Overcoming Spiritual Cowardliness
Do we need water baptism?
What must I do to be saved?
What Church?
Your Scriptural Ignorance!
Are You Spiritually Inferior? (speaking in tongues)
What Day is the Christian Sabbath?
Why would God force anything?
Thank you for more understanding
Venomous Accusations
I am enthralled
So much knowledge?
What is Salvation?
I read and cry, read and cry.
Evil serves many noble purposes







Please pray for me. I know I am a spiritual coward and it shames me deeply. 

Do you know any scriptures for encouragement and renewed faith?

[Ray Replies]

I would be happy to give your some Scriptures of encouragement.

When we can see our faults and weaknesses and admit them instead of denying them, we are already on the way to recovery.

Of Course, Jesus is the answer to EVERYTHING. But maybe you have already heard that, but it may not mean that much to you. How does that really work in the real world?

Notice in Matt. 11:20 what Jesus was doing AND WHY HE WAS DOING IT: 

"Then began he [Jesus] to UPBRAID [reprove or correct them very sharply] the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, BECAUSE THEY REPENTED NOT"

That is the very same problem we have all had in our lives, WE DON'T REPENT OF THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW ARE WRONG.  Repent means to see it, acknowledge it, and get rid of it!

When you repent of your sins and evils you automatically feel better and God Himself will give you rest (SPIRITUAL REST) from all your very heavy burdens. A guilty conscience is probably the worst burden that anyone can carry. But you will never, ever, get rid of a guilty conscience until you begin to REPENT and change your ways.

Down a few verses Jesus tells us what will happen if we will REPENT and start to OBEY His commandments: 

"Come unto ME, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST! Take My yoke [this means to live your life with all its trials and tribulations, by living it CHRIST'S WAY] upon you, and LEARN OF ME [read your Bible and DO WHAT CHRIST SAYS TO DO and DON'T DO WHAT HE SAYS NOT TO DO]; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and YOU SHALL FIND REST UNTO YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy [it will enable you to overcome the world, because Jesus overcame with world with His humble and meek attitude] and my burden light" (Matt. 11:28-30).

When you find that you're too weak to overcome your sins and faults, IT WILL DRIVE YOU TO YOUR KNEES!  You will call out to God, because you will know in your heart that you do not have the POWER to stop all of your sins. When you cry out to God He will hear, and He will give you strength and power to do what seemed so hard before.

Notice what fruit the Spirit of God will produce in your life: 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, SELF CONTROL: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22-23).

We all want these qualities in our lives, but they only come by crucifying our old carnal, selfish selves.  The key is to: REPENT and OBEY. Read Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. They are filled with the things we are to do to find peace with God and peace with ourselves.

There are many Scriptures of encouragement, and you will learn them as you read and study God's Word. But you need a starting point and you need it RIGHT NOW!  STOP DOING the obvious wrong things that you are doing and go to God in prayer and ask Him to CLEAN YOU UP!  Trust me, he will answer your prayer.

Keep in touch with me. I want to know how you are doing, Okay?

God be with you and I will be praying for you as others on my team with be praying for you!

Ray


I want to know what you know or teach on water baptism? I have been going through some of the articles that The Divine Plan has.

I am a former World Wide Church Of God member that has been really mixed up with different teachings. Everybody has different teachings.

So far you seem to have what I Think is a closer teaching what the Word of GOD is saying... Your articles have very helpful to me.

THANKS.  

P.S. I'll be keeping in touch

[Ray Replies]

Thank you for your email and question.

I don't have the time to write an whole article on the subject in an email. One day I will do that and post it on my site. But in a nut shell: 

Paul tells us that we no longer know Jesus AFTER the flesh.   Jesus Christ came IN THE FLESH to lead us INTO THE SPIRIT.  It was paramount to be CIRCUMCISED, KEEP HOLY DAYS, KEEP SABBATH, PAY TITHES, and  many PHYSICAL THINGS under the law of Moses. 

Jesus came with binding laws of the spirit.  In Matt. 5, 6, and 7 Jesus said

"you have heard it said [by the LAW OF MOSES]..." that you are to do this or do that, but Jesus said, "BUT I SAY UNTO YOU..." 

And then He gave a different and contradicting law. 

Examples: 

"Swear" under Moses / DON'T SWEAR AT ALL UNDER CHRIST.  

"Hate your enemies" under Moses / LOVE YOUR ENEMIES UNDER CHRIST! 

"Don't commit adultery" under Moses / DON'T EVEN LOOK TO LUST AFTER A WOMAN UNDER CHRIST!

Get the point?

God said he would write His NEW COVENANT (not a revised version of the OLD COVENANT) upon the minds and hearts of His followers.

Circumcision was so very important to every Jewish man. Paul said "Circumcision IS NOTHING"!!!

So drastic was this change brought about by Jesus Christ, that Paul said that a PHYSICAL JEW of the PHYSICAL NATION OF ISRAEL, who is PHYSICALLY CIRCUMCISION in the flesh only, IS NO JEW AT ALL!!! But a GENTILE, not of the nation of Israel, and NOT PHYSICALLY CIRCUMCISED in the flesh, but CIRCUMCISED IN HIS HEART, HE, A GENTILE, IS A JEW!!! (Rom. 2:27-29).

Now then, with that in mind turn to Col.2:19-13:

"And ye are COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye ARE CIRCUMCISED [how?] with the circumcision MADE WITHOUT HANDS, in putting off the body of the SINS OF THE FLESH by the CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST: buried with Him in BAPTISM [how? same way! "without hands" or water], wherein also ye ARE RISEN WITH HIM through the faith of the operation of God, Who has raised Him from the dead. And you, being DEAD IN YOUR SINS and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened [made alive] together with Him, having FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES."

According to Paul, "How many baptisms are there?" 

"There is ONE body, and ONE Spirit, even as ye are called in ONE hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE BAPTISM, ONE God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph. 4:4-6).

Water baptism avails us NOTHING unless we are BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST (Rom. 6:3-7) with a baptism WITHOUT HANDS--not of the letter and the flesh, but of the SPIRIT!

Nothing that we do that starts in the flesh can add one cubic to our spiritual stature.

Hope that helps your understanding a little better.
 
God be with you,

Ray

[another email on the same subject]

First of all, I want to thank you for the article I read releasing us from guilt of not tithing. I've wondered long and hard on that topic, and tonight decided to go to the Internet to see what I could find on the subject. I have always felt much like you; although, stating from the New American Standard Bible in Hebrews 13:16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
 
Now for the one remark you did write, and I quote "It's all about the SPIRIT--not water, foreskins, and money" -- I really think you should at least read 1 John 5: 4-8. Especially verse 8 which sums the upper 4 verses up. I'll save you the time looking it up and type from my bible beginning with verse 4. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world--our faith.verse 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the son of God?verse 6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not with the
water only, but with the water and with the blood.verse 7 And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.verse 8 For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood: and the three are in agreement.
 
