Definition of False Teacher: One who presumes
to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent him.
False Teachers - Mike
Vinson & L. Ray Smith
Lip Service Doesn’t Fulfill the
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).
We received this note:
I was wondering if you know a Mike Vinson as he seems to have a lot
of the same beliefs. Also I am curious as to how you came to your current
beliefs and if there are certain authors that have helped you? Thanks,
We’ve had correspondence with Mike Vinson and L. Ray Smith, his
late ministry partner, who recently died of cancer.
Though we and they have preached that God will save all men, Vinson
and Smith are erring Universalists whom we have confronted. Read The
Deadly Error of the Universalists and False Teacher: L.
Ray Smith - Trying to Make Bread Without Flour.
You may also read L.
Ray Smith’s Faulty Interpretation of the
Rich Man and Lazarus. No doubt, Mike Vinson would see things the way
Smith saw them.
Over the years God has used several people to teach and to speak to
me, here and there; however, only the Lord can impart spiritual truth
to any person. The flesh profits nothing; the Spirit quickens. He has
been our Teacher. If we hadn’t taken up the
cross and looked to
the Lord for the Truth, we wouldn’t have learned what we now possess
for ourselves (having our own oil), which we presently share with many.
In terms of doctrine, much, if not most, of the truth the Lord has taught
us over the past decades is available on our site. Look to the Lord and
not men, James. It’s not about doctrine or knowledge, unless it’s
personal knowledge of Him, which comes by His grace, faith, and obedience to His commands.
He’s what it’s all about and where it’s at. Looking
to Him, He’ll quicken to you what you need, whether by us or by
Read The Baptism in the
Holy Spirit and Obedience.
At the time this letter was written we didn’t know that Mike had
a falling out with Ray before Ray passed away. Not that it makes any
difference, because the division didn’t come by either of them
taking up the cross and walking in the light with the Lord. There was
a doctrinal disagreement on a certain matter, which is often the catalyst
for church splits. Both men were in the wrong, because not standing with
But here is something edifying – the correspondence Victor mentioned
with Mike and Ray, wherein we answer Mike’s accusation that we
are operating under the Law, not grace. (We don’t provide Mike’s
full letter here, though we quote from it throughout, providing context.
His letter is available upon request. The previous correspondence referred
to here, or most of it, is posted in L. Ray
Greetings to you, Mike, and to Ray, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
I hope we can make things very clear. One of the reasons that things
are not clear is because you aren’t reading carefully what we have
been saying. Mike, you’re irresponsible in wasting our time, not
having red what we’ve discussed in the correspondence to date.
Had you honestly red it, there is no doubt you wouldn’t be able
to say many of the things you say here.
You assume where we’re coming from and the meaning of our words,
and thus accuse us falsely. On the other hand, we have indeed red Ray’s
writings and his letter to Hagee, which has much truth. I’m not
saying, however, that there are not differences between us, because there
We will attempt to communicate as clearly as possible with you, and
I hope that for your sake you’ll read carefully and responsibly
that which we write to you. Unless the Lord gives you the grace and faith
to understand, however, you can be as intelligent, educated, knowledgeable,
and studious of the Scriptures as you wish, and it will avail nothing.
We know this.
What we have received, we have not received by the works of the Law,
but by revelation from the Spirit of Christ. We know this. So much for
our being under, or trusting in, the Law.
I will give you far more evidence to refute your charges. I will also
give you sure testimony, not by the Law, but by the grace of God, that
you boys are in significant error.
I will begin with your summation in the last paragraph, and from there,
go to the beginning of your letter and continue throughout, point by
point. You write:
“The old is not better than the new, and
it does not agree with the new. In Christ we are not under the old.
To say that it does agree
with the old and that we are under it, and that it is for us, is to argue
with Christ Himself. That is not an enviable position to be in.”
You are in error on several points:
When it comes to wine, most often the old and aged is much better. All
you need to do is speak to wine connoisseurs and they’ll tell you
so. Drink both and find out for yourself if you must. That is not to
say that there are not tasty new wines. The illustration is not saying
You’re wrong when you say that the old does not agree with the
new. That idea is nowhere in the Scriptures. I see you two reading into
what is said, saying it says this or that, when it says no such thing.
Let’s just deal with what is there. You also read into what we
say. Your indoctrination and preconceived notions deceive and blind you.
