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                                    Without Faith there is no salvation – the fatal flaw of universalism

Rob Bell, “If the gospel isn't good news for everybody, then it isn't good news for anybody.”
(Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith). The qualification is that it needs to be presented for people to hear. Its good news to all those who accept it not to those who reject it.

Does Bell believe all are predestined for heaven? Faith is the missing component in Bells philosophical reasoning of God’s love.

The gospel is not that Jesus died for you, but that he rose from the dead and you must make a decision on this.
This decision involves trust, believing in the message (1 Cor.15:1-4), FAITH.

The whole Scripture teaches about having faith, Jesus said to believe in him for eternal life. He never said everyone receives eternal life because of what he did WITHOUT believing.

Is Bell being intentionally negligent in presenting truth? In  his book “Love Wins,” Bell explains his position that everyone ends up going to heaven because of God’s love. Clearly Bell has no clue what the love of God is and what it was demonstrated by. The bible says

Rom 5:8-10:“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

The question is how is justified, one reconciled, brought into the grace of God.
Notice it says while we were sinners; when we were enemies (past tense) Paul is saying something changed because we were justified. Bell has the concept that one can still be an enemy and be justified by Christ. This is because nothing is required of you now, faith is unnecessary for receiving.

Jn.3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” V.17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Now if we left this by itself as most progressive teachers do we would have no idea what God really thinks. After all, the days of being a bible thumper, or a fundamentalists, even a evangelical are closing.
V. 18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” And later V. 36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.”

Saying God loves you is a partial message, God wants us to be active in loving him back.
I Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
I Jn 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

“That the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Gal. 3:22). “But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that believing you may have life in his name” (Jn. 20:31).

In his book “Love Wins”, Bell is taking the position that everyone ends up going to heaven because of God’s love. Clearly Bell has no clue what the love of God is and what it was demonstrated by.
Gal 3:8-9 “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.”
Rom 3:25: “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.”

Rom 3:30: “since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”

Rom 4:5 “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”

Rom 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace.”

There is no love of God without the justice of God. God punishes those who do evil and loves those who do what is righteous. To believe is righteousness. Its not that bad people go to hell and the good go to heaven. The Scripture says there is none that are good, no not one (Rom.3); we are all going to hell. Scripture says we are all condemned even though God has loved us (Jn.3) The only way one escapes their punishment for sin and rebellion toward God is by believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing the God who loves them. The fact is Hell is avoidable for everyone.

We are not saved by love itself but by believing in the death of Christ, the substitute for our sins and punishment that was initiated by God’s love. Bell is touting another gospel by teaching faith in Christ’s work on the cross is not necessary for all, but some. Universalist views contain a willing rejection of receiving the grace of God by faith. It is a False religion that believes one receives without faith the same promise that is given in Christ by FAITH alone, in Christ alone. Eph. 2:8-10 tells us that it is by grace through faith we are saved. This is the means used. Everyone is NOT saved by Jesus because of what He did without believing in Him, trusting in Him. We are saved by grace through faith, not without it.

Rom 5:1-2 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

In Christ or not
Rom. 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Notice where it resides- in Christ. Which means only those in Christ can receive this. How does one reside in Christ?

The question is how is one brought into the grace of God? If one does not have Christ (the Spirit) in them they will not have eternal life.
Rom 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Rom. 8:1-2: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

2 Cor. 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” One must be in Christ to be a new creation.

2 Cor. 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-- unless indeed you are disqualified.”
If one is not in Christ and Christ in not in them then there is no reason to insist on a the gospel being given with a response
2 Cor. 5:19-20: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.”

The universalist proposes “God loves you so much, but if you don't believe his way you're going to suffer eternal torment” – is this a contradiction? Is this coercion? Hardly, except for the illogical liberal who is unable to rightly divide the word of truth and accept the obvious answer. It’s like this …I go to a doctor and he tells me I’m very sick – lets say I have got the disease called sin- mitosos. It’s fatal, but the doctor tells me that there is a cure, only one cure and I must take it the way it is instructed otherwise I will certainly die. I say to him this is outrageous, there as all kinds of different cures for other ailments why not for this one. What kind of doctor will tell me there is only one cure and not many, and I have to take it a certain way. Who is he to say what’s right. I won’t accept the doctor’s advice because this does not seem right to me.
Now lets bring this into reality-- that doctor is Jesus, he made the cure but you have to take it otherwise you will be left to your own choice. Reality
God doesn't want anyone to go to hell and has done all that He can to keep people from going there by offering them the cure. It is they that have exercised the choice not to listen and obey.  
Heb. 5:9: “He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him”
1 Pet. 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Paul answers this in 2 Thess. 1:8 “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Those who go there choose to because they rejected God and His gospel, thus they were in rejection of God's love. One can receive mercy as a pardon for what they have done or refuse it and get the punishment they deserve.
God's love demands a hell. He allows you to have the freedom of choice, heaven or hell. This love is also perfect in justice, and God is longsuffering in His love, patient, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. So he gives the opportunity to repent, the choice is ours to make. It's an eternal choice which we cannot change once we die. If there is no heaven to gain or hell to shun, justice would not prevail in the universe. If there is no final judgment there is no Hell. The Bible teaches the dead will be raised to give an account and then punished. So there has to be a final separation for wickedness. We find evil is unable to be contained, it's easily spread. This cannot be said for godliness, which is not easily spread.
Since sin is offence against an eternal God and sin's effects are also eternal, the punishment therefore must have eternal consequences. Hell is part of God's justice which is just as important as God's love. And to understand God's justice we first need to understand that a law without any consequences is just good advice. If there is a moral standard that God sets it's for a reason. It is then an absolute standard because it relates to His character and His being as being holy, and it's from His very nature that this standard flows.
Bell has been on the universalist highway for some time. “So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making.” (Velvet Elvis p. 146)

