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    • Thank you for the letter. I did not know much about it and now after your letter I begin to sort out the information. My boss (I have just retired) is a Catholic. There is a Catholic church in the city. I have just learned some information on the Internet . There are religious groups and religious organizations in Russia. Small religious groups do not have to be registered so far. If they have financial operations they are registered as legal persons and become organizations.  There are about 3500 registered organizations (churches etc.). Jehovah Witnesses were registered and now their registration is cancelled. What is public preaching? Is it preaching in the streets? As I understand it is not allowed to preach on the sidewalks and in the streets without a permission. They used to a decade ago. As I know from TV there appear lots of totalitarian sects which are focused on their members' money (all the money and real estate) and sex. They take legal actions against their leaders but new sects crop up. The most important thing (the Internet) is that a new law on religious groups and organizations is under way and this year the law will be in force. Jehovah witnesses used to talk to my very often in the streets. It was peaceful and we agreed to differ. There were also processions of Buddhists in the 90's in all the cities and towns. That is all I know so far.
    • People look to the sun, the stars, and the moon to provide what they think will keep them safe and allow them to keep on going in a sinful state. This is a lie that keeps people from practicing true fellowship with God. Those who preach or teach have the enormous responsibility of speaking the truth. If a person speaks lies and nonsense so as to prevent someone else from believing and trusting Christ to save them. They are going to be held mightily accountable; make no mistake about it. God will not be mocked. Even if they are sincere in their thoughts and speech; conspiracy nonsense leads people away from real and meaningful fellowship with God not to him for it points peoples focus somewhere else other than on Christ. Chapter 12 of the book of revelation is speaking of Jesus, God's son, born of a woman, born as a Jew from the Jewish nation; Jesus' victory over satan. It is also reminding Christians that through the blood of Christ and their testimony that satan has been defeated. . . . Rev 12 : 11 They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony; All people have sinned and thus have lost perfect fellowship with God. All prophecy points to Jesus and our need of being restored back to him. This is what the bible is all about. Being reconciled back to God through faith in his son Jesus. There is no other way to God except through the son. The time for getting right with God is now... not when the judgments begin spoken of in the book of revelation.
    • There are types and shadow in Scripture.  But the Bible tells us what is or is not a type or shadow.   We don't get to assign that value to whatever we want, arbitrarily.  But that is what I see you doing here. How is Adam a "type" of Christ?  In typology, types always correspond with and are fulfilled by the anti-type.  Jesus did not "fulfill"  anything relative to Adam.  Adam was created, whereas Jesus, as God, was incarnated. Adam was disobedient, whereas, Jesus was obedient. Adam sinned and lost eternal life, whereas Jesus was sinless and gives eternal life Adam was made a living soul, whereas Jesus gives quickens and thus gives life.  Adam could not give life. Adam is from the earth, whereas Jesus preexisted his life on earth and came from Heaven. Adam's disobedience brought death and a curse, whereas Jesus' was obedient and brings life and blessing I could go on, but I think I have made my point.  Everything relative to a comparison between Adam and Jesus shows the opposite of one being the type of the other.   Jesus is the reverse of everything pertaining to Adam. In typology, there has to be a fulfillment from type to anti-type ("anti-types"  are the reality that fulfills the type).  Legitimate types of Christ presented in the Bible would be things like the burnt offering, Melchizedek, the serpent on the pole, the Yom Kippur sin offering and so on.  In those things, there is a fulfillment through the ministry and sacrifice of Christ.   Jesus did not fulfill anything about Adam, as Adam was everything Christ is not and vice-versa. So what I can see right from the start, is that you don't really grasp typology and are using types and shadows illegitimately and that skews your understanding of a given text.   The two trees do not represent Christ and the Bible NEVER offers either tree as representing Christ.   You don't get to make this stuff up on your own if you want to be a competent exegete.   There is nothing about either tree that is said anywhere in the Bible to be types or representatives of Jesus.   