Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 14 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

Love thy neighbor, unless it’s a defenseless baby in your womb

BY PGF
3 days, 17 hours ago

Newsom announced the launch of his new ad campaign on Twitter.

“Just launched billboards in 7 of the most restrictive anti-abortion states that explain how women can access care–no matter where they live,” Newsom tweeted. “To any woman seeking an abortion in these anti-freedom states: CA will defend your right to make decisions about your own health.”

As sick as it already is that he’s trying to boost his state with abortion tourism, the ads he’s running in Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi quote scripture. Those ads feature this quote from Mark 12:31: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”

He clearly has no fear of God and operates in the reality of the shroud of blindness by the devil.

All things will be reckoned unto God, and the times of full restitution will come.

Before going any further, we must note that the Ten Commandments never saved a soul, and following them can’t save yours. All of the ceremonial rules and rituals in the Old Testament are abolished in Christ, the final sacrifice, once for all. There’s no bond or free, no Jew or Gentile, there’s no temple – but the body of Christ which are His Church, the throne of Holy God is in heaven, Jesus is the great High Preist, and the only altar before which to bow is at the feet of the Almighty.

Here’s the full quote from Mark:

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31

And the rendering in Matthew:

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22-35-40

One cannot love his neighbor properly except & unless one loves the Lord God first, above all things. There’s a reason Jesus cites loving God above loving our neighbors. In our own fallen capacity, we cannot properly love our neighbor without first having the love of God.

Jesus is summarizing the Ten Commandments. The first five or so govern our relationship with the Holy One. The second set governs our interactions with each other. “Thou shalt no kill.” falls under the second heading from our Lord, for surely murdering your neighbor, such as a little defenseless baby, falls under the purview of not loving thy neighbor as thy self. All the commands of God are enjoined; with all purposefulness, we are also to defend life from unjust killing! We are not only to tell folks to love thy neighbor, but we are to tell them that God, the supreme ruler of the universe, shall have no equal and must be loved and honored above all things. Newsom has invited the full wrath of the Almighty.

For certain, the ten commandments are a covenant with the Hebrews handed down to Moses. Still, it is clear from the Bible that what would become known and set in tablets as the ten commandments were governing principles for all men before the commandments were given.

There are many good examples within Genesis and Exodus of the Law of God being in force and enforced prior to Exodus 20 at mount Sanai, not the least of which is the murder of Able (Genesis 4:8) in violation of what would be later written as the sixth commandment, “thou shalt not kill.” Murder was always wrong and still is. The sixth commandment preexisted even the very first murder and remains with us today, as do they all. The basis for the Law of Commandments, the Law of God, existed before being written and handed down to Moses.

Within the Law of God, each separate commandment is tightly connected and interwoven with the others. There is no practical way to trace out a violation of Law and not run into an immutable truth of more than one commandment within the Law of God. The murder of Able is but one example. It could be said that Cain violated the First Commandment when he took a life, as God is the creator and sole arbiter of the times, seasons, and number of the days of a man on Earth, and not Gavin Newsom.

So you see, killing a baby in the womb also violates the first commandment. And it’s the theft of God’s authority over life and death, violating God’s commands against stealing. So you see, it’s impossible to violate just one commandment. Now you know why no man can keep the Law; it’s perfect, and we are sinners.

God is the Law Giver. His Law-word is eternal and has real meaning in context. This Bible is not a collection of vaguely knowable spiritual sayings to misapply for our own convenience. Twisting the meaning of Scripture doesn’t change its actual sense.

These commandments are the immutable truth of God. The Law of God still exists for all men on this side of the Cross, restated by Christ in a simple two-part explanation from Mark 12, so that it would go well with us.

Exodus 20:1-17 follows:

1 And God spake all these words, saying,

2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

[ One ] 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

[ Two ] 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

[ Three ] 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

[ Four ] 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

[ Five ] 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

[ Six ] 13 Thou shalt not kill.

[ Seven ] 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

[ Eight ] 15 Thou shalt not steal.

[ Nine ] 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

[ Ten ] 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

BY PGF
6 days, 17 hours ago

Revelation 6.

We thought to provide a note at TCJ about Revelation 6. We’ll attempt to simplify the complex by providing a gloss to prime the pump for those coming to the proper understanding of the New Covenant during the time the Church was birthed.

Keeping in mind that Job was probably the first book of the Bible written, perhaps the horse’s earliest use was in warfare (Job 39:19-25). The horse is an article of war; it symbolizes boldness and strength in battle. See Proverbs 21:31.

The very purpose of the sword brought to bear is that you might know there is a judgment (Job 19:29).

If you get Revelation 6 wrong, you can’t understand the book, and you miss the entire point of the end of the Old Covenant and the bringing in of the New Covenant in the blood sacrifice of the Lamb.

The New Testament is about the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets in Christ, the bringing in of the New Covenant, the birth of the Church – His body, and the judgment that comes upon that first-century generation for rejecting His Law – the Word made flesh.

Odd is how the Christian and even non-Christian world accept the destruction of Solomon’s temple and the judgment upon God’s people, and Babylonian captivity. But when Messiah was rejected, the Church birthed, and the second temple was destroyed, suddenly everybody has a problem.

Well, the problem is you. Get over it; God is sovereign and does as He pleases, and no amount of eschatological wishful thinking can change the facts. Revelation chapter six is about the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century (70AD), and neither can wild-eyed obfuscatory speculation about the future change that. Is chapter 6 a foreshadowing of a future global judgment, you decide? But, we will not ignore history or the correct interpretation of Scripture.

