Definition of False Teacher: One who presumes to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent him.

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False Teacher – L. Ray Smith

Trying to Make Bread Without Flour

Can a man who is still at enmity with God effectually present the reconciliation of all things through Jesus Christ? He can talk about it, but unless he walks in it, he is only transmitting knowledge. Those who follow him, thinking they are being fed from the Tree of Life, are tragically misled, as is the teacher himself. It takes the advent of Light to expose the disparity between having doctrine and having the Reality.

“He who is quick to become angry will commit folly, and a crafty man is hated”
(Proverbs 14:17 HNV).

It should become clear to anyone reading the correspondences and writings in False Teachers that we do not necessarily disagree with the doctrinal teachings of those whom we expose. A case in point is L. Ray Smith, who is well known for teaching that all of mankind will be saved by Jesus Christ. On this point, we fully agree with Ray, according to the blessed revelation of the Lord and His Scriptures. He is indeed the Savior of all men. Bless His Wonderful Name!

It was because we appreciated Ray’s stand in this matter that we initially contacted him in 2004, letting him know that though he had right doctrine, he erred in spirit, reflected by some of the things he was saying and teaching. We showed him this from his writings. Ray reacted in a combative and irrational manner to our presentation, confirming what we told him – that he wasn’t right with God (our correspondences with Ray included in materials to follow).

We wrote to Ray on two or three other occasions, though it appears that initially he did not remember us.

In 2005 we sent Ray The Deadly Error of the Universalists, which prompted an entirely inappropriate paranoid and accusatory reaction from him.

More recently we contacted Ray this year (Feb. 2009), when we learned that he had Stage IV prostate cancer, to offer our help. He replied briefly describing his means of treatment, and we were glad he was taking a natural approach to healing. We told him he needed to consider the underlying cause of the illness, his bitterness and rejection of the Lord. We did not hear back.

Shortly after this we sent Ray The Rich Man and Lazarus – A Pagan Parable, which includes a link to L. Ray Smith’s Faulty Interpretation.

Taking us to the present (October 2009), and providing a catalyst for this posting, a person reading our site wrote us, volunteering his opinion about Ray:

I just don’t understand why people with knowledge of God and the scriptures feel the need to exalt themselves and claim status that has not been given to them yet. The only person I have found thus far that does not do this is Ray Smith. I am not saying that he knows it all, because no one does. But the guy is genuine and he does not try to make himself out to be something that he is currently not.

And:

I have only met one man thus far who I truly believe is an over comer in process. That person is L. Ray Smith. I know that God is truly working to bring him to perfection, but even he knows this is not something that will end until his physical death. I think he said it best when some one asked him how you know you are saved. His response was this; you will know you are saved when you come up in the first bodily resurrection, not a moment sooner. There is much truth in his response. There is much truth in it, because God gave it to him. His carnal mind could have never conjured that up.

Whether Ray said the exact words attributed to him here, we do not know, but he has said other things that amount to the same denial of a real and present salvation in the Lord and knowledge of it in this life. For example, here is part of his reply to a correspondent who asked how we can know that we are saved (with Ray’s capitalization):

Is there a reason for not having a verse stating how one can know that they are absolutely SAVED [past tense] at some point in their lives? I think so. We can NEVER STOP overcoming, striving, pressing on, following after, etc. We can have CONFIDENCE AND HOPE that we will be saved if we continue in our present total devotion to God, but never in this life can we say that we ‘ARE saved’ already, in the past tense.

This is nonsense. There are many Scriptures that say we are saved, though not as explicitly as Ray would have it. Jesus says to the disciples, “You are clean, save one.” John says, “That you may know you have eternal life.” He speaks of those loving the brethren and thereby knowing they are His. Paul speaks of those who are Christ’s Body. How can they be His Body unless saved? And if salvation is of the Jews, as Jesus said to the woman, how can those Jews give salvation without having it themselves?

John makes it quite clear in the gospel and in his first epistle that we can know we are His. And if we know we are His, is that not salvation and knowing it?

The reason Ray says what he says is because he does not have the assurance, the witness, that he is the Lord’s:

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:14-16 MKJV).

Ray does not have that witness simply because he is not His. One can most certainly have that witness, as Paul and other saints testified. We have known we are His, which is not presumption; it is a witness from above, from the One we can call “Abba,” because He is our Father. This is not a doctrine or theory, but a reality one must enter into by the grace of God.

Another statement Ray makes in another letter shows that he is advocating a theoretical salvation, one that we don’t experience in this life, but imagined for us by 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.

Again, this is more nonsense coming from a darkened heart of unbelief. God is no foolish parent or lover who sees the objects of His affection as those that can do no wrong. Those truly in Christ (and that is the place all believers are called to) are perfect as He is, even as Jesus commanded us to obtain this position by His grace: “Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:38).

This is what the Lord also confirmed through the apostle John:

1 John 5:18-20 EMTV
(18) We know that everyone begotten of God does not sin; but he that was begotten of God keeps himself, and the evil one does not touch him.
(19) We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one.
(20) And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

So, yes, you can know you are saved, when you are saved. To deny this knowledge of salvation is available to men is to deny them Jesus Christ Himself, Who is our salvation, which is precisely what Ray is doing. As Jesus said to the Pharisees:

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men. For you neither go in, nor do you allow those entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13 MKJV).

