Why do you Judge?
The Passion Movie
Concordant Teachings?
Polygamy is Not for the Righteous Man
A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations
I Need Some Guidance
Theological Double-Speak

Dear Mr. Smith,

My name is Ed [ ... ] and I am 33 years old. I became a born again Christian when I was 10 years old. I have been reading and studying the bible for many years and felt the need to write you after stumbling upon your website.

I must commend you on your knowledge and your passion to study and learn the truth and I do agree with the majority of what you say.

The only thing that disturbs me about your website and others like it is that, it seems to be a harbor for division among Christians. Let's face it, when Christ died on the cross, he defeated Satan, death and sin, so how can Satan possibly win the battle with Christ... he cant, but what he can do is take the followers of Christ and divide them.

It's so sad for me to read how you condemn Christians like Jack Van Impe, John Hagee, and others, and it also disturbs me to see how their followers condemn you and your beliefs. The truth is (from what I'm reading) we are all Christians who believe that Christ lived, died for our sins, rose, and will return. That should be the ONLY important thing. Not whether there is a hell or whether there will be a rapture.

The people on this site are losing focus of what is important and let me tell you Satan is enjoying every minute of watching Jesus' own followers tearing each other down. Jesus said do not cause your Christian brother to stumble and Do not judge lest you be judged.

I would hope Mr. Smith if you were in a room with John Hagee the two of you would hug and share in the love you both have for Christ and he has for you and not concern yourselves with needless arguing and posturing over who is right. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth, not a website or a preacher.

How do you think Jesus would react to the kind of hatred I see on this website. I don't agree with a lot of what John Hagee or Pat Robertson or Billy Graham or you have to say, but I love you all as fellow Christian brothers and pray for peace between ALL men.

I'm not saying by the way that I'm against people expressing their different opinions, it's just that it seems to be with either hate or a "I know more than you" attitude which in my opinion is not only boastful but goes against everything Jesus taught us.

Thank you for listening to me and please respond if you wish.

God bless you in Christ


[Ray Replies]

Dear Ed:

I appreciate your sophomoric zeal, but it is without knowledge and is unscriptural.

You condemn, you know not what! Have you so much as noticed the title of my web site?

Let me give it to you: EXPOSING THOSE WHO CONTRADICT -- This is from Titus 1:9. This Ed is a COMMAND. Not a suggestion, but a COMMAND. I am following it.

I am showing the world (or at least the hundreds of thousands who come to my site) that JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD (I John 4:14). Do you find fault with that?

I show that the teaching that Jesus Christ will UTTERLY FAIL at becoming the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD is rank and DAMNABLE HERESY. It is a CONTRADICTION of all the hundreds of Scriptures that prove that God will save all of His creatures. THAT IS THE GOOD NEW GOSPEL. Not the foolish unscriptural teachings that most of the human race that has ever lived is going to be tortured by a Loving and Merciful God, WITHOUT LOVE AND WITHOUT MERCY IN FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY!

Get you head out of the sand, Ed! Did Jesus go around hugging and kissing all those damnable dirty rotten hypocritical SNAKES that called themselves men of God? Did He? WELL DID HE? Show me where, Ed.

You have not a clue as to what you are talking about. You accuse our site of being full of "HATE"! That, Ed, is a DAMNABLE LIE. Quote me a sentence of HATE from my site that came from my mouth and not the mouths of God's enemies. Go ahead, QUOTE ME. Quote THE HATE. I don't HATE anyone. I don't even hate those rotten snakes who call themselves minister of Jesus Christ. I love them all. God will save them all and I TEACH ON MY SITE THAT GOD WILL HAVE MERCY AND SAVE THEM ALL.

I do not attack the persons or character of these men like John Hagee and James Kennedy (by the way, you mentioned Jack Van Impe--I haven't written about Jack Van Impe, to my knowledge. Although he is a FALSE PROPHET. He said about 12 years ago that Christ would return in 1996. I heard him with my own ears. At the time I proved his theory as to how long a Biblical generation is, completely wrong by using the Scriptures. They STONED FALSE PROPHETS TO DEATH under the land of Moses. Did you know that, Ed?). I wouldn't want to stone anyone.

It is you, Ed, who are FILLED WITH SWELLING VANITY, in thinking that you are reprimanding me for not following Jesus' example. It is YOU, Ed, who are not following Jesus' example. You justify these false prophets of evil and damnable doctrines as those who are in harmony with true believers.

What fellowship has light with darkness, Ed? Can two walk together except they be agreed! Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. I invited both John Hagee and James Kennedy to reply or comment on my letters to them BEFORE I ever published them on the Internet. They did not have the guts to even acknowledge receipt of my letters! But I sent them registered mail, so I know that they got them.

You say, "Judge Not" and then YOU, ED, turn around AND JUDGE!!! You say there are things you don't agree with on my site. What? Can you prove wrong, anything that I have said on this site? If you can, it behooves you to do so. Remember that thing in the gospels about going to a brother with a matter BEFORE you condemn him?

I am not angry with you, but I will take this opportunity to let you know that your heart is not right. Your attitude toward me and my site is not right.

Again, let me repeat: Where have I HATED anyone on my site? QUOTE ME, AND SEND IT BACK TO ME, Okay? Good.

God be with you,


[This letter was sent to a newspaper and rejected - Ray replies below]


This movie is one of the most controversial that has ever been produced. The main controversy about this movie is that it supposedly blames the Jews for Jesus' death, it does not. Because the Jews did not crucify Jesus and no neither did the Roman soldiers. The person responsible for crucifying Jesus is you, that's right you, If you had been the only one in need of salvation Jesus would have died for only you. For God so loved the world, (YOU) that he gave his only begotten Son (JESUS), that whosoever (YOU) believeth in him (JESUS) should not perish (GO TO HELL), but have everlasting life (GO TO HEAVEN). JOHN 3:16 KJV

The world thinks that Jesus was just a good man that was brutally murdered by the Jews: that is not what happened. Jesus voluntarily gave his life, that's right, he did not have to die but he chose to die for you and for me and the rest of the world. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. John 1:17-18 KJV

Whom do you love enough to voluntarily die for? Jesus died for the people that were torturing him to death.

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelations 13:8 KJV

You did read that verse right, Jesus knew before he created the world that mankind was going to turn away from GOD and that he would have to die in order to redeem them.

The other controversial thing about this movie is the violence, but it is not without a reason or a purpose, most of it was done to fulfill scripture. Crucifixion was simply the worst way they had found to torture someone to death. And yes torture is the right word, because not even an R rated movie can show how really bad it was. As bad as it was for all of the people that had ever been crucified, for Jesus it was worst. Isaiah 52:14 KJV As many were astounded at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: The Living Bible says, "They shall see my Servant beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there" Yet it was worse than that, worse than any words or pictures could accurately portray. The beating alone was bad enough but the crown of thorns was driven down into his scalp as if you would drive nails into a piece of wood. Speaking of nails, what was to come was worst than what had already happened, we are not talking about household nails, we are talking more like railroad spikes, strong enough to hold the weight of a human body, driven into the hands and feet. Gushing blood from all of the wounds that had been inflicted on him the cross was dropped into a hole, every fiber of his flesh cried out in even more pain as his body jerked against the spikes. The song says, "He could have called ten thousand angels but he died alone for you and me. Because he took the sins of the whole world on him and since GOD can't look on sin he had to turn away, that is why Jesus said in Matthew 27:46 KJV And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  The only man made things in Heaven will be the scares on Jesus' body. If you have never seen a movie in your entire lifetime, see this movie, if you have seen every movie there ever was, see this movie.


For God so loved the world, (YOU) that he gave his only begotten Son (JESUS), that whosoever (YOU) believeth in him should not perish (GO TO HELL), but have everlasting life (GO TO HEAVEN). JOHN 3:16  The King James Version


[Ray Replies]

I am sorry that the news paper rejected you editorial on THE PASSION of Christ. But let me take this opportunity to point something out to you of much greater consequence that the critiquing of a film.

