Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
October 16, 1998
Last Updated :
February 8, 2012
Pro Gay And Lesbian Bill In Congress, Subtle Assimilation, Love The Sinner But Not Their Sin, Fear The Lord, Compromise Of United Methodists, Gay And Lesbian Weddings, Stumbling God's Sheep, Twisting The Scriptures, Jesus And The Sinners, Go And Sin No More, Mary Magdalene, Of No Reputation, Love And Mercy vs Law, Transformation, The Will Of God - Believe In Christ, Old Man vs New Man, New Creatures And Positive Fruit, Backslidden Children, Glorify God In Our Bodies
In the second part of this four-part series, I presented a clear Scriptural basis to explain why all sincere Christians are so opposed to homosexual and lesbian relationships. Sadly, since I penned those words fifteen months ago, I have come to learn that the situation has only grown worse as the gay and lesbian community continues to aggressively lobby the American Congress, as well as certain churches, in order to achieve their agenda; which is to have their abnormal lifestyles legalized, in order to make them appear more acceptable to the general American public. In other words, these people want homosexual and lesbian relationships to be accepted as a normal part of American society and culture, in spite of what God's Word has to say about it. They want all of the same legal rights currently enjoyed by persons who practice normal healthy heterosexual relationships.
For those of you who still may not be aware of it, earlier this year, identical legislation for Domestic Partnership benefits for federal employees was introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as in the U.S. Senate. Representative Barney Frank, who is a Democrat from the state of Massachusetts, and also an openly gay person, introduced HR 2761 in the House of Representatives; and Senator Paul Wellstone, a Democrat from the state of Minnesota, introduced SR 1636 in the Senate. Exactly what kind of language is contained in this explosive bill which has made it so controversial? Consider the following clauses and you will quickly understand what is causing all of the uproar:
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(a) In General - A domestic partner of an employee shall be entitled to benefits available to and obligations imposed upon a spouse of an employee.
(b) Certification Of Eligibility - In order to obtain benefits under this Act, an employee shall file an affidavit of eligibility for benefits with the Office of Personnel Management certifying that the employee and the domestic partner of the employee --
(1) are each other's sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
(2) have a common residence, and intend to continue the arrangement;
(3) are at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to contract;
(4) share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's common welfare and financial obligations;
(5) are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else;
(6) understand that willful falsification of information within the affidavit may lead to disciplinary action, including termination of employment, and the recovery of the cost of benefits received related to such falsification; and
(7) are same sex domestic partners, and not related in a way that, if the two were of opposite sex, would prohibit legal marriage in the State in which they reside.
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The shocking truth concerning this legislative act is clearly revealed in the final seventh clause. This bill is specifically geared towards same sex partners! It is to give homosexuals and lesbians the same legal rights as their heterosexual counterparts. It is to legalize their rights so that they can enjoy the same privileges as all other federal employees who are of the heterosexual persuasion. From what I understand, there is currently a strong push by the gay and lesbian lobby on Capital Hill to obtain hearings on this subtle bill prior to the November elections. At this time, I am not aware of how much progress they have made in their endeavors to achieve this goal; so I advise everyone to pay close attention to the news for further details.
At this point, some of my more liberal-minded readers might be thinking to themselves, "So what! What is the big deal here? They are people. They should have the same rights as every other legal citizen of the United States Of America. What are you getting so upset about?". Allow me to again clarify for you what is the real issue here. It isn't just the fact that homosexuals and lesbians are attempting to gain equal rights as heterosexuals that bothers me and other Christians; it is the fact that they are doing all they can to have their wayward, harmful lifestyle assimilated into the American fabric, so that it is no longer viewed as an aberration, and as a sin against the laws of God. In other words, such laws make it easy to sin against God. That is the real issue. It is a satanic subtlety and deception which is being foisted upon the American public; many of whom have already compromised their faith in other areas of their lives.
While there are some Christians who insist that we need to love and accept the homosexuals and the lesbians in order to win them to the Kingdom of God, developments such as the one I have just described clearly demonstrate the negative fruit which can result from taking such an approach. Yes, we do indeed need to try to love these people into the Kingdom of God, but nowhere are we told in any part of the Bible to accept their anti-God lifestyle of sin. I challenge anyone to prove it to me from the Holy Scriptures; but before you try to do that, I suggest that you finish reading the rest of this series so that you can see what you are up against. As I have said before, we are to love the sinner, but we are to hate their sin. As you will see in a moment, this is the exact same approach which was used by Jesus Christ Himself.
