We grow in grace
Debate the Trinity?
Different degrees in Hell
Who will Not be Saved?
Why is there Suffering and Evil?
A Sinful Woman's Earnest Prayer
Try That On For Size!
How did Jesus "lead captivity captive?"
Near Death Experience?
Three Days and Three Nights?
NOTHING Physical Saves Spiritually!

Dear Ray,

All I have read of your writings seem consistent with what the Holy Spirit has been showing me about the mind sets of the pastors and teachers you expose.

Often I struggle with how to express (choose the appropriate words)   to others what the Lord is showing me without having Satan confuse and misrepresent the words I am saying.

Please tell me if you feel your understanding has been a result of God renewing your mind and how and when this came about.


[Ray Replies]

Dear Dave:

Jesus said that His Words were spirit and life.  By the very nature of God's revelation, it cannot be understood with a carnal mind. All of the things of God are "spiritually discerned."  So certainly the carnal mind must be changed. To be carnally minded is DEATH, but to be spiritually minded is LIFE.

All of God's gifts of spiritual discernment, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, etc., start small and grow. Being "born again" does not make us spiritually mature adults in an instant of time. We grow in grace and knowledge and we mature in the spiritual things of God. I know and understand more today than I did even yesterday.  Faith itself increases by the reading of God's Word--a process that takes time.




I was wondering if you would like to debate James White or Robert Morey on the Trinity?

If your position is biblical and the truth, then you should have no problem proving it.

[Ray Replies]

Why is this important to you?  Do they have proof of the trinity that you are unable to present yourself? 

I have had people send me literally hundreds of scripture verses that contain the word "spirit" or "spirit of God" and then stated that all these hundreds of verses prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a trinity.   I have people sending me attachments containing hundreds of pages of material on a number of subjects that I cover, with the claim that if I would read this material then surely I would see that I am wrong in my beliefs.

I have never in my life witnessed a Biblical debate in which either side was the least bit interested in or gave any real attention to what the opposing side said.  Here is an example of a typical debate. I give a Scripture verse to make a particular point concerning a subject.  The person with an opposing view then cites ANOTHER DIFFERENT SCRIPTURE WHICH HE BELIEVES CONTRADICTS THE VERSE THAT I PRESENTED!  As though the Scriptures contradict and the one with the most CONTRADICTING scriptures wins the debate! Unbelievable foolishness and stupidity!

For years I have asked some fairly simple and straight-forward questions regarding the trinity, to which no one has ever answered. No they just go to other things and other scriptures, but NEVER answer the contradiction to a trinity theory that I present.

I really don't have the time for this, but let me just present a few examples once more to prove my point.

The trinity theory supposes that The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, together, as one unity, not as individual units, but together are ONE, constitute the ONE GOD.

Now then:

Why in the dozens of Scriptural discussions regarding the unity of Jesus with God His Father is the Holy Spirit of God NOT included?

If all three are EQUALLY CO-EQUAL, why does Jesus Christ HAVE A GOD, yet the Father is NEVER SAID TO HAVE a God?

Jesus said He didn't need to "rob" God to be equal with Him. Why? Because the Father freely GAVE Jesus all that He had and possessed.  Jesus had ALL power and ALL authority and ALL judgment in heaven and earth.  Were these things the natural possessions of Jesus seeing that He is supposedly a third equal part of this trinity?   No, my friend. God GAVE Jesus all these things--they had an origin and the origin is GOD THE FATHER.

Jesus Christ will be SUBJECT to God His Father for all eternity (See I Cor. 15:24-28). Where are we told that the Father will be subject to Jesus Christ for all eternity?   And, of course, the Holy Spirit is not even mentioned in this discussion in I Cor. 15.

If the trinity is true, how is it that Jesus Christ was CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, but is the SON OF GOD THE FATHER?

There are a few reasons why I don't believe in the trinity theory.  I believe they are good, well-founded, sane, Scriptural reasons. Since NO ONE has ever proves these Scriptures wrong by other Scriptures, why would I want to debate someone who would avoid these questions like the plague and just go in a thousand other directions trying to prove the unproveable?

Send these question of mine regarding the trinity to your scholarly friends and let them give me a brief explanation of each without going into HUNDREDS of unrelated Scriptures regarding God's spirit.



Yes my friend, If they are not saved (sadly) they "shall like wise perish". 

I believe that they are different degrees in Hell.  The bible says that they are "Judged  (punished) according to there deeds".  I believe that a lost murder will suffer more in Hell, than someone who has never heard the gospel.  I would hate to see someone die and go to hell, regardless of there situation, 

That's why I have devoted my life to preach and warn them about hell so that they will not go there.  Let US tell pray for them together.

A friend in Christ


[Ray Replies]

So you believe someone who has  NEVER HEARD THE GOSPEL will suffering pain, misery, heartache, despair, torture, mind-boggling insanity, for trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions of quadrillions of centuries, over and over and over, endless ...... For WHAT? 

What kind of unscriptural insanity are you talking about. You are telling people that the god you worship is going to torture people, albeit not quite as severely as an unbelieving murderer, for all eternity. This is a god that people should WORSHIP??? And I suppose you call this evil, satanic future of the human race, "The GOOD news?"



Hi Ray,

I am not a Bible scholar and in fact must admit to getting easily confused when I read the Bible. 

Sadly I also have lots of false indoctrination to deal with as I was raised Mormon (left), baptized Seventh Day Adventist (too legalistic) and have been going to a Baptist church and others sporadically. (I do like Charles Stanley's style of preaching). 

I just attended a two day seminar of R. C. Sproul.   I was looking for more information on the Internet re: pre-ordination when I stumbled on your site.  I have spent this entire day reading your opinions. 

I'm 62 and not as sharp as I'd like to be, but I do believe that "everything works for good to those who love the Lord ... etc."

I am going to study you more and the scriptures and obtain The Concordant Literal New Testament.  My questions is I am sure you don't believe in pre-ordination, but how did this belief come about?