You state that Jesus KNEW BEFORE HE CREATED THE WORLD that "...mankind was going to turn away from God," even though (according to all Christendom and the wisdom of this pagan world) He gave EVERY ONE OF THOSE HUMANS a "free-moral-agency-will" by which NOT ONE OF THEM HAD TO, OR WERE CAUSED TO, "turn away from God."

If they truly had a "free will," that is a will to make choices that are NOT CAUSED or INFLUENCED in any way by God Himself through the billions of circumstances throughout one's life (See Phil. 2:3, Eph. 1:11, and hundred more just like them), why did they ALL choose to "turn away from GOD?" That is a very very very negative thing! That FIFTY BILLION our of FIFTY BILLION "free wills" ('FREE' wills--'FREE' mind you) would ALL DO THE SAME NEGATIVE AND EVIL THING. WHY?

Is "free will" just inherently 'NEGATIVE?'  Is there something about man's will that just ALWAYS goes the WRONG WAY, unless and until a more POWERFUL POSITIVE FORCE (might I suggest the Holy Spirit of God?) influences these 'free-wills' to TURN TO GOD, rather than to turn away from God?  But wait! If it takes a more positive OPPOSING force to CAUSE these free will to turn TO GOD, rather than AWAY FROM GOD, then have we not just SCRAPPED THE WHOLE IDEA THAT THE WILL IS 'FREE' IN THE FIRST PLACE? Why, yes we did; OF COURSE WE DID. There is NO FREE WILL IN MAN. Man has a "CARNAL MIND." Do you doubt what I say?  ALL MEN ARE BORN WITH A CARNAL MIND!

I believe there is a Scripture somewhere on that... Let's try Rom. 8:2,

"For the LAW of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus have MADE ME FREE..."

No, that is not what Christendom and her High Priests teach. They teach that we are BORN FREE. That EVERY MAN HAS A 'FREE' will. But notice what this Scripture says, it takes a "LAW" to MAKE [when something 'MAKES' a person do something, he is no longer 'free' to do otherwise]... to MAKE "me FREE" Paul tells us.  Now then, what does this "Law of the Spirit" MAKE us free from?

"..from the LAW if sin and death."

Another "LAW"! Do you realize just what a law is? A law is something that ALWAYS works in the same predetermined manner. Hence the Law of Gravity--which ALWAYS pulls things DOWN and not UP.
The 'law of sin and death' is a downward pull that NO CARNAL MIND CAN RESIST. Therefore, the idea that he possesses a free will that can CHOOSE TO NOT BE PULLED DOWN, is unscriptural foolishness!

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh [the flesh is weak and it cannot 'free-will' itself to be anything BUT weak and totally incapable of TURNING TO A GOD WHO IS STRONG], God sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk NOT after the [weak] flesh [which always turns away from God] but after the Spirit [which is STRONG and ALWAYS turns toward God].

For they that are after the flesh [a LAW of the flesh] do mind the things of the flesh [why? why don't they us 'free-will' themselves NOT to 'mind the things of the flesh?']: but they that are after the Spirit [the LAW of the Spirit] the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded [that's how we are all born--first the natural, the carnal, then the afterwards the SPIRITUAL, I Cor. 15:46] is DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace. [And just why is that so?]... Because the carnal mind is enmity [deep-seated HATRED] against God [how can this be since the carnal mind is FREE to NOT hate God?

The carnal mind is NOT FREE, it CANNOT freely choose to NOT HATE GOD. That takes another LAW--the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, NEITHER INDEED C-A-N BE. [This verse says that the natural carnal mind of ALL MANKIND, absolutely CAN NOT 'freely choose' to follow and love God!]. So then they that are IN THE FLESH [Randy, every single person ever born is born IN THE FLESH] CANNOT please God. [They CANNOT! If they truly had a "free will" then they could 'freely WILL' TO PLEASE GOD, couldn't they?]

No, Randy, they couldn't, because they have no such will that is "free." We all have a "will" alright, but is is anything but FREE. It follows the "law of the flesh" every time. Only the opposing force of the SPIRIT OF GOD can CAUSE MAN'S WILL to desire God and to voluntarily seek to please God. Yes, I voluntarily will to please God, but not because some phantom 'free will' allowed me to make that choice, but rather because "God DRAGGED ME to Christ" (John 6:44). And how thankful I am that He did. No, Randy, there will not be a FEW in heaven and the MAJORITY in hell for all eternity. God commissioned Jesus Christ to be the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD. And Mel Gibson's film portrays that ultimate Sacrifice to bring about the World's salvation. The utter shame and pity of it all is, that YOU and BILLIONS like you, DO NOT BELIEVE IT!!

You both believe and teach that JESUS CHRIST WILL NOT IN A TRILLION TRILLION EONS, ever "save the world."--the only commission that His Father in Heaven gave Him to do (I John 4:14). Are we to laud Christ's supreme sacrificed and then suggest to the world that IT FAILED TO ACCOMPLISH ITS PURPOSE?  That Jesus will be a FAILURE in saving the world? 

You know what I wish, Randy? I wish a million news papers around the world would print this email of mine to you, in their editorials!

May God be with you, and give you the faith to begin believing the Scriptures and not the perverted and evil doctrines of men.


[Concordant Teachings]

[Ray Replies]


[after some things personal...]

I came to understand a doctrine held by most people connected with the Concordant Publishing Concern (which includes Jeff and many of his Biblical teacher friends), with which I absolutely could not disagree more. It is the teaching that there are TWO administrations, and almost two of everything:



  • Two GOSPELS [Peter vs. Paul]

  • Two RACIAL distinctions [the circumcision Jews and the uncircumcision Gentiles]

  • Two RETURNS of Christ for His TWO sets of saints

  • Two RESURRECTIONS [one at a co-called Rapture, and the other for the National lineage of Israel]

  • Two REWARDS [again, one for Paul's group and one for Peter's]

  • Two area of RULERSHIP [one for Israel on this earth, the other in the Heavens for the believers following Paul's gospel]

  • Two DIFFERENT BODIES [one physical, terrestrial for earth-bound saints and one spiritual for those ruling in outer space--yes, they believe heaven is outer space], etc.

I completely Scripturally destroy this unscriptural and foolish doctrine with about two thousand Scriptures and a hundred pages in my paper located on the bible-truths.com site entitled: "EXPOSING THE SECRET RAPTURE THEORY."  It is my sincere hope and prayer that everyone will read my paper before they get involved in this deceitful doctrine.

[ ... ]

I want to say this as clear as I possible can so as to not be misunderstood in the least by anyone: I believe that the doctrine of TWO ADMINISTRATIONS to be a damnable doctrine of demons. That's how strongly I feel about it. Read my paper...

Here is the sad thing about all this:  There are numerous studies and gatherings of people around the country who absolutely and Scripturally, believe that God is going to save all humanity. And that is a good thing.  However, that knowledge alone is NOT THE WHOLE GOSPEL, as Jeff suggests. There is more, MUCH MORE!  Everyone knows that I have quoted I Tim. 2:4 and written more about that one verse than maybe anyone else known, and yet, that verse alone is not the WHOLE GOSPEL.  It is merely the CONCLUSION, THE AIM, THE PURPOSE, THE GOAL, THE CONSUMMATION of the gospel. And yes, it is the grandest conclusion possible.

However, the process of going from being "CARNALLY MINDED which is DEATH, to being SPIRITUALLY MINDED which is LIFE AND PEACE" (Rom. 8:6), is conspicuously missing from their  teachings, inasmuch as the many HUNDREDS of "good works" and "ideal acts" mentioned by this same Apostle Paul are nearly frowned upon.   And I have lengthy letters from among their teachers who strongly state as much!

