CIRCUMCISON and BAPTISM
We Are His Witnesses
A tipping-point Is coming. The media completely ignores what is happening all over the Earth concerning this new awakening. Snopes doesn't even have the word Yahusha in their database. When you type the Name Yahusha it has red squiggles under it, as if it is a misspelled word. You can type "Jesus" and this doesn't happen . . . it's like Nimrod is still running the whole show!
There is an army awakening all over the Earth, and a tipping-point is about to occur. Many "evangelicals" and their pastors are turning to accept Yahusha, and becoming Natsarim.
Keep Googling the Name Yahusha . . . it's the Name that will once again turn the world upside down! Yahusha's Natsarim are being used by the Zombie Hunter Himself, and the Name above all names will bring the final collapse to the reign of Babel.
The Truth will overcome tradition, and we are Yahusha's witnesses that He is Alahim, and no other. https://plus.google.com/+LewWhite10/posts/eLpKoHXZfZR
IMMERSION: OUR PLEDGE (BAPTISM)
Adult men and women enter into the eternal Covenant with the Maker of Heaven and Earth with a simple childlike pledge to obey Yahuah's Covenant of Lovingkindness.
It is the outward sign of accepting Yahuah's offer of eternal life through His free gift of belief, evidenced (perfected) by obedience.
Immersion is an act of accepting the Covenant of Marriage between Yahuah and Yisharal, the point of entry into the citizenship of the nation of Yisharal. Our immersion into Yahusha’s Name, taking the Name of our Bridegroom, brings us into a Covenant relationship with Him, and it’s Yahusha’s act as Mediator to put on our heart (circumcise) a love for His 10 Commandments (the Covenant). This is the Covenant that was once written in stone, but He writes a love for it upon our hearts, in our minds.
At our immersion, we will speak of our love, belief, and obedience; no one else. Others have told us what we needed to hear in order for us to desire to be immersed. Acts chapter 2 allows us to see that the 3000 Yisharalites that were immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins fulfilled what the prophet YahAl (Joel) said, as Kefa/Peter quoted from this prophet. Each called upon the Name of Yahuah in order to be delivered - and that’s what “Yahusha” means, Yah-our-Deliverance.
Fully translated, it means "I am your Deliverer." In the TaNaK, Yahusha is used 216 times, Yahushua 2 times, and "Y'shua" is used once at Neh. chapter 8 - any of these forms are therefore acceptable.
We can perform this act of obedience alone if we must, or others may be present as witnesses; it’s only between the person being immersed and Yahusha. If you were alone on a deserted island and found the Scriptures, you can certainly learn how to live in a way that pleases your maker!
No approval of men is required. No memberships in human organizations, only the Covenant can make you an Yisharalite.
You become a fellow citizen of Yisharal, not Catholicism, Christianity, or any other body (see Eph. 2:8-10).
Our immersion is the point we are begotten from above; a person is being begotten spiritually (receiving the Seed), receiving the Life of Yahusha. On the day of Redemption, when Yahusha comes for us, we will then be born. When we are born in the flesh, we are dead spiritually. Immersion is also the point we vow to our Husband, as Yisharal accepted His Covenant at Sinai. We become betrothed to Him in marriage.
Yahusha brings us His life, and there will be no second death for us.
There’s a saying, (author unknown):
“born once, die twice.”
This is because unless we are begotten of the Spirit, we will die once when our physical body perishes, and when we are resurrected without Yahusha’s life, we will be caste alive into the lake of fire, to die twice!
There is another saying,
die once.” -
Anyone we can help to be born a second time is a
being rescued from oblivion through Yahusha’s redemption, and they will not
receive judgment. Our immersion is the outward sign of our being begotten
Our immersion is the outward sign of our being begotten from above.
The early Natsarim are on record as practicing circumcision, and rightly so; FOR THEIR INFANT MALE CHILDREN. This is completely correct, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There is not a record of the early Natsarim circumcising ADULTS. Look at Galatians 2:3,4:
"But not even Titus who was with me, though a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. But as for the false brothers, sneakingly brought in, who sneaked in to spy out our freedom which we have in Mashiak Yahusha, in order to enslave us, to these we did not yield in subjection, not even for an hour, so that the truth of the Good News remains with you." The book of Galatians is all about circumcision.
The point Paul is making here clearly holds up Titus as a prime example on this topic, and we will see later that he refers to the discussion over circumcision (in flesh) as discussed with the "pillars" in Yerushaliyim (recalling Acts 15).
Later in the letter, at Galatians 3:2-5, Paul clearly chides those who "suffered in vain" over this matter, saying:
"Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, do you now perfect yourself in the flesh? If indeed it also was vainly? . . . is it by works of law, or by hearing of amunah?" Gal. 3:3-5 (amunah = trust, faith, fidelity, steadfastness)
Gal 5:2-6: "Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Mashiak will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Mashiak; you have fallen away from favor. But by belief we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Mashiak Yahusha neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value."
ESPECIALLY FOR GENTILES: Acts 15 should be read entirely, but notice this part: "Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your lives, to whom we gave no command -- it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabah and Paul, men who have given up their lives for the Name of our Master Yahusha Mashiak. We have therefore sent Yahudah and Sila, who are also confirming this by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Set-apart Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessities: that you abstain from what is offered to idols, and blood, and what is strangled, and whoring. If you keep yourselves from these, you shall do well.
Be strong!" Acts 15:24-29.
Men were trying to make adult males get circumcised.