God bless you,


[Ray Replies]

Dear Linda:

Who wouldn't be confused with three-four hundred different churches and denominations and sects peddling their brand of Christianity. Mostly, however, with a few exceptions they are all the same. They really do teach pretty much the same false doctrines.

By the term "pre-ordination" I believe you are speaking of "predestination" or what is called by some "election" or more correctly the reconciliation of all, as you asked in the subject: Who will not be saved?  

Some believe that God has predestined or elected certain people to be saved from the beginning of His creation.  These preordinated or predestined ones therefore must be saved, while the rest apparently cannot be saved. This is unscriptural. The reconciliation of ALL, that is Scriptural.

Because many people die in a condition of unbelief, theologians have taught that these CANNOT be saved. Anyone who is UNsaved will NEVER be saved according to the popular teaching of almost all Christendom. There is, however, not a single Scripture that states that a person who dies UNsaved will never be saved. Most of humanity dies UNSAVED.   And I assure you, Linda, they will ALL EVENTUALLY BE SAVED, for God has said it, and willed it, and He will bring it to pass.

It is true that "Broad is the way that leads to destruction."  To destruction, yes, but not to eternal damnation as is popularly taught. To be destroyed is the same Greek word for lost. And Jesus Christ came to SAVED THAT WHICH IS LOST AND DESTROYED!  Read my entire letter to James Kennedy in the main paper on my site entitled: 'EXPOSING THOSE WHO CONTRADICT.'  I go through the Old Testament prophesies that show God will resurrect ALL ISRAEL and they will THEN come to know God and God will forgive their sins and evils of the past, and will be their God and SAVE THEM.   He will do likewise to all the Gentile nations.

Rom. 11 explains God's process is saving all Israel and all the Gentiles. It is true that there is coming judgment and chastisement on this wicked people of this world, but that chastisement and judgment is to correct them, not to torture them, and all such judgments COME TO AN END.  The words "forever" and "everlasting" and "eternal" are nowhere found in the original manuscripts from which our modern language bibles have been translated.  See the first ten pages of my letter to John Hagee for absolute proof of this.

"God WILL have all mankind to BE SAVED and come into a knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4). See a list of the many Scriptures that prove God will save all humanity on the last ten pages of my letter to John Hagee.

Hope this helps your understanding a little better, Linda.  Read all of that paper and look up all of the Scriptures. Check back with me if you have further questions.

God be with you.



I'm sure that with the hundreds of e-mails you get it must be difficult to sort it all out.  You seem to study the scriptures with an intellectual approach (i.e. regarding it in the original ancient Hebrew or Greek) and it becomes obvious that you disagree with many original translations, esp. when it comes to specific words (sheol, aions).

My question to you is a personal one that is not particularly related to scripture. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the vastness of life and its mysteries?  As an intellectual you must have wondered what it all means? God could have created an endless perfect realm but chose a design of evil and good, darkness and light and sometimes it becomes a shallow, unsatisfying existence and the question always remains essentially UNANSWERED as to why things are the way they are.

Why is there suffering and evil? Because God says so? Surely you must have struggled intellectually with this one. I don't expect you to know the details of God's plan and how evil works to fulfill it or even why God chose his methodology but... do YOU ever wonder or are you fulfilled enough by the scriptures to let it be.


[Ray Replies]

Dear Jake:

It is true that there are many mysteries that we do not understand. And yet, there is much that we do understand, at least in part.

God is GOOD.  What IS good?  How does anyone BECOME GOOD?

Take a very close look at ANY VIRTUE, Jake, and see HOW IT BECAME A VIRTUE! Is "truthfulness" a virtue if everyone always was and always will be "truthful?" No, because there is NOTHING TO COMPARE IT WITH!  Is "patience" a virtue that one can buy at a department store?  Can "patience" be developed and achieved QUICKLY AND WITHOUT DISTRESS?  I think not.

There is nothing, and I mean absolutely NOTHING that we can come to understand as part of our knowledge, that is not understood by how that bit of knowledge CONTRASTS with OTHER pieces of knowledge. Everything that exists is only understood by contrasts.  How does one know what "big" is if he doesn't know what "small" is, and vice-a-versa?  How can we say something is rough if we don't have any concept of smooth?  Up is only up in relation or contrast to down.   Light is contrasted with darkness, etc., etc., etc.

Do you see where this is going?  If we are to appreciate "good," it is essential that we have an experience of "EVIL."  If we are to appreciate (I mean REALLY appreciate) LIFE, then it is essential that we ALL DIE!!!

And so, God in His infinite wisdom, has provided all of these things--we call it CREATION--so that mankind might experience all that is necessary to humble, educate, experience, and appreciate, the wonderful things that God has prepared for us.

All the ugly, evil, and misery of life can be likened to the scaffolding of a building. While creation of the new building is in progress, the scaffolding is an eye-sore, and serves NO PRACTICAL PURPOSE except the actual creation of the building. But, when the beautiful building is completed, we tear down the ugly scaffolding and throw it away--it serves no more useful purpose to our completed building, EVER.  And so we read that even DEATH, the LAST ENEMY, will be ABOLISHED (I Cor. 15:26)!!

I hope this helps your understanding a little better.



[another email same subject]

Hi L.Ray Smith,

My name is Liam I am from Auckland New Zealand, I am 19 yrs old, I didn't know why I ever started my spiritual journey, because it has been "HELL" for me.

I was Baptized a Catholic with my Family when I was 10yrs old, and attended a catholic school for 6 yrs, I have always believed in God and I have always turned to him in times of need. I grew distant from God over my teenage years where I got heavily involved in drugs and crime.

I am a sinner Sir and I hate these New age Christians that would come to my school (I went to a public school since I was 17) they would come to school and do all these cool things like breakdancing and hip hop, then they would start preaching and talking about going to hell if you didn't know Jesus and repent your sins and read the bible everyday, obey what you read, struggle your whole life and you may have a chance to be saved. I thought this was rubbish, but it used to get to me and get me down they made me so angry and feel like I was one of the devils gangster's. I thought it was so fake how they would pray over people and they would be saved like they were God or something, they would try lure me into their church by offering cool activities and that, it really got me down that I was turning my back on these people of the Lord, and turning my back on the Lord because I know he is real and I love him, cant a sinner love God?

