(The text version, more or less the same as the video)
Here is my take on what I learned through the years about what the Bible actually says about life, the universe and everything. I put this in my own words. A percentage of what I put down here is extrapolated information and some of it might be slightly wrong. However in essence I think this is fairly accurate.
It seems that there is a world that predates ours, a completely different world with different rules and beings. At the head of it there is a singular person whom we call God.
At some point there was a very large rebellion centered on the fitness of this person to be in control including his motives and his character. The instigator of this rebellion was Lucifer - one of the most powerful beings in that world. He persuaded about a third of the beings to follow him. Lucifer himself in fact had an ambition to be equal to God at least in authority and I assume he accused God of wanting to be at the top for selfish or evil reasons in the initial rebellion. Something like “Why can’t we all be at the top, or why is God at the top and not us? Why do we have to do His bidding? He is just hogging everything for Himself”. I think this question had a lot of allure because nobody had ever seen a situation where God was not in control. I think they just had to believe that God was good and not malicious and that His laws and decrees were good and had merit behind it. Therefore in the end the whole rebellion pivoted on what each individual believed about God’s character, perhaps swayed by each being’s personal ambition.
After this rebellion God created a different world inside or alongside this older world, a kind of a mirror world. Inside he created beings – a simulation of himself- humans. We were created with a body and a spirit. The body related humans to this inner world and the spirit related them to the real outer world. The interaction of the two created a third entity the human soul, influenced by both. Humans being a composite being somehow in itself was modeled on God’s own being although I do not fully understand how that is set up.
God also set it up so that just like him, humans were at the top of the structure of beings on earth, far superior to any of the others. This newly created world was set up to create a sandboxed environment where humans could do anything they chose without influencing the real older world and also so that they would not be influenced by the real older world and the beings in it. This new world was put under the control of humans exclusively; all other beings were prohibited from doing anything here beyond certain limits without human request. This also included God Himself by His own choice. (This is why prayer is so important. God needs us to request Him to intervene in our lives. If we don’t and nobody else does, He is limited in what He is allowed to do. There are exceptions to this but they are rare and are quite well defined.)
This was a unique place because for the first time a place now existed where God was not controlling things unless requested.
So if you ever wondered why there are so many bad things in this world with no intervention from God. It is because this is not God’s world. It has been given to us and we are responsible to manage it.
In this world God put some initial humans. He gave them a mandate to take care of the world He gave them and to fill it.
God actively pursued a relationship with the people He created by meeting with them every day and talking with them. Here I extrapolate that if you create a being like yourself it is in part because it can relate with you and you can actually have a relationship with it. If you ever had a pet you would know that your relationship with it is limited because it cannot fully comprehend you and cannot deeply communicate with you.
In this world He put a mechanism by which humans could reject Him if they chose to. (No relationship can be real if there is no possibility to reject you.) He also allowed the instigator of the initial rebellion in the outer world to present his case with the humans. This Lucifer did centering his argument on the fact that God was malicious and was trying to withhold certain things from them so they could not become equal to God.
Now here it is important to understand that if you are a noble being and someone brings an accusation against you or an argument – you are duty bound to first address the argument – if you are truly noble you would also want to. You will not just go and destroy your opponent. Even we humans know this. Destroying your opponent without addressing his argument doesn't help at all. Only despots and dictators do that. I think Lucifer knew that God would want to address his argument and if he could prove it right, God would have submitted to him even though He was much more powerful than Lucifer (therefore Lucifer’s act of rebellion was not as suicidal as it appears). Somehow the creation of this new world was also, I speculate, a way for God to allow the beings in the real world to see a projection of what would happen if evil was allowed free reign.
So this world, our world had at least two purposes. Firstly a place for us to really experience the consequences of various scenarios created by our independent choices, not dominated by God, an opportunity for us to grasp the evilness of evil in the hope that we will reject it and further understand and grab hold of the opportunity to become voluntary, true friends of God. Secondly a real actual demonstration to the beings in the outer world of what would happen if they followed through with Lucifer’s idea of how everything should be set up.
Instead of trusting in God and having faith in His character the humans mistrusted God and they rejected Him too – same as a third of the beings in the initial rebellion.
This mistrust had a profound effect on the human spirits of the people that rebelled and therefore also on their souls.