If Jesus said He fulfilled the Law, how can you say that the old doesn’t
agree with the new? If the Law is “holy and good and true” and
God is the Author of the Law, how can you say that it doesn’t agree
with the Spirit of Grace? You err, boys, you err.
We have never said that we are or should be under the Law, or that those
who have received the Spirit and walk by faith are under the Law. You
have made false assumptions. Read ALL that we have written to you, both
in our personal letters to you, and what is on our site. Nowhere will
you find evidence to support your assertions of us. Read our
and tell us if our spiritual conversions and odyssey in Christ Jesus
speak of being under Law. You will not find that.
Furthermore, we haven’t regressed to a former state, as did the
Galatians for a time, under the influence of Judaizers who promoted ceremonial law (such as circumcision), I assure you.
We are saying that the Law is for all. (Bear
with me, Mike and Ray.) The misunderstanding can come in how the Law
relates to each of us. By “us,” I
mean those who have been given the Spirit of grace to keep, obey, establish,
and honor the Law of God. We keep the Law by nature through Christ in
us. That is the work of grace.
The Law is also present for those who have not received the Spirit,
guiding, convicting, and demonstrating their need for grace. The Law,
one way or another, is always there. Our contention for the true faith
once delivered unto the saints is with those who trash the Law, saying
it was replaced or done away. I will prove to you that such is not the
That takes care of your last paragraph, Mike.
We have found, with spiritual website operators and leaders, that they
are almost invariably protecting their own turf, biased and unwilling
to seriously review their positions or consider that they have something
to learn. I perceive that they are afraid of being wrong, which tells
me they are wrong, or they would not display such defensiveness and insecurity.
Three decades ago, in witnessing older men set in their ways, incapable
of learning any more, I prayed earnestly to God that He keep me from
EVER being that way. That has been my constant prayer to this day. I
perceived that they were protecting their positions, proud, rusted out,
unable to function any longer, thinking they had it all. I hope that
isn’t your case. You may think it’s ours. The Lord has kept
us, though. Ray’s initial reaction was defensive, based on erroneous
assessment of our words, and you, Mike are defending him without knowledge.
Let’s go back to the beginning of your letter. You write:
“…allow me to point out that you quote
a thousand old covenant verses about the law as if the NEW covenant
were not new at all. You
quote the old covenant as if IT were grace and truth. Paul, Victor, if
that were true what does this verse mean?
Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace
and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
Christ quoted continuously from the Old Testament, then after the resurrection
and Pentecost, so did His disciples. Those Scriptures weren’t rendered
obsolete; they were given meaning and fulfilled in those who received
the Spirit. As Jesus said, “The Scripture cannot be broken.”
While the ceremonial law had its day, the moral Law of God remains,
though even in the ceremonies, the moral Law was present, being the expression
of the nature and character of God.
You ask that we read your writings. We have, and we tell you so, truthfully.
We haven’t red everything, but have red all that you asked us to
read, all that you have written to us, and more besides. Have
you red our article, Law
and Grace? If you had, you wouldn’t justifiably
say what you say in this paragraph under discussion.
You greatly err in your interpretation of John 1:17, as do most. It
isn’t difficult to prove the error.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it appears you assume that grace and truth
replaced the Law. The Scripture doesn’t say that. Moses represented
the container, if you will, and Christ the contents, which He is. Moses
represented the requirement, and Christ the provision. Moses defined
the need, and Jesus Christ fulfilled it.
Moses brought forth the question, and Jesus Christ provided the answer.
Moses introduced, and Christ spoke. Moses manifested the shadow, Christ
the Substance producing the shadow. Moses broke the ground, and Jesus
Christ sowed the seed.
Law was and is not contrary to the Truth in any way. The container is
useless without the contents, and the contents need the container. Do
you understand? If not, try. God help you.
There is no disagreement between the Law of God and Truth. Jesus said
in John 17, “Thy Word is Truth.” He quoted the Law and the
prophets. Throughout the Scriptures, but poignantly in Psalm 19 and Psalm
119, the Law was blessed, honored, praised, loved, and glorified, for
it describes the character of God. The Law of God and the character of
God are one, inseparable, and not in any way in disagreement. The Law
of God is Truth, and the Truth of God is Law. How can you argue against
As for grace, Moses had grace, just as Noah, who found grace in God’s
sight (Genesis 6:8). Those who receive the Spirit become children of
Abraham. Do you think Abraham didn’t have faith or grace? If so,
Jesus said that Abraham had seen His day and rejoiced in it. Does that
sound like someone under the Law? Paul in Romans describes the faith
that Abraham had, and the favor he had with God, apart from the works
of the Law. Where are you two? You quote Galatians and Romans as though
Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses were under the Law, but the truth
is they had grace. On the other side of the coin, today, after the resurrection,
we have Law while having grace.
