Peter's ladder

Peter’s ladder

My calendar has shifted. On the one hand, it stretched, and on the other, it shifted.  On the outside the time flew quickly, but on a deep inner level, a lot happened from God.

Someone once said that if you experience something for the first time in your life, it means you are still young and you are growing, because it happens for the first time in your life.

Brothers and sisters around me often hear me say “this is for the first time in my life”. Because I make a note on my calendar that “this is for the first time in my life”. And here many things happened for the first time in my life. It’s great! This is so wonderful! First time in one’s life!

Not everyone can boast of this. Nothing happens with many people for years, but with us all things are about first love, everything about renewal, everything about fire, everything about the new man. We are happy people! One has to make an effort to find a reason for grumbling.

And now this internal calendar has shifted. If you now feel into your womb what God has done, then we will come to conclusions. The spiritual man is one who is conscious of his spirit. Try to feel your spirit. It is a blazing fire that gives you life. You know that your ears or nails will outlive you. I thought about how a man goes to his eternal home, but many organs have not yet failed. It is supposed to “reset to zero” all together, but no – the body can stay healthy for a while. So this is our spirit. We get to know our spirit.

Here is the Ladder of Peter. The Lord says through the Apostle: “…show in your faith virtue, in virtue – understanding, in understanding – self-control, in self-control – patience, in patience – brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness – love.” (2 Peter 1: 5-7)

Interestingly, this text came into mind. Sometimes you read a passage of Scripture a long time ago, but suddenly it comes supernaturally. I knew one brother, I knew him personally, we called him “Symphony.” He knew entire books of the Bible by heart, he knew the whole book of Isaiah! It was an elderly brother. Incredible! He didn’t have that when he believed. But when he believed, the Lord released such a love for the Scriptures that he could easily memorize entire books. Such gifts!

At Bible school we were made to learn by heart, but I thought, why such a carnal thing to do – because when I preach, the Lord reminds me of Scripture, the Spirit descends, and I quote. There is no need to memorize – you need to be filled with the Spirit! Maybe some of you have such a gift. God has poured this out on me and I enjoy and admire it all the time. I don’t know it by heart, but when the Holy Spirit comes, you clearly quote passages directly, almost unmistakably. Marvelous!

And in brotherly kindness show love. But love is an incomprehensible thing. Sometimes you have to speak straight, in order to save, and it’s unpleasant, but that’s what love is. And also, simply telling the truth can sometimes be difficult. Some of us are afraid – do you know why? Because we have not enough love.

Before I became a believer, I was a complex person – proud and fearful. And when I believed, I saw the glorious brothers who overcame the dragon, who overcame the evil one. They were very straight forward. I just fell in love with it and admired it! I’ve never seen anything like this. I later met other brothers, Apostles and Prophets, who delighted me with some of their clearly expressed fruit of the Spirit, but I could not compare them with those of my brothers. I don’t know, whether this is our home, or these are brothers in spirit, or this is our pack – I don’t know. But here is this fiery directness, fiery blazing eyes and directness. For me there is no more beauty, I don’t know anything more beautiful. This is directness! I thought: “Yes! I will do this too, I will also be like this!” And I decided to remove all this ornateness, pride, all these “tricks” that you have accumulated and imagined about yourself, and become simple in this directness. I think God blesses this.

Remember Paul saying: “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor”(Eph.4:25)— in love, but speak the truth to one another. Not some floridity and intricacies, but the truth.

I remember how we had an upper room, it was an elderly couple place and we had our meetings there. It happened so that shoes had to be put outside the entrance door! Even the toilet was packed with people; in the toilet there were people standing and listening to the sermon. Kitchen, corridor, entrance! As a preacher, I was let through. I was a zealous preacher. Such a word we had for good brothers, and they said this about me: “What a zealous brother!” And you, brother, are you zealous? Or “melancholic”?

And there they had a real old chest where three people could sit, and I had my own place on the chest.