If you do happen to read on down to verse 10 you will find out that if you are not in agreement with verse 8 as apposed to how you left the reader thinking its all about the spirit--not water, then you will read that the one who does not believe God has made him a liar.
 
In no way am I against your beliefs on the proof you've presented about tithing, but if your going to go up against these preachers then leave yourself no loopholes. I did read in my bible where you got the scripture I highlighted for you in yellow, but remember the spirit does consist of water and blood. The foreskins, and money of course is correct.
 
Truthfully, I admire your research and boldness, which does come through clearly that your being quite honest about tithes. However, I believe you could have added a little more to your ending other than paying the church bills. Such as:
There are those disabled, travelers, or elderly who do not attend a church, which requires they have no choice but to watch or listen to the TV Evangelist. If it were not for TV preaching into their homes, they would not have the opportunity to hear God's word. And if people did not send money to the stations then I doubt so many of God's children would be filled with the joy of the message, and the joy of giving from their hearts for what they feel is doing God's good work in the only way they can or know how to do it.
 
I do appreciate the new awareness you've shown me, and I fully understand the message your relating to the world. But please understand that we do need the teachings of Christ in other places than a walk in church for the ones who cannot leave their dwelling. So if   you ever rewrite the page I just read, do you mind taking into consideration the two things I've brought to your attention for you are a powerful writer. And God needs all the help he can get so that his message is heard. As you said, he will deal with those greedy selfish shysters in his own way and his own time. Until then, don't you think that it wouldn't hurt to donate toward a little more than just utilities?
 
It will sure do my heart good knowing that I can donate in different ways and not feel guilty about not giving one tenth of my disability check. In fact, when TBS sent me an envelope for donation the first time, I did donate. And along with that same envelope, I asked them to pray for my husband who was 42 years old dying of Lew Gehrig's disease. I truly expected a letter back of prayer for him, but instead they must have overlooked the letter I sent and only saw the check. Cause all I have gotten from that letter is more envelopes for more donations. I finally got tired of those long fake eyelashes the preacher''s wife kept wet with tears when she televised more for money than teaching the gospel. And when my husband died, I grew bitter each time I'd see another letter from them knowing it was for donations, so I began throwing them away before opening.
 
What I'm trying to say is yes, one can become quite bitter when their eyes are open to all the truths you wrote, but as a Christian, we should love our brother and pray for him. And still feel it in our hearts to give freely to the needy or church of our choice, yet, not be lied to and raped of what little income some of us have to live on. Therefore, along with my thank you's which I mean sincerely, I wish you'd find it in your heart to rewrite the ending a little more in God's favor. Thus allowing the givers to also feel good about helping to keep God's words heard in sermons from the corrupt preachers whose broadcasting some of the scriptures before they begin advertising for money.
 
Please take no offense for non is intended. Just think it over! OK


Frances

[Ray Replies]

Dear Francis:

Thank you for your email and comments.

So you believe that the PHYSICAL foreskins no longer apply to we Believers of the Nations, but that the PHYSICAL water of baptism most certainly does still apply.  They are one and the same, Francis. Physically cutting off the foreskin and physically being placed under water are PHYSICAL RITUALS. They accomplish NOTHING with the spirit. Until Christ comes into our lives we SHOULD be physically circumcised, physically baptized, and physically give our tithes of farm produce to the Levites, but when the REALITY [Christ] of all of those types and shadows COMES, we are no longer under a tutor or schoolmaster, but we are by faith to go on to maturity (Gal. 3).

John is not speaking of PHYSICAL water and PHYSICAL blood in I John 5:6 & 8.  Two things came out of Jesus' PHYSICAL BODY when they pierced Him:  PHYSICAL water and PHYSICAL blood (John 19:34). These two things from then on become SYMBOLS of something SPIRITUAL that takes place in us by these two things. Being PHYSICALLY baptizes in PHYSICAL water will not make ANYONE spiritual. Likewise partaking of the Lord's Supper with PHYSICAL wine symbolizing Christ's shed blood will not make ANYONE spiritual. Jesus Christ is the reality of both THE WATER and THE BLOOD.

Throughout the New Testament the apostles teach us concerning the "water and the blood."  Here is what the water and the blood symbolize and what they do FOR US:

"...the WASHING [spiritual water] OF REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; which He shed [poured out] on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Titus 3:5b-6).

"That He might sanctify and cleanse it
[the church, ver. 25] with the washing of water BY THE WORD" (Eph. 5:36).

Can we not see that the water IS THE WORD of God?  Do we get SPIRITUAL clean by being baptized in PHYSICAL WATER? What have we just read? "...washing of water BY THE WORD."  Here's a second witness:

"Now ye are clean [washed clean] through the WORD which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:3).

And since these two words "water and blood" are used symbolically to represent spiritual realities, we can even be washed clean in "the blood":

"...and WASHED us from our sins in His own BLOOD" (Rev. 1:5b).

Remember that Jesus said,

"...the WORDS that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are life" (John 6:63)

Therefore: 

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born OF WATER [what kind of water? physical water?] and of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).

Is Jesus speaking of PHYSICAL WATER and PHYSICAL BAPTISM? Hardly. Look at the next chapter:

"...and He [Christ] would have given you LIVING WATER" (John 4:10).

"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst: but the water that I shall give shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting LIFE" (Ver. 14)

Water of LIFE, LIVING waters:

"He that believes on Me, as the SCRIPTURE has said [Scripture is God's word, and we are washed with with water of God's WORD], out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATERS" (John 7:38).

After being baptized by water, the disciples of Jesus were still unconverted. Why even Peter was unconverted (Luke 22:32). Physical water did them little good SPIRITUALLY. However, Jesus promised that they would be baptized with something else:  

"For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the HOLY SPIRIT not many days hence" (Acts 1:5).

Baptism is of the heart and spirit just as circumcision. If we can't comprehend this spiritual truth, then we are missing the whole point of these types and shadows of which Jesus Christ is the only reality.

God be with you,

Ray

[and yet another email on baptism]

Hi Ray,

I regularly read your web site and for most part agree both with your translation and interpretation of what the scriptures say.  Not because it is your interpretation but based on analytical comparison with the original Greek text and further witness by the holy spirit to the truthfulness of the word and character of God.

I believe that you have been a great instrument in the Lord's hands in bringing hope/the true "good news" to people who have been ostracized by the Christian world who should be encouraging them rather then frightening them with the prospect of an eternal torment. I have also written you in the past but I understand that you have a busy schedule trying to joggle work and the barrage of e-mails from your readers. However, I felt it important to bring the issue of baptism to a mutual discussion. When it comes to this subject (Christian baptism), I believe that we have a divergence of opinions.

