FINAL TESTING GROUND
Foreword to an English version of the second edition
Greetings to you my dear reader, Shalom!
It’s been less than a year since the first edition of the book was made public. During this time the Almighty continued to talk on a deeper level concerning the events that you will get acquainted with while reading the first edition of the book that has twelve parts total, as well as three additional printed materials, related to the main topic. The first edition was in Russian, the second edition, with five supplementary parts added, will be translated into English, as well, and this is happening almost simultaneously.
First of all, I want to mention that the whole concept of the «Testing Ground» presented in this book is not something “trendy”, but something that always existed. Owing to many people’s and first of all to the one called “enemy of human souls’” endeavors this concept was forgotten and “shoveled way back”. The enemy tried to ostracize this biblical concept, to push it away to periphery. This was done in order to scare away anyone, who might have some questions lingering, while reading Scriptures or looking at the world around us, from carefully studying it with an open mind.
This book examines the topic that many call «pre-existence.» Perhaps, this is not the best name for it; nevertheless, it allows you to get to the meat of it. I would rather call it our life before incarnation in this world on this earth, just like it was in a life of our Yeshua the Messiah. Because he, as it is written, became like us IN EVERYTHING, and in this as well.
For some of you it might be interesting to know, that Yeshua the Messiah taught on life before our embodiment here on Earth much more than, for example, on topic of «being born from above». He talks about being born from above only in one passage in the Gospel of John in the third chapter in verses from 3 to 10, where a secret meeting with a member of Sanhedrin, one of the most respected rabbis of that time – Nicodemus takes place. Yeshua touched this topic during a meeting with the most knowledgeable person of that time, but we do not see in the Scriptures anywhere else where he teaches on this. But to unveiling the topic of our life before incarnation in this world, Yeshua devoted much more time, and it was no longer a secret tête-à-tête conversation. He taught this topic to all of His disciples. If we want to be His disciples, we should at least get interested in it and be willing to hear what He wants to tell us. In Matthew 13:24-30 Yeshua in a figurative way revealed the essence of it. Later He tells some more parables, describing principles of the Kingdom. But His disciples were more interested in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. They asked Yeshua to clarify what he actually said in the passage above. And after that He plainly explained that some souls that come to this world are inherently tares, without a “good seed” in them. They do not become tares after been sown into the earth, i.e. into the world; they are tares initially, before falling unto the ground. Tares are not good grains that got spoiled after sowing; then this is another sort of plant, actually. Tares only look like wheat, but essentially it is a weed. In other words, during the night, and allegorically, during spiritual darkness, the enemy was allowed to send into this world the souls of those individuals, who by their nature at the time of this “sowing” were already spiritual weeds, and had nothing to do with spiritual wheat at all. Messiah said that “everlasting fire” was prepared for them in Mt.25:41. And I want to draw your attention to the fact that these characters, called tares, were not sown by the Son of Man into this world, as it is written, but His adversary had a power to do it.
Why was it possible? Why was enemy allowed to have such a power? What’s the reason behind this? Why, when and how some souls became tares before being “sowing” into this world? Who are they? Who are those “third of the stars of heaven” whom the dragon drew with its tail: Rev.12:3-4?
Also we can recall several passages in the Scripture where it talks about some individuals, called sons of perdition or destruction. So, they did not become such after appearing in this world, but they were born into this world by “destruction” or “death”. These are the Judas from Kriot (John 17:12), who betrayed Yeshua, as well as the one, who is called in the Scriptures “the beast” and “the Antichrist” (2 Thess.2:3). Yeshua said about Cain that he «was from the evil one,» but didn’t choose to become so. There are also many other passages that raised a lot of questions, but there were no reasonable answers outside this paradigm.
Our Heavenly Father is not only a righteous Judge, but also merciful and holy God, therefore He could not in the first place give birth to sons and daughters predestined for perdition and destruction. It is well known that «good tree bears good fruit.» As a result those, who are called tares, became such by once making their choice.
So this whole work is about it as well as things related to this topic directly or indirectly. It is difficult to interpret some passages of Scripture and notice specific details without knowing, how sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father differ from other creation: Sarafs, Kerubs, various angelic creatures, which are called “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14). It is confusing where an evil and crafty «nachash» all of a sudden appeared from in Genesis 3:1, tempting Adam and Hava. At what point it came to be bad, because before everything was so good? There is only one verse that speaks about this: Genesis 1:2, but you will understand it correctly if you read it in the original language.