Ray’s admirer and follower is snared by his own and Ray’s craftiness, being impressed with carnal knowledge and believing a foolish lie. And that is why, in part, the Lord has us publishing these exposés, so that those for the truth can be delivered from such pernicious falsehoods that are presented as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let us be clear here, however: Salvation is a process. It is the overcoming of which the Lord said, “Him who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will go out no more” (Revelation 3:12 MKJV). There is a place of completion, where our salvation is realized in the new life of Christ that is without sin, which is the life of the Son of God Who lives in us. This is a spiritual event, apart from the physical resurrection.

To say that one must first die in order to be saved is to say that death is more powerful than the resurrection life of Christ. Think about it: If the life of Christ in you cannot save you by overcoming the very sin nature that generates death in the first place, then death is more powerful than God because it, and not He, brings you salvation. Unbeknownst to himself and his followers, Ray is worshiping death, not Life, serving and exalting sin, rather than the grace of God.

The proof of salvation is that one will do what God pleases, fulfilling His Laws and Commandments. If he does what pleases himself, it is proof he is not saved. It is God’s will that we do as He pleases, so you can be sure that salvation is possible in this life.

Now, onto our correspondence with Ray. We begin with our 2005 letters regarding The Deadly Error of the Universalists, of which I wrote:

Hi Ray,

I thought this would be of interest to you. It may take a while to read, but it does not deviate from the point, and it is a crucial one.

Paul

Ray’s reply:

Dear Paul:

I have received hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of long letters, papers from other teachers, and links to many web sites, in which I am fully ASSURED that if I read this, that, or the other thing, I will be convinced that the teachings of bible-truths.com are in Scriptural error. I look at ALL such material, however, I do not read the entire papers. Here is what I do: I tell the person sending me the material that I will read up to the point that the person either is UNSCRIPTURAL, MISREPRESENTS, OR LIES. I see no reason to go futher. I can only assumed if the statement in the front of their paper is Unscriptural Dishonesty, that I can only expeck more on the remaining pages.

Sometimes I discover the Unscriptural errors on the second page; sometimes on the first page; sometimes in the first paragraph; sometimes in the first sentence; and occasion in the title of the paper itself. I will extend to you the same courtesy: I will COMMENT in your paper………

The Deadly Error of the Universalists

COMMENT: I AM NOT A UNIVERSALIST, so why are you sending this paper to me, as though I accept or teach the doctrine of “Universalism?” I know and teach and prove from Scripture that God will save all humanity, but I refuse to be labeled a “Universalist,” or a “Christian” as they both teach DAMNABLE HERESIES, that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole!

There is one fundamental and deadly error in the teaching and preaching of the Universalists, and it is not the doctrine of universal salvation. The reconciliation of all things is a wonderful truth promised by God, the Lord Jesus Christ being declared both the beginning and the end of all things. It is written that to Him every knee shall bow, and all will know Him, from the least to the greatest. That is the Good News of God, which we do not dispute, but joyously affirm. Where the Universalists deviate from the truth is that they think to have found, and preach to others, another way to Heaven. As it is written:

“But even if we or an angel from Heaven preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).

COMMENT: I do not teach “another” Gospel from the one that Paul taught. Show me ONE WORD that I have spoken in ANY paper on my site that is contrary to the Gospel which Jesus Christ committed to the Apostle Paul?

How do the Universalists disregard God’s ordained principles and ways? In a nutshell, they preach that since God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and the work was finished on the cross, it is only a matter of mentally assenting to this fact that will automatically usher one into the reality and victory of spiritual life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

COMMENT: NOWHERE have I ever preached or even insinuated such unscriptural swill. The longest paper on my site is the “Lake of Fire” series, which is growing toward a thousand pages with no end in sight. I give hundreds and THOUSANDS of Scriptures proving that no one ever has or ever will be saved without he lives a life of CHRIST IN HIM. And that means that Christ will live the same life IN US, and Christ lived Himself in the flesh.

So how is it the Universalists so grievously err? Where have they gone astray?

Their error is this: The Universalists disregard the God-ordained principles and requirements by which one gets to the place of which they preach, which is salvation and peace with God and man. Therefore they never get there themselves, and neither do their listeners who follow them.

COMMENT: Show me ONE WORD that I have spoken against “the principles and requirements” of Jesus Christ our Lord? Show me?

How do the Universalists disregard God’s ordained principles and ways? In a nutshell, they preach that since God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and the work was finished on the cross, it is only a matter of mentally assenting to this fact that will automatically usher one into the reality and victory of spiritual life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

COMMENT: NOWHERE have I ever preached or even insinuated such unscriptural swill. The longest paper on my site is the “Lake of Fire” series, which is growing toward a thousand pages with no end in sight. I give hundreds and THOUSANDS of Scriptures proving that no one ever has or ever will be saved without he lives a life of CHRIST IN HIM. And that means that Christ will live the same life IN US, and Christ lived Himself in the flesh

If we dare to call Jesus “Lord,” then we must “do what He says (Luke 6:46).” And what “He says” not only includes the red letters of the gospels, but the entire book of Revelation [how many profession Christians or Universalists actually “KEEP THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN THERE” in the Book of Revelation? Why they don’t even know what the books says, let along what it MEANS. And not only the entire book of Revelation, but every Scripture of verse that His Spirit inspired all of the other Apostles to write.

