this earth 12 boundaries, with 12 nations, who are destined to leave this earth (transported by angels--Luke 16:22), and populate outer space infinitely and forever, beginning with the 12 constellations that are seen on the earth once every 12 months" (The Unknown Bible, p. 588).
"In eternity, the Christian is in New Jerusalem; he is in his apartment house that is made out of transparent gold, like clear glass. ... He is called out on trips, and these trips take him to Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Uranus, etc. transporting couples into gardens placing them down and saying, 'be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth'" (Ibid., p. 592).
In his article, Cloud reiterates Ruckman's false gospel stating,
Dr. Ruckman believes men were saved by blood plus works in the Old Testament, that they will be saved by faith plus works in the Tribulation, and by works alone in the Millennium. In his booklet Millions Disappear: Fact or Fiction? Ruckman says:
"If the Lord comes and you remain behind, then start working like a madman to get to heaven, because you're going to have to. ... You must keep the Ten Commandments (all of them, Ecclesiastes 12:13), keep the Golden Rule (1 John 3:10), give your money to the poor, get baptized, take up your cross, hold out to the end of the Tribulation, wait for Jesus Christ to show up at the Battle of Armageddon, and be prepared to die for what you believe. In the Tribulation you cannot be saved by grace alone, like you could before the Rapture."
Finally, citing James 3:13-17 Cloud concludes that "Ruckman's spirit is earthly, sensual, and devilish." Yet, in hypocrisy Cloud states that he doesn't "care to doubt that God called Peter Ruckman to preach," and he says,
Let me also say by way of introduction that all men who support Ruckman are not quarrelsome church splitters. I know a number of gracious Christian gentlemen who appreciate Dr. Ruckman. They appreciate the fact that the man stands boldly for a perfect Bible in a confused, wicked hour. They appreciate the fact that he has stirred up the pot and caused many to look at the Bible version issue. They are willing to overlook his problems. While I have no quarrel with any man who takes such a position, the bottom line for me is this: I don't believe an extreme position on an issue is a blessing to that issue, and I don't believe a mean-spirited defense of the truth furthers the truth. (bold added)
This is absolutely amazing! He has no quarrel with "Christian gentlemen" who "support Ruckman" and "overlook" his arrogance (Psalm 119:21, Proverbs 16:5), false teaching (2 John 9), false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9), and "devilish" spirit (James 3:15).
In this same article, Cloud claims to believe the KJV Bible, but his claim is hypocrisy. For if he did believe the KJV, he would have a serious problem with those who support a man who preaches a false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9; 5:12), does not abide in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11), and is of the devil (James 3:15; 1 John 3:8).
Cloud even admits,
His teaching has also caused many unnecessary divisions and problems in churches. (ibid.)
Yet, he has "no quarrel with any man" who supports Ruckman! That's because Cloud does not note Ruckman as one who does not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul wrote,
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)
III. Cloud's Theology
Near the end of his article, "THE CALVINISM DEBATE: WHO IS THE ENEMY?" Cloud expresses some of his errors. He writes,
What About the Total Depravity of Man?
The Bible teaches that man is morally corrupt (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-18) and dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) and spiritually blind (1 Cor. 2:14), but it does not teach that man cannot respond to the Gospel. Just the opposite, the Bible teaches that Christ gives light to every man (Jn. 1:9), that he draws all men to himself (Jn. 12:32), that he convicts men through the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:8). God calls men to salvation through the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14), and He has ordained that the gospel be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15). [bold added]
Note all the verses Cloud gives. They all speak of what God does, not what man does or is capable of doing. When it comes to what man does and is capable of doing, the following verses are apropos.