My Father died of cancer when I was 15 and I was with him when he past away, as sad as it was it was beautiful and I said it out loud in front of my family and they didn't tell me off, it was like they felt the beauty too. I believe my dad went to a better place. My dad was a sinner, he was a good man helped others, was good to his family but we all sin, he had not believed in god for 40 yrs, and he had only really gained a strong faith in his dying years. He had done lots of wrong things but I didn't believe he went to hell.

My friend was killed last September in a car crash in my car, my cousin was drink driving who is 14, and he later went to jail for manslaughter. Seeing a friend Die made death so real to me and really made me question what is our purpose of life? Were we sent here as a stepping stone to hell our last chance to be saved because we were bad in previous lives? Are we an organism that will just return to the earth when we die and become nothing? (I think this belief preached is more positive than the belief of Hell). I didn't know and I am going insane trying to work it out, I didn't believe in hell but it is always in the back of my mind, I hate it!!!

Sir I have talked with Mormon missionaries and thought they were true for a while, people from all sorts of Christian religions, it has only left me confused. I have spent hours reading books about near death experiences and they make me feel good, the ones I have read tend to dismiss hell, because "theologians have made grand statements about Gods love being stronger than any sin we can commit and wouldn't be so cruel to send anyone to eternal damnation."( Case of Heaven ) I have spent hours surfing the web reading stuff on websites like your own, like ex-Mormon.com or something which talk about what missionaries don't tell you, and I have never felt so deceived by a person of God in my Life, the impossible task of righteousness

I strived for after being brainwashed by Mormon missionaries was condemning and made me accept that maybe God sent me here to suffer and then die and not even reach the kingdom of God. I think their religion is rubbish.

I have read much of your website and relate to your theories and I thank you, however when I try look up the scriptures you quote in my bibles, they all say different stuff, I have the Jerusalem bible and the new version  something. I think somewhere in the bible it says their will be famine in the world, not meaning no food, but meaning no true word of God. I believe we are in that Famine now, but you Sir have satisfied my hunger and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I am know hungry again, starving can you please help me, I'm a sinner where am I going when I die, is its Gods purpose that I am a sinner for good,

I am currently training to be a social worker I feel my life experience is the best education you can get for the job I want does God think so? I have asked so many questions to the lord, I have received answers but with every answer I gain more questions, to the point I question every answer, and I am sacred that I will get to the point where I question my whole belief and loose God from my life, I have huge doubts because so many people of the Lord have deceived me, please Help me find a reason for the suffering, a reason for the hunger, please help me to put these heavy depressive thoughts at rest, please answer my prayers.

You are a very intelligent man and your wisdom inspires me, keep up the good Lords work, may God Bless you, and guide you.

Thank you again.

Yours sincerely,


[Ray Replies]

Dear Liam,

I am humbled that you would look to me for spiritual guidance in this troubled and deceived world. I can only try to point you the the Lord and Father that I worship. Let me start by saying, not only is there "light at the end of the tunnel," Liam, but there is also great light IN THE TUNNEL.

One of the greatest purposes for all of your heartache, fear, confusion, and despair, is so that you will be overjoyed when your Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, reveals Himself to you!  Your experiences thus far, are mostly OF the world, and things IN the world, and well-intentioned, albeit, deceived and carnal teachers. Your experience with missionaries sounds like the word of Jesus when He said to the hypocritical religious leaders of His day,

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte [convert], and when he is made, you make him twofold more [much WORSE] the child of hell [The Greek word here is 'hades' the realm of the dead where there is NO consciousness] than yourselves" (Matt. 23:15).

Jesus was telling them that they go to great lengths to convert someone to their own wretched beliefs, and when they accomplish that, their new convert is even more spiritually DEAD than the one's who tried to convert him in the first place. These organizations of religion grow in NUMBERS, but their converts are as SPIRITUALLY DEAD as their teachers.

Liam, the word "hell" found in many English Bibles, (but not by any means ALL ENGLISH BIBLES, there are MANY English language Bibles that do NOT contain the word "hell," and for good reasons), is a fraudulent translation. The word hell in the King James Bible, for example is translated from numerous Hebrew and Greek words, "sheol," "hades," "gehenna," "Tartarus," etc. NONE of which has for a meaning, "A place where sinners are tortured in literal fire for ALL ETERNITY." 

There is NO WORD in either the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts from which ALL Bible translations come from, that has one single word, that means or has anything to do with being tortured for all eternity in FIRE!!  Learn this one fact, Liam, and you will know more about the Bible than most TEACHERS OF THE BIBLE, in the whole world!

God will not torture you, Liam, or ANYONE ELSE, not even Hitler or Saddam Hussein (or his two wretched sons), for all eternity. That is UNSCRIPTURAL and THAT IS INSANE! Mind you, God WILL chastise ALL OF HIS CHILDREN, and correct them to think, and do, and live, right! And sometimes times God spanks very hard, but He does not TORTURE for all ETERNITY. That is MAD! That is satanic beyond description! God is love, and He will be merciful to His creatures. Be SURE you real all of the installments in my paper on "The lake of fire" that appears on my site in monthly installments.

I am sorry, Liam, but I must go to work now. I will write you more when I get a break,

God be with you, and strengthen you, and enlighten you, so as to give you peace in your heart and mind.

Till next time,


Dear Liam:

Hello, I'm back again. Yesterday I did not have enough time to cover all that I wanted to say to you.