The truth of the matter is that it is because some weak Christians have accepted, and in fact even encouraged such lifestyles, that the gay and lesbian community has become so powerful in the United States Of America; and I can only wonder if the same thing isn't happening in other countries around the world as well. Such people who reject the Truth of God after hearing it, no longer need the love approach; they need the fear of God approach! Somebody needs to give them a good shake and put the fear of God back into them; for it is quite evident to me that they do not currently have it! As I shared in part three of the series "So You Really Think You Are So Humble?", the fear of the Lord is to depart from evil. Consider the following verses:
"And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
Job 28:28, KJV
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."
Psalms 111:10, KJV
"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil."
Proverbs 3:7, KJV
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
Proverbs 9:10, KJV
"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil."
Proverbs 16:6, KJV
Sadly, the spiritual backsliding of the United States Of America does not stop with incidents such as the legislation which has been introduced to Congress. For anyone who may still doubt that the United States Of America is not only no longer a Christian nation as she claims, but that she is in fact turning more and more against God, and against His Holy Word every day, consider the following very disturbing news report which I recently received from the Cable News Network, (CNN), online service:
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UNITED METHODISTS PUSH TO END BAN ON GAY MARRIAGES
"A letter signed by 363 clergy and laity urges bishops of the United Methodist Church to lift the church's ban on gay and lesbian marriages. The letter, with signatures from people in 37 states and Washington D.C., was released Sunday by Rev. Jimmy Creech of Raleigh, North Carolina, who is on voluntary leave of absence from the church after performing a blessing ceremony for two women in September 1997."
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This is nothing short of a tragedy! Personally, I find it absolutely disgusting that the very people who are supposed to be protecting our Christian heritage, who are supposed to be shining examples to their flocks, are now denying the Truth of the Scriptures, defying God, and in a very real sense spitting in His Face! The Apostle Peter wrote:
"Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."
1 Peter 5:3, KJV
What kind of a Christian example are these people being? Exactly whose side are they on; God's or Satan's? For years now I have heard some negative things about some of these Methodists. I have heard that their doctrine is full of secular humanism, and that some of them are even involved with occult organizations and practices. I am not saying that all Methodists are guilty of these things, but the previous report clearly reveals that some of them have strayed very far from the straight and narrow way of the Christian Gospel; at least the United Methodists have. God help these people! As the Apostle Peter wrote, judgment must first begin at the house of God; and I have a feeling that the "Christians" who support these things are going to be awfully sorry on the Day of Judgment when the Lord reveals to them how they have stumbled His lambs by leading them away from the Truth of the Gospel!:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
1 Peter 4:17, KJV
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
Matthew 18:6, KJV
As I have explained on a number of previous occasions, in the verse from the Gospel of Matthew, that word "offend" is derived from the Greek word "skandalizo", which in this context means to cause one to fall or stumble away from the Truth of God's Word. It means to stop one from believing in Jesus Christ, or to cause them to err in doctrine and belief. Isn't this precisely what these United Methodists are doing when they openly support and encourage gay and lesbian marriages and relationships? Now we all know that certain Biblically-ignorant people are quick to say, "Well, yes, but even Jesus was a friend of harlots and sinners! God loves homosexuals and lesbians just the way they are!". This is a twisting of the Truth! People who say this are wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction as I have also pointed out many times before:
"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."
2 Peter 3:16, KJV
The Bible does not teach that Jesus was a friend of harlots and sinners in the way that some people understand it today. These liberals try to give us the impression that Jesus enjoyed associating Himself with the lower elements of society, and that He made no attempts whatsoever to get them to change their ways. This is the furthest thing from the Truth! Let us not forget that Satan also knows the Word of God; and he is an absolute pro when it comes to twisting its meaning in order to achieve his objectives; the primary of which is to cause us to disobey the Lord, and to fall away from His Truth. To set the record straight, it was the Scribes and the Pharisees who self-righteously accused Jesus of being a friend of publicans and sinners. This is the "they" to whom Jesus is referring in the following verse:
"The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children."
Matthew 11:19, KJV
Exactly what did Jesus mean when He said that "wisdom is justified of her children"? My understanding is that in His wisdom, God sent His Son, Jesus, to the smelly, uneducated fishermen, to the cheating tax collectors, to the prostitutes, etc., because He knew that when they were exposed to the Light of the Truth of the Gospel, that they would recognize their sinful condition, repent of their sins, and receive the love and the Salvation which Jesus had to offer them. How very different from the reaction of the self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees who thought themselves so good and holy, that they didn't need a Saviour. The point is, when Jesus befriended the publicans and the sinners, He didn't just give them the modern line of "I'm okay; you're okay; I accept you as you are"; what the Lord clearly said to the adulterous woman was "go, and sin no more". That is the part that some of these liberals like to ignore:
"She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
John 8:11, KJV
We find the very same thing happening with the famous prostitute, Mary Magdalene. The Scriptures tell us that she was in very bad condition when she met the Lord. Not only did the Lord forgive her for her sins, but He even went so far as to cast seven devils out of her. We can only wonder if she might have manifested multiple personalities before her deliverance by the loving Christ. After He cleansed her of her sins and her evil spiritual condition, the Lord no doubt expected her to remain that way, and not to fall again into her former lucrative habits with men. To think that she may have remained a prostitute after she came to know the Saviour is absolutely ludicrous:
"Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils."
Mark 16:9, KJV
"And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance."
Luke 8:1-3, KJV
Do you understand now what kind of a relationship the Lord had with these people? As both the Prophet Isaiah and the Apostle Paul wrote, Jesus did indeed stoop to the level of the publicans, harlots and sinners; but it was only long enough to offer them a chance at Salvation. He was willing to leave His Heavenly Abode, and to become of no reputation, to be despised and rejected of men, to be accused of being a glutton and a drunkard and one possessed by a devil, who kept company with publicans and sinners, all for the purpose of raising them, and us, to His eternal level:
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:3, KJV
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Philippians 2:5-8, KJV
The Lord didn't remain at their level; and He didn't expect them to remain at that level either. He expected them to repent of their sins and their wicked ways; and to accept Him as their Saviour; which many of them did with grateful hearts. This is why Jesus said that wisdom is justified of her children; and this is also why the Lord said to the self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees:
"But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Matthew 9:13, KJV
It was the fact that the Lord showed these sinful people love and mercy, instead of just throwing the cold hard Mosaic Law in their face like the Scribes and the Pharisees did, that they were convicted in their hearts and repented of their sins. They already knew that they were sinners. The Scribes and the Pharisees made sure of that; and John the Baptist was also very instrumental in bringing an attitude of repentance to Israel. So because of this attitude of repentance and the expectation of a soon-coming Messiah, as the Gospel writer Mark wrote, the common people heard Jesus gladly when He finally arrived:
". . . And the common people heard him gladly."
Mark 12:37b, KJV
As a result of hearing the Lord gladly, some of these people received His message of Salvation; they repented of their sins; and their lives underwent a spiritual transformation. This spiritual change was manifested by the "fruit" in their lives. In other words, they didn't remain harlots, conniving tax collectors and such; they became new creatures in Christ Jesus. Consider the following Scriptures:
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:20, KJV
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
James 2:26, KJV
It is for this very same reason that when the Lord was discussing those who did the Will of His Father, He made the following comment regarding the publicans and the harlots:
"Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you."
Matthew 21:31, KJV
Why did Jesus say that the publicans and harlots would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven first before the self-righteous, rebellious Scribes and Pharisees? Because they did the Will of the Father. Exactly what is the Will of God? As I point out in other articles such as in the series "So You Really Think You Are So Humble?", part of the answer is found in the following verses:
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent . . . And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:29, 40, KJV
"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
John 15:14, KJV
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
Luke 6:46, KJV
"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Matthew 12:50, KJV
So you see, the publicans and the harlots did the Will of God because they accepted the Gospel message; they repented of their sins; and they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour; whereas the Scribes and the Pharisees did none of these things. This is the primary message of the four Gospels, as well as a major part of the rest of the books of the New Testament. It is a message of repentance and belief. You can't say that you believe without repenting of your sins, whatever they may be. Both are necessary parts of the Salvation Equation. Just as I explained earlier, the Apostle Paul also tells us quite plainly in his Epistle to the Corinthians, as well as in other of his Epistles, that when we repent and believe, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus. We put on the new man of the Spirit, and we crucify the old man of the flesh. I also discuss this topic in such articles as "Are You Crucified With Christ?". Some of the verses which I include in that article are the following:
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
Romans 6:6, KJV
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:20, KJV
"I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."