If you don’t understand Matthew 24, neither will Revelation make much sense among its fantastic imagery, hyperbolic and parabolic language, and prophetic legal decrees. Some background material is provided here, with study resources provided in part ten. Two further short notes on the subject are here and here.

As further background, in chapter 5 of Revelation, a sealed decree of God, a verdict in judgment, is held out in the right hand of He who is, the I Am. No creature in heaven or earth was able to take the scroll and open it. But, having defeated sin, death, hell, the devil, and the grave (the kingdom of death and hell), the sinless, thrice holy, resurrected Lamb of God is worthy (Revelation 5:1-7). Chapter six contains the opening of the first six seals of this multifold decree against those of that generation who rejected Jesus Christ. It’s important to note that Jerusalem also made war on the saints. In the fifth seal, the martyrs cried for vengeance. First, seal one.

Note: The right hand is that of power in Scripture; it’s why Christ is seated at the right of Power, and the position of being seated is that of being seated in judicial judgment (Luke 22:69). Jesus resides in the courts of heaven in judicial power over the affairs of men. Contrast that with Acts 7:55-56, where Steven sees Christ standing at the right side of God. Jesus was standing, to welcome His friend and faithful servant Steven home, and not seated in judgment. Having told the Pharisees that He would henceforth be seated in judgment against them in Luke 22 when they heard Steven say that he saw Jesus standing next to God, it drove them to such madness that they gnawed on him with their teeth.

“1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” – Revelation 6:1-2

Who or what is the white horse? The white horse we suppose to be the symbol of war, not simply battle, but good victory in just war. Some suggest that it is the opening of Rome’s war against Jerusalem. Ultimately, it’s God’s decree in heaven and carried out on earth among those nations and men in the first century. Jerusalem, greater Judea, all the land area called Israel, and surrounding areas were engulfed in the war. This section of Scripture is about the siege of Jerusalem. We think there is somewhat of a time progression shown in the horsemen as the city’s situation grew increasingly dim. Some say the bow represents the early stages of the war with standoff weapons such as the bow and catapult. But indeed, the first horse is that of standard Roman warfare techniques and tactics employed in the first century against Jerusalem.

“3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” – Revelation 6:3-4

Jesus opens the second seal, and the horse is red. A symbol of blood and evil. This horse is the setting forth by God of the internal struggle among the “kings” and “rulers” of the “world” or land. History shows that as Rome approached and surrounded Jerusalem, terrible infighting occurred (Matthew 10:34), tribe against tribe, kingdom against kingdom, family against each other; even the Zealots turned on each other (Matthew 24:7, 10), all under the influence of devils as God allowed. See Isaiah 19:1-2 as an example of God turning kinsmen against each other as a proclamation of internal warring under His judicial review. Satanic confederacies always fall to internal strifes. Though we deserve what must be coming today, may God have mercy on Western Civilization.

Though we don’t hold this view, some suggest that this seal also represents the totality of fighting. Though Jerusalem was held by siege, the Jews fought back against Rome viciously and to significant effect in the provinces and especially in what is now North Africa.

“5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” – Revelation 6:5-6

Black is that color of distress, calamity, and specifically starvation with its attendant health problems (Lamentations 5:10) and moreover death by famine. The rationing of goods is the picture here. The equivalent of a day’s wages (Matthew 20:2, 9) would net a man only a measure to eat. There are varying opinions on what the standard (amount) was, but suffice it to say; that it was not enough to sustain more than one person and barely at that. Hyperinflation in food costs is pictured. Another example of famine is here in Ezekiel 4:16-17. Here is the Law of a Just Balance – Leviticus 19:36, supported in Proverbs 11:1, 16:11. The balance is a common symbol of equity and justice, which comes from the Bible. God is the great provider of all for all; food scarcity is the just reward for the evils of men and nations.

“7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” – Revelation 6:7-8

That Death and Hell are capitalized here in the KJV is a proper rendering. Verse 8 is the consummation of the fearful ravages of war wrought in the judgments of Holy God. So we also consider pestilence as a manner of judgment along with death by wild animals. The mind goes to the war of northern aggression in which more died from a combination of poor hygiene, lack of nutrition, and inadequate healthcare than by cannon or mini ball. Such is war, real war anyway. As to death by animals, we consider this in Bible terms to be the carcass of the unjust, now discarded, torn by animals (unclean), with no man to attend to a proper burial. It’s the treatment of the dead body of a disgraced man (or nation) in the Bible.

As an aside about verse 8: “his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.” This phrase (with Revelation 20:13) points to why we coined the title: the kingdom of death and hell, which are all, spirit and man, that is opposed to the love and light and truth by Jesus Christ. We that are saved by grace, having the Spirit of God, moving and living, and having our being in Christ, are in the Kingdom of God. There are two kingdoms, and all men serve in one. By abiding in, or accepting, the kingdom of death and hell, sooner or later, it comes for its own, devouring them in their own evil designs on earth as outer darkness and eternal torment awaits, even to good men who do nothing and reject Christ.