Here is just enough to acquaint you with this teaching from a 56-page paper sent to me by the author entitled:  'APPREHENDING THE EONS TO ADJUST TO A DECLARATION OF GOD.' (Don't let that title throw you, as I also prove this very title to be UNSCRIPTURAL).   In it we read:

"...there was/is/will always be, a difference in the teaching of Paul and the teaching of , not only Peter, but our Lord, as well."

And this absurd statement: 

"Without keeping the administration of grace clearly separate in our understanding, when we attempt to incorporate the Lord's teaching and that of Cephas, Peter, we can and do contradict proper reasoning."

This statement COMPLETELY OVERWHELMS ME!  Notice that the "administration of GRACED" must be kept "SEPARATE" from the "Lord's teaching"!

UNBELIEVABLE! And that is not a slip of typewriter keys, this author and thousands who believe in the salvation of all firmly believe this to be true. Where on God's earth do they think "grace" came from in the first place? Was Paul the "inventor of grace?" 

"For the law was given by Moses, but GRACE AND TRUTH came by JESUS CHRIST" (John 1:17),

Not Paul!! And what is the reason given for keeping these supposedly incompatible administrations of Jesus and Paul separate? Answer: Because it will "...contradict proper reasoning." It is the IMPROPER CARNAL REASONING that came up with this stupid and unscriptural doctrine in the first place.

If there is enough interest, I will make all of these rebuttals of mine public on our site one day.

It is for just such reasons as those stated above that I do not recommend anyone attend these meetings around the country. Yes, it is good that they teach the salvation of all, but there is a whole lot more to the gospel than that one grand conclusion. Jeff presents two and two only options with regards to the gospel:

  1. Either we work, keep laws, do good deeds, apply human will and human effort as part of our salvation, or

  2. Salvation is accomplished without ANY good works or ideal acts, without ANY human will, choices, or effort (which is considered PURE GRACE).

Nothing could be further from the truth--BOTH of these options are wrong.

Jesus Christ is coming to put down His enemies when He returns, but not because they didn't "BELIEVE" the gospel, but because they didn't "OBEY" the gospel. And just who would ever propose such a thing? Let's try The Apostle Paul: 

II Thes. 1:8--"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST."

Or, let me quote it from their own Version:

"...in flaming fire, dealing out vengeance to those who are not acquainted with God and those who are NOT OBEYING THE EVANGEL [gospel] OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST..." (Concordant Literal New Testament).

And let's not misunderstand the meaning of that word "obey" from the Greek word "hupakouo" which means "to HEED or CONFORM to a command" (Strong's #5219, p. 256).  Notice how this same Greek word is used in Acts 6:7--

"And the word of God grows, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem multiplied tremendously, Besides, a vast throng of the priests OBEYED THE FAITH" (Concordant Version).

Wow! Imagine that: The collective teachings of Jesus which are classified as "THE faith" is something that can and MUST BE, OBEYED!

And the reason that faith must be obeyed is because of another marvelous doctrine that one is not likely to ever hear quoted at a Concordant meeting, and it is this:

"For the GRACE of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, TEACHING US [image that, 'grace' is a VERB THAT DOES SOMETHING--IT TEACHES US SOMETHING. What?...] ...TEACHING US that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY, in this present world" (That again would be, The Apostle Paul to Titus, Titus 2:11-12).

And, so what I have said does not contradict salvation by faith for all humanity, but it certainly does add to it the teachings of Jesus and Paul and all the apostles, that there certainly is something to do, to obey, to live out. Failure to OBEY the Gospel will culminate in such an one not even being in the first resurrection or given eonian life ahead of the rest of humanity! There are hundreds and hundreds of commands by none other than Paul himself, clearly stating what a believe must obey. And you can take that to the bank, and you can take that to your grave. 

And so, while the world of Christendom is still back trying to keep the Law of Moses a little better than Moses did, the Concordant people (and many others not associated with Concordant, but who don't believe Titus 2:11-12), shy away from the teaching of all law and obedience to good works, thinking that law and good works contradict grace.

Then there are those who are teaching that the faith of Jesus Christ and the grace of God will CAUSE the elect to live Godly lives by OBEYING all the spiritual laws commands that are far far superior to the law of Moses and its administration of death.

Most in the Concordant group of believers, and most in Christendom, have never even HEARD of the Seven Spiritual Laws in the New Covenant. Let me at least list them (we can discuss them at a later date). They all overlap, however, there are seven laws listed in the New Testament: 

  1. The Law of God...Heb. 10;16,

  2. The Law of Christ...Gal. 6:2,

  3. The Law of the Spirit...Rom. 8:2,

  4. The Law of Righteousness...Rom. 9:30-31,

  5. The Law of Faith...Rom. 3:27,

  6. The Law of Liberty...James 1:25, and

  7. The Law of Life...Gal. 3:11, 6:8.

If you are wondering where the "law of LOVE" is, don't, seeing that the Jesus Christ and God His Father ARE LOVE.

May God be with you all and grant to you the wisdom and discernment of these matters so as to live Godly in His presence,


[another email]


If Christ is the Savior of ALL men, what did He save ALL from - from "what"? - there is no hell - there is no forever & ever - so what's the big deal?  What did he save us from if there is no condemnation or torture?

If we are unbelievers or unawarers (play on words) [which my wife & I are not] then if we are to be made aware & or purified for presentation to God by Christ, why is there talk of what He did for us at the Cross? What difference does it make in the long run?


[Ray Replies]

Dear Jere:

When we come to realize the Scriptural truth that there is no ETERNAL HELL-HOLE OF TORTURE IN FIRE, does that mean there is NOTHING else to be saved from?

Consider: "The wages of sin is DEATH." Who or What will save us from THIS FATE, Jere? If you answer is NO ONE, then this life is all there is, and there ain't no more, because we have ALL SINNED. But we can be very thankful that God was well aware of this problem in humanity and provided for it: 

"For the wages of sin IS death; but the GIFT of God is eternal [eonian life followed by deathless immortality] THROUGH [this is the reason He died] Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).

We will also be saved from: pain, disease, heartache, fear, weariness, boredom, hatred, laziness, immorality, stupidity, vanity, inferiority, weakness, addiction, worry, failure, and a thousand other things that we all need salvation from!

Asking why Jesus had to die on the cross IF all people will be saved anyway is about like asking: "I can understand why the fireman had to go into the burning building to save one trapped person, but since he, in fact, saved ALL TEN TRAPPED PERSONS, why did he have to go into the burning building AT ALL?

You see, that HOW the fireman saved ALL TEN TRAPPED PERSONS, and going to the cross to die is HOW Jesus Christ saves ALL HUMANITY!

God be with you,


Mr. Smith, a while back you and I corresponded a few short emails on the topic of Polygamy. I supported it, you did not. However, I regret that I did not have time to formulate a reply to your last email. I wanted to wait until I had done a little bit more thorough research. Now I have one that I am ready to send to you, and it is by no means completely comprehensive, but it has a lot of the biblical basis for my belief stated. Please read this with a heart and mind open to the learning of the truth (as I am sure you always do, I am just reinforcing that).



PS I would be honored if you posted this email (and your response) on your website, and please inform me when you do.

[Ray Replies]

Dear Trini:

If you have a question for me or a statement for me, then direct it to ME, not through a third party. I am not arguing with you from Greg's point of view, so what is it that you want me to do? Defend Greg? Contradict you? What? All you state are arguments and human reasonings. You are not presenting your topic from the Scriptures. I really don't have time for this stuff. I have serious things to write and attend to. I'll comment on one interesting statement you made, however:

You said that Adam and Eve never married, is that correct? Where did you come up with that? OF COURSE THEY WERE MARRIED! Just what do you think constitutes a legal marriage? A piece of paper?

HUSBAND:  "A man joined to a woman in MARRIAGE." (American Heritage Dictionary, Page. 677)

WIFE:  "A woman joined to a man in MARRIAGE." (American heritage Dictionary, Page. 1567)

Are those definitions clear enough for you? Good. Now let's proceed through the Scriptures:

"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his WIFE and the shall be ON FLESH [ONE FLESH--THAT'S MARRIAGE]" (Gen. 2:23-24).