Grace is the ability to keep the Law. (Read Grace – The Reality.)
What does Paul say at the end of Romans 7? Read it:
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself
with the mind serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans
Boys, what do you do with that? I am sure you can find a way. Yes, you
have shared the Scriptures that you have. We know them, understand them,
and agree with them, but you are wrong in your interpretation of them.
Now another confusion occurs for some (I think you’re included,
though you say otherwise) in that they put everything only into historical
context. They think that the Law was done away two thousand years ago
and is no longer needful or relevant. We say, “Not true.” We
say that the Law of God is prevalent, applicable where and how necessary,
and ever relevant, one way or another.
Now I know that you seem to teach, Ray, that there is a place for Law
until we come to maturity, and therefore it wasn’t done away, historically.
However, you think that upon reaching maturity in Christ, there is no
more Law. You err. We say that each must experience the Old Testament
in the spiritual journey of our lives, not in terms of ordinances, but
in the requirement and impossible burden to the flesh of the Law, as
described by Paul in Romans 7.
Romans 7:22-24 EMTV
(22) For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man.
(23) But I see a different law in my members, waging war against the
law of my mind, and capturing me by the law of sin which is in my members.
(24) O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of
Most assume Paul was speaking of his pre-Christ experiences under the
Law. Not so. Before his conversion, Paul understood nothing. Think about
it… he couldn’t die when he was already dead in his sins.
He didn’t see himself in a body of death, but was convinced he
was right, even to the point of killing God’s saints. No, Paul
learned these things after conversion and receiving the Spirit. Then
he was taken through a process of fire and death. “He will baptize
you with the Spirit and with fire….”
You then write: “When God opens your eyes
to the Truth of John 1:17 you will turn from the ‘law of Moses’….”
I have shown you, whether you see or not, that what you believe about
John 1:17 is what most evangelicals believe, and they are wrong. I have
shown you the Truth of John 1:17, but it will take the grace of God to
open your eyes. As Moses, I bring forth the letter, which will work to
destroy the old. The letter does indeed kill, and rightly so, but only
because the old needs to be destroyed. That is where you are. Only Christ,
Whom we preach, can give you the essence, the life. Those who have ears
to hear will hear Him and live.
You argue the definition of the word “everlasting.” We well
understand the meaning of the word in the KJV and how it applies. We
understand that the ceremonies and circumcision and the Levitical priesthood
and the sacrifices were not to be “everlasting” as that word
is used in general. They lasted as long as they needed to. We have no
argument with you, though you, Mike, assume otherwise.
And your supposition and argument don’t take away from the fact
that God’s Law is eternal.
As it is written:
“The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony
of the LORD is sure, making the simple wise. The precepts of the LORD
are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure,
giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether, more to
be desired than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and
the honeycomb. And Your servant is warned by them; in keeping
them there is great reward” (Psalms 19:7-11 MKJV).
Perfect, sure, right, pure, giving light, clean, true and righteous,
bringing great reward in the keeping of them. Does anything pass away
Mike and Ray, when the apostle Paul spoke of the Law to the Galatians,
Romans, and others, he wasn’t speaking of the Law being imperfect
or failing, though you judge it this way. If Paul were doing so, he would
have been contradicting God’s Word as quoted above. But he was
talking about the KEEPING of the Law by the flesh as imperfect, failing
to accomplish the desired and required result. When it’s written, “For
the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did,
by which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:19 MKJV), the inspired
writer is speaking of gaining perfection and keeping the Law through
Christ, to Whom we come through tutorship of the Law.
Here is the Roman’s verse you quoted but didn’t perceive:
“But the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me
free from the law of sin and death….” The Spirit of Christ
keeps the Law in us.
“…For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through
the flesh…” Again, it is about the keeping of it, which we
in the flesh cannot do.
“…God sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; so that the righteousness of
the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh,
but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:2-4 MKJV).