Ezekiel 14:21 relates a concise word picture of what we find here in Revelation. The fourfold judgment is that of war, external by Rome in seal one. And seal two, internal fighting under the demonic influence indicated by the phrase “Hell following” in verse 8. This means the devils of hell were allowed by God to torment the people into fighting each other. (Have you noticed the spirit of the people in America lately?) Thirdly, famine and starvation, including uncontrolled inflation, as people sought too few goods. Fourth is the general calamity of war, including disease. The book of Revelation is not some new thing in language or typology. See Jeremiah 14:12, Ezekiel 5:12, 6:11-12 as a few examples of the tools God uses against all who break His covenants.

This section of Scripture is reasonably typical of apocalyptics representing sweeping historical events. The horsemen are not to be viewed in a historicist manner at all. These judgments are a single event in history, i.e., the destruction of Jerusalem. War is terrible; no right man would want it, nor would any right man tolerate it without rebellion for just cause.

The correct interpretation of these first four seals is that which Jesus spoke to His disciples of the desolation of Jerusalem in Matthew 24:6-8, Luke 21:5-6, 10-11.

Note that in Luke 21:12, after the ascension of Jesus but before the war, the persecution predicted by our Lord had already started, which points to the martyrs in the fifth seal; Revelation 6:9-11. The fifth seal is explained well in paragraph (2) here. It should bring great comfort to the saints of God to know that one day, all will be settled in heaven, and in earth, we win and will be vindicated in Christ. That the souls of the martyrs are under the altar indicates that they were a worthy sacrifice unto the Lord God. Are you?

The sixth seal is highly symbolic. We see the power and majesty of our God as He seeks to wreak vengeance for His saints. If you say that all the martyrs of all times are represented as under the alter, it’s not worth fussing over. That those souls in the first century were vindicated is apparent, and that all will be reckoned unto Holy God by the end of history, no believer doubts.

It’s best not to get carried away over-analyzing the symbolism in the prophetic books of Scripture. It’s easy to lose sight of the point of the book of Revelation when examining the red moon, darkened sun, dragon, colors of horses, etc. The book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ and not the revelation of any other thing at all.

Attempting to identify each horseman with any specific character or narrow historic event misses the point in spirit and method of apocalyptic literature in Scripture. If we were to know the particular interpretation of the (persons) horseman, it would be plainly explained in Scripture. God perfectly describes all specific symbolism in His holy word when it represents a particular thing or person we need to know. Revelation 1:20 is a good example, explaining the symbols in that chapter.

In first-century accounts of the siege, there’s evidence that people fled to hide in caves, piling up rocks to block the entrances. The sun was blocked out by fires burning from the Roman flaming catapult attacks, which also turned the moon red (orange). Those are two examples. Verses 13 and 14 are hyperbole bringing us to a sense of wonder at the power of God’s judicial authority over the earth. Other sections of Scripture have similar visual descriptions of the power and wrath of God. Perhaps those things have biblical significance, but it’s not a book of signs, and since they are used elsewhere but not literally, we accept the Revelation of Jesus Christ as being about Him.

Depicted in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are tools Almighty God uses in judgment against all who have forsaken His Law-word. So, by way of warning, one more time, without a national revival and returning to Him, what else could God do to America but the things depicted in both the Old Testament and the New Testament prophetic apocalyptic Scriptures? Europe is even now lining up for war and famine, diseases will follow, and death.

End notes: See Joel 1:4 and Zechariah 1:7-21, 6:1-8 as other examples using symbolism in rapidly successive multi-fold judgments of the Almighty emanating from the throne of His power in glory, each culminating as a single event in history on earth.

Left Behind

BY PGF
1 week ago

I remember when the Lord showed me that the wicked are taken away in their iniquity.

“36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” – Mathew 24:36-42

Who was taken away (verse 39) by the flood, the wicked or the righteous? When the Lord returns, who shall be taken away and who shall be left behind (verses 40 and 41)?

Not growing up in a church or under the teaching of the Rapture Theory, although adding great difficulty to navigating life, has been a huge blessing to understanding the truth of God’s word. After being saved by Christ, then seeking out a group of believers with whom to worship, the rapture and dispensational teachings were always troubling. The Spirit of God would not let me be led into that doctrine. As the Lord grew me in the knowledge and understanding of these things, I began thinking at times that a great many who say they are believers are not saved, and some, unknowingly of themselves, even worship the devil, thinking they know the one true and holy God, they do not.

This video with Pastor John Weaver is a lot of information to show in a single sitting, but its far-ranging exposition is excellent and perhaps better for its brevity than a multipart explanation.

We think this section in Matthew relates to the first-century judgment (Most think it’s about His physical bodily return). Still, when viewed parabolically and referenced with 2 Peter, as Pastor Weaver shows in the video, it’s clear that when the Lord returns, the damned are reckoned first, taken away in their iniquity. We who are left behind will admire and worship, in awe, our just King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Though we have a spiritual type of the final kingdom now, this would fit very well with the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-7) in final form.

While eschatology is interesting, what’s of paramount import is that you know – that you know – the Master’s voice (John 10:27) from among the cacophony of sirens. Are you ready for His return?

Dispensation of Grace

BY PGF
1 week, 6 days ago

“1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” – Ephesians 3:1-6

The so-called “Dispensation of Grace” is widely misunderstood. It’s not a new way that God saves souls from eternal torment. By the indwelling Holy Spirit, it is how God uses His disciples to dispense the ministration of works He has foreordained for them to walk in.