One day a bishop arrived, an elderly and strict  brother, and we prayed on our knees – and there it was impossible to get on your knees – there were so many people in the room. But this is how we prayed – on our knees. We kneel on both knees when we pray to the Father. This means that we surrender, there is nowhere to go lower. And so I somehow stuck my legs in to kneel, and it turned out that I turned my back to the brothers. And this bishop says: “Brother, why have you turned your back to us?” I almost died of fear. I was a new believer, young. I answered: “Brother, I was able to put my knees only this way.” And he goes: “Oh, then it’s all right.”

This is such directness. I don’t know, maybe this doesn’t touch you, but it touched me so much! I thought: “Oh my God! Both strictness and mercy in one person.” I like this directness, and I encourage you to do it. It is not that you attack your neighbor, but that you speak the truth in love. I appreciate this most of all, it is very powerful, it is brotherly, friendly, when we can speak directly. Keep the spirit of this directness. If you don’t have it, bring it. Carry directness with gentleness. With tenderness – this is already high class level. This is what we need to strive for.

I would like to speak on this ladder – levels of faith – starting from minus and going to plus, to infinity. You know that there are no limits to faith, and even more so to love. You can’t say that this is love, you’ve attained the height of the bar. It is impossible to love too much. It doesn’t happen that way.

Love reaches into infinity, into eternity. She is eternity itself. We imagine and relate everything to the value of time. For us, infinity is time or space. No! Infinity is love. How do you like this?  Eternal, Infinite and Beginningless – this is Love!

Just imagine, the air we will breathe in heaven is not air, not oxygen, it is love! We will inhale love and we will drink love. And God Himself is, and His light that emanates from Him is love! You can die from this. I almost died once.

 But she is also burning, and she is fierce, she is very dangerous, she can kill and she can resurrect. She can turn the very last scoundrel into a most handsome and noble knight. She can turn the very last bastard into a hero. This is such love! And it can crush a most raging giant.

Fierce, fierce jealousy. Her arrows are arrows of fire. It is love that is surrounded by this army, but she herself is love – on the chariot and around her are her sisters faith and hope.

Once my sister Tanya told me herself – she waited for everyone to leave so that she could then run up to me and kiss me, an old lady. And when we were sitting, she pretended that she loved everyone equally, there were different boys, girls and different brothers and sisters, they would come all sad and fly away joyful and happy. There was such a strong rise there. And Sister Tanya served them, and no one suspected anything, but when everyone left, she came to me and kissed me from head to toe. I was a little disdainful that an old lady kissed me. I realized I didn’t love. She loved me more than I loved her, because it was impossible to love like that – I don’t know how to love like she did. Do any of us know how?

This is an amazing thing that each of us, people of God, who are chosen by His purpose, for His reason, and not because of ours, has something that no one else has! We are chosen according to His will, because He wanted to choose you. Think about this: it is your uniqueness that says He loves you in a special way like He does with no one else.

Make a conclusion for yourself – find two or three things that only you have – find this gift that you have and enjoy it. Let the Lord love you. Do you see? It is difficult! You sit in the prison of your own self, looking at your strengths and weaknesses, and how difficult it is for you to love yourself!

This is a science! I’m learning this. I don’t want to say that it’s difficult. It is very interesting, exciting and gives strength to live. Is it really that simple? Is it true that He really loves?! Why are you so unhappy then? Why are you so sick? Some slightest thing happens – and you immediately doubt, immediately look around. Why are you afraid then if He loves?!

Sister Tanya told one revelation. Three girls came to her. One is small – about three years old, the other is older – about five years old, the third is the oldest – about fifteen or sixteen years old. “Such beautiful girls that I have never seen in my life! Such heavenly beauty.” And suddenly she hears a voice: “And now abide these three – faith, hope and love, but the greatest of them is love.” And this older girl is love. But she’s a girl. Perhaps it was so in the sister’s heart: that she was not yet a young lady, but a girl, or perhaps that’s how it should be here on earth, I don’t know.