I have little more in common with Universalists than I do with Christians. Neither of them OBEY Jesus Christ. How many no longer “lust in their HEART.” How many suffer religious persecution for following Christ? How many LOVE THEIR ENEMIES–DO GOOD, PRAY, AND BLESS THEM? Why in American, one would be branded a TRAITOR to their country for doing any such thing.

The cross of Christ, which represents the God-ordained personal requirements by which we die to the world and are raised again by His resurrection life to truly have those things, is thereby eliminated.

COMMENT: You are not speaking to ME or to MY site when you make such a statement. Maybe it would behoove you to acctually READ my site before assumed that I am a false prophet and heretic!

I think this is enough to make my point. Now that I have addressed YOUR paper, I would appreciate it if you would QUOTE just one statement of mine from ANY paper on my site, and then prove it wrong with 2 to 3 Scriptures. No, don’t “paraphrase” what you think that I might mean or be saying, QUOTE ME!! Then give 2 to 3 Scriptures that prove the quotation to be wrong. I will now hold my breath………………………………….

God be with you,

Ray

Paul’s reply:

Ray, I greet you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom I serve in spirit and in truth,

You are imagining things that weren’t said or even implied in my note or in the writing I sent you. I didn’t say you would be convinced that your teachings are in error if you red my paper. I didn’t even say that you are in error. Here is what I did say about the writing: “It may take a while to read, but it does not deviate from the point, and it is a crucial one.”

That is a simple and true statement, which need only be taken at face value. I was not making any judgments on your doctrines or teachings. As for whether you are in error or not, the truth expressed in the paper is the judge of that.

Your taking an adversarial position is revealing. Whether or not you have some true doctrine in not the issue here. Anyone can have some true doctrines (as did the Pharisees). Your defensiveness and combative posture show you to be paranoid, stricken in fear and sin, manifesting the very opposite of Christ’s Spirit and Nature. You attack the hand of true friendship that is extended to you, discerning instead a knife pointed at your heart.

Something is very wrong, my friend, and all the correct doctrines you might have are not helping you. Indeed, it is simply knowledge you are feeding on, which puffs you up to react as you do. You need to repent of your sin, coming away from your hatred of God and man.

“If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20 MKJV)

I proceed to answer your comments.

COMMENT: I AM NOT A UNIVERSALIST, so why are you sending this paper to me, as though I accept or teach the doctrine of “Universalism?” I know and teach and prove from Scripture that God will save all humanity, but I refuse to be labeled a “Universalist,” or a “Christian” as they both teach DAMNABLE HERESIES, that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole!

I was not labeling you a Universalist, though I know you teach that all will be saved. So do we, and we do not call ourselves by that name either. For that reason, I thought it all the more important that we should contend for the faith against the heresies of those who teach the doctrine of the reconciliation of all things yet preach another christ and way to the Kingdom. Why is that not important to you? Why is the fear of being labeled something more important to you than countering the dissemination of the false teaching of those presuming to be Christ’s? Forget about labels; what about contending for the truth?

COMMENT: I do not teach ‘another’ Gospel from the one that Paul taught. Show me ONE WORD that I have spoken in ANY paper on my site that is contrary to the Gospel which Jesus Christ committed to the Apostle Paul?

NOWHERE have I ever preached or even insinuated such unscriptural swill [the Universalist’s error]. The longest paper on my site is the “Lake of Fire” series, which is growing toward a thousand pages with no end in sight. I give hundreds and THOUSANDS of Scriptures proving that no one ever has or ever will be saved without he lives a life of CHRIST IN HIM. And that means that Christ will live the same life IN US, and Christ lived Himself in the flesh.

I did not say anything about you preaching another gospel. Why are you defensive and assuming I am out to prove you guilty? Why do you even go further and egg me on to do so? What have I said that is wrong? If you think I am wrong, why don’t you show me where I deviate from the gospel of Christ? If I do not, why are your fists up against a brother of the Lord? Your behavior is contrary to the gospel committed to Paul, which was not simply a series of beliefs, but the substance of his life and the way he related to men, believers and unbelievers.

“For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

I give an example of the difference in manner between you and Paul:

Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem, even though the Lord testified of the hardships that awaited him there because the Jews would deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles (Acts 21). Paul was determined not only to testify of the Lord, but also to die for Him. In Jerusalem he was attacked by a mob at the temple, which was stopped by the Roman authorities. Then Paul asked to speak to the same people who had just been beating him to death. He proceeded to give his testimony of how he also persecuted the Way of God, until Jesus of Nazareth appeared to him, turning him to God, and made him a witness to all men of the Son of God and His good news.