All of the believers in Yahusha are instructed to undergo an immersion, called now a baptism, which is the beginning or birth of our obedience, evidence of our turning away from sin (repentance), after we have been convicted of our lawless life without Torah. The Torah has shown us what a sin is, and now we are ready to wash them away, through belief in the shed blood of Yahusha of Natsarith. Any body of water can be used; the Hebrew term is MIKVA. A pool, bathtub, stream, ocean, river, or jacuzzi are all fine. You can't clean up for it either - you go in as a sinner, believing Yahusha raised from the dead. Traditionally, a mikva is a place to wash away uncleanness, as a woman would bath after her monthly cycle before having contact with her husband. Likewise, our “Husband” doesn’t wish contact with us until we have washed away our past sins (ignoring Torah). Our immersion is an outward sign of our commitment to obey from that point on, and the New Covenant promises the Spirit (our helper, Paraklita) which writes the Torah (Covenant, marriage vows to obey) on our hearts. This pledge identifies us with His Name, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead. At 1Peter 3:18-22, Kefa (Peter) states that the 8 persons on the ark were also saved through water, and that water symbolizes our immersion that now saves us. Those who came through the water fleeing Pharaoh came through the sea, along with foreigners. This engrafts us into the commonwealth of Yisharal (Yisharal), and we are covenanting (marrying) the Alahim of Yisharal: Yahuah. All were saved through water. Immersion is our outward sign of a good conscience toward Yahuah, and our dipping (baptein, tivila) represents our circumcision, carefully notice Kol. 2:11,12:
“In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men, but with the circumcision done by Mashiak, having been buried with Him in (baptism) and raised with Him through your faith in the power of Yahuah Who raised Him from the dead.”
When we enter into the Covenant, who is with us is of no consequence.
It's between you and the One that made you, Yahusha. You enter into the
bond of marriage with Him through immersion, just as the 3000 did at Shabuoth (or "Pentecost") as recorded by Luke at Acts 2. Shabuoth, in fact, is Yisharal's wedding anniversary, since the Bride (Yisharal, Yisharal) promised to obey the Covenant at Sinai ~ and it was also for those "not present."
Ephesians 2 shows us that we who were far off, strangers to the Covenants, were "at one time" Gentiles in the flesh. Once going through the waters and promising to obey the Covenant, we become Yisharal, and are no longer Gentiles.
The Covenant determines our relationship.
If we should ever depart from obeying the Covenant, then like Yisharal of old, we become "cut off" and are no longer Yisharal. The act of immersion into Yahusha's Name is personal, not corporate, and we become identified by our Husband, calling upon His Name for salvation.
Who is holding our hand at the time could not matter less, but we need to be the one saying the words, not a by-stander (like a pastor proclaiming "I baptise you. . . ")
It's only about Yahusha and the one entering the water. If you were alone on a deserted island, there would be no problem in the least.
We enter the Covenant one at a time, and stand or fall all on our own.
Feeling comforted by the presence of any others may be normal, but it's irrelevant. A mikvah may be any body of water, even a bathtub. I've used a horse trough, a bathtub, a creek, and a lake - they all get people very wet.
After it's done, we simply obey and teach others to obey, knowing we are a very special First -fruits" group within Yisharal, called the Natsarim. We both "obey the Commandments of Yahuah, AND hold to the testimony of Yahusha." Corrupt teachings will "leaven" the WHOLE lump, Yisharal.
Obviously, not comprehending these things at the time of one’s immersion, a person will need to do it properly (even if alone). We should probably also consider calling on the correct Name. An infant cannot possibly be capable of knowing what is happening. Immersion is an act of your own personal will; You covenant with Yahusha, and it is your heart (inner spirit, the seat of your will) that He circumcises with a love for His Torah. Our immersion is the moment we personally pledge ourselves to Yahusha, and enter into the renewed Covenant in His blood. He is our Maker, and He writes His Torah on our hearts, explained at Jer. 31:31-33, and quoted at Hebrews chapters 8 & 10. It's operation is explained in Romans chapters 6, 7, & 8.
I'm still teaching to be circumcised on the 8th day after birth, but for converting adult males that circumcision to be performed by Yahusha on us, not man. We must submit to His Spirit, or we are doomed because we do not belong to Him. Our immersion seals us for the day of redemption.
The fleshly circumcision merely points to the REAL circumcision, that of our heart. Many liberal preachers misunderstand Paul's comments regarding homosexuality (i.e., Romans 1:26,27, 1 Co. 6:9), so it is not surprising that people also misunderstand him concerning circumcision.
CIRCUMCISION and IMMERSION
Question to Lew from Australia: "I have a question for you, and hope you can help. Some of the new believers here are wondering about circumcision. I know that you say that it is of the heart and I agree with you. [One of the books that Torah Institute distributes teaches that circumcision] is for today. So, there is a little bit of confusion in my mind about this subject. If it is for today how does a man go about it, as surely it cannot be done just surgically; there would have to be some sort of ceremony. I know this is a difficult subject; sorry to dump this one on you."
Lew's Response: "On adult physical circumcision, most understand the "perpetual" aspect of this covenant-sign as being the physical, man-made activity in the flesh. Without naming any names, there are several Natsarim/Nazarene/messianic leaders who come to mind. These men differ in their understanding of adult circumcision than I do, and both sides of this debate probably hope the other will come over to their view eventually. The writings of Paul seem to solidify us both into our fixed opinions, but it is my continuing prayer that there will be an eventual reconciliation. The reason Torah Institute continues to distribute works that do not completely agree with our views is that, apart from some specific issues, we find they hold a lot of other good teaching value We are not a bully-pulpit, and do not censor what others believe or say. No one knows what errors they have, but as more Truth is revealed we should all move from our former inaccuracies and embrace it.
As you know, it is my view that the council of believers and elders at Acts 15 reviewed this issue concerning the Gentiles turning to Alahim.
The ones who want to boast in one's flesh see the 4 beginning elements for Gentiles to observe at Acts 15, and assume they will hear Mosheh read in the synagogues and then have themselves circumcised eventually - in their flesh. Circumcision is still, I believe, to be done for our infant males; but our adult circumcision is now done by Yahusha, and is pictured in our immersion; "not with a circumcision done by the hands of men."