1 Corinthians 15:31, KJV
Clearly then, once we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, as these Scriptures plainly tell us, there is supposed to be a noticeable change in our lives; in the way that we act and think; in our moral standard; in our outlook on life; in everything! We are supposed to become new creatures. We don't just keep thinking, living, behaving and doing like the old person that we were before we came to know Christ. We are all supposed to have undergone a genuine spiritual transformation; a spiritual rebirth, as Jesus explained it to Nicodemus in the third chapter of the Gospel of John:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
John 3:3-8, KJV
If we have not undergone this transformation, so that at least a few people who know us well can easily recognize these changes in our lives, then something must be seriously wrong somewhere. Let's be honest here for a moment. What kind of repentance and change would it be if we remained exactly the same as we were prior to knowing Jesus Christ? What if Mary Magdalene hadn't repented of her former life and had remained a whore after she had met the Saviour? Do you honestly think that anyone would have believed her if she had told them that she was now a new creature in Christ Jesus? Obviously not, because there would be no positive fruit in her life to prove it. Or what if she had temporarily believed, but then fell away in a moment of weakness?
It is interesting to note that the Lord provided us with a very clear answer to this question. In fact, in His example, Jesus uses a person who is re-possessed with seven devils, just as Mary Magdalene had seven devils prior to her conversion to the faith:
"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
Matthew 12:43-45, KJV
In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John, we find the story of a man who had been sick for thirty years. This man had the habit of going to the Pool of Bethesda, in the hope that one day he would be cured by stepping down into the water as many others had done before him. On this particular day, a sabbath day, this man had a life-changing experience when he encountered the Saviour. Notice exactly what Jesus tells the man after he has been miraculously healed of his infirmity:
"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath . . . Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
John 5:2-9, 14, KJV
While many hard-hearted people in the world today refuse to accept the Biblical truth that physical illness is sometimes associated with, or caused by, sin in one's life, Jesus made this perfectly clear by some of the miracles that He did. Such was the case with this man at the Pool of Bethesda. Notice, however, that unlike the harlot, Jesus doesn't just say "go, and sin no more", but He also adds "lest a worse thing come unto thee". In other words, the Lord was telling this man, "Look, I have had mercy upon you, and have shown you my Father's Love by delivering you from your affliction; but now you must be careful that you don't fall back into your former life of sin, lest you end up worse than you were before". In his second Epistle, Peter echoed the Lord's words concerning those who come to the Light, and then fall again into the darkness of sin when he wrote the following:
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
2 Peter 2:20-22, KJV
The Apostle Paul offered an equally disturbing scenario when he described the fate of those who fall back so far in their faith in the Lord, that they even deny His Sacrifice. He wrote:
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
Hebrews 6:4-6, KJV
As I explain in some of my other articles, the above verses have caused no small debate amongst Christians as they attempt to understand what Paul really meant by these words. Regardless of Paul's true intent, one thing I do know for certain, is that based upon certain verses found in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation, it doesn't seem likely that Mary Magdalene would be enjoying the blessing of being in the Heavenly City had she not repented and forsaken her sins of the flesh. Consider these verses:
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Revelation 21:8, KJV
"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
Revelation 22:15, KJV
Now, one could argue that these verses might very well be referring to spiritual whoredoms, and he might be correct. In fact, I discuss this same possibility in my two-part article entitled "Revelation's Babylon The Great Whore"; however, that still doesn't change the fact that Jesus said "go, and sin no more" to the harlot; and seven devils were cast out of Mary Magdalene. Once Mary and the other harlots accepted Christ as the Messiah, their bodies became part of His Body. In other words, they became members of His Bride, His spiritual church. Once this occurs, we are supposed to glorify the Lord in our physical bodies; we aren't supposed to keep doing things which are dangerous or harmful to our bodies. This is precisely what the Apostle Paul taught the brethren at the Roman and the Corinthian churches:
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:1-2, KJV
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31, KJV
These same Scriptural principles apply to our world today as well. Homosexuals, lesbians, prostitutes, drug users, and others who abuse their bodies in some way by going against God's natural laws, as clearly explained in His Holy Word, need to repent of their sins, accept the Lord, and change their lifestyles, if they expect to enter the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, once they have been delivered from those lifestyles in which they sinned against their own flesh, they need to strive to not return to the same, lest they too end up worse than before; and this they can do with God's help. In the final part of this series, we will be taking another look at Paul's warning to the Romans, as well as discussing gay and lesbian churches, and our responsibility as Christians to be faithful messengers of the Truth in a wicked and perverse world. I trust you will join me.
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