God gave Paul a dispensation (a thing to dispense) which was the Gospel that he shared (distributed) toward others, notably: the mystery that in the fullness of time, the Gentiles (Ephesians 3:2, 6, and see Colossians 1:25-29) would be offered to come into the Kingdom of God. It’s not some new thing, or Hebrews 11 wouldn’t exist. Hebrews eleven is the so-called Hall of Faith. It’s where notable Old Testament elders are confirmed to have been saved by grace through faith, then turning to follow God in the works He had preordained for them to walk in. It’s the same today, simply extended to the Gentiles.

Redemption has always been by grace! Men have always operated within the covenant God gave them, or having rejected God; they were functioning outside the covenant. Still, even to many of them, God gave His grace, forgiving them as they sought reconciliation with the Almighty.

The Dispensation of Grace is that God will use you to glorify His holy name as you serve in His will bringing in the Kingdom of God in the New Covenant. Old Covenant, the same grace and same service in His will. New Covenant, the same grace, same service in His will. The difference is the New Covenant is with all men in the blood of Christ; animal sacrifices have ceased, and ceremonial laws are completed in the person of Christ, once for all (men). Don’t confuse the operation of a new covenant with some change in God or His nature. The ongoing revelation of God started with one man Adam and, by God’s mercy and grace, has grown despite our wickedness to include the offer of eternal life to all men, for as many who would call upon the name of the Lord.

Adam and Eve operated within the grace of God. God created Adam and breathed life into him, making him a living soul. Without fault and blameless, Adam had eternal life from the start. Adam was presented with one rule, a Law of God, but operated within the grace of God until he broke that Law.

Noah, the eighth person (2 Peter 2:5), was saved before the flood, not by the flood! “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8 Noah got saved by grace through faith to become a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). Noah was dispensing righteous preaching to a doomed generation; that was his dispensation. And God favored him so highly for faithful service that He warned Noah of the end of the old world that then was. Noah became both a type of Adam and of Christ by the grace of God.

Some say the dispensation of grace is a new operation of God. We disagree that the “Dispensation of Grace” is the “Church Age.” It’s not; salvation was always by grace. Every breath we take is by grace. What’s new is the indwelling Holy Spirit of God that operates through us to dispense works in His holy name; if you would only do them.

The Church of Jesus Christ is under blood covenant, not a dispensation. Noah was under the covenant that God made with every living thing, for example. God changes not; he makes covenants, each building upon the prior ones, either by abolishment or addition, until Christ rose from the grave, ascending back to the throne, the Lamb which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Having defeated sin and the grave, Christ was worthy to open the seals (Revelation 6), ending the Old Covenant and fully instituting the New Covenant.

God always has a people bringing them to the revelatory knowledge of His will in or through the person with whom His covenants are made. This makes those men types of Christ, for Jesus did all the work necessary to bring in the New Covenant. This is why the so-called dispensations, or eras in history, that Dispensationalists claim are unsound teaching. Every so-called dispensation has, at its root, a covenant Holy God made with a person and, through that person, with His people in that timeframe. Christ is the final and great high priest.

The Dispensationalists can’t agree on the instances, conditions, or number of dispensations because they refuse to acknowledge, by ignorance perhaps, but we think by agenda with most, that God is a covenant-making God. Any so-called dispensation in history is a period under which God has entered into a covenant with His people. Any “Dispensation” that does not have a covenant of God at its root is merely something somebody made up. Starting with Adam, under the first covenant, to dress the Garden refraining from the fruit of the one tree, Father God has since had a people and continuously satisfied each covenant with His people. Some covenants have been fulfilled, some remain, and others are eternal operating principles of heaven and earth so that men might know that God holds all things together, understanding creation by seeing God in the design of His handiwork.

The Apostle Paul persecuted the Church being a Pharisee of the Pharisees, and considered all the Gentiles unclean dogs. God took one type of sinner and wholly transformed him through the dispensation of grace. Paul was recreated into a new man in Christ Jesus, having the dispensation of grace (sharing the Gospel) toward those same Gentiles he previously hunted to have imprisoned, and killed.

The Spirit of God in the new man desires, draws, and calls, compelling us to do what we in our old nature would not do. This is why many won’t serve God. God calls them and drives them to that which is entirely contrary to all they knew before salvation, and they think; how can this be?

Here’s an example: a young couple is becoming serious; one, however, is lost; the couple are not equally yoked together with Christ. By dispensing His grace, God can use an adulterer to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, leading that lost soul into an equal yoke before their marriage. In the adulterer’s old nature, he would have attempted to destroy the budding relationship to satisfy sinful lusts. But in Christ Jesus, full of God’s love, the adulterer now only desires that the couple be fellow yoke servants of Christ, faithful until death one to the other. Don’t fear your old nature but embrace the new to be as bold in your service of Christ as you were in the lusts of your sinfulness!

The dispensation of grace is why a lowly shepherd boy would slay Goliath and become king. It’s how a nobody descended from unremarkable lineage, such as Amos, dispensed God’s prophetic warnings to the ruling elite, then set out returning to his simple life. It’s why you, whatever you were, are to take up the sword given by the grace of Jesus Christ and do the works, however unqualified, however crazy sounding, or contrary to what you were before salvation, and dispense the grace Christ has foreordained for you to carry out.

“25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25-29

The dispensation of grace is why 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 make sense to you intellectually, but you are not to only marvel at the verses. Walk in those works He has for you; however disparate they may be from what you once were! When you walk in those works, doing those things the Almighty has called you to accomplish, then you will genuinely marvel at God’s power to bring to fruition the life He has offered you, in Christ, since before the foundation of the world.