This effect has messed up our world ever since because it changed human behaviour negatively. It used to be default good but changed to default bad to worse. God made things harder to survive too in an attempt, as far as I can tell, to hint to humans that there is a problem with their spiritual component.
However, since the human soul was anchored not just in a spirit but also in a body they had a privilege not afforded to the beings in the first rebellion – a restoration of their spirits were possible.
This was by design. God wanted humans to be able to make the choice not to trust Him. See the effect and then to be able to search for Him again and then start to trust in Him again if they chose to. The idea being that since we have not seen Him face to face, that if we wanted to start to trust Him, it would still be based on a choice to trust Him without having all the information.
It boils down to this. If there was a person who was very poor and tried to make friends with you. You may or may not choose to pursue this relationship. It would be up to your character and your choices. However if somebody told you that this person was really the richest person in the world acting as if he was a beggar to try and find true friends your whole attitude to the person would change. You would most likely then allow the person to pursue a friendship with you. However after gaining this knowledge you would not be able to have a sincere relationship again. In this world every human can make a choice to pursue a relationship with God or not. However after we die we will see God face to face as He really is. That will be such an amazing experience that every person would choose to be God’s friend. However then it would not be sincere anymore. You have to make your choice before seeing God fully as He is.
To afford us the opportunity to have the possibility of becoming a true friend of God, God has to be hidden away in our world, the truth too. It has been set up in such a way that if you do not want to believe that God exists, maybe because you do not like the idea of a God for whatever reason (sometimes because it will interfere with your lifestyle or ambitions), you can fully construe what you experience to that end. It has been done in such a way that you can 100% convince yourself that God does not exist without the slightest doubt. On the other hand if you want the truth it is possible to find it. But you will really need to want it, otherwise you will never find it. That is why the creation has been set up so elaborately. You will not find a scaffold if you dig down a few hundred meters. You will not find electric lights in a roof when you fly up with a rocket a few kilometers. If you challenge God to a court case He will not appear. However for those who are open, He will reveal the truth. Jesus made it clear that the way things have been set up is that those who have found a bit of truth and who are open to it will find more truth, but those who do not want the truth they already have, even the little bit that they have will slowly be taken away.
The choice of trusting God or not, becoming His friend or not, needs to be made by every human before they die because this is the point that caused the initial rebellion and also the subsequent human rebellion. Is God good or not and is there merit behind His ideas, opinions and rules?
Technically though the way God has set this up is important to understand. When the first humans decided not to trust God it had a profound effect on their spirits. God had to make a choice. Have this effect only apply to the spirits of the actual individuals that rebelled or apply the effect also on their descendants. In other words apply the effect to all humans. This second option is what God did.
This is technically unfair because we now all suffer profoundly because of something we had no hand in.
However the reasoning was that if God could somehow raise up or send in an individual that would trust in Him all the way till it was proven that He will never fail on that point, God could take the spiritual effect of the life of that person and then apply it to anyone He chose to. If anyone had a problem with this God could just point to the fact that we were all suffering without reason under the acts of others and so it is just fair to make us benefit under the acts of others without having any hand in it too. In this way God could give each individual billions of second chances instead of each one only one chance.
God did raise up a person like this – Jesus.
The way God did this is quite amazing. Humans being modeled precisely on God’s being, basically a perfect but scaled down version, it was possible for God to create a body that combined with a part of Himself resulted in an exact copy of Himself exactly perfectly equivalent. It would be like us humans succeeding in building a sentient, self-aware robot that is so much like us that if you scanned your brain you could set this robot up to be perfectly like yourself in character so that it would act the way you would have acted in every way, a true person in its own right, independent but exactly like you in nature. Now the explanation here is an extrapolation and the truth is probably more complicated than this, but either way, God managed to enter this world as a true full human being called Jesus. One equivalent to the initial human beings before rejecting God because the spiritual part of Jesus was not affected yet as it came from God Himself. I do not personally think Jesus retained any memory of God’s, only God’s character and nature. He had to start with a blank sleight like all the rest of us.