I am not telling you in synodal language, I have not read the Scriptures first, but I am doing this deliberately in order to break the “cyclicality”. Because we need to learn to think in a new way, to capture other dimensions.

Living under guilt is associated with sin and unbelief. Unbelief is the same sin. The difference is small. Cain wasn’t necessarily wicked. He just didn’t believe – he might have been a religious man, but he didn’t believe God, didn’t believe His Word, didn’t believe that God’s will was perfect. And so it happened that he would never have thought in his life that he could kill his brother. This is such a nightmare. But something happened to his heart. This wave began to move him, the seed began to grow inside – pushing out the light, pushing out the good. He looked at Abel – he looked from the back, looked from the side – he started watching him like this more often – how he approached his father, how his mother treated him, he began to scrutinize him, and then watch Abel even more carefully…

But do you know that Abel was a prophet? And Scripture says that all the prophets from Abel  to Zechariah were killed in Jerusalem (Luke 11:51). It turns out that Abel is a prophet! And when the Lord calls the names of the prophets, He names Abel. But we don’t hear Abel’s prophecy. Abel the prophet died like Jesus – for his kindness and service to God, for his faultlessness. He was a shepherd of sheep, and he brought an offering to the Lord, with which he pleased God and was killed for that. A purest image of Christ, only in a “compressed” form!

Living under guilt is a destructive faith. If we live constantly in guilt, we are destroyed. Think about it. Such a belief is destructive. It makes God evil. You move under guilt for a month or two or three – then you get used to surviving. Lack of oxygen. Put you in a mountainous area – you will be out of breath, your head will ache, but you will get used to it and will look for small joys: loud laughter will be heard from your places, you will figure out where to get delicious food – in short, you will survive, you’ll begin pursuing the joys of life.

And people with a feeling of guilt, with this mountain sickness, will constantly feel they are not at home, not in comfort, because you were not born for the mountains. Those who felt this pressure in their mother’s womb were born for the mountains.

Living under guilt produces a habit of feeling that God is not pleased with you. It is very dangerous, when you pray, serve and sing to God who is “displeased with you”! God is “angry” with you, and you live for years under His angry face!

Can you imagine how destructive this is? What kind of Christ will you preach to people? The same kind! Your words may be different, but you will not be able to convey the spirit.

See what level you are at, make a mark for yourself.

The next level that destroys life is fear. Many of us are afraid. Everyone is afraid of something. But there is healthy fear. I won’t talk about it, I need to make friends with it.

There is healthy fear. In love, which casts out fear, there is the fear of God. It’s good to value it. This is a good, positive fear, it keeps us sober.

But there is a bad fear, a false one, which doesn’t exist in nature. It is your decision and your position to be afraid. Your position is to be afraid. Of course, such faith doesn’t bring any good. It harms your health both physical and mental. Imagine, a man seems strong, but he is afraid inside. Get out and leave this territory of fear. Determine your three main fears – what you fear the most. Realize whether this is fair at all. Does fear influence my behavior or my decisions? Do we make decisions out of fear rather than because the Lord has told us to? Think about this.

Living in filth is also a destructive faith. When a person agrees with filth and lives with it. I’m not even talking about immoral things, certainly, those shouldn’t be even mentioned among us.  I’m talking about internal defilement – idolatry, greed, love of money, pride. This is bad.

Living under duty. When you do things out of duty. You are sent, or you are on a mission, or you are a shepherd, or you are a husband, or you are a wife… You must, you must, you must… You owe God, you owe the church, you owe the country, you owe yourself, you owe everyone – it’s an incredible loop! What love are you talking of? Imagine, such a “hunted horse”, foaming at the mouth, serving God. He beats everyone, he is rough – of course, because he serves God – this is his “zeal”, “we must.”

