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#48780 - Wednesday, May 9, 2012 4:07 PM What is your understanding of this passage?
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13235
Loc: NH, USA
What is your understanding of the following passage? There are several issues to be found there to be sure. So, what are they? and what do they mean?

Matthew 7:21-23 (ASV) "21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
_________________________


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#48787 - Thursday, May 10, 2012 2:08 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Pilgrim]
sojourner Offline

Member

Registered: Friday, February 13, 2009
Posts: 142
Loc: Georgia, USA
Jesus is nearing the conclusion of a long sermon,going all the way back to chapter five of this same gospel.He has made several points , one of which is the necessity of obedience to His commands.He says here that a profession of religion or the joining to a given body or any other such union is not enough unless there is a corresponding conversion.As Paul said,"we are but sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal." It takes more than words to make one a Christian.Matthew Henry said,"If we do not the will of the Father we mock Christ when we say,"Lord, Lord."There are those that prophesied in His name, but He did not send them for this,They did so to serve their own desires.
_________________________

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#48788 - Thursday, May 10, 2012 2:17 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Pilgrim]
Jobeluan65 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: Friday, January 20, 2012
Posts: 54
Loc: Germany
My "understanding of this passage" is the same as Mark E. Ross, Erskine Theological Seminary.

“Jesus takes us to the last day, to the judgment at the end of history. In that day, he says, there will be many who have called him ‘Lord’ that will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Why not? Two reasons are given. First, Jesus did not ‘know’ them. That is, there was no personal relationship between Jesus and these false followers. Though they called Jesus ‘Lord’, prophesied in his name, cast out demons in his name and performed mighty works in his name, he had no personal relationship with them. Second, they were workers of ‘lawlessness’. That is, they did not follow the teaching of Jesus and they did not keep the law of God. Notice that as the sermon draws to a close Jesus has returned to the importance of keeping the law. He is not, of course, teaching that salvation is by keeping the law. But he is saying that those who are saved will be known by their fruits, and their fruits will include obedience to the law of God. Theirs will not be a religion of just saying that they follow Jesus, while doing some works in his name. No, their religion will be one of following Jesus, of doing all that he says and commands. They are not like those who James tells us say they have faith, but they have not works. The true followers of Christ can be known because their works show that they have faith (James 2:14-26).” (Ross, 2009)

Ross, Mark E. (2009) “Let’s Study Matthew” Chapter 34, The Banner of Truth Trust, Pg. 75

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#48789 - Thursday, May 10, 2012 4:44 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Jobeluan65]
Robin Offline
The Boy Wonder

Registered: Thursday, January 3, 2002
Posts: 980
Loc: Florida, Occupied CSA
Two passages come to mind. The first is the parable of two sons in Matt 21:28ff and the Lord's question, "Which one did the will of his father?" It wasn't the words that mattered in that parable, but the deeds.

But words are not without effect! Because the very next passage that sprang to mind was Jesus' address to the gathered crowd after having rebuked the Pharisees for the same thing:

Quote:
It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man (Matthew 15:11 - see also the explanation in verses 17-20).


We are condemned by our words only if we fail to follow through with deeds in keeping with our words. Words matter! For we will be judged for every idle word we speak! So the old common wisdom that says, "words don't matter, only deeds," is NOT what is being suggested by the scripture.
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A Sidekick's Blog: The Superhero's mission through the eyes of His faithful Sidekick

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#48790 - Friday, May 11, 2012 12:37 AM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Pilgrim]
Jobeluan65 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: Friday, January 20, 2012
Posts: 54
Loc: Germany
My "understanding of this passage" is the same as J. Ligon Duncan. Both he and Mark Ross are saying the same thing.

"Christians must take care that we do not deceive ourselves.

Notice His words in verse 21, "Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but He who does the will of My Father, who is heaven, will enter." Jesus is warning against a merely verbal profession of faith in Christ. He is warning against those who rely on what they say to the Lord, what they say about the Lord, and yet have no reality of the Lord’s lordship in their own lives. A verbal profession is important, don’t get me wrong. A verbal profession is orthodox. It is an orthodox thing to do. It may be done fervently. You may profess in perfect orthodoxy that Jesus is Lord. You may profess it with great fervency that Jesus is Lord, you may profess it publicly that Jesus is Lord. You profess it in a spectacular way, calling others to saving knowledge of Christ, and still be professing Him falsely. For the Lord Jesus is saying that those who truly profess Him, are not simply those who profess Him verbally, but professed Him in their lives. He is looking not only for a verbal profession, He is looking for a moral profession. He is looking for a change of character. Our saying and our doing must go together, because grace changes our hearts and lives. Grace not only saves us from the penalty of sin, it changes our hearts and lives.

And so the apostle Paul can say in II Timothy chapter 2, verse 19, let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity, because grace changes our lives. Jesus, in verses 22 and 23, issues a terrifying promise. He says that there are going to be people in the last day, who claim to have prophesied in His name, who have cast out demons in His name, to perform miracles in His name, and they are going to say, Lord, Lord, we did all these things in Your name, and He is going to say to them, these terrifying words: I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. See what Jesus is saying? He is saying the reason that He will reject them is because their lives did not reflect the reality of the grace of the gospel. They did extraordinary things. He doesn’t argue with them about that. Maybe you did, but your lives weren’t changed by the grace of the gospel. Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. Your lives contradict your claim to be my disciples.”

J. Ligon Duncan, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS

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#48802 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 12:45 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Pilgrim]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13235
Loc: NH, USA
My understanding of the passage is similar to what the others have written but with a few differences.

The context of this passage follows a rather detailed excursus by the Lord Christ concerning His warning against "false prophets". He distinguishes between two types of trees; one that bears bad fruit and the other that bears good fruit. And He summarizes this teaching with, "Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.", in verse 20. And this "fruit" is that which is in conformity to the will of the Father. Jesus then explains the consequences and end of those who do not bear "good fruit" with an illustration, which is the passage under consideration.

1) On the last day, i.e., the day of Judgment... MANY, not few, but many will say. This should strike a note of fear in our hearts and cause everyone to examine themselves to see if they have a tendency to preen themselves over their alleged accomplishments, dedication, etc., toward God.

2) One's own personal assessment is not the standard by which one will be judged. The revealed will of God is the standard, which is exemplified in the person of Jesus Christ.

3) A couple of passages come to my mind as well that might bear upon this passage:

Quote:
Luke 18:10-14 (ASV) "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get. 13 But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner. 14 I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Matthew 5:19-20 (ASV) "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Simply put, both these passages emphasize the spiritual virtue of self-denial vs. self-exaltation. And, absolute moral perfection is required to be found acceptable before God. Stating it another way, only the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ obtained through faith is how God will look favorably upon anyone.

4) Even the more ostentatious acts of men are without merit in regard to one's salvation, in and of themselves. It occurs to me that Jesus uses these examples to include those who occupy esteemed offices among men, e.g., Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, bishops, evangelists, missionaries, elders and deacons, et al, thus using the 'greater' to include all and lesser.

5) Motivation nor alleged purpose have any merit, in and of itself either. Notice that the those pleading state that they did all "in thy name".

6) So, what does count? Jesus answers them with, "I never knew you". A popular interpretation of this phrase is, "These people never loved Jesus." But I believe there is no warrant to come to that conclusion for the text is certainly clear enough in itself... Jesus never knew them. Now, what does Jesus mean by this? It cannot mean that He wasn't cognizant of their existence or the acts to which they mentioned. Why? because Jesus is God and is therefore omniscient. He knew them well enough to call them, "workers of iniquity". I believe that Jesus is using the word "knew" as a synonym for "love". Thus, the text would read, "I never loved you..." The Bible often uses the word "know" for "love", for example in Genesis 4:1, "And the man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived..." (cf. Gen 4:17,25). Another example is found in Amos 3:2, "you only have I known of all the families of the earth:", (cf. Deut 7:6; 10:15; Hos 4:23). In other words, Jesus is saying to the "many" you are not of my people whom the Father has set His love upon from all eternity and sent me to die for so as to reconcile you to God, and to whom the Spirit I sent dwelt within them.

7) Does this mean that "good works/fruit" are excluded? By no means, for Jesus made clear that one is known by the "fruit" produced. But the fruit has no merit whatsoever but rather it is indicative of one who is loved of God and therefore who has the Spirit of God working within them (Eph 2:10; Phil 2:12,13); the evidence of the electing, efficacious love of God manifest in one's life.
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#48869 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:08 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Pilgrim]
Dennis Offline
Plebeian

Registered: Sunday, April 5, 2009
Posts: 21
Loc: Torrington, Ct.
Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
What is your understanding of the following passage? There are several issues to be found there to be sure. So, what are they? and what do they mean?

Matthew 7:21-23 (ASV) "21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
I believe this is a teaching that there are those who serve Christ more with their mouths then their hearts; hypocrites.
Also, a regenerate believer does not only order his life and manners according to the rule of honesty, but he also receives the Son the Father has sent, by faith.
There will come a time when the tares are removed from the wheat, and even though they look alike as far as we can tell, God's see's, and He will let them know that He never accepted nor approved of them (the tares) as His true servants.

_________________________
"There is no possibility of taking a mercy out of God's hand, till the mercy be ripe for us, and we ripe for the mercy."

THOMAS BROOKS

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#48870 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:21 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Robin]
Dennis Offline
Plebeian

Registered: Sunday, April 5, 2009
Posts: 21
Loc: Torrington, Ct.
Originally Posted By: Robin
Two passages come to mind. The first is the parable of two sons in Matt 21:28ff and the Lord's question, "Which one did the will of his father?" It wasn't the words that mattered in that parable, but the deeds.

But words are not without effect! Because the very next passage that sprang to mind was Jesus' address to the gathered crowd after having rebuked the Pharisees for the same thing:

Quote:
It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man (Matthew 15:11 - see also the explanation in verses 17-20).


We are condemned by our words only if we fail to follow through with deeds in keeping with our words. Words matter! For we will be judged for every idle word we speak! So the old common wisdom that says, "words don't matter, only deeds," is NOT what is being suggested by the scripture.


Matt 15:11, is teaching all the ceremonial washing the Pharisees have appointed before eating does not stain the soul, the food cannot be made unclean, thereby staining the soul or the conscience (1 Cor 6:13). It is what springs from the heart by word and deed that shows whether one is pure or defiled. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. Titus 1:15.

Just though I would mention that, it kinda goes with my last post smile God bless.
_________________________
"There is no possibility of taking a mercy out of God's hand, till the mercy be ripe for us, and we ripe for the mercy."

THOMAS BROOKS

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#49045 - Friday, August 10, 2012 12:32 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Pilgrim]
Wayne@purpose Offline
Newbie

Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 33
Loc: Houston Texas
A "lordship relationship" requires the "doing of God's will". We need to know God's will before we can do it and we need to do God's will before we can become it. "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (John 4:34) Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:13-14)

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#49046 - Friday, August 10, 2012 5:07 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13235
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
A "lordship relationship" requires the "doing of God's will". We need to know God's will before we can do it and we need to do God's will before we can become it. "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (John 4:34) Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:13-14)

1. Who is the author of the non-biblical portion of the quote: We need to know God's will before we can do it and we need to do God's will before we can become it.

2. Would you happen to know what this part means? we need to do God's will before we can become it

3. What translation is the Hebrews 5:13,14 portion taken from? It is decidedly different from most Formal Equivalent translations, e.g.:

Hebrews 5:11-14 (ASV) "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard of interpretation, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. 12 For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. 13 For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for fullgrown men, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil."


The text isn't disparaging babes in Christ who are needful of the milk of the Word, i.e., the "basic" doctrines of the faith. It is Paul's reprimand to those who have set themselves up as teachers but ignorant of those basic doctrines (false teachers). Thus they need to be instructed in the first principles of God's Word and are therefore not qualified to be teachers.
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#49054 - Friday, August 17, 2012 12:29 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Pilgrim]
Wayne@purpose Offline
Newbie

Registered: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Posts: 33
Loc: Houston Texas
Sorry for delayed response.
Answer to Question 1:
I do not believe knowing the author is important. The better question to ask might be: “Where in the word of God is this saying supported?” The answer to that question is the very next verse in Matthew.

Matt 7:24-25 says: Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, “and” doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and if fell not: for it was founded upon the rock. ASV

The “and” is not there by accident. Would it not be biblical to understand that the purpose of “and” is to let the reader know that Jesus has two expectations here, not just one? The first is to “know” his will by going to his word to hear what he has to say. After knowing his will, the wise man is to “do” his will. Knowing clearly come before doing here.

Also consider Eph 6:5-6 which says: “Servants, be obedient unto them that according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not in the way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” ASV

In this case, would it not be biblical to conclude the heart is the place where we “know” God’s will and would not knowing God’s will come before “doing” God’s will here?

Answer to Question 2:
The meaning of “we need to do God's will before we can become it” can also be seen above in the words of Eph 6:6. Some explanation may be needed to see it.

Consider the wording in 2 Cor 9:7 (Let) each man (do) according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. ASV

Here it is clear that a person can do God’s will with a wrong attitude/heart. This is “doing” without “being”.

Becoming God’s will can also be seen in Rom 12:2 which says:
And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ASV

Notice here that “transformation” comes as a result of doing God’s will (i.e. renewing the mind can happen when we use time to hear, read, memorize or meditate on God’s word). Also notice that the “purpose” of transformation is to “prove what God’s will is”. Is this not becoming God’s will?

Lastly, go back to the house that stands in Matt 7 above. There, the result of knowing and doing is standing. Has not that “standing house” become the will of God?

Answer to Question 3: NIV

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#49055 - Friday, August 17, 2012 3:34 PM Re: What is your understanding of this passage? [Re: Wayne@purpose]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13235
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
Answer to Question 1:
I do not believe knowing the author is important.

