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« on: November 01, 2006, 09:03:00 PM »

    I'm struggling as I start my journey of discovery.  How do we know what the Bible really means?  Another website suggested that we have to stay true to the author's original intent as we interpret a particular passage.  I can't argue with this - and I think it is clearly what you try to do in your interpretations.  What I am struggling with is the notion of figuring out the author's original intent.  How do we really know - and what if we're wrong in our interpretation?  The downside, obviously, could be huge!!!  As a society, we sometimes have a difficult time interpreting the author's intent with respect to our own laws - how certain can we be of the author's intent when we are translating words from thousands of years ago in languages that in many cases no longer exist?  Your discussion regarding hell for example is intuitively very appealing, but obviously there are those who argue the other side of the equation w ith equal vigor.
    I have a lot of things that I am trying to work through.  But I guess what it all comes down to is a couple of things:  Is loving and accepting Jesus Christ into my heart enough!?!  And what is "accepting" really?  My parents believed in a "supreme being," but felt that belief in the afterlife was a human rationalization to assuage the fear of dying.  This has been a hard impression to shake and, as you can imagine, is a very frightening thought.  When my Mom died twenty-two years ago, I remember thinking as she prayed with the hospital chaplain - "Please God, let this be enough to allow her to be with you."  After a life of thinking wrongly about God, she turned to Him in her final hours.  I guess this concern has stuck with me much more than I ever realized.  My Dad feels the same way as my Mom did and, since he is 84, I feel that I must turn him around as soon as I can. 
    I thank God that he has brought me to this point.  But I'm finally coming to the realization that I need help working through some of these issues.  And I am sorry to burden you with all of this - but any help that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    - Lloyd

    Dear Lloyd:
    It is a little frustrating for me too, that thousands of people have come to me as you are doing, asking me how they can have great faith, freedom from all sins, doubts, financial, and health problems, get saved, understand all Scripture, etc., etc., etc.  In other words: "Ray, please explain to me ALL THE MYSTERS OF LIFE in one short email."  It can't be done, Lloyd. I have written nearly 2000 pages of material by now, and I doubt that you have read much of it. You want the answers, but you want them neatly packaged in a one page email. It don't happen, Lloyd.  Do you think that I woke up one morning and instantly knew all that I know now?  I am wrestling with a couple of points right now in the Scriptures. Most wouldn't see the problem if I explained it to them.  There are keys (as in Jesus gave Peter "the KEYS to the Kingdom."  Unfortunately, He did not spell them out to all of us.  Someone recently wrote hundreds of pages of commentary on the Book of Revelation thinking that they had unlocked all the mysteries of Revelation and prophecy.  The whole premise of their commentary was totally wrong and unscriptural.
    You will never in this life grasp all of the mysteries of God or the Scriptures.  But to those who search out her pages like real hidden treasure, God opens up our understanding. I can not give you that in an email. I cannot prove to you that I have the key to all truth. God will have to reveal to you whether the things I teach are true and according to the intent of the writers of Scripture or not.  One thing I can and have done over and over again, is show how utterly silly and often evil and unscriptural most of what is taught by Christendom and self-appointed vanity filly prophets of the Scriptures.
    As you pray and obey and study, God will open things up to your understand, and at that moment whole sections of revelation will flood your mind. But not all Scripture---just sections of Scripture: here at truth and there a truth, and then they start to all come together and a bit picture presents itself to our spiritual understanding.  I get asked this question all day long Lloyd, but only God can give you the answer. All I can do is encourage you to not give up.
    God be with you,

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