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make on wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and id eat, and gave also unto HER HUSBAND with her, and he did eat." (Gen. 3:6).

"Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and your desire shall be to YOUR HUSBAND, and he shall rule over you. And unto Adam He said, Because you have hearkened unto the voice of YOUR WIFE, and have eaten of the tree..." (Gen. 3:16-17).

A HUSBAND and a WIFE together make a MARRIAGE! God Himself calls Adam a "husband" and Eve He calls a "wife." A husband and a wife together make A MARRIAGE.

Trini, let me give you a little advice. What you have in this polygamy thing is what is called "an IDOL OF THE HEART" in Scripture. You in effect, worship this idea of yours. Yet it is not even true. You argue argue argue with Greg over human terms and opinions. You do not use the Scriptures to prove your point. I get many (WAY WAY TOOOO MANY) papers from readers who present tens of pages, hundreds of arguments--almost 100% false, yet they expect me to plow my way through all that verbiage and comment on all that stuff. I just don't have the time.

If you have one or two absolute, positive Scriptural PROOFS for your polygamy argument, I will look at it, but don't sent me third person arguments about things I did not come up with, nor do I probably agree with their arguments either. Fair enough? Good.

God be with you,


[another email from Trini]

Mr. Smith,

Thank you for your time.. I'll try to keep this reply as brief as possible.

I actually agree with you that a piece of paper does not constitute a legal marriage, but rather a decision by the wife and husband to "cleave" and become one flesh. What I said was they never "officially" married, meaning just what you said, they never obtained that piece of paper.

Having said that, I am surprised you said there were no scriptural arguments for polygamy in my letter to Greg (which I forwarded to you, by the way, because it had all of the verses that I would have sent to you anyway).

Take, for example, the regulation of polygamy in the old testament. Sin is always prohibited, never regulated, and polygamy is not prohibited, but regulated. What say you to this? If you say this is simply human reasoning then tell
me why God would regulate polygamy (Ex 21:10).

Also, David is called a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), and God gave him wives, among other things, and would have given him more had David asked (2 Sam 12:8).

This is not human reasoning Mr. Smith, these are scriptural truths that show me polygamy is not an "abomination" such as homosexuality (which, by the way, is CLEARLY prohibited in the bible).

One more thing. The word "one" in the few new testament verses that say "...must be the husband of ONE wife" is translated "first" and "a" in other verses, and I can tell you which verses specifically, if you wish. If they had translated this word in this verse as "first" or "a" it would change the meaning of the verses to actually harmonize with the old testament, where polygamy was permitted. For the sake of argument, even if it was accurately translated "one," the verses still apply only to those men who would be Deacons.

There it is in a nutshell. You yourself are in the business, so to speak, of showing people where many of their long-held doctrines are nothing but traditions (ideas) of men. So also I believe, after studying this issue, that monogamy is a cultural, not biblically mandated, idea. Also in many email replies that you have posted, you often point out that the correspondent did not refute the scriptures that you had used, with scripture. That is all I ask, that you show me scripturally that the scriptures I have used are wrong, if indeed you believe polygamy is but an "idol of the heart."

God be with you also.



[Ray Replies]

Dear Trini:

This is about our third correspondence as I recall, and it will be my last. Although you probably didn't notice, you contradict yourself in your opening statements. You say you agree that a piece of paper [a marriage certificate] does not constitute a legal marriage, but then state that since Adam and Eve did not have that piece of paper, they were therefore, "never officially married." Oh really?

I showed you last time by Dictionary definition that a "husband" is "a man joined to a woman in marriage," and that a "wife" is "a woman joined to a man in marriage." And that God Himself called Eve a "wife" and Adam a "husband." Trini, If God Almighty Himself (Who CREATED THE MAN AND THE WOMAN TO BE HUSBAND AND WIFE IN A MARRIAGE), says that Eve was a "wife," and Adam was a "husband," what more proof do you deem necessary in order for you to believe that Adam and Eve were "OFFICIALLY MARRIED"?

You state: "I am surprised you [that's me] said there were no scriptural arguments for polygamy in my letter to Grey...." Then you suggest that polygamy was "regulated" and not prohibited in the OLD TESTAMENT, and then asked: "What say you to this?"  What say I to this, Trini? I say: I'M NOT LIVING IN THE OLD TESTAMENT UNDER THE OLD COVENANT!!

What pray tell do you think the purpose of the law was, Trini, except to "REGULATE SIN AND THE SINNER?" By regulating sin and the sinner it showed sin to be "EXCEEDINGLY SINFUL" "...that sin by the COMMANDMENT might become EXCEEDING SINFUL" (Rom. 7;13).

Here is the purpose for the Law of Moses: 

"Knowing this, that THE LAW is not made for a righteous man, but for the LAWLESS, and DISOBEDIENT, for the UNGODLY and for SINNERS, for UNHOLY and PROFANE, for MURDERERS OF FATHERS and MURDERERS OF MOTHERS, for MANSLAYERS, for WHOREMONGERS, for them that DEFILE THEMSELVES WITH MANKIND, for MENSTEALERS, for LIARS, for PERJURED PERSONS, and if there by any other thing that is CONTRARY TO SOUND DOCTRINE; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust" (I Tim. 1:9).

Unlike Christendom of today, I do not look to the Law of Moses to dictate to my conscience how I should live. The Law of Moses is NOT FOR A RIGHTEOUS MAN. According to the Old Covenant Law of Moses, one could LUST AFTER A WOMAN IN HIS HEART ALL HE WANTED TO, and there was no penalty! Likewise, there was no apparent penalty for polygamy and many other sins of the flesh. Under the Old Covenant, a "wife" was little more than property to chattel. A man could divorce his wife under the Old Covenant FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER!

"They [the Pharisees] said unto Him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away ['for ANY cause' Ver. 3]? He [Jesus] said unto them, Moses BECAUSE OF THE HARDNESS OF YOUR HEARTS suffered you to put away your wives: BUT FROM THE BEGINNING IT WAS NOT SO. And I say unto you [do we want to hear what was 'legal' under the law of Moses, what what our Creator has to say is the proper attitude of heart?] Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, COMMITS ADULTERY: and whoso marries her which is put away does COMMIT ADULTERY" (Matt. 19:7-9).

Now then, try and fit your polygamy theory into THAT scenario! Not only did Jesus plainly teach [this by the way is the introduction to the NEW COVENANT, the BETTER THINGS TO COME, the REALITY IN CHRIST, the SPIRITUAL fulfillment of the physical shadows of old] that:

"For this cause shall a man leave Father and Mother, and shall cleave to his WIFE ['wife' not 'wivES'] and they TWAIN ['twain' not 'THRICE'] shall be one flesh" (Matt. 19:6).

And did He not say that this is the WAY that it was designed 'AT THE BEGINNING' (Ver. 4)?

And neither does it help your cause to use David as an example of a "godly polygamist." He was not. David was "a man after God's own heart" in those areas that God caused him to be a man after His own heart. In all other areas David was as carnal as any man who ever lived. David was not spiritually converted. David DIED IN HIS SINS as an unforgiven murderer. The New Covenant teaches us that if one does not forgive, neither shall he be forgiven, if one hates in his heart, he is a murderer, and a murderer does NOT have eonian life abiding in him (I John 3:15). David's dying words were for his son to finish off those on his hit list, and to do it soon and to make it bloody! (I Kings 2:5-9).

It was LEGAL according to the Law of Moses to "hate ones enemies." And so David HATED HIS ENEMIES! But... BUT, Trini, are WE to hate our enemies under this New Covenant dispensation of the Spirit? 

"You have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, BLESS them that curse you, DO GOOD to them that hate you, and PRAY for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."

Why? Why should we do THIS instead of doing what the Law of Moses said to do?