In contrast, you receive an article about the false gospel of grace preached by those called Universalists, which presumably you agree with us is false, yet you launch a preemptive attack on us because you considered it an attempt to lump you in with those in error! There is no identification with truth on your part whatsoever; just the belief and stature of Ray Smith is of concern to you. If what I wrote about the Universalists is true, why do you not rejoice in the truth and say “amen”?

You don’t act in the same Spirit as Paul, and that is what matters. He was willing to speak civilly to, and on behalf of, those who sought to kill him, while you speak brutishly to those who seek to help you in the Lord. Paul said he rejoiced even if some preached Christ of contention, but you are irate if you think you’ve been slighted, even against those who preach Him in sincerity and truth.

You don’t care at all that the truth is proclaimed against the lies that disgrace His Name and true grace that brings salvation. This tells the story, Ray, not your voluminous writings on doctrine, which are, no doubt, also filled with error, coming from such a corrupt tree. Nevertheless, we don’t need to know your doctrinal positions and we don’t need to debate them with you, because we know you by your fruits – what you do, and we tell you your sins right now. You need to repent.

COMMENT: Show me ONE WORD that I have spoken against ‘the principles and requirements’ of Jesus Christ our Lord? Show me?

We have just shown you how you have spoken and acted contrary to the principles and requirements of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, when He was vilified, did not vilify in return (1 Peter 2:23). How much less did He vilify when He found others speaking the truth!

“And seeing that he answered intelligently, Jesus said to him, You are not far from the Kingdom of God…” (Mark 12:34).

“And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not; for he that is not against us is for us” (Luke 9:50).

Here is another Scripture that shows how you fall short:

“Beloved, you do faithfully whatsoever you do to the brethren…whom if you bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, you shall do well. Because that for His Name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow helpers to the truth” (3 John 1:5-8).

COMMENT: NOWHERE have I ever preached or even insinuated such unscriptural swill [the Universalist’s error]. The longest paper on my site is the ‘Lake of Fire’ series, which is growing toward a thousand pages with no end in sight. I give hundreds and THOUSANDS of Scriptures proving that no one ever has or ever will be saved without he lives a life of CHRIST IN HIM. And that means that Christ will live the same life IN US, and Christ lived Himself in the flesh.

“For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20).

Ray, your words are hollow, because you do not have the fruits or testimony of the living Christ. How could you bring the living Word of God to others, if you do not have the Holy Seed yourself?

COMMENT: If we dare to call Jesus ‘Lord,’ then we must ‘do what He says (Luke 6:46).’ And what ‘He says’ not only includes the red letters of the gospels, but the entire book of Revelation [how many profession Christians or Universalists actually ‘KEEP THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN THERE’ in the Book of Revelation? Why they don’t even know what the books says, let along what it MEANS. And not only the entire book of Revelation, but every Scripture of verse that His Spirit inspired all of the other Apostles to write.

All I hear is Ray tooting his own horn. It sounds like you are the only one that can keep up with the regime of works based on the special knowledge you have gleaned from your studies. Too bad for everyone else, that they are not so informed, unless they read your 1,000 pages on the Lake of Fire. How else will they know what to do?

Thankfully, God brings to birth and maturity those predestined to be His children. Those called and chosen follow Him wherever He goes, not by carnal understanding and men’s commandments, but by His leading and Spirit. He feeds His sheep and leads them faithfully by His voice, which they hear and obey.

COMMENT: I have little more in common with Universalists than I do with Christians. Neither of them OBEY Jesus Christ. How many no longer ‘lust in their HEART.’ How many suffer religious persecution for following Christ? How many LOVE THEIR ENEMIES–DO GOOD, PRAY, AND BLESS THEM? Why in American, one would be branded a TRAITOR to their country for doing any such thing.

“For not the one commending himself is the one approved, but the one whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18).

COMMENT: You are not speaking to ME or to MY site when you make such a statement. Maybe it would behoove you to acctually READ my site before assumed that I am a false prophet and heretic!

I wrote what I wrote, not with you in mind, but if the shoe fits, it fits. As for where you are coming from, I have already red many of the things on your site, agreeing with some, and have corresponded with you on your error. I am not ignorant of your teachings or ways. You never answered the things we brought up to you wherein you contradict God. Apparently you did not recall our last correspondence when you replied this time [included below]. Once again you do not show yourself as a man after God’s heart, but rather as a drunken brawler.

“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has fighting? Who has babbling? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who stay long at the wine, those who go to seek mixed wine” (Proverbs 23:29-30).

I think this is enough to make my point. Now that I have addressed YOUR paper, I would appreciate it if you would QUOTE just one statement of mine from ANY paper on my site, and then prove it wrong with 2 to 3 Scriptures. No, don’t ‘paraphrase’ what you think that I might mean or be saying, QUOTE ME!! Then give 2 to 3 Scriptures that prove the quotation to be wrong. I will now hold my breath………………………………….

You haven’t addressed my paper in the least. All you have done is said that it does not describe you. I never said it did describe you. You have not successfully challenged anything I actually have said with proof that I am wrong or in error. Perhaps you do not even think I am wrong. All you seem concerned about is that you are right. You are grossly insecure, Ray, and the only thing that would help you is to repent, taking your eyes off Ray Smith, and putting them on the Lord Jesus Christ. Ray Smith is not the one who opened the Book of Life for mankind, even if he did write 1,000 pages about the Lake of Fire.