Is Jesus saving everybody automatically?
Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
This is telling us that by his name ONLY one is saved. This is not passive activity, we are told to call upon him; it is the same declaration as believe on him to be saved.

Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'
Acts 10:43 “through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
There is the Bibles qualification – Believe.

Bell and his emergent comrades are taking advantage of the current vacuum of Biblical literacy.
Rob Bell makes the argument that Jesus can save through Islam, Hinduism or any other faith he is denying the biblical view of faith in Christ alone.
“As soon as the door is opened to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Baptists from Cleveland, many Christians become very uneasy, saying that then Jesus doesn’t matter anymore, the cross is irrelevant, it doesn’t matter what you believe, and so forth. Not true.” (p.155).
Jesus does save those who are Muslim, Hindus and Buddhists but they are called out of their religion and into the body of Christ. Again the emergent church view of Leonard Sweet is apropos to resolve this, he teaches
“It will take a decolonized theology for Christians to appreciate the genuineness of others’ faiths, and to see and celebrate what is good, beautiful, and true in their beliefs without any illusions that down deep we all are believers in the same thing” (pp.130-131 Quantum Spirituality by Leonard Sweet)
Sweet: ”One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna. (p.130 underline mine). The emergent church (more accurately the new age movement inside the church) speaks in unity on the new narrative of universalism and multi-faith subject matter.
Jesus said you search the Scriptures in them you think you have eternal life but they testify of me” (v.39). But they won’t come to him.
Bell shows his disdain for the Bible when he writes: “…some stories are better than others. Telling a story in which billions of people spend forever somewhere in the universe trapped in a black hole of endless torment and misery with no way out isn’t a very good story. Telling a story about a God who inflicts unrelenting punishment on people because they didn’t do or say or believe the correct things in a brief window of time called life isn’t a very good story.” (110).
Bell clearly is a Bible thumper. He literally takes the words of the Bible and gives them a thumping. These men’s teaching are a train wreck, or in new nomenclature, burned circuit boards.
An interview on MSNBC April 4, 2011 caught my attention because it came up the same time Bell was on TV Helping out God’s image of being too vindictive and unloving.
Ghosh: The thing to keep in mind that`s very important here is that the Koran to Muslims, it is not — it is not the same as the Bible to Christians.
The Bible is a book written by men. It is acknowledged by Christians that it is written by men. Its the story of Jesus.
Todd: Yes.
Ghosh: But the Koran, if you are a believer, if you’re a Muslim, the Koran is directly the word of God, not written by man. It is transcribed, is directly the word of God.”

What Christian would agree that the Bible is written by men and Not God? Well Brian McLaren and Rob Bell do. Bell states “Is the Bible the best that God can do? With God being so massive and awe-inspiring and full of truth, why is his book capable of so much confusion?” (Velvet Elvis) On page 46 of Bell’s book, his position is that the Bible is an open-ended book. The confusion lies with people like Bell who lack biblical understanding. Its as Jesus sai.d 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.' (Matt 13:14-15)

Brian McLaren does not use the Bible for his conclusions either;  in his interview with Christianity Today:
I don’t think WE’VE GOT THE GOSPEL RIGHT YET. What does it mean to be ‘saved’? When I read the Bible, I don’t see it meaning, ‘I’m going to heaven after I die.’ Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner’s prayer. I don’t think the liberals have it right. But I don’t think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy” (“The Emergent Mystique,” Christianity Today, Nov. 2004, p. 40).

That is his own personal opinion and he’s wrong; Jesus said in both Mt. 28:19- and Mark 16:15 “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”. Did he not teach them what to preach? Mary said she rejoiced “in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). Did not Peter call the 3,000 that repented on Pentecost to come to be individually baptized, proclaiming publicly Jesus is their savior. All this time and none had it right, except to say we are all wrong. Rediculous! This anti-evangelism of the [e]mergent church can be seen as liberals attacking orthodoxy. Those who side with them will reveal their animosity toward the truth.

