Saturday, November 16, 2019

He Only Permits, P. 147


Because of the challenges that we get from those who do not bother to read our books or listen to our teachings but only want to debate over our social media memes:

This meme is a brief explanation from one of my books explaining the Bible's teaching on what we call the "permissive sense." It is certainly not the Calvinist idea that softens their false predestination teachings nor is it just another (nicer) way of saying that God was the cause of something terrible.

"Permission" is God granting the freedom to His creatures to work with Him in creating their future and His invitation to partner with Him in determining their circumstances. It is also the sad non-compulsive way in which He will cooperate with our desire to keep Him from working in our lives if we do not want Him (See Psalm 81:7-16; Job 21:14 and many others).


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Friday, November 15, 2019

Does God LITERALLY Harden Hearts?

Does God LITERALLY Harden Hearts?

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. (Exodus 10:27; King James Version)

But JEHOVAH permitted Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened, so that he would not send them away. (A Translation of the Old Testament Scriptures from the Original Hebrew By Helen Spurrell) 

Commentary: “Nothing but a total unacquaintance with the Oriental style could have, hence, given rise to the absurd idea, that God really hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Everywhere in Scripture God is said to do what he permits, whether good or bad, and especially if the thing done be uncommon, and out of the ordinary course of things. Let it suffice to have, once for all, made this remark…. Yet I will permit his heart to be so hardened that he will not let the people go.”

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Notes

Barrett, Richard A. F. A Synopsis of Criticism Upon Those Passages of the Old Testament in which Modern Commentators have Differed, Vol. I (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1847), p. 208

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Rescued from the Father or Satan? (Meme)



Jesus did not come to rescue us from a wrathful, angry Father (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8). Instead, “God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:13; Contemporary English Version)

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Does God LITERALLY Send Evil Spirits?

Does God LITERALLY Send Evil Spirits?

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (1 Samuel 16:23; KJV)

Whenever God allowed the evil spirit to afflict Saul, David would play the harp, Saul would be relieved of his torment, and the evil spirit would depart. (v. 23; The VOICE)

Commentary: “It only remains to say that there is need of no other agency from God than the permissive.* Satan never needs to be sent on such a mission; it is only requisite that the Lord suffer him to go. Such permission is one feature in that awful retribution which God must send upon apostate souls. They having chosen sin and rebellion rather than obedience, and, consequently, evil rather than good, God leaves them to their own guilty choice, to ‘eat the fruit of their own way, and to be filled with their own devices.’”1

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Notes

1. Cowles, Henry Hebrew History from the Death of Moses to the Close of the Scripture Narrative (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1875), p. 139

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Deaths of Ananias and Sapphira

The Deaths of Ananias and Sapphira

By Troy J. Edwards

(An Excerpt from our book, “Does God Send Sickness”)

Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold some property, gave some of the money to the church while pretending to give it all away. Peter told Ananias that he lied to the Holy Spirit. This brought God’s judgment upon him:

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things (Acts 5:3-5)

Peter does not predict or inflict judgment upon Ananias as some have claimed. There is no indication that Peter even knew what would happen to Ananias until it did. After seeing what happened to Ananias Peter was able to accurately predict Sapphira’s death (Acts 5:7-10). But Peter does not claim that Sapphira’s death is the result of having been struck down by God.
Some argue that the fact that both Ananias and Sapphira died in the exact same manner proves that the death was divinely inflicted. This is not necessarily true. We live in a culture where “shame of exposure” is not the major issue that it is in more shame-based cultures such as the orient. Furthermore, we don’t seem to realize how much God actually protects us, even in our sins. It is indeed possible that both husband and wife can go through the same embarrassing shock. Add to the fact that as a result of judgment the Holy Spirit removed His protective presence (or rather, they pushed Him away), their hearts were unable to handle what this shock and fear had done to their systems and their hearts shut down on them. This is a passive judgment:

