the MILLENNIUM

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 Jewish expectation of the MILLENNIUM
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The Jewish leadership at the time of Jesus falsely expected a political, an earthly kingdom, a re-establishment of the nation of Israel in a physical or political sense under the rulership of the Messiah. They were not satisfied with a spiritual kingdom (cp. Jesus’ words to Pilate, where he described his reign, his kingdom as “not of this world (age)”) but rather insisted in their conviction of how they (mis)understood the Scriptures that Messiah would establish an earthly kingdom with Messiah as a literal political king.   The Jews forfeited any and all claims to the kingdom because of unbelief. The “nation” that bears the fruit of the kingdom of God is the church, the Israel of God. The Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 21:43, says: Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. When John the Baptist, referring to Jesus of Nazareth, proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” he was not only pointing to Messiah but he was announcing the end of Judaism and the Old covenant.  Matthew 23 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. Luke 1335 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Acts 1 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.Judas Iscariot is the example of the Jews who reject Jesus, nation of Israel. John 13 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
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Galatians 3:16-19 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
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And Jeremiah says that God has the right regarding a nation “to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it…”
Psalm 37:9 “For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.”
And Jesus in Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Romans 2:8-11  but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
Romans 2:28-29 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the  heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Romans 3:29-30 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the
uncircumcised through faith.
Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” 
The Church is the final object of the love of God in Christ [John 17] and there is nothing to follow the church. When Christ returns at the end of
this ‘present age’ the ‘age to come’ continues forever.
Romans 4:13-14 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Romans 10:12-13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
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 Christian expectation of the MILLENNIUM
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Christians today who are expecting an earthly kingdom with Jesus as a political world ruler who will reign the world from a physical throne at Jerusalem are making the same or a very similar mistake as the Jews in Jesus’ day? Why would Jesus come back as an earthly world ruler when he did not come as such when he first was present as a physical person? Is the truth not rather that Jesus after his ascension into the presence of God (heaven) received his reign over his spiritual kingdom from the hands of his Father (cp. Dan 7:13-14) and that he since reigns and that indeed —  just as the angel Gabriel had announced to his mother Mary — of his kingdom (reign) there shall be no end (cp Lk 1:33)? Why should Christians wait for the beginning of Christ’s reign at a yet undetermined time in the future, if he already reigns and we are to submit our lives to him already now? Also, if that kingdom of Christ has not come as of yet, we would still be living  in the same age as Christ lived, the Old Testament age, and the end of that world (that age) would not have come as of yet … do those who teach a yet future coming of the kingdom and coming of the king realize such implications of their teachings? Note also the “kingdom of God is at hand”, not yet future.
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 Ignorant of the Bible people are overlooking the general truth that the Old Testament period had earthly and physical things as types and shadows, while the New Testament realities corresponding to those types and shadows are of a heavenly and spiritual nature. It is not that Gentiles will be saved in the manner of Jews, but that Jews will be saved in the manner of Gentiles!  While a vast numbers of Jews may be saved through the Gospel message at the end of the age  but I do have a problem with the idea that all of Jews will be saved because of their birth certificate.
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The focus of the Bible is the church and not national Israel  as the First Principle of Interpretation is on how you view the focus of the Bible. The Jews or the church is an essential point. The true church is found in both the OT and the NT. By the ‘church’ I mean those Gentiles and Jews chosen by God and who believe the same Gospel that true Christians preach today  as it was instituted on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. 
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“And so all Israel will be saved….” All Israel will be saved, but again, who or what is “all Israel”? TheChrch There has always been only a “remnant” of Israel after the flesh included in God’s elect. There never was a generation of Jews who were all saved. Salvation is effected through the gospel by faith. Romans 10:1-17
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The mystery of the ages is not that there would be the church but rather the make-up of the church. The mystery that has been revealed is that the true church has always been made of Gentiles and Jews. The church is the total number of the redeemed and includes only individuals who were saved by grace one at a time. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ ” Romans 1:16-17. verse 18! “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and  unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
Galatians 1:6-9 6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
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God deals with individuals and not nations in the matter of eternal salvation.
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God has always included the Gentiles in the number of His elect.
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Of course the Bible is about both the Jews and the church but what is its end objective, its focus!
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Amillennialism is by far the most dominant eschatological position in the history of Christianity. (“Eschatology” refers to the doctrine of “last things,” meaning the end times.)
