Sunday, October 25, 2020

Grace Empowerment

 .... God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:6b-7). Grace is not passive acquiescence to Satan's devices. Grace is empowerment to overcome satanic attacks.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Different rules for Different Kinds of Prayers (Part 4)



H. A. Ironside’s Teaching on Isaiah 45:7

H. A. Ironside’s Teaching on Isaiah 45:7
By Troy J. Edwards

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

I have examined this passage multiple times as it remains a source of contention with those of us who know that God is good, does nothing evil, but recognize that the Bible is the divinely inspired and authoritative written Word of God.

In all  of my writings on this we have shown through comparing Scripture with Scripture and by citing students of Scripture (past and present) that the passage must be read in a permissive rather than in a causative sense. I was delighted to run across an affirmation by yet another well-respected figure in the church who affirms this understanding.
H. A. Ironside, the well-respected pastor of Moody Church in Chicago from 1929 to 1948 and prolific writer of many books and Bible commentaries, had this to say on the passage:

“I create peace and I create evil.” What does that mean? Extreme high Calvinists insist that GOD has foreordained everything that takes place on the earth; therefore that man should sin, in order that He might have opportunity to display His redemptive grace. But that is not what is involved here when He says, “I create peace and I create evil.” It is evil in the sense of calamity. In other words, if there is a thunderstorm and great damage is done, GOD says, “I take full responsibility for it”; if everything is fair and beautiful GOD says, “This is from Me”; if there is a great earthquake, GOD is behind that. Whatever it is, “I the Lord create peace, I create evil.” And so we read, "Shall there be evil in a city and the Lord hath not done it?" (Amo_3:6).


GOD takes the responsibility for everything that occurs, but it is not always that He is working directly Himself, but that He permits others to work. For instance, He permitted Satan to try Job. But the point here is that there are not two great powers in the universe in conflict with each other, both of whom are god, a good god and an evil god; but there is one GOD, though there is an evil power working against Him. (Ironside Notes on Selected Books, E-Sword Edition; Emphasis are mine)

I believe that this is a beautiful explanation of Isaiah 45:7. It helps us to understand the Old Testament language and removes the need for us to apply the marcionist idea of rejecting any portion of Scripture that does not appear to fit with our understanding of God as He is represented by Jesus the Messiah. Isaiah 45:7 is Scripture, but must be understood in the wide context of full Biblical revelation concerning God’s loving and holy character.


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Sunday, October 11, 2020

God's Promises are His Will

 "God's Promises. Faith without something to believe would not avail us anything. Neither would a promise avail us anything without faith to demonstrate that promise. But thank God, faith has a solid basis--the promises of God. God's promises are his WILL."
O. L. Yerty, Christ the Master of all Diseases, p. 17


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Praying To Receive Faith?

Some of the “doubt theologians” who promote a “faith lottery” teaching tell us that one of the ways to appropriate faith is for a person to pray and ask God to give it to him.  But this is not a Biblical teaching because faith is a prerequisite for answered prayer. Paul writes:
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom. 10:13-14)

Take note of the questions Paul asks here. There are obvious answers to them. One cannot call on God if they have not believed and one cannot believe if they have not heard. Faith is a prerequisite to answered prayer.

Paul goes on to tell us in verse 17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith is not obtained by asking God for it but by “hearing.” Divine healing and other miracles are not for the preselected few who won the “faith lottery.” The means for appropriating faith is available to anyone who has access to God’s Word.  The great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody wrote:
And so, instead of praying for faith and mourning because we haven't got faith, let us study the Word of God and get acquainted with the God of Israel, and then we will have faith in Him. You can't find a man or woman that is acquainted with God, but that has strong faith in God.1
Moody is also recorded as having said, “If I had spent as much time in reading my Bible and in learning about Christ as I have in praying for faith, I should have a great deal more of it.”2 Like Moody, we believe that praying for faith is a waste of time. God has already provided the means by which we are to appropriate faith for any specific situation that we encounter.

Therefore, we do not pray to receive faith. If we prayed and ask God to receive faith then that means that we are not in possession of faith at the time that we are praying. Since the only way to receive answers to prayer is by faith, we cannot expect an answer to prayer to receive faith since it would take faith to receive the answer.

Hebrews 11:6 says “for he that cometh to God must believe.” Therefore, coming to God to ask for faith already disqualifies us.
1. Moody, Dwight L.  Glad Tidings (New York: E. B. Treat, 1876), p. 175
2. Quoted by Drummond, Henry “Our Religious Life” an article in The Magazine of Christian Literature, Volumes 1-2 (New York: The Christian Literature Co., 1889, 1890), p. 233 


Different Rules for Different Kinds of Prayers (Part 2)


Thursday, October 1, 2020

God's Goodness and His Provision

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)

Take note that God declares Himself as good and then connects His goodness to the fact that He provides for His children.

If I neglected my family by never working or taking care of them then there is no one who would call me a good father or husband, and rightfully so. I would be considered a bad man. Even the Scriptures themselves would declare me worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8).

The problem with most Christians is that we believe that God has double-standards and that He can act in ways that He would forbid us to act in while still claiming to be good. Beloved, God would not be good if He did not provide for His loved ones. Again, He connects His goodness to His provision and we have no right to disconnect it.

Our faith is strengthened by the fact that God is good, and we can taste and see this by trusting Him to take care of every need. Because he is good it is within His very nature to supply our need. If we are not seeing God’s provision then He is not at fault nor should He be blamed. The defect is with our faith.