That's way! (Matt. 543, 44, & 45).

There is your Scriptural answer to your polygamy theory, Trini. You may not like it, but that IS the Scriptural answer. Polygamy is OF THE FLESH, and NOT OF GOD.

May God grant to you the spiritual eyes to see His marvelous spiritual Truths,


P.S. When you had thought that you had boxed me in with the Scriptures on this topic of polygamy, you asked me to post your email along with my reply on my site. As you wish.

Dear Ray:

As Dirty Harry said, " a man's gotta know his limitations." I'm always eternally (dare I say, aeonically?) grateful for the rare opportunity to meet a man who does!

Nor blow I smoke when I say: thank God for your Lake of Fire Series! I've just now spent Easter and most of today reading it for the first time (not quite done yet), and it's been, well, like a renaissance for me (I've had a few of those in my life, so don't get too excited, but just a few). Normally, I'd reserve judgment for the end, but being as how I feel each day might be my last, and this work of yours having so moved me, I have to say: this is a work of extraordinary genius, one of those few voices crying in the wilderness, doubtless inspired of God (that is, the Spirit of God), and I am most thankful for it.

The battle of the ages might best be billed as "Word versus Image". We want our literature "literal" and our imagery "imaginable". How foolish. In any case, when it comes to commentary on the Lake of Fire, yours is the truest "voice" I've "seen" thus far. Thank you for your many sacrifices in making this material available.

Yours truly,


Hi Ray (Boy, it feels good not to have to address a Christian leader with a grand title),

I really love your site. I found it through your ad at Amazon; so don't drop those ads.

I share your disgust over the eternal torture doctrine. I'm writing a book on the subject and refer to it as the "ultimate evil" which is pretty much how you describe it in your response to that Florida college professor. The way you passionately denounce this sadistic teaching is outstanding and no doubt really opens peoples eyes on the issue (and I thought I was over-the-top on the
subject). Keep up the good work.

Also, your piece on Lazarus and the Rich Man was probably one of the best I've ever read. You plainly showed how ridiculous the story is -- not to mention how it contradicts the rest of scripture -- if we take it literally. Good job!

I adhere to the doctrine of literal destruction; but will look into your evidence for universalism.

The main reason I'm writing is to ask a question: There are many believers out here who reject eternal torture; where do we go to church? If we speak out against such false doctrines as the immortal soul and eternal torture we'll be labeled heretics and kicked out. Should we just hook up with ministries and keep silent?

Let me know what you think.

God Bless You and Your Ministry!

Dirk W.
Ph. B, ABA, MUS, ALA, EEE, OIE, MMM, MDC, Doc.Bc, WEC, uso,etc.

(that last parts a joke; I laughed when you listed Kennedy's long list of
credentials -- that must mean everything he says is the truth, huh?)

[Ray Replies]

Dear Dirk:

Believe it not, I did figure out that your abbreviations were a joke!

I "adhere to the doctrine of literal destruction" as well, but what does that have to do with universal salvation? Being "lost" or being "destroyed" are both from the SAME GREEK WORD. And being lost or destroyed is the perfect condition to be in, in order to BE SAVED. Jesus came to SAVE THOSE WHO ARE LOST AND DESTROYED!!! God commissioned His Son "To be the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD" (I John 4;14). Do you really think that Jesus will fail to do very ONE THING that His Father commissioned Him to do?

A "FEW" are saved now (like the "Firstfruits of the Spring harvest") and the rest will be saved later (like the huge "Fall harvest" of the main crop). Why do you think God will not save all? What Scriptures do you believe prove that He will not save all? Let me know and I will help you understand.

Trust me, Dirk, when you come to a know of the Spiritual Truths of the Scriptures, you will not be asking me about whether you should stay in your church and "fake it."

Anyway, let me know what you believe about this "destruction thing" that will prevent the salvation of all.

God be with you,



I'm writing to you because I need help.  This email is rather long, I beg you to bear with me.

To give you some perspective on my problem I must briefly give you some background.  I grew up in a stern and devout Catholic household.  I'm sure you can imagine all the things I was brought up to believe.

When I was a child, I was very sincere about my religion.  But when I left home for college, I ended up leaving my religion as well.   At the college library I stumbled across some books that chronicled the true history of the Catholic Church, and I was disgusted.  Compound that with a growing unhappiness with the doctrine to begin with, and I decided that all religion was crap, and further decided that there was nothing spiritual, and that I was an atheist. 

I was content that way for 10 years.  I graduated, got a job, got married to an atheist, and had kids I decided I had to raise as atheists, because I wouldn't want them to believe in baloney.  I have not attended any church since I was 19.  I remained a "good person," and lead a temperate, responsible life.  I felt the idea of God and religion in general were unhealthy emotional crutches that kept mankind tethered to the dark ages. 

However... ! I have always been interested in the Bible, and I've always thought I had a good understanding of it, even when I rejected it.   I could debate and argue scripture with any "witness" that came to my front door, and I never met my match.  I can't say why I studied it, it was like a habit.  I kept a searchable KJV on my computer at work.  My Christian coworkers would frequently come to me to answer Bible questions for them.  I prided myself on being an atheist that knew the Bible better than the Christians (which frankly, in my experience, I did).  I got a kick out of irritating my wife (who still fancies herself an atheist) by watching TV preachers and pointing out how they are mis-using scriptures, not just the big-money easy targets, but the small, local guys who really seemed to think they were teaching. 

I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging, I just want to make the point.  One "witness" made a prediction about me, before ending our discussions.  He said he knew I would eventually "come back to the flock" because I was so well versed in the Bible.  That God was working something up for me, and I was already showing it.  I made a counter prediction, that it was my knowledge of the scriptures that would forever keep me out of "the flock," because I did not have the mind of a sheep.

About 2 years ago something did happen to me.  The actual event could best be described as a severe anxiety attack.  I felt overwhelmed, I started to cry (which I never did) and had no idea why, I became convinced I was about to die of something (though I had no idea what).  I could not stop shaking.  I felt like all the misery of my whole life was bottled up in one moment, and was ready to explode.  This doesn't really describe the depth of despair I felt, but I can't describe it any better than that.  It would take an email twice this long to tell you what went on inside me.  Just understand it was the scariest, most intense experience of my life.  Just thinking back on it gives me the creeps.  This happened in one evening, and I ended up begging God, whom it seemed I suddenly believed in again, not to kill me, but to show me what it was He wanted, and I would do it.  All I could do was sob and vaguely beg for "the Answer."

I subsequently decided to come at the Bible from a different perspective.  Rather than challenge it I would try to let it convince me.   So began a 2 year "divine odyssey" of sorts.  I found your site almost immediately, but did not believe you, frankly.  But your site was one of the few that denied the existence of hell, which was something I was very interested in, (one of the things I used to hurl at Christians is that God could not live up to His own standards, wholesale slaughter in the Old Testament and hell were my staples in that argument.)  So I bookmarked it. 

In the meantime, I have tried on so many doctrinal hats, that I can scarcely remember them all.  I have gone from having that "oh WOW!" feeling that I've finally seen the Truth from reading the despicable "Star Wars" website of the late Nord Davis, to a much less hateful but no less carnal (to borrow your terminology) exposition of almost the entire Bible on a place called "King's Chapel".  I joined and followed the lessons on the "Online Bible College."  I studied the writings of Herbert Armstrong.  I have read books ranging from the "Christian Mystic" Neville to the "Greatest Bible Scholar Ever!" E.W. Bullinger.  I even have had extensive weekly Bible discussions with the Mennonite farmer I buy milk from.  I own 12 versions of the Bible.  Simply imagine all the silliness you've seen people believe, and for a day at least, I probably believed it. 

I finally came back to your site, and read your newly posted "Lake of Fire" series and I was floored.  I know that Revelation is spiritual, but reading your analysis showed me that I was still drawing "carnal" conclusions from the spiritual symbols.