Nevertheless, Victor has written to you and has included our correspondence wherein we have, in the past, shown you to be in error according to the Scriptures. Perhaps you will reply this time according to the standards you have outlined for us above, which you had not done previously.

God be with you,
Ray

Is this your attempt to fulfill the commandment of loving your enemies, which you boast you do? If so, it is lame, and does not even come close to offsetting all your caustic and uncalled-for remarks. Not only that, but I am not your enemy, except in your own mind. You are operating under delusions of grandeur, like Don Quixote, who mistook all he saw because of excessive study mixed with self-absorption.

Paul

Victor’s reply:

Ray,

Paul forwarded your response to The Deadly Error of Universalists with this note:

It is interesting, Victor, that Ray is so defensive. I never said one word that those things applied to him. Is that not the most interesting thing about his reaction here?

Paul wrote you, introducing the “Deadly Error”:

Hi Ray,

I thought this would be of interest to you. It may take a while to read, but it does not deviate from the point, and it is a crucial one.

Paul

You write: “COMMENT: I AM NOT A UNIVERSALIST, so why are you sending this paper to me, as though I accept or teach the doctrine of ‘Universalism?’ I know and teach and prove from Scripture that God will save all humanity, but I refuse to be labeled a ‘Universalist,’ or a ‘Christian’ as they both teach DAMNABLE HERESIES, that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole!

And you write, “Maybe it would behoove you to acctually READ my site before assumed that I am a false prophet and heretic!

Why so defensive, Ray? Nobody was assuming those things in sending you the document, not even intending so much as to suggest it. In fact, I would have thought you might appreciate some of the things we had to say against those very teachings and doctrines you so vehemently deny you are party to.

We accused you of nothing in that document, and we did not send it to you to fault you. However, now that you write the following…:

COMMENT: Show me ONE WORD that I have spoken against ‘the principles and requirements’ of Jesus Christ our Lord? Show me?

And: “I would appreciate it if you would QUOTE just one statement of mine from ANY paper on my site, and then prove it wrong with 2 to 3 Scriptures. No, don’t ‘paraphrase’ what you think that I might mean or be saying, QUOTE ME!! Then give 2 to 3 Scriptures that prove the quotation to be wrong.

We have spoken to you on the keeping of the Fourth Commandment, and you gave us no feasible or Scripturally-substantiated reply, but only the usual rationale put forth by the Christendom with which you refuse to be identified (understandably).

To comply with your request and meet your challenge, we copy a letter we sent to you earlier (2004), responding to things you said to somebody else:

Us: Greetings, Ray, in the Messiah and Lord Jesus Christ.

We, a brother in the Lord and I, have been reading your webpage and appreciate much of what you have to say. Truly the Lord will save all, as is spoken of in Scripture and as His Nature dictates. He is good, indeed. If He died for us while we were His enemies, and by His own strength has reconciled us to Himself, how could it be that any enemy is too strong for Him? No, you are right that the doctrines men teach regarding this are diabolical, and rather than giving God the glory, they glorify Satan (and man), and blacken the Name of God.

That said, Ray, we also see things that are not right in what you teach and where you are coming from. You are in error in no small way and have need of correction. I fear you will not listen to us, thinking you are right and who are we to correct you? Nevertheless, we need to show you the more perfect way, which Jesus Christ has given us by His grace and choosing. Things are not right in your heart towards the Lord, and this, in the end, is all that matters.

I will proceed by commenting in one of your replies posted on your web page.

Ray: 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 🙂

Us: It is true that a man’s opinion is not at all the same as God’s truth. It is not clear to me if you are implying you are speaking God’s truth or are simply giving an opinion, which by your own definition is of little value. However, to be clear, we are not speaking our opinion to you, but the Word of God, both by Scripture and revelation of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). He does yet speak.

Ray: Seriously, this is not a difficult matter to resolve.

Us: If a man has spiritual revelation, nothing is difficult. Without revelation, it is impossible. You are depending on your own carnal abilities and expecting the same of others. It is not necessarily a problem that you do not have the Spirit of God, but it is a problem that you minister from your flesh and teach confidence in the same to others.

Ray: 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.

Us: How can it be that the Ten Commandments are considered only applicable for ancient Israel? Since when has the Law been done away with? And what about what Jesus said, that the Sabbath was made for man? He did not say “for Israel of old.” The Sabbath was from the beginning, before Abraham or Moses, as the Genesis record declares.

Ray: 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.

Us: Ray, with all your study, you seem to be unaware that Christians did not keep Sunday from the beginning. The first Christians were Jews who did not dream of changing the Sabbath. It took a pagan emperor (Constantine), seeking to marry heaven and earth for the benefit of his own earthly kingdom, to have the audacity to try to change (because no man can change what God sanctifies) the Sabbath.

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

The Sabbath that Jesus Christ observed (AND BROKE)…

Us: The Lord did not break the Sabbath. He was accused of breaking it, but He no more broke the 4th Commandment than any other. He was without sin, and those who are His will be as He is in this world.

