January 23, 2011 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
Do Not be Conformed—
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. / Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Pet 1:13–25)
John the Baptist came preaching repentance, a lone voice crying out in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord, making paths straight, a guide well able to lead Israel to the One whose sandals he was not worthy to carry. John “came as a witness, to bear witness about the light [that is the life of men], that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light (John 1:7–8). … John came baptizing with water; he came to Israel, not to all of the world even though he came that all might believe through him. And John could, by himself, bear “witness” to the natural descendants of Israel, none of whom were born of God prior to the breath of God [pneuma Theon] in the form of a dove descending, alighting and remaining on Jesus the Nazarene (Matt 3:16).
The two witnesses, like John before them, will come not as the Light that darkness cannot overcome but as the “one” who bears witness about the Light that is the glorified Jesus; for one witness is sufficient to bear witness to the flesh of every person, but a second witness is necessary to bear witness to the living inner self, raised from the dead when a second breath of life is received. One witness will be credible to the outer self and one credible to the inner self: one of the two witnesses will be a man well respected by the world and the other will be a man respected by spiritual beings. These two will be “one” as Moses and Aaron were one, both brothers of the same father and mother.
To comprehend why two witnesses are necessary to spiritually preach repentance as John by himself physically preached repentance is to digest spiritual “meat,” clean meat, albeit hamburger—
No natural descendant of the patriarchs nor any other human being had inner life or a “living inner self” (i.e., the indwelling of eternal life in pneuma Christos, the breath of Christ) prior to when Jesus as the last Adam received the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion]. But “Israel” is not today the natural descendants of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A Jew is not merely an outward Jew, an outwardly circumcised adherent to the theology of rabbinical Judaism. Rather, a Jew is today inwardly circumcised; i.e., circumcised of heart. And to preach repentance to Israel today, prior to the Second Passover, as John preached repentance to Israel is to preach to the inner self. But to preach repentance after the Second Passover is to preach to both the inner self and the outer self, both of whom have been set free from bondage to sin and death. And once set free, the outer self can only die from an outside or out-of-self cause such as martyrdom or by taking out-of-self sin back inside the person.
Israel has always been the nation that overcomes with God, with this nation represented by the younger of the two sons of promise born to Isaac. Therefore, continuing the Apostle Paul’s allegory that has born-of-God disciples being Isaac (see Gal 4:21–31), a second generation of sons of promise will be represented by Esau and Jacob, with those Christians of this second generation represented by Esau being hated by God from before birth, except for those Christians represented by Caleb who had about him a different spirit—
Two sons of promise, neither of whom was represented by Christian converts in the 1st-Century, but with both represented by Christians when Christ Jesus returns as the promised Messiah. One hated. One loved. One a man of the fields; one a man who has to wrestle with God to overcome his deceitful ways.
Israel was initially the nation circumcised in the flesh that left Egypt when the Lord took the fathers of the nation by the hand on a particular day, the 15th of Aviv, the day of the first full moon of the year (the year beginning with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox, not with the first full moon after the equinox). As the moon reflects the glory of the sun, the nation of Israel reflects the glory of the Son of Man, the Light of men. And as the moon waxes and wanes, Israel as a physical nation waxed and waned, at times truly reflecting the glory of the Lord and at other times reflecting no glory at all. And when Israel was totally eclipsed by the earthly things of this world so that it shone rusty red, an iron tool unfit for service to God, the nation was returned to slavery, the typological equivalent to the inner self of Christians dying from want of the Holy Spirit [again,pneuma hagion].
The physical self or a person’s outer self will die from want of physical food: the flesh weakens, consumes itself in preprogrammed auto-cannibalistic devouring of muscle and fat, and within a few weeks, the person’s heart and lungs are unable to function. The person has starved to death. Likewise, the inner self that will die from loss of the spirit of God [pneuma Theon] — the breath of God, the second breath of life that a person receives when the Father draws a person from this world, the indwelling of eternal life — will starve to death from want of spiritual food, milk and meat that comes from instruction in the Word of God.