I feel like I'm getting long winded, so I will get to the point.  I thought I knew scripture, and a hundred times over I've thought I had figured it out (always with a different formula).  Your site has showed me that I don't get it.  But I believe you do.  I have read with awe your dismantling of all takers.  Your understanding of the scripture is unsurpassed by anyone I've ever come in contact with.  Your level of understanding is truly a marvel. I need that understanding, the desire for it consumes me. 

I have realized that I cannot read the Bible and get from it what you do.  I see the words, I know they have multiple levels of meaning, I know there are types and shadows. I intellectually "get it" but I don't seem to "feel" it.  I read the words with knowledge but no understanding.  I have thought of going back to school to study theology, but I'm afraid that I will end up with just more pointless knowledge.  I have tried to surrender to God, begged Him to make me new, but I never feel anything.  Everything is the same as before.

When does knowledge become understanding?  What would you recommend I do to reach the level of understanding you possess?  Is there a reading list?  Is it just "read all you can, pray and hope for the best?"   How do I "wake up" my spirit?  I know I have no "spiritual discerning."  Has God left me out of the loop?  In other words, will the parables always be dead to me?

How did you get where you are (spiritually speaking)?   Was it a sudden epiphany or did it come slowly over the years?  When I read the Bible, it's as one who is feeling his way across a dark room.  You seem to actually see.  How can I come to see?  How can I have the level of certainty you have?  I'm 34 now, I understand you're much older, should I just continue on for another 30 years and then I'll "get it" like you do? 

You make a comment about Jack Van Impe, how he has "memorized a lot of scripture, too bad he doesn't know what any of it means."   As sickening as it is to put myself in Van Impe's place, that's me as well.  I used to enjoy laughing at him.  Oh, the irony!

I don't know if these are meaningful questions.  I have debated with myself sending this to you, but I felt the need to make contact with you.  I have told a few close friends of my experience, they all shrug it off to overwork, stress, what have you.  Maybe that's truly all it was.  Only my wife knows how it totally messed me up.  Even now she thinks I should "see somebody."  It left me virtually useless for weeks, and there have been recurring, periodic "aftershocks."  I don't mean to suggest it was some kind of divine intervention.  I don't know if it was spiritual or not.  I don't think I yet understand "spiritual."  I suspect it's like being in love, you just know, and I certainly don't know.  All I know is that the experience was the catalyst that exposed how meaningless my life has been.  And has also shown me how useless all my "scriptural knowledge" has turned out to be.

I need some guidance.  If you have any to share, I would be profoundly grateful. I apologize for the length of this email.

Take care,


[Ray Replies]

Dear Walter:

The level of understanding that I personally possess is not necessarily what your goal should be. You should desire to have the understanding of Jesus Christ.

Now then, is there a "reading list" as you suggest that will give you this understanding? NO.

Will taking courses at a theological seminary (as you suggested) give you this understanding? NO.

Will reading and studying dozens of Bible Dictionaries and Bible Commentaries give you this understanding? NO.

Will reading the Bible ITSELF give you this spiritual understanding. NO

Well where pray tell does it come from? It comes from the Spirit of God IN US--having the very MIND OF CHRIST IN US.

How do we get that? Repent & OBEY the gospel! "A good understanding have all they that DO His commandments." There are hundreds and hundreds of spiritual commandments in the New Testament Scriptures. You must OBEY those commandments. All of my writing are designed to help people better understand this commandments. That's why God has teachers. I personally try to obey ALL OF GODS SPIRITUAL COMMANDMENTS in the New Testament. I repent of my SINS.  I BEG God for spiritual understanding and spiritual obedience and spiritual LOVE for God and for all humanity.

Do these things ALL day, EVERY day, and God will give you understanding--I GUARANTEE IT!

God be with you,


My name is Randy, and I'm the author of Through The Cracks Ministries, at www.throughthecracks.org. It is focused, first, at the many who have fallen through the cracks, having been either scorned and frustrated by modern religion. Second, it is based on the premise that the light God puts in us often shines out better through the cracks and flaws in our humanity, then through the facade we put up when we attempt to feign perfection.

I should also tell you that I'm also the author of a personal "for fun" website called "Peter Pan's Home Page". But it actually because part of the ministry too, as it also has the powerful underlying message, that no matter how odd you, your religion, or the world may think you, God loves you too, and made you with good plans and purposes in mind. Wherever I'm invited as "Peter", I always speak something of the love of God, and chuckle when I think of the many TV appearances, radio, and printed media in which I've spoken such words, in situations where they typically shy away and cringe whenever anything related to the "G" word is spoken.

But today I'm just writing to thank you for the encouragement.  Beyond the individual writings, it is just such a blessing to see others doing so much to stir up thinking believer to question the divisive (and in many cases outright nonsense)  that they have been fed as believers. Hopefully, we both inspire some non thinking ones to begin doing so as well! As for me, the Lord has only given me a few topics on which to really share meaty articles. Probably because these are topics near to me, which the enemy (both in and out of the pulpits) has used against me at one time or another, at one point actually deceiving me to stop believing God loved me at all. But God has had the last laugh I like to believe. Because the encouraging email I've received from people who are having the veils lifted from their eyes and returning to the Lord, has encouraged and perhaps even vindicated my soul. As the enemy once deceived me, I now loudly expose the deception!

And so I thank you for doing the same. I'm sure if I  were to pick and search with a fine tooth comb I might find some points of disagreement with you. But that would be a small matter. Because many emails I've received lately on my own ministry site point to yours as another strong source of encouragement, and this gladdens my heart, and I hope it does yours as well. Anyone given a word to carry from God sooner or later has times of doubt, wondering if they are the only one. It is good to see others going fourth to put a dent in the madness being taught out there, and it reminds me that even my small efforts are being multiplied by the work of many others, and that I'm not alone in this battle to testify of a Good God, a God that truly loves us, and is blessed rather than insulted when his children ask questions and seek some common sense.  The whole "hell" issue is a perfect example, and one I've written on extensively too. It would be laughable how foolish it is to think that death really means eternal life in torment. But is is not laughable when I see how many shun Jesus, thinking that these so called "Christian" teaching are actually representing the mind of God.

Perhaps you may have time to visit my ministry site when time permits. While there, let me know if you'd object to my putting a link to your site on mine. I would not expect you to link to me, as I realize I've become a source of controversy, something  I'm sure you have enough to deal with already. :-)

Randy Constan, Through The Cracks Ministries,
... Unless you change and become like little children,
      you will never enter the kingdom of heaven
        (--Jesus, Matt 18:3, NIV version)

[Ray Replies]

Dear Randy:

Thank you for your email and comments. Yes, you certainly are welcome to put a link to our bible-truths.com site.

I read a few things on your site and am convinced that you are totally sincere in your desire to make known the marvelous Truths of God to mankind. From that spirit I would make just one comment at this time. I noticed that you believe as does all Christendom, all major religions of the world, and all the combined wisdom of the greatest thinkers of all nations and religions from ancient times until the 21st Century, that man possesses what is commonly called "free will" or "free moral agency." Randy, nothing could be further from the Truth. This is one of those stupid ['foolish' KJV] wisdom's of this foolish and godless world.

It is hardly possible to understand the Word of God and the Plan of God without understanding that God never ever gave man such a thing as a "free" will. All men have a "will" but it is anything but "free." By "free" we mean that nothing....absolutely NOTHING causes of makes anyone to think as he thinks or do as he does. God gave man the ability to "make choices." God never gave man the ability to make choices that HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CAUSE. Cause and effect is the first edict of the universe, Randy. Until there is a CAUSES absolutely nothing ever OCCURS. There is no such thing in physical or in our physical brains that can bring something about without first having a cause.