Ray: …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…

Us: By grace, Paul said, we establish the Law (Romans 3:31). The Law was not done away with. Jesus warned against such thinking. He said:

“Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

Ray: …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.

Us: The ceremony and ritual were shadows, but the moral Law summarized in the Ten Commandments was not a shadow of things to come. It is a statement of truth that will never fade away. It is a reflection of the character of God.

That is why we fulfill the Law, because if we are in Him, we will express Him naturally. We do not toss the Law away. We love and cherish It, as the Psalmist in Psalm 119 declares.

Only those who walk in the Spirit are not under the Law, and that is because they are fulfilling It. All others are under It, which would include you. The Law is not evil. It serves as a tutor to bring you to Christ. For now we hear you saying you have no need of a tutor. But you are mistaken in these things, and you very much need one. You are lawless, Ray. That is not Jesus Christ come in the flesh.

Ray: 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.

Us: Yet we do keep the Passover, as Paul spoke of (showing that we do yet keep the Law, according to the Spirit, not the letter):

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

Ray: 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.

Us: Your thinking is confused regarding the Sabbath. If the Sabbath is a picture of resting from our weekly labors, do we then desist from our physical labors when we enter the spiritual Sabbath? And because we have a spiritual rest, does that mean we no longer need a physical one? Why did God make the Sabbath for man if we do not need it? Are we not still in bodies? Does the earth not still stand? Has one jot or tittle of the Law been done away with? Do we not need to heed the other Commandments like not committing adultery or not stealing?

Ray: 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?

Us: Resting from our own works by the grace of God is the very basis for the keeping of His Law! We cannot keep the Law in our own strength, but when we come to rest in Him, all is fulfilled. This is a son or daughter of God walking by the Spirit in maturity, living fully in Him in Whom there is no offense and by Whom we are made perfect. It is the fulfilling of the Law. It is what John the beloved apostle wrote: “Whosoever abides in Him sins not; whosoever sins has not seen Him, neither known Him.” (Sin is what? The breaking of the Law – 1 John 3:4.)

The Lord also said this regarding the Law:

“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least Commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach Them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:19).

[END OF QUOTE] (Click HERE to read the rest of the letter.)

Ray, Victor again.

You say of Christians and Universalists, “Why they don’t even know what the books says, let along what it MEANS.” Very true, Ray, very true. Perhaps it is worse to know what it means and still not do it?

You say of living according to the law of love, “Why in American, one would be branded a TRAITOR to their country for doing any such thing.” Can I ask you a question? Are you branded a traitor?

Did you happen to read the rest of the paper we sent you? Will you read it now and give us your take or are you too upset? Perhaps you should pause and take time to reflect on who is accusing whom?

Victor Hafichuk

No further response from Ray.

A few years later (February 2009), we heard Ray had cancer, and wrote him:

Hi Ray, Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen here.

We heard via Tentmaker Forum that you have cancer. We have been able to help many people with cancer, several of whom were even sent home by the medical establishment to die. They were turned around within months with a clean bill of health – one fellow in his late 80’s. Cancer is not at all as unconquerable as most are led to believe. Can you accept that from us without enmity, though we have had our controversy with you in the past?

If you are willing, fill us in on what kind of cancer you have, what treatment you have received, and your present condition; fill us in, and we can take it from there. We would like to help you.

For information about us and what we do, go to harvesthaven.com.

Ray’s reply:

Dear Victor and Paul: Here is my condition as stated on our site along with a little background on my doctor. I truly appreciate your desire to help me. Do understand, however, that I receive advice on treating my cancer from someone every few days. Friday I was sent a large shipment of over $500 worth of specialized cancer fighting suppleents formulated by Dr. Richard Schultz. And I appriciate all those concerned for me. I can not, however, change protocols every few days for every few weeks. What Dr. Steger is trying to accomplish in my treatment is (1) Nurish my remaining good cells, (2) Detox my body, (3) Build my natural immune system, (4) Kill the cancer cells by Alkalizing my body and getting Oxygen to the cells. And I believe that is about all that any stage IV treatment can strive to do. May God be with you and yours always,

Ray

Paul and Victor’s reply:

Hi Ray,

We are glad to hear you did not choose “killer konventional,” but went the natural way. We agree with Dr. Steger that you can’t flout the laws of God and expect there to be no negative consequences. It is never too late to repent and begin honoring His laws.

This brings us to the matters we began to discuss with you in the Fall of 2004. You were quite hostile towards us and the things we told you when we approached you with a Word from the Lord about your disrespect of His laws:

Ray, we also see things that are not right in what you teach and where you are coming from. You are in error in no small way and have need of correction. I fear you will not listen to us, thinking you are right and who are we to correct you? Nevertheless, we need to show you the more perfect way, which Jesus Christ has given us by His grace and choosing. Things are not right in your heart towards the Lord, and this, in the end, is all that matters.

We showed from your own letters how you were teaching error, negating the Fourth Commandment (as an example and fruit of your stance, not the issue itself), and summed up your situation as follows:

By your words you condemn those who earnestly would try to keep the Law out of godly fear. You teach lawlessness by both your words and your ways and you persuade men against the fear of God.