Fulfilled, not done away, not set aside, not trashed, like you do with
the Fourth Commandment (the Sabbath), and thus all. This is no mere misunderstanding.
But you say you don’t teach that the Law is done away:
“Neither Ray nor I teach that the law is
done away ‘for
the lawless and the disobedient.’ ‘Yea we establish the law...
for the lawless... to bring us to Christ.’ But here is where you
two are presently leaving company with Paul and Christ and Ray Smith
and me... ‘After that faith [Christ] is come we are no
longer under the schoolmaster [law of Moses].’”
What you say and what you do are two different things. We wouldn’t
need to speak to you of these things if you were clean of your sins.
You would uphold and honor the Law, graciously preaching the fulfilment
of it, rather than fighting us. In your defence to Paul, Ray, you say
the Law is for the immature. Where do you draw the line of maturity?
Do you two consider yourselves mature? Obviously. But are you? By whose
You say we preach being under the Law, which we don’t, and we
say you do away with the Law, which you say you don’t. Could it
be that there is simply a gross misunderstanding with each of us? I would
like to know that, and I would like to have the glory of being the one
to bridge the gap here, not primarily by making you understand us, but
by our coming to understand you and helping you understand us.
However, I find that you are devaluating the Law of God. Yes, you acknowledge
that the Law is still useful, for the lawless. Agreed. Yes, you say the
Law is fulfilled in us. If by “us,” you mean those who have
been given the Spirit and the power to keep the moral Law (not ceremony,
ritual, and feasts), agreed again. But if you don’t see the presence
and glory of the Law in, with, by, and for, us in Christ, then I’m
right in saying you don’t know the Lawmaker, Who is Law/Truth/Grace
The Law is perfect. Therefore grace isn’t a matter of replacing
the Law, but of replacing us, who are imperfect. “We are new creatures
in Christ. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.” We
are saved by the Lawmaker, Law Incarnate, from Whom the Law proceeded
as His nature and will. By being born anew in Him, we become Law Incarnate
ourselves. For this cause, He isn’t ashamed to call us His brethren
- holy and undefiled. Mike and Ray, are you “replaced”? Or
do you see the Law as replaced? I think the latter. It is you who must
go, not the Law.
You are lawless if you maintain the position we say you do, and therefore
you yet have need of conversion. Right doctrine, even if you have it,
isn’t enough. We speak of something very different, and you aren’t
even aware of what we’re saying.
We aren’t preaching that which Judaizers preach or that which
the evangelical world preaches or that which Catholics preach or that
which Mormons preach or any other we know of. If any preach what we preach,
please introduce them to us. We ask you earnestly. We would love to meet
them. We don’t believe you know any others who preach what we preach.
You may think you know, but I am quite sure you will be mistaken. Yes,
it is possible there are others… very possible. We can only say
that we have not met or heard of them.
“The Scripture,” Jesus said, “cannot be broken” (John
10:35), speaking of Scripture in its entirety. Neither can it be done
away or replaced.
Grace is the empowerment, by virtue of a new nature born from above,
to keep the Law of God. The keeping of the Law of God, however, is not
the end-all, else we would be worshiping less than God. The end-all is
knowing Him. And it’s written that without holiness, no man shall
see God. How can those who are lawless have fellowship with Him? How
can we be lawful without Him? We can’t. That He makes it happen
is grace. God concluded all under sin, that He might have mercy on all.
I declare that I must speak these things to you, not so that you will
at this time understand, but because you have never known Him Who is the Law. You have preached grace in word, but you have never experienced
or understood the Spirit of Grace, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ. You
preach grace because you find it impossible to keep the Law and have
no godly desire to do so. Therefore you have written off the Law, taking
on grace as theory, supposing you are thus saved. Ray and Mike, you have
never known the Lord Jesus Christ. We are notifying you that there is
much more than what you have or realize.
You will be incredulous, upset, scornful, or shaking your heads at me
for saying so, but that is what I need to say to you, by the Spirit of
God. You will know in due time. My words, in and of Christ, will judge
and lead you there by conviction, by the Law, through the cross, into
the grave, and unto the resurrection, by grace.
As of now you serve the prince of this world, who comes as an angel
of light. We don’t condemn you for that. We have compassion for
you, though you may revile us for it, thinking we are spiritual dupes,
without understanding, but we know whereof we speak, because we know
Him. You, in all your website, do not boldly, confidently declare that
you know Him, because you do not.