Every thought that every man has ever thought WAS CAUSED BY SOMETHING. It matters not WHAT caused it, the fact is that SOMETHING DID CAUSE IT. And if something is CAUSED to happen, it could have never been otherwise. You will think and excogitate till you go insane, and will never ever come up with an effect of ANY KIND, that did not first have a CAUSE. God is the Great CAUSER of the Universe. The implications of this Scriptural Truth are enormous. With this understanding, it is not possible to comprehend what it means when the Scriptures say that "ALL IS OF GOD."  If I were you, I would not rest day nor night until I settled this Truth in your spirit once and for all.

If one does not accept the absolute SOVEREIGNTY of God as a fact of life, one will never be able to teach the Scriptures accurately. At best, their teaching is be a rewrite of the same dead philosophies that theologians have been wooing parishioners to sleep with for centuries.

God be with you,


[and the saga continues]

[quoting Ray]  God gave man the ability to "make choices." God never gave man the ability to make choices that HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CAUSE. Cause and effect is the first edict of the universe, Randy. Until there is a CAUSES absolutely nothing ever OCCURS.

There is no such thing in physical or in our physical brains that can bring something about without first having a cause.

[end quote]

Well, first, let me thank you for allowing me to link to you. But now let me try to respond to the subject you're speaking of here, as it is of course a very interesting topic that could fill many volumes.

I must however lay the following base line rule for any discussion with any believer. Though you and I may use every capacity that God gave us to understand things, we are both flawed humans and subject to error. Therefore, I'm open to what you say, but in the end must pass it through my own balance of thinking, reasoning, prayer for revelation and wisdom, etc. So the rule for discussion is to simply acknowledge that and respect that. When believers can give each other the true respect to listen and still possibly disagree, without having to assume the other is automatically foolish (or stupid), it makes for healthy discussion and often new friendships. I've become very aware that at any given time, I can be wrong about 1000 things, and God will not care and allow me to continue in my errant thinking, Unless, that is, one of those issues is something He is trying to teach me about at that moment! In that case, I may be wrong on only 999. But it is a wise man that realizes this, and seeks to find what lessons the Lord is trying to teach them that day, and understanding their limitations on all other knowledge.

Now let me share a short perspective so you can see where I'm coming from in my reasoning. I do have a technical and engineering background, which helps me understand some things, while hindering me in others. At the same time, I am very much an artist, and so have an entirely different way of thinking to draw on, which  is also both a help and a hindrance depending on context. Between the two however, I've been able to understand many things, and rely on God to fill in the blanks.

So about the matter of "free will". First of all, in a way it sounds like you're dealing with semantics and splitting hairs. While it may be true that every decision you or I make will surely be influenced by many factors, the fact is you can not predict with absolute certainty how a person will react or what they will choose, and that indicates that people have a quality that enables such variation. So whether you call it "free will" or make up a different word does not really matter, the unpredictable balance between causality and uncertainty still exists.

Now when you speak of one thing causing another, you must do so with an understanding that their are laws regarding entropy which God seems to have set in place, in the physical universe. Everything that is living, it would seem, has observable and measurable patterns that are recognizable. In fact, an attribute of "life" is that no matter how closely you look, even with the worlds most powerful microscopes, you will still see "order". Order, of course, is another word that we could debate, but whose meaning is fairly universally understood. But conversely, many non living things in God's creation are just as animated as living things, and yet have so many factors involved in their movements, that they take on a nearly random quality. Weather is a perfect example. Few would argue that weather does not follow some rules regarding thermal currents, or that seasonally predictable changes occur, or that there are general flows like the jet stream, convection currents, trade winds, etc., which follow some predictable principals.

But still, the total number of "causing" factors influencing things is so vast and unfathomable, that with our best equipment we are still at a loss to accurately predict the weather. Weather remains one of millions of examples of systems where all events are cause by the previous ones, but we cannot see the pattern. And then there is the (for all practical purposes) totally random thermal noise that permeates the background of everything, whose patterns even engineers draw upon as a source of random sequences. We simply cannot devise a rational algorithm for outputting such perfect randomness, yet God seems to have provided them for us!

Now when it comes to human thinking, I can see that although my thoughts are a rational stream of one thing leading to another, that there are also many things that pass through my mind, and influence me, that have a more random nature. So until proven otherwise, I prefer to believe what seems to make sense and is observable. And that is that God seems to have built into us a balance between the ability to think rationally, and the ability to think irrationally, or randomly. And it seems to me that a good blend of the two accounts for much of what we call creativity. It's not an "either/or" situation where one way of thinking is better than the other. It's more of a question of balance, and context. A random thought pops into my head as I'm practicing the guitar, and I come up with a new chord that's not even in the "book", and out of nowhere I begin singing some words to a new song that never existed until that moment. I rush to write it down as I know how fragile the creative balance is. And during the entire process, I must say that I see the trail my consciousness weave as something akin to the weather, if the weather could actually be conscious of itself.

What does the bible say about all this? The debate between pre-destination and free election continues, as it has for many lifetimes, and when I see so many learned people in disagreement, I must consider the possibility that they are looking for an "either/or"
answer, when the truth might be some of both. I also try to be careful not to follow "every wind of doctrine", and desensitize my thinking by coming to believe I understand it all. You know, we are all conscious, and can all say with authority "I AM". And yet with all our philosophy and technology, we're still at a loss to better explain just what "consciousness" IS, beyond those two words. So examples abound of how little we really understand ourselves. Though it may seem sacrilegious, I do think sometimes that believers could benefit from a little delving into eastern thought (such as zen), if only to get a better grasp on that fact that some things will defy simple dualistic definitions for as long as humans have tongues to debate them.

But more important, though I instinctively know we are all tethered to God's greater consciousness, I must believe based on my observations thus far, that he wants us to SEE ourselves as completely free, especially under grace. Whether there is a greater truth or not, I do not know. But I'm sure if there is, it will be revealed in time. In the mean time, I find it healthy to consider that at any moment, I have the free will to make those good and bad choices, learn from my mistakes, and just keep coming as a child. You see,   whether I have free will, or do not, or whether it is something in-between does not really matter. Just as pointing to causality can not relieve us of responsibility from our choices. And to be honest, I have found it a source of joy that there does seem to be so much variety, so many choices, and so much unpredictability about, both in the world around me and within our own minds.  On a certain level, about such deep and unknowable things, I don't really want to know. That is... unless it is truly the one in 1000 things that God really needs me to see. In which case, you will have been the catalyst.

I will say that one area in which we may disagree is that I no longer see the bible as the end all be all in my Christian growth. I see the bible as a kind of map, which is not perfect, but does not need to be because the author of the map has left us his phone number in case we get lost. The scriptures themselves show many situations where the knowledge of the scriptures actually impeded people from beholding when God was doing something new. And though people speak of the bible "NOW" as being complete, I still do not believe God has finished speaking, or that God cannot do new things not even spoken of in the word. That doesn't not mean I don't take the bible seriously. Indeed, every article on my website is laden with as many scriptural references as I believe to be relevant. But I do know of many situations and people in this life that go beyond what is written, and where God still breathes new life in new ways, when people trust him.

That said however, on the matter of what I call "free will" in the scriptural context you're talking about, one of the most disturbing things I'd read was in the old testament, in the days of Noah. God said that so much evil had filled the world, and that people were being so awful to each other (my paraphrase), that even he had not foreseen that they would become so vile. It is a sobering thought that once we depart from the leading of God's spirit, we truly tip the balance between the elements of order and chaos dangerously to the direction of chaos and randomness! Even to the point where God himself would not have foreseen that we would do something so stupid, evil, hateful, cruel, or terrible.  I do believe God was very brave for creating us. Though he can of course, fix anything no matter how badly we mess it up, I am in awe of his capacity to bear the pain of seeing all the horror that humanity has come up with. At least for me, the perception that we have free will increases my respect and appreciation for what God embarked upon when humans were designed. Because though I do not believe in an eternal torment in hellfire for humans, I do think we humans have done a pretty "bang up" job of simulating such a place! :-(

[quoting Ray]  If one does not accept the absolute SOVEREIGNTY of God as a fact of life, one will never be able to teach the Scriptures accurately. At best, their teaching is be a rewrite of the same dead philosophies that theologians have been wooing parishioners to sleep with for centuries.