We see in the texts surrounding Acts 21:21 that Paul's teaching concerning infant male children and Gentile adult males were carefully being examined by the believing elders at Yerushalyim, and that there was some distinction made between the requirements for newborn male children and believing Gentile adult males.
The condition of one's flesh is not going to count for anything, and it is not through human effort that we are called, chosen, and delivered.
Our immersion into water is the outward sign of the circumcision of our heart, by Mashiak. The Covenants have signs associated with them, and immersion is the identifying sign or mark of the Brit Chadasha, Re-newed Covenant. Romans 2:25-29 are verses so important to notice, since we can see that it is really the heart where our real decision must come from:
"For circumcision indeed profits if you practice the Torah, but if you are a transgressor of the Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So, if an uncircumcised one watches over the righteousnesses of the Torah, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned as circumcision? And the uncircumcised by nature (physically), who perfects the Torah, shall judge you, who notwithstanding letter and circumcision, are a transgressor of the Torah! For he is not a Yahudi who is so outwardly, neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh (see that?). But a Yahudi is he who is so inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in Spirit, not literally, whose praise is not from men, but from Alahim." (Explanation continues into Romans 3).
1 Kor. 7:19 and Kol. 2:11 should give anyone pause who seeks to have their flesh circumcised, thinking Yahauh will count our flesh as anything. Gal. 5:12 says, "O that those who disturb you would even cut themselves off!" Paul was really hot about this adult male circumcision issue. The whole book of Galatians is about this "law", addressed to the Gentiles there who being misguided to put their hope in the wrong understanding of the New Covenant. Romans 4:11,12 show clearly that our faith is our justification, and even this is not of ourselves.
"Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. The circumcision (of the flesh) is naught, and the uncircumcision (of the flesh) is naught, but the guarding of the Commands of Alahim. Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called." 1Kor. 7:18-20 - What matters is the guarding of Yahuah's Commands.
Kol. 2:11-13: "In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision NOT MADE WITH HANDS, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by THE CIRCUMCISION OF Mashiak, having been buried with Him in IMMERSION, in which you also were raised with Him through the belief in the working of Alahim, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." This act of immersion is clearly what represents our circumcision as the outward sign or act of our faith now, indicating the circumcision of Mashiak. Men boasting in one anothers' flesh are missing the whole spiritual point. If we have received Yahusha's Spirit, we are His, and He has circumcised our hearts with our love for the Truth, a love for His Torah.
If you have been circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, you're done. Nothing you can do can improve on what Yahusha has done.
This question of circumcising adult males is addressed at Acts 15:
"And certain men came down from Yahudah and were teaching the brothers. 'Unless you are circumcised, according to the practice of Mosheh, you are unable to be saved.'"
This was debated thoroughly, and if you read the 15th chapter of Acts you will quickly learn the truth concerning this matter. Fully grown Gentile men need not be physically circumcised; however engrafting into Yisharal, they should obey by having their male children circumcised 8 days after birth. This is good to do; however in the light of all the evidence, even if this is not done there is hardly any way to claim it will ever threaten one's salvation. On the other hand, if a Messianic adult male is circumcised, that is also no major deal; the only purpose it could serve is to satisfy flesh-boasting men (see Acts 16, and the circumstances of Timothy's circumcision).
When Kefa (Peter) went into the home of Cornelius (Acts 10), he was criticized later (Acts 11) for having gone into the presence of "uncircumcised men" and eaten with them. Notice that Kefa recommended that the household of Cornelius be immersed (the outward sign of the circumcision of the heart), rather than circumcising their flesh. Kefa commanded that they be immersed, not circumcised, because our immersion is the outward sign that our hearts have been circumcised. Kol. 2:11,12: “In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men, but with the circumcision done by Mashiak, having been buried with Him in (baptism) and raised with Him through your faith in the power of Yahuah Who raised Him from the dead.”
I was physically circumcised in my flesh as a baby, and my boys were also, and this is right; the early Natsarim also practiced circumcision. This did not change our heart condition at all. Fleshly circumcision has health benefits too, but I still feel it is right to obey the physical command for our new-born males as we are believers. What the Torah teaches should not be ignored. But, if an uncircumcised adult repents and turns to Torah, I would never recommend them to be physically obliged to do this, when the writings clearly express it is nothing, and our immersion takes care of it as our outward covenant sign of circumcision of the heart. Paul declared that he would have those who disturbed the new Gentile believers with circumcision of the flesh should emasculate themselves, completely cut off everything (Gal. 5:12). Biting and devouring one another over these things is very wrong, so I don't involve myself in these disputes, knowing the end will be controversy and division (which Yahuah hates). Those of the other opinion are working through these matters, and still have much to learn -- as do we all.
As YaAqob says, we all stumble in many matters.
We are the workmanship of Yahusha, as we see at Ephesians 2:8-12, and this text explains that those "formerly Gentile" (they are no longer Gentile) called the "uncircumcision" by the "circumcision" are brought near through the blood of Mashiak:
"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh, who are CALLED 'the uncircumcision' by what is CALLED 'the circumcision' made in the flesh by hands, that at that time you were without Mashiak, excluded from the citizenship of Yisharal and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Alahim in the world. But now in Mashiak Yahusha you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Mashiak." Eph. 2:11-13
There are many other texts that show that works by our hands cannot save - so even here Paul is once again being misunderstood concerning obedience. He's referring to the circumcision made by the hands of men when he is talking about "works" not saving us.
Kol. 2:16 needs to be looked at in various translations; the easiest one to read the "added" words is the KJV, since they italicize the words they have added. The "Body of Mashiak" is all it should say, not "the Body (is) of Christ". Anyway, Paul (Paul) is referring to the food, drink, festivals (appointed High Shabaths for instance), new moons, and Shabaths as things which are "a shadow of things to come". He is not saying they are annulled as the NIV footnotes will claim they are. For example, if you consider the book Luke wrote we call Acts, the word Shabath is used often; and this record to Theophilis was written in 28 chapters, 31 years after the resurrection and ascension of Yahusha. You'll see situations describing "Gentiles" in the synagogues "on the Shabath day", hearing the Torah and prophets read aloud, because the vast majority of attendees were in fact Gentiles who were converts, and were learning.