The Scriptures say that neither circumcision (keeping the letter of the Law) OR uncircumcision (not keeping the letter of the Law) is the answer, but rather faith that works by love (Galatians 5:6). It is not ‘circumcision’ that is wrong, but rather trusting in your own power to keep the Law, or in your own righteousness. That is what is in error and misses the mark of the grace of God in Christ. ‘Uncircumcision’ doesn’t make you right, either, even if you are convinced you are in grace and fulfilling the righteousness of the Law. ‘Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts’ (Proverbs 21:2 HNV).

It is only true faith that works by love that fulfills the Law, and extols God’s ways and His virtue as reflected in His Law. You, on the other hand, toss out God’s Law as though it were yesterday’s garbage. This is neither faith nor love.” [End Quote]

You answered us bitterly, and Victor replied:

Ray, listen to us. You are at fault. Put away your ego, your anger, the pride of your prizes of this world, and consider what we say. Humble yourself; be thankful and receptive that the Lord would send correction your way, for your good. Repent, Ray, and in so doing, God is gracious and forgiving. If not, consider more of James’ words:

‘My brothers, do not be many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we all offend. If anyone does not offend in word, the same is a full-grown man, able also to bridle the whole body’ (James 3:1-2 MKJV).

Ray, do not think that the doctrine of the Sabbath or any other is the issue here for us or for you. It is not. We perceive in the Lord that you are not in right standing with Him. You misrepresent Him, brush aside His laws, call Him a liar, answer matters before you hear them out, draw false conclusions, and call us liars. We address you and not your doctrines so much, though you include your doctrines. Indeed, you have some good doctrines. However, we see that to you it is all about doctrine, and the Lord is not there. You are denying Him. Therefore we speak, not to attack or condemn, but to tell you your sins, so you might repent and live.” [End Quote]

We have often seen how those in bitterness become cancerous. Doesn’t that make sense, a manifestation of the spiritual wherein the body is fighting itself? God sent us to speak on your behalf and you reacted against Him, which is truly against yourself because He would have you whole. He sent us to warn you that your way was not right. Now we have come again to help you. We are not looking for an apology, but are bringing to mind where you offended the Lord, to Whom you must turn if things will be made right. Can you receive us in the Lord now?

Paul Cohen
Victor Hafichuk

Ray never replied. He died on May 23rd, 2012.

Addendum:

The rest of our conversation regarding the Sabbath (from our initial contact with Ray in 2004):

In summation, what we see in your letter is a false humility that hides hubris and disdain of the Lord’s ways.

By your words, you condemn those who would earnestly try to keep the Law out of godly fear. You teach lawlessness by both your words and your ways and you persuade men against the fear of God.

The Scriptures say that neither circumcision (keeping the letter of the Law) OR uncircumcision (not keeping the letter of the Law) is the answer, but rather faith that works by love (Galatians 5:6). It is not circumcision that is wrong, but rather trusting in your own power or righteousness to keep the Law. That is what is in error and misses the mark of the grace of God in Christ. Likewise, those who do not keep the letter of the Law (uncircumcision) yet do not fulfill the righteousness of the Law are not justified (Romans 2:26).

True faith that works by love fulfills the Law and extols God’s ways and virtue, as reflected in His Law. You, on the other hand, toss out God’s Law as though it were yesterday’s garbage. This is neither faith nor love.

There is much more we could say, but this should suffice for now.

Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk

Ray’s response:

Dear Paul and Victor:

You say things about me that are totally false. I never said that we should “throw away the commandments like they were yesterday’s garbage,” now DID I? DID I? Then why LIE?

The ten commandments are necessary. They are to be kept. By children and minors in Chirst. They are as a tutor or schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. And when we have Christ, where do we go from there? We go on to MATURITY.

Now then, when you quote Jesus saying that whosoever breaks one of the “least of these commandments” you assume falsely that He has reference to the ten commandments. He does not. He is referencing the NEW COMMANDMENTS THAT HE IS GIVING US.

The ten commandments said to not DO certain things. Jesus said, DON’T EVEN THINK IT. This is new, not old. It was not a punishable sin under Moses to THINK in one’s heart to commit adultery, but NOW IT A SIN. Jesus RAISED the bar on morality. Now, one has to be converted IN HIS HEART! And I do believe that it is YOU that do not understand these new commandments of Christ. I teach as our Lord did, a MUCH MUCH HIGHER STANDARD OF MORALITY than the law of Moses ever knew of. And for this YOU CONDMEN ME?

God have mercy on you both,

Ray

Paul’s reply:

Ray, I was not raising my voice in my letter, which I see you doing here. I wrote soberly and accurately. Can you listen, and can we possibly reason together?

I never said you made any such statement as, “We should throw away the commandments…” I said that is what you are doing. In your indignant accusation, you do the very thing of which you accuse me, which is to say something not true. You decided that the best defense is to be offensive. The trouble for you is that there is no factual basis in letter or in spirit to what you say.

The crux of your problem is that you focus on man’s words rather than God’s truth. I was not finding you an offender for a word, but in very deed, as I have shown and will show.

