In this sermon I will tell about my Christian life. This is a very inspiring story.
I was born in 1980 in city Perm, Russia.
In the childhood I was an atheist. When I was 9 years old, I decided that nothing (nothing at all) exists. With this philosophy I sometimes hit walls because didn’t believe that walls exist.
I also tried to kill myself. For example, when a crawler tractor was passing by, I tried to put my head under the caterpillar. Once (being a guest in Kazakhstan), I got out of bed with the firm intention to swim in the middle of the Irtysh River to drown; but they asked me where I was going, and I had to go back to bed.
My cousin Svetlana promoted to me a certain religion, which I will not discuss in detail now. At first I laughed, but because of this I wondered: maybe Svetlana’s religion is wrong, but does God indeed exist? After reflection and inner struggle, I came to the conclusion that God exists (and His creation also exists). I refused to commit suicide and decided to find the true religion. I believed that among all religions there should be one true one, and decided to find the true religion. It was at the age of 9 years.
Once I saw the Bible for 1000 rubles. Before hyperinflation, it was a very large amount, but I would buy it if I had money.
Two or three years later, I received the Gospel of John as a gift from some religious organization. After reading the Gospel of John (albeit a seriously flawed translation of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church), I thought: this is so well written that it cannot be invented by man, it must be true. But I also thought that I had not yet read the books of so-called “great writers”, such as Leo Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and others. Later, when I studied Leo Tolstoy at school, I came to the conclusion that Leo Tolstoy was not a “great writer,” if we compare him with the Gospel. Besides, after reading the Gospel, I came to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church is not a real church, but if the Gospel is true, then there must be a real church corresponding to the Gospel somewhere – so I guessed that there are Protestants without even knowing the words “Protestant”. I also thought that you had to be a real hero to follow the gospel in this hostile world.
Later, I received the full text of the New Testament. Maybe then I was 12-13 years old.
Later, for some time I was inclined to Eastern religions, but once I believed in the Gospel and rejected Eastern religions.
I wanted to do good, but I could not: I was possessed by demons or, as psychiatrists would say, I had schizophrenia (Later I will tell you how Christ cured me) and the devil forced me do evil.
It began with the fact that from the age of five I mortally hated fairy tales (and was ready to kill anyone who somehow reminded me of fairy tales), because when I heard something about fairy tales, I went crazy: I started to think that I am a fabulous character (for example, the humpbacked beast). From the same age, I had bursts of anger: I ran around the room in circles and pounded my hands on the furniture.
Later, my madness progressed: for example, I began to see dragons. Where do dragons come from? They entered the building through the walls. Dragons bit (more precisely, took into the mouth and chewed) me. The pain was real.
Sometimes it seemed to me that I was in the jungle (in reality, being at home).
Once I found myself in the other side of the city a moment after I was in another place. I realized that a part of my memory fell out, as if cutting a fragment of a film and sticking it together without this fragment.
My nonsense was on various topics, but perhaps the main “characters” were: toad, crocodile, elephant and tank. I thought that I and other people were toads, crocodiles, elephants and tanks. I was afraid that the crocodile would eat me, the tank would rape me, and so on.
To any words “X” I answered: “two Xes”. For example, if they asked me: are you crazy? I could answer: I am two crazies. “Two” meant not what normal people put into this word, but “not one,” that is, “nothing.”
Another feature of my nonsense was to rearrange the letters. I rearranged words or the first letters: for example, “two crocodiles” turned into “cro twocodiles”. And I thought that the nonsense that I said is reality. Or, for example, to the question: “Do you go to a school?” I could answer “The school goes to me.” This was accompanied by the delusion of grandeur, since I thought that no one could attend school without me.
Once I went to a psychiatric hospital, but instead of asking for help, I said: “I will kill all psychiatrists!” I was kicked out. Once, I tried to make a bomb to blow up a mental hospital. I called the police, telling them that I was making a bomb. They confiscated the bomb, but did not pass me on to psychiatrists.
I forgot my name, I forgot how to read and write. It was really terrible: to see the book and understand that I can no longer read.
Sometimes I realized that I was crazy. But this did not help: I thought: my thoughts were wrong and often considered just the right thoughts to be nonsense. For example, I thought: It is crazy to consider me a man, because, in fact, I am a toad. Or I thought: Crocodiles do not exist, crocodiles are a fairy tale. Sometimes I understood that my thoughts were self-contradictory and fell to the floor because I did not understand what to do now.
Reading math books helped me. Also reading the gospel. But as I went more and more crazy, any reading began to drive me crazy.
