"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
April 1, 2004
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In this Issue:
I Believe God Concerning Homosexuals and Homosexuality
I BELIEVE GOD CONCERNING HOMOSEXUALS AND HOMOSEXUALITY
By Wayne Camp
A SERMON PREACHED AT PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH
Editor’s note: Due to the length of this message, I have divided it into two parts. In a later issue I will publish Part Two. However, on this Internet page I am publishing the complete message.
TEXTS: Deuteronomy 23:17-18 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.
INTRO: The sermon I am preaching would normally have fallen later in this series that I have called, I Believe God. But, there has been so much in the news recently about so-called “homosexual rights” in our country that I have put this message ahead of some others and want to speak to you on the subject I Believe God Concerning Homosexuals And Homosexuality.
I considered calling the message I BelieveGod Concerning Gays and the Gay Lifestyle but, frankly, I do not want to refer to homosexuals as gay people. In fact, some of the most unhappy people I have met in my life are homosexuals. Moreover, it seems to me that calling them gay lends a dignity to their lifestyle of which it is not worthy.
I also considered calling the message I Believe God Concerning Sodomy and Sodomites. That would certainly have been a scriptural title for the message but when I publish this message I do not want any reading it to misunderstand about whom and what I am speaking.
I am a little uncomfortable when I deal with such a subject for I do not want to be crude nor do I want to shock your sensibilities. If I were describe some of the sexual habits of the sodomites in our land it would be too vulgar for our Christian sensibilities.
In the light of all that is being reported in the media and the care that is taken by the liberal media to be sure to not insult homosexuals or make them feel uncomfortable, I think it is good for us to remind ourselves again of what God says about homosexuals and homosexuality. This is not what Wayne Camp says; it is what God says. I believe emphatically that every word of God is pure and inspired by the Holy Spirit. When I show what the Scriptures say on the subject at hand, I will be showing what God says on this matter.
GOD DECLARES IN HIS WORD THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN OF THE GREATEST POSSIBLE MAGNITUDE
The practicing homosexual is engaged in some of the most wicked sexual activity in which one can participate. It is exceedingly sinful. Of the men of Sodom God said their sin was exceedingly awful. Genesis 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. When one studies the sins of the men of Sodom, the chief sin with which they are charged is unnatural, vile affections for men rather than for women.
John Gill describes the sin of these early Sodomites by saying that they were“exceeding great sinners, guilty of the most notorious crimes, and addicted to the most scandalous and unnatural lusts that can be thought of; and these they committed openly and publicly in the sight of God, in the most daring and impudent manner, and in defiance of him, without any fear or shame.”
John Calvin, commenting on verse thirteen also speaks of the exceeding wickedness of the men of Sodom whose sin is before the Lord.“But it seems wonderful, that Moses, when he wishes to condemn the men of Sodom for their extreme wickedness, should say that they were wicked before the Lord; and not rather before men; for when we come to God’s tribunal, every mouth must be stopped, and all the world must be subject to condemnation; wherefore Moses may be thought to speak thus by way of extenuation. But the case is otherwise: for he means that they were not merely under the dominion of those common vices which everywhere prevail among men, but were abandoned to most execrable crimes, the cry of which rose even to heaven, (as we shall afterwards see,) and demanded vengeance from God.”
GOD’S COMMANDS TO ISRAEL CONCERNING HOMOSEXUALS
Israel was forbidden to harbor homosexuals among their population. Deuteronomy 23:17-18 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God. The dog referred to in this passage is a homosexual who sold his body to other men and performed homosexual acts for money. It has nothing to do with that fine Irish Setter that one may raise and sell. The price of a dog is the hire of a homosexual who prostitutes his body to satisfy the vile lusts of other men or her body for the loathsome affections of other women.
The lifestyle of homosexuals is an abomination before God. They are repugnant to his holy nature. 1 Kings 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. Such conduct is extremely hateful in His sight. All sin is displeasing and offensive to God but the sex acts of the homosexual are detested by him.
In keeping with God’s holy commandments, good King Asa did the right thing when he expelled the homosexuals out of the land of Israel. 1 Kings 15:12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
Asa’s son Jehoshaphat also removed some homosexuals out of the land whom Asa had missed. These godly kings were zealous to obey God and would not, therefore, tolerate such wicked and abominable people to live in the land. 1 Kings 22:46 And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land. These were not simply the acts of some homophobic king. Asa was obeying the holy God whom he served when he drove the sodomites out of the land of Israel.
When Josiah became king he went further than had his predecessors. Homosexuals were again in the land. He broke down the houses belonging to homosexuals. 2 Kings 23:7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. Yes, you read that correctly. These wicked people had built themselves houses close to the house of the Lord. Not only did Josiah drive them from the land; he destroyed the houses in which they lived. And, he did it with the approval of God.
Paul declares that a homosexual cannot inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. It is clear from Scripture that nothing that defiles will be allowed in that holy place.
Those who engage in homosexual practices defile themselves. 1 Timothy 1:9-10 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.
Again, let me point out that the reigning sin in Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality. Genesis 19:5-7 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. As with any society that deteriorates to the low degree of Sodom and the cities of that area, these cities were rife with all kinds of immorality and crime. They would not hesitate to try to break down Lot’s door and take the men (angels) out and rape them.
HOMOSEXUALITY AN ABOMINATION BEFORE GOD
It is abundantly clear from Scripture that homosexuality is an abomination before God. The homosexual act is declared to be an abomination. Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. When something is declared to be abominable before God it is extremely hateful and repugnant to him.
Because of his holy abhorrence of this sin, God commanded that those who committed this abominable act were to be put to death under the Law of Moses. Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
In still another place in the word of God it is declared that homosexuality is an abomination and makes it clear that this abomination came from paganism; in no way can it be charged against God. 1 Kings 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. In 1890 Charles Jenkins published a book called Baptist Doctrines in which he quoted G. D. B. Pepper who stated, “Whatever is condemned by truth is condemned by the God of truth.” You cannot separate the God of truth from the written word of truth—the Bible. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. The word of God comes from the mouth of God and God cannot lie. Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. When the Bible declares that homosexuality is an abomination before God you can be assured that God considers homosexuality an abomination. Since God’s word is forever settled in heaven, we must assume that homosexuality is as much an abomination before God now as it was when the Old and New Testaments were written. Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HOMOSEXUALS
Let us now consider some of the characteristics that are usually found in homosexuals. Generally speaking, homosexuals are arrogant. The extreme arrogance of homosexuals and sinful determination to have their own way is clearly revealed in the nineteenth chapter of Genesis. Genesis 19:4-13 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. 10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
In this passage we see the extreme arrogance and sinful persistence and doggedness of the homosexual crowd. When men and women live in defiance of God’s word they tend to be rather impudent. If they do not care for the laws of God they will certainly disdain the laws of society. This defiance has been seen recently in the unlawful “marriages” that have been taking place in several places in our nation.
Ezekiel shows that the homosexuals are guilty of a multitude of sins in their conduct. Ezekiel 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Earlier I pointed out that a society that is rampant with homosexuality is usually rife with other crimes also. A Christian Network says of homosexuals “They paint themselves as peaceful, innocent, and gay. Yet a Washington newspaper reported that 80 percent of gays that were court-martialed by the U. S. Army for sexual misconduct the past four years had engaged in assaults against their victims. This was not consensual sex; it was sex after assault. Nearly half involved child molestation.
It may shock you to know that “The top six U. S. male serial killers were all homosexuals,” including John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Yet, a homosexual couple are pastors at a United Church of Christ in Seattle (11/94 BB). The Boston Police Department actively recruits gays and lesbians for academy classes (8/23/93 HT). Over 15 of the U. S.’s most powerful and prestigious news organizations, from National Public Radio to the Washington Post, recruited openly homosexual journalists at a Gay job fair (9/27/93 Chr. News). Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders (before being fired RWC) endorsed the adoption of children by homosexuals, and blasts the Boy Scouts for banning practicing homosexuals (4/4 CN).”
Of the wickedness and arrogance of these men of Sodom, John Wesley declared them to be “impudent daring sinners.”
In his commentary on Genesis Adam Clark said of these sinners in Sodom, “but the people of Sodom were exceedingly sinful and wicked before, or against, the Lord—they were sinners of no common character; they excelled in unrighteousness, and soon filled up the measure of their iniquities.”
The renowned Matthew Henry said of the homosexuals of Sodom,“Though all are sinners, yet some are greater sinners than others. The men of Sodom were sinners of the first magnitude, sinners before the Lord, that is, impudent daring sinners; they were so to a proverb.”
Consider the arrogance of the Sodomites as suggested by Isaiah. Isaiah 3:9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
Homosexuals have rejected God and his word. Romans 1:21-23 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Because of their rejection of God and his word they have been given over to their vile affections. Romans 1:24-27 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Homosexuals are proud and arrogant and have an “in your face” attitude. John Calvin said,“Here, in a single crime, Moses sets before our eyes a lively picture of Sodom. For it is hence obvious, how diabolical was their consent in all wickedness, since they all so readily conspired to perpetrate the most abominable crime. The greatness of their iniquity and wantonness is apparent from the fact, that, in a collected troop, they approach, as enemies, to lay siege to the house of Lot. How blind and impetuous is their lust; since, without shame, they rush together like brute animals! how great their ferocity and cruelty; since they reproachfully threaten the holy man, and proceed to all extremities! Hence also we infer, that they were not contaminated with one vice only, but were given up to all audacity in crime, so that no sense of shame was left them.
HOMOSEXUAL SIN IS A WILLFUL SIN
Some of these people try to blame their aberrant, deviant sexual practices on God. I heard one say, “I cannot help it, God made me this way. That is an outright lie and cover-up for their perverted sexual practices. Homosexuals commit their sin willfully. They willfully commit sin that which is an abomination in God’s sight. Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Homosexuals willfully commit sin that is against the law of God and against the law of nature and against the law of decency. Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. When God gives a class of sinners up to go their own way those in that class are in terrible trouble. It seems the Divine restraints have been removed. The bridal has been removed from them. They can fill their cup of iniquity full as fast as they dare. Their judgment does not linger and their damnation does not slumber. In God’s own time he will drop the hammer of his judgment upon the anvil of his justice and these arrogant rebels against his holy law will suffer his wrath.
Homosexuals were often guilty of not respecting the normal customs that were observed by those showing hospitality. Judges 19:17-23 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou? 18 And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to house. 19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing. 20 And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street. 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink. 22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.
The lawlessness of most homosexuals abounds. As evidence of the lawlessness of many homosexuals, as I said earlier, it may surprise you to know that the leading serial killers in the United States were all homosexuals. This was revealed in an Associated Press Article. Some additions were made by The New York Times. The headline was
“HOMOSEXUALS BIGGEST KILLERS.”
The five leading serial killers in the United States are homosexuals, according to Associated Press. The killers and their body counts: Donald Harvey, 37; John Wayne Gacy, 33; Patrick Wayne Kearney, 32; Dean Corll, Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks, 27 and Juan Corona, 25. The New York Times adds to the list: Bruce Davis, 28 and Stephen Kraft, 16. Homosexuals are less than 3 percent of the population but have perpetrated 68 percent of all serial killings in the past 20 years.
Let me add the name of Jeffrey Dahmer who was implicated in at least 17 murders. Vernon J. Geberth, Former Commander, Bronx Homicide, NYPD, wrote,“The author's research yielded a listing of 37 known and documented homosexual serial killers, which represent 30 cases of homosexual serial murder. These 37 offenders were charged with the deaths of approximately 280 male victims and were actually suspected of murdering approximately 755 victims.”
As a rule, homosexuals are haughty, proud and arrogant or they would not be so against God’s word. For most of them it may be truly said that there is no fear of God before their eyes. Read again these words from the pen of Ezekiel, a prophet of the most high God of heaven. Ezekiel 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
I BELIEVE GOD CONCERNING HOMOSEXUALS AND HOMOSEXUALITY
By Wayne Camp
A SERMON PREACHED AT PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH
(Continued from April 1, 2004, issue)
THE JUDGMENT THAT AWAITS HOMOSEXUALS
God used Sodom and Gomorrah and some other cities in that area as a warning of his holy hatred of the abomination of homosexuality. In Sodom and Gomorrah God, through the instrumentality of angels, smote the homosexuals with blindness. Later they were killed when God rained fire and brimstone upon them from heaven. 2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. Let me impress upon you the fact that God says that what he did to the homosexuals in Sodom and Gomorrah was what he saw to be good. Ezekiel 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
We have already seen that they will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. This does not mean that a homosexual cannot be saved. But, it does mean that a practicing homosexual is not saved and will not go to heaven if he dies a practicing homosexual. I know that this sounds hard but it comes down to the fact that one who is given to a habitual life of sin, he is not saved. 1 John 3:7-10 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. In this passage the idea is not that a child of God lives a sinlessly perfect life. It is not that the child of God does not commit single acts of sin from time to time. John is telling us that the child of God leads a life that is characterized by righteousness. He is also telling us that the person who habitually practices sin is not a child of God.
According to Jude, homosexuals will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. It is true that the people of Sodom suffered death by fire and brimstone. What a horrible death they died. But, this fiery death ushered them into the eternal fires of hell from whence no one ever escapes.
Many homosexuals are beyond redemption because God has given many of them over to reprobate minds. Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. A practicing atheist is no more lost and doomed than a practicing homosexual. A person who rejects God and goes about to satisfy his vile, abnormal affections would have to experience the new birth and its consequent graces of faith and repentance before he could ever be saved.
It should also be pointed out that most homosexuals are headed for a short life and an early death—there are not many old homosexuals around. Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
SODOM AND GOMORRAH EXAMPLES FOR THOSE WHO COMMIT SUCH ABOMINABLE ACTS
The homosexuals of Sodom and Gomorrah have stood as testament to God’s hatred of the sin of homosexuality and his judgment upon those guilty of that sin down through the ages. 2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. Jude 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
God used Sodom as a warning to the Israelites. Deuteronomy 29:23-24 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: 24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger? Lamentations 4:6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her. Amos 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
God used those cities as a warning to Babylon. Isaiah 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
God used Sodom as a warning to Edom. Jeremiah 49:17-18 Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof. 18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.
God used Sodom as a warning to the Chaldeans and Babylon. Jeremiah 50:35-40 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. 36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed. 37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. 38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols. 39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. 40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
God used Sodom as a warning to the Moabites. Zephaniah 2:9 Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.
Jesus used Sodom and Gomorrah as a memorial to God’s judgment upon those who would not receive those whom he sent forth to preach the gospel. Matthew 10:14-15 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Jesus used these cities and their sudden destruction as a warning to those who may be still living in unbelief when he will come again. Luke 17:29-30 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Isaiah and Paul declared that Israel would have been as Sodom and Gomorrah if God had not graciously preserved a remnant of that people. Romans 9:29And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
EXPRESSIONS INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT CHARACTERIZE HOMOSEXUALITY
(Please forgive some repetition here but I think it needful.)
What does God think of homosexuality? One way to determine the answer to this question is to examine expressions found in Scripture where those holy men of God spoke as they were born along by the Holy Spirit. The terms they used to describe homosexual behaviour are God’s terms.
According to the inspired apostle Paul homosexual relations are unseemly or inappropriate. Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Again, according to Paul’s inspired epistle, homosexual activity is the exercise of vile affection. Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.
In the book of Judges we are told that homosexual sin is an extremely vile act. Judges 19:22-24 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. 24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.
Homosexual conduct is declared to be against nature or unnatural. Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. I recall as a child occasionally hearing that someone was charged with crimes that were against nature. This was apparently charges against homosexuals or against those who were involved in incest.
It is apparent from the conduct of the men at Sodom that homosexual conduct is the result of burning, sinful lust. James said that when lust is conceived it brings forth sin. And lust, unnatural, vile, burning lust is what drives homosexuals. Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Homosexuality is uncleanness. Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves. Being unclean does not simply refer to the fact that they sinned in their paganism. Homosexual relations are themselves unclean. It is no wonder that our own country is in an epidemic of Aids. While some innocent people have been infected through blood transfusions, Aids is predominately a disease of homosexuals. It is passed through their unclean sex acts.
These unclean relationships are dishonoring to the bodies of those involved. Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves. I shudder at the thought of what most of these people do.
There is also something about homosexuality that makes those who become homosexuals effeminate and self-abusive. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. The last two—effeminate and abusers of themselves with mankind—are both descriptions of homosexuals. Rarely does one see a homosexual who is not effeminate. They usually act more like a woman than a man. In reverse, most lesbians—female homosexuals—often have male qualities in their lives and conduct.
God calls them dogs when they sell their bodies in homosexual harlotry. Deuteronomy 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Homosexuals are defiled beings. In their homosexual acts they defile themselves with persons of the same gender. 1 Timothy 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. God considered homosexuals so defiled that under the Law of Moses they were to be put to death. Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
By now it should be apparent that the sin of the sodomite is very grievous. Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous. God rained hell down from heaven upon the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah and others in the area because of their grievous iniquity. Even the children and suckling babies in those cities were destroyed. How exceedingly grievous is this sin in the sight of a thrice Holy God.
Sodomites are wicked to the extreme. Genesis 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. Genesis 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Biblical writers must have almost run out of adjectives and terms to describe the incredible awfulness of the sin of sodomy.
Their sin is abominable. Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
They commit folly. Judges 19:23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. It is not acceptable to call a man a fool unless God has classified him as such. God has called the atheist a fool. Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. God has also classified the acts of homosexuals as folly and that makes them fools.
When one engages in sodomy he is going after strange flesh. Jude 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Commenting on this verse John Gill said. “or "other flesh"; meaning not other women besides their own wives, but men; and designs that detestable and unnatural sin, which, from these people, is called sodomy to this day; and which is an exceeding great sin, contrary to the light of nature and law of God, dishonourable to human nature, and scandalous to a nation and people, and commonly prevails where idolatry and infidelity do, as among the Papists and Mahometans; and arose from idleness and fulness of bread in Sodom, and was committed in the sight of God, with great impudence.”
Matthew Henry made this comment on this verse. “They were guilty of abominable wickedness, not to be named or thought of but with the utmost abhorrence and detestation.”
Homosexuals are ungodly. 2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. Some practicing homosexual may read this and take issue with what I have just said. But, it is clear from this verse that homosexuals are ungodly and live an ungodly life. I think of those words found in Jude 14-19 Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. 17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
In the light of Scripture, there is no way we can condone or minimize the sin of sodomy. There is no way one can actually insult the sin of sodomy. Use all the adjectives that describe wicked conduct and you will not make it worse than it really is. All sin is against God and all sin is wicked, but there is something about homosexuality that makes it especially hateful and abominable in the sight of God. As Matthew Henry said, It is “not to be named or thought of but with the utmost abhorrence and detestation.”
If our nation is not already paying for her tolerance of and catering to the demands of these aberrant, perverted people who have turned to their vile affections, it will pay dearly. I believe this nation is already under a plague of Aids because of this perverted behaviour and the coddling those guilty of it are receiving. But, if Jesus does not return soon and if the leadership of the cities, counties, and states keep slouching toward Sodom, judgment may surely be swift when it does come and it will be fatal.
Let me close by affirming again that I believe God is right in his hatred of homosexuality and homosexuals as a group. Homosexuals are abominable, arrogant workers of iniquity for sure and God certainly hates them as a group. Psalm 5:5 . . . thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
I am not saying that there are not some homosexuals that are chosen to salvation. But, the purpose of that election is that the elect might be holy, not abominable as are practicing homosexuals. True believing homosexuals will leave of their sin and turn to righteous for no true believer in Jesus Christ will continue in that which makes him an abomination in the sight of God. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
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By Thomas Williamson
3131 S. Archer Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60608
Recently the pastor of an independent Baptist church in Minnesota disbanded his congregation, because he had come to the conclusion that his church was not a true New Testament church.
He had checked out the history of his mother church in Ohio, and came to the conclusion that the mother church did not have "perpetuity"—that is, they could not trace their lineage back to the time of the Apostles in the First Century AD, through a documented, unbroken chain of churches holding to Landmark Missionary Baptist faith and practices.
The Ohio church could not pass this test: "All churches must be authorized by a mother church that was authorized by a mother church that was authorized by a mother church, etc. all the way back to the original church of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Not only that, but all of the churches in this chain of title must, at all times, have rejected all non-Baptist baptism, rejected the universal church theory, practiced closed communion (members only), and must have remained unaffiliated at all times with any and all conventions, associations or fellowships.
The gentleman in Minnesota, having determined that his sending church in Ohio could not demonstrate compliance with these historical requirements, came to the alarming conclusion that his own church was a false church with no authority to administer baptism or plant churches.
After diligent search, this pastor found a church in North Dakota, 300 miles away, that supposedly did have perpetuity and could serve as a true _mother church. He had himself re-baptized and reordained by the North Dakota pastor, then went back to Minnesota to rebaptize his own former members and re-organize them into a new, scriptural church with perpetuity.
Problem solved? Maybe, or maybe not. Do we really know if all the churches in the chain of title of the North Dakota church, for the last 20 centuries, were "Simon pure" in doctrine, with not a stinker in the bunch? Do sufficient records exist to prove such a proposition? Is it possible that the North Dakota church and her Minnesota daughter are still not true churches, after all this effort?
The Minnesota pastor, in a lengthy article defending the principle of perpetuity, stated, "One must have the ability to determine the mother and grandmother church." What about the great-great-greatgrandmother church, and all the other churches that went before? As long as there is any doubt about what all those churches believed and practiced through the Dark Ages, for which no written records exist, then do we really know if any church existing today is a true church?
Good men have wrestled with this question over the centuries. In 17' Century Rhode Island, Roger Williams disbanded the Baptist church he had organized only a few months previously, because he doubted that there was any true church left in the world that could administer scriptural baptism needed to start his church.
Henry Vedder says of Williams, "He withdrew himself from the church, and for the rest of his life was unconnected with any religious body, calling himself a seeker.' He seems to have been misled by an idea that, if logically carried out, would unchurch every church, by making all administration of ordinances invalid."
Other denominations have debated this issue, also. The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican/Episcopalian churches do claim to have perpetuity, a chain of title of churches and bishops stretching back to the Apostles - and they have the records to prove it. The Anglican churches refer to their proven perpetuity as the "Historic Episcopate" and they are magnanimously willing to share that mystical quality of perpetuity with any other churches that may want to partake of it. All you have to do is come under the authority of an Episcopalian bishop (who just might be a sodomite, like the new bishop of New Hampshire).
It is believed that the Lutheran churches of Scandinavia have perpetuity, since they can trace their bishops back to apostolic times, but Lutheran churches elsewhere, including the United States, do not have that perpetuity or apostolic succession. In an effort to fix that problem, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America recently agreed to place its churches under the authority of the Episcopal bishops of America, so as to latch onto their vaunted perpetuity.
Is there is any way for us, as Baptists, to get perpetuity without having to toady to our local Episcopal bishop? Can we fix the problem by setting up a registry of Baptist churches with proven, demonstrated perpetuity, with the power to bestow that mystical blessing on any churches that may lack it?
The first step is to realize that there are some churches that claim perpetuity under false pretenses - they offer their church "mothering" services, without being able to demonstrate that they have any kind of perpetuity.
Over the years the pastor of First Baptist Church of Cicero, Illinois (now disbanded) would approach other churches in the Chicago area and tell them that his church had perpetuity and the other churches didn't. He offered to remedy that fault by re-ordaining the pastors of the other churches and re-baptizing all of their members, and bringing those churches under the authority of FBC-Cicero which would then claim them as "mission churches."
One pastor accepted this generous offer - he was re-ordained by FBC-Cicero, and he and his people rebaptized. Meanwhile, I asked the assistant pastor of FBC-Cicero for the name of the mother church FBC-Cicero, and he told me, "I don't know." Hmmm, that was strange—they were claiming perpetuity but could not even supply the name of their own mother church!
The newly re-ordained and rebaptized pastor did some investigation of his own, and was enraged to find out that FBC-Cicero was planted in 1896 without any local church authority, by the Chicago Baptist Association. By its own standards, FBC-Cicero was not even a true church and its pastor had lied about having perpetuity. This pastor broke with FBC-Cicero and had to go get himself re-ordained and re-baptized by yet another Baptist church which claimed to have perpetuity.
All too often, when certain Baptist churches make the claim to be the only true church in their area, they have no documentation for that claim. What they are really saying is, "The only true churches in this area are the ones whose preachers are part of our exclusive clique. The only way for your church to become a true church and part of the `Bride' is for your church to come under our authority and do whatever we tell you to do, just like the Pope and Jim Jones. Until we take a vote to authorize you to have a true church, you and your benighted members will remain in outer darkness."
Thus we see that the demand for Baptist perpetuity can, in the wrong hands, become a pretext for mischief-making on the part of domineering, busy-body preachers who are not content to rule as dictatorial bullies over their own hapless congregations, and who are always on the prowl for other churches and preachers that they can take over.
Not all those who have sought to promote Baptist perpetuity have done so with impure motives. There are good, honest men who have a genuine desire to make sure that their church is scripturally established, and who would like to stand in a position of linked-chain succession to the Apostles. Can this be done, without stretching the truth or telling those little white lies about our heritage?
The problem is that prior to the 17th Century, we simply do not have sufficient historical records and documentation to trace a chain of title of true Landmark Missionary Baptist churches. We have evidence to show that Baptistic churches did exist in the Dark Ages (see my book "The Waldenses Were Independent Baptists)" but there are no original source documents that we can use to link ourselves to them in a linkedchain succession.
When original source documents do exist, they sometimes tell us things that we would rather not know. For instance, the "Key of Truth", written by the Paulicians in the 9th Century and translated into English by Fred Conybeare in 1898, reveals that the Paulicians denied the deity of Christ. In spite of this inconvenient fact, some Baptists still trace their succession through the Paulicians.
When asked to provide a chainlink of churches from the First Century until now, many Baptists will name churches and strange groups that they would not touch with a 10-foot pole if they were still around today.
For instance, there are Calvinistic Baptists, who, if asked, will trace their perpetuity through the churches of the Sandy Creek Association in North Carolina (1765). But the Sandy Creek Baptists had woman preachers, and they were refused fellowship by the Calvinistic Regular Baptists of their day, who regarded them as disorderly and doctrinally weak.
Meanwhile, there are anti-Calvinist Landmark Baptists who trace their perpetuity through the Philadelphia Baptist Association of the early 18th Century. But these churches were strongly Calvinistic and they affirmed belief in the Universal Church. Some of these churches accepted alien baptism, with the approval of the Association.
The Welsh Tract church, which some modern churches claim as an ancestor, was affiliated with the Philadelphia Association. The Welsh Tract and Sandy Creek churches were self-constituted, organized without authority of a mother church.
Not only that, but those who insist that only unaffiliated churches are true churches would not be able to trace their perpetuity through any association—not Philadelphia, not the Sandy Creek Association, nor the English or Welsh Baptists or even the Waldenses of the Middle Ages, all of whom were associational Baptists.
Some Baptists trace their perpetuity through the Baptist church at Hill Cliffe, Wales. But we don't know what church was the mother church of Hill Cliffe, or even if it was definitely a Baptist church from the beginning. J.J. Goadby in "Bye-Paths in Baptist History" says, "We have reliable evidence that a Separatist, and, probably, a Baptist Church, has existed for several centuries in a secluded part of Cheshire ... Owing to the many changes inseparable from the eventful history of the church at Hill Cliffe, the earliest records have been lost."
James Kenworthy, in his book "History of the Baptist Church at Hill Cliffe," says, "We cannot go back to the foundation of the Hill Cliffe Church, but at the time that the earliest reference is made to it, it is then in a flourishing condition.... " In other words, we do not know which Landmark Missionary Baptist Church took a vote to authorize the church at Hill Cliffe; therefore we cannot trace our perpetuity through the Hill Cliffe Church.
It is simply not possible to construct a chain link of churches from our time back to the Apostles, documenting each vote of a properly constituted Landmark Missionary Baptist Church to authorize each new church, while dodging all those groups who may have disagreed with us on such matters as Calvinism, local church only, no women preachers, no alien immersion, no open communion, etc. It cannot be done.
What Baptist Historians Say About Linked-Chain Church Succession
E.T. Hiscox stated in his "New Directory for Baptist Churches," "It matters not whether a Church can trace its lineage back one century or 20. The great question is, Does it inherit the spirit of Him who founded the Church and does it hold the doctrines and imitate the examples of Christ and His Apostles?"
J.R. Graves, in "Old Landmarkism - What Is It?" says, "We . Repudiate the doctrine of apostolic succession ... Nor have I, or any Landmarker known to me, ever advocated the succession of any particular church or churches."
Roy Mason in "The Church That Jesus Built" says, "Baptists do not claim perpetuity upon the basis of a chain of churches succeeding each other in the sense that kings and popes succeed each other."
S.H. Ford said, "Succession among Baptists is not a linked chain of churches or ministers, uninterrupted and traceable at this distant day."
Thomas Armitage, in his "History of the Baptists," says, "Visible descent and the unbroken succession of churches are not and cannot be a proper test in the matter.... The pretense that any one communion now on earth can trace its way down from the Apostles, in one line of fidelity and purity to New Testament teachings, is to contradict all reliable history."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, reviewing Armitage's "History of the Baptists," said, "No claim is set up for a continuous church of Baptists after the manner of the Roman and Anglican communities; but yet it is shown that the true and only baptism in water has always had some to practice it. When a church has nothing left in which to rejoice it falls back on its pedigree, and cracks itself up as `the one and only;' but our friend Dr. Armitage sees nothing desirable in such romancing."
D. B. Ray in "Baptist Succession" says, "They believe that the Baptist succession exists; that there has been no period of time since the death of Christ when Baptists have not existed. But Baptists do not claim `apostolic succession,' because they admit that the apostolic office expired with the death of John the beloved. . . . Neither do we claim Popish succession, for this is only the succession of Antichrist."
I. K. Cross, in "The Battle for Baptist History," says, "No reputable historian claims that a church has to trace its history all the way back to the first church to prove it is a New Testament church. In fact, sufficient history does not exist to make this possible."
Buell Kazee, in "The Church and the Ordinances," says, "Whether or not our baptism is successive all the way back, no one can prove."
Jarrel Huffman says, "Chainlink succession on paper cannot be proved, but this fact does not discount scriptural succession."
John T. Christian, in his "History of the Baptists," says, "No attempt is made in these pages to trace a succession of bishops, as the Roman Catholics attempt to do, back to the apostles. Such an attempt is `laboring in the fire for mere vanity,' and proceeds upon a mistaken view of the nature of the kingdom of Christ, and of the sovereignty of God, in His operations on the earth. . . . No emphasis is put on a succession of baptism, or the historical order of churches."
J.W. Porter said, "It would be impossible to establish the uninterrupted succession of any given church through the years, even should such a church have a continuous succession."
Henry Vedder said, "In the present state of knowledge no such continuity can be shown by evidence that will bear the usual historic tests."
J. Davis, in "History of the Welsh Baptists," says, "A Baptist has not the least trouble about what is called a lineal or apostolical succession. His line of succession is in faithful men, and it is a matter of indifference with them, when or where they lived, by what name they were called, or by whom they were baptized or ordained."
W. A. Jarrel in "Baptist Church Perpetuity" said, "Such a thing as one church succeeding another, as the second link of a chain is added to, and succeeds the first ... is utterly foreign to and incompatible with Baptist church polity. Therefore, the talk about every link `jingling in the succession chain from the banks of the Jordan to the present' is ignorance or dust-throwing."
David Benedict, in "A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America," said, "I shall not attempt to trace a continuous line of churches, as we can for a few centuries past in -Europe and America. This is a kind of succession to which we have never laid claim; and, of course, we make no effort to prove it. We place no kind of reliance on this sort of testimony to establish the soundness of our faith or the validity of our administrations."
Kenneth Good, author of "God's Blueprint for a Church," says, "Competent historians do not support the view of an unbroken, chain-link succession of Baptist churches as demonstrable from the available records. . . .The authenticity of a Baptist church depends, not upon its ability to trace an unbroken line of connection to the apostles, but rather upon its ability to demonstrate that it presently possesses the doctrines, principles, and practices which the apostles had and which are evident on the pages of the New Testament. If a church were forced to demonstrate its `kosher' pedigree in order to be recognized, this would require that organized assembly to rely upon the word of man rather than the Word of God."
Wayne Camp, pastor of Pilgrim's Hope Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, says, "The Bible assures perpetuity of the Lord's churches and history proves the perpetuity of the Lord's churches but the Bible does not promise a linked-chain succession of churches and history does not prove it."
If it was important for each church to be able to demonstrate a chain-link succession of churches going back 2000 years, why is there no mention of this principle in the New Testament? Why are we not told which Landmark Missionary Baptist congregation took a vote to authorize the churches at Rome, Corinth, Colosse, Ephesus, etc. if this information is so all-important?
In Acts 14:23 we see that Paul had organized churches in various cities of Galatia, without first going back to his sending church in Antioch to obtain a congregational vote authorizing the organization of those Galatian churches.
Clearly there is no Scriptural teaching to the effect that "Your church is not a true New Testament church unless it was authorized by vote of a Landmark Missionary Baptist Church which has a proven linked-chain succession of churches of like faith and practice back to the First Century." This is a traditional belief which has no basis in the Word of God.
Nothing in this article is intended to relax our vigilance in discerning between true and false churches. Not all churches today, even those bearing the Baptist name, are true New Testament churches.
However, we cannot use the demand that each church demonstrate a linked-chain succession from the Apostles, as a standard for determining which churches are true and which are not true. Under such a standard, every Baptist church in the world today would be disqualified as a true church, and we would all have to go join the Catholics or Episcopalians.
Let's not try to unchurch each other by adding to the Word of God with burdens that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear.
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