You cannot arbitrarily assign typology in this way and claim to be doing hermeneutics.   This is just sloppy and lazy.  Hermeneutics can be done in a way that we can apply the rules of literary analysis and do no harm to the Christology of the OT.  In fact, when hermeneutics are done properly the Christology of the OT is easier to present and defend.  Your approach with "pictorial representation," as I have already seen is just shorthand for a rejection of a literal interpretation of the text given that you cannot bring yourself to believe that the sword, the talking serpent, the cherubim, as being non-literal. And another thing....  You are wrong about the tree of knowledge.   The tree did contain the knowledge of all things good and evil.    The tree did not bring death or consequences.   It was Adam's disobedience that brought about the consequences of death. In addition, the tree of life was not the tree of eternal life, thus does not in any way represent Jesus.  The flaming sword was to keep man from gaining immortality while in a sinful state.   The tree of life, in man's fallen state, was a curse to man.  Were the tree of life a tree of eternal life, the way would not have been barred.  All of us are sinners and yet all of us are partakers of the divine nature by virtue of our salvation (II Pet. 1:4) What you have done is show that you really don't have a grasp on things like types and shadows and you have failed to prove that the historical narrative in Genesis three has any non-historical, non-literal elements to it.
    • I am glad you brought this up.  Here is a relevant post from my blog:  "So often the words of Jesus get taken out of context, and entire doctrines form on this basis without cross referencing what Christ said to other instances of the same kind and even to Old Testament analogies He is making. One of the most prevalent, has been Jesus words, "Those who live by the Sword shall die by sword." Pacifists and antiwar folk have made this a battle cry and slogan for their peaceful causes, but what was Jesus really saying? Did he mean for us to put down arms and never fight injustice and evil? Are we to let Nazis and ISIS roam the earth destroying civilization? Motivated by the misunderstandings around this statement of Christ, I want to share what I believe Jesus was really alluding to. I believe that the Alpha and Omega's words are like onions, with layers that you peel with the help of the Holy Spirit. Some layers are larger and more obvious, others more microscopic, requiring the Messiah to teach us (Matthew 23:7-11).  There is an incident in the time of David that we all know by heart from Sunday school, the Story of David and Goliath is one of great renown, even secular humanists enjoy the story. Let us take a look at that most famous of Old Testament chronicles, " Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:41-47). Here David makes a declaration to the giant Goliath, that the LORD will deliver Israel and not with sword or spear. David then defeats the fiend, "48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head." (1 Samuel 17:48-51). David destroys the Giant Goliath, an offspring of fallen angels and women (see Genesis 6:4-12) with stones, which in Old Testament represents the LORD, because Jesus is the Cornerstone (Matthew 21:42, Ephesians 2:19-22) and the Rock of Salvation (Matthew 7:24-27). David's victory becomes one that at first gives him renown, but then ridicule and even revenge from his former close friend King Saul who envious and jealous (are demonic James 3:15-18), spends the remainder of his years hunting David to kill him. The problem is David doesn't not keep His trust in LORD as he said to Goliath and was able to defeat the giant by power of LORD. There is another chronicle that few know, where David moves from Trusting LORD to defeat Goliath to trusting in Goliath's sword, "David went to the town of Nob to see Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he saw him. “Why are you alone?” he asked. “Why is no one with you?” 2 “The king has sent me on a private matter,” David said. “He told me not to tell anyone why I am here. I have told my men where to meet me later. 3 Now, what is there to eat? Give me five loaves of bread or anything else you have.”
      4 “We don’t have any regular bread,” the priest replied. “But there is the holy bread, which you can have if your young men have not slept with any women recently.”
      5 “Don’t worry,” David replied. “I never allow my men to be with women when we are on a campaign. And since they stay clean even on ordinary trips, how much more on this one!”
      6 Since there was no other food available, the priest gave him the holy bread—the Bread of the Presence that was placed before the Lord in the Tabernacle. It had just been replaced that day with fresh bread.
      7 Now Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief herdsman, was there that day, having been detained before the Lord.