A correspondence exists between physical food and spiritual food that is analogous to the correspondence between the outer physical self sustaining life through the cellular oxidation of simple carbohydrates and the inner spiritual self sustaining life through the indwelling of the spirit of God [pneuma Theon] in the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christos], with the man Jesus being the true manna [bread] that comes from heaven. The spirit or breath of Christ functions as the vessel that has come from heaven that is able to hold the invisible fire of eternal life, or life in heaven, life that comes from the indwelling of the spirit of God. But in functioning as this vessel, the breath of Christ Jesus also functions as simple carbohydrates function in a person’s fleshly body, with Jesus’ words delivered in the 1st-Century and now again in the 21st-Century representing spiritual milk [1st-Century messages] and meat [21st-Century messages]. And as the majority of Israel did not believe Jesus’ words when directly spoken by Himself, or when indirectly spoken by His first disciples, the majority of endtime Israel will not believe Jesus’ words that are even more difficult to chew and swallow in the 21st-Century; for Jesus’ endtime words will be spoken by two witnesses who have not come to bring peace on earth but a sword, plagues, droughts, famines. The two witnesses come not to restore democracy or personal liberty or American governance to its constitutional bag, but to end all governance. The two witnesses will be perceived as anarchists; for these two will diligently set about collapsing whatever forms of self-governance sprout from the sudden destruction of a third part of humankind, all firstborns, at the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Israel is spiritually the nation circumcised of heart, the nation born of God. And this nation dwells in fleshly bondage to sin [see Rom 7:7–25] until the Second Passover as natural Israel dwelt in bondage to Pharaoh until the first Passover. Then as natural Israel followed Moses and Aaron out from geographical Egypt, spiritual Israel will follow the two witnesses out from sin; for Israel’s liberation from indwelling sin and death comes through the nation being born of God (liberation of the inner self from death) and being born filled with the spirit of God [pneuma Theon], with this filling-with and empowerment by the spirit of God liberating the outer self.
But Israel—the greater Christian Church—will not long follow the two witnesses, but will rebel against the two witnesses and against Christ Jesus and the Father as natural Israel in the wilderness of Paran rebelled against Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb (Num chap 14).
In the 1st-Century, the holy ones (the saints) when filled with spirit on that day of Pentecost following Calvary (Acts chap 2) and on the day when Cornelius was baptized (Acts chap 10) and on the day when Paul baptized the twelve at Ephesus (Acts chap 19) formed the shadow and copy of greater Christendom being baptized in the breath of God [pneuma Theon] at the Second Passover in the 21st-Century and of the remaining third part of humankind being baptized in spirit [pneuma] and of the 144,000 natural descendants of Israel being baptized in spirit when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man 1260 days after the Second Passover … born-of-God Christians in the 21st-Century form the spiritual equivalent to the three thousand natural Israelites that were added to the original disciples on that day of Pentecost following Calvary. The third part of humankind that will receive the spirit when the kingdom is given to the Son of Man form the equivalent to Cornelius and his household, while the twelve at Ephesus (note: they were not at Jerusalem) who had been baptized in John’s baptism form the spiritual equivalent to the 144,000 who follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev 14:1–5).
When born of God, the dead inner self of a person receives “life” through the person receiving a second breath of life. Thus, once Israel is born of God, Israel possesses two “breaths” of life, the first giving life to the flesh—the breath that comes from the first Adam—and the second giving life to the invisible inner self, with this second breath [pneuma] coming from the Father in the vessel that is the breath of Christ [pneuma Christos]. But as the Apostle Paul observed in himself in the 1st-Century, sin and death continued to dwell in the fleshly members of the holy ones—
· For as long as a person possesses the breath of life initially given to Adam, the man of mud, the person lives physically.
· For as long as a son of God possesses the breath of Christ, the “vessel” able to hold the invisible fire that gives to the son of God life in the heavenly realm, the son of God lives spiritually.
· The breath of Christ is the reality inside a disciple that was foreshadowed by the jar of manna in the Ark of the Covenant.
When a human being loses the breath of Christ, this human being loses indwelling eternal life that came in the form of the breath of God [pneuma Theon] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christos]. And yes!, the breath of Christ can be lost, with the most common means of losing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit [again, pneuma hagion] being the denial of Christ Jesus, the only Son of the Logos [Ò Logos] who as the Logos created all things that were made (John 1:3). But to lose the breath of Christ while still living physically means that the person was not truly born of God, but only had the indwelling of eternal life through figurative mouth-to-mouth resuscitation; i.e., only had the Holy Spirit while Christ Jesus as the last Elijah “breathed” His breath into the person in an attempt to cause the Body of Christ to again “breathe” on its own.