I did everything I heard: If I heard the word “jump,” I would start jumping; if I heard the word “rape”, I tried to rape someone.
Sometimes I growled at people. I bit people, dogs and wheels of cars.
Sometimes I thought I was a Hitler. I also said: “It was an ordinary Hitler, and I am a great Hitler.”
Sometimes my right side fought with the left side, to the blood.
Once, as a demon possessed, I tried to destroy the building of a Baptist church by throwing a car at it. At this I pulled away the bumper from the car. After that, my whole body ached because the devil overloaded my muscles.
I was also a killer maniac, that is, I regularly attacked people with a knife to kill.
Sometimes I said: I do not want to kill, but the devil forces me to. I also stated: I do not want to kill, but I am a maniac and I cannot not to kill. In my inner essence, I did not want to kill, but later, when the devil took possession of me in a greater degree, I was not sure if I wanted to serve the devil in my inner essence.
Once I met a woman mother with a baby in a stroller. I told her: “Call a psychiatrist. If you do not call a psychiatrist, I will kill your child.” But she ignored my words. Then I took a stone and tried to kill the child. She made a very quick movement and intercepted the stone. As far as I remember, the psychiatrist was not called.
Once I told a policeman: “I am a maniac killer, give me a gun.” Oddly enough, the policeman gave me a gun. Then I tried to shoot this policeman, but another policeman took away my gun.
Once I met a group of people listening to a tape recorder. I declared that I would kill them. I also said: “I will kill the tape recorder!” I crushed it on the ground. After that, I tried to kill the people.
Once I met a company of blacks from Africa. I growled and said that I would kill them. One of them replied: “You are a shaman, you can do whatever you want.” So, the same demons possessed me and African pagans.
Once I met a group of people and said: “I want to kill as many people as possible and kill myself!” They turned out to be Muslim terrorists. They were delighted, brought me to their hideout, took out a shahid belt and put it on me. Immediately after that, I tried to blow myself up and the terrorists. They stopped me and took back the belt.
Once again, I met a group of people and said: “I’m a maniac killer. I want to kill someone.” They said they wanted to use me as a killer and gave me the gun and the address of the victim. I went “on the mission”, but tried to kill the first comer. They took the gun and one of them said: “It was a bad idea to use a maniac as a killer, he would kill a wrong one.”
In addition to schizophrenia, I had other illnesses that Christ subsequently cured. I had an incoordination: I often ran into a joint or a wall when I tried to enter the door. And in general, I was a sick child. One day, a Baptist preacher told me that I must be strengthened in spirit and after a few months of such spiritual practice I was practically healthy.
At fifteen, the demon almost completely destroyed my mind and my condition quickly deteriorated. At intervals of time when I was in my right mind, I realized that a little more and I would most likely become a fool for life.
I felt terrified when I realized that I could not count anymore and could not read: I could see the text, but I could not understand anything.
The demon prevented me from converting to Christ: making me forget about wanting to convert, depriving me of wanting to convert, etc., as well as by heresies (I did not believe in the divinity of Christ, which made my conversion impossible). But once I converted; a week later it would probably be too late, since the demon would completely destroy my mind.
I tried unsuccessfully to appeal many times. I remained a killer maniac, going to hell and dangerous to other people. My conversion did not work because I did not believe in the divinity of Christ.
On Sundays, I sat in a Baptist church and wept, knowing that I was not saved. I listened to sermons and slowly began to understand that I should be saved by Christ through faith only.
For some reason I did not believe in the Holy Trinity. Perhaps Jehovah’s Witnesses influenced me (however, now I cannot remember) who do not believe in the Trinity.
Once I confessed that I believed in the Holy Trinity. On the same day (August 8, 1995) I climbed under the covers and called for God in my mind.
When I got out of the blanket, I thought that someone had turned on the light bulb (or the sun came out from behind the clouds). In fact, no one turned on the light bulb, but my vision changed.
I felt a change in my mind. From now on, I am a normal person. I can read and count, I do not bite, I do not see dragons, etc. This is a miracle that happened at one moment while I was under the covers.
Over the next few hours, I realized that I was no longer a crazy maniac, because I no longer had hallucinations, rave or anger.
This time period I was at home. Three days after the conversion, I went outside and was very surprised: I saw not only a tree or the whole forest, but focused attention on all the trees at the same time, not just one or two trees. This is similar to when someone updates their computer and can play video games at a higher resolution.
After three months of my new life, I saw a math problem in a textbook and instead of solving it for some time, as it was before, I instantly understood the answer. The whole decision happened in my mind in one moment.