[The Bible is a] “human product...rather than the product of divine fiat” (Velvet Elvis) “Everybody’s interpretation is essentially his or her own opinion.”
Then what excludes Bell in this statement, then his interpretation is no more or less than anyone’s elses, even the cults. For us to accept his opinion as correct means no one is taught by the spirit of truth. All are equally valid not matter how ridiculous they sound - no one can be sure they have arrived at the truth, even though Jesus had it written, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible Was Written By God though Men Whom He picked and Guided Personally in the content.

“The Bible is still in the center for us,” Bell says, “but it’s a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.”
What Bell possibly means by this is that it’s a mystery to him. If by conquering it he means to grasp and understand it, then we should all be guilty. There are several mysteries in the Bible but Jesus’ words and the writers of the New Testament wrote to make it plain. It’s the parables that hid the truth from those who had no spiritual understanding. Bell wants to put the whole Bible into the parable category as if tits the words fault. No Jesus said the same word falls on different soils, only those who have understanding are fruitful. It may be a mystery to Bell but not to us who have studied and shown ourselves approved by God.
Emergent church leader Dan Kimball writes, 'So, the emerging church is about a re-imagining: re-imagining our preaching, our evangelism, and our worship services. A re-imagining of new types of churches and an opportunity to be rethinking all we do because we recognize that the next generation is at stake if we don't.” (underline mine)
That is what you are left with when you reject the truth – imagination, to rethink it all and have your own opinions.

Bell writes in his mischievous manner, “The goal is not to be a 'New Testament church'. That makes the New Testament church the authority. The authority is God who is acting in and through those people at that time and now these people at this time. The point is to ask, what is God up to here, now?”(Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis, p. 65)

The Bible says the church that preaches the Bible is the pillar and ground of truth. According to Bell God can give the church new doctrines, new ways and change the original. While he sides with the Mormons on this point, the Bible has the exact opposite view.

Doctrine which is from the word of God does not change, it comes from God; its eternal, just as God does not change. Its men who want to fudge on eternal matters that reshape it to their own liking. In other words, either what is said is absolute or it is not. This where we find the promotion of relative truth by his comrades in confluence and confusion.

The [e]mergent’s must question the church beliefs to reshape it, because they are not orthodox. The [e]mergent church has an ongoing campaign trying to convince us that the world is different, and that the bible needs adjustments. That evangelicals, Pentecostals, fundamentalists, are all in the minority; It’s not true, they are (see Jude 1:12). Paul speaks of being delivered “from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.”
(II Thess. 3:2). Universalism is a reheated up meal that has been dumped in the garbage heap of history. It has been a staple diet of spiritless men who have no desire to give the good news to others

Bell sides with Roman Catholicism as he argues against the Scripture “...it wasn't until the 300s that what we know as the sixty-six books of the Bible were actually agreed upon as the ‘Bible'. This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true. In reaction to abuses by the church, a group of believers during a time called the Reformation claimed that we only need the authority of the Bible. But the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is. So when I affirm the Bible as God's word, in the same breath I have to affirm that when those people voted, God was somehow present, guiding them to do what they did. When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true. In affirming the Bible as inspired, I also have to affirm the Spirit who I believe was inspiring those people to choose those books” (Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis, p.68)

The Spirit is there to lead us into the truth and Jesus said my word is truth. The spirit is the one who inspired the men to be writers. And they were living by the Bible long before a church took a vote on it, (like some 200 years). By the way this is the same church that votes on a Pope, maybe Bell thinks that was guided by God as well. Besides this silly argument, all one has to do is look at past history. The dark ages came when the Bible was kept from the masses (much like Bell and his comrades want to do by their confusing interpretations). Did the spirit lead them then? Bells point is fallacious.

Yet Bell says, “It has brought a littler, deeper, richer understanding to the mysterious being who is God. . . .Our words are not absolutes. Only God is absolute... The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. We are dealing with somebody we made up. (Rob Bell. Velvet Elvis, p. 25)
So to Bell, God and His words are all incomprehensible, so what is the sense of the Bible being written if we cannot understand it. God has communicated to man who He is and how we are to think of him. If what He said is not accurate and is subject to change than he has not communicated truth and there is nothing we can stand on as solid ground.

Yet Bell contradicts himself on this by stating, “God has spoken, and everything else is commentary.” (Rob Bell “Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith”) what good is it if one cannot come to the truth he spoke? This would include his opinions as well, would it not?
Rob Bell of Mars Hill church states, “I affirm the historic Christian faith, which includes the virgin birth and the Trinity and the inspiration of the Bible and much more” (Mars Hill Constitution and Statement of Faith, p. 14.)