Please take in consideration that the new testament baptism has nothing to do with the old covenant as you expressed or at least used as comparison in your reply to a reader. In that comparison you used circumcision as the analogy of being spiritual minded versus physically minded. Likewise, (please correct me if I am wrong on my interpretation of what you were trying to say) you categorize baptism as a physical ritual that has nothing to do with a spiritual acceptance of Jesus Christ.   In Matthew 28: 19-20 Jesus instructed his apostles to preach and baptize those who believed. Please note that Jesus did not say that those who would believe would be baptized by the holy spirit.  His instructions were directive:   "...disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to be keeping all, whatever I direct you." In Acts 8: 14-16 there is clearly a distinction between receiving the holy spirit and the act of baptism. We read: "Now the apostles in Jerusalem, hearing that Samaria has received the word of God, dispatch to them Peter and John, who, descending, pray concerning them, so that they may be obtaining holy spirit, for not yet was it fallen on any of them, yet only, having been baptized, they belonged to the name of the Lord Jesus." Furthermore, we also have the narrative of Philip baptizing the Ethiopian Eunuch after Christ's resurrection. Acts 8: 36 "...Now as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch is averring, "Lo! Water! what is preventing me from being baptized?" And he orders the chariot to stand, and they both descended into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptizes him."  Hence, beyond what Jesus directed his apostles to do concerning baptism we have scriptural record of the apostles doing what their Lord directed them; to preach/teach and baptize. Baptism was not only practiced during Christ's live but continued thereafter.  There is no doubt that faith in Jesus Christ is what sanctifies.  However, baptism is a public acknowledgement of a personal acceptance of Christ and his teachings.  The symbolic significance of baptism goes beyond the physical practice itself. Although, physical, it has a spiritual significance. Paul taught that it is not first what is spiritual but what is physical and then the spiritual. Besides the scriptures listed above, there are many more that I am sure you are aware of that lauds baptism.

Albeit, I would still be interested to hear your perspective on why should those who accept Christ and want to publicly take upon them the name of Christ be discouraged from pursuing the practice of baptism.  I don't believe that Jesus would mention something that was inconsequential just for the sake of creating an onerous ordinance.  The fact that Jesus was baptized (He being our example) and encouraged baptism seems to be a reason good enough to be baptize even if it is the spirit that gives spiritual life and not the water. One last point, ...the scripture in Romans 6:3-7 is inclusive to supporting baptism rather than annulling it.  Here, baptism is further compared to the death and resurrection of Christ. The burring in water symbolizes the "entombing" while the immerging from the waters symbolizes the resurrection of Christ.

May the Lord continue to bless you,

Frank

[Ray Replies]

Dear Frank:

It is true that Jesus was baptized and told the apostles to baptize. With this I have no questions or problems. However, there are MANY things that many people do not see or comprehend in the Scriptures. Let me give you some insight into one of these mysteries:

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you INTO ALL TRUTH...AND HE WILL SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME" (John 16;13).

Now then: WHAT "truth?" What truth did the apostles NOT HAVE AT THE END OF CHRIST'S MINISTRY. Remember John 16 is at the Passover supper which was His last day on earth in the flesh. What truth didn't the apostles have? What things was the Spirit to: "SHOW you things to come?" What things? Did Jesus LIE? Did Jesus NEVER EVER show them those things and tell them those truths that He promised on His last day with them? There absolutely WERE new truths and things to come, that the apostles came to see and understand LATER IN THEIR MINISTRY.  Why LATER in their ministries, why not NOW?   Because:

"I have MANY things to say unto you, but ye CANNOT BEAR THEM NOW" (John 16:12),

that's why.

Paul TOO, was baptized and also baptized others. You say Jesus COMMANDS us to baptize today. Maybe you think God has commanded YOU, Frank, to baptize, but I'll guarantee you something straight from the Scriptures, and you can accept it or not.  Jesus Christ didn't commission PAUL TO BAPTIZE!

"FOR CHRIST SENT  ME  [Paul]  NOT TO BAPTIZE, but to preach the gospel..." (I Cor. 1:17).

To US, Frank, "There is ONE GOD..." "ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE BAPTISM" (Eph. 4:5). How many baptisms? ONE! Whose baptism is it? CHRIST'S! We are baptized into CHRIST and HIS DEATH. The ONE FAITH, is not our faith, but the faith that God gave to us as a gift (Eph. 2:8). All we have is a gift--

"But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the GIFT OF CHRIST" (Eph. 4:7).

Must we partake of our OWN baptism to be saved? Can we not claim the ONE BAPTISM OF CHRIST? Yes, of course we can. We lack NOTHING when we have CHRIST, when we are IN CHRIST, and CHRIST IS IN US: 

"And ye [ye means ALL OF YOU--everyone of you] are COMPLETE IN HIM..." (Eph. 2:10).

The question is, DO WE BELIEVE IT OR NOT?

Now then, you are familiar with circumcision, are you not, Frank? It is the cutting off of the foreskin of the penis. But we don't have to actually cut off the skin IN THE FLESH IN THE PHYSICAL. That is unless you feel that your "Are NOT complete in Christ" ALONE.

"In whom [Jesus] also ye ARE circumcised with the circumcision made WITHOUT HANDS [without a knife or scissors, without WATER, if you have understanding], in putting off the BODY OF THE SINS OF THE FLESH ['Or are you IGNORANT that whosoever are baptized into... [into water?]...INTO CHRIST JESUS, ARE BAPTIZED [it's not a phony baptism; it's a REAL BAPTISM] into His death? We, then, were entombed together with Him through the BAPTISM INTO DEATH [this baptism is a spiritual baptism into death, not a physical baptism into water], that, even as Christ was roused from among the dead through the glory of the Father, thus we also should be walking in newness of life. For if we have become planted together in the likeness of His death, nevertheless we shall be of the resurrection, knowing this, that our old humanity was crucified together with Him, that the BODY OF SIN MAY BE NULLIFIED, FOR US BY NO MEANS TO  BE still slaving for sin, FOR ONE WHO DIES HAS BEEN JUSTIFIED FROM SIN [Rom. 6:3-7] ...putting off the body of the SINS OF THE FLESH by the CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST" (Col. 2:10-11).

Can you not see that it is ONLY the "circumcision OF CHRIST" that counts for anything? It is not OUR OWN PERSONAL PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION which only 'pictures' the putting off of sin, but does not ACTUALLY AND LITERALLY AND SPIRITUALLY PUT OFF SIN that matters. It is only "the circumcision OF CHRIST" that matters. I don't know how I can say it any clearer. Now then, what does this have to do with "baptism?" EVERYTHING.

Let's pick up on the last few words of verse 11 once more and just continue on to the next verse, seeing that even the King James does not put a PERIOD, but a colon: which shows that the next verse IS CONNECTED IN THOUGHT TO THE PREVIOUS VERSE.