      8 David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or sword? The king’s business was so urgent that I didn’t even have time to grab a weapon!”
      9 “I only have the sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah,” the priest replied. “It is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. Take that if you want it, for there is nothing else here.”
      “There is nothing like it!” David replied. “Give it to me!”
      10 So David escaped from Saul and went to King Achish of Gath. 11 But the officers of Achish were unhappy about his being there. “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?” they asked. “Isn’t he the one the people honor with dances, singing, ‘Saul has killed his thousands,
          and David his ten thousands’?” 12 David heard these comments and was very afraid of what King Achish of Gath might do to him. 13 So he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard. 14 Finally, King Achish said to his men, “Must you bring me a madman? 15 We already have enough of them around here! Why should I let someone like this be my guest?” (1 Samuel 21:1-14). Notice how it all changes, David trusts in Goliath's sword, and in process goes before King Ashish, a Philistine King for protection, trusting man (Jeremiah 17:5), a king of the very people Goliath was part of. So not only does David not only shift from trusting the LORD to trusting a sword, He trusts in sword of the enemy God defeated through the stones of David and trusts a king who was an ally of Goliath!

      King David suffered because He had trusted God to defeat his foes, as in case when he destroyed Goliath (1 Samuel 17:32-50, Holy Bible), but then later David trusted in Goliath's Sword (1 Samuel 21:9) and it gave him grief and sorrow to trust in the sword because he lied to obtain it and his enemy was there to learn of David's plans (Doeg the Edomite). This is what I think Jesus meant, when He said, "those who live by sword will die by sword," (Matthew 26:52 Old Trans); I think our LORD was alluding to trusting in the sword as your deliverer and was echoing these words of David, "Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear," (1 Samuel 17:47). This especially becomes true in that Jesus who is God (Colossians 2:9, Titus 2:13) has come to resuce His people by dying on a cross for the salvation of Jews and Gentiles who believe in Him; the cross is not a sword. 
      I do not think Jesus is talking about pacifism and anti-defense, because Jesus also said, "He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." (Luke 22:36). I think Jesus was saying trust in sword is living by the sword, just as David trusted Goliath's sword and not God. We are also told the same in Revelation, "Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God's holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful." (Revelation 13:10).  A major reason that Jesus rebuked Peter about the sword is Peter was resisting Jesus' destiny to die for our sins, "From that time on Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. “Far be it from You, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to You! Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's," (Matthew 16:21-23), which coliminated in Peter actually using sword to stop Jesus' Path, " Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” (John 18:10-11). Again this harkens back to David's words, "the Lord rescues His people, not with sword and spear," (1 Samuel 17:27) but by His own blood and death on the cross and resurrection from dead! The Apostle Peter was resisting Jesus' Destiny as the Lamb of God, and like David was trusting in Goliath's sword, and notice that David when he trusted in the sword of the giant because fearful and acted made before King Asish. Trust the LORD equals peace, trust in the sword and ways of the world and there is fear.  So why did Jesus ask His disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords then? (Luke 22:26). The reasons are many, but here's the point, it is Jesus who is God and Man (Colossians 2:9, Titus 2:13, 1 John 4:1-3, John 1:1-18) is telling them to buy a sword. So if the LORD Jesus tells you to buy a weapon for protection it is fine, but even there you are trusting Jesus who is LORD (Romans 10:9). The problem is when you trust the actual weapon itself. This is tension in Scripture, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and trusting Him, not the object He told us to use in a logical way. A similar example is that we can use money (Luke 16:9), but not love it and trust it (1 Timothy 6:10). You can use the sword, but trust the LORD. Amen." (Those Who Live By the Sword: What Jesus Meant, A Knight's Blog, September 24, 2017, 1:50am). 
    • I hope some of us have not forgotten this verse in the Scripture. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6. I believe it would be a good idea that we continue to remember this verse even when tempted to trade blow for blow with our family members, knowing fully well it is not spiritually edifying to anyone.
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