=> General Discussions => Topic started by: Amrhrasach on July 08, 2008, 12:46:46 PM

Title: another free-will topic
Post by: Amrhrasach on July 08, 2008, 12:46:46 PM
I’ve been reading Ray’s writings for about 6 months.    His scripture understandings are truly phenomenal.  God has blessed Ray and I thank God for leading me to his site.   

Now, I have a few questions and would welcome any insight from you. 

God’s holy spirit: 
Is it possible to understand, agree, and feel thankful for the new understandings….and not have the holy spirit of God in one’s life?

Recent changes in lifestyles (changes in employment, change in home ownership, change in home location, further distance from one side of the family) have caused some extreme misery to both my wife and to me.   These changes came about as decisions made by us and that she and I knew in advance the results of these decisions/changes would be life-altering.  We didn’t realize how extreme they would affect us.  Now we know those decisions were, perhaps, not the smartest.   Both of us are questioning our marriage to each other, among other things. 

Relating this to the free-will understandings, my question is:  does God himself bring about such situations/changes/decisions, et all, in one’s life, or, did I just simply flip-flop my life for no other reason than being an idiot? 

Realize, all of the 2nd question relates to the 1st question, in that, somehow even though I love Ray’s understandings and teachings, I’m questioning if I even have God in my life.

It’s a tough thing to walk through.

Any insight from the community would be most appreciated.
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: rjsurfs on July 08, 2008, 01:03:53 PM
Hello Amrhrasach & welcome.

Ray has addressed this in various places... here is one from part 3 of LoF:

Was it just Paul that God singled out to endure such hardships and trials? No, we too must partake of the same:

"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that WE [Christians, followers of Christ] MUST through MUCH TRIBULATION [Greek: thlipsis--affliction, troubles, burdens, persecution, anguish] enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

Does your pastor teach that you must go through such things if you are to be a follower of Jesus Christ and rule with Him in the Kingdom of God? Or does he teach that if you are going through just such things that you probably need to get your life in order and repent because you obviously have many, many sins in your life that are bringing on all these troubles and therefore, you are not being blessed of the Lord? Their prosperity gospel of worldliness and gross materialism is a travesty of the gospel of Jesus Christ! I hear this prosperity gospel of worldliness and materialism every time I turn the TV on. But what do the Scriptures say?

Before I continue this train of thought, let me interject that although we are to go through extreme hardship, persecution, and tribulations, God nonetheless strengthens us so that we can endure these things. It is not God’s purpose to discourage us. We have this promise from God:

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape [Gk: ‘sequel’] that you may be able to bear it" (I Cor. 10:13).

I can personally tell you that I suffer in similar ways as you have mentioned.  There are times that I feel... "how much more can I take?"... but I also realize these are times of growth for me... not that I can't grow when times are easier... but I do know and see God's purpose in "gracing" me, correcting and chastising me through suffering... as I am being made into the image of his son... I must endure suffering just as Jesus did.

You have reason to be thankful for these trials even though I know it is not pleasant and like myself you wish for relief.

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: dogcombat on July 08, 2008, 01:15:57 PM
Excellent point Bobby.  The trials we go through are for OUR benefit, not God's.
Ephesians 1:11 talks about God working "ALL things after the counsel of His own will". 

Look at it this way Amrhrasach, you're probably in the middle of a chapter, as opposed to the end of a story.  I would only suggest that you ask God to reveal more Christ to you, so that He is your focus as opposed to your circomstances.

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Kat on July 08, 2008, 02:59:36 PM

Hi Amrhrasach,

The breaking away from the old and coming into the new is not meant to be simple and easy, Ray says it's the hardest thing anybody will ever do.  I think most things in this life worth having are hard to come by, so much more so for this truth.  And yes God has caused all the circumstances that have lead to where you are now.

Pro 16:9  A man's heart plans his way,
       But the LORD directs his steps.

To have your eyes opened to this truth is the greatest thing you could hope to have happen.
But you grow little by little as you apply yourself to seeking.  Once you have been dragged to Christ and given the Spirit we have to feed it spiritual food everyday, but it takes time.

Isa 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
       Line upon line, line upon line,
       Here a little, there a little."

But you can't give up and stop studying or you may quench the Spirit, which means to extinguish it or to put out it. 

