This past July, Kevin Sullivan, the Washington Post London correspondent, went to Siberia, 2,000 miles from Moscow, to interview a man who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Sergei Torop, now called Vissarion, “he who gives new life”, lives in a tiny new town built up around him which is named “Abode of Dawn” and is the spiritual leader of a new religion, Church of the Last Testament. He now has over 5,000 followers.
We thought it might be interesting to talk to this man. There were those who disagreed, arguing that it would be offensive to publicize someone who claims to be Jesus. How could he possibly be? Most Christians believe that Christ will return someday. How will we know if it is the real Christ? How do we know this man is not? We thought you might like to read Kevin’s story, see Kevin’s video, and then read Kevin’s interview with Vissarion that follows.
Q: Are you Jesus of Nazareth, and if so, is your presence here on earth proof of the second coming, which, in traditional understanding, is supposed to signal the end of times?
If not, that is, if you are not here to initiate the coming of the kingdom, then what are you here for?
A: My dear friends, you’ve touched upon a very complicated question to which, of course, I’m ready to answer. But every answer will inevitably arouse deeper and deeper questions. Because people’s traditional understanding has very little to do with the Truth and is very primitive and awkward. People could have such understanding in medieval times but now we must have a much more exact understanding. During such a significant period for all mankind it is important for many people to have a clear view on everything, which concerns the Truth of God.
I actually once came to the land of Jerusalem to fulfill God Father’s will. But my Fulfillment was different from the expectations, which the people of Israel had from the prophecy. It caused many difficulties, and as we all know ended tragically. What I needed to fulfill then concerned not only the people of Old Testament but all mankind. It was important to start my Fulfillment there because of favorable religious environment.
People were doomed the moment they took it into their heads to shape on their own the way of their development. God Father put all possible effort to save his children despite the fact that they were ignorant and hindering from salvation. Fulfillment was to become the first stage in achieving this saving goal. At this stage it was important only to lay the Evangel of God, who loves everyone with no exception both the just and the sinners and who never judges. It is his Living Word that should help his children to form a United Family on Earth, through which the Kingdom Come establishes. All people on Earth are the children of one Father. Never there existed any Peculiar or most loved people and never they can be. Explanation of the Evangel did not presume forming any Doctrine within his first followers. Serious Gospel required much longer time, which I lacked for natural reasons. That is why my followers did not have to write down every word of mine, though all the fundamentals already existed. The Evangel was meant only to forestall the appearance of the Gospel (maybe Teaching would be a better word), which had to be laid down at a turning point in the history of mankind when conditions were ripe for different peoples to get initiated into the Teaching.
This epoch-making period has come!
The essence of the Teaching is to reveal exact understanding of the laws of spiritual development and provide all necessary explanations about why the believers of earth have parted. All of us will have to learn our Destination, because everyone is born with certain predestination in the Material World.
Q: Do you remember, in the way of an ordinary person would remember something that happened last week, the Passion and your Resurrection?
A: First of all it is necessary to understand that a human’s body does not make his personality, neither it makes up my nature. Most important is in his soul, which accumulates constructive experience of all the Children of God, like my own soul. The body is only an instrument, which helps to realize the intention of God. When it is necessary, a soul can leave the body and reincarnate again. Such a necessity still exists for many vitally important reasons. One of the reasons is to help to relieve a man of the burden of hard emotions and negative information, which he accumulates in the process of his primitive life. Such information, which he accumulates, dangerously overburdens the mind of a newborn body. Also the information may become obsolete, because sometimes the soul returns to the body after a long time. This can be applied to me as well. And don’t need these emotional and tragic memories of the past to do what I must do now. These recollections would only intervene and be an unreasonable burden. I no longer need my knowledge about the ancient people, which was important at that time. This time I need up-to-date mind and knowledge in order to convey vitally important things to people. It will be possible only if my soul lives in a new body, which is not overburdened with the knowledge of the past. Up to a certain moment I must be tuned to the minds of contemporary people. The better I understand this harmful illogical structure of a modern man’s mind, the better I can transmit important knowledge to him. That is why I need the new body and the new name. But at some point my God Father let me remember a flash of my previous life. After that I could feel how good it is to be free from full memories of the past.