Because a part of Jesus came from God and because God specially set up his body so he would inherit God’s heart via the combined effect of his body and spirit, God calls Jesus His Son. Practically that is what Jesus is. Because the part that came from God has existed as long as God has existed, it can be said that Jesus has always existed. When Jesus became a human the nature of God’s being changed forever, in essence God permanently allowed a part of Him to become a human being thereby forever changing His own destiny and being. God has linked Himself to humans forever. This is important to understand. Emotionally and practically Jesus is a son a firstborn and only son to God. Jesus was not just a prophet or a teacher, He is God’s son. A human and so stripped of all power, weak like us. This explanation is not the full picture; it is only one way of viewing something quite complex. However the bottom line is that Jesus is God’s son.
Jesus did trust, learn about and follow God no matter what was thrown at Him. All the way till He was killed. God allowed Jesus to be crucified as His final test. Because Jesus was an exact representation of God’s character the way He acted and responded in all kinds of situations demonstrated to all humans and to the original beings in a way never before possible God’s character and nature in conditions that had never existed in the older real world nor could be allowed to exist there. In this way Lucifer’s accusations against God’s inner nature, heart and motives were also addressed. Here Lucifer lost the argument and battle with God, since it was centered on God’s character. If Jesus would have in any way demonstrated any kind of flaw in character or action however small, Lucifer would have won the argument with God because it would have shown that God Himself indeed was evil in His heart. If evil was found in Jesus, since Jesus in nature and heart was a copy of God it would have proven that God was evil too. If no evil or flaw could be found in Jesus it would have proved that Lucifer’s claims about God’s inner heart and motives were groundless.
Just like God created a mechanism in the beginning for humans to rebel against Him and reject Him, He now created a mechanism for humans to trust in Him again.
God made some claims about Jesus among us humans, stating that Jesus, His son, was sent from Him and that He did not fail in any way. Further that because He did not fail Jesus was made the head of everything not just in this world but also in the outer real world. Also God made clear that whoever believes Him about Jesus, would immediately be transferred from under the bad spiritual effects of the first humans to the positive spiritual consequences of what Jesus achieved.
Whoever now trusts God and therefore puts their faith in Jesus are immediately spiritually changed. This has many side effects. Because this is rooted in trusting God that He is good and giving Him the benefit of the doubt on His claims this also restores a relationship with Him. If you then die with faith in Jesus and you enter the real world you inherit everything Jesus earned along with Him (because we inherited everything from the first humans that rejected God). In the end those who believe in Jesus will be elevated to a new kind of being that has not existed before. John said that we don’t know what we will be exactly but we do know that we will be like Jesus. (Here it is important to understand that if humans are so equivalent to God in setup and design that He can perfectly scale Himself down to a human, a human can be scaled up to His level too. If you plan to fill a place with such powerful beings it is very important that they should be fully convinced in their own minds through experience that you are sincere and that evil is a truly dangerous, bad thing. They must know that you are not trying to avoid it out of some obscure motive for self-gain.)
However if you reject the claims about Jesus you again basically repeat the decision made by the first humans and Lucifer at the beginning to not trust God’s motives – whether you understand that or not. When you die you will then be treated the same as them because a sincere change of mind is not possible once you enter that world, your spirit has to be fixed while you are still here, it is impossible for God to fix it once you leave. He can only fix it while your body is still functioning. (Here you have to understand that in God’s world you cannot kill or unmake a being - that is impossible. You can only contain or quarantine beings that are evil.)
God allowing Jesus to be killed in a very extreme way is a sign too to us humans. Firstly that God is warning us that to enter His world with a broken spirit is a very dangerous thing, something to be avoided at all cost. So severe in fact that He had to intervene Himself to provide a way out. Secondly that if there was anybody for whom God would or could have made exceptions or changed rules it would have been for Jesus. If God would not or could not do it for Jesus He definitely can’t for us either. In essence the first humans trusting Him was plan A, Jesus was plan B for if they failed. But there is no plan C and there will or can never be.
Although Jesus in His nature was the same as God and although His spirit came from God, He was a person in His own right – a human like us. For Him the whole experience of being born, learning about His destiny, having to experience extreme rejection, extreme temptation with the knowledge that He could not fail even once, with even God Himself testing Him, was a very brutal experience. Not nice at all. It was a very big ask from God. In addition it is not clear what Jesus had to endure to satisfy the laws of the real world where God resides. That too may have been very extreme – He had to somehow make up for all the evil things humans have done from the first human till the last. It is clear that in God’s world every evil act has to be punished without fail. Somehow what Jesus did balanced all the evil things humans ever did in a way that if the spiritual effect of what Jesus did is transferred to an individual’s spirit, as far as the beings of God’s world is concerned, the individual is classified as perfect as if it never did anything evil.
