Subject matter of the lectures
- Basic Biblical doctrines
- Chronology and prophecies
- Types and parables
- Law and ethics
Basic Biblical doctrines
Baptism in the spirit is our immersion into the knowledge of the Word of God. The experience of baptism depends on prior birth of the spirit in which the sacrificial agape love - the love of the truth - develops understanding and, subsequently, the character on the image of Jesus Christ. Supernatural gifts are the power of the spirit, but do not constitute an indispensable element or testimony of baptismal experience.
The term 'birth of the spirit' refers to a rebirth of the soul understood as a being or personality. In the first sense, being born of the spirit means being resurrected to the spiritual nature; the rebirth of the soul understood as personality is the achievement by believers of the basic scope of understanding of the truth, which will enable further proper development to maturity. The condition for the experience of birth is the begettal - the 'fertilizing' of the mind with the word about Christ.
The concept of judgement in the Bible has four essential meanings: 1) instruction, 2) testing, 3) correction, 4) final statement/ decision. The judgement of humanity in all these meanings will take place on the next Judgement Day under the management of the Kingdom of God. In the present Gospel Age, the judgement of the Church is in progress: the elect who hope to attain to the positions of judges during the approaching judgement of mankind.
The essence of justification is the restoration of justice in man's character, the reform of personality to complete conformity with God's principles. The lecture discusses the conditions of justification: repentance, conversion, consecration and spiritual birth, as well as some Biblical terms frequently used in connection with justification, i.e. forgiveness of sins, remission of sins and reckoned justification.
Our celebration of the Lord's Supper is an element of a greater fulfillment of the figural Passover. Israel on the 14th day of Nisan each year celebrated a supper commemorating their departure from Egypt; believers in Christ today - all who repent in his name, accepting the antitypical circumcision and thus leaving Egypt of this world - also once a year, at the same time, celebrate the supper commemorating the death of the antitypical Paschal lamb, Jesus Christ, according to the pattern he shows, by eating unleavened bread and wine.
A significant part of the New Testament is a symbolic description of the functioning of the human psyche. Terms such as birth of the spirit, spiritual baptism, new creation, earnest, seal and anointing of the spirit, the Body of Christ, etc. describe this one theme from different perspectives. The aim of the lecture is to integrate the variety of New Testament terminology to illustrate how the Bible not only draws a coherent picture of human psychology, but also shows a method of character reform through learning and practicing the truth.
The lecture discusses in a possibly detailed way the sacrifice that was made by Jesus Christ for the redemption of mankind: why it was necessary, how man's fall determined the way it was carried out, why Jesus had to die, how his baptism relates to his sacrifice and how we benefit from this today.
The concepts of spirit, soul and body refer to various aspects of human personality in the Bible. In particular, the spirit describes our consciousness in the element of understanding, disposition and will (thus the reflective part of our psyche). The body, in addition to the material aspect of our existence, also describes the human subconscious with its built-in patterns of behavior (therefore our character). The concept of the soul defines personality as a result of the cooperation of spirit and body. The lecture discusses definitions of the spirit, soul and body, refers to the relationship between them and illustrates their meanings with the help of relevant parts of the Bible.
The lecture aims to discuss the nature of Jesus Christ - the type of body he had 1) during his prehuman existence, 2) during his earthly service, 3) after his resurrection. In addition, the lecture discusses the Biblical basis of the doctrine of the preexistence of the Lord and the meaning of the term "God-man" (which, although justified from the point of view of the Bible, does not refer to a 'mixture' of two natures: divine and human in the person of the Savior).
Chronology and prophecies
In an answer to the question "how shall I know?" God gives Abraham a prophetic sign that is at the same time a time prophecy, fulfilling in the years 1840-2015 in specific events related e.g. to the birth of the Adventist Movement (1840), outbreak of the I World War (1914-1915), II World War (1939-1945), persecution of Israel (1940) and the end of the calling to the Bride class (2015).
The aim of the lecture is to reconstruct the chronology of the Bible reaching as far as the the creation of Adam, and to derive from it the dates of the most important Biblical events.
Types and parables
Christ's Bride is his faithful Church, who will find themselves in the glory with the Lord and will embrace the kingdom with him. The lecture discusses a number of threads related to this topic, including the identity of the Bride in the context of the classes shown in the typical Tabernacle, who the bridesmaids are, how Christ and the Church are one body, what the bride's white gown is and what is its relationship with the spirit of prophecy, how Christ feeds his Church, what the Lamb's wedding supper is and who participates in it.