You mentioned concern over the passing of love-ones who may not have had a real conscious relationship with God. The Church will tell you that these will be tortured in hell after death, for all eternity. Just how one tortures a DEAD PERSON is a little hard to understand, seeing that the Scriptures make it quite clear that when a persons dies, HE IS DEAD and has no thoughts or consciousness (See Psalm 146:4 and I Cor. 15:12-57). The Greek word "hades" often translated "hell" in many English bibles, actually means, "the unseen or imperceptible." If one goes to a place of NO PERCEPTION (hades) at death, how pray tell could there be "perception" (thoughts, feelings, life) in a place of NO PERCEPTION?

All people who die are DEAD until resurrection. The chosen elect of God are joined with Him at resurrection. The wicked and/or unbelievers are judged at resurrection. Judgment SETS THINGS RIGHT. Contrary to all the lies of Christendom, Liam, here is what actually and Scripturally happens when the unbelievers of this life are resurrected by to life:  

"...For when Thy [that's God's] JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the inhabitants of the WORLD [all of them] WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Isaiah 26:9).

That should be comforting to every person who reads this verse. To be sure the wicked will be chastised just as a father chastises his children to correct them and show them the right way to go. However, they "WILL [not maybe] LEARN righteousness."

If you have not read the entire paper on "EXPOSING THOSE WHO CONTRADICT" on my web site, I highly suggest you do. Those couples of letters to John Hagee, and James Kennedy will show you the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and God's plan of salvation for the whole world.

Pray daily that God will open you heart, mind and spirit to His Truths. If you have question, ask me. And let me know from time to time how your are getting along, Okay?   Good. We will be praying for you as well.

God be with you,


I'm amazed that God would so precisely answer this simple, sinful woman's earnest prayer: 

"God, please! I'm tired of being tossed to and fro...  Ground me in your truth, please!" 


I cannot believe that God would allow someone like ME to know these things. You must know how it has changed my everyday life in so many ways (it's actually more like two steps forward one step back, but that's due to my always yearning for the things back in "Egypt.")  just knowing God is truthful and faithful to his word is far above RUBIES...  wowee!  Boy, am I happy!

The way you and I see the kindness of God through the faces of kittens (I think of that sometimes when I look at my cat!  it's so amazing that you should say that!), and the way I see the love and faithfulness of God through [t]His website.


p.s.  You didn't lose a son - you gained a lot of hungry, starving children, who are now well-fed and giving God the glory for it!!!

[Ray Replies]


Your kind words are inspiring to me and my staff (of two, who also have full-time jobs). I believe that most of my readers believe that this web site is all that I do.

Actually we have three cats. My daughter has an all black, my wife a half black/half white, and I have this gorgeous long-haired Persian calico, that I think is one of the cutest animals I have ever seen.

Love, grace, and peace,


Read Matt: 13:42  and try that on for size.

[Ray Replies]

Dear "Onfire4jesus,"

I am not sure what you mean by "try that on for size." Do you not understand this verse and are asking for an explanation?

Many spiritually ignorant people believe that Jesus is saying that He will torture people in a "furnace of fire" for all eternity. I don't know why they think He would do that. Perhaps they think Jesus is a trillions billions times meaner than Saddam's two terrorist sons were.

The Scriptures speak many times about a furnace of fire melting, purifying, and burning off the unwanted dross when refining such metals as silver and gold.  In I Cor. 3:12-12 Pauls gives us this same analogy of purifying gold, silver, or precious stones, while burning off the dross of wood, straw, and stubble. But Paul is clearly speaking of PEOPLE'S WORKS being tried and purified in this fire. The result of ALL that go through this purifying fire of God is that THEY ARE ALL SAVED! "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but  he himself SHALL BE SAVED, yet so as BY FIRE." There is the wonderful good news about the outcome of God's divine judgments.

And so Jesus also alluded to this endtime judgment of the lake of fire when everyman's work would be tried in the lake of fire (or furnace of fire). And we know just what the fire is, because it purifies as brimstone, which is DIVINE!  God HIMSELF IS a "consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). God even prophesied of this purifying fire of judgment back in the book of Malachi. I don't have the time to prove to you from the Bible that "Levi" is representative of ALL HUMANITY, but with that in mind, let's read Malachi 32-3, "But who may abide the day of His coming? and sho shall stand when He appears? for He is like a REFINER'S FIRE, and like fullers' sope: and He shall sit as a REFINER AND PURIFIER [need I even comment that we do not torture or punish silver and gold in a furnace?] of silver: and He shall purify THE SONS OF LEVI, and purge them AS gold and silver, [why? for the fun of torturing them for all eternity? No, read on...] that they may offer unto the Lord an OFFERING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Oh how so many Christians despise these marvelous words of God! God's judgments bring RIGHTEOUSNESS, NOT ETERNAL TORTURE! That's SATANIC! God IS righteous and when our Righteous God brings judgment upon the world, they TOO will become righteous! Sure they will. The fires of God's spiritual furnace will PURGE AND PURIFY all mankind. We read of it EVERYWHERE in His Word:

"...For when thy [God's] JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD will learn RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Isa. 26:9).

And so, if I may borrow your words, "TRY THAT ON FOR SIZE"!!



Hi Ray,

I've written you a few times over the past year and you have always made time to respond.  I appreciate that!  I have a question regarding Ephesians 4:8-10 that I'd like your opinion on.  I'll provide the verses:

8 wherefore, he saith, 'Having gone up on high he led captive captivity, and gave gifts to men,'

9 and that, he went up, what is it except that he also went down first to the lower parts of the earth?

10 he who went down is the same also who went up far above all the heavens, that He may fill all things (Young's)

In the KJV verse 8 says:

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

What do you think verse 8 is telling us?  Numerous amounts of people have told me that this verse is referencing an event where Christ freed the captives (apparently those who died) and took them to Heaven.  I went to Strong's lexicon and apparently the word Captivity is defined as such:

1) to make captive, take captive, capture. Captive is defined as:

1) captivity

Now, looking at these definitions, I don't see anything here that would render captive or captivity referring to people.  Looking at Young's and the CLNT, it appears as if an action is being taken against "captivity".   This captivity (to me) suggests either death or hades.  Perhaps I'm grasping for straws here.