As the Apostle Paul revealed, disciples are individually and collectively the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) … collectively, the Body of Christ died with the Apostle John (ca 100–102 CE) and will not live again until the Second Passover. But individually, the Body has temporarily lived through the life of a faithful disciple here and there, with these disciples known to the Father and the Son but not necessarily historically known to other human beings. The preceding is especially true since the last Elijah began to resurrect the Body of Christ as the first Elijah returned life to the son of the widow of Zarephath, with the last Elijah breathing “life” into Sabbatarian Anabaptists in the 16th-Century, beginning with Andreas Fischer.
When the last Elijah [God that was Yah] began to breathe His breath into the Christian Church in the 16th-Century, most Christians, while experiencing reform twinges, simply would not believe the words of Jesus who spoke only the Father’s words during His earthly ministry. Hence, most of Christendom would not believe the Father. However, Anabaptists who sought to scrap the old Church and restore the late 1st-Century Church believed more than did reformers in the old Church or Reformers who sought to return the old Church to a scriptural base. And of these Anabaptists, a few began to believe God enough that they returned to keeping the commandments: these are the Sabbatarian Anabaptists into whom the last Elijah continued to breathe His breath for a period represented by seven weeks, with the temple again cleansed on the jubilee.
The human being who once had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through the last Elijah breathing His breath into the person has “tasted” the goodness of God [i.e., eternal life], but the person who found the taste either too strong or too bitter or too intense for the person will inevitably reject eternal life. The person remains inwardly dead even when the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christos] was being “forced” into the person, as a drowning victim remains “dead” when mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is first administered to the victim.
Though the human being who has tasted the goodness of God will still live physically when the spirit is lost because the old self was never crucified with Christ, this person will never inwardly live again, but will be resurrected into the lake of fire. For this person, while the breath of Christ was in the person, rejected—spit out—the goodness of God.
After pausing to cleanse the temple—disciples are the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16)—the last Elijah as the first Elijah did when restoring breath to the son of the widow of Zarephath returned to laying over the dead Body of Christ and returned to breathing His breath into now not all of the greater Christian Church but into Sabbatarian Anabaptists, most of whom (as the greater Church before them) found the taste of the goodness of God too much for them, and they spewed out this “alien” taste over a period representing sixty-two weeks, a period that has now ended.
Again, food becomes an appropriate metaphor for the sustenance that comes from the indwelling of the spirit of God, with Paul writing, “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it” (1 Cor 3:1–2). Peter writes, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Pet 1:14–16), with Peter’s citation coming from Leviticus 11:44–45, where meats are described.
Foodstuffs feed the outer self as the spirit of God that is the parakletos feeds the inner self. Food and the individual production of foodstuffs serve as visible metaphors to disclose what the parakletos does invisibly, with milk and milk products having become food for adults that remain inwardly spiritual infants. … Agricultural abundance in the United States and Canada, however, doesn’t produce nutritional abundance on food selves as would be expected. Instead, supermarkets and shopping carts are filled with “convenience” foods, junk foods, and milk products, while high nutritional-value food grains are fed to livestock, made into ethanol, and burned for heat. For Christians in the United States and Canada, Christian dogmas have become convenience foods that need only be popped into theological microwaves or dumped from cans to be “home cooked.” Righteousness has been pre-cooked, dehydrated, and needs only to be reconstituted in boiling water. Faith ceased being “belief of God” before the Americas, from the Arctic to the southern tip of the Argentines, was divided into nation states. As a result, the United States of America collectively denies Christ Jesus and will be collectively denied by Christ Jesus, but so too will be nation states around the globe.
There is today a collective famine of the word of God that will become physical famine during the Affliction, the first 1260 days after the Second Passover liberation of Israel. Spiritual meat is available, but not cheaply purchased for ingesting this meat requires the Christian to leave spiritual Babylon. Therefore, spiritual milk remains the food of preference, but even the price of milk has risen since the family cow has gone the way of horse-drawn plows. Christians have become dependant upon pastors and theologians to tell them when and how to worship God, with these theologians producing a convenience religion that is “fortified” with good deeds and works of the hands, while the remainder of America continues as spiritual vegans.