The truth, Ray, is that you are throwing out the 4th Commandment by telling people that what God has sanctified and made for man is no longer applicable. According to what you said in your reply, it should be applicable to those who are “children and minors in Christ.” So why offend them by not telling them it is important? Jesus said that it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and be tossed in the ocean, than to offend one of these little ones. You not only don’t pay heed to what He says, you don’t even follow your own advice or interpretation.

The Law has not become spiritual since Christ came, as you imply. The Lord Jesus Christ did not change the Law, He revealed It. He said He did not come to destroy (change), but to fulfill. Just as God revealed Himself in Christ, though He was always there before, so Christ revealed the meaning of the Law, though It was always there before. The Law is His Nature. For this reason It has always been here and always will be, because He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. God does not change, and neitherdoes His Law.

Nowhere does it say in Scripture that the Law changed. It only says that the Law is spiritual, and we are not. Just as all flesh has always been carnal, so the Law has always been spiritual. Carnal man cannot keep the Law, before or since. By your logic, there was a time when flesh could be justified by the works of the Law, but it is clear that they who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham, and are not of those who keep the Law for justification.

“For as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law to do them. But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith” (Gal 3:10-11 MKJV).

It has always been a curse for man to try to be righteous in his flesh. The just have always lived by faith. Moses did not live by the Law, but also by faith (Heb. 11:28, “…by faith he kept the Passover…”). You are very mistaken, Ray. We do not condemn you – your own words and actions do. Will you listen to reason and accept correction? The devil surely will not.

Paul

Victor’s reply:

Ray, you misred what we were saying to you, jumped to false conclusions, and committed the very sins of which you accuse us. This is not a good thing for anyone, much less someone your age and public profile, who presumes to be in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, having the doctrine, the truth, and teaching many others.

Adding to that, you swiftly demonstrated anger. Now if we were at fault, accusing you falsely, trying to condemn you, there could be justification in some cases. Even there, anger might be questionable, because the Word of God by Peter exhorts us to suffer patiently wrongs done to us, that we receive thanks from God, only if we suffer wrong with no fault on our part. But you react with violence while in error and while we try to correct you in your error. Violence? Yes. When you accuse the brethren of the Lord of lying and false accusation, without cause, is that not violence? Are you not the one telling us that Jesus Christ raised the bar on morality?

You claim that you “teach as our Lord did, a MUCH MUCH HIGHER STANDARD OF MORALITY than the law of Moses ever knew of.” Are you teaching by your words or your deeds, Ray? I see here a contrast between the two. However, that is giving you the benefit of doubt, which is not necessarily justified, because we have pointed out to you that you also err in word, discounting the Law of God, replacing the Commandment of God, namely the Fourth Commandment, with traditions and ungodly laws of man, not to mention your reaction to us without cause. And does not James say that if you offend in one, you offend in all? Therefore you are trashing all the Law of God. Not only have you trashed the Law of God, but by extension, the Law Maker and Giver.

Not only do you trash Him by extension, but also by direct word, in saying, “The Sabbath that Jesus Christ observed (AND BROKE).” I could hardly believe my eyes, reading that statement. Speak of calling someone a liar, no less the Lord Who is the Truth Himself, Who said, “Till Heaven and earth pass, not one jot or tittle of the Law will be done away!” You (howbeit unwittingly, I might grant) accuse Him of the same sin the Pharisees and Sadducees accused Him of (profaning the Sabbath), though He was without sin (the breaking of any of the law of God).

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

You, who claim a superior knowledge to that of others concerning the Scriptures, give no Scriptural basis whatsoever. Your only argument is, “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.” In other words, you preach tradition here, do you not?

Furthermore, in reading some of your letters to others, you have rebuked them for their failure to give you Scriptural substantiation for their arguments and accusations. Preacher, who are you to judge others, if you yourself do not do what you preach? Do you not condemn yourself? As it is written:

“Therefore you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges; for in that in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things” (Romans 2:1 MKJV).

Ray, listen to us. You are at fault. Put away your ego, your anger, the pride of your prizes of this world, and consider what we say. Humble yourself; be thankful and receptive that the Lord would send correction your way, for your good. Repent, Ray, and in so doing, God is gracious and forgiving. If not, consider more of James’ words:

“My brothers, do not be many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we all offend. If anyone does not offend in word, the same is a full-grown man, able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:1-2 MKJV).

Ray, do not think that the doctrine of the Sabbath, or any other, is the issue here for us or for you. It is not. We perceive in the Lord that you are not in right standing with Him. You misrepresent Him, brush aside His Laws, call Him a liar, answer matters before you hear them out, draw false conclusions, and call us liars. We address you and not your doctrines so much, though “you” include your doctrines. Indeed, you have some good doctrine. We see that to you, however, it is all about doctrine, and the Lord is not there. You are denying Him. Therefore we speak, not to attack or condemn, but to tell you your sins that you might repent and live.

Victor Hafichuk

Click HERE to return to Victor’s letter to Ray.

 

Lip Service Doesn’t Fulfill the Law

It’s not right doctrine or the Law that saves us, but the Lord Jesus Christ within, Who makes us a living testimony of both doctrine and the Law. “I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires” (Matthew 5:20 GNB).

 

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