Voice of God Recordings - Because He Said So - Part 4:
In the newsletter "Because He Said So," published by Voice of God Recordings to offer a defense of the fundamental issues with their printed material, various aspects of the Bible are placed in question. Using this strategy, they cleverly attack what they claim are issues in chronology, what they claim are differing witness testimony, and what they would like for you to believe are conflicting details in the supernatural events. As the public became aware that William Branham's ministry contains the same type of issues, it became necessary for them to lower the importance of Scripture to raise importance of Branham.
This strategy continues by placing the conversion of the Apostle Paul into question. And the title of the article uses the phrase "Fiercely Contested," leading the reader to believe that many others -- Christians and atheists alike -- also question the details presented in Scripture about the light in the wilderness and whether or not the men heard the voice speaking. But they take things to a new level in this section, because they ask the reader to believe a lie. As it became public knowledge that they were printing materials containing statements that were simply not true, it became necessary to convince cult followers that they can AND SHOULD believe a lie.
If a normal (not programmed) Christian if the person standing next to them heard a voice, and that person answered, "Yes I did and No I did not," a huge problem arises. The person cannot hear something that he did not hear. And the person cannot claim that they did not hear something that they did in fact hear -- otherwise, they would be lying. So a normal (not programmed) Christian would quickly understand that this person next to them is either lying or is mentally insane.
Voice of God Recordings would have you believe that the men with Paul during this experience both DID and DID NOT hear the voice. The author asks, "So which account of Paul's experience is true?" And then he answers for the reader, "THEY ALL ARE!" And then introduces another concept that they want to train the user to understand as it applies to the fundamental issues in their printed materials: The "natural eye" (they mention) versus the "spiritual eye." (they assume). In other words, if you catch William Branham in a lie, and you believe him to be lying, you must have a "natural eye." But if you have the "spiritual eye" they have the ability to program into their following, then you will ignore instances where you catch William Branham in a lie. In fact, the author writes, "The 'inconsistency' is not in the Message, but in the way they [a person who questions] judges the Message."
In the previous studies, we have explained the different ways in which Christian apologists defend the faith. The person who believes in Scriptural Inerrancy must defend the faith by presenting an answer as to why both sides of the argument are true, while Christians who do not follow this belief system will simply explain that the Divinely Inspired text was written by men and copied by men.
In this example, however, it would be good to point out that the Bible was not originally written in English. Most in the cult following of William Branham refuse to study any Bible other than the revised King James Version (Even though William Branham studied from other versions such as the Lamsa Bible). Not understanding the methods of "text criticism" that the King James translators used to determine which passages of scripture were the closest to the original transcripts that did not exist, the cult followers do not fully understand the complications in translation. And they especially do not understand the problems faced by the translators during the time of King James -- most in the cult would be shocked to learn that the translators of the 1611 version of the King James Bible admitted that the text was only as accurate as the limited number of transcripts and the limited understanding of the language. And some of the books of the Bible were translated through multiple languages before they were written in Greek and finally English. During this process, words and phrases can sometimes take on different meanings.
There are varying answers to the question Voice of God Recordings presents to their cult followers, but one of them given by Christian apologists deals with these issues in translation.
In Acts 22, the phrase in question can also be literally translated as "They did not hear the sound." The NIV correctly translates the verse as "to hear," as opposed to "to understand."
From Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry:
"Literally, that clause in 22:9 may be translated, “They did not hear the sound.” The NIV correctly translates the verse, because the verb “to hear” with the genitive case may mean “to hear a sound” and with the accusative case “to hear with understanding.” The genitive case is employed in 9:7, and the accusative is used in 22:9. So the travelers with Saul heard the sound (9:7) but did not understand what Christ said (22:9). Thus in Acts 9:7, “hearing the voice,” the noun “voice” is in the partitive genitive case [i.e., hearing (something) of], whereas in 22:9, “they heard not the voice,” the construction is with the accusative. This removes the idea of any contradiction. The former indicates a hearing of the sound, the latter indicates the meaning or message of the voice (this they did not hear). “The former denotes the sensational perception, the latter (the accusative case) the thing perceived."
No matter which defense of the faith you give as an answer, the bottom line is as William Branham himself often stated: "let black be black and white be white." In other words, truth cannot be false, and a lie cannot be true. What Voice of God Recordings would have you believe (a lie) is exactly what the Bible warns us against:
"The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Voice of God Recordings, Catch The Vision Update, 2012 Volume 2, "Because He Said So"