Gender Confusion

BY PGF
2 weeks, 1 day ago

Dr. Gentry:

Our culture is now in such a state of rebellion against God that it cannot even tell the difference between male and female, such is the blindness of unbelief. The postmillennial hope involves a deep and abiding commitment to God’s word and his law to shine a light on our path forward. Unfortunately, so many Christian churches have become so invested in fun and entertainment instead of worship and study that Christians are confused in how to respond to our collapsing culture.

It’s God that draws a man to Jesus, and Christ that shines the light of the glorious Gospel in the heart of a man opening their eyes. John 12:40 speaks specifically of the first-century generation, referring to Isaiah 53:1, 6:9-10. As in the time of Isaiah, the first-century rulers were blinded. We can make an application today.

Some are blinded to the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ even now.

“3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

But some have been handed over to vile affections. This was a problem at the beginning of the fall of Rome. And it’s a problem today as the American Empire begins to disintegrate. You can read Romans 1:18-32; it would seem that within every phrase of each verse is our current trajectory. In verse 21, their foolish heart is darkened, and in verse 28, God gave them over to a reprobate mind. You see, God did not create them this way.

They were not born wrong, only born sinners.

Gender Identity is the latest rage among postmodernists. Especially since the June 2015 transformation of Bruce Jenner from a male to the female Caitlyn Jenner, transgender discussions have exploded on the scene. And many Christian leaders and laymen have gotten on the politically-correct bandwagon. But what does the Bible have to say about this phenomenon? Much, in every way.

[…]

The word “gender” is derived from the Latin genus, which means “kind, type.” Thus, God established two kinds of people: male and female. And then he declared this (and all else that came from his creative activity): “very good” (Gen. 1:31).

The King James Version is correctly translated from the Hebraic texts using the word kind in the creation account. On the fifth day, God created every living thing that moves and has life in the water “after their kind” and winged foul of the air “after his kind.”

“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” – Genesis 1:21

All of creation, God’s created order, is set upon each creature being its own kind, reproducing with (after – KJV) its own kind. And even the plants bring forth seed “after his kind” on the third day in Genesis 1:11-12.

This post may seem like an unnecessary review, but Christians must learn to argue from the Bible perspective if we are ever to see the fulfillment of the hope of the Kingdom of God while we await His return. Too often, in a classic debating technique, the secularists control the frame of the argument. Christians have got to stop allowing this to happen. The Holy Bible defines everything about our world and life view; it is the only viable frame of reference for a believer. Holy God already framed the heavens and earth and all the worlds along with every creature in them, and any attempt at reframing God’s created and ordained order is a sin in violation of God’s Law-word and all that is holy, right, good, and true.

The Word of God brings faith. We are to argue within the Scriptures and use the Scripture citing verses. Arguing from your own logic alone against sin has little effect on the lost sinner.

The article goes on to cite Jesus: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” – Mark 10:6

Jesus is speaking of divorce. Read that section of Scripture in Mark 10:2-12; clearly, divorce (and abortion) is a slippery slope that has led to the destruction of the family. Marriage is a covenant with Holy God, not a contract with the State! Sin begets more sin until God’s order means nothing within civilization as God removes those tremendous blessings to which we have become accustomed.

And on the sixth day, God created everything that goes upon the land, including man and woman, “after his kind.” If only those of firm understanding about this, yet being not Christians, would seek to understand how God has ordained one man to one woman, male and female created He them (Genesis 5:2).

Creation is not a random accident. Prove to us anything, anything at all, in the whole universe; that ‘just happens.’ No, all have a cause and effect, God being the first cause of all things. Denying cause is not science but religion and one that has no basis in nature, let alone in the Almighty. Nature did not create itself from nothing, for this violates its own laws. All is within the Law of God, and He is the Creator.

In verse 28 of Genesis 1, God told them to be fruitful and multiply; that happens by procreation, not by attempting to undo, or redo, what God has created in the body of a man or woman. Read Genesis 1:24-28 for a wider context of this first iteration of the sixth day.

Off-topic but essential instruction: the creation apocalypse is an unfolding account, as most are including Revelation. It’s a separate post, but while we’re here, by example, Genesis 2:7 and Genesis 5:2 add to our understanding of how God created man, building upon what we’ve already learned in Genesis chapter 1. That’s one example. If Christians would study the Holy Bible, understanding that God uses iterations (or reiterates) building upon the original and other prior points about that topic. So, Jesus Speaking in Mark 10 of divorce is further instruction built upon the creation account God gave Moses.

Sin complicates matters; life is not simple with sin present Sin disrupts all of life’s activities, causing broken marriages, crime, war, and more. And today sin is even complicating the most basic identity of man as male and female.

Until fairly recently, all agreed there were two genders. And if you check any obstetrics ward you will find two genders represented there. But sin elevates the subjective over the objective, desire over reality. And the Bible calls this elevation: lust.

So you see, it’s not confusion nor subjective; it’s sin. Read the rest at Postmillennial Worldview.

Biden Speech

BY PGF
3 weeks, 5 days ago

Fear is the currency of evil. Faith is the currency of God Almighty.

Of course, I didn’t waste time watching the thing, so there I was this morning, long weekend ahead, not planning to write. Then, turning on the internet, it’s “The Antichrist” with raised fists proclaiming the coming genocide of 70 million Americans.