It may not be important to you, but it is rather important to me and that's why I asked the question.Therefore, I will ask again who the author is. grin

Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
The better question to ask might be: “Where in the word of God is this saying supported?” The answer to that question is the very next verse in Matthew.

Matt 7:24-25 says: Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, “and” doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and if fell not: for it was founded upon the rock. ASV

The “and” is not there by accident. Would it not be biblical to understand that the purpose of “and” is to let the reader know that Jesus has two expectations here, not just one? The first is to “know” his will by going to his word to hear what he has to say. After knowing his will, the wise man is to “do” his will. Knowing clearly come before doing here.

Although it is certainly true that the 'doers of the Word and not the hearers of the Word' shall be saved (Matt 12:50; Lk 11:28; Rom 2:13; Jam 1:22-25; 1Jh 2:3). The point Jesus' parable here of the two builders is something far more important. The parable contrasts two builders which is typical of the teachings of Christ, i.e., dividing the world into two groups and two groups only (cf. 6:22,23; 7:13,14; 7:17,18; 10:39; 13:11,12,14-16,19-23; 24:30,36-42,47-50; 22:1014; 25:2). Both of these men build houses, which for all intents and purposes look much the same. They use the same materials, put as much effort into constructing them, etc. But the main and critical difference is the foundation upon which they build these houses. The wise (sensible) man built his house upon rock. The foolish man built his house upon sand or gravely ground. The wise man listens to the words of his Lord and then out of a heart of gratitude in response to the salvation given him, puts them into practice. The foolish man, in sheer contrast, heeds not to the words of God but rather listens only to his own voice out of self interest and thinks little of the future. Consequently, when the tests of life come, the foolish man's house is destroyed. However, these earthly tests are but shadows of the great 'test' which is to come; the Final Judgment wherein the wise man is received by God because he is grounded upon the Rock, i.e., Christ and the wise man is rejected because he is without Christ.

Thus, the parable's main thrust isn't upon doing the Word but rather upon being united with the Word, i.e., the Logos; the Lord Christ. The doing of the Word is not an injunction to do but an indicative of what is. The wise are those who have been embraced by Christ and THEREFORE conduct their lives in loving submission to His will.

Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
Also consider Eph 6:5-6 which says: “Servants, be obedient unto them that according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not in the way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” ASV

In this case, would it not be biblical to conclude the heart is the place where we “know” God’s will and would not knowing God’s will come before “doing” God’s will here?

Sorry, but I don't see that as what this passage is saying, i.e., "[i]the heart is the place where we 'know' God's will...
". Paul is setting for the motive behind one's obedience; superficially vs. lovingly (cp. Deut 6:5; 30:20; Matt 22:37; Mk 12:30 and Col 3:22).

I agree with the principle truth that one must know the will of God before one can do the will of God. (cf. Col 1:9,10)

Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
Answer to Question 2:
The meaning of “we need to do God's will before we can become it” can also be seen above in the words of Eph 6:6. Some explanation may be needed to see it.

Consider the wording in 2 Cor 9:7 (Let) each man (do) according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. ASV

Here it is clear that a person can do God’s will with a wrong attitude/heart. This is “doing” without “being”.

Becoming God’s will can also be seen in Rom 12:2 which says:
And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ASV

Notice here that “transformation” comes as a result of doing God’s will (i.e. renewing the mind can happen when we use time to hear, read, memorize or meditate on God’s word). Also notice that the “purpose” of transformation is to “prove what God’s will is”. Is this not becoming God’s will?

Sorry, but I simply do not find the phrase "become God's will" anywhere in Scripture. This is one of the reasons for my asking who the author was, i.e., whether this is an idea that you have created or whether this is something someone else has been preaching/teaching or written in a book.

What I do read in Scripture is that true believers become "holy" (Eph 1:4; 2:10; 1Thess 4:7; Heb 12:10), "conformed to the image of Christ" (Rom 8:29; 13:14; 2Cor 3:18; Col 3:10) and "partakers of the divine nature of Christ" (2Pet 1:4; Jh 1:12; Eph 4:23-24; 1Jh 3:2). In short, we are not becoming God's will but like Christ who is the effulgence of His, God's glory (Jh 1:14; Heb 1:3).

Originally Posted By: Wayne@purpose
Lastly, go back to the house that stands in Matt 7 above. There, the result of knowing and doing is standing. Has not that “standing house” become the will of God?

nope The wise man who built the house upon rock (Christ) is not subject to destruction, either those typological tests in this life but especially the just judgment of God on that last day. It is the foundation that upholds the house and not the materials or design of the house in and of themselves. The passage says nothing of the house (builder) becoming anything, especially "the will of God".
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