The use of the word shadow implies that these things will become clearer realities in our understanding of them one day. The reality or substance that the "shadow" they are casting now involves must be of extremely great importance, so it would be very unwise to dismiss them as "mere shadows" -- and Paul even said they represented shadows of "what is to come". They are here to teach us something, they are not here for us to cast them aside.
Galatians -- a book often referred to as "proof" that
we are not obliged to obey the Commandments! Gal 5:6-12:
"For in Mashiak Yahusha neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 'A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.' I am confident in the Master that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the stake has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!"
Paul was still teaching circumcision, but that circumcision done by Mashiak, not by the hands of men. Translations of Paul can be confusing, but basically the book of Galatians is speaking about one thing: circumcision of the flesh. Paul opens and closes with it (2:3, 2:7, 2:8, 2:9, 2:12, 5:3, 5:6, 5:11, 6:12, 6:13, 6:15). Paul is still preaching circumcision, but it is the circumcision of Mashiak, "not with a circumcision done by the hands of men" (Kol. 2:11). This is so misunderstood -- "the law" of circumcision (of the flesh) is what Paul is talking about; he is not in any way referring to the Covenant, the moral laws which define sin. We are circumcised by the Spirit of Yahusha in our hearts, and you should read more on this to explain it thoroughly by examining Romans 2:28, 29, 1 Kor. 7:19, Kol. 2:11-13. Our circumcision is of and by the Spirit of Yahusha, not made with hands; the outward act of obedience representing our circumcision is our immersion (baptism). But, our circumcision is done to us by Yahusha, in our heart, when He writes His Commandments on our heart. This is the Re-newed Covenant. Our obedience to His Commandments is an outward sign that we love Him, but it also proves that we are being saved by Him -- it's evidence of our salvation, and His work in us. When we realize He's is IN us, we can love His Commandments and obey them out of love. When we love Him enough to obey Him, He will write them on our hearts. Those who will not obey Him will not receive His Spirit (Acts 5:32). "He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination." Proverbs 28:9.
"Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My Torah; do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their revilings." Is. / YashaYahu 51:7.
A brother recently asked a very good question:
Shalom, I just read most of the teaching on circumcision & then I eventually skimmed through it searching for the verse regarding where Paul had Timotheous circumcised because of the Jews (Yahudim) that were in that town. What is the understanding on that verse?
First, let's consider the contents of Acts 16:3:
From what we see in this verse, it's clear that Paulos took Timothy and performed a circumcision on him.
The reason given was because of the Yahudim that lived in that area, who all knew about Timothy's Greek father.
Then, immediately, the text explains they delivered the "regulations" to observe which were decided by the emissaries and elders at Yerushaliyim, from the previous chapter 15 of Acts.
Paul seems to have received a "revelation" on this matter concerning Gentiles LATER, which I'll show you in a moment.
There's a clear contradiction in what Paul did with Timothy, and what was decided at Acts 15, and what Paul wrote on the subject of circumcision (of adult males) later.
Just one example of many is here in Galatians:
"Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?
Have you suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain."
I have no explanation for Paul's action in the case of Timothy, when he clearly presented the fact that Titus did not become circumcised, other than Paul's own admission that he received a "revelation" concerning this matter among the Gentiles, and changed his policy:
"I went in response to a revelation and set before them the (good message) that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.
Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. [This matter arose] because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in (Mashiak Yahusha) and to make us slaves."
From myjewishlearning.com we get a glimpse of the tradition vs. the Torah on circumcision:
"Actually, there is no explicit commandment in the Torah requiring circumcision (or immersion) for proselytes [although this requirement is certainly implied in the text, for example, in the story of Dina and Shechem in Genesis 34]. The Talmud--the Oral Law--is where the laws and debates about initiation rites are found." Perhaps Yahusha, knowing this initiation needed to shift a bit from the Oral Law's method, simply made it simple for the adult proselytes. His yoke is truly much lighter than the weights expected by the "traditions of the fathers", the Talmud, or Oral Law.
The unbelieving Yahudim (those who do not have a faith in Yahusha of Natsarith) have long-standing traditions concerning conversion. From Ohr Somayach Institute in Jerusalem, Yisharal, Conversion is discussed at "Ask The Rabbi", quoted here: What does the conversion process involve? It requires that the non-Jew go through a re-enactment of the revelation at Mt. Sinai. As Maimonides writes: "The Yisharalites entered into the covenant with three things; circumcision, immersion, and sacrifices. Circumcision was performed in Egypt, as it is written 'and all uncircumcised (males) shall not eat of it (the paschal lamb).' Immersion (purification) was performed in the desert before the giving of the Torah, as it is written 'and you shall sanctify yourselves today and tomorrow.' And at this time sacrifices were also brought...So too for all generations, a gentile who wishes to enter into the covenant, to find shelter under the wings of the Shekinah (Divine Presence) and to accept upon himself the yoke of Torah, requires circumcision, immersion and acceptance of a sacrifice (at the time of the Temple)."
"There are three basic components to the contemporary conversion process: Circumcision (for males), immersion in a mikveh and as Maimonides mentions, the acceptance of the 'yoke of Torah.'" http://ohr.edu/ask/ask205.htm All we must do now is follow what was decided as recorded at ACTS 15. Read carefully this entire chapter, and then chapter 21 (also, Acts 10 & 11 are vital to notice how Peter dealt with spirit-filled Gentiles). Isn't it interesting that that word "yoke" is used by our Jewish brethren above, in relation to the conversion of proselytes? Yahusha makes that "yoke" light, because He writes it upon our hearts so that we love His Commandments. Yahusha is our circumcisor (in our heart), and we declare our belief in His sacrifice for our sins at our immersion - so all three "requirements" are present at our immersion. And the most wondrous thing -- WE become the Temple of Yahuah as His children who believe and have Yahusha in them. Next, let's talk about that "Temple", and the text surrounding it at Yehezqel 44:9
The passage at Yehezqel 44:9 is part of a body of laws relating only to one thing: the House of Yahuah. Note Yehezqel 44:5 as this text relates to the House of Yahuah. 1 Kings 8:16-18 shows that Yahuah did not ask anyone to build a Temple for His Name; Da'ud (Daud) had it in HIS heart to do so. Yahuah would not allow Daud to do this, and Shalomoh was the one who gave the orders to build the structure. Yahuah chose Shalomoh for the work of building, but the idea of building it was entirely of human origin. The Temple is now gone forever. We are the Temple of Yahuah, built by Him, without human hands. No hands can possibly improve on it. There won't be a Temple in the New Yerushalyim either:
"I did not see a temple in the city, because Yahuah Al Shaddai and the Lamb are its temple." Rev 21:22-23
The priesthood and the House of Yahuah have both passed (Hebrews 8), and what remains is solely the workmanship of Mashiak (Ephesians 2). The first and second Temples were both made with the "hands of men", and circumcision of the flesh is also done by the "hands of men". To trust in the circumcision of the flesh would now be trampling underfoot both the blood of Yahusha and His work in changing our hearts. Our male children must be circumcised because that is the Torah, however new adult male converts do not trust in their salvation by the "old brith" (old cutting). This issue is dealt with in detail at Acts 15 for all to know. Our immersion act is our "brith" now, and our hearts are circumcised by Yahusha. There will be no "flesh" inheriting the Kingdom of Yahuah, so the sign of the land covenant, circumcision, is seen in our hearts now; Yahusha changed us, not a knife.
IMMERSION, ALONE OR WITH OTHERS PRESENT
It's always a good thing when others are present for an immersion, but it's not required. It's Yahusha we are entering into the Covenant with, so all that is important is for Him to be present. Nor does it matter in the least whether others present happen to be men or women, or whether they are newly immersed themselves, or elders in the belief in Yahusha. Being new, the repentant person would consider everyone to be an "elder" in relation to themselves. If you were on a deserted island, you could read the Scriptures and enter the water to accept Yahuah's Covenant, calling on the Name of Yahusha for the forgiveness of all sin, and promising (covenanting with) Him to obey His teachings, the Torah. Since our act of going into the water, pronouncing our belief, and calling on Yahusha for salvation is not done by anyone but us, we don't even need anyone else around to enter into the Covenant with Yahusha. What someone else says has no relevance - by OUR words we will we judged, not the declarations of another in our place. Whoever may be with us at the time doesn't have to move or utter a sound. They are only witnessing the act; but if Yahusha is there, that's enough. It's between Him and us, and we're giving ourselves to Him -- no one else. We could be on a deserted island and still enter into this Covenant. Our immersion is the event that marks our entry into the Covenant with Yahusha, and it only requires about 1 minute, and enough water to cover you - a bathtub will do (it's a mikvah). At the point of coming up from the water, we are Yisharal, and "formerly" Gentile.
When I entered the waters to give myself to Yahusha, I had already been immersed into the false name by a Christian pastor. When I learned that His Name was not hey-horse (hay-samek-uau-samek, or HESUS, meaning "the horse" in Hebrew), I immediately felt compelled to do it correctly. I went to a creek in the dead of winter. It was about 20 degrees outside, but I found a place several feet deep and waded out and called upon Him for forgiveness, and salvation. The only human present was my young son Michael. Others present are irrelevant, so if I were you I'd delay no longer and just do it. A bathtub will certainly suffice. Some get hung-up on whether or not the water is moving or not. A traditional "miqvah" is no different than a bathtub - the water is channeled into them from "wadis", and stored during the drought periods.
Read Acts 2, and notice the Name that we are to call on is Yahusha.
The "Name" (singular) of the Father, Son, and Ruach ha'Qodesh is one name: Yahusha, because YAH is our Deliverer, and there is no other Savior coming but the One Who comes in the Name of Yahuah.
LAYING ON OF THE HANDS
You can immerse yourself, but it is my advice to find another believer to attend; if only to discuss what it is that you are doing. An elder is not required to be present, and anyone can and should assist others with their immersion. We are ALL to assist others in their immersion, but this is more importantly to teach them about it, rather than any necessity of being present when the act occurs. Marriages have been conducted with only the two people present, calling Heaven and Earth as witnesses. And, your immersion IS A MARRIAGE EVENT - you are covenanting with Yahusha, AND JOINING Yisharal, THE OLIVE TREE. It is a "BRITH" to be more accurate. (Brith is Hebrew for covenant, and is the same term used for a circumcision event). After immersion, you should seek to have an elder’s hands laid upon your head, reciting the priestly blessing which places the Name of Yahuah on you (Num. 6:22-27). At this point, you may bring others to the water, after they have repented and wish to die to sin, and live a Torah-loving life. The students (disciples) of Rabbi Yahusha did this, but He immersed no one ~ it is our duty to make converts and immerse them into His Name. At the time of the laying on of hands, you will receive a greater “measure” of Yahusha’s Spirit, or gifts; not that the man touching your head has any “power” of his own, but rather by your obedience, our Beloved Yahusha witnesses your actions; and brings you an increase in His power. Do you feel driven to the water now? This knowledge is free, and the Kingdom of Yahuah is not a thing to “go” to, because it is in our hearts, unseen. We are the set-apart (qodesh) “Temple”, not a building dedicated to the financial plundering of the lost. I was immersed in a creek here in Louisville, with only my 8-year-old son present, when I was 39 years old. The person I was before died that day, and I was born. I had been immersed as a baby, and by a Christian minister a couple of years before, but I called on Yahusha when he said Jesus. He looked pretty shocked when I said it. But, I did it again myself in the creek, because I felt disturbed over the other situation. The Blood of the Lamb covers our sins, but we inherit eternal life by the resurrection of Yahusha ~ which is what our immersion pictures. Although my son and I were the only people present at the creek, I felt the presence of Yahuah, and other beings in His presence who witnessed my immersion. You will also, when you obey, and undertake this circumcision. You only need the approval of Yahusha, not me or anyone else. Romans chaps. 7 & 8 are a must-read! Read the whole context without a lawless mind. The secret is unlocked for you. Paul explains the whole struggle with sin, and how we, with the Spirit, delight in Yahuah ’s Torah in our inner being. The “law” is spiritual; but while we remain in an unspiritual condition, it produces death. The law was created to produce LIFE, but can only do so if we become spirit-minded by having Mashiak in us, destroying our sinful, lawless nature.
