Thursday, June 17, 2021

Submitting to God or Yielding to Satan? by A. B. Simpson

 “He shows us the difference between true and false submission and the weakness that yields to sickness and Satan, and on the other hand, the true patience that lovingly bows to the will of God, but refuses the weights that the adversary would put upon us.” 
Simpson, Albert B. The Holy Spirit or Power from on High: Part 1, The Old Testament (New York: The Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1895), p. 61



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Saturday, May 29, 2021

A Good God Did Not Create the Evil One by Ruth Paxson

 “That a good God created everything good is a logical supposition, for the character of God must be expressed in His works. But when God says that every creation of His was ‘very good,’ then the statement is lifted out of the realm of supposition into that of fact. God, then, did not create evil nor did He create the evil one as the evil one.” 
Ruth Paxson, Life on the Highest Plane, p. 61



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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Ministry and Warfare by Albert B. Simpson

 Some tough words for those of us in ministry by the late Albert B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church:

"If you have not won your personal victory, you will not be of much use in trying to help others. You will find in every Christian effort you make that you will be opposed not only by the indifference, willfulness and folly of men and women, but that Satan will do everything in his power to discourage and defeat you.

"This is the very first thing the Christian worker must learn, that we wrestle with principalities and powers and all the hosts of hell. If you allow yourself to be discouraged by difficulties, the Lord can never make much use of you. If you expect to serve God only when everything goes nicely and the people are like angels, you had better ask the Lord to take you to heaven at once."
Simpson, Albert B. The Christ in the Bible Commentary, Volume 4 (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1993), p. 191

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Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Adversary, and Not God, Brings Adversity

 

The Adversary, and Not God, Brings Adversity
 
Troy J. Edwards

 
Most of my readers are aware of my habit of searching through different English translations to get a better understanding of a Bible passage’s meaning. While doing a study on Isaiah 63:9, I found several translations of it that was very interesting. The first of these that I will cite is E. W. Bullinger:
 
In all their adversity, He was no adversary, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old. (Isaiah 63:9; E. W. Bullinger Companion Bible)
 
What does that mean? It means that since God was not Israel’s adversary, He was not the source of their adversity. On the contrary, God sent His angel to save them from their adversity. On the other hand, we are told that Satan is our adversary and the source of all of the adversity that we experience in this world:
 
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
 
Scripture refers to the devil as our adversary and the source of our afflictions. The Collin’s Thesaurus lists the following synonyms for afflictions: “misfortune, suffering, trouble, trial, disease, pain, distress, grief, misery, plague, curse, ordeal, sickness, torment, hardship, sorrow, woe, adversity, calamity, scourge, tribulation, wretchedness.”
No matter what we want to call them, these afflictions or adversities that we suffer in this world have Satan rather than God as their source. Another translation of Isaiah 63:9 helps to make this point:
 
In all their affliction, He was not a foe; and the Messenger of his Face saved them. In His love and in His pity He was their kinsman-redeemer. And He bore them up, and lifted them up all the days of old. (Isaiah 63:9; Hebrew Roots Bible)
 
Peter tells us that our afflictions come from one who is an adversary to us. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines an adversary as “a person, group, or force that opposes or attacks; opponent; enemy; foe.” God assures us that He is not our adversary or foe. This role is fulfilled quite well by Satan. Therefore, when we are going through the storms of life, let us place the blame where it truly belongs, which is on the devil. Then let us resist Satan using God’s Word.
 
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For more insight into this topic, we highly recommend our book, “Stop Blaming God For the Work of the Enemy.”

 



 
Visit www.vindicatinggod.org for more details

 


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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

God Taking Responsibility in the Old Testament


God Taking Responsibility in the Old Testament
 
By Troy J. Edwards


Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man (James 1:13)

As most of us are aware, the Bible, though a divinely inspired book, has some troubling passages. Scripture reveals that God is loving, merciful, kind, gracious, forgiving, patient, longsuffering, etc. We learn that He hates evil and is compassionate towards those who suffer from it. But then we are told in this very same book that He afflicts with sickness and disease, brings disaster, deceives, tempts, gives people evil spirits, creates evil, hardens hearts, moves men to do evil, etc.
 
The way to rectify these apparent contradictions has been to understand what scholars have coined “the permissive sense”. That is, to understand the passages that make God appear to be harsh and cruel were things that were not directly caused by God but simply not prevented by Him for various reasons.
 
In conjunction with the permissive sense is to also understand the Bible as a progressive revelation. In the earlier times in which Scripture was written, due to Israel’s weakness for constantly slipping into idolatry, it would have done more harm than good to reveal too much knowledge about Satan’s activities. Therefore, God often took responsibility for actions that He would later reveal were actually Satan’s doing (compare 2 Samuel 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 21:1).
 