Immediately after my conversion, when I turned from a maniac into a normal person, my parents, their relatives and friends began to shout that I had become a sectarian and an abnormal one. Apparently, the demons that came out of me, entered into them.
However, later I was tempted, incorrectly taught in the Baptist church, etc., which hindered the development of spiritual gifts.
Once a preacher said that preachers, when they preach, do not mistake. Then, when I was a beginning Christian, it seemed to me quite natural and I took it for granted. But when that preacher began to preach, he made some kind of mistake (I don’t remember which one). From that moment on, I began to search for religious truth only in the Bible.
So, I was crazy, converted to Christ and recovered in one moment. Then I will tell you how I turned into a superman (for a period of time, about one or two months).
After some time, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I had superpowers: an ideal photographic (like a camera) memory, telepathy, etc.
One day I was sitting in front of a computer at a school and writing a program. Suddenly I considered this program in my mind as a computer. This was the beginning of the transformation of my brain into a real computer.
I also had a super-power, like Samson, as well as super speed: I began to flap my hands at supersonic speed.
The power appeared and disappeared again.
When the power appeared unexpectedly, it happened that I was thrown into the air: the muscles in my legs “jerked” (that is, they moved sharply) with too much force. However, it was only when the power appeared unexpectedly. When I consistently had strength for some time, I could restrict the strength of the movements and did not throw me into the air. I think this is what Ilya of Murom meant when he said that “the earth does not hold me”: he was thrown into the air with every movement. Ilya of Murom had to drink “dead water” in order to reduce his strength, so that the Earth would hold him. Since my “inability to be hold” passed after I had been in full force for some time and I didn’t need to become weaker so that the Earth held me, then probably when I had strength I was much stronger than Ilya of Murom.
I could do a huge amount of work and not get tired. My body became as hard as steel. I could break a knife by squeezing its blade in my hand. Once I decided to check if I could squeeze the steel, I took a steel object (probably it was a nut or bolt) and clamped it between two hands. Suddenly for me, a piece of steel melted in my hands from the tremendous force with which I squeezed it. Molten steel, flowed on my hands, without causing me any harm. I easily broke the stones with my hands.
Once I tried to close the steel safe with a wave of air from a flap of my hand. But I overdid it and the safe door tore apart.
I had many other superpowers. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I could fly. When I landed, people in fear scattered in different directions.
I could hold my breath for several hours. I already said that I had telepathy. Scratches on my body healed in minutes or seconds. I was so fast that I could catch a bullet on the fly. I felt people and objects not only in front, but also behind me through radio waves of the brain.
But these are all trifles: the main superpower that I had is that my brain turned into a computer. This is the last superpowers, which I had, and she steadily kept for about one month. This ability appeared with the help of the Holy Spirit through the training of the brain: I zealously or thought, or prayed all the time.
I have already said that I once counted a computer program in my mind. Like other superpowers, the super-mind or its fragments sometimes appeared for short intervals, then it disappeared. But after a while, I stably became a computer.
Using my super-brain, I probably discovered more scientific knowledge than the rest of humanity (I later forgot everything).
After my “fall,” I again became a sinful person, the same as you and forgot everything. In fact, I only remember that it was very tough, but I do not remember the details.
And one more thing: When I spoke with several people at once, I counted our conversation and managed to control them so that the different questions that each of them asked had the same answer. People in fear jumped away from me because of amazement, realizing that I answered several questions at once with the same phrase.
So, I consistently became a superman and a super computer. It lasted about a month. But once I turned into an ordinary person again. When I realized that I was no longer superman, I wept for half a year. After six months, I began to continue the life of an ordinary person.
My mother once told me that I was “burning” too much and it could damage my health. A few hours later I remembered it and felt fear. At the same time, my brain was hanged because of fear and became just like the brain of an ordinary person.
At that moment I literally fell to the ground. After that, I tried to figure out in my mind how I would get up, but I realized that I can no longer count like before. I got up with difficulty, because I forgot how ordinary people (not supers) move.
I thought: I am weak, sick, stupid. I have already said that I was crying six months about lost supernatural abilities.
Imagine if I stayed a computer for a long time? Could I prevent the economic crisis by calculating the economy? Could I build a thermonuclear reactor and save mankind from oil dependence? And when I was preaching, people lie on the ground because they could not resist my words. I think I could do a lot.
I have not yet said that some of the stages of becoming a superman were very difficult, as I was experiencing “passion” (that is, strong feelings). After the fall, I went through the psychological difficulties of becoming a superman in roughly the opposite order.
I am now a mathematician. Despite the fact that I do not have a scientific degree, I made serious discoveries.
