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


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.
For more insight into this topic, we highly recommend our book, “Stop Blaming God For the Work of the Enemy.”


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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.
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