"...in the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision OF Christ: buried WITH HIM IN BAPTISM."

Oh, the circumcision is WITHOUT HANDS, but the baptism is WITH WATER, is it? NO, a thousand times, NO. The CIRCUMCISION for those who are complete in Christ is WITHOUT A KNIFE AND WITHOUT HANDS and the baptism for those who are complete in Christ is likewise, WITHOUT WATER AND WITHOUT HANDS!!!

Just like with the whole Law of Moses, it foreshadowed SOMETHING BETTER (Heb. 10:1). Jesus Christ is not a shadow of ANYTHING---Jesus Christ is the REAL THING--THE REALITY of which all physical ceremonies, sacrifices, and rituals were but a SHADOW. Stop looking to the "shadows" as though there were REAL POWER in the shadows. There is not. The only power is in the REALITY and the REALITY is JESUS CHRIST IN US. PERIOD.

I hope and pray that the same Spirit of God that enlightened the apostles in their walk with our Lord will also enlighten you on this matter.

God be with you,

Ray


Hi Ray:

Like your site! One question. What must I do to be saved? With all your letters I don't see a plan of Salvation.

Thank you. In His Grace,

Chester

[Ray Replies]

Dear Chester:

Thank you for your email and questions.

Now I realize that this is not quite the message of the Christian party line, but it is Scriptural. The idea that one must COME TO CHRIST, and then CHOOSE CHRIST, on his own by his own "free" will, it is not only UNscriptural, it is ANTI-scriptural. Here is how God saves people:

I will quote this from the Concordant Literal New Testament, as it is a better translation than the KJV in these verses: 

"Now we are aware that GOD [the word 'God' is left OUT in the KJV, but it is IN the Greek manuscripts] is working all together for the good of those who are loving God [but just how does one come to 'love God?' continue...] who ARE CALLED [by GOD, not by our so-called 'free' will], according to the purpose [God's purpose in calling us] that, whom He foreknew [God knew before you were born whether He could be calling you now, or later] He designates BEFOREHAND also, to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be Firstborn among many brethren. Now whom He designates BEFOREHAND, these HE calls also, and whom HE calls, these HE justifies also; now whom HE justifies, these HE glorifies also" (Rom. 8:28-30).

Now then, can we not see that it is "HE"--GOD, Who does all these things? NOWHERE do we see here that man must first choose Christ of his own free will, THEN God will do all these other things.

NO! GOD, has a purpose, GOD does the calling, GOD conforms and transforms us into the image of His Son, GOD justifies us, and GOD will glorify us also. IT IS ALL GOD!

But when God does do these things for those He calls, He also GIVES THEM FAITH TO BELIEVE THESE THINGS. So then here is the formula, if I may use that word, for HOW God saves us:

"For by GRACE are ye saved through FAITH; and that [that saving faith] not of yourselves: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD." (Eph. 2:8).

You said that I don't cover salvation in any of my papers. Actually I do at numerous places, perhaps you missed it. Notice that we are "saved by GRACE."

In Part IV of the "lake of fire" series I show EXACTLY how God uses "Grace" to train, educate, discipline, school, judge, and chastise us into the image of His Son. Are you reading and studying the "lake of fire series?"

Once God calls you, He will guide you in ALL THINGS that you need to know and do.

God be with you,

Ray


Hello,

I have not had the chance to read all of your work but of what I have read I enjoyed. You have opened my eyes to a lot of things.

I use to follow John Hagee only on TV and now after reading your letters my husband and I have cleaned our home of his tapes and books. Do you have any information on the Church of Christ? Not the United Church of Christ but just the Church of Christ denomination.

Thank you, and God bless you.

[Ray Replies]

Thank you for your comments.

No I don't have any personal insights into the Church of Christ other than what anyone can read in a book on religions. I have several volumes such as "RELIGIONS IN AMERICAN" and the like, which one can purchase at any Bible book store.

I find very little difference between most denominations. Even between Protestantism and Catholicism there are only relatively minor differences.

Some churches such as Jehovah's Witnesses differ more in some basic areas of doctrine. To their credit they do not believe in eternal torture, for example. Catholics believe in a type of purgatory for purging those not yet suited for heaven, whereas virtually no Protestant religion believes in purgatory.  Some believe in baptism by immersion only, while many accept sprinkling as okay. Some baptize infants and others don't.

But ALL OF THESE THINGS COMBINED are of little consequence compared to the vast unscriptural doctrines that most worship and believe.

Sorry if I am not to helpful on this question.

Sincerely,

Ray


Dear sir,

I have just clicked on your site, bible-truths and perused just two of your pages, tithing and "What about those who never heard?"  I am amazed at your scriptural ignorance.  You  seem to have no concept of context and your attitude toward those who you claim are wrong is simply rude.  Certainly not speaking to one another the truth in love. 

You requested, "If you have criticisms please be specific.   Please quote exact scripture reference(s) in the article(s) and avoid generalities." But to be frank, having been a student of scripture for some time, I have never seen such convoluted 'supposed' interpretations in my life. 

It is unfortunate that you web site is entitled "bible-truths" as the gaps in your understanding of the Word of God are chasms of ignorance, which if you just read the scriptures in context would for the most part be cleared up. 

But I am afraid your idea of logical analysis doesn't take into account wisdom from other godly men, but is extremely self centered and self righteous and isn't as logical as you perceive.  And that's too bad, brother.

Sincerely,

Luther

[Ray Replies]

Dear Luther:

Thank you for your e-mail and comments.

Every day when I read my e-mails, I am utterly amazed. There are basically only two types of replies:

  1. Those who have been helped and say that they have either turned TO God or RETURNED to God after being dismayed most of their lives with the contradictory nonsense being taught in today's institutionalized churches regarding the fate of humanity, and
     
  2. Those who use more words of condemnation toward me in one paragraph than one would normally hear in a lifetime.

I believe yours falls in the second category. In just a half dozen sentences I am accused of:

"scriptural ignorance"
 
"no concept"
 
"attitude wrong and rude"
 
"not speaking truth in love"
 
"convoluted interpretations"
 
"gaps in understanding"
 
"chasms of ignorance"
 
"doesn't take into account wisdom"
 
"extremely self centered"

Of those detractors that have emailed me with similar similar fits of condemnation as yours, not one has ever quoted a paragraph, a sentence, or even a phrase from my articles and then proved Scripturally that what I said was wrong. I am certainly not saying that there are no wrong statements in my writings, I am merely stating that no one has yet specifically proved them wrong.

I am open for all and any constructive criticism. Your criticism, however, is worse than useless. Has your criticism helped you? I don't think so. Has it helped me? Not as far as making any constructive changes. Would it be of any help to my readers? I don't know, I will post your email and wait for the results.