1Th 5:16-22  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

But do know that you have Jesus Christ in you, the greatest source of strength possible.

Heb 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
v. 15  For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
v. 16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

mercy, peace and love

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Dave in Tenn on July 08, 2008, 03:15:05 PM
I don't know any more about all the ramifications of God's Sovereignty than any 'newbie'.  I was encouraged reading a transcript of one of Ray's bible studies where he referenced an old saying.  "Live like everything is up to you and pray like everything is up to God." 

The whole subject is not for the fainthearted, I think.

I do believe this, though...we have the ability to make choices and do so constantly.  Because we are carnal, most of those choices before maturity in gaining the Mind of Christ are 'wrong choices'.  That's how we learn to make right choices.

It's possible that your upheaval in itself was a wrong choice.  It's also possible that it was overall a right choice, but that God is teaching you lessons brought about by the larger choice in order to make it the best choice.  Repentance is a change of mind as well as of action. 

As for feelings, well...they come and go.  If we only follow the way we feel, then probably none of us would act on anything other than those Hallelujah moments.  You've got the 'quiet' you were hoping to find.  I'd say use it to get alone with God.     

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: chuckt on July 08, 2008, 03:16:23 PM
Now, nothing could be further from the truth as to what has happened.  In fact, if anything, it feels as though I have gone exactly opposite of what I intended.

I’m actually not feeling close to God, or feel that God is close to me and mine.  At all.  

Again, it’s very frustrating to understand what is happening.  So again, any advice and views are appreciated.

Greetings, oh boy you are not alone in this, i have found and im sure all here and you will to these are the times that seem to strengthen our faith the most.

Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being;

Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

yes as we grow we stop trusting our feelings  take comfort, someone said you are in the middle of a chapter, then the end of that chapter comes and you SEE, then the next chapter starts and so does the cycle, this is for YOUR benifit!!!

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

2Cr 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

When god seems the farthest he is actually the closest!!!

be at peace and good cheer!!

God bless

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Samson on July 09, 2008, 01:59:56 AM
Hello Everyone,

                      All very good comments,every choice has a prior cause, as most of us already know. However, we all have desires, some are good and some not so good. If God wills to, he can remove any desire. In some cases, as Ray has pointed, he chooses not to as expresses at Romans.1:24-32, the point emphasized is that " GOD GAVE THEM UP TO THESE DESIRES", He could have removed them if he wanted to. I cite as a good example, the case of the Apostle Paul, he desired to persecute and murder the followers of Christ, their is no evidence that he was planning on any other course, but while on the road to Damsascus, meeting the risen Christ, he changed his entire course and the desire to persecute and murder Christians was removed. Consequently, through his entire life HE received the persecution and trials as expressed at 1Timothy. 1:12-16 & 2 Corinthians. 11:23-28. Even though God planned out everything and is responsibe, we are still accountable for our actions and are trained, disiplined, chastised and corrected from these experiences and trials. Hebrews Chapter 12 regarding disipline likening a Human Father disiplining his children adds insight to this discussion. How would we know good if we never experienced evil, Hot without Cold, Well Fed without Hunger, Darkness without Light. We need the opposites in order to appreciate and understand everything.

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Robin on July 09, 2008, 04:52:53 AM
Hi Amrhrasach,

When I read your post the first thing I thought of was hindsight. It all makes perfect sense when I look behind me. The things I'm going through now don't make a lot of sense yet.

I thought of something Ray wrote and went and found it.

When came around Pentecost time though, a whole bunch of them were converted. About 120 of them. But Christ was leading them up to that.  And He’s probably leading some of us up to that…

All these things take a lifetime. We’re going to live “the seals”. A third part of the men died: that’s a third part of the man in us that is going to die. A third part of the carnality. God works in increments, you see. He wipes out some of the trees, and then He burns the grass…what is the trees and the grass? These are all things in us. We have islands, and mountains, and trees, and grass. All of these are belief systems and ideas and doctrines and philosophies of life and all these things. And they are all going to be burned out and broken down and destroyed. All of those seven seals, seven trumpets, seven plagues: they are all things that must happen in our lives.

