Monday, February 24, 2020

Jesus Promised Victory Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Jesus Promised Victory
Author: Ken Gould
Genre:  Non-Fiction, Christian living
Release Date: October 15, 2018

Are you frustrated with trying to live the Christian life?

Do your struggles with sin discourage you?

Have you been taught you can’t ever win the battle . . . that as long as you are living, you will fall short?

Jesus told people to sin no more. Rather than tell them the struggle with sin and Satan would be difficult, He said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus doesn’t ask us to do the impossible.

Ken Gould rejected distorted teachings about God and was an atheist for twenty years, until God revealed His existence to him. Afterward, he recognized Christianity wasn’t something to be taken lightly. His highest priority became to know God and understand His counsel.

Gould says, “It is possible to live a godly life in victory. What we believe about God affects our ability to live a victorious life.”

In this guidebook on living in God’s victory, learn:
  • How to cooperate with God to attain the victory He has for you.
  • How our definition of sin can remove frustration and allow us to live a godly life.
  • How believing lies about God keeps us from escaping our rebellious, sinful attitudes.
  • The interaction between natural laws and sin.
“God’s truth sets us free from Satan’s slavery and it’s lies about God that keep us trapped.”

Click here to get your copy.

My Review

Just as there are physical laws, Gould says, there are spiritual laws. He explores the spiritual laws in depth, identifying then as natural laws. He writes, “...God's laws and counsel are explanations of natural laws and their consequences, given to help us choose wisely.” (Loc 1699/5127) Living a victorious, Christlike, or perfect life, Gould writes, “must be possible and easy when approached in the proper manner.” (Loc 3320/5127)

I found Gould's writing style quite scientific in nature. That Gould is an engineer shows. I would have appreciated some additional editing to create a text more enjoyable to read and with a little more life. I also found the book repetitive. Material is reviewed often, repeating major points several times, especially at the beginning of a chapter. At times a Scripture passage is quoted and then Gould states it again. Here is an example of Gould's writing style: “Satan enjoys deceiving the gullible and unteachable, for it's easy to firmly lock the gullible and unteachable in his prisons, strongholds, and dungeons with his lies about God.” (Loc. 1836/5127)

Potential evangelical readers should know that Gould's favorite author is Ellen G. White. A co-founder of Seventh Day Adventist Church, Gould quotes from her material often. He also quotes from Signs of the Times, a Seventh Day Adventist Magazine, frequently, as well as other Seventh Day Adventist theologians.

Gould discredits the traditional evangelical concept of hell, arguing rather that the wicked are consumed and do not suffer eternal anguish. (Chapter 14. Annihilation is a belief of Seventh Day Adventists.) Gould's ideas about sin and forgiveness and salvation may differ from what many evangelicals believe the Bible teaches.

Of the evangelical teaching “...that Christ's death on the cross appeases God's wrath or anger,” Gould writes, “This isn't scriptural!” (Loc 2634/5127) God does not withhold His forgiveness until we ask. “Jesus forgave many people during His life; none of them asked.” (Loc 2678/5127) That we think God withholds forgiveness until we ask is “demonic and belongs to Satan and his followers.” (Loc 2678/5127) What God does do, Gould says, is “remove sin and sinners from the universe forever.” (Loc 2706/5127) They are destroyed. (Loc 2770/5127) Gould refers frequently to Edward Fudge, a controversial theologian who believed only the saved receive immortality.

Gould also argues that God is not “bloodthirsty” and does not require blood for appeasement. (Chapter 17) “God freely and kindly, or graciously, forgives everyone.” (Loc 3194/5127) “By coming to know God,” Gould writes, “we come to love and admire His character and desire to be like Him. This is eternal life.” (Loc 2649/5127) Jesus' mission of atonement “was to reconcile us to God by revealing His love for us, so we could come to know Him.” (Loc 3459) When we come to know Him and want to be like Him, this restores our relationship to God. (Loc 3922/5127)

If we haven't quite understood Gould's concept of salvation, he includes an Appendix C on the subject. In it he criticizes comments by many evangelicals, including David Neff and Albert Mohler. He positively quotes many Seventh Day Adventist authors and publications in this Appendix.

If you are looking for an exposition of Seventh Day Adventist theology, this is the book for you. If you are an evangelical Christian, you may find that much of the teaching in this book is not to your liking.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author

Ken Gould has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Washington, and a master’s in business administration from the University of Houston, as well as a professional engineering license. His career has included shift supervision, management, technical support,
process development, and projects. He and his wife Kaneeta live near the confluence of the great rivers in the heartland of America where he enjoys being out in nature and sailing.

