Before Adam's and Eve's fall into sin, people were able to perform calculations with their brains just like powerful computers. It is clear from the following verses that things on earth were once vastly different:
“God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…” (Gen. 1:31)
“And was perfect the heaven and the Earth and all their army.” (Gen. 2:1, modified translation) or even “And was perfect the heaven and the Earth and their army was calculating.”
“And both Adam and his wife were talented and were not ashamed each other.” (Gen. 2:25, modified translation)
“Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 2:9)
In the garden of Eden there were trees of knowledge. You could eat a fruit and instantly learn quantum mechanics.
One of the trees was the tree of knowledge of good and bad. This fruit injected knowledge into the human brain of how the brain itself functions (what it says is good and what is bad). This knowledge caused the brain to trick itself, effectively causing a short-circuit. This is somehow similar to giving a program the password to a computer, thus allowing inviting it in to destroy the normal functionality of the computer (as well as to destroy itself). More specifically, the brain starts seeking to do what makes it feel better rather than engaging in its proper purpose.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:17)
Certainly, to die here is not referring to a physical death, instead it is talking about crashing the person’s “operating system.”
“… she took of the fruit of it, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. Both of their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked…” (Gen. 3:6-7) Before the fall, when Adam and Eve were together only one of them needed to keep their eyes opened because there was a wireless link between their brains and each was seeing through the eyes of the partner. After the fall, the wireless network crashed and they both needed to open their eyes.
“God said: We will create man in our image as our likeness. He will descent to the level of fishes of the Ocean, and birds of the sky, and beasts of the entire Earth, and all reptiles creeping on the Earth.” (Gen. 1:26, modified translation)
This means that people would lose their computing power.
Sin in the New Testament
“But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead. I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. The commandment, which was for life, this I found to be for death; for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. Therefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good. Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful.” (Rom 7:8-11)
“Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful.” (Rom. 7:13)
This means that sin is a desire to do the opposite of what is good. It makes evil that which is good.
Sin is the following:
“I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present.” (Rom. 7:21)
“For he who has died has been freed from sin.” (Rom. 6:7)
Our brain does not have enough computing power to overcome sin (which is a denial of service attack as a computer hacker would say). But when we die, our personality is transferred to a much more powerful computer run by God, so that the sin in us is overcome.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)
“But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” (Phil. 1:23)
As every of us has his own individual defects, God will write for every of us a new operating system specifically tailored for a particular person to overcome our defects:
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” (2Cor. 5:17)
Every one of us is a new creation.
God made Christ to be sin, in order that He would enter into us and live in our sinful bodies:
“For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf…” (2Cor. 5:21)
The processes (“works”) in the brain of a sinner die and uselessly occupy memory, so there remains no memory for current works of the brain:
“… not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God.” (Heb. 6:1) “… will the blood of Christ… cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)
This problem is solved by faith.
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and don’t know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:17)
Our brain’s speech center is a source of evil. It pushes evil ways of thinking into the entire brain.
“And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna.” (Jam. 3:6)
“Do all things without murmurings…” (Phil. 2:14)
Murmuring is an action of tongue. Flee from it.
“For in many things we all stumble. If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.” (Jam. 3:2)
“But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (Jam. 3:8)
So learn to think without pronouncing your thoughts inside of yourselves. This brings a great wisdom. As a mathematician I can confirm this.
You can read more about sin and salvation in my book “End of Gospel”, especially the chapter “Real Superman” which talks about how for an entire month I was completely freed from sin and transformed into a computer.
Faith and deeds
“That whoever believes in him [Christ] should not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:15, 16)
“One who believes in the Son has eternal life…” (Jn 3:36)
“Most assuredly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life.” (Jn 6:47) Note that this refers to every believer not just some special “saints” or those people who do many good deeds.
It is a false teaching that after death everybody comes to God's court.
“He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.” (Jn. 3:18)
“Most assuredly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (Jn. 5:24)
Salvation is not by personal works, but nevertheless salvation is by deeds; the deeds of God.
“Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’” (Jn. 6:29) That which for people is faith, is a deed for God.
“We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” (Rom. 3:28)
Martin Luther brought about the Reformation by bringing to the masses who did not have ready access to the Bible that they are justified by their faith, not by works. As Luther said, even if you were to commit 100 adulteries and 100 killings in a day, this cannot separate you from grace. If a person’s works were an integral part of their salvation then there would be no reason for Christ's death.
“For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect.” (Rom. 4:14)
“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” (Rom. 11:6)
“Yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through the faith of Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.” (Gal. 2:16)
“Wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.” (Col. 2:14)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.” (Eph. 2:8, 9)
Again, our works cannot bring about our salvation. If this is the case some may ask, does this mean that good deeds are not important? No, the Bible goes on to say that is the reason God saved us.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)
The purpose of our salvation is to do good deeds.
Faith without deeds is dead:
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?” (Jam. 2:14)
“Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.” (Jam. 2:17)
See also James 2:20-26. Taken together these verses reveal that faith is demonstrated by works. If there are no good works, there is no true faith.
What is the Gospel?
The word “Gospel” literally means “good news” or rather “correct news.” It also can be translated as “good or correct behavior of angels.”
This means, that Gospel is the written good order (for angels) to distribute news; so Christ comes first and sin last, thus focusing our attention on good news, rather than bad news. It is just like blocking out news for terrorists in order for terror not to materialize.
During the 1970s in America there was an epidemic of terrorist attacks and hijackings. After each event a group would call in and take credit for it. The news media would diligently report the news by proclaiming the group who took credit for the bombing. Then the media realized that by doing this they were encouraging these groups and others to do similar acts in order to get the publicity. They then collectively decided to no longer print or broadcast the names of the groups or persons who did the attack. Within a very short time the bombings stopped.
In the world above where angels live the news comes first and events are second. Events depend on news rather than the news relying on events. Thus we need good news.
The mission of the saints
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.’” (Mt. 26:52)
“… If anyone is with the sword, he must be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.” (Rev. 13:10)
Saints were created by God, who gave them faith with a specific mission to keep peace in the heavens. Saints are created to keep one particular principle: “If anyone is with the sword, he must be killed” that is to stop any war. This may seem like a simple principle, but putting it into practice can be extremely difficult and involves many different areas of service. The word “endurance” in Rev. 13:10 signifies that one needs endurance to be able to engage in many different facets of war and keep peace in all situations.
This also pertains to those who use the word of God as a sword. We should pray peacefully:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don’t curse.” (Rom. 12:14)
“But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Gal. 4:26)
This verse refers to a city in heaven. The word Jerusalem translates as “a city of peace.” Jerusalem is a capital city in heaven, and its purpose is to keep peace in heaven. It is our mother because we were created after its task (to keep peace).
“But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” (Heb. 11:16)
“But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels.” (Heb. 12:22)
The earthly Jerusalem was also created with the same purpose, to keep peace. But as we can see, it has not yet fulfilled this purpose.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called children of God.” (Mt. 5:9)
This means that “children of God” are the same as “peacemakers” (in heaven).
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all.” (2Thes. 3:16)
Christ as our righteousness
Christ was made our righteousness:
“But of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us… righteousness…” (1Cor. 1:30)
What does this mean? It means that to be our righteousness, one needs to be as great as Christ (to present us as righteous despite our sins is so difficult that the power of Christ is required to do it). But this also means that Christ’s sacrifice is enough for God to consider us as righteous.
Christ is in us:
“To whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27)
“… Or don’t you know as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2Cor. 13:5)
If Christ is in us, then His righteousness is in us, and this overweighs our sins. So if Christ is in us, we are righteous.
The judgment of God is not unjust. He judges us according to our real righteousness which is Christ in us, not just a “declared” righteousness.