Q: The Jesus of the New Testament was quoted as saying “no one comes to the father but by me”. Is that true?
A: This is true. No one knows the Father but his Son. If the Son is the Living Word of God, it is natural, that nobody else but the Living Word can to convey the Truth about the way of spiritual development, which God Father had predetermined for his children. One should understand that there is no need to come to God the way one comes to his friends. One actually never left God just because it is impossible. God Father is able to be near every man every moment, no matter where the man is. A man’s task is to learn to understand the Way of spiritual development and live most accurately according to this Way. And only the Living Word can convey this exact understanding. any other statement coming from someone else People should take creatively because such statements have nothing to do with the True way.
Q: If people do not believe in you, are they denied entry into heaven?
A: Such thoughts easily generate all kinds of fears but have nothing to do with the reality. In all times representatives of Christian confessions out of ignorance and egoism tried to use such fears for their own sake. By making such frightening and unwise statements different religious organizations tried to keep people within their own church. God Father is everywhere on earth all the time. It means that if even two or three people get together, the true Church of God can naturally appear, even if they know nothing of the Living Word. No matter in what circumstances a man was born or in what situation he found himself in, it is happening only with God’s consent and because of His outline. It means that all the difficulties that a man has to suffer are contributing to his development. I assure you, wherever a man goes or whatever he does is not accidental, and he will certainly find whatever he needs for understanding God. It is not necessary for all people to believe in him, when Living Word comes to earth in a human’s body. But in the end, everyone will have to fulfill what he conveyed to people.
Q: What must people do to follow you?
A: People should try and trust me with their hearts and put all their effort to fulfill my preaching, which is going to be very exact. This time I will open so much about the Way of God that a man could not even imagine. I will do it considering contemporary level of people’s mentality.
Q: How do we know you are real?
A: Only those who knew that Jesus could tell whether I’m real or not. But for natural reasons there are no people among the living who can remember it. A person’s nature allows him to remember things of the material world. The laws of the spiritual world are different.
That’s why a man should rely on his sensory perception and, depending on how mature he is, will be able to find the wisdom he lacks, which will help him to move forward on the way of spiritual perfection, from a lower stage to a higher stage. Only those of the living, who are mature enough to take the highest and weighty responsibility, will be able to trust the Living Word, when they come across with him. And the teacher needs followers, who can actually see and feel the true value of his teaching. If a person starts to feel the true value of the teaching, he won’t need any additional proofs that the Teacher is real. If a person is not able to see the true value of the teaching, do not try to prove him that the teacher is real. Do not rely on useless fears when searching for Truth! Your question is based on fear to miss the Truth and at the same time the fear to be caught by pseudo-Truth. Fear makes you search proofs in the spheres where there can’t be proofs. You must learn to trust God and be thankful for what you have. Because everything you have is not accidental, and it is to enrich you with the wisdom that you lack.
Q: Did you see Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ?” If so, did you think it accurately reflected the story?
A: No, I did not watch it on purpose. I do not want to arouse most serious and painful memories artificially. Someone told me that in the film strong accent is made on the saddest event.
Q: Why do you think there is so much anti-Semitism among Christians, especially since Christ was Jewish? Why are the Jews blamed for Christ’s death by so many?
A: It is a very serious question and requires a lecture to explain it. I’ll try to be short. First of all, this strong hostility to the people of Israel appeared because of the Old Testament. In order to realize the goal of the Old Testament, people of Israel had to disperse and settle all over the earth, keeping Holy ideas of the Testament. Their ubiquitous presence and way of life naturally aroused certain hostility within primitively thinking people. The hostility established and grew bigger with time. Appearance and development of this hostility was planned and not accidental – it was to make Israeli people keep and secure their self-identity as allegedly Peculiar People though there can’t be any peculiar among the equal. God Father does not have human characteristics, and he has always loved all his children equally without exception.
The fact that there is so much anti-Semitism among so-called Christians, and that the Jews blamed for Christ’s death by so many is the result of their primitive way of thinking and lack of education.