I understand human nature (the carnal mind) better than you may think (maybe because I have more than I would like, myself). I learn more from the emails of my detractors than your realize.

You see, Luther, I know why you sent me this email. It is NOT because, "I have never seen such CONVOLUTED 'supposed' interpretations in my life." If you REALLY believed that, then you would NOT have wasted your time to write me.  You wrote me because something you read in my material pricked your spirit--it rang a tone of truth, and the idea that you could have been WRONG about such basic Scriptural truths frightened you.

Rather than face the music, you concocted this little note of condemnation and ridicule thinking that it would salve your conscience. But it didn't work, did it?

If you would have REALLY seen from my writings the GROSS ERRORS that you suggest in this email, you would not have been able to SHOW ME THAT ERROR FAST ENOUGH. You would have gloried in the prospect of rubbing my face into it, if you really had such proof that I had erred.

And so, Luther, your are not the least bit unique in this area. You are like hundreds before you who got frustrated at my articles, not because they found error, not because of unscriptural statements, but because it clashes with your traditional idols of the heart which you are not willing to give up as yet.  Many rejoice and receive the truths of God's Word with gladness, while others fight the truth with every fiber of their carnal mind.

These things just absolutely amaze!  When many learn that God really does WILL and is ABLE to call ALL sinners (in His time), to repentance and to bring them into a relationship with their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, they rejoice. While others who are shown from the Scriptures that will eventually bring ALL to repentance through His many judgments and fiery trials, they get angry.  Why?  Because they do not want to SHARE salvation with everyone else. A few, yes--that is if they believe exactly the same way as themselves. 

And when these same people are shown that our Heavenly Father is NOT going to torture men and women, boys and girls, by the billions and billions in some fabled hellhole of real FIRE by burning their eyeballs out for ALL ETERNITY, they then get EXTREMELY ANGRY!

You read my invitation before, but I will present it again: If you can specifically show where any statement of mine is Scripturally untrue, I will more than gladly make a correction.  God is continually shedding new light on His Word. More and more spiritual truths are being revealed year by year.  I want to be free, and only the TRUTH (JESUS CHRIST) can set us free!

May God be with you as you ponder what I have written to you. If you disagree, let me know. If I am wrong in my teachings on the Scriptures, let me know. I'm not from Missouri, but you will first have to 'show me.'

Sincerely in Christ's service,

Ray


Hello Mr. Smith,

Glad to hear back from you.

The first thing I would like your incite on is power. Mark 16:17 is quoted by everyone I hear these days.

Can I be a believer if I don't speak in "tongues," heal the sick or have other super natural manifestations?

I sometimes listen to Sid Roth and almost every guest he has as been taken into heaven by Jesus, were delivered from drugs in an instant and have seen Jesus numerous times. I have had no experiences like these. I wonder about myself. My relationship doesn't seem to be very "personal" with Jesus.

As you see I'm a terrible writer but I hope you understand what I'm trying to ask. Maybe it's Pentecostalism I'm confused by.

I thank you for your thoughts on this.

Steve

[Ray Replies]

Dear Steve:

Don't every let anyone try to make you feel spiritually inferior to them! That is a sure sign that something is wrong with THEM, not you.

I once taped a person talking in tongues in a huge Pentecostal Church in Atlanta.  I typed out the pastor's interpretation of the message. Several of my friends firmly believe these are messages straight from heaven and God's throne room.  Anyway, I proved to the satisfaction of the ones who believed this was a miraculous message that it was indeed a fraud.  There were numerous, IDENTICAL, repeating patterns in the woman's tongue speech. In the interpretation, however, nothing had a repeating pattern!  Seemed pretty simple to me.  I am not saying that there are not people today who do legitimately speak in tongues, but I am not convinced by most of these circus side show antics.

Jesus did say that certain signs would follow the apostles, but He didn't say it was so for all believers. He also told His APOSTLES if they were bitten by a deadly snake it wouldn't harm them--He didn't tell all believers that, however.  He told His twelve apostles that anything they asked in His name, believing, that He would give it to them--He didn't say that that went for all believers in all times. I think the misuse of such verses adds to the frustration of many a saint today.

Hope that helps you a little.

Sincerely,

Ray

[more]

Ray,

I noticed your not real big on speaking in tongues? Is this because it is something you have yet to experience or might you have scripture telling you it isn't for today?

[Ray Replies]

Not only am I not "real big" on speaking in tongues, but I am not even "real small" in the matter.

Paul said this concerning tongues:  "whether there be tongues, they shall CEASE." Or in the Concordant Literal New Testament: "languages, they will CEASE." That word translated "cease" is from the Greek word "pauo" and it means: "stop, restrain, quit, desist, COME TO AN END." Is that clear?

If you will notice and take a lesson from Paul's instructions to the Corinthians. He said they they came behind IN NO SPIRITUAL GIFT!!  Yet, they were among THE MOST CARNAL CONGREGATIONS OF THE GOD'S CHURCH ON EARTH!!!  Those who think "tongues" was a sign of spiritual maturity are sadly mistaken.

After Paul lists all of the gifts that would no longer function, he likens these gifts to the toys of childhood (I Cor. 13:9-11). But when we become MATURE IN CHRIST, we are to put away THESE CHILDISH THINGS. And so Paul then informs us that "NOW [or from NOW ON...] abides, Faith, Hope, and Charity [Love]."

By the way, I have never heard of, nor do I know of a person in the twentieth century or beyond, that could speak in multiple foreign languages in which he had NO FORMAL TRAINING!   Do you know of any such person?

Hope that helps your understanding a little better.

Ray


... MY QUESTION IS THIS, WHICH DAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH, IN YOUR OPINION?

KEN

Dear Ken:

Thank you for your comments and question.
 
First of all, Ken, "my opinion" is probably worst than useless. When you are searching for the Truths of God's Word, another man's "opinion" may be of little value. So, with that said, I will give you my opinion :-)

Seriously, this is not a difficult matter to resolve. However, we need to be careful about labeling things. Scripturally, there is no such thing as the "CHRISTIAN Sabbath." The Sabbath commandment was given to ancient Israel, not to Christians. The Christian Sabbath, the day on which Christians rest and worship is clearly SUNDAY! Christendom as a whole with a few exceptions such as Seventh Day Adventists have kept Sunday as their day of worship down through the centuries.

So clearly, SUNDAY is the Christian Sabbath, if we insist on using that awkward terminology.

The Sabbath that Jesus Christ observed (AND BROKE), was not, however, Sunday or the first day of the week. We know for a fact, historically, the Sabbath being kept in the time of Christ's earthly ministry, was the SEVENTH day or Saturday. Actually from Friday sunset till Saturday sunset.