One of the key things to understand is that even one evil act makes a spirit evil forever. It can never be reversed or fixed in God’s world. Lucifer and the beings that rebelled against God, because what they did was mixed with selfish ambition, changed in their spirits from 100% good to 100% bad. In God’s world there is nothing in between. You are either perfect or not. The only beings whose spirits can be changed are those of humans because they also have a body and because we live in a world where the full picture is hidden. Human reasoning has always sought to improve humans either to a level that is more or less ok or acceptable (not understanding that only perfection will do), or in some rare cases to perfection, via acts done in the human body like meditation, fasting and praying or by trying to keep some set of laws. Jesus made it clear though that nothing you do or don’t do in your body can ever fix your spirit. Just like after crashing your car, you cannot fix the dents by driving perfectly thereafter. In God’s world if you have done even one evil thing in your entire existence you are evil.
What Jesus did is so powerful that even if you have done a billion evil things, if you put your faith in Him, God can take what Jesus did and put it on you, thereby restoring your spirit to 100% pure in a way that all the beings and God can 100% accept the individual.
Because the things God asked of Jesus were so extreme and because He went through with it, God made Jesus the highest of all beings and He gave Him all things. Jesus earned God the right to be able to fix up the spirits of all human beings.
In the final instance somehow the choice to trust God that He is good or not and to be His friend or not is also rooted in the heart of a being. Often what we choose to believe and appreciate is skewed by what we desire and our character. This can best be seen by how easily you afford yourself or somebody close to you justification for certain actions that if somebody else does the same thing you immediately condemn them as bad or evil without even thinking. This is one of the strangest aspects of us humans. You will see this repeated over and over in life. If you are not a lover of what is noble and good you will not love God either. If bad things bother you or if at least you can see you are a being with a defective morality and if that bothers you then you will be able to recognize the value of a good God if indeed He is intrinsically noble and honourable.
If you see that you are defective but that God is good then God has set up a fix by which you can be helped and in the end can get you to be a perfect being.
At the beginning humans were spiritually fine. God did put into the world an option to reject Him.
He told them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil otherwise they would die.
They did not believe God and so they ate and died.
Later God then created an opt-in option, whereby humans could undo this first choice.
God said, eat from the bread of life by believing Him that Jesus came from Him and live.
Those who learn from the initial mistake can now with hindsight choose to trust God and take His advice and eat from the bread of life by believing in Jesus.
This then explains why faith is so important in the greater scheme of things. Even though everything was great and perfect and there was no evil or suffering and no lack - beings on two occasions rejected God because in essence they had no faith in His character.
Now everything is reversed. Life is quite hard, nothing comes easy and there are many bad things being done to us and by us. Many people have a very hard life. Most blame it on God - not understanding the setup. However the way back to peace and life is the way it was abandoned, by trusting God, having faith in His motives and heart and because of that deciding to follow His advice by eating from the bread of life.
Now we are faced with a great opportunity. One even the beings from the original world are envious of. We have a chance to be known in the end as a person that stuck with God and was a true friend to Him when it was not so clear what the truth was and what exactly was going on, when it was plausible to think that maybe God is bad. Staying God’s friend even when He apparently did not do the things we wanted or expected. A true friend to God through thick and thin, one that trusted in Him although others would not.
Can you imagine being a true and genuine friend to a beggar, having no idea that in fact he is a great king, or billionaire? Not just for a day but a whole lifetime, sincerely loving the person, recognizing that you are dealing with a person with a very special amazing heart. Then to find out at the end of your life that this was actually a great king that then sweeps you away with him on a completely new adventure on account of the fact that you were His true, sincere, real friend while others could see no value in knowing him. They could not see it because goodness meant nothing to them, they were too focused on their own ambitions and problems and pleasure. How could a beggar enhance any of that after all. They once did approach him, when it was rumoured that maybe he could, but when he didn't they quickly left.