I have read and agree with everything you have written.   I agree with it because I've done the searching myself and found that just about all your conclusions are accurate and scriptural.  Please let me know what you think.



[Ray Replies]

Dear David:

Thank you for your email and question.

Unfortunately, we can not often learn the meaning of Scriptures from Strong's Lexicon. We learn from God by comparing Scripture with Scripture, spiritual with spiritual, and only then by the inspiration of His Spirit.

And like many Scriptures in God's Word, the Christian World understand little about spiritual things.  Furthermore, when the Scriptures suggest that God is and will be triumphant and victorious over ALL ENEMIES, the theologians of this world are quick to reel God in and diminish often to ought the grand declarations of God and His accomplishments and blessings. Witness their turning I Tim. 2:4,

"For this is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the TRUTH,"

into an unattainable "WEAK WISH."

Now then, just how did Jesus, "lead captivity captive" (Eph. 4:8)?

This is, of course, a quotation from Psalm 68:18.  After reading Psalm 68:18 & 19, read verse 20, "He that is our God is the GOD OF SALVATION; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from DEATH."

There is the answer to this enigmatic verse in Ephesians 4:8.  Notice that this verse does not say that Jesus "sets captives free." That is not to say that "captives" are not set free, but that is not what THIS particular verse is saying. It is "captivity" ITSELF that is "captured." Notice the Concordant New Literal New Testament's treatment of this verse:  "Ascending on high, He captures captivity, And gives gifts to mankind."  So it is definitely "captivity" itself that is "captured," not "captives set free" as the Church suggests.

Now Strong's is correct in that "captivity" does, make captive, take captive or captures. And those who ARE made captive, taken captive, or captured, are called "CAPTIVES."  Hope I didn't loose you yet.

And so "captivity" is the instrumentality that brings about "captured captives," if you will.  God is here labeling all the evils of the world under the one word "captivity." There is a new spiritual law mentioned under the New Covenant called "The Law of Liberty" (James 1:25).  Notice that while the "false prophets" of II Pet. 2:1, "...promise them LIBERTY, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the SAME  is he brought IN BONDAGE" (Verse 20). Rev. 13:10 says, "He that leads into captivity shall GO into captivity...."

Satan, Religion, the World, our own Carnal Mind--all LEAD US INTO CAPTIVITY, hence we become CAPTIVES.  Jesus Christ took ALL CAPTIVITY--ALL THAT CAPTURES, and made a CAPTIVE OF IT ALL.  Just how did He do this?  (1) "He also DESCENDED first into the LOWER PART OF THE EARTH" (Eph. 4:9). This "descending into the lower part [the very HEART] of the earth" was the very sign of Christ's Messiahship!   "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man [Christ] in three days and three nights IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH" (Matt. 12:40). Contrary to what even I used to believe, this verse is not speaking of the "length" of time that Jesus would be buried, but rather the DEPTH OF SUFFERING He would endure during that three day period of Passover when they crucified our Lord. (Remember how He sweat BLOOD in the Garden)?

The trials and temptations in the desert with Satan cannot be compared with the suffering of those three days of Passover that Jesus went through. So what did it all accomplish?   EVERYTHING!  John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have PEACE. In the world ye shall have tribulation: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD"!!! JESUS CHRIST LEAD CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE!!! He overcame and CONQUERED ALL ENEMIES, including DEATH ITSELF!  And truly, He now has GREAT AND MARVELOUS GIFTS TO GIVE UNTO ALL MANKIND, not the least of which is I Tim. 2:4, and 4:10!

And of the immediate gifts Christ gave, we read:

"And he gave some apostles and some, prophets; and some , evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the PERFECTING [MATURING] of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12).

And finally this: 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES, and recovering of sight to the [spiritually] blind, to set at LIBERTY them that are bruised [crushed by the burden of this world, which Christ OVERCAME], To preach the acceptable year of the Lord ... And He [Jesus] began to say unto them, 'THIS DAY IS THIS SCRIPTURE FULFILLED IN YOUR EARS" Luke 4:18-19 & 21).

Hope this helps your understanding a little better.

God be with you,


Hi Ray,

Hell is real.  If a person did not have Jesus Christ, he/she is condemned to Hell.

Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father accept by me.

Have you ever have a near death experience?  If you have, then you will know.

May God give you a revelation of what hell is about.


[Ray Replies]

Do you mean that everyone gets to have one of these "near death experiences" so that if they did not believe in a place called hell, then they will believe? And if they do believe in hell (not Jesus, but hell) then they will be saved and come back to life again?

Do the people who have these near death experiences believe in Jesus BEFORE they have this near hell experience, WHILE they are experiencing hell, or AFTER they return from the hell experience?

If this "near death/hell experience" is effective in getting people to believe in both hell AND Jesus, then that would be a very very good thing, wouldn't it? God could then SAVE ALL HUMANITY, just by giving everyone a "near death/hell experience" before they REALLY DIE ALL THE WAY DEAD?

Will you please answer all these questions (please don't leave any out and skip over it, okay, because this is most important to know).  I could number all of my questions if you like, if that would make it easier.

If you answer all of my questions, I PROMISE that I will post your answers on my web site for the everyone to read. We have had nearly a QUARTER MILLION visitors to our site in the first three years. That would be a wonderful way to save hundreds of thousands of people, if what you say is true.

THANK YOU for your concern and for the answers you will give me regarding my questions.

Very sincerely yours,


Hello Ray,

On your Email question and answer on a reply to a question you  mention Matt.12;40 saying that the verse is not speaking about the length of time that Jesus was buried. Why is your view changed?


[Ray Replies]

Dear Urban:

You are a pretty sharp guy to catch that! I will write a separate paper on this subject in the near future, or I may incorporate it into my paper on "The Lake of Fire."

I changed my view, because as of three months ago, I realized I was teaching heresy regarding these "three days and three nights." I spent tens of hours on this subject a couple of months back, when I should have been writing on my paper. A friend believed that "three days and three nights" could mean any part of three days and three nights. I said that "three days and three nights" could not possibly means "Friday night, Saturday day, and Saturday night." That's only ONE day and TWO nights.