When I made my first discoveries, it was a fun before death, I did not expect to publish them, because I thought that my mother would kill me either with a skillet on the head, or starve me.
She declared that I was “not interested in anything”, because I stopped reading horoscopes, etc. For this, she severely punished me.
Mother gave me very little money or did not give at all, I was starving.
Once in a Baptist church after the meeting, I said: “I have no money, I have nothing to eat, help!” They ignored me. I thought: maybe I have already died and they do not see me? I picked up someone else’s bag, I was asked to put it back; it means I did not die, I thought.
Whatever I asked in the church, first a Baptist, then Pentecostal-Charismatic, I was ignored (except for the Baptist woman who gave me 50 rubles, which were afterwards confiscated by my mother).
Once she kicked me out of the house as a punishment for my faith (this, of course, was illegal, since I had the right to live in an apartment). When I contacted the police, they kicked me out, giving a kick in the ass.
Then I ate grass because I had no other food.
When I was kicked out of the house and deprived of food, I turned to people: “Evil people, bastards, help me!” Because I believe that people are evil (and they need salvation from sin by the Lord Jesus Christ) and say “Good people help!” would be untrue.
One person, at my request, gave me a chocolate bar so that I would not die of hunger. But I didn’t have the strength to eat it. I fell and the chocolate fell next to me. I did not have the strength to reach out and reach for the chocolate bar. I then thought that I would die.
Once again, I was looking for work (illegal, because children in Russia are not allowed to work). I soiled my clothes and thought: this is death, because with dirty clothes I will not be able to find a job and die of hunger.
I lay in the street and thought that I would die soon. I cursed the city of Perm, for the fact that they almost killed me with hunger. I prophesied that the city would be flooded for it. I did not understand how the city could drown when there was no sea nearby. But one believer visited me. After he prayed for me (and also for saving the city), I was able to stand up. Three days later, I read in a newspaper that a riverboat had struck a lock in a power station dam. If he had broken through two or three more locks, the city would have been under water. That is, if I still died of hunger, the floodgates would burst completely and the city would be flooded. This is because it was the city that would be responsible for my death.
I tried to make a crime to be put in jail and I had food. I broke in front of a policeman shop window, imitating a robbery, he beat me, but did not arrest.
The mother even confiscated my scholarship at the university. She gave me money only on target expenditure, on food. And this money was not enough for it to be half full.
I had other problems, too.
When I was still a schoolboy, I was in a math camp for gifted children. Teachers praised me and predicted a great future for me. I told mathematics teachers that my life could be useless, because I could die of hunger due to conflicts and communication problems. I asked them to work on becoming mediators between me and the rest of society. But they did not want to work on it.
Also while studying at the university, I made a mathematical discovery worthy of a Nobel level award.
Then I decided to fight until victory: curse the city of Perm and all of Russia so that the cities would be destroyed by nuclear weapons. Then I was a real Pharisee who drains a mosquito and swallows a camel: it seemed normal to me to burn the whole city and millions of people, and, say, to kill the mother, rob the store to eat or do something like that a great sin. I was planning to somehow raise money for an air ticket and by force of spirit to arrange a nuclear war just during my flight, so that the plane could be landed abroad.
Once upon a time, two American missionaries beat me up. Then I told the angels: “Destroy two skyscrapers with airplanes!” You know what happened on September 11th.
Later, reading the Bible, I realized that I should be humble, and not to fight for myself.
So, I lived in poverty and in enmity with all. What are the reasons for this situation?
I tried to follow the words of Christ (Mark 8:38). “Whoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” I decided to openly declare that I am with Christ, even if it harms me (for example, talking with a potential employer, or with an evil person who might attack me, etc.)
Moreover, I “shortened” my confession: “I am a sectarian,” “I am a religious fanatic.” I considered the word “sectarian” as one of the Christ words, because 2Cor. 6:17 contains the word “separate”, the root of which has the same meaning as the root of the word “sectarian”. I considered the word “fanatic” to be one of the Christian words, because the Bible says (Rev. 3:19) “be zealous,” and “jealous” and “fanatic” are words with a root of similar meaning. Can you guess how the people perceived me, the sectarian and fanatic? Definitely I would have to die of hunger.