No causative agent of Ananias' death is reported beyond Ananias’ own behavior and response. Likewise with Sapphira, though she learns (from Peter) that she has tempted the Lord’s Spirit (5:9), this same Spirit—though dynamically explosive thus far in Acts—makes no retaliatory move. Sapphira is blown away by no mighty wind and burnt up by no fiery tongues; again, she simply collapses and expires.1

These scholars also write, “True, Ananias dies as he hears these words [of Peter].... but these are words of revelation and accusation, not retribution and execution.”2 When God is passive and is no longer protecting a person or nation, Satan takes advantage of the opportunity (Job 1-2; Eph. 4:26, 27; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Pet. 5:8-10).
Peter never once blames God for the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira. On the contrary, Peter attributed all healing to God and all sickness to the devil only five chapters later when he said, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him (Acts 10:38).
Despite these Biblical facts, there have been a number of speculations about Ananias’ death. The most widely held idea is that God personally killed him. Some believe it was an angel that struck him (similar to Herod in Acts 12 – a passage we will examine momentarily), others believe that the devil did it and still others believe that the shock of his sin being exposed caused Ananias to have a heart attack. I believe that it is a combination of the latter two.
Those of us who place Satan as the cause of death believe that the judgment upon Ananias was similar to the standard judgment Paul outlines in 1 Cor. 5:5 which says, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh.” One commentator writes:

(5) Ananias hearing these words fell down.— It is to be noted that St. Peter's words, while they press home the intensity of the guilt, do not contain any formal sentence. In such a case we may rightly trace that union of natural causation and divine purpose which we express in the familiar phrase that speaks of “the visitation of God” as a cause of death. The shame and agony of detection, the horror of conscience not yet dead, were enough to paralyze the powers of life. Retribution is not less a divine act because it comes, through the working of divine laws, as the natural consequence of the sin which draws it down. It was necessary, we may reverently say, that this special form of evil, this worst corruption of the best, should be manifestly condemned on its first appearance by a divine judgment. And we must remember that there is a silence which we may not dare to break as to all but the visible judgment. The dominant apostolic idea of such punishments was that men were delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. v. 5). St, Peter himself speaks of those who are “judged according to men in the flesh,” who yet “live according to God in the spirit” (1 Pet. iv. 6).3 (Emphasis are mine)

God is not the inflictor of disease and death. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that they should turn and live (Eze. 33:11). As wicked as Ananias and Sapphira were, God had no pleasure in their deaths.

Notes
1. Walton, Steve Reading Acts Today (New York: t & T Clark International, 2011), p. 67
2. Ibid, p. 68
3. Ellicott, Charles John The New Testament commentary for English Readers (New York: Cassell and Company, LTD, 1884), p. 27


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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Does God LITERALLY Kill?

Does God LITERALLY Kill?

He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about. He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire. (Lamentations 2:3-4; KJV)

Cut down by God’s anger, the pride and strength of Israel falls; He withdrew His right hand and stood back and allowed Israel’s enemies to wreak havoc in the land. God has burned and consumed Jacob in an insatiable fire. (v. 3; The VOICE)

Commentary: The International Standard Version Reads, “He withdrew his protection as the enemy approached.” God does not “kill” by physically bringing harm. When we choose to rebel against Him, we remove ourselves from under His protective presence. This gives an open door for our enemies to destroy us. All Scripture implying that God killed, smote, or slew should be understood in this manner.


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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

My Grace is Sufficient for Thee



“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

God Did NOT Say:

  1. “No!” to Paul’s request to have the thorn removed. Paul said “he will yet deliver us; ye also helping together by prayer for us” (2 Cor. 1:8-11). Prayer delivers from trials.

  1. “Paul, learn to just grin and bear it.” Paul said “our present troubles are small and won’t last very long” (2 Cor. 4:17-18; New Living Translation)

  1. “My grace will allow you to tolerate Satan’s thorn.” God’s grace is given to enable us to resist Satan’s attacks (James 4:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:5-10). Paul taught that we are to take an aggressive stand against Satan (Eph. 6:10-18)


Read your Bible and stop reading things INTO your Bible that are not there.

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