I calculated EVERY CONCEIVABLE way possible to have Christ resurrected early Sunday morning while it was just beginning to dawn, and yet, go backwards "three NIGHTS and three DAYS" and arrive a time and day that would fit all of the other statements regarding the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection--the Passover preparation day, the hurrying to bury Christ because of impending weekly Sabbath, that that Sabbath that year was "an high or holy" day in addition to being the weekly sabbath, etc., etc.

Anyway, I found that IT CANNOT BE DONE!  IT WON'T FIT! No matter how anyone configures the Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, weekly Sabbath, etc., IT CANNOT BE DONE--it will not fit. I spent hours and hours just on the Scripture in Luke's account where the men going to Emmaus were accosted by our Lord, and one of them remarked, "And beside all this, TO DAY IS THE THIRD DAY since these things were done" (Luke 24:21). But I found one translation that said, "Besides all this, IT HAS ALREADY BEEN THREE DAYS since these things were done."  I thought I was really on to something here. NOT!

I obviously prayed to God to give me understanding. After one of my intense sessions with the Scriptures regarding this matter, I went to the kitchen for a drink, and while on my way God turned on a light bulb in my spirit. I had FAILED MYSELF TO DO WHAT I HAVE BEEN TEACHING OTHERS.  I was thrilled with the answer--God gave me the answer.

I called Michael, and informed him that "he was RIGHT after all."  By combining ALL of the Scriptural statements regarding Christ's crucifixion, He HAD to be buried on Friday evening and raised Sunday morning! And Michael was delighted to know that he was right after all. But my next statement floored him. I then told Michael that I WAS RIGHT ALSO. THAT JESUS CHRIST REALLY WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH!

Well, Michael was now bewildered--HOW CAN THAT BE, THAT'S A CONTRADICTION!  I told him that it is no contradiction, we were both right and we were both wrong. Jesus Christ was buried Friday evening and rose Sunday morning, and yet, was also "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Two things I neglected to follow: 

  1. Jesus Christ ALWAYS, ALWAYS spoke to the multitudes in public in PARABLES. Parables are not LITERAL, neither do they lie. I neglected to treat this teaching of Jesus as a "parable."

  2. It NOWHERE SAYS that Jesus would be "DEAD for three days and three nights." I just ASSUMED that is what was meant by the phrase "in the HEART OF THE EARTH."

I'll just give you the gist of the answer, as my time is limited right now. Jesus called "three days and three nights in the HEART OF THE EARTH," "the SIGN of Jonah."  Now then, if Christ was to be DEAD for the exact period of TIME of three days and three nights, How then could that be "the sign of Jonah?" JONAH WAS NOT DEAD AT ALL!!! Jonah went through 'A LIVING HELL' if you will! Besides, Jesus was NOT buried in the "HEART" of the earth, He was buried in an ABOVE THE EARTH TOMB! Maybe twenty inches or so on the other side of a big stone. 

"In the HEART OF THE EARTH" is a parable showing the unbelievable agony of the human spirit and flesh that Jesus would go through LEADING UP TO and INCLUDING the time in the tomb. And those three days began on the PREPARATION FOR THE PASSOVER, seeing that Jesus, HIMSELF, was to BE THE PASSOVER!!!

And don't forget the AGONY IN THE GARDEN when Jesus SWEAT BLOOD!! No one will ever know what torture He endured those "three days and three nights in the HEART OF THE EARTH." BEFORE the beatings and crucifixion we read this: 

"NOW is My SOUL TROUBLED [Greek: DISTRESSED, IN TURMOIL!]; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for his cause came I unto THIS HOUR" (John 23:27).

The "heart of the earth" is the very DEPTH OF THE FLESH. The flesh of man is "of the EARTH, EARTHY" Paul tells us.

Again, thank you for your keen observation.

God be with you,


[another email on same subject]

Hello Mr. Smith,

I have been reading the material that you have posted on your website, and I find it very informative and in-depth.  You have been blessed with the gift of insight on matters pertaining to traditional belief compared to what God is actually telling us in His Word.

In reading some of the material, I came across your email reply to Mr. Urban (pertaining to Jesus' Resurrection (Three Days and Three Nights).  I have to say that I respectfully disagree with your conclusion  that Jesus was buried on Friday and rose on Sunday morning.  More so because, the sign of Jonah was the only sign that He gave to the masses of people, Pharisee and Sadducees.   Three days and three nights are the bases of His resurrection, mainly because He said it would be so.  Taking it as the only proof to them that He is who He said He was.  This sign to them would be a defining factor in the generations to come, of the death and resurrection of the Son of God.

Ok, where to begin.  I will start by saying that the "In the heart of the Earth" analysis that you gave was good and intriguing.  But it appears that in comparison with the statement of "In the heart of the seas" part of Jonah's (Jonah 2:2-9) prayer to God from inside the belly of the great fish, does not appear to hold true with your analysis.  More so, it appears that it is proof that Jesus was three days and three nights in the grave. I agree that Jesus only spoke to the masses in parables, but I don't agree that the only sign that Jesus gave to the masses, Pharisee and Sadducess about his resurrection (In The Heart of the Earth) , was a parable.    Yes, I do agree that Jonah was alive inside the fish's stomach, because he wouldn't have been able to pray to God if he was dead, but it was a symbol of death.   The great fish was his grave.  But, Jesus used the sign of the prophet Jonah as a signature to the length of time that He would be in the grave and he taught his disciples as such. (Mark 10:34, 9:31, 8:31, 16:21).  In fact the angels confirmed that he had risen as Jesus had said.
(Luke 24:4-7)

It was also mentioned in the reply to Mr. Urban that a Friday burial and a Sunday resurrection was possible.  Compared to the teachings of Jesus, it can not be possible.  You were correct in your analysis that, that was only one day and two nights and it would not fit.  The only way that a three day and three night burial would fit, would be only if Jesus was crucified on Wednesday.  Which I believe He was.  So what we are dealing with is the definition of a day (24 hour period) during the time of Jesus' ministry.