The calendar has been changed numerous times through the centuries, however, the seven day weekly cycle has NEVER been changed or tampered with. Even when they dropped TEN WHOLE DAYS out of the calendar to bring the calendar back in line with the Spring equinox, they did NOT change the weekly Sabbath. One day was say Tuesday November the 10th and the NEXT day became Wednesday November the 20th! The week stayed the same.

As the Sabbath command was part of the Old Covenant Law, which Paul went to great length to inform us that we are no longer under, it makes little difference which day is the Sabbath of Israel. The Sabbath like ALL aspects of the law of Moses and the law of God, the Torah, the Old Testament, was a shadow of something to come. It pictured something to come that would be the spiritual fulfillment of this command. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the Passover lamb. Jesus was slain, and so it would be WRONG for us to continue to slay a Passover lamb every Passover season to cover our sins. Likewise, the Sabbath pictured entering into a REST with God from our own WORKS. Not just our weekly physical labor of earning a living, but ALL OF OUR OWN WORKS.

So, if one tries to KEEP the Sabbath after Christ as already fulfilled it (as with the Passover lamb), then by trying to keep the law you actually BREAK the law! Just like when Paul said if we are circumcised to fulfill the law of circumcision given to Abraham and Israel, to show out spirituality, we indeed "fall from grace." By works of law no flesh at all shall be justified Paul tells us. How can one REST FROM HIS WORKS by keeping (spiritual WORKS) the Sabbath LAW?

I hope that helps you, Ken.

Sincerely in Christ's service,

Ray


Dear L. Ray Smith;

I ran across your rebuttal on the internet.  I'm not a theologian so you have no need to worry about me speaking too academically.  I just had the desire to share some passages that I felt answered many of your points....

... Why would GOD force a person, that by his own will and lifestyle chose to live apart from GOD, to live with GOD for Eternity?  Would that be Heaven for that individual?

... In Closing I must say that I believe that it is unbiblical to Lump the Ungodly in with Those that have put their trust in The Creator Of ALL the Universe!  1 Peter 4:19

[Ray Replies]

Dear Michael:

You ask: "Why would GOD force a person, that by his own will and lifestyle chose to live apart from GOD, to live with GOD for Eternity? Would that be Heaven for that individual?"

ANSWER:  Your question ASSUMES things that aren't Biblically true. Did you ever live a lifestyle APART from God? Do you now live a lifestyle WITH God? How did that transition come about?  Did you ALL ON YOUR OWN, one day come to decide that you wanted to live WITH God as opposed to APART from God?  Did you make that choice, without a cause, and INDEPENDENTLY of God's supernatural intervention? I don't have to ask, because I already know the answer, and the answer will be the same for all non-believers in the future.

Paul tells us that "NOT ONE is seeking out God" (Rom. 3:11).

No one seeks God until God calls them to begin seeking. Jesus Christ plain stated that

"NO ONE CAN come to Me if ever the Father Who sends Me should not be DRAWING HIM" (John 6:44 & 65)

I fully realize that most of Christendom including such greats as Billy Graham absolutely DENY this Scripture, but it is true nonetheless. It stands to reason if only those who are called and chosen (by the way, only Jesus does the choosing also:

"NOT YOU choose Me, but I CHOOSE YOU..." John 15:16)

can only be such when God chooses, then those who are NOT CHOSEN OR CALLED of God CANNOT of their own will come to God, choose God, or decide to live a lifestyle WITH God and opposed to APART from God. There is the Scriptural answer to your questions.

God only chooses SOME now--not all. But it is His will to call and choose ALL MANKIND in the future.

"God WILLS that ALL mankind be SAVED..." (I Tim. 2:4).

And "Thy WILL BE DONE..." (Matt. 6:10).

For God IS LOVE (I John 4:8), and

"LOVE NEVER FAILS...." (I Cor. 13:10).

So part of the problem is that your question contains errors of though. God doesn't FORCE people to worship Him, He opens up their minds and hearts so that they DESIRE TO WORSHIP HIM! 

Again, Paul was inspired of God to write:

"Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial [those in the heavens] and terrestrial [those on the earth] and subterranean [all the billions who will be resurrected from the dead and be judged at the white throne and purged by God who is a consuming FIRE, Rev. 20:11-15],and every tongue should be ACCLAIMING [this is a heart-felt voluntary acclamation] that Jesus Christ IS LORD [And NO ONE IS ABLE TO SAY 'LORD IS JESUS' EXCEPT BY HOLY SPIRIT!!], to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11).

God desires, WILLS, and is quite capable of saving ALL OF HIS CREATURES. It is UNSCRIPTURAL to suggest that God won't save all: It is BLASPHEMY to suggest that He can't save all!

I hope this helps your understanding a little. Most Christians look at the NOW, the HERE, the PAST and PRESENT in deciding who GOT saved and who is GETTING saved. They fail utterly to look to the FUTURE when God sets His hand to save ALL.

Remember that thing about Passover, then the "waveshief"--Christ, then Pentecost, the "firstfruits," those who God is now calling of the nations?  Did we forget THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND THE LAST GREAT  DAY OF THE FEAST? The GREAT FALL HARVEST OF SOULS?

God be with you as you submit to His calling and His will.

Sincerely,

Ray


Hello friend and fellow believer in the Glorious Gospel,

I have read your writings on your web page and in every instance, have come to full agreement with you.

I once was in conversations with another Bible College teacher (Steve Alt-Brownsville School of ministry). This was long before I ever had the opportunity to read writings such as yours.

I always had this unreconcilable understanding of God-taught as a bi-polar, "monster of love". I always thought that "surely these men of God knew what they were talking about"!

However, God revealed Himself to me one day (a long story I could share, if desired) and from that point on, I felt His leading me to the same conclusions and avenues of study that began erasing the contradictions and confusion men have brought into the "church-world" and the Bible.

Steve Alt used some of the same tactics that are used by the "men of God" that Robert referenced. He listened to my questions and objections, for a while, then began the usual theological/doctrinal rebuke - but could not from a Scriptural stance.

This is generally the case. There are NO Scriptural "legs" to stand on, when insisting on the eternal torment theology. But only God's revelation and dedicated study can show this.

I am writing this to thank you for giving me more understanding and confidence in my resolve to fulfill His calling of me to teach this wonderful message of hope.

Blessings, peace and love to you and yours!

Raymond


Dear Sir,

You are certainly quick to the draw, but when the smoke clears and blood is shed are you certain that your shooting is as accurate as it should be. Have I at any time even hinted that my desire is to see anyone suffer even for a minute? No! And yet you "know" that I loathe the idea of God saving His children. Is this the correct way to interpret 'what is written'?

Have I told you the secrets of my heart? Do you have the power to divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow, so you know my inner thoughts? Do you know me, Mr. Smith? Do you really know who is speaking to you?

There are murderers who don't believe in hell, and trembling demons who believe in God. And yet because you have read between the lines and come to the conclusion as what I believe happens to men when they die, you "know" what kind of person I am. If you judge me superficially, then there is a risk that you judge others superficially. Does that matter?