More from Ken

What’s Taught in Church Doesn’t Work.

Nearly everyone when asked readily admits, that what churches teach doesn’t work. People know this from personal experience and observation. Many are aware behavioral scientists find church members are just as likely to abuse their spouses as the unchurched. Spouse abuse isn’t the only bad behavior that is just as prevalent among church members as the unchurched, other bad behaviors include pornography and child abuse.

In John 8:31 and 32 the Apostle John records Jesus telling the Jews that believed in Him if they hold to His word or His teaching depending on the translation. They are truly His disciples, they will know the truth and it will set them free. Verses 34 to 36 make it clear, Jesus is talking about sin’s slavery. Is it fair to say Church members engaging in these bad behaviors are slaves to sin? Of course. Then these church members aren’t holding to Jesus teachings, aren’t His disciples and haven’t been set free. Put another way the teachings of the church aren’t any more likely to make disciples than the teachings of the world.

This isn’t the only scripture expressing the idea that Jesus came to set us free from slavery or captivity. Luke 4:18 and 19 also expresses the same idea. I like to refer to it as Jesus mission statement. Luke records Jesus selecting it to read when handed the book of Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18, 19 NIV)

After reading it Jesus told them “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). Let’s focus on proclaiming freedom for the prisoners and setting the oppressed free. What prisoners did Jesus set free and who did He set free from oppression? Did Jesus set John the Baptist free from Herod’s prison? No. Did Jesus set the Jews free from Roman oppression? No. So what prisons and oppression did Jesus set people free from? Satan’s prisons where people are enslaved and oppressed by sin.

Where are Satan’s prisons or strongholds and what are they made of? The Apostle Paul tells us about Satan’s strongholds or prisons in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” Here the Apostle Paul tells us Satan’s strongholds or prisons keep the enslaved from knowing God. Can we say Satan’s strongholds and prisons are lies about God?

Since Satan’s prisons and strongholds are lies about God, where do lies get their power? Lies get their power from people who believe them. So we empower Satan’s prisons and strongholds by believing his lies about God. Where are Satan’s prisons and strongholds they located? In our minds.

The character assassin, Satan, imprisons and enslaves us on the road to destruction with lies about God. Truth about God destroys Satan’s lies, freeing us from enslavement in his prisons and strongholds, putting us on the road to life.

How important was the truth about God to Jesus? Jesus tells us in His prayer just before they crucified Him, recorded in John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Jesus tells us the knowledge of God or the truth about God and Himself is the key to eternal life. How often is this important truth taught in church?

What do the churches teach is the key to eternal life? Don’t churches teach the key to eternal life is forgiveness? Jesus told us He separates people, into two groups, like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats when He returns. Most of us are familiar with it, it’s found in Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus also tells the difference between the two groups, the saved and the lost. What does Jesus tell us is the difference between the two groups? Are the two groups the forgiven and the unforgiven? No. The difference between the groups is how they treated the less fortunate, or their actions.

Is Jesus telling us it’s our actions or works that determine our destination? Didn’t Martin Luther discover we are saved by faith not by works? Yes he did. The Apostle John tells us we are judged by our works in Revelation 20:12 and 13. How can we be judged by our works and not saved by them? Our works reveal our character. The Christlike are kind to the less fortunate. The Satanic are mean, hateful, and cruel to God’s children. Our works reveal the condition of our heart.

In church there is much talk about a conversion experience, and often the focal point is the sinner’s prayer. Many times those promoting the sinner’s prayer stress asking for and accepting forgiveness. People often remember when they said the sinner’s prayer and point to it as when they were saved. However, if after praying the sinner’s prayer, we don’t seek God and His ways, our motives, attitudes, or desires won’t change. It is when we come to admire and desire Christ’s motives, attitudes, and desires, that we experience conversion and the process of character transformation begins.

Jesus Promised Victory: Why Does It Seem so Elusive? explains what works, what doesn’t, and why.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 26
Artistic Nobody, February 27 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, February 28
Betti Mace, March 2
Library Lady's Kid Lit, March 3 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, March 5
Through the Fire Blogs, March 7 (Author Interview)

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.


Caryl Kane said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

James Robert said...

Thank you for sharing your book with us. I always look forward to finding out about another great read.

Melissa W said...

I too would have trouble with some of his beliefs.

Debbie P said...

This sounds like an awesome book!

TDK said...

Ive been following this tour and cant wait to read this book!

Luzia Narvz said...

Great Read! This book is insightful and witty with clear cut answers to questions that we all have. This book is a great read with biblical as well as real life examples for anyone of faith or to answer some questions that you've always had.

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