We know that a day is defined from sunset to sunset ([Genesis 1:5-31] "evening and morning").  Without taking  a lot of space here, It is determined that Wednesday evening was the time of Jesse's crucifixion.  This is stated, because there was two Sabbaths that week.  The High Sabbath (The beginning of Days of Unleaven Bread) and the weekly Sabbath.  Jesus was resurrected some time late Saturday evening.  This is stated because, there is no Scripture that contributes to or says that Jesus was resurrected at sunrise on Sunday.  In John 20:1 it is stated that Mary went to Jesus' tomb while it was still dark and He was already resurrected.

Please feel free in enlightening me in some of the points that I may have missed.  I perceive that your studies are really in depth and thought provoking.  

I am glad that I stumbled upon your site, but, we both know that it was not by chance.



[Ray Replies]

Dear Clayton:

Thank you for your email and comments.

I had a long email exchange with a member of the Worldwide Church of God regarding your same arguments. I was presented with an article on this subject by Herbert W. Armstrong. I informed the questioner regarding this matter that Mr. Armstrong had decidedly NOT written that article even though His name was on it. I knew Mr. Armstrong personally, and he did NOT write that paper. But be that what it may, the article used the same argument for Christ being literally in the "grave" or "tomb" for three days AND three nights. But in order to accomplish this unscriptural feat, they had to first establish that the statement: "...since these THINGS were done" in Luke 24:21, INCLUDED the "setting of the guard" at the tomb. And just WHY would they insist that "these THINGS" including the "setting of the guard?" Because if it didn't include the setting of the guard, then their whole argument would crumble. Try it out yourself:

IF, as you say the crucifixion would have HAD to be on Wednesday evening, then going forward "three days AND three nights" would bring us to Saturday evening BEFORE sunset. Now then, how could LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON be "...and beside all this, TO DAY IS THE THIRD DAY since these things were done. And it is PROPERLY TRANSLATED "TO DAY IS the third day," and not "it HAS BEEN THREE days." How, Clayton, could "to day"--late SUNDAY afternoon be "THE THIRD DAY" since "these things were done," it would have then been the FOURTH DAY "since these things were done"?

It is total deception to try include "setting of the guard" as part of "these THINGS." This is ONLY done to push this statement forward another day so that "to day IS THE THIRD DAY since these things were done." NO, these verses plainly tell us how far back "THESE THINGS..." go. They do NOT go back to the "setting of the guard," but to the CRUCIFIXION ITSELF--Verse 20, "And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and HAVE CRUCIFIED Him."  If we go back in time from the RESURRECTION only to the "setting of the guard," then "these things" would NOT EVEN INCLUDED THE CRUCIFIXION ITSELF, WHICH THESE TWO MEN DEFINITELY SAID 'THESE THINGS' INCLUDED!!

And this is but ONE of the problems with a three days and three nights "in the TOMB
theory" over the three days and three nights "in the HEART OF THE EARTH Scripture."

I prefer to go with the SCRIPTURE rather than the THEORY.

God be with you,


Dear Ray,

I believe that the original Sabbath should still be practiced today, but here again I don't know, maybe I am wrong.  Maybe I missed something in the Bible that shows me that Sunday is the day.

Will it be wrong for me to be baptized by one of the members from our Bible Study group?  And, is baptism just water baptism?  Where and how do we receive the Holy Spirit.  Do all of us get it automatically or does our Creator picks and chooses?  I don't know, I am confused.

Thank you for your time.


P.S.  I did read the article about Kennedy's sermon.  I personally think TBN is a nest of vipers!!  They may as well call themselves God, Incorporated.

[Ray Replies]

Dear Lisa:

I can certainly understand your situation. There are maybe a thousand Christians churches teaching nearly the same things, however, different enough to call themselves by another name. I believe, however, that they all will take 10% of your salary and call it God's Tithe, regardless of what church YOU belong to.

There are lots of theories as to how one gets saved--what is required and what is not, what has been done away with and what has not. Usually people end up just picking a few things that they personally believe are important and try to stick to those. Maybe the one single most important physical ritual in all the Old Testament was "circumcision." The most demeaning thing that one could be called was an "Uncircumcised Gentile." Wow, how horrible.

Circumcision is the cutting of the foreskin of a boy when he is eight days old. It came to represent the purifying of the human heart. As though eight day olds could have their hearts purified.  Flesh became synonymous with a carnal mind, and mind and attitude against God's will and commandments. It was just a physical ritual of cutting off a few centimeters of skin, but it was to picture THE ACTUAL CONVERSION OF THE HUMAN HEART AND TOTAL DEDICATIONS TO GOD. And mind you, the unfortunate female could not partake of this most revered ritual at all!

Well, don't you know, all Jewish babies were circumcised, as are all orthodox babies to this day, but there was a problem. They were all physically circumcised, but almost no one was circumcised spiritually in their heart, AND THAT IS WHAT IT REPRESENTED!

It was all the circumcised Jews in Jerusalem that crucified their own Messiah. The circumcised scribes and Pharisees were among the most hypocritical pack of lying, lusting, thieves on earth. Saul of Tarsus was circumcised the eight day as commanded--he also slaughtered many in Christ's Church and became the WORST SINNER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. 

I could go on and on. By the way, that pack of cut throat murders that chanted "CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM"--They were the ones that BELIEVED ON JESUS, WERE BAPTIZED BY JOHN, AND KEPT THE SABBATH DAY COMMAND EVERY WEEK!!!

Yet, I get emails every week, Lisa, telling me that we MUST "keep the Sabbath," we MUST "pay our tithes," we MUST observe the "Lord's supper," we MUST be "baptized in water," "we MUST "keep the ten commandments," etc., or we CAN'T BE SAVED!!!

Satan and his ministers APPEAR as angels of light! But Jesus said, "Satan DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD!" Do you think that just maybe professing Christians are part of "THE WHOLE WORLD?"