I pleases me to hear that you prune your mistakes now and then. But what if the problem is at the very base of the tree? Do you take to the axe immediately, or do you weigh the costs, not wanting to tear down what took such a long time to build up? Do you cast down your imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God? Or are they too valuable to you?

Sincerely,

Paul

[Ray Replies]

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your comments. I will answer your venomous accusations of condemnation in the hope that others will benefit from your narrow-minded, self-indulging diatribe.

You state that, "...you [that's me] have read between the lines and come to the conclusion as what I believe happens to men when they die, you 'know' what kind of person I am."  I am sorry, but I do not have my original reply to your first email, but I don't recall stating that I "know what kind of a person" you are.   Although, I will confess that I detect a spirit that I do not like.

I don't believe it is necessary to "read between the line" as you suggest, in order to determine where you are coming from. I will quote a few statements, accusations, and phrases from your first correspondence directed toward me:

"preparatory manipulation"
"power of God's spirit is absent"
"questioning of translations"
"planting the seeds of doubt"
"the same cunning 2-step approach"
"we are led to believe that the very cornerstones of faith are out of place"
"we are presented with a whole range of dazzling replacement stones"
"you could get just about anything to fit"
"therefore you boast and taunt"
"You resemble a little kid standing by a pile of stone shouting 'Come on, I'm ready for you!'"
"Your mind spinning away...weaving the web that might trap the next contender"
"Roaring like a brute animal"
"Choking on the very weeds sown for the destruction of other people's faith"
"You do not speak as the good shepherd speaks"
"You bring to focus the feet of clay of those you despise"

I don't believe it is at all necessary to read "between the lines" to know where you are coming from, Paul. The lines themselves pretty well tell the story of your utter contempt for my letters to Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Hagee -- "EXPOSING THOSE WHO CONTRADICT," whereby I utterly destroy the unscriptural and unspeakably evil pagan doctrine of torture by fire in a hellhole of pain and misery that never stops for a moments rest in all eternity.

I understand you mental anguish and emotional turmoil--I have smashed the nose right off of one of your favorite idols of the heart.  But I don't take the many emails that I get like yours too personally, because

  1. I know your real anger is toward God and God's TRUTHS, and God handles abuse better than I do. Paul tells us that the
     
    "carnal mind is enmity (HATRED) toward God, for it is not subject to God's [spiritual] law, neither indeed is it able" (Rom. 8:7)
     
  2. I get many, many emails of thanks for the encouragement and inspiration people get when they learn the truths regarding these hideous doctrines of demons.

I never said you "desire to see anyone suffer." Or that you "loathe the idea of God saving His children." I never said that. But you DO take exception to the idea that God will save ALL OF HIS CHILDREN AND WILL NOT TORTURE ANYONE FOR ALL ETERNITY!

It is you who are attacking my paper on "EXPOSING..." That, my friend, is the topic of your emails! Check the box in the email entitled "Subject:" where YOU typed in the subject YOU want to address: "EXPOSING THOSE WHO CONTRADICT." That paper, Paul is about HELL AND ETERNAL TORTURE! That is the reason for my critiquing Dr. Kennedy's and John Hagee's sermons.

Dr. Kenney's first sermons was about the fact that God is not responsible for the millions of Africans who don't get saved. He said a man snake-bit in the Everglades can't blame a nearby hospital for his death. And in like manner, he suggest that God is not responsible for all the unsaved people in Africa going to hell. His second sermon was entitled "WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD." By FAR the worst sermon I have ever heard in my life. Ten times worst than Hagee's sermon on Hell.

He said that people who have never even heard the gospel or the name of Jesus Christ DESERVE to burn in hell for all eternity.

He says that they have all sinned and therefore desire to burn in hell for all eternity.

He gives the example of a man in India that may have told and lie and a man in the Islands of the Pacific who may have stolen chickens by night, and THEREFORE DESERVE TO BURN IN HELL FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY.

Mr. Hagee gave a sermon entitled "THE SEVEN WONDERS OF HELL" wherein he talked about boys and girls going to a burning hellhole of fire and torture for all eternity. IT IS THIS VERY PAPER THAT YOU POUR OUT YOUR VENOM AGAINST!   It is YOU, Paul, who calls this damnable demonic doctrine of eternal torture, one of the "CORNERSTONES OF FAITH" (Emphasis mine).  It is YOU who accuse me of leading people "...to believe that the VERY CORNERSTONES OF FAITH are out of place." And that when I teach the salvation of all based on PAGES of Scriptures that I present to prove it, you state that, "...we are presented with a whole range of dazzling REPLACEMENT STONES..." (Emphasis mine).

Don't tell me that I am judging you by reading "between the lines."  You wear your loathing for the salvation of all like a Vegas neon sign!

There is no doubt in my mind, Paul, that you will be among the SAVED in God's Family one day, but I do believe God will give you opportunity to first repent of your present attitude regarding the Truths of His Word!


Ray,

Let me say in the beginning ... Whew! ... I don't have words to adequately describe my opinion of your ideas.  And let state that even though I posses a graduate degree and have traveled the world and have lived 50+years, and served two tours in Vietnam and now enjoy life as a Cowboy and Agricultural Teacher.  Your ideas and thoughtful perspective on the Bible and Gods words are the most intelligent and thought provoking words that I have read in many years!!!!

Let me state for the purpose of position that I am a Christian ... but I have always thought 'Outside of the Box' in regards to typical Christianity ... I am a skeptic, I color outside the lines and walk to the beat of a different drum and for the life of me, I have always wondered why the church and Christendom preached such down trodden images of God and the supposedly life here after. 

I have searched the scriptures myself and while I don't pretend to have discovered all that you have found in the Bible, I believe with all my heart the things you have posted!  It strengthens my will and reinforces my beliefs that I have had, that God is merciful, that no one will perish, that we all be with Him one day, that He created evil as well good, and that we are all here to learn something and to move on to another existence. 

You are definitely on the right track and I agree with your perspectives whole heartily.  I must admit that I have not read everything you have posted so far, but what I have read (roughly 20%) I am enthralled and could not agree more. 

Keep up the good work, continue your posts and may the good Lord guide you.  Thank you, and remember:  Always drink upstream from the Herd ...John :o)

[Ray Replies]

Dear John:

Thank you for your kind words. It is delightful, uplifting, and inspiring to once in awhile hear from someone who really "gets it"!  It isn't that life is a bed of roses, but the end will more than justify the means--God inspired Paul to say it;   I believe it.

May God continue to increase your wisdom and knowledge in His will for your life.

Sincerely,

Ray

P.S. One doesn't always know were the cows are pasturing (I Ray 0:0).


How did you gain so much knowledge of the scriptures?