For a very long time the idea of “pre-existence” was viewed as an extravagant idea of Origen, which was “banned” at one of the first Christian Councils. But this is not even a part of the truth, but only its misrepresented part. In fact Jewish wise men always taught this from Scriptures and all the revelations that came from Enoch and Abraham, and still they keep on teaching that. Undoubtedly, enemy tried his best to twist the truth there too. This was due to Babylonian captivity and further rejection by many of Yeshua the Messiah. Nevertheless, even in today’s modern Judaism, one still can find fragments of this teaching that, in part, reflect this Truth. Gentiles, who started to come to the Messiah, and later became a majority, due to the efforts of an enemy, were cut off from their original roots — the Olive tree of Israel, from the Jewish understanding of the Word, which had the disciples of Yeshua, as well as disciples of their disciples.
Teachers in the Body of the Messiah were solely Jews, but when this separation happened, the School of Alexandria of Greek Gnostics and “allegorics” began to dominate the school of Antioch, which was essentially founded by the disciples of Yeshua. It was «heathenized» Christianity that began to ignore and by and by discredit a book of Enoch that gave insight on the events of the period before the flood in the times of Noah, which associated with the fall of some sons of God and the appearance of the Nephilims and various hybrids. It was believers from converted «Greek scientists» who began to strip of Scriptures of their meat, reducing everything incomprehensible, even to them, to allegories. Later on the basis of their teachings all these heresies began to develop, where people worshipped icons and relics, no to say of other abominations that desecrated the Body of the Messiah. It was their “mites and dinarii” that brought discredit on Israel, her role, believers from the Jews, Shabbat and Moadim (Heb.), i.e. the appointed days when a person meets with the Almighty.
Despite the targeted action of the enemy, despite the separation of the majority of believers from their natural Jewish roots, the concept of life before our embodiment here on earth was widespread and known everywhere quite a while. Even such prominent apologists of early Christianity as Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) and Saint Jerome (342-420 AD) in spite of their formed anti-Semitic thinking still stuck to the legacy that was left by disciples of Yeshua. So they didn’t reject this concept of «pre-existence,» but quite the contrary.
St. Jerome, for example, noted that the doctrine of pre-existence was passed on among early Christians in a special way. As a doctrine it was not shared with everyone, but it was a piece of wisdom that was «spoken among the mature»:
1 Corinthians 2:6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
Origen (186-253 AD) was the one, who communicated a lot with pastors and some bishops, who ministered on the territory of Judea and «surrounding regions». This was one of the reasons, why Origen, more than others, understood those concepts of messianic Judaism, while studying and meditating on the words of Yeshua the Messiah and things directly and indirectly reflected in the Scriptures. Origen was invited to preach in the communities of this region, and there he had fellowship with «local» ministers, who were more than others at that time understood all this. It was him, who more than others at that time studied this topic and laid down his thoughts and findings in the framework of the book «On the first Principles». Of course, there were many assumptions and his fantasies contrary to the Scripture, but, nevertheless, he made this topic public.
As for our «pre-existence» topic, there are many places in apocryphal literature, as well as in «deuteronomistic» books, which with efforts of some were pushed outside of the biblical canon, «not to embarrass new converts», as it were. For example, in the «Book of Wisdom» of Solomon there are such verses in chapter 8:
19 For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit.
20 Yea rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled.
After the removal of the Jewish messianic component, i.e. a part of Messiah’s Body, which is called «Jewish believers», whose understanding and tradition included this concept, Babylonization of Christianity began to move in quantum leaps, especially, when Christianity was declared an official religion of the 4th century. Belief in pre-existence was fundamental in Western Christianity up to 553 AD, until the Emperor Justinian gathered The Second Council of Constantinople. This council was largely political, held without the bishop of Rome and his representatives, and, consequently, this doctrine of pre-existence was condemned by a majority of votes. This Council viewed by many as illegitimate among other idolatrous decisions declared that to “whoever says or thinks that human souls preexisted, shall be anathema”. Thus, by a certain part of “Babylonian Christianity” those, who believed in it, were formally cursed and all references were wiped out from the Bible. Belief in the pre-existence of souls was claimed to be a heresy. Of course, in Origen’s teachings there was enough evidence to assert it, but the point is that then there were at least biblical contemplations of it. If this topic was not as common then in Christian world, five hundred years after the ministry of Yeshua’s disciples, then there was no need for religious leaders to impose such restrictions.
As for me, as I shared in the foreword of the previous edition of the book, I had the same understanding of this topic as some of you might have now. My dear readers, when I came across this thought in a form of a prophetic message in July 2016, I was by then a dedicated minister for over 20 years. This whole topic for me then was far beyond the “legitimate Scripture”. As I see and understand now at that moment it was time for me to hear this prophetic word through minister, Jeff Byerly. The Almighty touched my heart and started answering the questions that were preserved during those years of Scripture study, until a certain time, of course.