[end quote]

I agree. Even with my acceptance of Gods sovereignty however, my human reasoning is very limited. It seems the more I learn, the less I can speak on many issues, because I become more aware of how much more I don't know that I do. Fortunately, God has only given me only a few issues to teach about, and a very simple message to spread. I do believe and am hopeful that God will continue to guide me, if only because he gave me a true child spirit, and so I always come as a child. And I do hope and ask your prayers that I'll be able to continue encouraging people, and that even if my writings are flawed, that the heart of God is still revealed. And do rejoice with me! Because I can tell by my email that God has used much of the website to encourage people to come back to him, in spite the discouragement their religion has heaped upon them. And if  people are returning to the Lord, I'm trusting I'm on the right track, and that he'll show me one step at a time where and when I need to grow.

But I will read that article! :-)

Randy Constan, Through The Cracks Ministries,
... Unless you change and become like little children,
      you will never enter the kingdom of heaven
        (--Jesus, Matt 18:3, NIV version)

[Ray Replies]

Dear Randy:

Just a couple of thoughts that might be of help to you as you proceed. You bring up one of the interesting beliefs of Christendom which again, diminishes the sovereignty of God and actually makes Him look rather stupid. And that is the different situations in Scripture where it appears that God thinks like a man and is LIMITED just as we men are limited.

You gave an example: God REALLY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW what His Own creation was capable of. He built a machine, if you will (seeing that you are engineer-minded), but He did not even have the foresight of a good human engineer. God could not in His supposed INFINITE mind, all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful attributes, foresee the result of His Own creation. He made a machine that DIDN'T WORK PROPERLY, and after discovering His fatal mistakes, He scraps all the machines and starts over with one of the machines that doesn't seem to be quit as FLAWED as the others. Of course, in just a little time even the "perfect" machine exposes its same flaws as previous models, and God is constantly adjusting and readjusting His plan from plan A to plan B to plan C, and NOTHING seems to work!

And so, just like any good human filled with frustrations of inadequacy, God sometimes gets extremely ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED. Not at HIMSELF, but AT THE MACHINES THAT HE HIMSELF MADE!!!
He constantly ACCUSES THEM of being "flawed" when it was God HIMSELF that made them in the first place! Are you following me, Randy? Am I not painting a perfect picture of the philosophies and theologies of Christendom?  God does never accept responsibility for the absolute MESS we find on earth today. No, He only finds fault with THE MACHINES THAT HE HIMSELF MADE! God says that HE IS PERFECT, but that the machines that HE MADE, are flawed. They SHOULD ALSO BE PERFECT AND WORK PERFECTLY, BUT THEY JUST DON'T! Oh, woe is God, what WILL He ever do?  How can He ever FIX His fatally flawed inventions?

God wants His inventions (His machines) to work perfectly and properly, but they just won't. In fact, THEY NEVER DO. NOT ONCE HAS ANY ONE OF HIS MACHINES WORKED PERFECTLY. He likens the very BEST PERFORMANCE OF HIS VERY BEST MACHINES to some disgusting analogy of a woman's menstrual cloth (that would be "filthy rags" to all you King James readers). Eventually and apparently (according to the greatest minds in theology), God comes to realize that the problem with ALL OF HIS MACHINES is that they are ALL OUT OF CONTROL. They never ever listen to the instructions from Command Central. Sometimes they even say that they will listen to God's instructions as to how they might operate perfectly, but then in practical application of those Command Central instructions, THEY ALWAYS FAIL and malfunction.

This then is the history of the world and the human race--episode after episode of MAL-FUNCTIONING MACHINES AND INVENTIONS OF GOD. God does pretty well with physical mechanical things, but the very things that are closest to His Own BEING--spiritual things, He has but one failure after another (BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF FAILURE).

Not only do all this machines and inventions of God malfunction, THEY TOTALLY DESTROY EACH OTHER!!! And for many who are not destroyed by other machines, their ultimate demise comes about by a total internal meltdown. It is called "DISEASE."  All of God's machines eventually succumb to internal disease which not only causes internal malfunctions, but eventually causes all of God's machines to SELF-DESTRUCT. No human has ever died of "natural causes." All humans die from either of two things: trauma (such as poison, accident, murder) or disease. The oldest person who has ever lived and died in his sleep, DIED OF A DISEASE! And sometimes in Scripture it appears that God Himself must DESTROY HIS OWN INVENTIONS AND MACHINES TO KEEP THEM FROM DESTROYING OTHERS THAT HE WANTS TO KEEP.

God means well. God only knows, HE TRIES!!  He has a sophomoric zeal for law and order in His universe, but these damned machines of His apparently won't even follows the pre-ordained of irrefutable LAWS OF SCIENCE AND PHYSICS. They are TOTAL RENEGADES, and nothing short of totally destroying them will keep them in harmony with all the other laws that God has instituted.

All things in the universe follow LAW! Well, except for one. God's machines. They don't follow ANY LAWS. They are true renegades (excuse me, I meant to say "FREE moral agencies). OH REALLY?

And when we cut through all the theological DOUBLE-SPEAK of not only the greatest theologians in the world, but also the greatest scientists and the greatest philosophers and the greatest thinkers on earth, THIS IS THE CONCLUSION AS TO WHAT GOD IS AND HOW TOTALLY INEPTLY HE PERFORMS.

But people don't want to think that "GOD" is stupid, weak, and inept. So they COME UP WITH (oh yes, they 'came up with' this theory of "human FREE will" that is not MADE to do or think ANYTHING. These complex machines that God has made are apparently capable of coming up with their OWN INSTRUCTIONS. They are not 'plugged into God,' they are running freely on energizer batteries completely independent of their own Creator.

If men are FREE to do good and FREE to think good, why is it that God says NONE EVER HAVE? Paul tells us that NONE SEEK OUT GOD, NONE DO GOOD, NO, NOT O-N-E! If men have the ability to make UNCAUSED [free] choices why is it that NONE EVER CHOOSE GOOD?  Either NO MAN has ever chosen on his own to seek out God and do good, or GOD IS A LIAR! It's that simple!

A friend recently suggested that one of the best books he has ever written (and one that he strongly urged that I read), is entitled "THE GOD WHO RISKS." I told him that I would never waste my time reading such a book as the very title is UNSCRIPTURAL BLASPHEMY! God has never ever 'RISKED" ANYTHING! God has never ever been 'SURPRISED' by ANYTHING! ALL OF THE UNIVERSE INCLUDING GOD'S HUMAN MACHINES OPERATE ACCORDING TO PRE-ORDAINED LAW. MAN'S APPARENT HUMAN LAWLESSNESS IS ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH THE OPERATION OF ANOTHER LAW! 

Men 'sin' (make mistakes) because they operate under the LAW OF MISTAKES. God instituted a "LAW OF MISTAKES." All who are subjected to this law, MAKE MISTAKES. THEY HAVE TO. A LAW IS SOMETHING THAT ALWAYS WORKS ACCORDING TO DESIGN. Humans were designed to operated according to the LAW OF MISTAKES. But most of humanity has never heard of such a thing! A 'law of mistakes.
How has ever heard of such a thing? This is sheer nonsense straight from the "free" mind of one, L. Ray Smith, is it not? No, IT IS NOT! I can't and won't take credit for it. I read about this "law of mistakes" in a book--its called THE BIBLE.

If you are really interested in the Truth, Randy, I will show you the law of mistakes and how it works. It will answer a million questions concerning the supposed malfunctioning machinery of God's creation, and the apparent contradictions of Scripture. Oh, did I tell you that there is also a "law of perfect performance" that is even more powerful than the "law of mistakes?" Men know almost nothing of these two laws, and therefore, they invent clever little heresies such as "free moral agency."

Till next time: God be with you,