Was it simply exhaustive study? (using Strong's, And Vine's Lexicon) or was it more than that?  I have a Strong's but it's of the wrong type (New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)

Is it wrong to build an established building for worship (I.E Church, etc)

[Ray Replies]

Dear Jeff:

It helps if you have someone to steer you in the right direction in your studies. I was friends with the late Dr. Ernest Martin (he died a few weeks ago), who was the first to begin showing me the reconciliation of all in the Scriptures. There are many writers from the past who understood this Scriptural truths. Andre Jukes has written some good works, but some of them are extremely difficult reading. My whole thing is to make it easy and simple to understand.

I spend much time meditating and running all the Scriptures by a particular truth to establish its validity in my own mind. I have, for example, meditated on the doctrine of "man's free will" or commonly called "free moral agency" for thousands and thousands of hours. Just to be sure in my own mind, that the doctrine is 100% air tight.  I believe any theologian or scientist would be hard put to find a loophole in the truth of the total sovereignty of God.

People email every single day trying to show that man MUST HAVE at least a tiny big of FREE-will. Not true. Unscriptural. And they see it when I show them in the Scriptures, but they still don't want to believe it.

Paul told Timothy to STUDY to show himself approved. I don't know of anyone to whom God has just supernaturally filled their head with spiritual truths without digging for it. Hence all the parables about the pearl of great price, hidden treasure in a field, etc. It takes work. But the spiritual part--spiritually discerning the matters of God's Word must be a gift from God.

Great men of learning such as Dr. James Kennedy who speaks both Greek and Hebrew fluently and has SIX DOCTORATES!!!! have not a clue as to what is the good news of the Gospel.

As far as church buildings go, it doesn't matter where one worships as long as it is "in SPIRIT and in TRUTH." Church buildings are fine. I don't attend any, but I am sure there are some that are just fine.

Sincerely,

Ray


What does salvation mean to you?  And how do you see your life after death?

[Ray Replies]

Thank you for your email and questions.

You don't really expect me to answer that question in one short email, do you?

Salvation means being "saved." There are lots of things we are saved from, not the least of which are SIN and DEATH. A life of sin is not good. A death without sin is also not good. But a LIFE, without SIN, now that's good.

We find Scripturally that we HAVE BEEN saved, are BEING saved, and SHALL BE saved. There is a PROCESS, however, at the point of accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we BEGIN to EXPERIENCE salvation. However, in God's mind it is as "good and done".

Salvation is a REST (like the Sabbath foreshadowed) from the works and frustrations of the flesh and the carnal mind. God has TAKEN OVER! Through faith, we believe all that God has said and promised. We are thus SAVED by His GRACE through the channel of FAITH (which He imparts to each and every believer), and we then become the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.

Therefore this no longer an condemnation toward those IN Christ. We are not yet perfect, but we are viewed as perfect by God because He now views us through HIS SON, Jesus Christ Who WAS PERFECT. 

In SPIRIT we have Christ and we have the Father IN US and thus are ONE SPIRIT!  The flesh takes on a highly subordinate role. It is the temple of God's spirit, but the pulls of the flesh, and the lusts of the carnal mind are CRUCIFIED with Christ.

We are FREE! We are now part of the BODY of Christ. We ARE the SONS OF GOD (Rom. 15:16). The whole of creation is groaning and awaiting our full unveiling, "For the premonition of the creating is AWAITING THE UNVEILING OF THE SONS OF GOD" (Rom. 8:19).

Here is where we really get to what OUR salvation is all about. We, the BODY of Christ, who ARE the SONS OF GOD will be used to SAVE THE REST OF THE WORLD AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE!! "Or are  you not aware that the SAINTS shall judge the WORLD?... Are you not aware that we shall be JUDGING ANGELS..."

In the bigger picture OUR salvation is used to BRING salvation to the rest of God's creation! That sure beats sitting on a cloud playing rock-n-roll gospel music on a harp.

Hope that answers your question at least a little.

Sincerely in Christ's service,

Ray


Dear Mr. Smith,

My name is Deborah and I have been reading your commentaries now for several weeks off and on.  I read and cry read and cry.  I have gone down on my knees before Our Lord to first forgive me and secondly to open my heart and my eyes to the truth. 

I honestly can say that your answers to our present day Evangelists has opened up in my heart that which has been buried. Questions I only dared ask in the quiet of my own room. "Screaming" them out would be a more honest assessment.

"How is it possible that 6million Jews and 5-6million more innocent people died horrible deaths in Concentration Camps and are now suffering further torture in Hell's fires?" 

This question and countless others, through the years, asking my Father to "open my heart to receive the truth."  I will study the scriptures you have used in your commentaries.  I will  pray that my Lord keep my mind and my heart open to receive the truth.  I am eager to begin and will write again. 

May our Lord Bless You and Keep you in His Loving Care. 

Debbie

[Ray Replies]

Dear Debbie:

It is for people just like you, Debbie, that we put this site together. We receive much hate mail for teaching the Truths of Scripture, but then again we also receive letters like yours where we know that God has begun to open up people's minds to His marvelous Truth. You will never be the same again!

Don't hesitate to write if you run into questions regarding your walk with God or your understanding of the Scriptures.

God be with you always.

Sincerely,

Ray


dude..calm down!!! jeez...your God loving isn't exactly helping me...:\ and if god exists why didn't he save all those people that were praying to him in the twin towers?

[Ray Replies]

Dear Nameless:

Thank you for your email and questions.

There are billions and billions of people that God has not yet saved. Your questions is more basic than just why didn't God save those in the twin towers.

All of such things are examples of evil. God created evil for a purpose. So naturally He will not make evil inoperative at every turn in the road or there would have been no purpose in creating it in the first place.

Evil serves many noble purposes. One of which is a back drop for good. Good cannot be understood or certainly not appreciated without a backdrop of evil. Evil makes good appear even better and is certainly much more appreciated.

Evil is necessary for the production or development of good.  You cannot name one virtue that is not in some way produced by the resistance to some form of evil.

All knowledge is matter of contrast and relativity. One cannot know what light is unless he has been acquainted with darkness.  One has no conception of large unless he also knows of things that are small. Up is only up in relation to down. Life is the opposite of death, etc. To understand and fully appreciate all of these things, there are many necessary experiences to go through. God creates and puts us through these many things in the development of godly character.

All of these evils can be likened to the creation of a beautiful building. Ugly scaffolding is necessary in the construction of this building. It is ugly and serves no purpose other than in the actual construction of the building. When the building is completed, the scaffolding is torn down and discarded. It serves no further purpose. All evil will be discarded one day. And the last enemy, DEATH, will likewise be ABOLISHED FOR EVER (I Cor. 15:26) and God will "ALL in All"!!!

May God be with you and grant you wisdom and understanding.

Sincerely,

Ray


 

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