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to Yahuah. IT DOES NOT SUBMIT TOYAHUAH'S TORAH, NOR CAN IT DO SO. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please Yahuah. You, however, are controlled NOT by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit, IF THE SPIRIT OF Yahuah LIVES IN YOU. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Mashiak, he does not belong to Mashiak.” Rom. 8:5-9.
Notice how men have waffled on things over the centuries:
Anabaptist A member of one of the radical movements of the Reformation that insisted that only adult baptism was valid and held that the Christians should not bear arms, use force, or hold government office. Name means “one who is re-baptized”. Greek, ana = again + baptein = to dip.
Mennonite A member of a Protestant Christian sect opposed to baptism, taking oaths, holding public office, or performing military service. German Mennoit, after Menno Simons (1492-1559), religious reformer.
Amish An orthodox US Anabaptist sect that separated from the Mennonites in the late 17th century. German, amisch, after Jacob Amman, 17th century Swiss Mennonite bishop.
“I fed you with milk and not with solid food, for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is envy, and strife, and divisions among you, are you not fleshly and walking according to man? For when one says, “I am of Sha’ul,” and another “I am of Apollos,” are you not fleshly? What then is Apollos, and what is Sha’ul, but servants through whom you believed, as the Master assigned to each? I planted, Apollos watered, but Alahim was giving growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is any at all, but Alahim who gives the increase. And he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are fellow workers of Alahim, you are the field of Alahim, the building of Alahim.
According to the favor of Alahim which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But each one should look how he builds on it.
For no one is able to lay any other foundation except that which is laid, which is Yahusha Mashiak.
And if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work shall be revealed, for the day shall show it up, because it is revealed by fire. And the fire shall prove the work of each one, what sort it is. And if anyone’s work remains, which he has built on, he shall receive a reward.
If anyone’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire.” 1 Kor. 3:2-15
ACTS 15 - No Small Dispute
Acts 15 states that there was "no small dispute" between those who taught fleshly circumcision was necessary, and Paul; but I would prefer to not get carried away with disputing it any further when it's obvious to me which way to lean on it. There will be both kinds of people in the world-to-come: those who died with a fleshly circumcision, and those who did not have a fleshly circumcision. They will not argue about fleshly circumcision then, so we must not debate it now either. The dispute is more with Scripture, and how to interpret this issue without twisting the meanings. The "sign" of the Abrahamic Covenant was formerly fleshly circumcision, and now the "sign" of the re-newed Covenant in Mashiak's blood is our immersion, the circumcision done by Mashiak Yahusha. Yes, the act of immersion is how we are identified with Yahusha's death, burial, and resurrection, and those who are immersed are saved through the simple process of being obedient to this Covenant. You must choose which Covenant, and sign, you wish to be put under. Galatians 4:24 speaks allegorically of the circumcision of the flesh, and the circumcision of the Spirit as two Covenants (one Sinai/slave/Hagar, the other the New Jerusalem).
Acts 15 is the lightning-rod text for every Gentile convert to understand. Reading it slowly, we can feel the heat that Paul must have generated over a highly controversial issue of that time: circumcision of the flesh. Adult males were being told by some from Yahudah (southern region of Yisharal) that they had to be physically circumcised in order to be saved! The text also explains that these men "went out from us" and they "troubled you with words, unsettling your lives, to whom we gave no command" ACTS 15:24-29. Paul was blowing a gasket over this, and they decided to take the issue to the emissaries at Yerushalyim, speaking to brothers like Ya'aqob, Kefa, and Yahuchanon, and the rest of the believers and elders there. The outcome was decided, and still today we have disputes over it. Just open and read the opening verses of Acts 15, and it will be evident what was going on.
The main subject of Paul's letter to the Galatians is the "law" of circumcision. At Galatians 5, Paul contrasts the "free" (heavenly Yerushalyim) with the bond or slave (physical Yerushalyim), which was at that time in bondage as he explained. The reference to Mt. Sinai being the slave woman Hagar was an allegory of the flesh, because under fleshly circumcision the Covenant was administered with all sorts of human effort, through a priesthood that was passing away. Those born of the flesh (Sinai, slave) were given a circumcision of the flesh; and these persecute those of us born of the Spirit, the children of promise, circumcised by Mashiak, not by mens' hands. True, there is only one Torah, the Covenant 10 Words, we all agree; however the administration of that Covenant (Melckizedek priesthood, our belief in Yahusha's blood atonement, etc.,.) is radically superior in fundamental ways. Our Mashiak circumcises our hearts by the action of His Spirit in us, and our immersion is the outward mark or sign of entering into this Covenant with Him personally, not with a knife circumcising our flesh.
Gal 5:2-6: "Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Mashiak will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Mashiak; you have fallen away from favour. But by belief we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Mashiak Yahusha neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value."
The Circumcision of our hearts by Yahusha
It's a bit conflicted for us to read that there is a law forever, then later find that it has been set aside in the older form, and altered to apply in a new way.
This is the key to understand these things; the law remains intact, however there has been an alteration to allow for Yahusha to personally perform the circumcision for adult males now. In another way, we no longer slaughter animals to make payments for our sins, nor do we bake bread or make drink offerings. Yahusha has superceded or lifted these to point out a very important factor that most overlook in the details:
It's not about what we do, but what He has done, and all we are expected to do is accept Him.
At Gan Eden, mankind incurred an infinite debt.
To point out the hopelessness of ever paying it, Yahuah instituted "payments" toward that debt, like interest, but nothing was ever applied to the principle balance.
These payments took to form of slaughtering innocent animals, year by year.
The penalty (payments) of death also meant that mankind had lost eternal life - something Adam and Kuah had, but had lost.
The promise of eternal life is offered to those who acknowledge and accept that Yahuah stepped-up and paid the principle debt Himself, out of love alone.
When we attempt to perfect our condition ourselves, not recognizing that Yahusha has performed the most perfecting circumcision of all, we show our contempt for Yahusha alone making us righteous, and by our actions we declare that His work is inadequate.
"Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, (Mashiak) will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from (Mashiak); you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope."
1 Kor. 7:18-20
"Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called?
He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping Alahim's commands is what counts. Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when Alahim called him."
These texts apply to adult converts that were not circumcised at birth.
The hands of men cannot impute righteousness, but the circumcision of Yahusha can.
In most cases, those who understand the act of immersing in Yahusha's Name more completely have already received the indwelling of His Spirit. Their hearts have been circumcised by Him, so they love to study and obey His Torah. The love of the Covenant (Ten Words) consumes them, and their primary desire is to obey them out of love for Him, and to teach others what they mean, and the fruit they bear.
To fulfill (obey, complete) all righteousness, Yahusha has asked us to make a simple physical step using water, through which we initiate our commitment verbally to Him and His Covenant. Several things are in operation during the few moments that we speak to Him and go under the water. Yahusha sees the beginning, when He created the Heavens and the Earth out of water (Kefa / Peter alludes to this). Out of that water He brought forth dry land, from which all life was to proceed. He made another new beginning during the flood of Noak, 1656 years later, using 8 beings He had found "perfect" in their genetic make up. The fallen ones, Nephilim, had polluted the gene pool through the rebellious sons of Alahim who had left their first estate and mated with human women.
At this point, YodHayUauHay (YHUH, Yahuah) made a Covenant with all flesh to never destroy every living thing with water, and provided a SIGN of that Covenant, the bow of rain, to remind Him of that Covenant. Later, Yahuah's chosen nation, Yisharal, was brought through water with Mosheh upon their immediate departure from Shatan's government of captivity in Mitsrayim (Egypt). After going through the waters of yam suph (sea of reeds), Yisharal entered into the eternal Covenant with Yahuah at Sinai. Yisharal (Yisharal) proceeded to struggle with obedience to this Covenant, but through the redemption plan of Yahuah they slowly but surely grew into a company of NATIONS throughout the Earth. They forgot who they were (the vast majority), and only a small
remnant was spared to preserve the Words of Yahuah- we call them "Jews" today. Still, 90% of them were lost in the nations, since only 10% of them returned from the 70-year captivity in Babylon. Yahusha's Spirit in His Natsarim is calling to His lost sheep hidden in all the nations today, to return to His eternal Covenant. The Covenant which promises the LAND possession given to the 12 tribes of Yisharal is the circumcision of the flesh.
Since Yahusha has re-initiated the priesthood of Melckizedek, our King of Righteousness, He operates in our minds and hearts, CIRMCUMCISING them with His re-newed Covenant (YirmeYahu 31). The re-gathering of the lost tribes of Yisharal (to the Covenant) is taking place today.
When you enter into this Covenant, it is not by the hands of men, as in the former Covenant of circumcision.
Mashiak Yahusha is the One you are Covenanting with, and men are not involved in this intimate agreement between you and Him, the one Who made you, and the spirit within you. The men merely "guide" or instruct the
candidate for immersion, but they are not otherwise important or necessary for the Covenant act to proceed. I was alone, with my young son, when I went into the waters calling on the Name of Yahusha for salvation.
Yahusha was there, and that's all that mattered. He is the Anointed One who anoints each of us; we cannot anoint one another as He does, since it is only by His life that we are sustained. Distance between the Natsarim today is not an obstacle for Yahusha, but it is a source of doubt for us when we think He is limited and has to use only human means to accomplish His marvelous work (ministry).
In conclusion, we must put 100% of our trust in Yahusha, and 0% in human involvement. We are vessels of clay through which He speaks and acts however, but intrinsically we have no worthiness without His direct involvement. Having said all this, you can take the step of immersing yourself alone, with or without human witnesses, in any body of water.
A bathtub or small pool is adequate. Some have misgivings because they don't see these as "living waters" as the Yarden River is; but they actually are, because the water comes in and then leaves the mikvah. It's not about the moving waters, it is only about the fact that it is water, and that His child is obeying Him. When you go into the water, the person you were dies, and a new creation emerges, and this is being re-born from above, by the Spirit of Yahusha.
The term sons of Alahim implies children of Alahim, so our gender is unimportant.
The sons of Alahim are those who are DIRECT creations of Yahuah; like the angels, Adam, and Yahusha Who is the only ' begotten Son of Alahim Yahuah. You and I were not born as children of Alahim by DIRECT action, but by the will of man (our earthly parent).
But, we have the opportunity to BECOME children of Alahim through the Covenant of Yahuah, through the water which Yahusha has commanded that we pass through. Our re-birth is accomplished by the calling and circumcision of Yahusha -- Yahusha is our Creator.
We cannot go to, or see, the Kingdom, because it is in us.
