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The Past

Theophostic Prayer and the Past

Critic’s concern: Is Smith’s idea of the Lord entering into our past and changing it and bringing healing truth theologically sound or is this premise questionable?  

Ed Smith’s response:  I do not believe that the past can be changed, but only the beliefs that are held in the memory. The past is what it is.  However, a belief is changeable. I do believe the HOLY SPIRIT can accompany me to my memory and in that context bring truth and understanding and thus freedom from the lie-based pain held therein.  When I think about the past I am not going to the past since I am locked into the present tense. However, I can relive the experience emotionally and some people very visually, and in this context identify the lies that hold me captive in pain.  Here is where the Holy Spirit can intercede with truth and renew my thinking.  The past remains the past but it loses its lie-based sting as the falsehood is replaced with truth. It is not God’s past since He dwells outside of and is not bound by time yet works with me in my ongoing present tense. Even though I am looking at the memory in my past my looking is still my present.  At the same time, I cannot say with certainty what God can and cannot do as to how He relates to time.  This thinking is far beyond my ability to comprehend it.  My feeble explanation of what occurs in a ministry session as it relates to our past is just that, a feeble attempt in explaining that which I do not understand.  My thoughts about the Holy Spirit operating within my past experience is what it is.  My feeble explanation of that which know one knows for certain.
   

  I appreciate your premise and understand your perspective. I actually have no issue with it since this is not a fundamental issue in TPM. You can remove this entire teaching of Jesus going to my past as you have stated and understand it and TPM still operates the same. I believe that the Holy Spirit renews my mind with truth. The lies I believe are held in memory (since all thinking is memory based.).How He does this I am not sure, but He still does it none the less. However, the Holy Spirit does visit my memory and does reveal His truth and does release me of the lie-based pain I carry whether He can dwell in the past or not is really not an issue for me. It is simply my understanding or explanation of a real phenomenon.

There is no argument for me here. This is experientially true for me and thousands of others. I do believe the Holy Spirit reveals His truth into my memory/past and when this occurs I move away from the lie I was holding and embrace a new perspective resulting in resolution of the pain and a new found freedom in my present. As I have also stated, when I say “heal the past” I am not saying change what occurred in the historical event. That of course is impossible and never intended to be understood that way. I agree that there may be a better way to say this. When I say “redeem the present” I am referring to how my present life can be transformed when I find freedom from the lie I hold and release of the pain that hinders my walk.  

  This discussion is not an issue that makes or breaks the TPM process. You can take out my explanation and the process still stands. My interpretation of what I think happens in a ministry session is not what defines the process. When I produce a revised version of the manual I will probably leave this entire thinking out. It simply is not necessary. I believe that in a “Theophostic moment” it is the Holy Spirit providing truth that dispels the falsehood that I have been willing to expose and hold up to him. This is no different than what might happen in a worship service, during personal prayer time, or when being taught by a biblical teacher. When my heart hears the truth and the falsehood I have harbored falls off I enter into a deeper level of freedom. In a TPM session this is intentionally sought after. People deliberately choose to own the pain in their lives, feel it and follow it to its belief source. They then deliberately expose it to God and ask Him for His truth. This is a form of prayer.


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