An evil man seeks only rebellion. (Proverbs 17:11a; see also Romans 3:10-18)
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil. (Jeremiah 13:23)
Responding to the gospel, that is, in true saving faith with a good heart (Luke 8:15), is good, which, evil men who seek only rebellion (Proverbs 17:11) are incapable of doing (Jeremiah 13:23). It takes a supernatural work of God (Ephesians 2:1-10) for any man to respond in this manner (Psalm 16:2; 2 Timothy 2:25). Moreover, John 12:39 exemplifies that most wicked men cannot believe, because God has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts.
But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them." (John 12:37-40)
This instance in John 12 is not unique (see, for example, Deuteronomy 29:4). Romans 9:18 says, "He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." As can be seen, when God hardens people's hearts, as in John 12, it makes them incapable of believing (John 12:39); and this is the case for the majority of mankind (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24).
Furthermore, in this same article, Cloud reveals his rejection of Biblical predestination.
What About Unconditional Election?
The Bible is clear that men are not elected to destruction. Men do not go to hell because of election, but because they reject or neglect the gospel (Matt. 23:37; Acts 13:46; 2 Thess. 2:10-11).
It is indeed true that men go to hell because they reject the gospel (John 3:18). But, when Cloud says "men are not elected to destruction" and "Men do not go to hell because of election," he writes against Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:11-23; 11:36; 1 Peter 2:8; Revelation 13:8 & 17:8, and reveals that he is brutish and a fool (Psalm 92:5-7, KJV).
IV. Cloud's Perversion of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
In his article, "THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST," speaking in the context of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, Cloud explains,
THE MATERIALS OF THIS JUDGMENT. The "wood, hay, and stubble" are associated with that which is of this world, temporal. These are things like worldly living, carnality, and walking in the flesh, unfaithfulness in the service of God, spiritual slothfulness. (www.wayoflife.org/fbns/judgment-seatofchrist.html)
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says no such thing (Proverbs 30:5-6). In fact, 1 Corinthians 3:13 says "the Day will declare it." Cloud thinks he can declare it now, but this is not consistent with the passage. Moreover, when Cloud calls the wood, hay, and stubble sin (worldly living, carnality, walking in the flesh, and unfaithfulness), he denies the forgiveness God has decreed for those who fear Him (e.g. Psalm 103:11-12; 1 John 1:7-2:2; Revelation 12:11), and he denies Hebrews 9:28.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28)
V. David's Clouded Christmas
In his article entitled, "HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS" he writes,
When it comes to Christmas, I guess you could call me sort of a "middle of the roader." On the one hand, I full well understand and am very wary of the pagan and Roman Catholic aspects of Christmas. I also despise the gross commercialization and Hollywoodization of it. On the other hand, I enjoy the Christmas season (at least when we are in the States), and I don't think there is anything wrong with singing Christmas carols (the ones that are scriptural) and enjoying the many social blessings and even giving gifts and participating in other innocent ways with the occasion. (www.wayoflife.org/fbns/haveablessed-xmas.html)
A little later,
Christmas it (sic) the celebration of the birth of Christ. It refers to Christ's mass, which obviously has a Roman Catholic origin.
A little later,
As for the Christmas tree, we have often enjoyed one in our home, but we see it as merely a pleasant social thing that has nothing to do with our faith in Christ.
A little later,
We can't "put Christ back in Christmas" because He never was in Christmas! Christmas really has nothing to do with the Bible. Christmas is not Christ's day.
The first sentence of the next paragraph,
The bottom line is that Christmas is a Catholic myth.
Yet, Cloud says, "HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS" (title of the article). This too is hypocrisy and disobedience to 1 Timothy 1:4 (fables, Greek "Muthios," Myths) and Ephesians 5:11.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
[For more on Christmas, please see our report.]
VI. Cloud's Twist (2 Peter 3:16) Of The Scriptures
In his article, "ETERNAL SECURITY AND PROBLEM PASSAGES" Cloud argues against particular verses in his perverted zeal for eternal security. For example, he writes,
MATTHEW 7:21. This has nothing to do with a believer losing his salvation. To do the will of the Father is certainly not the way to Heaven. It is the evidence of genuine faith in Christ; it is the proof of regeneration. (www.wayoflife.org/fbns/eternalsecurity.htm)
Indeed, doing the will of the Father is evidence of genuine faith, but to say it is not the way to heaven is to deny the very words of Christ.
Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
To take Christ for exactly what He said, Christ clearly teaches that those who do the will of His Father are those who "shall enter the kingdom of heaven." What is it to do the will of the Father? See John 6:29, 38-40; Ephesians 5:8-17.
Cloud also writes,
JOHN 15:6. This passage does not say that a true believer will be cast into Hell; it says that the person who proves not to be a true believer will be cast into Hell. Those who teach that this applies to a true believer read that interpretation into it. The rest of John's Gospel makes this matter very plain. Consider John 1:12,13; 3:14-18,36; 4:14; 5:25; 6:37,40,47; 10:27-30; 11:25; 17:2,3; 20:31. Whatever, therefore, the meaning of John 15:6 in reference to the child of God, it CANNOT mean that the true believer will be rejected and cast into Hell. That would make the promises of Jesus Christ to the believer into a lie. Christ is referring here to the difference between sincere and insincere, true and false believers. (ibid.)
Cloud adds (Proverbs 30:5-6) the idea of "true and false believers" to the text of John 15. The passage says no such thing. It is actually a serious warning to those who are "in Christ" ("Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit," John 15:2), and the passage clearly teaches that someone can certainly be in Christ ("in Me"), not remain in Him, and end up in hell (John 15:9; see also Hebrews 10:26-31).
Cloud also writes,
ROMANS 11:19-23. Consider the context: Paul is not addressing the subject of personal salvation. He is addressing the matter of the Jews and their place in the program of God. Paul is speaking in a general sense of Gentiles and of the Jewish nation. Today God has turned temporarily from the Jews and is calling a people for His name from among the Gentile nations. The day will come when God will again turn to the Jewish nation to fulfill His promises to them. Verses 24-26 make this plain. Paul is speaking in a general sense, not in a personal sense. A careful reading of this chapter illustrates this. (ibid.)
Cloud does a good job here of completely obliterating this passage and removing Paul's serious warning. The context is indeed salvation (from chapter 8 on) and Paul warns,
For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:21-23)
Cloud also writes,
1 CORINTHIANS 9:27. The context here is not Paul's salvation, but his Christian service. (ibid.)
Cloud lies here also. The context is very much Paul's salvation, with his Christian service in view as well. For Paul says in verse 23,
Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
What is Paul wanting to be a partaker of? The gospel (i.e. salvation). This is very much having to do with salvation, for when Paul expresses his concern about being a "castaway," (1 Corinthians 9:27, KJV) he expresses his concern for not being a "reprobate" (KJV for the same Greek word in Romans 1:28; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16). Every time this Greek word (adokimos) is used, it always refers to someone who is hell-bound (see also 2 Corinthians 13:5-7 & Hebrews 6:8), and 1 Corinthians 9:27 is no exception.
Finally, Cloud writes,
PHILIPPIANS 3:9-14. How do we know that verse 11 is not referring to gaining one's salvation through diligent effort? (1) The context is referring not to Paul's salvation, but to his calling.
Here again, David lies and clouds out the truth. Paul says that he counts all things loss that he may "gain" (KJV "win") Christ (Philippians 3:8). Gaining Christ equals gaining salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). But, as Paul says, it is not gained by his "own righteousness" (Philippians 3:9). But, nonetheless, he forsakes all (Luke 14:33; Philippians 3:8) that,
if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
David Cloud is a false teacher who respects those who turn aside to lies (Psalm 40:4; 119:21, 118). Cloud secretly brings in destructive heresies, and denies the God (2 Peter 2:1) who bought him, by denying His word (Titus 1:16). May the Lord save you from those who speak perverse things (Proverbs 2:1-12).
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