Knowing Him is what it’s all about. It’s not about the Law,
though it will never pass (Matthew 5:18). It’s not about the reconciliation of all things, though that will be. It’s not about convincing you
of my understanding or convincing me of yours. It’s all about knowing
Him. We know Him, and therefore we speak, as did all those before us
who know Him. Yes, you are right about all those men who preach another
gospel, like Hagee and Copeland – the list is long – you
are right about the reconciliation of all things, and you are right about
other things, but you don’t know Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who
will one day bestow true grace upon you.
Are you still with me, or now gone? You write:
“Ray points out that ‘the law of Christ,’ is far superior
to what ‘you have heard that it hath been said by them of old time.’
Neither of you even bother to respond to this
very valid point. Neither of you have even read what Ray believes.
If you had you would not have
accused him of, ‘tossing out the law....’”
Several points on that paragraph:
It is Ray who has delayed or failed communication with us, thus far.
There are many points to which you two have not replied, so how is it
you criticize us? Why do you boys not practice what you preach? WE WILL
SEE HOW HONESTLY YOU BOTHER TO READ MY LETTER, LINE BY LINE.
Why do you accuse us of not bothering to reply to your points? This
point in particular was not even made by Ray in his letter to us. If
by some chance we missed a point, it wasn’t our intention to avoid
it. If that point was missed thus far in our correspondence, it no longer
will be after this letter.
Ray is in error by saying that there were two laws. That is a foolish
and ignorant deduction. The Law of Moses was and is the Law of Christ.
Jesus simply brought forth the full meaning of the Law to His hearers.
He illumined it, demonstrating to those listening that they couldn’t
keep the Law and live in their own righteousness. There is no suggestion
in Scripture of your conclusions, which are erroneous.
It is a false accusation to say that we have not red what Ray believes,
as I have solemnly pointed out.
Ray, and you by identification, Mike, did indeed toss out the Law. Paul
said Ray did so. Ray said Paul accused him of saying he was trashing
the law. That is not true. In fact (read the correspondence) Paul said
that Ray was doing so, not just saying he was doing so. Read his reply
MORE CAREFULLY AND OBJECTIVELY, WILL YOU? I copy it here:
Paul responds: “I never said that you made
any statement such as, ’we should throw away the commandments...’ I said that
is what you are doing.”
How did Ray trash the Law? Ray has followed Constantine, the Roman Catholic
Church, the harlot religious system of Babylon, and trashed the Sabbath,
as shown here in a reply to a correspondent on his site:
“As the Sabbath command was part of the
Old Covenant Law, which Paul went to great length to inform us that
we are no longer under … it
makes little difference which day is the Sabbath of Israel. The Sabbath
like ALL aspects of the law of Moses and the law of God, the Torah, the
Old Testament, was a shadow of something to come.”
You trash the Fourth Commandment without any substantiation whatsoever
from Scripture. You seem to have disrespect not only for the Law, but
for the Old Testament, the only Bible they knew in “New Testament” days,
which they searched to confirm their new faith and life in Christ.
To this Paul replied, which you pass over:
“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’ (Matt. 5:17).”
Ray trashes the Law of God, and so do you, Mike. By doing so, you tell
others to do so. Actions speak louder than words. If you trash one Law,
you trash all, as James says. In trashing the Law, you trash the Lawmaker.
That is why I say that you have never known grace, and you have never
known the One full of grace and truth, the Holy, Almighty Lawmaker.
You think we don’t know that the Lord got angry? Of course He
did! Have we gotten angry? Of course we have, both unrighteously and
righteously. We have no argument with that. We are not without understanding
as you so vividly assume. What we do say is that Ray’s angry reaction
was not a righteous one, not at all. He reacted in ignorance and false
conclusions. You need to re-read the correspondence, with humility and
sobriety. All you have done is go in with blinders and defend your turf.
You will not justify your faults and sins by saying, “We’re
only doing what the Lord did.” He is not deceived; in Him, neither
Boys, nobody has confronted you on your sins and shortfall like this
before. You have had many come against you, falsely accusing you, giving
you stupid arguments, presuming to know what the Bible says, being grossly
ignorant of the Scriptures, erring grievously, not knowing the Lord,
and proud of their “knowledge” and “spirituality.” You
may place us in the same boat with them, but sooner or later, you will
find you were wrong.
Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen