Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

1 Corinthians 6:8-11 / Experientially Unrighteous Christians will NOT Inherit the Kingdom of God

(But they WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM!)

The Pulpit is continuing with its emphasis on Lordship Salvation, and has a new entry by Matthew Waymeyer:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and the Lordship Debate (Notice that he does not give any consideration to the context by not including the critical verse 8 in his article!)

Here is a brief consideration of 1 Corinthians 6:8-11 in response to Matthew Waymeyer and Lordship Salvation.

As far as any Greek lexicon I have ever viewed, notwithstanding all English dictionaries I have consulted, there stands a great gulf of difference between the ideas of "inherit" and "enter".

It is clear and plain reasoning to see the difference between merely living in a house and owning it or ruling over a city and being a mere citizen there.

Let us continue:

1 Cor 6:7-11
8 No, you yourselves do wrong [adikeo] and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
NKJV

Notice the verb "do wrong". This is the Greek verb for unrighteous activity, unrighteousness (adikeo). The Corinthian Christians were "doing unrighteousness" and this to their Christian brothers, for goodness sake! This point cannot be overemphasized. Paul characterized the Corinthian believers (see 1 Cor 6:11) as experientially unrighteous. This is a severe indictment which necessitates a strong warning which Paul is about to give.

The next part serves as a warning to the Christian readers in Corinth! After charging them with "doing unrighteousness", Paul says that "unrighteous" (anarthrous construction, IOW, those who are experientially characterized by doing unrighteousness) will not inherit the kingdom of God, using the same Greek word in its noun form for "unrighteous".

Paul is saying, “You Corinthians are performing unrighteousness, cheating, and doing it to your own Christian brothers! Don’t do this! Because don’t you know that the individuals who can be experientially characterized as unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom?”

The word that Paul uses here (vs 8 “do wrong” Greek: adikeo) is the verbal cognate of the substantival anarthrous “unrighteous” (Greek: adikos) of verse 9.

The relationship of the verse 8 “adikeo” (the cause for indictment) to the following verse 9 anarthrous “adikos” (warning of consequence to the born again Corinthians) cannot be overemphasized.

Whereas Paul speaks of the unregenerate in 1 Cor 6:1 as THE (articular) unrighteous, Paul warns those born again Corinthian believers (see verse 11), who are experientially unrighteous, that the experientially, characteristically (anarthrous) unrighteous (not the articular) will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If what Matthew has proposed is true, imagine the impact of this warning:

“Don’t you know that the unsaved will go to hell…?”

I submit that this would neither be a warning nor something that would even cause the Corinthians to give a second thought!

If inherit = enter in this passage, the warning to the Corinthian Christians who were "doing unrighteousness" would be of no effect, for they are Christians and guaranteed heaven (see verse 11)!

As a matter of fact, the warning would only be effective (viewed from the Lordship Salvation proponent perspective) if heaven was attained by a perseverance in holiness and works, which in fact, Lordship theology unashamedly proclaims:

"...we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith." (John Piper "TULIP: What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism...", pg 25)

The idea that faith produces perseverant works until the end of life is foreign to this passage. It is something that the Lordship Salvationist must import into this text. Paul puts out the idea of reward here, inheriting the kingdom. The passage is abundantly clear that a perseverance in holiness is a necessary condition for the reward. The texts that hold out ownership, inheritance, and rulership in the kingdom explicitly condition such on faithfulness and a perseverance in overcoming works. Whereas Jesus is abundantly clear that “seeing” and “entering” the kingdom is received by faith alone (John 3:3, 5ff).

Inheriting the kingdom is based on perseverance in faith and faithfulness, while merely entering and seeing the kingdom is based upon faith alone in Christ alone.

Let us continue:

Is Paul addressing unsaved people in this passage? That idea just cannot pan out.

He is talking specifically and only to believers:

1 Cor 6:4-8
4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! 7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!
NKJV

Paul is clearly saying that the believing Corinthian Christians are to be SHAMED for

1) Not taking their petty matters before the brethren and
2) Not allowing themselves to be cheated in the first place and
3)Performing unrighteousness ("do wrong") and cheating their brethren.

The Corinthian believers are being rebuked by Paul for their unrighteous activities! The following becomes a WARNING to those who are "doing unrighteousness":

1 Cor 6:9-10
9 Do you not know that [I have removed the article for this is a anarthrous construction, meaning those who are characterized by unrighteous behavior and NOT a specific designation of people] unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
NKJV

Paul says "You Corinthian believers are performing unrighteousness and cheating your fellow believers! Didn't you know that those characterized by unrighteous activity will not inherit the kingdom of God?"

The warning loses all force and becomes absurd if it is addressing unbelievers. First, to state such, would go against the clear statements of the text addressing it to believers! Next, we are faced with the problem of it implying this:

Eternal life, entering the kingdom of God, no longer is appropriated free by faith alone in Christ alone. It now becomes a contract that a man has to quit the nasty nine and dirty dozen before He can be saved. Paul in Galatians (in the parallel passage) even adds more petty offenses: outbursts of wrath, jealousy, selfish ambition, and envy.

What kind of warning is this supposed to be?

"Do you not know that if you sin too much you go to hell? Don't you know that if you sin too much that you truly aren't a Christian? You need to get saved! The first thing that you need to do is to stop your unrighteous activity and start living righteously!" This my friends is works-salvation, works-righteousness.

Why wouldn't Paul instead say, "Those of you so-called Christians who are acting unrighteously, you need to get saved! You are on your way to hell! You have yet to believe the gospel! You need to 1) repent 2) submit 3) count the cost 4) give up all in your life, etc…(the multitude of Traditionalism's requirements for one to actually step foot in heaven)"

The plain, simple, and clear message is that the Corinthian believers were acting unrighteously, and Paul states that those Christians whose lives are characterized by unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus is clear in John 3 that believing in Christ is the sole requirement for entering, seeing the kingdom of God.

Paul is clear that perseverance in practical righteousness is required for inheriting the kingdom of God.

One is by grace through faith.

The other is by perseverance in works and faithfulness.

Let us look quickly at 1 Cor 6:11:

The warning that we have been looking at is addressed to those of whom Paul could acknowledge, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor 6:11).

1 Cor 6:8
8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!
NKJV

Paul is emphatic here in the Greek. "you yourselves", the pronoun, is emphatic! (Paul is saying "I am not talking about unbelievers or wordlings, but of you SAME individuals who WERE washed, sanctified, and justified!)

Has the "you" changed!? It would be some kind of miracle if it did!

"YOU YOURSELVES do wrong (adikeite) and cheat" (vs 8)

"Do you not know that wrong doers (unrighteous - adikoi) will not inherit the kingdom of God?" (vs 9)

We must pay close attention to pronouns and their antecedents.

Paul is thus asserting:

1) That those who have been justified, sanctified, and washed from their old sins may "do wrong" (perform unrighteousness - adikeite) and were doing it! and
2) that "wrong doers" (adikoi) shall not inherit the kingdom!

The SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE IS BEING ADDRESSED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PASSAGE!

Nowhere in this text is the unbeliever addressed, on the contrary, it is only the believer who is addressed!

And since the believer "does wrong", or performs unrighteousness, would he not consider himself unsaved?

In the Traditionalist, Calvinist system, how could any warning be of value to the born-again Christian when by virtue of their regeneration they will by necessity persevere?

The warnings are at best superfluous, and at worst, extremely dangerous, causing born again people to doubt if they are saved and continue to seek eternal life by their persevering works.

The Corinthians, in whom Paul is addressing, were sanctified, washed, and justified. These same people were performing unrighteousness. Paul warns these justified Corinthian believers that they will fail to inherit the kingdom of God if their lives are characterized by "doing wrong".

This is the simply clear flow and understanding of the passage.

The Lordship Salvation advocates do harm to communication in general and the passage in specific when they import their theology into the text rather than see Paul's plain statements for what they are.

Paul is speaking pastorally here and has no thought for the unsaved in his exhortation here whatsoever. His warning is to "you, yourselves" who had been “do[ing] wrong” (Greek: adikeo), who nevertheless were justified, sanctified, and washed. The warning is specifically and only to them!

Lordship proponents are playing around with the communication here! Their theology does not accept the clear meaning of the text and so it becomes the ridiculous and absurd notion that the warnings do not contain any penalty whatsoever to the TRUE Christian, but are MERELY goads to move them to perseverance!

What becomes the result of someone who is unsaved, who thought they believed unto salvation, but whose life is characterized by unrighteous deeds? The warnings don't tell them to instead fully trust in Christ for salvation, but to expend every effort to persevere in their works!

“The unsavory descriptions in Paul’s list of vices had fit many of the Corinthians in their unsaved days. But God had mercifully washed their past away as He sanctified and justified them by His saving grace. Their past, therefore, no longer stood as a barier to heirship in God’s Kingdom.

But the present could, and this is Paul’s point. ‘The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God,’ he insists, and he has just charged them with behaving unrighteously” (Zane Clark Hodges, Grace in Eclipse, 77, emphasis mine).

Paul is clear. A perseverance in holiness and works is a necessary meritorious condition for inheriting the kingdom of God.

18 Comments:

Anonymous danny said...

Hi Antonio!

I personally hold to the higher calling or live like the saints view of 1 Cor 6:8-11. As you know, Dr. Rene Lopez holds to this position, and after having read his article "Does the Vice List in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Describe Believers or Unbelievers," I'm sold.

The wrong-doing Corinthians (v. 8) are indeed washed, justified, and sanctified (v.11)
as you pointed out. Verses 9 and 10 aren't a warning, only a quick comparison to unbelievers.

There is a compare and contrast between believers and unbelievers all throughout 1 Cor 5-6. I believe there is a diffrence between inheriting the Kingdom and the reward of the inheritance. Of course Christians committing the sins in 1 Cor 5:11 will lose the reward of the inheritance (Col 3:23-25), but they will still inherit the Kingdom of God (enter it). 1 Cor 6:9-10 refers to unbelievers (positionally unrighteous) committing those sins. This allows the compare and contrast to continue. The Christians do wrong (v.8). Wrong-doers (unbelievers) will not enter the kingdom (v. 10) But even though the Corinthians were still committing these wrongs (5:1,9,11, 6:1, 6:8) they "were" positionally wrong-doers before they believed in Jesus for eternal life.

There is a contrast between the people in verses 9-10 and 11. The wrong-doing Corinthians are acting like unbelievers, and even though they are still doing wrong (v.8), they "were" wrong-doers (v.11). The message: It doesn't make sense for believers - those will inherit the Kingdom, to live like unbelievers who will not inherit the Kingdom. Even though Christians committing these sins will inherit the Kingdom, they will indeed lose the reward of the inheritance as Colossians and Hebrews points out. You and I agree that Hebrews and Colossians addresses the reward of the inheritance which we can lose.

Listen to Rene here:
"Though most of the views above interpret both of Paul’s phrases, “Do you not
know …[and] Do not be deceived” as warnings that refer to either losing salvation or rewards, such conclusions are unwarranted. Understanding both of these phrases as warnings, result in seeing a syllogism that Paul never completes. Rather than saying:
“You do wrong; wrong-doers will not inherit the kingdom of God; thus, you will not inherit,” instead he concludes: “You do wrong; wrongdoers will not inherit; but you are
not wrongdoers (positionally)."

And he says:

"Therefore, it is better to see Paul’s use of both of these phrases as rhetorical devices74 to exhort (as in other places)75 expecting his recipients to recall something previously known: “Do you not know” and “Do not be deceived” would cause them to
remember not to behave like those who have no share in the kingdom. Hence Paul exhorts the Corinthian believers instead of warning them to act consistently with their
new position in Christ.76

You can read his paper at http://scriptureunlocked.com/pdfs/ViceList1Cor6-9_10.pdf

Also, I posted this view of the passage at the Pulpit site. Also, listen to Rene on the absence of the article in verse 9:

"Furthermore, the substantive a!dikoi having no article in v 9 unlike v 1 does not prove or disprove a certain class of people. Though the articular construction emphasizes identity and the anarthrous construction emphasizes character,26 the absence
of the article does not necessarily disprove that Paul speaks of a different group than v
1."

I should let you know that your fervor for Gospel Clarity, as well as the fervor of Wilkin and Hodges, has been such an inspiration to me Antonio. Jesus said, "He who believes in Me has everlasting life." I'm convinced that the message is true. Therefore I have everlasting life!

Amen!

Danny

October 24, 2006 11:04 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I agree, Antonio. If we do not live consistenly with our heavenly calling, we will not inherit the heavenly kingdom.

October 25, 2006 12:51 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Danny,

I too appreciate your fervor and the passion for the free grace gospel.

This is one area that I believe Rene Lopez has conceded to Lordship Salvation. I am neither a fan of his Calvinism.

The connection between verse 8 with 9-11 is too strong to overlook.

Too, the loss of inheritance in the kingdom is a strong doctrine found throughout the New Testament and would be very familiar to Paul.

I was disappointed with Rene's concession and with many elements in his Romans commentary, although there are plenty of aspects of the commentary I was very happy to read.

The kingdom as a possession and object of rulership is the inheritance that is spoken about in the Scripture. I am not sure what you would consider the "inheritance" that unfaithful believers would lose out on, if it is not possession of the Kingdom.

The parables of Christ make it clear that the unfaithful's "portion" of inheritance in the kingdom is nothing. He makes it clear that faithfulness will determine possession.

I don't want to sound too harsh on Rene, whom you enjoy. He has been a part of GES for sometime. Yet he has done Free Grace theology a complete disservice with his concession position. It neuters the awesome accountability of the Christian that we find in dozens of texts.

Have you ever read "The Reign of the Servant Kings"? If you have not, it is ESSENTIAL reading for the Free Gracer. In it he spends much time establishing proofs, evidences and arguments concerning the physical nature of the inheritance from both the Old and New Testaments. It is very compelling.

I have a friend who has written a book which is now in the editing stage that will be published by Shoettle publishing, the same firm that published Joseph Dillow's "Reign of the Servant Kings". It is a book on the "Outer Darkness" that touches each corollary doctrine, including the vice list parallels. In it he has thoroughly considered Rene's concession position and critiques it. I wish he would allow me to publish his section on Rene on my blog. I will ask him if he would allow it. But I don't expect him to as he does not want to disseminate much of his material before publishing.

Danny, we are brothers in the Free Grace endeavor. But the view of Rene Lopez is has several problems and is retrogressive.

We will have to choose to amiably disagree on this one.

Your friend,

Antonio

October 25, 2006 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Bud said...

Romans 8:17 vectors in on this, which predicates being co-heirs with Christ upon our suffering with Him (in obedience, one presumes).

October 25, 2006 9:47 PM  
Anonymous danny said...

Hi Antonio,

Thanks for the response. I've read the inheritance sections of Dillow's book many times over in the past, and I agree! I agree with you guys that non-possession of the Kingdom is exactly what the unfaithful believers will miss out on. Those who deny Christ will definitely be denied the privilege of co-rulership with Christ. Rene believes this too. I agree with you that the reward of the inheritance is possession of the Kingdom. I just think that the expression inherit the Kingdom is related to the gift inheritance we will all receive, which has nothing do with possessing the Kingdom. You already know that all Christians have a gift inheritance (Eph 1:14).

Rene believes this too. Rene doesn't hold to the prove-salvation view of LS. He dismantled it in his paper. Rene agrees that the reward of the inheritance has to do with being a posessor/co-ruler in the Kingdom, but that inherit the Kingdom is the gift inheritance for believers, whether faithful or unfaithful.

Calvinists see 1 Cor 6:9-10 as a warning about being "spurious" believers. I find that disgusting. Of course believers can commit those sins! (1 Cor 5:11, and so many other passages) Rene and I just see 6:9-10 as a quick reference to unbelievers. No warning. Just be in experience who you are positionally. Kind of like 1 Thess 5:10. Whether believers morally watch or sleep, they will live together with him. Paul didn't warn them about losing the reward of the inheritance for sleeping in this particular passage. He could have, but he was stressing a positive point.

And of course, I see Rev 21:7 as referring to the reward of the inheritance. Basically, Antonio, I agree with you that all of the inheritance passages in Hebrew and in Rev 21:7 refer to co-rulership which is conditional on obedience.

Again, Lopez didn't concede to LS, he destroyed that argument in his paper. And again, Rene believes that those who fail to get the reward of the inheritance are non-possessors in the Kingdom. I agree to disagree on the passage in question. I just wanted you to realize that I do believe that we're all in danger of being non-possessors (reward of inheritance) if we're not faithful. Both of our views of 1 Cor 6:8-11 are strongly FG.

Also, I'm aware of Marty Cauley's book that he's getting ready to publish! I've been following the GES chats for years now, and I would love to buy it when it's out.

Your brother,
Danny

October 26, 2006 11:18 AM  
Anonymous danny said...

Hi again Antonio,

I made this comment: Rene doesn't hold to the prove-salvation view of LS.

I know that you know that - I didn't mean to imply you thought he held that view. Again, I just wanted you to realize that Rene realizes that Christians committing those sins will not be posessors in the Kingdom.

I haven't read his commentary on Romans, but I've heard he takes a Calvinist approach to election. I would disagree with him there. I agree with you on election and predestination - how predestination has to do with the offices and future of the Christian. Jeremy Myers wrote two great articles on election and predestination at tilhecomes.com. Check them out when you have time if you haven't read them!

Danny

October 26, 2006 12:47 PM  
Anonymous danny said...

I mean tillhecomes.org

http://tillhecomes.org/Text%20Sermons/Ephesians/Eph%201%203-4.htm

http://tillhecomes.org/Text%20Sermons/Ephesians/Eph%201%205-6.htm

October 26, 2006 12:55 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Danny,

your pleasant personality and cordiality shows through. I appreciate your even tone and joy.

Thank you for the clarification of Rene.

I appreciate you as a brother and am glad that you are an FG brother.

much blesings and grace to you!