So the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of salvation by having more than 50 percent good deeds is indeed true, as long as Christ is in us then his infinite righteousness overweighs our sins and we are one hundred percent righteous. If Christ is not in us, then we are not righteous at all but are complete sinners.
Predestination vs free will
The following verses confirm predestination in salvation:
“All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out.” (Jn. 6:37)
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.” (Jn. 6:44)
“He said, ‘For this cause have I said to you that no one can come to me, unless it is given to him by my Father.’” (Jn. 6:65)
“You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” (Jn. 15:16)
“For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son… Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.” (Rom. 8:28, 29)
“Having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved.” (Eph. 1:5-6)
Can predestination be reconciled with a person having free choice? I think it can, and the verse which resolves it is Isaiah 65:24. “It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer…” God heard our call to Him before the world was created.
Thus evangelism is just an outer appearance of salvation, which depends solely on God's call.
“He answered them, ‘I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out.’” (Luk. 19:40)
If we were to stop preaching, salvation would still continue to happen.
We should strive not to be saved
“He who loves his soul will lose it. He who hates his soul in this world will keep it to eternal life.” (Jn. 12:25, refined translation)
“He who finds his soul will lose it; and he who loses his soul for my sake will find it.” (Mt. 10:39, refined translation)
“For whoever desires to save his soul will lose it, and whoever will lose his soul for my sake will find it.” (Mt. 16:25, refined translation)
“Whoever seeks to save his soul loses it, but whoever loses his soul preserves it.” (Luke. 17:33, refined translation)
“He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; and whoever will lose his soul for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mrk. 8:34-35, refined translation)
“For whoever desires to save his soul will lose it, but whoever will lose his soul for my sake, the same will save it.” (Luk. 9:24, refined translation)
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luk. 14:11)
“… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luk. 18:14)
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (Jn. 3:30)
As I've described above, our salvation is by predestination and this cannot be changed. That being said, our purpose should not be just to get to heaven but to bring to heaven as little of our human character as possible. In other words, we need to hate our souls in this world. The purpose of salvation is to cleanse us from our sinful character traits as much as possible by teaching us to deny ourselves. While this is not salvation itself, this cleansing has value.
Salvation in the Old Testament
About Herod killing all the young boys in Israel:
“Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; She wouldn’t be comforted, Because they are no more.’” (Mt. 2:17-18)
Based on this verse, it seems evident that the spirit of Rachel was alive at the time Herod killed the children. She was worried about things happening on the Earth. This means the Roman Catholic doctrine of saints in heaven participating in the life of people on the Earth is not a lie.
One more example of sins being forgiven before the death and resurrection of Jesus:
“Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, ‘Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you.’” (Mt. 9:2)
“Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’” (Mrk. 2:5; Luk. 5:20)
Abel speaks after his death:
“By faith, Abel… and through it he, being dead, still speaks.” (Heb. 11:4)
“The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.” (Mt. 27:52-53)
There were saints who died before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Luke 16:19-25 plainly shows that Lazarus and Abraham were both in paradise before the death and resurrection of Jesus.
“And all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.” (1Cor. 10:3-4)
They were partakers of Christ even though He hadn't yet come to earth in bodily form. Yet they were able to be saved by Christ just like those who lived afterward.
The spirits of saved people will be placed into stars.
“Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mt. 13:43)
“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” (Dan. 12:2, 3)
I teach that we should not attempt to artificially change our habits to follows the Bible’s commandments. Instead, our inner nature should be changed and this should happen by itself so that we follow commandments naturally without specifically setting our mind to follow a particular commandment. If we focus too much on fulfilling some particular commandment, it may lead us to violate other commandments. If we continue to stuff things into a filled bag, eventually something will need to come out to free up more space.
“You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!” (Mt. 23:24)
The solution is not to put too many things into a small bag, but instead make the bag bigger. Follow love and faith, not a particular commandment.