Q: Do you believe that the stories in the Bible are literally true or are they metaphors and parables?
A: They include everything you just mentioned. We should realize that usually when somebody describes certain events, he is not only inaccurate in providing details, but he may also add something that never happened in reality. This is a peculiarity of a human nature. This is normal. But it is not good when one man tries to show another man’s actions as infallible. This is why there appear untrue dogmas that can strongly slow down the pace of spiritual development. The blind, standing in the doorway, cannot walk in, and he does not let the others enter.
Q: Do you believe you are the Son of God? Where does that leave other religions?
A: In my nature I’m the Son of God just like all of us. Except for one peculiarity, which allows me to come to earth as his Living Word of God. Such peculiarity of mine does not allow me to live and explore the life like you do. I can appear among you only in extraordinary cases, when there is a strong necessity to interfere in the natural pace of people’s spiritual development. As for other religions, it will be too difficult to give a short answer. To cut it short I can say that different dogmas are based on different important truths, which are the sides of one phenomenon. The dogmas can be more or less exact, depending in what period they appeared and how mature people were to realize and accept the dogmas. Even though some of the dogmas actually had no relation to the God Father’s will, they helped many people to unite. And it helped to form a more mature culture on the bases of these segments. Imagine there is a magic Key that can open the door into eternity to all mankind. Different peoples have different parts of this Key. These parts are different dogmas. And only when people understand that these are parts of one whole, when they manage to put them all together and accept this new dogma – only at that point we will be able to start talking about Salvation and normal development of the God’s children. This will mean the appearance of one Common Family on earth.
Q: How do you feel the Christian religion over the ages has reflected your teachings? How do you feel about the Christian religion today?
A: I teach the children of God to be true believers, not just to pretend that they are believers. Christianity over the ages has taught things, which actually have no relation to the essence of the New Testament. Otherwise they would have never split into the arguing branches. They broke up only because, following their own inclination, they added their own interpretations to what already existed in the New Testament. The Christians broke up not because of the New Testament, but because of their primitive interpretations of the New Testament. And they were trying to pass these primitive interpretations to everyone they could reach. Besides, they tried to intimidate those, who had other interpretations, different from the official stands. And this is a gross violation of the God Father’s predestination for people. You know it from the New Testament that the kingdom is doomed if it starts to break up from inside. The kingdom divides only if there appear two or more rulers. There is no one and indivisible Christianity today. Instead of one common kingdom we can see a few separate princedoms, such as Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant princedoms etc. But they have no relation to the True Way of God.
Q: Would you consider that you were a revolutionary the first time around? Do you think you are now?
A: I’ve never thought about it this way. What I am to pass to people is opposite to the life that they are living now. People’s existence today is based on animal principles. They live with each other not because they love each other and want to support each other, but because it is easier to survive in the “pack”. At the same time each “pack” tries to live in accordance with its own interest and doesn’t take other “packs” into their account. But a human is more complicated than an animal, and the ways of achieving his interests are much more perverted. No one on earth does as much harm as a man. It should not be like this.
Q: What is your goal here on earth this time?
A: Mankind is facing serious natural and man-caused calamities, which may present a global danger. Salvation, mentioned on numerous occasions in religious writings, and which you had a wrong idea of, is, in fact, a necessity to create favorable conditions to preserve man as a species.
At the same time, we need to preserve spiritual and intellectual values, necessary to establish vitally important conditions for the development of the Single nation of God’s children on the Earth. They will have a common, correct idea of the Law of spiritual development, true for all.
Salvation may take two ways. One is through significantly smaller number of human tragedies, which is yet unlikely to happen due to man’s psychological peculiarities. The other will involve a bigger number of tragic consequences.
My goal this time is not only to put in words all the knowledge you need about the Law of spiritual development, which will make it possible to satisfy all your search for truth and settle disputes, but also help you create conditions of a guaranteed Salvation of man, since we have to take into account the second above mentioned variant of development.
That’s what has been happening for 15 years in the south of central Siberia.
Q: How can you achieve it?
A: You can only achieve this with the help of a certain number of the right people who must make an independent and conscious choice to do this heroic deed.