Look at God. Maybe He didn’t tell you this? You are good, you are conscientious, you have a “working” conscience, but I already said – leave your debt. Come to Him and say: “Lord, forgive our debts!” The Lord will say: “I forgive!” And you say: “I know that You forgive – but I won’t forgive myself!” And you get back to work.

I have gone through all these things, but it is incredible torture, impossible torture. Beware of a person who serves out of duty – he is already watching you to “bite”.

People who are debtors always keep paying back all the time and have nothing to pay off their debts with. They avoid the one from whom they borrowed money . And then they think that they will pay it back, but in reality they have less and less. In the end, there is nothing at all. And do you know what he says? “Give more!”

And it is written in Scripture that the servant who owed ten thousand talents and had to go to the cage, he went to the master and admitted that he had nothing to pay him with, and he said: “I forgive you!” – and he forgave him ten thousand talents . And what did he do then? He went to strangle his debtor for a hundred denarius! And when the master found this out, he said: “Stay where you have been before!” And the cage is not that he is in a cage, the cage is that he is under debt.

But we move on – upward. A life of faith – you believe in the promises of God and you stand on them. You stand on what God promised, what God prophesied to you, what God spoke to you about. You do not live under debt, under guilt, you do not live under filth, you do not live under fear – you live in faith! Go and believe, sleep and believe, chew and believe, pray and believe, communicate and believe, laugh and believe! You are in faith! Be in faith! Come into faith! Clothe yourself in faith! Put on the mantle of faith! Believe! Don’t be afraid! Just believe! See how simple it is? But this is awareness. In grace – life under grace is a step. You move under grace, you rejoice and triumph – because you are under grace! I’m definitely under grace!

Why do I serve by God’s grace? Because I’m under grace! Because grace is with me – I believe and walk under grace. This doesn’t mean careless or arrogant – trampling on Christ or not honoring the covenant as sacred – no! This means to understand God – that He is a Merciful Father, Who loves me and chose me. He decided so, and I will accept His love. I will accept and drink this holy love and live under grace!

The next step is life in the Holy Spirit. This is the next level, when the Holy Spirit is my co-worker, and when you are filled with the Spirit and move in His gifts, when you are filled with Him, when your soul sings and you are filled with Him.

Life in revelation is when the heavens are open and your mind catches the mind of God. Your senses feel the Divine, and you enter into the noble man in this revelation of the Lord, in this Apocalypse – you walk as a heavenly man, and not an earthly one. I love it so much! This is such a sweet reality! Light flows from there. Revelation is light! Without revelation it is darkness. The Scripture says, “Without revelation My people are unbridled.” And there is such a thing as “the light of revelation.” Revelation is light.

Artists – paint it, poets – write songs about the light of revelation.

The next level is the power of resurrection. The power of the Risen One moves you. Receive it! Is your spirit unable to receive the power of the Risen One? Can’t your spirit burn? Flare up! Light up! Fire up! This is what it means to be filled with the Spirit! The Spirit is the fire! Be filled – that mean flare up! Flare up and keep that fire going. And let the fire increase, let your gift become a red-hot ruby in the furnace! A burning sapphire – blue, like God’s tear! Let it become a burning  emerald, like life itself! Gem stones! Fire stones in the hand of the Lord in resurrection power and glory.

Christ once said that He saw His glory. And it is written about Abraham that he walked from afar and saw the promises and the city – not the one on earth, he saw the heavenly city. And Moses saw the tabernacle, built in heaven, and made according to the image.

These people saw the glory – Ezekiel, Isaiah, Paul, John. And we can see the glory of God!

Let’s go there! Come out of the guilt! What should you do there? Get out of fears, get out of debts! Receive remission of sins, remission of debts and live free, and bring freedom to people!

This is good news! This is the essence of what Christ did for us – He paid such a price for us, He fulfilled all this. Why do you upset Him when you return and reckon with your debts before God?