Is Bell serious? like a liberal in his true nature he speaks with doublespeak. Rob Bell also writes, “What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archaeologists find Larry's tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births? But what if as you study the origin of the word virgin, you discover that the word virgin in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word virgin could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being “born of a virgin” also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?” (Rob Bell. Velvet Elvis, p. 26)

Bell, like McLaren, loves to bring into question what the words of Scripture actually mean. Their pseudo intellectualism is redactive and ameliorate. They say they believe in the core doctrines and then question them; so do they really believe?

The virgin birth of Jesus, according to the Bible or Rob Bell. Absolute truth  an essential doctrine of the Christian faith, or not? The Bible teaches, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 1:18). The angel does declares, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:20). Without this virgin birth there is NO Son of God, therefore it cannot mean what Bell does by his fallen human reasoning. Liberals will almost always deny this tenet of the faith.
By the time Bell has deconstructed the scripture, bringing into question the virgin birth or anything else the wickedness of his heart desires we arrive at a new Christianity. Where anybody can still be part of a Christian faith community without entering by Christ since they have redefined what the faith requires.

Bell's vapid Sophism is seen in t his statement: “I can't find one place in the teachings of Jesus, or the Bible for that matter, where we are to identify ourselves first and foremost as sinners. Now this doesn't mean we don't sin; that's obvious. In the book of James it's written like this: 'We all stumble in many ways.' Once again, the greatest truth of the story of Adam and Eve isn't that it happened, but that it happens” (Bell, Velvet Elvis, p. 139).

Just like Robert Schuller, Bell is unable to grasp the true story. Let me help in the discovery…
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1: 15), and Christ Himself said that He came to call “sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). Rom 5:6, 8 “in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” V.8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 Cor. 15:3: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”
Sin is falling short of perfection, of doing God’s law or commandments. The whole Bible is about man being redeemed from beginning to end. Without seeing oneself as a sinner one cannot have a need for a savior, that’s what he came to save us from. Jesus said He would send the Helper (who is the Holy Spirit of God)“ And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:7-8). 

Does Bell understand the Gospel? Or is this predictable confusion from a liberal universalist.

Bell says “Salvation is the entire universe being brought back into harmony with its maker.” (Rob Bell Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith)
Bell’s viewpoint seems to have been influenced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, (the father of the new age movement) of which Sweet and others find influence as well.

If Bell does not have the requirement of faith for salvation for others why would he have it personally?
Bells church is called Mars Hill. After hearing what he believes I have to ask is He the Mars Hill that Paul preached to, or is He Paul going to Mars hill to refute them with the truth. Is his church named this because Paul preached, the resurrection and judgment to the gathering of philosophers in Greece or because they entertain the newest view to discuss as the philosophers did on Mars Hill?

Bell is offering his interpretation as valid as any other of the Bible. It is an abdication of divine authority that is in the Bible. This becomes a substitute Gospel that has no intention to convince sinners to repent or the Gospel that must be believed to be saved. Bells church attendance may increase, it may double as he attracts people to the new tolerant God at Mars Hill.

Apostasy comes with the introduction of new standards that replace the original, new ways of worship and teaching. Bell like others before him are preaching inclusivism, the belief that Christ is saving mankind including other religions through what Christ did without the biblical requirement of faith of the individual involved. Jesus becomes the way for all whether they know it or not, whether they accept it or not.

Rob Bell needs to hear the gong, it just depends how close he will be to it when it is rung.

Bell says “Who does Peter lose faith in? Not Jesus; he is doing fine. Peter loses faith in himself. Peter loses faith that he can do what his rabbi is doing. If the rabbi calls you to be his disciple, then he believes that you can actually be like him. As we read the stories of Jesus’ life with his talmidim, his disciples, what do we find frustrates him to no end? When his disciples lose faith in themselves..... Notice how many places in the accounts of Jesus’ life he gets frustrated with his disciples. Because they are incapable? No, because of how capable they are. He sees what they could be and could do, and when they fall short it provokes him to no end. It isn’t their failure that’s the problem, it’s their greatness. They don’t realize what they are capable of....God has an amazingly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things. I’ve been told I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I’m learning is that Jesus believes in me....God has faith in me.” (Velvet Elvis, pp. 133-134)
A new age motivator could not have said it better. God does not have faith. Faith means to trust in one that is greater. Jesus said have faith IN GOD. Jesus never said God believes in us (I challenge anyone to find such teaching). We are told to trust in God, to surrender to him, to have him be our master in life; for He alone is the greater. Jesus said “for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), we can do no spiritual good. Bell is changing the whole intent of the Scripture.

The Bible specifically tells us not to put our trust in people or ourselves. It would advantageous fro Bell to pay heed.
Proverbs 3:5-8: “ Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” And we are warned --Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD” (Jer. 17:5).


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