The New Covenant is a relationship between God and man serving to ensure the fulfillment of the divine law, consisting in provision of the spirit. The love of truth, which is poured into symbolic hearts of the elect, enkindles the desire to learn about God's Word and apply it, and thus changes not only the way of thinking, but also reshapes the body (of character). The lecture undertakes the subject of the New Covenant in the context of the dualism of law and the human psyche, focusing on the characteristics given in Jer. 31:31-34. It also discusses the meaning of the redemptive sacrifice made by the Mediator of the New Covenant, the symbolism of bread and wine, as well as the way in which the Tabernacle and the priesthood of the Old Covenant pointed to the service offered by Christ's followers.
The division of Israel into people, Levites, and priests under the Law Covenant illustrated the division of the Gospel Age believers into antitypical people, Levites and priests under the New Covenant - this is the basic premise of the lecture. Its purpose is to organize the basic Biblical concepts in relation to each of the mentioned classes in a manner illustrating as clearly as possible the inner logic of the Gospel calling, its aims, conditions and principles with regard to all believers in Christ.
Law and ethics
The problem of ethical evaluation arises because we set goals in our lives that involve taking certain sacrifices. The ethical criteria allow to determine whether the sacrifice is in a broad sense possible to bear. The lecture discusses three Biblical evaluation criteria: the criterion of truth, trust and will, as well as it undertakes the ethical assessment of the original sin and the problem of the universality of moral principles in the context of the Old and New Testament provisions.
Man has a built-in mechanism for distinguishing good from bad (conscience). However, its indications are emotional reactions and not always unambiguous. Therefore, the task set by the author of the lecture is the theoretical approach to evil - an attempt to define it based on intellectual criteria. As we move towards such a defined goal, the lecture takes up threads concerning, among others, causes of evil, Biblical terminology describing evil and the existence of Satan in relation to the concept of evil and as a personal being.
The lecture discusses the concepts of law (Torah), legal norm (nomos) and provision of law (dikaioma) as the basis for analyzing the problem of compliance of believers in Christ with the Mosaic Law. The aim of the lecture is to show that Jesus did not remove the Law, but complemented the norm of the Law, and according to this completed standard, we fulfill the provisions of the Torah as referring not to the old man, whom we were without faith, but to the new man, whom we have become by repentance and conversion to Christ
BASIC BIBLICAL TERMS
Repentance - (Gr. metanoia) - literally 'change of mind' - turning away from conduct contrary to God's principles, disapproval for sin motivated by obligatory love (piety)
Conversion - (Gr. epistrofe) - literally 'change of direction' - repentance-based approval for God's principles, positive assessment of righteous behaviour
Consecration - 1) separation from sin, 2) service for the Word of God in its study, teaching and evangelization
New creation - new mind shaped by development in the knowledge of the Word of God and maturity in its application
Begettal of the spirit - the beginning of the new creation by the spirit of service for the Word of God, which is given to the elect on the condition of repentance in the name of Jesus Christ
Birth of the spirit - 1) the beginning of the new personality effected by the new creation and its work towards imprinting the pattern of truth in the character, 2) resurrection to the spiritual nature
Baptism in the spirit - literally 'immersion into the teaching'. Development of character based on maturity of understanding and application of the truth
Body of Christ - the community of all believers in Jesus Christ
Church - (Gr. ekklesia) - members of the Body of Christ included on the basis of God's election in the present Gospel Age
Royal priesthood - all the called (in the second meaning) who due to the spirit of new birth enjoy the hope for the resurrection to the glory of the divine nature and the position of kings and priests with Jesus Christ
The elect - believers in Jesus Christ who repent and thus receive the consecrating love agape, which leads them to experience birth of the spirit
Calling - 1) proclamation of the Gospel inviting listeners to repent and convert to God through Jesus Christ, 2) God's granting of the spirit of new birth to the elect who listen to the Gospel and repent
Justification - the process of a reform of man's character until full compliance with God's justice. Justification begins at repentance but its fulfillment requires the experience of birth of the spirit
Redemption - Jesus Christ's provision of the equivalent price for Adam's transgression - the price of perfect obedience to God in bearing witness to the truth
New Covenant - God's relationship with man based on conditions of justification, and therefore requiring repentance and conversion which will be accepted by God and which will initiate the process of the real reform of man according to the principles of divine justice