Communists are like rust on a weapon, and America is becoming pitted.

I dislike being taught about the devil, and I hate being preached to about the devil. And I hate even more having to teach and preach to others about the devil, but sometimes it’s necessary. Those “churches” that only preach heaven will join those planning the coming atrocities; they’re too ignorant to see evil. The soon attempt at genocide is being broadcast loud and clear on all channels. The day is coming when they will be full of pride, thinking they do the god of progressivism service by killing you.

There’s no reason to watch it; all of the stagecraft is in that single shot. Having read the pertinent quotes, two things are clear; Joe “touch & sniff” Biden got his name recognition back, and his team threw red raw meat to the hard-core Leftist Communist base.

Every time I think we’re finally done with the ridiculous MAGA thing, as if Trump would, even if he could, make America great, some career government flunky, like PedoJoe, comes along and makes us rejoin the MAGA. If that’s how they want to label the Traditional American 2.0 patriots, then it’s a moniker we might as well take upon ourselves with gusto. But, MAGA is just a dog whistle; our covenant is with Father God through Christ Jesus. I pray yours is too.

There is no person in the Bible “The AntiChrist,” but there is a spirit of antichrist, and it’s descending upon the carcass of the former Christian West, probing on every front, searching for weaknesses. That’s what evil does; it looks for deficiency, frailty, or division as a point of attack. The devil isn’t stupid, evil yes, stupid no. And his workers of inequity are not stupid either, evil undoubtedly, some knowingly and some unwittingly yet wicked all the same.

This imagery is so overwhelmingly antichrist that even a wife-beating whiskey drunk can immediately see it. But perhaps that’s a lousy analogy; the devil knows his own. How about a normie nine to fiver, a decent guy who doesn’t think much about politics, just trying to raise his family in suburbia? We have zero doubt he can see it too. You don’t have to be Christian for it to catch your eye and prick your conscience.

It’s a spiritual war waged in the heavens and played out among nations and men. The imagery may very well be a call to boldness by evil without the specific knowledge of those that choreographed the event. Anybody can see the image. Still, the event planners didn’t intend for the mouthpiece of the “free world” to appear as Satan. Let that sink in, dear friends. The devil’s greatest deceit is convincing you that he doesn’t exist. All was carefully planned, and their eyes were blinded.

The subtlety of the setting is extraordinary; “The Antichrist” standing at the place of the founding of Christian America. The scene is straight out of Mark 13:14. If you don’t read your Holy Bible, you can’t even understand what is being done to America and Western Civilization. It’s being shoved in your face, dear Christians!

There are those that saw the imagery exactly as you do, but they liked it and were spurred on in hatred by it. Those types will have to be dealt with.

Don’t let these things scare you, for that is the point of this bit of propaganda; both the men and spirit behind them intended it. Fear is the currency of evil, but faith is the currency of God Almighty. It’s a real war. The war rages and those immersed in the Holy Bible daily have that discernment necessary to see the war (Hebrews 5:14). We say it just about every week here at TCJ; your life depends upon you knowing the Holy Bible!

It’s not a popular message, but the truth rarely is; America is arriving at the reaping of the fruit of her doings.

“9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jerimiah 17:9-10

Openly evil, how could America become anything other? From the heart comes corruption, immorality, and depravity.

“18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” – Jesus Christ, in Matthew 15:18-19

Keep the faith and take strength in the knowledge that as the first-century saints overcame, the righteous in Christ are the victors at the last reckoning.

“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” – Revelation 13:10

Note: none of the cited or quoted verses are about America or our current situation. Yet we are wise to apply the teachings of Holy Father God to the evil of our day so that we might resist the devil and serve Christ without fear. Though Christ has bound the devil for the salvation of His saints so they might hear the preaching of the Gospel of the cross unto life everlasting, the same evil works in our day.

Comparing Ourselves

BY PGF
3 weeks, 6 days ago

2 Corinthians 10:12-18

Having heard an antidote, we’ll see whether it translates to written form. If you take a group of, say, 20, 5-year-old children and tell them to run to the other end of a football field, you’ll see varying results, few good. Some will look at their feet; those almost always fall. Some see something off to one sideline or the other and veer off in the wrong direction. Some simply stand there, not sure what to actually do.

Now, if you take a group of 20 14-year-olds and run the same drill, only the willful sluggard or those looking back to see whose catching up do err in the task.

It takes training and a depth of Christian maturity to run the race Christ has set before you, pressing toward the mark (Philippians 3:14).

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” – 2 Corinthians 10:12

There is a problem among those less mature in Christ; they compare themselves with themselves or against others. Some compare themselves to others negatively, but some boast of themselves too highly, either openly or by internal dialog. Many also get distracted by bible sounding things that are not Scripture, and some sadly never run the race.

We are called; ordained to works individually. Some bring fruit an hundredfold, some thirtyfold (Matthew 13:8). The body of Christ, if rightly fitted together (Ephesians 4:16), is to serve each man in his own works that our Lord Jesus Christ has pressed upon him.

Verse 12 is as though a proverb of wisdom, and it’s a gem of Christian knowledge about service unto the Lord. If your eyes are on the wrong person, others, or yourself, you serve amiss. We are to labor always about the business of pleasing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Sadly, because of a lack of maturity or incorrect focus, many hinder themselves or their brothers and sisters from the good works God has set before them. Why that is, is somewhat of a mystery, but it must start with a lack of eyes upon the prize of heaven, forsaking convicted prayer and personal bible study. Ask almost any brother in Christ who’s served God for some time, and they’ll tell how at the start, some who claimed to be their fellows told them it couldn’t be done or shouldn’t be done or that it would amount to nothing. Jesus took 12 men, made them disciples, and turned the world upside down; it can be done, and those still faithful are getting it done even today.