Do physical rituals, SPIRITUALLY SAVE A PERSON?

Most of Christendom and their highly schooled clergymen, have not a clue that we are under A NEW COVENANT, and that it is NOT PATTERNED AFTER THE OLD COVENANT! God said:

"I will make a NEW covenant with the [spiritual] house of Israel and with the House of Judah. NOT ACCORDING... [that's 'NOT according...'] ...NOT ACCORDING to the [old] covenant that I made with their fathers..." (Heb. 8:8-9).

Yet all of Christendom virtually teaches that the New Covenant is IN ACCORD WITH THE OLD covenant. That really, the New Testament to them is "Keeping the Old covenant BETTER than they used to keep the OLD COVENANT!!! Uncircumcised, unscriptural, HOG-WASH!!

Jesus said:

"Think NOT that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, BUT TO FULFILL"

Now follow this closely:

  • Did not Jesus say He came to "FULFILL" the prophets?
    Did He in reality and actually, "fulfill" all the prophecies concerning Himself and His ministry?

  • Are those very SAME prophecies, therefore, still to be continuously fulfilled, over and over and over down through the centuries?

  • Did Jesus also "FULFILL" the law? YES HE DID.
    Are we then to continuously fulfill the law, over and over and over down through the centuries?
    Contrary to all Christendom and the Supreme Court Judge of Alabama, NO WE ARE NOT!


"In that He [Jesus] said, A NEW COVENANT, he has made the first OLD. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to VANISH AWAY" (Heb. 8:13).

Will we believe these words or not?

Here is the real answer: 

"For the LOVE of Christ constrains us because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were ALL DEAD: And that He died for all, that they which live should NOT henceforth live unto themselves, but unto HIM which died for them, and rose again. Where henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet NOW HENCEFORTH KNOW WE HIM  NO  MORE. THEREFORE if any man be IN CHRIST, he is A  NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; BEHOLD, all things are become new"!!! (II Cor. 5:14-17).

If you are IN CHRIST, then CHRIST IS IN YOU, and Christ will live a NEW LIFE IN YOU THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF GOD, and not through the carnal minded flesh of man.


But what about all these 'physical things' of circumcision and baptism? Do we not have to be circumcised and baptized? YES WE DO! ABSOLUTELY. And here is how it is to be done:

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy [theological doctrines] and vain DECEIT, after the TRADITION OF MEN, after the RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD, and not AFTER CHRIST. For IN HIM dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  And YOU ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the Head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye ARE CIRCUMCISED [how so?] with the circumcision made WITHOUT HANDS [or knives], in putting off the BODY OF THE SINS OF THE FLESH by the CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST: [notice, no period...] Buried WITH HIM [in 'WATER baptism?' No...] in baptism [how so? same way! 'WITHOUT HANDS; WITHOUT WATER, 'in putting off the body of the SINS OF THE FLESH by the BAPTISM OF CHRIST--there is but 'ONE BAPTISM,' Eph. 4:5!], wherein also you 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 together WITH HIM, having forgiven you ALL TRESPASSES

... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon or of the sabbath days: Which are a SHADOW of things to come, but the body [the SUBSTANCE, the REALITY OF THE SHADOW, the BODY OF CHRIST WHICH WAS CASTING THE SHADOW] is of [or belongs to] CHRIST" (Col. 2:8-13 & 16-17)!!!

At the conference at Jerusalem spoken of in the 15th chapter of Acts, Christian Pharisees were demanding that newly converted Gentiles must BE CIRCUMCISED AND KEEP THE LAW OF MOSES.  Did the Apostles, elders, disciples, and the whole church under the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit conclude that they should:

  A. Be circumcised, but NOT to keep the law of Moses?

  B. Keep the law of Moses, but NOT to be circumcised?

  C. Be circumcised, AND keep the law of Moses?


It is, of course, NONE OF THE ABOVE. They ALL concluded in complete harmony with each other and the Spirit of God, that new Christian converts were not to be circumcised OR keep the law of Moses. Now everyone knows (don't they?) that the ritual of circumcision was the most important physical ritual in all the Old Covenant, and that that the Old Covenant itself WAS the 'Ten Commandments.' 

"And He [GOD] declared unto you His [Old now] Covenant, which He commanded you to perform, EVEN TEN COMMANDMENTS; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone" (Deut. 4:13).

The TEN COMMANDMENTS were, in effect, THE OLD COVENANT! Read all of Acts 15 and see for yourself that the OLD covenant ten commandments and circumcision were NOT enforced upon NEW CHRISTIAN CONVERTS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT!

When we have JESUS CHRIST LIVING IN OUR VERY HEARTS AND MINDS AND SPIRITS, we don't need laws chiseled into hearts of STONY TABLETS!  We must live a spiritual life FAR FAR ABOVE that of the legalistic Pharisaical hypocrites that thought that obeying physical laws makes a man SPIRITUAL.

One could KILL HIS ENEMIES under the Old Covenant. Well he can't anymore. Now a Christian MUST LOVE ALL OF HIS ENEMIES! One was to performed his oaths unto the Lord in the Old Covenant, but now a Christian is "NOT TO SWEAR AT ALL."  You see NOT SWEARING is NOT the spiritual application of SWEARING. They are DIFFERENT. And the New is BETTER! One was not to commit the actual act of physical intercourse with another man's wife, under the Old Covenant. But now ... NOW, we dare not even "LOOK upon a woman to lust after her"!!!
Are you getting the picture? Are you beginning to hear with your spiritual ears and perceive with you spiritual eyes and understand in your SPIRITUAL HEART?  GOOD!   GOD BLESS YOU!

Peace and grace to you and yours, always,


P.S. God will give His Holy Spirit to those whom He has called and chosen. There are no physical formulas now that we know Christ no more after the flesh, we are COMPLETE IN HIM, which certainly includes His Holy Spirit.

P.P.S. I do not go to institutionalized churches as a religious habit. I do meet, however, with like-minded believers at every opportunity.