With that said, I recently ran across a commentary on James 1:13 by Dr. Peter H. Davids that sheds more light on this subject:
 
But what about “God does not tempt [test] anyone”? To deal with this problem we must consider the development of doctrine within and between the testaments. Old Testament Hebrews, at least in their earlier period, traced all events directly back to God. Whatever happened, God caused it. This level of revelation was quite appropriate, since God’s first task with Israel was to convince them that there was only one God for them to worship. Beginning late in the Old Testament, however, and continuing into the intertestamental period, it became clear that other beings often actually caused the test.[1]
 
When we learn to keep this truth in our minds as we are reading Scripture, we will be careful not to read into it the false ideas that God is actually the author of sickness, disaster, and other evils.
 
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We have a couple of videos addressing this issue that we highly recommend. Click on the links below to watch:
 
 
 
We also recommend our book, The Bible Principle of Accommodation, where we have two chapters on this subject. Also, be on the lookout for our upcoming book, “God Taking Responsibility for Satan’s Work: Understanding Bible Passages that Question God’s Character”.
 




[1] Davids, Peter H. “James” in Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downer’s Grove, Il: Intervarsity Press, 1996), p. 695

  



Friday, February 26, 2021

Does God do "Terrible" Things?


 
As I pointed out last night, there is a reason why one must spend effort to understand the loving nature of God if they are using a King James Version of the Bible.


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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Abraham, Isaac and Human Sacrifice (Part 1)


 

In Genesis 22:1, 2 we are told that God "tempted" Abraham when He asked him to perform a pagan ritual by sacrificing his son, Isaac. Yet, it was a ritual that God expresses hatred towards in other parts of scripture (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-4; Deut. 12:31; 2 Kings 21:6; Jer. 7:31; 19:5; 32:35; Eze. 20:31). Sadly, this has left some to question the loving character of God and others to use this passage as justification for murder. In this three part teaching series, we will study the narrative very carefully and discover that God never told Abraham to slay his son nor did He tell him to burn him as a sacrifice. We will also see that Abraham himself misunderstood God's command to him.

Visit www.vindicatinggod.org for more information. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Monday, February 15, 2021

Frederick K. C. Price and the Character of God


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Most of us thought of the late Apostle Frederick K. C. Price as primarily a gifted teacher on the "faith principles" of the Scriptures. What most may not fully recognize is that the foundation of Apostle Price's message was a true understanding of God's loving character. In this tribute to one of God's greatest servants in our generation, Pastor Troy J. Edwards shows us how Dr. Price helped us to understand that one's faith is no stronger than one’s understanding of God’s character and nature. Failure to understand this truth about God leads, not to faith, but fatalism. We will learn how Dr. Price taught a generation of Christians how to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12)

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Dr. Frederick K. C. Price on Standing on God's Promises


 “Instead of thanking God for whatever calamity Satan throws against us, we should stand on the Word and thank God for the solution He promises us in His Word for that challenge.” 
Apostle Frederick K. C. Price, Beware the Lies of Satan, p. 95
 
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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Dr. Frederick K. C. Price on God's Will in Sickness


 
We will be doing a tribute to this servant of God in today's service at 11:30am (Eastern). Watch online at https://www.facebook.com/cvbibleteachingcenter/live/

 
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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Did God Cause Women to Have Pain in Child Birth?



 Did God Cause Women to Have Pain in Child Birth?
 
Troy J. Edwards
 

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.  (Genesis 3:16)
 
The Context Group Version is indicative of how many modern translations render this passage: “I will greatly multiply your pain and your conception; in pain you shall produce sons.” Basically, the way Genesis 3:16 is rendered in most translations, we are led to believe that, due to Eve’s transgression, God personally punished her by ensuring that she (and all women afterwards) would suffer pain and agony when having babies.
 
The Automatic Consequences of Sin
 
The idea that God personally ensured that the woman would have pain in bearing children makes God appear to be vindictive. God who told us that loving those who choose to do us harm is acting as He would act (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-36). Furthermore, He left us an example to follow (Luke 23:33-34; 1 Peter 2:21-23). Would this same God had behaved differently in the Garden of Eden by immediately afflicting pain upon Eve because she wronged Him? The answer is an emphatic “No!”
 
A careful reading of the passage will show us that God was not declaring what He will do to the woman as payback or punishment for her disobedience. On the contrary, He was announcing to her (as well as Adam), or rather, lovingly preparing her for, the automatic consequences that she and her husband brought upon themselves due to their sin. Keep in mind Romans 5:12:
 
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
 
Notice that it is not “death by God” but death by sin. Death was released into the world, not by any power from God, but by Adam’s sin. Since God did not originate sin then neither is He the producer of its consequences. The punishment for sin is within the sin itself. It is not inflicted by God but comes just as a seed automatically brings forth a harvest (Galatians 6:5-7). As the late Bible expositor, Alexander McLaren, said concerning Genesis 3:16:
 
The fatal consequences came with a rush. There is a gulf between being tempted and sinning, but the results of the sin are closely knit to it. They come automatically, as surely as a stream from a fountain.[1] (Emphasis are mine)
 
The power of death was never something that was wielded by God as an instrument of punishment against mankind. The power of death was utilized solely by Satan (Hebrews 2:14-15). By yielding to Satan, the first couple placed themselves under his dominion along with all of the pain commensurate with such an allegiance (Genesis 2:15-17; Romans 5:14).
 