You say, “Well I don’t remember any trees being burned down…” First of all, you won’t even know some of it is happening until it’s over. Some of you will remember, I have this in my Lake of Fire Series: “And I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day and I heard a voice BEHIND me as the voice of a trumpet and I turned to see the voice that spoke to me and being turned I saw…” You won’t see some of these things until they are behind you. You’re going to have to look behind you to see where you came from, to see where God has been taking you. Some of us wouldn’t want to live tomorrow if we knew what was coming, you know. Be thankful that you don’t know everything that’s coming. Be thankful that you only have to take one day at a time. You don’t want to know what every day has to hold. Take it one day at a time as God presents it to you.
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: roundbellygroove on July 09, 2008, 05:06:55 AM
Amrhrasach, Here's something to think about.

Here’s a tidbit of information I forgot to offer in the first post.  It helps me to write it and it may help explain things a bit further.  Originally when I was enthused about this move, I had hundreds of pages of printed material of “Christian” teachings from another site.  And I do mean “hundreds of pages”.  My enthusiasm in the move was to have ample time to read this material in a quiet setting and become more engrossed with the teachings of God, grow in God, and focus my life to God rather than being “too busy” with life for such things as before the move.  I was very excited for this to happen.

Now, nothing could be further from the truth as to what has happened.  In fact, if anything, it feels as though I have gone exactly opposite of what I intended.

I’m actually not feeling close to God, or feel that God is close to me and mine.  At all.

Again, it’s very frustrating to understand what is happening.  So again, any advice and views are appreciated.

First thing I wanted to point out in your statement above is that you felt enthusiastic about moving for the purpose of "get closer to God". You even went as far as to collect study material to study. The thing I see is that God is calling you for a closer relationship and you responded to that calling. However God willed you to prepare yourself for this plight based on how YOU thought you could get close to him.  All of a sudden nothing is going right!!!  But, 6 months ago you came across Ray's teachings. 

What you may have not noticed yet, is that God has willed for you to know his truths through Ray's website and not neccesarly all the stuff you thought you were going to use. In other words God bated you to make choices that would bring you closer to his truths by the circumstances of this move.  Think of it this way...If you had not made this "move" what are the odds that you would have came across Ray's teachings?  If you were in another "environment" how else could you have found this website? It took this move to put you in the right path so that you would come across these truths.  I can personally testify that there is no way I could have come across these truths other than working at the place I was working and surfing the internet when the boss was out at that particular time when I stumbled across Ray's teachings. God willed it that way. Many here can probably relate to how weird or odd their life situation was when God reveled his truths to them.

All I'm saying is you have been on the right track, its just that God is working with you to understand his timing of things. The freewill/God's will thing is a tough one to "get". It took me about a year and half of doing silly experiments to determine whether or not I had free will or not. And guess what? God PROVED it to me in his timing.

Hang in there, keep reading, praying and meditating on God's good word.

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: rjsurfs on July 09, 2008, 12:31:56 PM

You said:
I came across something yesterday in Ray’s material and it really struck me in an odd way but seemed to fit, and I found solace:

 “But what about the last one-"prison?" Does Jesus put us in prison? Yes, He certainly does. I can personally vouch for this one, and maybe you can too. Sometimes we are put into a position where we just can't get out. There IS NO WAY OUT. We will physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually struggle for a way out, but there is no way out. You are in spiritual prison! And Jesus ONLY has the keys.”

I’m waiting for the “click” of the door, and I’ll put my trust that it’s coming.  And even the “trust” part is only when he gives it.

Wow, thank you for that... that is timely for me as well... and very moving is the faith God is giving you presently.

Thank you,
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Mystikalman on July 09, 2008, 01:33:41 PM

    I am new to the forums and thought I might respond.  I am unsure about the posting of Poems, but I found this one inspirational:

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”


Mary Stevenson, 1936

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: OBrenda on July 09, 2008, 09:33:20 PM
Hi Amrhrasach,

Boy can I relate to your anguish, you try so hard to do verything RIGHT.  These are the painful moments that God's Fire is burning our human stupidity called the idea of free will out of us.  No matter how carefully we plan the details, now matter how we may examine our intentions to be pure, we still find ourselves in the ditch.  But I believe your desire to be closer to God, has brought you to closer to him, by learning he is in control of everything!