If the works comport with the sound understanding of New Testament service to Christ, then never hinder the work or belittle the man newly called to the field, whatever service that may be. There is nothing wrong, and often preferably so, with serving quietly, laboring in anonymity, knowing that treasures are being laid up in heaven with our Lord. It is said that one measure of a man is what he does when nobody is watching. Sadly today, many things are called Christian service, which is only religious exercises by those who have taken a single verse, often out of context, labeling it following Christ.

Old-fashioned humility is sorely lacking inside the body of Christ. Christians, serving to be seen serving, have their reward in this life (Matthew 6:2). It’s braggadocious to seek the approval of men. If you always strive to please the Lord firstly, as a practical matter, this allows the Holy Spirit of God to guide you, course correcting while teaching you a depth of maturity in service that your fruit will be much, and be that fruit which remains after the test of fire (John 15:16).

This section of Scripture in 2 Corinthians discusses boasting (Verse 15) in the labors of others. Christ, having set the firm foundation in a man’s soul and those laboring before us, have made a path desired for any that pursue Christ. At least, that’s what our brothers before should have done, and you should be doing now. We ought always to brag on the Lord, acknowledging those others whose labor laid foundations without which we would surely fail. Some plant, some water, but God brings the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Good leadership provides the tools, training, and resources necessary to ensure the mission’s success. It’s no different in the body of Christ because it’s what Jesus did with His disciples.

An example on the negative side: those who busy themselves, creating a vast cloud of dust in their wake while doing none of what Christ commands by His word. Or serving amiss to glory among themselves about how excellent they are, or most sinfully, they do it for money. These are secular, absent Christ, for what lost sinner and busy body do-gooder hasn’t done these very things? Glory not but in the Lord.

Cast a leery eye toward those building a foundation upon their self-lauding words. If someone is getting the accolades of men, fear not, for the Lord knows their heart and yours. You need not measure yourself against others but against faithfulness to complete the mission Christ has given you. Jesus wants faith, your faith in following Him, not seeking to ride the coattails of other men’s labors as though they were ours, or worrying about your status among men. Heaven is our home; all will be revealed (Luke 12:2).

An example about seeking the lost is apt; God saves who He will through their faith in the finished work of Christ while under conviction from the Holy Spirit. And almost always, many seeds have been planted in the lost man’s heart before the harvest is ripe and the fruit falls into the final witness’s basket of harvest.

Desiring the approval of men is a fault of pride in the Christian heart. This section of Scripture concludes with 2 Corinthians 10:18: “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”

The Ministry of Reconciliation

BY PGF
4 weeks, 1 day ago

“18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

In verse 18 above, we learn that all things are of God; He has made everything, and all things were made for Him (Colossians 1:16-17). He is the Creator, but this very same God has sought reconciliation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Under this ministry of reconciliation, one would naturally ask; why is reconciliation necessary? What was the schism? That word schism holds a connotation, but understand that the very first religious breach, the very first split, was sin against Holy God by the first man. The covenant had been broken; a parting must have been accomplished. The Creator is holy and righteous, and man had taken on the nature of sin and became an enemy against his Maker. Man, having become a sinner and losing his disposition of grace, God could not have allowed perfect sinlessness to continue. Indeed, the corruption of sin had ended the holy communion between God and man.

This break brought guilt, shame, sorrow, and fear, all brand new to man who had dwelled in the love of God uncorrupted. It was man that broke the relationship, devastated by his error, filled with the horror of seeing himself in light of his sin, and knowing, better than any man, just how holy and perfect God was to him, he fled from the face of God. And here you are today, attempting to escape from the countenance of God lest the punishment you deserve come upon you. Nonetheless, God knows us and our sin, the wrath of God is inescapable.

Verse 18 continues, “who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ” It’s not that God has met you halfway; in fact, He owes no such thing as the extension of His hand anew. God didn’t even meet us three-quarters or four-fifths of the way. He didn’t have to offer the consideration of friendship again, but God did it all. He accomplished everything necessary for you to be brought back, reconciled into love and fellowship, holy communion again, and peace. Ah, blessed peace; to have it again under the guiding wing of God that destruction would befall us no more: just as the bird of prey gathers eaglets in the nest, oh how God longs to summon you to Himself under the protection of His holy love.

God was in Christ (verse 19). Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” – John 10:30. God was reconciling the world to Himself by Jesus Christ, not seeking to impute His wrath for our sin but seeking for His own, looking for His lost sheep gone astray, forgiving our trespasses for breaking the covenant and leaving Him, oh that man would cease to flee from the great God of creation and turn to face His Son! We still today, witnesses for Jesus Christ, messengers of the Gospel, ambassadors of peace by God, cry to all those who would hear Him: be ye reconciled to God, by Jesus Christ!

Christ did it all; the wrath of the Father was poured out upon Jesus on the cross: Jesus was sinless, yet under torture for you, dying for your sin. The Son of God went all the way to the depths of making Himself one of His creatures, becoming man yet without sin; He came to get you and bring you back home into the grace of Father God.