We must remember that death is not merely the cessation of bodily function. Cessation of the body is only a symptom of death. Death is actually synonymous with “evil” and the “curse,” therefore, entailing all the pain, sickness and misery in the world (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; 30:15, 19). One of the symptoms of the death that Eve placed herself under was an increase in pain during child bearing. As Stuart D. Briscoe explained:
 
Despite the promise of blessing through the woman and the process of childbearing, first there will be pain and anguish through the same experience. Death was the consequence of sin and the first indications of death that woman would feel would be pain in the very act of giving life. The awful irony of sins’ consequences is that even the most blessed events are often tainted with the odor of death.[2]
 
Another Bible expositor adds concerning Genesis 3:16, “Apparently the former penalty was to be the natural consequence of the inroads of sin on the human body …. Sin brought sorrow into the world, and continues to do so: the multiplication of sins results only in the multiplication of sorrows.”[3]
 
God is Not the Afflicter of Woman’s Childbirth Pain
 
The phrase “I will greatly multiply” is the Hebrew word “râbâh”. It is used twice in the King James Version’s rendering of Genesis 3:16 as “greatly” and “multiply”. When you read the passage in a Lexicon then it becomes obvious that the words “I will” were added by the translators. In most cases, there is nothing wrong with that, but in this case, it is done via a doctrinal bias since the KJV translators (who were predominantly “Calvinistic” in their worldview)[4] believed that God was the “first cause” of everything that happens. Furthermore, they believed in a God that personally punished. However, note the passage below also from Genesis:
 
And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. (Genesis 7:17)
 
The word “increased” is also from the Hebrew word “râbâh”. This time the translators did not add anything to it, and rightly so. The automatic consequences of constant rain is an increase of water. Thankfully, some translations took note of this and rendered Genesis 3:16 without adding the “I will” that is not in the original Hebrew, thus removing the idea that God personally ensured that women would endure pain in birthing children:
 

To the woman he said, Great will be your pain in childbirth; in sorrow will your children come to birth; still your desire will be for your husband, but he will be your master. (Bible in Basic English)

 

Then the Lord said to the woman, “You will suffer terribly when you give birth. But you will still desire your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Contemporary English Version)

 
I think these translations are more accurate based on what I see in the Hebrew (not that I am an expert mind you, but I did look through a couple of Lexicons to draw my conclusions). Also, some Bible paraphrases are helpful as well:
 

Then God said to the woman, “You shall bear children in intense pain and suffering; yet even so, you shall welcome your husband’s affections, and he shall be your master.” (The Living Bible)

 

To the woman he said, “Because my design of love has now been replaced with fear and selfishness, having and raising children will be very hard and filled with sorrow. Fearful, you will seek protection from your stronger husband, but he will dominate you.” (Timothy R. Jennings Expanded Paraphrase)

 

Turning to the woman, God said, “Because you have sinned, childbearing will be painful for you. And because you desired to control your husband, you will be subject to him.” (The Clear Word by Dr. Jack C. Blanco)

 
Hence, I believe that the passage should be understood in the sense that Adam and Eve brought this on themselves through their sin. As God once told Israel, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help” (Hosea 13:9).

In light of the above, perhaps the best way to paraphrase Genesis 3:16 would be, “The automatic consequences of your sin have affected your body in such a way that your pain will be increased when giving birth.” God is never the cause of any pain, including the woman’s birthing pains. Rather, He is the One who saves us from the consequences of our own rebellion, including Eve’s (1 Timothy 2:14-15). Amen.

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[1] MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Genesis 3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mac/genesis-3.html.

[2] Briscoe, Stuart D. The Communicator's Commentary: Genesis (Waco, TX: Word Books, Publisher, 1987), p. 65

[3] College Press Bible Study Textbook Series: Genesis, E-Sword edition.

[4] Edwards, Troy J. The Permissive Sense: Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation that Vindicates God’s Character of Love (Pawtucket, RI: Vindicating God Ministries, 2018), see pp. 31-44.




 
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

John Wesley on Prayer


 
“God does nothing but in answer to prayer; and even they who have been converted to God without praying for it themselves, (which is exceeding rare,) were not without the prayers of others. Every new victory which a soul gains is the effect of a new prayer.” 
Wesley, John A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, from The Works of the Rev. John Wesley Vol. XI (London: Thomas Cordeux, 1812), p. 241
 
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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Prophecy and Prayer

Quite often we receive general prophecies for our nations and churches or personal prophecies. However, we make a sad mistake in thinking that if it is a true prophecy then it will automatically happen. Prayer is vital in fulfilling prophecy (see Jeremiah 29:10-14; Daniel 9:1-3; 2 Samuel 7:17, 25-29).

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