We are family because we are all children of one Father, Yahuah.
We are all to teach the Covenant, and immersion into the Name. When you come out of the water of your immersion, whether alone or with witnesses, you are a citizen of Yisharal, and are brought near. You will notice that those obedient foreigners mentioned in Scripture are referred to as being "formerly Gentiles" -- but they are no longer Gentiles. We are Yisharal in every way, as if we were "native born" (YashaYahu 56, YirmeYahu 3, Ephesians 3, Acts 15).
You can't clean-up for your immersion, it's what we go through to get cleaned-up. At the moment we come up from the water, Yahusha's precious blood through His perfect offering has cleansed us, and we are brand-new in His sight. Then, go and sin no more; obey and teach others to obey all that He commanded us to obey; including immersion. It's not just the job of "elders" to help people gain enough understanding for their immersion. By helping them, you will have them to bring with you to show Yahusha how you invested the "minas" He entrusted to your care. We certainly don't need the permission or approval of any man, group, organized theological apparatus, or human council. By what authority do you do these things? That's a good question; and those who are called by Yahusha know the answer.
Did Paul "annul" the law of circumcision? The answer is so simple that it escapes most people.
Those adult Gentiles who have converted to serve Yahuah are no longer Gentiles, but have become the "workmanship of Yahusha" as we understand Ephesians 2:8-13 to say. The "commonwealth of Yisharal" is broadened to include these "former Gentiles" and it is not through human works (the hands of men) that they become so. We are not saved by the "works" of men's hands, but rather by the unmerited loving-kindness of the Spirit of Yahusha Who circumcises the heart. And the understanding of the circumcision of the heart (with the love of Torah, the Covenant) by Yahusha's Spirit is the HEART of what the "renewed" Covenant actually is.
(Review Hebrews chapters 8 & 10, which quote YirmeYahu (Jer.) 31, concerning the renewed Covenant).
To believe that the physical alteration of the flesh has any bearing on our salvation makes the work of Yahusha seem incomplete or inadequate, and this belief is all that Paul has criticized. Acts 15 was a council of the early disciples to decide this very subject, so if there's any doubt, then you need to read it again. The former Gentile is no longer a Gentile, but an Yisharalite after immersion. Is he circumcised? Yes he is, by Yahusha. There is no annulment of the teaching of circumcision, but only the explanation of a higher-level circumcision that is in operation.
The work of men's hands is nothing. This also applies to wearing special costumes, hats, and the like. We do nothing but accept Yahusha's Spirit, and then allow Him to enable us to love obedience.
The ceremonial aspects of the Torah of Mosheh all pointed to fulfillments in Yahusha, such as the animal sacrifices and circumcision. Paul understood this, and explained it. Can we trust him? Since Yahusha said the following words of Paul, the answer is yes:
"Go, for he is a
chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before nations, sovereigns, and the
children of Yisharal"
- Acts 9:15.
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit , says Yahuah tsabuoth." Zech 4:6
If you have not immersed in water and entered the Covenant, find water; and Yahusha will be there. People can be alone in a bathtub if necessary. It’s not who you are with that counts for anything at all.
If you happen to be with anyone else, they can say nothing with their mouth that matters in the least. Your immersion is only between you and Yahusha. He has witnesses with Him, and there is also Heaven and Earth, which He always names as witnesses.
He can see you and hear you, and knew you before you were born.
When you come out of the water, you are a member of the commonwealth of Yisharal - whether anyone else likes it or not.
You are sealed for the Day of Redemption, marked as the property of Yahusha.
His Name will protect you from the reapers (Ps. 91) on the day of distress.
You are sealed for the Day of Redemption, marked as the property of Yahusha. His Name will protect you from the reapers (Ps. 91) on the day of distress.
Physical circumcision for an adult male:
Alternatively, if you feel you can improve your standing before Yahuah by getting your flesh circumcised: I checked into some pricing for those adult males who may want to go for it and get circumcised. The best deal seems to be about $1350 per job for an initial circumcision - close to what one tooth cost me to save a couple of years ago. A revision operation is an additional $1650, and healing is estimated to take a minimum of one month for either. Consider Gal. 5:2-6 first. Some heal slower, so it may take 2 months before getting busy again (being fruitful and multiplying).
2 Peter 2:1-11 But there also came to be false prophets among the people, as also among you there shall be false teachers, who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies, and deny the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. And many shall follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of, and in greed, with fabricated words, they shall use you for gain. From of old their judgment does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber. For if Alahim did not spare the messengers who sinned, but sent them to Tartaros, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be kept for judgment, and did not spare the world of old, but preserved Noah, a proclaimer of righteousness, and seven others, bringing in the flood on the world of the wicked, and having reduced to ashes the cities of Sedom and Amorah condemned them to destruction – having made them an example to those who afterward would live wickedly, and rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the indecent behavior of the lawless (for day after day that righteous man, dwelling among them, tortured his righteous being by seeing and hearing their lawless works), then Yahweh knows how to rescue the reverent ones from trial and to keep the unrighteous unto the day of judgment, to be punished, and most of all those walking after the flesh in filthy lust and despising authority– bold, headstrong, speaking evil of esteemed ones, whereas messengers who are greater in strength and power do not bring a slanderous accusation against them before the Master.
Learn this Name: YaHUaH
Have you Googled the Name Yahusha?
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Where did we get the form "JESUS" from?
WHO ARE THE THE JUDAIZERS ?
THAT DOME -
KIPA or YARMULKE
Strawberry Islands Messianic Publishing, Louisville KY
ISHTAR, ASHERAH, OSTER EASTER
The following link deals with the 10 lost tribes, also known as the Samaritans:
BLESSING OF THE FIRSTBORN WHERE'S EPHRAIM?
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BEING IMMERSED INTO YAHUSHUA'S NAME, SEE THIS LINK:
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