Christians who taste spiritual meat inevitably find it too tough to chew so they spit it out, and in doing so they deny Christ Jesus … in 1980, while sailing south from Kodiak to Dutch Harbor where the halibut season remained open, the vessel I was on and an accompanying vessel anchored in the bight on the northwest side of Dolgoi Island. The two skippers went ashore to see if they could get some fresh meat, for at the time a herd of cattle of then still-questioned ownership flourished on the island. The two skippers were gone for hours before returning empty-handed. One of the skippers asked me if I would see what I could do; for money was tight and they were tired of eating cod and halibut for every meal, what the crews of both vessels had been doing for the previous six weeks. I had joined the crew at Kodiak expressly for the Dutch Harbor trip, and hadn’t fished with the crew for those six weeks so I wasn’t tired of halibut. But having a reputation as a hunter, I accepted the task of killing a cow; however, I didn’t have a rifle with me. The skipper lent me his, and I took the dingy ashore, climbed the headland, and in a patch of alders on the west side of the island, I shot the only animal that wasn’t taller at the shoulder than the alders were high.
The cow was an old bull that was merely short-legged. The meat was very tough! And there was a lot of it.
The two vessels divided the meat, put it down on ice, and began to eat on it as both vessels headed for Dutch Harbor, with the other vessel arriving in Dutch a day before we did—then we arrived at Pacific Pearl’s plant, we found the other vessel’s half of the meat waiting for us with a note saying that it was too tough to eat. By this time, we knew it was tough, but we weren’t going to not eat it; so with stewing and a lot of chewing, the crew of the vessel I was on ate that meat, all of it, and enjoyed most every bite of it for it wasn’t fish. Plus, we were not eating our profits, and the flavor was good … apparently, the other crew had become used to the softness and flakiness of fish.
The meat of the word of God takes some chewing, and usually requires quite a bit of stewing; for spiritual meat is not convenience food or junk food. It is not MRE (meals ready to eat) packets where only boiling water needs to be added. It doesn’t lend itself to being cooked in microwave ovens, and it is not for sale in denominational churches or synagogues, the supermarkets of theology.
Spiritual meat isn’t for spiritual infants or spiritual vegans.
Thus, returning to the subject at hand, in order to die sons of God born of spirit must twice die, with the flesh usually dying first—the death that is common to all men—then the inner self of evildoers dying when judgments are revealed upon Christ Jesus’ return, with the death of the inner self being the second death, the death that comes in the lake of fire. And yes, sons of God can do those things that are evil and therefore be evildoers. When receipt of the Holy Spirit precedes demonstrated obedience as human birth precedes walking uprightly as a biped, a certain number of these sons of God will never believe God and by extension, will never strive to keep the commandments of God. They will like the taste of milk and will become addicted to spiritual infancy, refusing to grow, refusing to stand and walk uprightly as a man. They will continue to crawl on hands and knees as if they were spiritual livestock, and they will be sacrificed as livestock when the temple of God is dedicated upon Christ Jesus’ return.
Understanding that sons of God who refuse to walk uprightly before God (with walking uprightly requiring that the son of God keep the commandments of God) make themselves into spiritual livestock to be sacrificed in the lake of fire when the spiritual temple is dedicated at the Wedding Supper as 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep were sacred when Solomon’s temple was dedicated (see 2 Chron 7:5) is spiritual hamburger, meat that even toothless infants can gum down. What is a little more difficult to understand—chew—is that in the period represented by the seventy weeks during which the temple of God is rebuilt and an end is put to sin (Dan 9:24–27), the last Elijah will lay over the dead Body of Christ and will “breathe” His breath into disciples, thereby giving to Christians figurative mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Every Christian into whom He breathes His breath will “taste” the goodness of God even though the Christian is not able to “breathe spiritually” on his or her own. And the Christian who “samples” indwelling eternal life and who then rejects Christ Jesus and indwelling eternal life in the form of the breath of Christ will be denied by Jesus before the Father: the last Elijah will simply cease breathing His breath into the disciple, and the inner self of the disciple will die even though the fleshly body still lives.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:1–11 emphasis added)
Apart from Christ Jesus, no disciple can do anything—and no disciple who does not bear the fruit of the spirit will remain a part of Christ, but will, instead, be pruned away and gathered as a dead branch to be burned in the lake of fire, which isn’t needed to destroy the flesh but is need to destroy the invisible inner self once this inner self is truly born of God.
