"Ye shall not surely die": Once Saved Always Saved Refuted
Updated: Jan 22
Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” ~ Ezekiel 13:22
One of the most divisive sensitive subjects of doctrine throughout all of Christendom undoubtedly is the doctrine of 'Once Saved Always Saved'. I've suffered many attacks from professing Christians for my biblical stance on the doctrine of OSAS and want to prove using the scriptures why it is a dangerous false doctrine that is leading millions of people to hell. Those who hold to this teaching are convinced that it is impossible for one to fall away or that if one does apostatize and depart from the faith they must have never been saved to begin with. I will prove to you by the Word of God why they are in error. I would ask you to just let the Word of God speak for itself. I only want to highlight the many scriptures that have stood out to me and leave the rest up to the Spirit of Truth to lead you.
What does Romans 11, 2nd Peter 2 and the letter of Jude all have in common? I'll give you a hint...
It seems to lead all the way back to the very first lie that the serpent told in the garden in Genesis 3:4..."Ye shall not surely die!"
The very fruit of the spirit that manifests out of some of those who preach this doctrine is repugnant. When debating a group of those who hold to the OSAS doctrine I asked them this question,
Here is just some of what a few of them told me...
And here's another tweet unrelated to the above discussion but shows the same unbiblical & fruitless, disobedient, unrepentant, wicked gospel being propagated everywhere today.
These are lies from the pit of Hell, and any teachers teaching this wickedness are workers of iniquity. How do Christians not heed the dire warnings Jesus so often gave like one in Mathew 5:29-30, I'll tell you why, because they've been taught these lies by their Church's and Pastors.
"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell"
I strongly suggest as Christians we think on this long and hard!
Now let's jump to Hebrews 6:4-6, It says,
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
There is a clear warning here to those who were once enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift and were even made partakers of the Holy Ghost, that it is possible for them to fall away. How is it people can even make such a bold leap to say these people mentioned here were never saved??? Can people actually come out from darkness and into in the light (Jesus) and taste of the heavenly gift (Salvation through Christ) and be made a partaker of the Holy Spirit (sharer, participant or indwelt by) and not be saved? I think to say otherwise seems absurd. I cannot fathom the contradictory thought process, it seems so clear but I understand many have been subjugated to years and years of indoctrination from their teachers who are trained in seminary's. The bigger question might be how does one Fall away from somewhere they never were??? How can you fall or turn away if you never were there to begin with? It's illogical. Some who refuse to take this passage for what it clearly says try to hold onto the word 'IF'. As if it read, 'IF it were possible', but that it is impossible. Then they have a problem because there is no 'if' in the original greek, the word 'Kai' used for 'if' can be used also as: and, also, even, both, then, so, likewise etc. So it could also be read as "and they fall away" or "then they fall away". And if it were not a possibility then why would the Bible even have this warning in it??? Why not just say something like, It is impossible for those to fall away???
I wouldn't normally quote men I know little about, I am not endorsing this person or the denomination which even it's founder would likely rebuke today, however I came across this letter written by John Wesley (the founder of the Methodist Church who lived from 1703-1791) who when opposing Calvinists brilliantly summed up the false doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved. If you apply what he says here to the many scriptures he mentions he absolutely obliterates this false doctrine. Though I know little of the man, It's not difficult to see how well he knew and understood the Word of God.
“Calvinists, who deny that salvation can ever be lost, reason on the subject in a marvelous way. They tell us, that no virgin’s lamp can go out; no promising harvest be choked with thorns; no branch in Christ can ever be cut off from unfruitfulness; no pardon can ever be forfeited, and no name blotted out of God’s book! They insist that no salt can ever lose its savor; nobody can ever ‘receive the grace of God in vain’; ‘bury his talents’; ‘neglect such great salvation’; trifle away ‘a day of grace’; ‘look back’ after putting his hand to the gospel plow. Nobody can ‘grieve the Spirit’ till He is ‘quenched,’ and strives no more, nor ‘deny the Lord that bought them’; nor ‘bring upon themselves swift destruction.’ Nobody, or body of believers, can ever get so lukewarm that Jesus will spew them out of His mouth. They use reams of paper to argue that if one ever got lost he was never found; that if one falls, he never stood; if one was ever ‘cast forth,’ he was never in, and ‘if one ever withered,’ he was never green; and that ‘if any man draws back,’ it proves that he never had anything to draw back from; that if one ever ‘falls away into spiritual darkness,’ he was never enlightened; that if you ‘again get entangled in the pollutions of the world,’ it shows that you never escaped; that if you ‘put salvation away’ you never had it to put away, and if you make shipwreck of faith, there was no ship of faith there!! In short they say: If you get it, you can’t lose it; and if you lose it you never had it. May God save us from accepting a doctrine, that must be defended by such fallacious reasoning!” ~ - John Wesley
Now here's where things begin to get difficult for many, they will say if you accept the possibility of falling away then you are preaching works salvation. As if we are trying to save ourselves and not trusting in the atonement of Jesus precious shed blood at Calvary. I certainly am not though many might see it that way. I am sure we've all heard Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." I don't argue this whatsoever but I will say that this is perhaps one of the most quoted, misused and misunderstood cherry-picked verses in the Bible to defend a false doctrine that plagues the Church's falls under many various titles: Once Saved Always Saved, Eternal Security, Persevearance of the Saints, Hyper Grace & Easy Believism. We are saved by God's Grace, he did it, he paid the price not us. Jesus was the spotless lamb and propitiation for our sins alone. But we mustn't cherry-pick verses to build upon our preconceived ideas or doctrines passed onto us from various Pastors ignoring the plethora of others that might also shed light on such a matter but should search diligently all throughout scripture putting all the pieces together to build our doctrines and theology.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? -Romans 6:1-2
Jude warned of those who perverted the Gospel of Grace using and abusing Grace as a licence to sin which is what OSAS for many becomes.
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." - Jude 1:4
Jude goes further to highlight his point against Once Saved Always Saved...
"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” Jude 1:5
Did the Israelites not see the plagues on Egypt, the many miracles, the red sea parted, did they not follow a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night??? I think it seems reasonable to say, They knew God existed but that their unbelief was a heart problem.
We should not for a second think because Jesus died for our sins that we can then use and abuse his precious blood to live a unrepentant, wicked, unholy, sinful lifestyle. We can't be a habitual fornicating, adulterous, drunkards and continue living that way until our death and think no matter how wickedly we live we will be saved because we said a prayer at a Church once acknowledging Jesus as Lord.
"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, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." - 1 Corinthian 6:9-10
This is the great danger of this doctrine, how easy is it for someone to fall deep into sin if they were taught to believe no matter how fallen or wicked they become they will still be saved? We ought to deny the lusts of the flesh not embrace them. We ought to separate from the world not join it.
Jesus said "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." - Matthew 7:13-14
The way to eternal life is NARROW and FEW find it! The easy road leads to destruction!
Many like to use phrases like that found in Hebrews 13:5 to prove OSAS, "...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Yes, but we can leave and forsake him but If we would repent he would welcome us in with open arms like the father in the account of the Prodigal son.
Majority of Christian Pastors will preach from pulpits that we are saved through Grace Alone through 'Faith ALONE'. a two word catch-phrase that isn't found anywhere in the Bible, however there is one place you will find "faith...alone". It is in James 2:17-20 " Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Whenever I have brought this up, Immediatley at this point emotions runs wild, people get heated and you're often quickly labelled a heretic for quoting scripture.
It's no wonder those who pervert the Gospel of grace whom Jude warned about find the Book of James such an offense. Martin Luther who famously called James "an Epistle of straw".
So is it one or the other? Or am I trying to preach works salvation? Negative. I believe with my whole heart and soul that only by the blood of Jesus Christ can I be justified and washed from my sins and stand blameless before our Almighty Holy God. Only through him and only by what he did is it even possible for me to be saved. No Sacrament such as Baptism, the Lord's supper or Charity work or leaning on anything I did can ever earn my place in the Kingdom to come. The propitiation for our sins is Solely through the finished work of Jesus our Lord and Savior. Then what is James talking about? EVIDENCE! Faith and real true biblical belief is more than just believing/knowing a set of facts. The devils also believe AND TREMBLE! They not only believe/know Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords but they also fear him, which is a greater faith than many Christians have today. Are they saved? James says "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” - Philippians 2:12
If we truly believe on the Lord and love him we must abide in him, fear him, obey him, producing fruit..
"Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied." - Acts 9:31
We deny him or receive him by how we live our lives.
"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:16
Good works are an evidence of our faith and belief. Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God gives man freewill and doesn't want robots, at any given time we can choose to deny him. The two go hand in hand. We can continue steadfast in the faith or turn away. Some remain some don't. How can we say we love Christ and continue without strong conviction in doing the things that nailed him to the cross!? We may stumble and have our struggles but it is a lifelong race to the finish line. Life is a trial of faith.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13
"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-7
We are not Calvinists, God is not some rapist but wants hearts that freely choose to love him. Grace is a free gift offered to all. Jesus paid it all. No doubt about it. But there is still are a ton of scriptures pertaining to salvation than just Ephesians 2:8-9 that we must not overlook.
"They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." - Luke 8:13
"Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended" - Matthew 13:21 (offended=fall away=apostacy)
" And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another" - Matthew 24:10 (offended=fall away=apostacy)
"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." - Matthew 24:13
"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." - Luke 13:3
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." - John 14:15
"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 which is in heaven" - Matthew 7:21
"But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" - Matthew 10:33
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:26-27 I want to point out Jesus is not saying to actually hate our families, but that our love and passion for God should be so strong and so great above all others that in by comparison it would look like hate. Putting family before God is unacceptable.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple - Luke 14:33
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. - Luke 18:17
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. - John 15:1-6
There seems to be a great and clear emphasis and correlation in the Gospels between doing God's will and salvation. Repentance being a change of mind, a change of direction, it's doing a 180 U-TURN From flesh to Spirit, being born again, picking up our crosses, denying oneself and the lusts of the flesh and things of this world and becoming a new creature in Christ. If Jesus is Lord over our life, by living according to his will, seeking a relationship with him and being transformed by the Holy Ghost. God wants hearts that love him, yearn for him and to please him because he first Loved us. Because we know the price paid for our transgressions. We could never pay that price but understand it was so that we could be forgiven and cleansed not to use it as means for continual unrepentant wickedness. People get so bent out of shape as soon as the word "works" is mentioned as if it is a bad thing that I think many have never really understood the importance of obedience and much of what the Bible really teaches about the rewards and consequences of our choices in life.
Have you ever noticed, that works is mentioned repeatedly throughout every letter to the seven letters to the seven Church's of Revelation?
The Church of Ephesus... "I know thy works"...
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Rev 2:4-5)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (Rev 2:7)
Smyrna... "I know thy works"...
"Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
Pergamos..."I know thy works"
"Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." (Rev 2:16)
Thyatira... "I know thy works"...
"...hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:" (Rev2:25-26)
Sardis, "I know thy works",
"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." (Rev 3:3-5)
"I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. (Rev 3:8)
"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."(Rev 3:11-12)
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Rev 3:15-16)
If this has not been convincing enough for you, then let's see a few more scriptures found on the subject in the Epistles...
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; - Timothy 4:1
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; - 2 Thessalonians 2:3
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God...For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" - Hebrew 3:12, 3:14
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him - Hebrew 10:38
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. - 2 Peter 3:17
"Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." Romans 11:19-22
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" 2 Peter 2:4
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" - James 1:12
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. - 1 Timothy 4:16
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: - 2 Peter 1:8-10
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.- 2 Peter 2:20-23
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel - Galations 1:6
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, - Hebrews 10:26 (I believe the context here is speaking to those Hebrews who were under a New Covenant and turning back to the old covenant Mosaic laws making Christ no effect also see Galation 5.)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God - James 4:4
Jesus said "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 which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." -Matthew 7:21-23
This is a terrifying verse. It seems evident these are not unbelievers, these are religious people that call Jesus Lord. Many whom may think they are saved by some merit of their own good works, so we must tread very carefully that we do not get caught up on either side of the two extremes. While these individuals clearly never had a relationship with Jesus it seems apparent they did believe he was their Lord. It only seems logical to conclude that not all who "believe" or acknowledge Jesus is Lord are saved and neither are those who trust in their works are saved either. Jesus says these are those that work iniquity/ wickedness, transgression of the law, unrighteousness. Those who know him, having an intimate relationship with him, abiding in him and walked as he walked but put their trust and faith in him not themselves. ("He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." 1 John 2:6)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. - 2 Timothy 4:7-8
You will recieve eternal security when you finish your course, fighting the good fight, keeping the faith and enduring to the end.
Don't be deceived, "Ye shall not surely die" is the same lie Satan used causing the first fall of man. And the tempter will always try to use scriptures to beguile you saying "Yea hath God said" or "It is written". Don't negate that which is ALSO WRITTEN!
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he FALL! "1 Corinthian 10:12
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand! Ephesians 6
Finally, I want to reiterate that I do believe I was saved the day I came to Jesus and believed in his sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. I went from a Chief of sinners to washed clean that very day. Our righteousness is but a filthy rag without the Blood of Jesus our Lord and Saviour, I do not preach save myself work salvation but that once we are saved we must continue in faith by abiding in Jesus and obedience to God taking the Narrow and straight path. Do not be the dog that returns to his vomit or sow that was clean back to wallowing in the mire!
We will stumble at times and always fall short, Praise God we have a Saviour!
Be Ye Holy, For I am Holy. - Leviticus 19-20
Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.
13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
I hope this article and compiled scriptures will bless many.
May the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
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