To the man who, based on his own corrupt thoughts, faults Paul the apostle, Paul’s words apply:
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work” (Titus 1:15-16 ESV).
As with all idolatry, the intent and meaning of the Lord’s Words (whether coming directly from His mouth or through others speaking His Message) are perverted by Ed in his carnal worship. In trying to separate the Head (Christ) from His Body (believers filled with His Spirit), Ed dissects a dead corpse of his own making. There’s no Light or Life in his work, from start to finish. Death reigns in confusion and darkness.
And how wouldn’t it be confounding for the one coming into faith and receiving the testimony of God’s servants in the Scriptures, if they were to follow Ed’s version of faith in Christ? Ed labels the testimony of the writers of Scriptures as unreliable, except where they record the Lord’s Words in the Gospels.
“One of the more heinous doctrines ever foisted on the human race is that of the verbal inspiration of the entire Bible — the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. The ‘servants,’ not knowing what their master is doing, erred much throughout the Bible. It is only the Son who reveals the Truth according to his promise:
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:31, 32)”
If the Scriptures aren’t inspired of God, then your faith is in vain, because if those who were sent by God weren’t empowered to convey His faith and fulfill His will, how can you expect to be saved? But you can count on His salvation because He did (and does) empower His servants, because He is Faithful, True and Able. His apostle Peter tells us of how He inspired His servants of old and accomplishes His will to this day:
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21 KJV.
1 Peter 1:10-12 EMTV
(10) Concerning this salvation the prophets have sought out and inquired carefully, having prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
(11) searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ in them was revealing when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories which were to follow:
(12) To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to you they were ministering these things, which things were now announced to you by those who proclaimed the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven–things which angels desire to look into.
One result of the artificial schism Ed creates between the Lord and His Body is an outright dismissal of the apostle Paul’s testimony, whom Ed calls a “liar.” As with other Paul-bashers, Ed produces “evidence” against Paul through tortured reasoning that doesn’t have a shred of credibility. The main thrust of his argument goes like this:
Since Paul is recorded on four occasions in the Scriptures saying he wasn’t lying, therefore he was lying. This must be so, according to Ed, because instead of appealing to human witnesses who could be called forth and heard, Paul appealed to God, Who cannot be brought forth to testify.
“The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed forever, knows that I do not lie” (2 Corinthians 11:31 MKJV).
“And what I write to you, behold, before God, I do not lie” (Galatians 1:20 MKJV).
First, Ed’s premise that Paul said he wasn’t lying because he was reacting to accusations that he had been lying, isn’t correct. Paul was speaking to believers who knew he wasn’t lying. His wasn’t trying to convince them that he spoke the Truth, but was emphasizing the import of the Truth he was telling them.
Paul was saying to them, “Listen, people – those whom I have birthed in the Truth from God – I am yet telling you the same Truth in Him that you might come to your spiritual senses from which the carnal among you waylay you.”
If Paul was being charged with something specific that could have been settled by personal witnesses, it would have been made clear and dealt with accordingly. But because it was the Gospel Paul preached in Christ that was being challenged and sabotaged, he called on the One Who gave witness to what he was saying. The matter was between his hearers and their Lord and Savior, so Who else should be appealed to for direction and confirmation?
And this is the second point: Who says God can’t be called upon to witness to the Truth? Only one who doesn’t believe He is Who He is, that He cares and answers His people:
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 MKJV).
Appealing to God on his audience’s behalf was a sign, not of lying, but of telling the Truth, because Paul had the fruits of veracity from God. Those for the Truth knew this:
“And because of this we give thanks to God without ceasing, that having received the Word of hearing from us, you welcomed it as of God, not as a word of men, but as it is, truly the Word of God, which also works in you, the ones believing” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 LITV).
Romans 8:14-16 MKJV
(14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
(15) For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!
(16) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
John says to his hearers, the children of Truth:
“I have not written to you because you do not know the Truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the Truth” (1 John 2:21 MKJV).
John also tells the saints that he wasn’t lying, which those walking in faith knew to be so:
“This is the disciple who testifies of these things and wrote these things. And we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24 MKJV).
John the Immerser said this of those who received the Lord Jesus Christ, the Fount of Truth:
“He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true” (John 3:33 MKJV).
But Ed hasn’t received the Lord’s testimony, whether directly or through Paul or any other servant of God. Ed believes himself before he believes the Lord Jesus Christ and His messengers.
“Let it not be! But let God be true, and every man a liar [beginning with oneself]; as it is written, ‘That You might be justified in Your sayings, and will overcome when You are judged’” (Romans 3:4 MKJV).
Instead of God being true through those He sends to speak His Words, Ed counts himself as true and God as the liar. Ed says we can’t take Paul’s word for it that he wasn’t lying (which is true – we know Paul wasn’t lying because of God’s Word and Testimony), but then asks us to take his word for it – only a supposition – that Paul lied because “repetitive denials of accusations imply or suggest guilt.”
Ed’s conclusion that Paul lied clearly has no foundation or merit. It is gross hypocrisy and wickedness. Ed is the liar. Those who listen to and follow him end up in the ditch of hell while who follow the faith of Christ lived and preached by Paul enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV).
You can read more about the confounded doctrine of “Jesus’ Words Only” here.
As for Ed’s other objections, they are addressed by and large at these links:
NOTE: At http://www.voiceofjesus.org/index134.html we read:
“If you had sent a message to him over the years and did not receive a reply, it was due to poor health and the inability to correspond. Please know that your correspondence was always appreciated by him, and that the VOJ will continue to live on in this world giving witness to the Words of Jesus as long as our Lord allows.”
Unless someone can inform us differently, those words prove Ed was under God’s wrath, not that we would believe otherwise, seeing he opposed God and His beloved servant, the apostle Paul. Those serving God do not perish by lingering illness. See Do Faithful Christians Die from Terrible Diseases?
June 21, 2017