I needed to understand how not to “betray” God. But to betray God is to do such a small thing as saying: “I am not of Christ” or “I do not believe” or something like that. But such a small statement looks less than many other sins. But we know that to betray God is a very big sin. As a result, I got confused: enumerating various sins, I “looped” them: the first sin is worse than the second, the second is worse than the third, and so on, later in a circle: the final sin is worse than the first sin in the list. I am completely confused: what is good and what is evil. As a result, I was left with only one way (I knew that it was wrong, but I did not know any other way) to determine what was sin and what was not. And this way: do nothing for your own benefit. If we are guided by this criterion, I sift out sinful deeds, but along with them we also sift out many good things, like a child who was splashed out with water in a joke. Thus, confused in sins: which one is smaller, which one is greater, I was not able to earn money.
So, I was in conflict with everyone and lived in poverty. When I thought about starting some kind of Christian ministry, it led me to the conclusion that I would get into even bigger problems this way, no one would want to communicate with me. One day a preacher prophesied to me: you will become a minister! I shouted: God, for what! As it seemed to me that my life would become even more terrible.
Thus, I did not do the Christian ministry due to the fact that by becoming a minister, I would, I thought, would have been in even greater trouble.
Later, I realized: that I did not become a “minister”, this is shame itself. The reason that I did not preach the Gospel “professionally” was precisely the fact that I was afraid of even greater rejection by the society. The reason that I did not preach, whether professionally or “just so” was the fear of rejection by society, that is, shame. The situation seemed hopeless to me.
I could try to organize a small church and collect donations for my food, but this was not possible without accommodation. In desperation, I tried to invite people to my apartment, but it ended in failure, because people listened more to my unbelieving mother than me.
In even greater despair, I tried to organize my totalitarian sect, the adherents of which would worship the seraphs. Maybe it’s a sin, but I had nothing to eat. However, guests invited by me quickly “saw through” that I was a Christian, and did not want to deal with me.
Another reason was “competition” with the New Testament church of Eduard Grabovenko. Even the smallest sins of Edward and his subordinates turned into enormous problems for me like through an amplifier. Definitely, Edward owed me money for this, but how could I explain this to him? to explain this and why my sermons had the main purpose not of saving sinners, but of my enrichment, this is a whole lecture.
As a result of all these problems, my character was partially spoiled, I became weaker psychologically. It was the queen sacrifice that God made to deliver me from Pharisaism.
Also the character will improve or worsen, this is not what we choose, it is brain overload under constant stress, like a blow to the skillet on the head, when the choice is not made by us, but by the frying pan. (You can assume that character belongs to the soul, not to the brain; see my other sermon on the relationship between brain and soul). The decision to do good in this case does not work, because we do not make a choice.
If God had not crushed me, would I have remained Pharisee for all eternity? I do not know, but I think this could be.
Now I understand that the only way out of this vicious circle of different commandments, which one is more important and which is less important, is to refuse to follow the commandments of the Gospel as a law, like a Pharisee. We must die for the commandments of the New Testament, just as we died for the commandments of the Torah. “To die for the gospel” sounds scary, but it is no worse than “to die for the Torah”, as the apostle Paul taught. We must refuse to follow the system of commandments, and instead live by faith and love, not trying to fulfill specific commandments. This is because if we try to fulfill a commandment or several commandments, we as Pharisees violate the other commandments. Trying to live according to the commandments is useless, you need to die for the commandments of the Gospel.
I was desperate because of my old self-contradictory religion. I was in poverty and conflict with everyone.
It dawned on me that I was a big Pharisee (a Pharisee with spiritual strength to arrange a nuclear war or a flood with a breakthrough of dumb), and not a hero of the faith who I had considered myself before. Yes, I was really the first, but the first who? I realized that I was the first of the sinners. I did not follow the gospel in the spirit, but followed it as a law, trying to fulfill each small commandment, while violating other, more important, commandments.
Once I realized that the Gospel cancels itself (see my other sermon, entitled “Living under the covenant or above the covenant”), because the Gospel says “the letter kills”, but the Gospel itself is the letter. At first it drove me to despair. I picked up matches and was in an internal struggle to set fire to my apartment (however, I did not set fire to matches). After I realized that my old religion was wrong, I tried to kill myself.
Later, I realized that the end of the New Testament era is the beginning of a new, better era of God’s relationship with people (see my other sermon, entitled “Live under the covenant or above the covenant”). There are no reasons for despair.
The main principles of the new religion are:
– The Bible is 100% true, but its commandments are not addressed to us. We live by faith and love, not by the commandments.
– We are no longer slaves of Christ, but His friends.
– The gospel abolishes itself. In other words, we are no longer obliged to follow the commandments.
– The apocalypse can be canceled because it is addressed to the slaves of Christ, and we are no longer slaves.
Because of the desperation that my old religion is wrong, I tried to kill myself. After that, I went to a mental hospital and spent several months there. But now I am free.