Hebrews 1:1-2 i “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,” writes the author of Hebrews,” but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe” (NIV).
the phrase “last days” is associated with the first coming of Christ. Likewise, 1 Peter 1:20 tell of the “last days” being associated with Christ: “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.”
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God is finished with Israel as a national entity.  Christ has won the decisive victory over sin, death and Satan. By living a sinless life and by dying on the cross as the sacrifice of atonement for our sin, Christ defeated sin. By undergoing death and then victoriously rising from the grave, Christ defeated death. By resisting the devil’s temptations, by perfectly obeying God, and by his death and resurrection, Christ delivered a deathblow to Satan and his evil hosts. This victory of Christ’s was decisive and final. The most important day in history, therefore, is not the Second Coming of Christ which is still future but the first coming which lies in the past. Because of the victory of Christ, the ultimate issues of history have already been decided. It is now only a question of time until that victory is brought to its final consummation. the kingdom of God was founded by Christ at the time of his sojourn on earth, is operative in history now and is destined to be revealed in its fullness in the life to come. They understand the kingdom of God to be the reign of God dynamically active in human history through Jesus Christ. Its purpose is to redeem God’s people from sin and from demonic powers, and finally to establish the new heavens and the new earth. The kingdom of God means nothing less than the reign of God in Christ over his entire created universe.
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The kingdom of God is therefore both a present reality and a future hope. Jesus clearly taught that the kingdom was already present during his earthly ministry: “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Mt. 12:28, NIV). When the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, he replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!’ or `There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Lk. 17:20-21).
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We must remember that even though Paul was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit did not reveal to him or to anyone else the time of the Second Coming (Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7)
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Massive confusion exists within Christian churches about the “Millennium,” a unique thousand-year period depicted in the book of Revelation.  Revelation 20 in its entirety:
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“1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the east, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them
was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20, King James Version, with verses left in)”
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Two significant facts should be noted: Revelation 20 doesn’t say there will be peace on earth during the 1000 years.
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Revelation 20 doesn’t say Jesus Christ will rule during the 1000 years from the present city of Jerusalem.
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Historical Other texts make it clear that when Jesus returns, those left behind will be destroyed, not given another chance during some hypothetical “seven-year Tribulation” (which, by the way, is nowhere specifically referred to in the Bible). 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 – When Jesus returns in flaming fire, the lost will be destroyed.
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Revelation 16:17-18 – At Armageddon, cities crumble around the world.
Revelation 6:14; 16:20 – Every island sinks, and all the mountains disappear.
Jeremiah 4:23-26 – Planet Earth is totally devastated, with “no man” left alive.
Jeremiah 25:30-33 – Those slain by the Lord lie dead, unburied, all around the world.
Revelation 19:17-18, 21 – The birds eat the flesh of every human being worldwide.
These verses teach that those not “caught up” when Christ returns will be destroyed, and the destruction will encompass all the earth, as it did during Noah’s flood. Jesus Himself taught this. “The flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be” (Matthew 24:39).
Verse 5a – “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished”
Verse 7 – “When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison”
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At the end of the 1000 years, “the rest of the dead” are raised, and Satan is “loosed.” Therefore the raising of the “rest of the dead” is what  “looses” the devil. Satan then swoops into these resurrected nations (now alive in the four corners of the earth), deceives them again, and then gathers them for the grand finale (verses 8-9).
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What does all this mean? The answer will come shortly after we examine a few more crucial points. What should be clear so far however, that the common notion of the Millennium, reflected in Left Behind, leaves much to be desired. In fact, it’s completely bogus.
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The word “millennium” is not in the Bible, and neither is the concept of premillennialism found in the Scriptures. A look for “thousand year reign of Christ” or “millenial reign of Christ” or even “millenium” and “thousand year kingdom” in the Bible produces nothing … in other words, such terms are not even used in the Scriptures.  This verse does not say that Christ reigned one thousand years, it does say that those witnesses who had been killed for their witness of Jesus and the word of God reigned “with Christ a thousand years”.
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We do note immediately that Rev 20 does not speak of a thousand year reign of Christ. We do read the following in Rev 20:4:… and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
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Consider for example the following points.
There is no mention or indication that this reign is an earthly reign over a kingdom in a political sense.
There is no mention about the resurrected witnesses living again in a human body on earth (a “bodily resurrection”).
There is no mention about Christ coming or returning to earth or Jerusalem.
There is no mention that Christ and the resurrected witnesses live on earth at that time.
There is no mention of Christians or the church in general as having been resurrected and living on earth.
There is no mention of the believers being resurrected a thousand years before the unbelievers.
There is no literal reign of Christ over an earthly kingdom. Christ is presently reigning over a spiritual kingdom in either:   (1) the hearts of
 men;  (2) heaven, or (3) the church. The 1,000 years is a symbol representing an extended period of time.3 Many amillennialists believe that the fullness of the kingdom has already arrived on earth and we are presently in the age between the first and second resurrections. “Generally speaking, this view holds that Christ will return in His second coming and immediately usher in the new heaven and the new earth with no intervening thousand-year reign. This view interprets many
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Some examples from various passages of Scripture will illustrate the use of the word “thousand” in this type of expression.
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Deu 7:9Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which  keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
1 Chr 16:1515 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a  thousand generations;
Job 9:3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Psa 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
Psalm 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Eccl 7:28Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.
Dan 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
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So we read about “thousand years”, “thousand generations”, “thousand hills”, “thousand (people)” etc. In each of these passages it is clear that the reference is not to a literal “1000” of these things, people, years, but that the number is meant figuratively or symbolically. “Thousand” them can mean “many”, or “something whole or complete”, etc. but not exactly 1000 of whatever is in view in a literal sense.
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Many passages in the Old and New Testaments that refer to the millennial kingdom as being fulfilled in a nonliteral way, either in the present experience of the church on earth or the experience of the church in heaven.”4 For example, Jerome: “The saints will in no wise have an earthly kingdom, but only a celestial one; thus must cease the fable of one thousand years.” 5
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The premillennialists place the return of Christ just before the millennium and just after a time of great apostasy and tribulation. After the millennium, Satan will be loosed and Gog and Magog will rise against the kingdom of God; this will be immediately followed by the final judgment. While similar in some respects to the dispensational variety (in that they hold to Christ’s return being previous the establishment of a thousand-year earthly reign), historical premillennialism differs in significant ways (notably in their method of interpreting Scripture).
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 Reality :Israel and the church: the church is the fulfillment of Israel. Revelation and the various judgment prophecies in the Gospels, believing that the majority of those prophecies were fulfilled in 70 A.D. at the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. the Kingdom of God was inaugurated at Christ’s resurrection (hence the term “inaugurated millennialism”) at which point he gained victory over both Satan and the Curse. Christ is even  now reigning (hence the term “nunc-millennialism” — nunc means “now”) at the right hand of the Father over His church.
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After this present age has ended, Christ will return and immediately usher the church into their eternal state after judging the wicked.  The Rapture: The saints, living and dead, shall meet the Lord in the clouds and immediately proceed to judge the nations with Christ and then follow Him nto their eternal state.
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The amillennial perspective emphasizes that the coming of the Kingdom of God is a two-part event. The first portion dawned at Christ’s first advent (John the Baptist proclaimed at this time, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” — Matthew 3:2). At the cross, Christ won final victory over death and Satan. And then He ascended to reign upon the throne of David forever (Luke 1:32-33; Acts 2:30-31). Now because we “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18) — because of this, the amillennialist sees the final things already
accomplished, though not yet seen by sight, but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
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An important note is the amilleniallist’s view of the church in this world: a role of suffering. The Christian will be hated by all, just as was Christ (Matthew 10:22), for a servant is not greater than his master. Seeing this as the church’s role on earth — to suffer as did Christ — the amillenialist can hold no hope for an earthly exaltation and longs for the fulfillment of the second stage of the coming of the Kingdom.
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This second stage of the amillennial perspective is the final consummation of all the heavenly promises. The Christian will no longer see by faith alone, but by sight. All the shadowy things will pass away and our eternal reign with Christ will begin. The amillennialist, expecting no earthly glory for the church, places all his hope on this heavenly glory.
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More Bible reference
Galatians 2:6 God shows personal favoritism to no man
Galatians 3:7-9 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 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.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
 Galatians 3:26-29 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
  Galatians 4:21-31 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar —
25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children –26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written:”Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband.” 8 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Ephesians 2:19-22 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God
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