May I also encourage you, that to know him more deeply, when you look back as the others shared with you, you just might see this same dreadful trial...with the understanding...I did everything WRONG and God was so gracious and loving that everything still turned out for Good for his purpose.

And when you realize this, you will understand that the choices you made, where caused by God, to mold you into a closer image of Christ.

For me it is when I surrender to what is and stop trying with my good intentions or intellect to fix is then that I feel closest to him.  It is only when I am still and empty of my own self, that I am able to be aware of his presence  inside of me.

Everything else is just Religion,

 :'( :-\ ;D
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: gmik on July 09, 2008, 10:14:15 PM
Thanks to all for the great insight in this thread!!

When I look back over my life choices, I see so many that I did wrong.  How could we have been so stupid/dumb/clueless/selfish/impulsive....well, you get the idea.

When I found out here at BT that God is in Control.....Wow, what a relief!!!  I didn't make any stupid choices....I was supposed to do it that way.

Here is my little problem....I sort of am still mad about those choices!!  Gee why God, How Come???????  We could've made money, we couldve had a lot of things differently...why?????

Well, the other thing I have found out, besides some of those mentioned is....
if I am not reading/studying/praying/praising  then the ugly head of remorse and anger rears up.  When I stay "close" to the Lord, as they say, then I don't have  to fight old things over again.

By the way, Welcome newbies!!
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Patrick on July 10, 2008, 12:36:12 AM
There is some good stuff in LOF 2 regarding the responsibility of God.
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Dave in Tenn on July 10, 2008, 12:53:57 AM
Here's my 'controversial' statement of the day.

This is not really a new doctrine to me.  I was exposed to it one-on-one by a good friend of mine in my early 20's.  Of course, I turned it off because I didn't really understand it (not because I saw myself as the captain of my fate, the master of my soul--but because I couldn't get my mind around 'what am I supposed to do?').

OK...Now I am beginning to get it, but I still don't know what I'm supposed to do with it.

What little I have gained has mostly come from the Bible Studies (listening and transcripts).  Maybe it's because Ray is 'preaching to the choir' in those and not trying to 'get it through my thick skull' as in the articles.

I mention that so that maybe others in my shoes can look further into those resources and get some ready, 'practical' application.

I'll have to stay tuned to see where I finally land in all this, but for now it kinda gives me the willies to think of life so passively.

Lord, I hope I don't get disbarred and unfellowshipped for that one.   :D
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: dogcombat on July 10, 2008, 10:09:20 AM

Think of the papers on the BT site as seeds.  Before they get planted, the ground must be tilled and plowed.  Kind of like sackcloth and ashes repenting. Those seeds will be harvested in GOD's appointed time.  When God reveals His truth to you, you WILL get it.  However, He will purge you of bad doctrine and other idols of the heart.  This the seeds He planted will grow as He intends.  Like all seeds though, it takes time.  God is real good at teaching you to be patient.  Tribulation does indeed work patience. 

Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: OBrenda on July 10, 2008, 02:18:20 PM
Hi Dave,
Forgive me, as I share in a "Thick Skull" understanding of this myself. ;D
But everyday God chisels another piece of the marble away, and the substance that is remaining is bringing more clarity to the truth.  Like Ches said, the false doctrine/concepts need to be chisled out first. We don't see the image of the statue the ARTIST is Creating, until He removes every piece that doesn't belong. (JUNK)

I do understand your wondering o.k. what do I do if there is no free will....May I say there is nothing passive about surrendering to the trials & tribulations and rejection you experience in your walk with Christ.  Kinda like a rollercoaster ride, not for the faint of heart!

I trust we both will understand better with time and as God reveals it to us precept upon precept! And about the "controversial statement"  I've put my hoof in my mouth many times, that's how I learn or unlearn. :-\

As we Remain Teachable in Him!  
Title: Re: another free-will topic
Post by: Heidi on July 10, 2008, 09:26:46 PM
Hi Dave...once my eyes where openened to the understanding of this phantom free will of ours.....and that God is in complete control I felt so humbled by it, and peaceful.  There is nothing I can do without God having predestined it.  Nothing that happeneded in my past where in vein.  I know now that all the choices that I thought I made where in fact purposed that way, had I known it then, I might have been an overcomer a long time ago.

May the peace of God guard your heart and mind in your journey with God.

Love in Christ