“For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.” – Ezekiel 34:11

That’s the love He has for you. That He came looking for you, though you deserve it not, though you had trespassed His holy name, He desires you as a son that deeply. God was in Christ looking for His own to make them a people. He’s looking for you today. It’s no casual mention. And it’s no idle offer; God did call you and seek for you and search, sending His own Son so that you might see how serious He is about bringing you back into the household of God.

God is showing you how He made Christ to be sin, that you might be made straight with Him. That’s the exchange, your sin, for the righteousness of God; what an offer. And Jesus rose again on the third day, fulfilling the Scriptures and proving that the most fantastic dawn of history had arrived; the reconciliation of God by Christ, to all who would hear, to you. All you have to do, for Christ did it all, is accept the righteousness of God as His gift. Flee from Him no more, prevailing in Christ, made right in His sight: be ye reconciled to God.

National Borders & The Bible

BY PGF
1 month ago

Replace “Biden Maladministration” with Washington DC since Reagan first gave amnesty, and you’re set. The author, bless his heart*, is still living in the fog of delusion about the Republicans. He’ll learn, after decades of betrayal, they all do. That’s another topic.

The collapsing border disaster under the Biden Maladministration is a live topic of international consequence today. Many well meaning Christians believe it is wrong to keep refugees out on a temporary basis because they believe borders are man-made constructs lacking biblical warrant. Besides the contradiction obvious in their having homes with walls and locked doors, their argument does not hold.

Established borders are biblically warranted as we see in two clear scriptural examples. Though other arguments are available, these are quite potent.

In building a case for national borders, Dr. Gentry starts in Genesis and then briefly discusses the Law and historical books primarily.

Any discussion of the necessity of national borders must start with a REAL definition of Nation, which comes from the word natal, meaning: of the same womb/lineage. A proper definition includes a common language, customs, and, most importantly, common religion.

Briefly, distinct religions won’t coexist. They can’t. The Bible clarifies that conversion is necessary for an immigrating person to be accepted into a nation. This is actual assimilation. It’s even true for Christians today. To be a citizen of the Kingdom of God, you must first be converted by God, accepting Christ under the power of the Holy Spirit, or you are a trespasser in the kingdom of heaven; woe to you, for except you be born again, damnable is your end indeed (Matthew 18:3, John 3:3, others).

Not mentioned in the article is the fact that the Hebrews were a religious, ethnic, and linguistically unique people. And in the few instances where they weren’t, again, adherence to the religious Law (conversion) was required. A country is simply some distinct region or a land area.

Chapters 9-11 of Genesis detail the creation of Nations. In a longer form post, we could include the post-flood covenant through to the Tower of Babel. The covenant with every living creature and the rights of men are discussed here.

The author does an excellent job of taking complicated topics and making them accessible to the average Christian, and he keeps posts to a digestible size, something most appreciate. That’s probably one reason he doesn’t tackle the abovementioned points while offering only two clear instances from Scripture.

*This is a southernism. Sometimes it’s not, but we’re using it only as tongue in cheek. We deeply respect Dr. Gentry’s work.

The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire

BY PGF
1 month ago

This article was first seen at WRSA. Admittedly it’s a little lengthy, but it is peppered with truths, so it’s worth sharing. Dr. Baldwin of Liberty Fellowship has an article published at Lew Rockwell in which he elaborates his take on the article’s spiritual death portion(s). Pastor Baldwin blames the pastors of America’s churches. Indeed, they are at fault in many cases, but no believer gets off that easy; it’s your fault, dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Kneissel [the author of a book on this topic], who is from Central Europe, makes it sound as if Europe is living in the past, before 1914, when it was politically central to the world, instead of being a more or less irrelevant political backwater as it is in 2022. What is certain is that the physical fall of an empire is always preceded by its spiritual fall. What did this spiritual fall consist of?

[…]

The extraordinary thing is the self-justification of the Western world for its own suicide and its refusal to admit that anything is wrong with it. On the contrary, only its ‘values’ of ‘freedom, democracy and human rights’ are correct and must therefore be spread throughout the ‘free world’. All who do not accept its ‘values’, which in fact are anti-values because they are destructive, not constructive like real values, must be mocked, slandered and, if necessary, bombed into submission. Today’s Western world is visibly coming to resemble medieval frescoes showing the torments of hell, which are what spiritual death is. The Western world has been demonised, the demons have been called up from the bowels of hell to occupy it and visibly and mockingly inflict its ‘Western values’.

Unless God is well pleased, He withdraws His blessings. YES, devils are very real and actually exist (I know, I’m repeating myself but do you understand?) and inhabit the workers of inequity at all levels and types within a society as the Lord allows. When the Lord allows, many more devils may begin to overwhelm a people. This is scriptural; the point is that evil abounds unto destruction.

The failure of the churches in the West is the root cause; doing nothing about abortion and supporting endless wars are two of the glaring sins. The article makes this point well. And without a very learned understanding of what God requires in His Law-word, separating the causes (sins) and results (evil abounding) is challenging. We’ll neither parse the article nor establish the Law here. But we know for certain that abortion and war without just cause are both murdering the innocent, of which particular sin is listed sixth in the top ten. And we’ll state that murder, by default, means that you have set other gods before you, for the one true and living God is the God of life and life eternal, the first commandment.

We’ll say plainly, only in Christ does salvation live for the individual, the marriage, the family, a church body, your town, county, state, and country. Nobody, and surely not a politician, is coming to save you.


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