While faith is the ultimate goal, God “remembered they were but flesh” (Psalm 78:39). In other words, God understands that we are subject to human failings. Because of this he established his commandments not as means of salvation, but as guideposts to live by until our level of maturity is able to directly apply the principles of faith and love.
“Having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances…” (Eph. 2:15)
“One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me…” (Jn. 14:21)
Keeping Christ's commandments is a criterion of our love to Him.
“This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. One who says, ‘I know him,’ and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him.” (1Jn. 2:3-4)
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.” (1Jn. 5:2)
“This is love, that we should walk according to his commandments…” (2Jn. 1:6)
Whether we fulfill any particular commandment without hypocrisy is whether or not our mind and heart are set right. It isn't a purpose to strive, but a criterion of the true purpose. When we become what we should be, the commandments are fulfilled “automatically.”
“Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Mt. 5:19)
Whether we fulfill the commandments or not is the criterion of how big or small we are in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Gal. 5:18)
“But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Mt. 5:39)
“But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, don’t withhold your coat also.” (Luk. 6:27-29)
This means that we should not resist a person who disturbs us to do good works for the world. Our purpose is not to do good for the world.
“Don’t love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him.” (1Jn. 2:15)
If somebody damages your mouth so that you cannot speak and proclaim the Gospel because of your broken mouth, rather than resist him, in humility you should accept that this time God has not given you the task to preach with your mouth.
“But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.” (Mt. 5:44-45)
Being the children of your Father in heaven means not doing good in this world, because otherwise resisting your enemies (people who disturb you to do good) would be contrary to your purpose.
Do you know that Bible allows you to steal if you are hungry?
“But he said to them, ‘Haven’t you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?’” (Mt. 12:3-4)
“He said to them, ‘Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry—he, and they who were with him? How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which it is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?’” (Mrk 2:25-26)
“Jesus, answering them, said, ‘Haven’t you read what David did when he was hungry, he, and those who were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and took and ate the show bread, and gave also to those who were with him, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests alone?’” (Luk. 6:3-4)
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (Jam. 1:2-4) So we should go through temptations.
At first, this would seem to contradict The Lord's Prayer.
“Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. …” (Mt. 6:13)
“… Bring us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” (Luke 11:4)
“… Pray that you don’t enter into temptation.” (Luk. 22:40)
“And said to them, ‘Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.’” (Luk. 22:46)
I think this mean not that we will not experience temptations, but rather that we should not fall into a temptation when we experience it. Another possible interpretation is that the purpose of temptations is to overcome what is here called “the evil one” (or evil in general). If there is another way to deliver us from the evil one, then there is no reason to go through temptations. So this prayer is for us to go through a better way than the way of temptations.
“Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt. 26:41)
“Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mrk. 14:38)
The spirit is willing to try a temptation through our flesh, but we should pray for a better way to endure than going through temptations.
“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Mt. 19:23-26)
“Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.’ Those who heard it said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ But he said, ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.’” (Luk. 18:24-27)
God wants us to follow into the Kingdom of God with great difficulty (as great as a camel going through a needle’s eye) to demonstrate His glory (that with God all things are possible). Thus we need to be rich for God to show His glory over us.
“Always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh.” (2Cor. 4:10-11)
“Because it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer on his behalf.” (Phil. 1:29)
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the assembly.” (Col. 1:24)
These principles apply to us like they do to Christ in section “Temptation of Jesus”. We fulfill lacking of the afflictions of Christ in our flesh.
Should we sin?
Through sin, grace is glorified as Christ overcomes this sin.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound. May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer?” (Rom. 6:1)
So when we sin, grace is increased more. But this does not work if we sin purposely to increase grace:
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries.” (Heb. 10:26-27)
Repented sinners will be elevated above angels
We can only be saved by Christ. He who saves us needs to be as great as Christ. But it happens that as Christ saves us, He does even more: He brings us to the heavens and makes us governors in the heavenly places above the angels.
“… Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (Jam. 2:13)
“But the free gift isn’t like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not as through one who sinned: for the judgment came by one to condemnation, but the free gift came of many trespasses to justification. For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life. For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one will many be made righteous. The law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly; that as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:15-21)
“Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters.” (1Cor. 6:2)
“Don’t you know that we will judge angels?…” (1Cor. 6:3)
“For he didn’t subject the world to come, whereof we speak, to angels. But one has somewhere testified, saying, “What is man, that you think of him? Or the son of man, that you care for him?” (Hebrews 2:5-6)
“For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.” (1Cor. 3:9)
“He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.” (2Cor. 12:9)
“and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6)
The Greek verbs for “raised” and “made to sit” are in the Aorist, that is past perfect. This means that we are already in the heaven. We may not feel it, but our bodies are controlled by our spirits which are in the heaven.
“That he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children.” (Gal. 4:5)
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 3:24)
“That he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children.” (Gal. 4:5)
“In whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” (Eph. 1:7)
“… through his own blood, entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Heb. 9:12)
“Knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, the blood of Christ.” (1Pet. 1:18-19)
Redemption is a two-stage process: First Christ purchases us into His slavery and then He sets us free.
“… You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:19-20)
“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Jn. 8:32)
The truth which sets you free is written in my book “End of Gospel.” You will want to read that book, because you need to be set free from the slavery of Christ to finish your redemption by Christ.
“If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn. 8:36)
You shall not remain in slavery.
“You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.” (Jn. 15:14-15)
“So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Gal. 4:7)
“Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)
“For you, brothers, were called for freedom…” (Gal. 5:13)
So Christ first buys us as slaves, but rather than be a cruel taskmaster, his goal is to free us so we do not need to be slaves to either him or sin anymore.
Read my book “End of Gospel” on the topic “how to become free.” I hope there is no need to say how important this is for you.
Note also that one of the main topics of the Old Testament is how the Jews go out from slavery into the freedom that comes from God. It is about Christ setting us free from slavery to Himself. We need to interpret this topic in greater detail.
We are above even the apostles of the New Testament if we declare ourselves free. Paul and Peter write about their being a slave of Christ.
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.” (Rom. 1:1)
“Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed; and each as the Lord gave to him?” (1Cor. 3:5)
“So let a man think of us as Christ’s servants…” (1Cor. 4:1)
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ…” (Phil. 1:1)
“… Tychicus, the beloved brother, faithful servant, and fellow bondservant in the Lord.” (Col. 4:7)
“… Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in the gospel of Christ…” (1Thes. 3:2)
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Jam. 1:1)
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ…” (2Pet. 1:1)
So as we can see, if we obtain our freedom then we can stand above them.
Gospel about itself
After reading and believing my book “End of Gospel,” now that we are freed from the slavery of Gospel, it tells some things about itself.
“Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. … For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:19)
This means that when we are set free from slavery, what was once our law (that is Gospel) no longer speaks to us; but in the same way the Old Testament spoke to ancient Jews and not us, from now on the Gospel no longer speaks to us. Instead it speaks to others who are yet in slavery. It is God's word, but no longer is it a word to us. Through Gospel we were made to understand which commandments we failed to obey, but our task now is not to blindly attempt to follow the commandments, but keep them inside so that our inner nature follows the commandments of Gospel by itself. “Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe…” (Rom. 3:22)
The Gospel terminates itself.
“But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:6)
“For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God.” (Gal. 2:19) This means that for us to live for God we must die for the Gospel just as Gospel died (and was resurrected). We need to stop artificially following the commandments out of a sense of duty, but instead change our inward nature to conform to the commandments of Gospel.
Now we should interpret Gospel as it applies to itself (to Gospel).
“Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world.” (1Cor. 1:20)
“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He has taken the wise in their craftiness.’ And again, ‘The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise, that it is worthless.’” (1Cor. 3:18-20)
This means that God has made foolishness the wisdom of the interpreters of Gospel.
The “spiritual authority” of the rulers of the world of Gospel is coming to naught.