Antonio

October 26, 2006 1:12 PM  
Anonymous danny said...

Many blessings and Grace to you as well! I can't wait for Marty's book and the GES commentary. Bob has some great sermons at gespodcast.blogspot.com as well.

Danny

October 26, 2006 1:23 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Antonio, could I ask a question?

Are the terms heir and inheritance used in different ways in the New Testament?

If different meanings are given to the terms, could you possibly do a post clarifying them?

It would be great to read some material specifically on the subject of inheritance.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

October 26, 2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Legume said...

I believe Waymeyer and those who espouse his view make a spurious distinction between practicing unrighteousness and being characterized by unrighteousness. Waymeyer states that those who are characterized by wickedness, i.e., the [positionally] unrighteousness, will not inherit the kingdom of God. Furthermore, he equates inheritance with eternal life and supports this assertion by The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt 25:31-46). Regrettably, he does not address the fact that regenerate Corinthian believers who were washed, justified and sanctified are behaving like goats by doing wrong, cheating and taking their fellow believers to court before unbelievers. Apparently, the regenerate are capable of practicing unrighteousness as long as they are not characterized by it. The point where practice becomes characteristic, however, is a mystery that God decided to keep hidden.

When asked how much fruit someone needs to demonstrate regeneration, Maymeyer deflects by saying FG advocates cannot quantify how much fruit a believer needs to inherit, rather than enter, the kingdom. In this case, Maymeyer makes a spurious comparison. In The Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11-27), Jesus asserts that one’s inheritance (or lack thereof) is in proportion to his fruit. Eternal life, on the other hand, is binary--there are no degrees to which one possesses it. One either has it or he does not. A person cannot have twice as much eternal life as another.

If one’s inheritance is proportional to one’s fruit, one should (not will) be motivated towards ever increasing degrees of experiential righteousness. On the other hand, if one is evaluating his fruit in order to determine whether he truly has eternal life, he will be consumed with fear, doubt and insecurity, which will impede his Christian walk. I am grieved that many interpret this wonderful passage that should motivate believers to run with endurance in such a way that they encumber, rather than encourage, their fellow runners in Christ.

October 27, 2006 8:17 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Legume,

great observations,

thank you for visiting!

Antonio

October 27, 2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger Pastor Jim said...

anthony, is this all you talk about? Do you not have any other beliefs? Is this what you spent your time "preaching" to these people? If so, I feel sorry for them. Also, if you feel we do not need to do works to become saved, then why did you go over there to "preach?" Aren't there souls' predestined? Do they actually have to HEAR THE WORD to become saved? Isn't that a WORK? I pray that you taught them about repentance and baptism! You know what God thinks about leading any of His children astray...

Matthew 18:6

"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

October 27, 2006 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Antonio,

I rarely enter into a blog comment area to comment on another person making a comment, but "pastor, jim" should read antonio's and other Free grace writings before making the accusation of "anthony, is this all you talk about? Do you not have any other beliefs?" We have many other beliefs. I would speak directly to him: If one believes the truth they will have spent time searching for it. To be intellectually honest when writing a polemic one usually does enough research to make the case stick so to speak. The comments on repentance and baptism makes it seem as though you have not understood the Gospel or proper interpretation of the bible. Don't mistake my comment - it is not to defend antonio but to help you see the need to re-evaluate your own beliefs and theology. If one adds works to belief there is a great chance they have not "believed" in the new testament sense of the word.

October 28, 2006 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Legume said...

Pastor Jim: Would you charge the Apostle Paul and Silas with accusations similar to that you leveled upon Antonio for their (misleading) discourse with the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:25-34? If not, please explain why Paul and Silas did not instruct this jailer to repent?

October 30, 2006 8:13 PM  
Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

I will visit here more often, this is a very interesting post, I think I will reread it again.

November 02, 2006 12:49 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Live, love, laugh.

Thank you for visiting my blog and your comment. Let me know if you have any questions.

Antonio

November 02, 2006 6:38 PM  
Blogger the_arkie said...

Antonio,

Thank you for being so studious with the Word!

I see three future inheritances mentioned in Scripture:

1) Eternal Rewards >> these are the blessings reserved in heaven by God that believers will enjoy for eternity

2) The Kingdom >> this statment is debated

3) Eternal Life >> this is salvation itself as an inheritance

The issue that is debated is this: is "the kingdom" referring to #1 or is it referring to #3 or is it a separate designation?

I agree with Matt that an article on inheritance would be great. I think it would help clarify #2 above.

I appreciate the work you put into your articles, because I know it is work. (not that it saves you, of course :) )

PAUL

November 07, 2006 4:39 AM  

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