But the disciple into whom the last Elijah breathes His breath in figurative mouth-to-mouth resuscitation has not been truly born of God even though this disciple tastes/samples the goodness of God, which is indwelling eternal life. A taste, however, is enough for a disciple to enter into judgment, with the disciple either choosing life by obeying the commandments of the Lord, by loving the Lord, by walking in His ways, by keeping all that is commanded in the Book of Deuteronomy, or with the disciples choosing death through unbelief.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. [Moreover] the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? (Rom 10:5–15)
Before continuing, the primary participle *X that is second element in the sentence about the righteousness basest on faith (v. 6 above) can be adversative or continuative, depending upon context. English translators, because of their bias against Moses, usually translated *Xas “”but” in verse six; however, that assignment of contradiction would have Paul not understanding what Moses wrote, and this is clearly not the case. Therefore, the assignment should be continuative as in the English conjunctions “and” or “also” or “moreover.”
The righteousness based on faith that the Apostle Paul cites is the Moab covenant (Deut chaps 29–32), for the passage Paul cites is Deuteronomy 30, verses 11 through 14, with verse 15 having Moses place before the children of Israel life or death—
The Israelite who chooses life will profess that Jesus is Lord and believe in his or her heart that the Father raised Jesus from the dead. This Israelite if a natural descendant of the patriarchs, will have—when in a far land and far from God—chosen to keep the commandments, loving the Lord with heart and mind, before professing that Jesus is Lord.
The Israelite if first spiritually born through hearing Jesus’ words and believing the One whom sent Him (John 5:24) will join with the converted natural descendants of the patriarchs in keeping the commandments and loving the Lord with heart and mind; for there shall be no inward distinction between the Gentile convert and the Jewish convert even though each walks a differing path to arrive at the same theological location in heavenly Jerusalem.
The Gentile convert or the Jewish convert who has been ransomed from the futile ways inherited from forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, will by faith (by belief) walk uprightly before God as a spiritual biped, keeping the commandments to the best of the convert’s ability, waging war on the sin that continues to dwell in the fleshly members of the disciple, conducting him or herself with fear throughout the time of the disciple’s exile from the Promised Land of heaven. The convert should not presume that because he or she has tasted the goodness of God the convert can walk in the futile ways of forefathers and enter the kingdom of God: a Jew cannot continue in the futile ways of rabbinical Judaism and enter the kingdom, nor can a Gentile continue to live as a person of the nations and enter the kingdom.
What food do Jews eat on the Sabbath? Food that was cooked the day before? … To eat what was cooked the preceding day because the natural descendant of the rebellious nation at Sinai does not kindle a fire on the Sabbath (see Ex 35:3) is to continue in the futile ways inherited from forefathers because of their rebellion against God and transgression of the commandments. Therefore, if a Jewish convert continues not to kindle a fire on the Sabbath, this convert continues in the futile ways inherited from forefathers when the inner self has been liberated from bondage to sin and death.
What foods do Gentiles eat on Saturday mornings? Bacon? Ham? Pork sausage? … To eat unclean meats is for a Gentile convert to continue in the futile ways of forefathers.
The food traditions of the convert’s forefathers will only cause the convert difficulties; for the Church of God has no tradition requiring two or four sets of dishes, one for meat and one for dairy, and one doubled set for daily use and one doubled set for Passover use. Likewise, the Church of God has no tradition of eating whatever crawls or creeps across or under the face of the earth. Rather, the Church of God eats meats intended for food and does not eat blood or the fat from around kidneys. But it isn’t the meat and diary that enters the stomach that causes the convert spiritual difficulty, but the words that come out from the mouth. It is words that come from the inner self that defiles the inner self that is the son of God.
But the words that come from the heart and mind of the Christian convert reflect what the convert has spiritually ingested; i.e., reflect the food that pastors and theologians have fed this convert. Because of what has been forced fed to the majority of Christian converted—like geese force fed for foie gras—these Christians will spiritually die during the Affliction, for neither goose nor convert can be filled with bile and survive.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."