“… of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing” (1Cor. 2:6)
“Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power.” (1Cor. 15:24)
We do not need to rule but rather be humble. Christ is perfect anarchy (abolishing every rule and all authority and power).
“For, ‘He put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him.” (1Cor. 15:27)
“Having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2:15)
Can we lose love?
“Love never fails…” (1Cor. 13:8)
But I was afraid. It is well-documented that every few years all of the atoms of our body are replaced with new ones (which we eat and breathe). Just as the water of a river flows out and is replaced with other water, our body is more like a fluid than a stone. I reasoned: Can love flow out of us and not be replenished so that we could lose it, in spite of the fact that it never ceases?
“For the love of Christ constrains us; because we judge thus, that one died for all, therefore all died.” (2Cor. 5:14)
This means that we are defined by the love of Christ. If love could flow out of us, but not replaced we would no longer be ourselves, as we are constrained by the love of Christ. So we can't lose the most important part of our personality: the love of Christ and our main idea “that one died for all, therefore all died.” This idea is the foundation of our mind. So we can't lose our main idea.
Baptized in the Holy Spirit
Being Baptized in water is not enough to receive the Holy Spirit.
“Who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands…” (Acts 8:15-16)
One needs to have the hands of apostles laid on him after being baptized in water.
Wonders and spiritual gifts
“When evening came, they brought to him many possessed with demons. He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.’” (Mt. 8:16-17)
Before my conversion to Christ I was possessed by demons. I don’t mean in a metaphorical sense, I was a real maniacal killer. While under the influence of demons I got to the point where I forgot my name, and was unable to read and count. Despite this oppression, I was cured in an instant when I converted to Christ.
How is it that some preachers say there is no longer spiritual healing, no wonders, and no casting out of demons? If that were true, I would be in a psychiatric clinic, unable to know who I was.
If Christ would not have healed me, I would be a maniacal killer and could not be saved.
“Behold, I send forth the promise of my Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luk. 24:49)
“But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.” “Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.” (Jn. 7:39 this refers to the event in Acts 2:1-4)
“I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,— the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.” (Jn. 14:16-17)
That it will be with us forever means that wonders will never cease.
Which Bible verse bear witness to the “cessationism” point of view (that is that the wonders ceased at the end of the first century)? I know of no such verse.
There were prophets not only in the Old Testament but also in the time of the New Testament.
“Now in these days, prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.” (Act. 11:27)
“Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” (Act. 13:1)
“Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves…” (Act. 15:32)
“When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied.” (Act. 19:6)
“Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.” (Act. 21:9)
“As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.” (Act. 21:10) (1Tim. 4:14)
“Don’t neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy…” (1Tim. 4:14)
“Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1Cor. 14:1)
These verses clearly tell us that even if we have love, it is not enough. We also need other spiritual gifts, especially prophecy.
“Now I desire to have you all speak with other languages, but rather that you would prophesy. For he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other languages, unless he interprets, that the assembly may be built up.” (1Cor. 14:5)
“But if all prophesy, and someone unbelieving or unlearned comes in, he is reproved by all, and he is judged by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. So he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.” (1Cor. 14:24-25)
We are to also desire for every one of us to speak in tongues. Paul spoke in tongues more than the members of the Corinthian church, and he called us to follow his example.
“I thank my God, I speak with other languages more than you all.” (1Cor. 14:18)
My computer fan roared loudly, disturbing me to write this book. For some reason this happens after I switch on my computer after it has been turned off for an extended period of time. After a period of time it quiets down. This is not a huge problem since I usually don't turn the computer off. It just so happened that I touched the computer because I was annoyed with the noise. The moment I touched it, it stopped roaring. Was this a coincidence, or did I, not knowing I was filled with Holy Spirit “heal” the computer? No doubt, if I were to have been filled with the Holy Spirit to a greater degree, He could have made me able to work despite the noise. But it did happen, the question is what happened.