One minister who was pasturing an evangelical church for more than twenty years began to read this book and the Almighty started to reveal and confirm to him everything that was written there. And the minister himself began sharing some deep and interesting thoughts concerning this topic. One day he called me on the phone and drew my attention to the fact that at all theological seminaries and academies, where they, primarily, teach principles of Scripture study, they teach one method called: “study of a Scripture passage in the context”. This means, if a verse is not clear to the reader for a proper understanding it is necessary to read a little BEFORE and a little AFTER. And while continuing his train of thought he suggested when talking about 6,000 years of our human history we need, definitely, go «BEFORE» and «AFTER», as well. What is going to happen “AFTER”, we read in the last three chapters of the Revelation, and also there are numbers of well-known passages in the Scripture that relate to this time, last chapters of Isaiah’s and Zechariah’s prophecies, for example. As for what happened BEFORE period, which began with Genesis 1:3, there are only two verses explaining this, as I mentioned before, if one reads it in an original language. Yet, the rest is scattered throughout the Scripture, and in order to put all things together, one needs to try a little harder. In time of “microwaves” and “prematurity”, for many, it is a serious challenge, as this requires time, and often in a life with plans and schedules, there is no time for such trifles, as a rule. But, just as it is impossible to understand the depth of what is written without knowing the original language, and dive into the depths of the Scripture without the Spirit of the Almighty, it is also impossible to understand what happened, is happening and going to happen, starting from Genesis 1: 3, without understanding what happened BEFORE that very moment. The context is not just important, it is necessary for understanding of many things, not to mention the initial meaning of an author.
Some who heard about this topic, but chose not to give an extra though to it, for it has a potential to “blow one’s mind” and break religious patterns of thinking, began to defend these “strongholds” by saying that “this does not effect our eternal salvation,” which is difficult to disagree with. But we know from Scriptures that the truth about our “transcendental salvation” is only the beginning of the path, according to Heb.6:1-3: “elementary principles”, and spiritual milk for new converts. People began to voice another “argument”, saying that “all of this is not important”, which I, actually, disagree with, unless there are reasons mentioned above or person is spiritually immature. I believe that, firstly, if all of this is in the Scripture, then by definition it cannot be “unimportant” and surely worth spending time on and giving thought to it. The Almighty has things written in His Word for a reason. Secondly, the study of the Word of the Most High is intended in the first place for understanding His heart, His plans, and His motives, in order for us to be transformed into His image and learn to trust Him even more.
This book is for those who want to know more than just their «transcendental salvation», for those who want to understand everything that is written, starting with Genesis 1:3 — in CONTEXT. In this current edition there are seventeen parts, a brief summary of which you can get by reading the table of contents, so I will not spend time talking about it. The first twelve parts remain mostly intact with the exception of minor changes (fonts, etc.), as well as with extra passages and interesting facts added. I assume that the next five parts of the book will be as deep and informative as the previous ones and will be of great help in understanding the events that took place, and most importantly, will take place, soon.
This revelation is not simply important, but as I see and understand, it is extremely important for better understanding of our history that is hidden by our Heavenly Father, and cannot be seen with a naked eye, but, nevertheless, reflected in His Word. It’s not only about our history, and of course, this is not a “matter of salvation”. This is undoubtedly refers to all spiritual children, it is about understanding the fullness of our calling, what happened, and things yet to come, about us being rooted in the Lord, which can help us to rise up to a new level of faith. This will help us to understand the motives behind our Heavenly Father actions, why He allowed some things to happen, we’ll be convinced once again that our God is good and abundant in mercy, and what happens to people in this world is not His whim, which can be easily explained by the human logic: “Rule number 1.The boss is always right. Rule number 2. If the boss is wrong, see the rule number 1”. God is always moved by His mercy and great love to all of us.
My prayer for you is that you understand more of the grandiose struggle, in which we all were involved at the time described in Genesis 1:2, before the so-called «restoration» of the earth, which began after so called «pre-Adam flood» and described starting from Genesis 1:3, as well as many others things. I think that the vast majority of the people living do not even know that the true reality is actually much more epic and exciting than the most advanced science fiction move is able to capture.
Depending on the context I will quote verses from various translations of Scriptures and will use original Hebrew language as well.
I pray for our Heavenly Father to help everyone, who reads this book, with His Spirit to understand His Word, to know His plans, things that happened at the very BEGINNING, in order to understand, what was and what is to come. I pray for you to draw closer to our Heavenly Father, for your level of trust to Him to rise up. I pray for you to understand to a fuller extent, what was accomplished by our Yeshua the Messiah, and for it to help you grow from faith to faith, from glory to glory, and bear forth fruit that abounds in the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father.